Introducing Winton Yuichiro White…

10 5th, 2010

Today, we are introducing Winton Yuichiro White who composed the amazing sound track for the film’s teaser (which you can see at the Kyoto Sneak Preview on October 23rd!). It’s also his birthday today, so お誕生日おめでとうございます!We’re looking forward to working with Winton in the future as the film nears completion. Winton これからもよろしくね!

Name: Winton Yuichiro White

Mix: Father – Caucasian American, Mother – Japanese

Expertise: Classical Musician – composer and vocalist (I’m a countertenor, like the singer from “Mononoke Hime”)

Birthplace: Oneonta, New York

Time spent in Japan: I was in Yokosuka, Japan for 18 years.  From the age of 2 till roughly 20.

Your experience growing up as hafu: I was often picked on by the Japanese kids in my neighborhood.  According to my mom I would come back home crying often, but would still go back to them and play.  I was picked on because I was Hafu; I was different from the other kids.  I realized later that other Japanese children in the neighborhood were being picked on as well.  So it wasn’t just me.  One girl didn’t go to the same school as the other girls, so she was picked-on for being different as well.  It’s one of those typical, idiotic bullying problems in Japan.  I found out later my neighborhood at the time wasn’t too well-educated, which generally has a tendency towards close-mindedness.  I know other Hafu people that grew up in Japan that never had a problem being different, whereas some had it worse.  It sounds like a sad childhood but I don’t remember much of it.  I don’t cry about it.  If anything, I laugh because now I’m multicultural, bilingual, and I’m making it as a musician here in America while those bullies are probably still at a 7-11 saying “Irashaimase…” lol.

Any changes as an adult? As I was growing older into my teens, I began to notice being Hafu was almost an iconic “cool” thing to be in Japan (still is, apparently).  Japanese people’s reactions would be ”えっ、ハーフなの?かっこいいね。” (“You’re hafu?  That’s so cool.”).  It still bothered me a bit when little Japanese kids would stare at me because I looked different.  The older I got the less of a problem it has been for me, although there were some Japanese people I encountered at university here in America that seemed uncomfortable, or had some issue with me.  It’s not like I smelt bad or anything!  Usually, if you didn’t do anything wrong to them, (and you take a shower everyday) then it’s their own personal problem; not mine.  So I just learned to let it go at that.  Just for the sake of speculation though, if it was because I was Hafu, then that means that they couldn’t accept or comprehend anyone that was culturally ambiguous in their eyes; whether that be my looks, my Japanese or my American extroverted personality.  I’m noticing more that generally Japanese people aren’t too fond of any “grey areas”.
Why you are supporting the film by contributing your skills:
I always take every opportunity possible to write music, but this film stood out to me.  This is not only because of the subject matter but because of its content as well.  This film is going show many individuals’ lives and their experiences, and that is something that interests me:  People.  Rather than a typical documentary for the sake of info-tainment, it’s all about people.  When I heard about this film through Marcia (whom I’ve known for about 10 years now) I got very excited about it!

What do you hope is the outcome of the film?
I would like for the people in Japan to watch it so they can be exposed to each individuals’ stories.  In turn, I hope that they will be able to empathize more for people of different backgrounds as their own.  I also hope other people of mixed race or mixed cultural backgrounds will see that there are others “like us”.  The ultimate though is that this film will go global.

More of Winton’s works: &