July 29th, 2013
The word Hafu is the term the Japanese use to describe someone who is biracial, specifically ethnically half Japanese. Whether the term is derogatory is debatable, but the Japanese see it as cut and dried: A Hafu is half Japanese and half something else.
The documentary film Hafu: The Mixed Race Experience in Japan, which makes its New York premiere on Sunday, July 28 as part of the Asian American International Film Festival, shows that Hafu is more than a simple word. It is an identity – and oftentimes an identity crisis – that manifests itself at an early age.