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  • Juju Kurihara

Is he half Japanese or half gaijin?

Updated: May 9, 2023

rie miyazawa

When I was 6, we moved to a new house. I saw a little boy playing alone in front of our new house. He lived in the apartment behind our house with his grandma and mother. He was 4 when we met and he said his name was Maikeru (Michael). I didn´t think he was special, maybe because I myself have a strange name as a Japanese but actually he was a bicultural whose father was an American army. We never saw his father and they lived in a small flat that he and his mother slept in a bunk bed in the kitchen-living room.

Back then being a single mother was tougher than now and what I understood much later was it must´ve been even harder for the mother to have a bicultural kid. Not because the boy had a problem, on the contrary, he was the sweetest boy I´d met at that time, but because the fact that the mother had a relation with a foreigner but he wasn´t with her anymore. The only remainder of the father was the son who had a foreign name. I don´t know what they are doing now but every time I see a topic about bicultural, I think about this family.


I saw her face was red. I wouldn´t know if she was angry or embarrassed but she covered her body with a small towel like adults would do and went into the bath. After the bath, I went to her room and we played catch with a rolled sock. She played as if nothing happened.

As a kid, I didn´t see the difference and I don´t know their life afterwards. Mixed race TV stars are so popular and you see them in every channel. Then in the real life, they are discriminated even they have Japanese nationality. Why? Because they look different? Japanese are mixed of many races anyway. Why the aspect is so important? I´ve heard stories like the article but I haven´t seen it myself. It´d be great if any of the readers who are bicultural talked to us about your own stories.

Here is the article.



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