New documentary looks at the “hafu” experience in Japan

Japanese culture Movies & TV - October 15th, 2013
Screen shot 2013-10-15 at 12.55.02 PM

A recent documentary examines the mixed-race experience in Japan. Currently in Tokyo, the film Hafu is on a worldwide tour.

Growing up in two different cultural backgrounds can be a tough challenge in any country, but in Japan, growing up biracial can be particularly difficult. In Japan, the standard term used to describe mixed people is hafu—a Japanese pronunciation of “half,” and a term that can be controversial in itself.

A recent documentary, Hafu, explores the experience of five mixed-race people in Japan. Through honest and direct interviews with the five subjects, as well as scenes that follow the subjects through their daily lives, audiences get a chance to understand some of the issues that this small but growing segment of the Japanese population deals with from day to day. The subjects are David (Ghanaian/Japanese), Sophia (Australian/Japanese), the Oi family (Mexican/Japanese), Ed (Venezuelan/Japanese), and Fusae (Korean/Japanese).

Initially scheduled to run until October 18, the film’s popularity has led to an extended run. The film is showing at Shibuya UPLINK, with three daily showings (13:00, 14:45, and 19:00). For screenings after the 18th, you can check the theater’s site for schedule information.

If you’re not in Tokyo, check Hafu‘s site for more information about screenings in your area.

You can see a trailer for Hafu below.

映画『ハーフ』予告編 Hafu: the mixed-race experience in Japan [Official Trailer] from Hafu Film on Vimeo.