‘Mixed’ Japanese-Filipino identities under Japanese multiculturalism

Fiona-Katharina Seiger

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11 Citations (Scopus)
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The ways in which multiculturalism is debated and practiced forms an important frame for ‘mixed’ ethnic identities to take shape. In this paper, I explore how young migrants of Japanese-Filipino ‘mixed’ parentage make sense of their ethnic identities in Japan. My key findings are that dominant discourses constructing the Japanese nation as a monoracial, monolingual and monoethnic nation leave no space for diversity within the definition of ‘Japanese’, creating the necessity for alternative labels like haafu or ‘mixed roots’. Japanese multiculturalism does not provide alternative narratives of Japaneseness but preserves the myth of Japanese racial homogeneity by recognizing diversity while maintaining ethnic and racial boundaries. Lastly, these categories have not been actively questioned by my respondents. Rather, they show flexibility in adopting these various labels – haafu, ‘mixed roots’, Filipino, Firipin-jin – in different contexts. KEYWORDS: Japanese-Filipino children, mixed-ethnic, identity, multiculturalism, Japan
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-407
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Identities
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

This research was funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowship [JSPS\OF1\482].

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