I saw that a former colleague of mine who lives in Japan had sponsored this project on Indiegogo, so I decided to take a look. ‘Born With It‘ is a short film about an African-Japanese boy who discovers for the first time that he is different from everyone else. The film will represent the director/writer, Emmanuel’s, NYU thesis film for the purpose of him receiving his Masters in Fine Arts degree.
I found the subject of this story to be very touching and close to my heart. I grew up in rural California and was the only partially Japanese kid in my school (apart from my brother). I never felt that I was different than anyone else. In fact, I always thought of myself as “white”. However, there were times in my life where people would make hateful and hurtful comments about my Japanese heritage. Most of the time they got the race wrong. For example, Chinese (or Chinky) was a big hit with people making fun whilst doing slanty eyes. It was times like these that I realized I was kind of different. This never hindered me, I was always very proud of my Japanese background and people.
As I have grown older I have embraced the Japanese side of my background far more than the “white” side. Perhaps this comes down to a deep respect for Japanese culture and a fond remembrance of my Grandma and Grandpa Yamakawa.
It also seems to me that being “white” in America is easy. You have all the standard traditions like Christmas and Thanksgiving; whereas being Japanese is far more mysterious and beautiful to me with traditions that I would like to pass on to my children like dancing obon and eating mochi for New Years.
I digress. I found this subject interesting and worthy of supporting. I can’t wait to see the finished product and wish them the best in their fundraising goals.