Photographer Works to Capture All of the World’s Half-Japanese Faces


By helping in a crowdfunding campaign, people can now be part of a novel project that seeks to create a better understanding of half-Japanese identities, or hafu, all over the world.

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Belgian-Japanese photographer Tetsuro Miyazaki has been travelling the globe to interview half-Japanese people for his project, “Hafu2Hafu.”

The project that first started as a simple exploration of their identity blossomed into a bigger social gesture that now aims to “present a complete image of being hafu.”

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To accomplish this, Miyazaki captures portraits and documents questions of all the hafus he interviews from one country to another.

“My ambition is to photograph one hafu Japanese person from every country in the world. There are 193 countries recognized by the UN, so there are 192 possible combinations,” he said.

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There are currently 90 photos from 65 countries on the project’s website. So far, he has already discovered interesting details.

“I’ve noticed that there are big differences according to what the other country is. If that’s an African country, you have completely different experiences than if you’re half-Asian and half-Japanese kid, or if you’re half-Belgian and half-European as I am.”

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Check some of them out:

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Yukari Scalvini (49), Italian-Japanese, asks: “How can your experience as a hāfu help you as a parent?”
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Hisanori Tamura (31), Thai-Japanese, asks: “Do your parents value each other’s cultures equally?”
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Ayana Shimosato (12), Latvian-Japanese, asks: “Are you happy with the life you live now as a hāfu?”
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Zenn Kato (21), Surinamese-Japanese, asks: “What ethnic background are you mostly attracted to?”
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Nana Darweesh (34), Iraqi-Japanese, asks: “As hāfu, have you ever faced any problem within the Japanese community outside of Japan?”
Ronnie Aker (62), Norwegian-Japanese, asks: “How do you appreciate Japan and it’s culture while being very critical about it at the same time?”
Tiffanny Sakamoto (19), Japanese-Honduran, asks: “Do you manage to be entirely free of stereotypical expectations of others?”
Tomoharu Kudo (22), Japanese-Filipino, asks: “Is it easier to come out as gay in Japan than the ‘other’ country?”
Mark Shigaeki Kuroda Ortega (24), Mexican-Japanese, asks: “How much of your personality are you willing to sacrifice in order to adapt to both cultures?”
Akane Eskola (25), Finnish-Japanese, asks: “What custom or tradition did you hate as a child but do you embrace now?”
Maria Asuko Aoyama (25), Austrian-Japanese, asks: “Does a relationship with another hāfu sound attractive to you?”

Miyazaki is still short of 127 countries; to keep the project running, he launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, where he aims to collect at least €30,000 ($37,400).

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At the time of this writing, he has raised €7,408 ($,9232) from 89 backers. “I need the financial support to keep this project going,” he said.

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At the end of his interviews, Miyazaki is publishing a book that would contain all the questions and photographs, which backers are currently able to pre-order.

Watch Miyazaki’s campaign video below and support the project here.

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