Posts Tagged ‘white privilege’

Laura Kina "Gosei" oil on canvas, 30x45 in., 2012 on view in Under My Skin. Via Laura Kina's blog.

Laura Kina “Gosei” oil on canvas, 30×45 in., 2012 on view in Under My Skin. Via Laura Kina’s blog.

As a fellow Japanese-Studies scholar, I feel I ought to comment on Maggie Thorpe’s “You don’t have to be mixed-race to have a mixed identity” in The Seattle Globalist. Although the article begins as a review of the Under My Skin exhibition at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience in Seattle, Thorpe, a white grad student at University of Washington, uses the themes of the exhibition to discuss her personal identification with Japanese culture:

I became infatuated with Japanese culture when I was 8. Growing up in the southwest, I was like many white American youth, feeling “vanilla” and “boring” because I did not have a culture that was easily definable. So I found something else that appealed to me. These days, my co-worker announces frequently that I am the most Japanese at the Japanese restaurant I work at. The restaurant owned by a Japanese man, and staffed by mostly Japanese-American workers. When a Japanese pop song comes on the radio that I admit I don’t recognize, or there’s a reference to an anime I don’t know, I’m teased for not living up to my Japanese-obsessed reputation.

The article is problematic, to say the least, (more…)

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