Film Image
Hafu - The Mixed-Race Experience in Japan
85 minutes
English subtitles

Hafu - The Mixed-Race Experience in Japan

HAFU is the unfolding journey of discovery into the intricacies of mixed-race Japanese and their multicultural experience in modern day Japan. The film follows the lives of five “hafus”–the Japanese term for people who are half-Japanese–as they explore what it means to be multiracial and multicultural in a nation that once proudly proclaimed itself as the mono-ethnic nation. For some of these hafus Japan is the only home they know, for some living in Japan is an entirely new experience, and others are caught somewhere between two different worlds.

According to the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, one in forty-nine babies born in Japan today are born into families with one non-Japanese parent. This newly emerging minority in Japan is under-documented and under-explored in both literature and media. HAFU - THE MIXED-RACE EXPERIENCE IN JAPAN seeks to open this increasingly important dialogue. The film explores race, diversity, multiculturalism, nationality, and identity within the mixed-race community of Japan. And through this exploration, it seeks to answer the following questions: What does it mean to be hafu?; What does it mean to be Japanese?; and ultimately, What does all of this mean for Japan?

Narrated by the hafus themselves, along with candid interviews and cinéma vérité footage, the viewer is guided through a myriad of hafu experiences that are influenced by upbringing, family relationships, education, and even physical appearance. As the film interweaves five unique life stories, audiences discover the depth and diversity of hafu personal identities.
To facilitate discussion in classrooms, a study guide is included with educational purchases. Filmmakers Megumi Nishikura and Lara Perez Takagi are available for speaking engagements and workshops.
Pricing & Ordering
Buyer Type Format Sale Type Price
Higher Education Institutions DSL 1-year License $150.00
Higher Education Institutions DSL 3-years License $300.00
Higher Education Institutions DVD Sale $300.00
Higher Education Institutions Life Digital File License $600.00
K-12, Public Libraries & Select Groups DVD Sale $80.00
Non-Theatrical/Educational DVD Rental $300.00
Semi-Theatrical DVD Rental $350.00
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"It is a heartfelt and deeply human effort to encourage Japan to be an openly multicultural society." - Rob Schwarz, Metropolis
"The film documents the often painful processes of soul-searching and the thoughtful, inspiring, and courageous actions of hafu individuals... The strength of the film lies... in highlighting the energy and insights of these individuals as they seek ways out of their pain and build on their own suffering to create better experiences for future generations." - Neriko Musha Doerr, Critical Asian Studies
"An intelligent and insightful exploration of five stories of "hafus" living in Japan... Each story quietly delivers keen observation on identity, relationships, and the changing nature of the mixed race experience in Japan... This film is a welcome addition to teaching materials about contemporary Japanese culture, cultural identity, and global culture for high school and college classrooms." - Elizabeth Oyler, Asian Educational Media Service

• Best Documentary, Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
• World Premiere, Hapa Japan Festival, Los Angeles
• Los Angeles Asian Pacific American Film Festival
• The New Orleans Loving Festival
• Asian American International Film Festival, New York
• DC Asia Pacific Film
• Japan Film Festival, Irvine
• San Diego Asian Film Festival
• Vancouver Asian Film Festival
• Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
• Amnesty International Film Festival, Japan

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TWN is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Color Congress, MOSAIC, New York Community Trust, Peace Development Fund, Ford Foundation, Golden Globe Foundation, Kolibri Foundation and individual donors.