Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Hafu Photo Shoot in London 31 May 2009

Posted by Marcia

As part of our 'Hafu' project -, we are organising a photo shoot in London this Sunday, 31 May. We are inviting half Japanese people (over 18 years old) of all mixes and ages to participate. The exact location is Brockley, in south London - zone 2, two stops away from London Bridge. We have 15 mins slots available throughout the day from 10am to 6pm.

About 15 people have already signed but we still have the following slots available:


Please email for details.

Thank you!

Note: If you are using public transport it would be best to buy a non-oyster paper travelcard covering zone 2 as pay as you go osyter cards don't work in Brockley station unfortunately. It may also be good to check train times before starting your travel:

Friday, 22 May 2009

The Black Japanese experience in Georgia, US

Posted by Marcia

I found a very interesting short film on the experiences of two Japanese African-American families living in Georgia, the so called "South" of the US. A great addition to your "favorites".

"This is a documentary that deals with the experiences of individuals of both Japanese and African American descent living in Georgia. They live in African American communities. However, because of their dual ethnic backgrounds, their ethnic identity is a major issue. They want to identify themselves as African American, but their African American friends sometimes do not consider them as African Americans. They overcome their issues and start to take pride in who they are."

Watch the documentary here:

An additional interesting website:

Black Tokyo - a site full of info and discussion on Japan from an Black perspective.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Bone marrow donors required - part Caucasian part Japanese

Posted by Marcia

Nick Glasgow, a 28-year-old in California was recently diagnosed with Leukemia and is now in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant. The potential match is likely to be somebody who is a mix of Caucasian and Japanese. Please circulate this information to those who may be able to help. For those in the US, please visit this blog site for more information:

"Any person whose ethnic background is a mix of Asian and Caucasian, and is in good health with no history of cancer or major illness, and is between the ages of 18 and 60, is a potential donor for Nick. Expanding on the initial information, one does not need to be 75% Caucasian and 25% Asian — any potential mix could work. While the most likely match would be from a person who is 75% Caucasian and 25% Japanese, it is absolutely possible that other combinations of Caucasian-Asian background in different proportions could work. The Asian background should be Sino-Asian, rather than Indo-Asian. Finding an ideal match with all of Nick’s markers is very difficult, and we do not want to exclude any potential donors. "

For those in the US, please visit this blog site for more information:

For those in the UK, I just found out that it is possible to register as a bone marrow donor in the UK just by giving a blood sample in the London clinic of the Anthony Nolan Trust. If there is a match on the register from waiting patients worldwide (including the US and many European countries) you will be asked to undergo medical examination prior to the donation procedure. The procedure will take place in a private hospital too which I think is very reassuring. The Trust will pay for all expenses including your transportation costs and your family/friend who is accompanying you.

Please visit for more information about becoming a bone marrow donor. Please consider registering as a donor - there is a shortage of registered donors from ethnic minorities including mixed race people. It will not only help Nick but others waiting for a match.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

The Role of Photography in 19th Century Japan

Posted by Marcia

"Photography in Nineteenth-Century Japan"
History of Photography
Summer 2009, Taylor & Francis
Edited by: Luke Gartlan
Contributed by: Sebastian Dobson, Karen Fraser, Luke Gartlan, Mikiko Hirayama, David Odo and Mio Wakita.

Check out the Book Launch at Daiwa Foundation to celebrate the birth of this fantastic volume about photography and Japan. It is a shame Natalie and I will miss the event, as we are in Japan photo shooting and interview, but if you are in London and are interested in the historical role of photography in Japan, this is an unmissable event. While you are at it, check out the wonderful facilities of Daiwa Foundation in Baker Street too!

Daiwa Foundation Japan House
13/14 Cornwall Terrace
London NW1 4QP

30 June 2009

Booking is essential:



Monday, 18 May 2009

ALL our ancestors are from Africa?

Posted by Marcia

The Incredible Human Journey: Asia
Sunday 17th May 2009 @ 9:30pm

Yesterday I watched a fascinating programme on BBC2, which follwed the footprints of our ancestors, who originally left Africa about 70,000 years ago. The programme introduces how early hunter-gatherers survived in one of the harshest environment on earth - Northern Siberia, in which they managed to film a tribe in Siberia - who I think looked both East Asian and European. I personally thought I could sit amongst them and not stand out. I then wondered how many mixed Eurasian people felt the same whilst watching this programme!

In the latter part of the programme, they introduce a controversial claim that has been all very common in China, as taught at school according to the programme - the belief that the Chinese do not share the same African ancestry as others. Something I suspected to be part of a national regime to construct a strong national identity. This claim is refuted later, by a genetics research of thousands of DNA samples derived from Chinese people (lead by Li Jin at the National Human Genome Center) - it confirmed that all samples contained evidence that their ancestors were once from Africa.

If you missed this programme, you can still watch it online here until 9pm 18th June (UK time).

In fact, this is just one of the five series and you can watch the first piece here:

Interesting websites to read up on:

The National Genographic Project
Get your DNA tested to see the migration paths your ancestors followed thousands of years ago all the way from Africa:

Kenan Malik "The science of race and the politics of ignorance" 2008

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Japanese Festival in London this September

Posted by Marcia

This is great news! As part of "Japan UK 150", celebrating 150 years of diplomatic relations between Japan and the UK, the Japan Society and the Japanese Residents Association, are hosting a major Japanese festival on the 19th of September 2009 in Spitalfields! The last Japanese festival we saw was in 2001 - such an occasion was long due! The festival will ofcourse involve lots of Japanese food, as well as dance, music and demonstrations. Wouldn't it be great to have real bon dance in London - why not suggest it to the organisers? I have!

For artists...
Now, if you are a visual artist, you may want to start thinking about poster artwork ideas because the Japan Society is inviting artists to submit a work of art inspired by ONE of the three otogibanashi (Japanese traditional stories):

Tsuru no ongaeshi – The Grateful Crane (or The Crane Lady)
Kaguya hime – The Moon Princess (or The Bamboo Cutter’s Tale)
Issun boshi - The One Inch Boy

They are in fact offering 14 artists the opportunity to have a stand at the festival! Deadline for submission is the 31st of July 2009 so get your imagination rolling now! Have a look at the festival website for more details of what and how to submit your work.

Relevant Links:

Festival website

Japan Society

Japan UK 150