22 May 2015 ~ 6 Comments

This Shyness Business

This Shyness Business

The premise of “When in Rome…” is that the subject is adapting to the new place by choice, and that there are a number of traits that one willingly and consciously absorbs into their being and embraces. Generally these are the aspects of that new culture that one holds in some esteem (and sometimes the […]

21 May 2015 ~ 2 Comments

Too Old to be Afraid

Too Old to be Afraid

So, I’m on my way to work, walking down the street, when I see an old woman coming my way. More than the kids and the adults, I love the elderly in Japan. The very elderly, too old to be afraid of anybody, way past the foolish notions most people hear have running around their […]

17 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

How are these Black Filmmakers Making it Happen in Japan?

How are these Black Filmmakers Making it Happen in Japan?

  This month’s Black Eye is focused on the creativity and accomplishments of 4 black filmmakers plying their art in Japan. Their theories on and paths to success vary and their stories are fascinating and inspiring. Here’s an excerpt: “His latest, “Stay,” is centered around a recovering drug addict — a Japanese junkie seeking a modicum of forgiveness […]

15 May 2015 ~ 5 Comments

Touristization

Touristization

The following convo took place this morning with one of my co-workers. He was showing me pictures of his trip to a famous shrine. Co-worker: …and this is a Japanese shrine. Me: oh, nice! Co-worker: And here we stopped for lunch at this Japanese noodle house. Me: Cool. What did you eat? CW: We had […]

19 April 2015 ~ 13 Comments

My Interview with the Reigning Miss Universe Japan

My Interview with the Reigning Miss Universe Japan

My latest article is up on the Japan Times website, a chat with the reigning Miss Universe Japan, Ariana Miyamoto. Check it out! Here’s an excerpt: Her name has lit up social media like the constellations since her coronation. Black media can’t stop talking about her. To many, she is yet another global validation of black […]

20 March 2015 ~ 4 Comments

On Discussing Race with Baristas at Starbucks in Yokohama

On Discussing Race with Baristas at Starbucks in Yokohama

Recently Starbucks has given a directive to its employees to discuss race with customers. If the Starbucks in Yokohama start talking about race with customers, I imagine the convos would go something like this:   Me: Chai Latte please. Staff: OK…BTW, Aren’t you glad you’re in Japan now where you don’t have to worry about […]

18 March 2015 ~ 4 Comments

A Minstrel Show Ends and a Black faced Beauty Ascends

A Minstrel Show Ends and a Black faced Beauty Ascends

My latest column for The Japan Times is up! And it’s literally a beauty!   Here’s an excerpt: “Editing out the offending portions of the show saved Japan from the PR equivalent of being thrown like raw meat to a pack of ravenous carnivores — namely, the international media. It would have been extremely bad […]

08 March 2015 ~ 9 Comments

バンザイ! / Triumphant!

バンザイ! / Triumphant!

***Look Below English for Japanese Version *** Dear Friends: So as you probably know by now, Fuji-TV has, at least for now, joined our team, the #stopblackfacejapan #日本でブラックフェイスやめて team…and it’s a beautiful thing. But, while I’m sure our petition and voices played a part in this decision, I really can’t say definitively we were the deciding factor. […]

23 February 2015 ~ 2 Comments

日本人25人が「Blackface」についてこれを書きました / 25 Japanese People Speak their Minds on Blackface

日本人25人が「Blackface」についてこれを書きました / 25 Japanese People Speak their Minds on Blackface

※日本語訳は下にあります。 One of the biggest (and silliest) criticisms of this petition effort (primarily by westerners) is that it is an example of Americans trying to force the overactive sensibilities of their PC state on the un-racialized and oblivious Japanese (which is an insult I think.) Not to invalidate that argument completely but to address it […]

22 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

1000+ People Have Spoken: FUJI-TV – The World is Now Watching YOU !

1000+ People Have Spoken: FUJI-TV – The World is Now Watching YOU !

No, my partner Amber and I are not popping champagne…cuz we’ve a long way to go still. But we gotta admit that we’re very gratified to know that in a mere 36 hours…   over 1000 people, Japanese and non-Japanese alike, have agreed that putting this foolishness:   …in the Japanese national spotlight, is a bad idea for […]