Mia Nakaji Monnier

Mia Najaki Monnier nasceu em Pasadena, filha de mãe japonesa e pai americano, e morou em onze cidades diferentes, entre elas Kyoto, no Japão; uma cidadezinha em Vermont; e em um subúrbio texano. Ela atualmente estuda literatura de não-ficção na University of Southern California enquanto escreve para o Rafu Shimpo e Hyphen Magazine, além de fazer estágio na Kaya Press. Você pode contatá-la através do email miamonnier@gmail.com.

Atualizado em fevereiro de 2013

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MFA’s kimono controversy should spark deeper conversation

I work at a Japanese-American community newspaper where, every Halloween, we have the same conversation. Then something happens — like Katy Perry gives a performance, or a fraternity has a theme party — and we have the conversation again. If I had strong feelings in the beginning, they’ve been numbed by time and frequency. I just don’t have the energy to react each time a white person wears a kimono as a costume.

But when the Boston Museum of Fine Arts launched and ultimately canceled an interactive event called “Kimono Wednesdays” — during which visitors could pose with Monet’s “La …

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One Beautiful, Unbearable Year in Japan

When I tell people about my year in Japan, I tell the best parts. The unexpected shrines in the middle of city blocks. The chestnut cakes that sweetened bitter tea. The wooden temples that stood so tall I could bend my neck back and barely see the place where they disappeared into the fog. There were so many best parts.


I can’t think about Japan without romanticizing it, imagining the streets swallowed up by one color or another: yellow gingko, pink cherry blossoms, red maples, white snow. Jizo statues stand by the road, their eyes and mouths closed in …

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One of my great aunts died this week [Note: This article was written in September 2010]. She was in her late 80s, an age that another of our elderly family friends once called something that translates like “an age you can’t complain about dying at,” and she had been sick for almost as long as I can remember. To me, the news didn’t come as a huge surprise and, through this point in my life, death has always felt so foreign that I think I barely know how to register it.

But in just the past couple of years, …

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identity en ja es pt

Com um Lado Asiático, Não Hapa

A minha mãeé japonesa de Osaka; o meu pai é americano de uma cidadezinha na região oeste do Oregon. Existe um termo para pessoas como eu, usado principalmente na costa oeste americana e popularizado nos últimos anos, possivelmente de forma mais notável pelo artista Kip Fulbeck:


Derivada da expressão havaiana “hapa haole” (“metade branco”), a palavra “hapa” acabou se tornando o rótulo que muitas pessoas multirraciais com sangue oriental incorporam às suas identidades, quer elas o utilizem com orgulho ou com ambivalência.

Eu nunca uso este rótulo.

Não é que eu ache o termo “hapa” ofensivo, apesar …

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Japanese American National Museum Store Online

Hapa-ly Ever After: An Interview with Jeff Chiba Stearns

Growing up in the predominantly white city of Kelowna, British Columbia, Jeff Chiba Stearns felt very aware of being different from most of the people around him. Born to a Sansei mother and “Euro-mutt” father (of English, Scottish, German, and Russian descent), he was no stranger to the “What are you?” question.

Over the years, Stearns continued to reflect on his cultural identity until eventually he began to illustrate his thoughts (using a process he calls “animation meditation”). The result, in 2005, was “What Are You Anyway?” an animated short about his process of coming to terms with being mixed. …

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