Hapa

photograph of smiling father with daughter and son in front of tree with cars behind in park in summer, wearing judogis

Kevin Sassa (Sansei) and his Hapa children: Devyn (left) and Maxim, Lethbridge, Alberta, 2011
Courtesy of Pat and Roy Sassa

Hapa is a contemporary term for persons of mixed non-Japanese and Japanese ancestry. The term originated in Hawaii to describe racially mixed people. Most Yonsei and Gosei children are Hapa.

In the 1960s, Japanese families accepted racial mixing. By the 1970s, intermarriage was more common among Japanese Canadians living in southern Alberta.

Mixed-race children with identifiable Japanese characteristics sometimes still face discrimination as a result of their Japanese heritage.

The documentary "One Big Hapa Family" describes how intermarriage is creating a fast growing Hapa community.

One Big Hapa Family

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