One Big Hapa Family (Transcript)

[music notes]

At a 2006 Japanese-Canadian family reunion, filmmaker Jeff Chiba Stearns realizes that no one after his grandparents' generation married another person of Japanese descent...

This is the story of his four-year journey to find out why...

Maybe we could say

it was because... because of the war.

That we had to break...

we had to break our ties with Japan,

and so we really went overboard doing it.

[man]: We were totally different, really,

'cause you are different as much... to me

as I am different to you.

And that's something that I felt from many years ago,

that this was the way, like,

we were going to marry a Caucasian.

They call me Sushi.

Once they called me Sushi too.

[man]: There might be a day that comes, then,

when people say “Yeah, I'm... what do you mean?

I'm Canadian.

I don't know what else I am.”

[man]: So yeah, there's quite the mixture,

so there's white, there's black, there's native,

and then, of course, Japanese.

Featuring animation from some of Canada's brightest independent animators

[man]: Little Indian, Sioux or Crow,

little frosty Eskimo,

little Turk or Japanese,

oh, don't you wish that you were me?

Oh, don't you wish that you were me?

And that was something that we took at school

in the early grades.

And it was supposed to be written by an English poet.

Almost 100% of all Japanese-Canadians are marrying interracially in Canada... is this the end of multiculturalism as we know it?

[woman]: I often hear people make the comment,

“Well, our community is getting smaller, it's dying,

and the problem is intermarriage.

We're just disappearing,”

and I turn around and say

“No, because intermarriage actually makes us

one of the fastest-growing communities in this country,

because we're doubling the number of people

who can potentially add children to our community.”

One Big Hapa Family

“And you thought your family was mixed up!”

Coming to a film festival near you.

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