Excerpt from NYT article By MARTIN FACKLER
In school, she said, other children and even parents called her “kurombo,” the Japanese equivalent of the N-word. Classmates did not want to hold her hand for fear her color would rub off on them.
“I used to come home angry at my mother,” Ms. Miyamoto recalled. “I’d ask her, ‘Why did you make me so different?’ ”
She said everything changed at age 13 when she decided to reach out to her father, who invited her to his home in Jacksonville, Ark. She said she will never forget the moment she first saw her father and his relatives.
“They had the same skin and the same face as me,” she said. “For the first time, I felt normal.”
She said that in the United States, she came to speak of herself as black. But here in Japan, she still calls herself hafu. As Miss Universe Japan, she has played down her African-American roots, presenting herself instead as a representative of ethnically mixed Japanese from all backgrounds.
Video and text from Bloomberg
The importance of racial purity held by some Japanese is codified in a genre of writing called nihonjinron, or theories of Japaneseness.