English/Italian | Japanese
My mother is Japanese and my Dad is Italian /English. I have a very strong connection towards Japan.
I went to an International school, so you kind of embrace your culture straight away. Everyone was from all over the world so it's something we always spoke about every year. One of my first memories was when I was about six or seven dressed in a kimono and you had to introduce yourself and your background. I think it was always an integral part of my life, talking about where I was from and so I really enjoyed it. It then kind of drew me to other people asking where are you from, what is your background. We were fortunate enough to travel to Japan when we were young so I always had that connection of knowing what Japan was like.
I think they do identify that there is part of me that is Japanese and that is interesting. Japan has a pop star that's half Japanese half Hawaiian, so everyone's like 'oh you kind of look like her'. I think for them as well, they are quite used the mixed race culture more so now because in Japan it used to be quite rare, whereas now I think they're opening up or maybe it's just me becoming more aware of it as I get older.
In my older years, I went to stay in Japan for a few months and immediately felt at home. In terms of relationships I do not choose people to be with because they are mixed race, it's just very coincidental that a lot of my friends are also mixed race.
I think its all positive being mixed because of my upbringing and because my parents are both Buddhists. I'm Buddhist but then if you imagine with the Japanese side you can see it, but with the Italian English side I don't think you'd ever really see it. Our religion is quite an internationally based Buddhism. I was brought up as a Buddhist with people that were from so many different cultures so I guess it is the upbringing and having that throughout my whole life. We have regular local discussion meetings in our area once a month for all ages, all races anything and everyone together and talk about a certain theme or topic that comes about.