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Old 09-26-2012, 06:15 PM
 
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I'm glad I'm not Asian The closest thing to me in relevance to the OP would be that people here in the US can't accept the fact that I'm of predominantly Spanish stock. Spanish as in from Spain, most everyone here thinks I'm Jewish, southern Italian or Greek. My step-father, who is from China, treated Asian-Americans the same as Trimac describes. He would automatically assume they spoke Chinese, when they only understood English
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:20 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
9,792 posts, read 13,402,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I think there are many more Sharon Balcombes than we realise. The thing is, although Hong Kong and to a lesser extent Tokyo are cosmopolitan, the attitudes of the natives is different to us in the US or Australia which are composed almost ENTIRELY of people from elsewhere, although even here there are some ignorant people who question how really Australian an Asian looking person is.

It would be interesting to meet this European-Japanese gentleman. Did he speak English with a Japanese accent?
Very, very heavy accent; he barely spoke English. Most of the communication we had was in Japanese, actually... at the time I could have a fairly normal conversation (my then-girlfriend was half-white/half-Japanese, from Tokyo, and her dad owned an English school there, so she had no accent). All of his verbiage, of course, was typical of Japanese people... "I am so excited to see the home country of my grandfather!" and things like that. He asked if many Americans spoke Japanese, and hoped that they didn't mind his bad English. I jokingly told him that he and his girlfriend should talk to the American kids who hang out in Little Tokyo, that he'd be their hero: a real-life, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Japanese man! His passport had the surname in katakana, and the birthplace was listed as a Japanese city (don't recall which).

His situation, with not getting to the US or Europe till his late 20's and otherwise being totally Japanese, was obviously fairly unique... I've met white (or half white/half Asian) people who were born or at least grew up in Japan, Hong Kong, or China as kids, but usually they had at least one parent who was from the US, EU, or Australia, spoke English at home, possibly attended an American school in that country, and had frequent trips back to their parents' home country to stay with relatives... maybe even lived there for some time and went to school there. The fact that this guy was second-generation White-Japanese and more or less totally isolated from the US or Europe was pretty unique; it seems like most white people who settle in Asia, men in particular, end up marrying someone from that country.

Quote:
There are also many 'Eurasians' in Singapore and Hong Kong who are culturally Singaporean/HK (although S'pore is more western). Some speak in a bit more British accent, although many speak just like any other Singaporean, because they ARE Singaporean. The Hong Kong actress Nancy Kwan was half Chinese, half British yet when she went to Hollywood she was typecast as an Asian all the time and generally thought of as a Chinese first. It's as much cultural as it is genetic, if not moreso. In fact HK has many people with some non-Chinese ancestry, Bruce Lee was 1/4 German, for instance, although you couldn't tell from his looks.
Interestingly, contemporary Tura Satana, who was half Japanese, was just thought of as... a babe with big boobs:
[quote]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_9DgYSgKn1bM/STazAabsWVI/AAAAAAAAAjw/CxLlRPIJ9Eo/s400/pcat2.jpg[/img]
Her Japanese ancestry didn't seem to be that widely touted. Could have been because she was mostly in B and exploitation movies instead of mainstream films; Nancy Kwan was attractive and looked more caucasian than Asian, so she was a "safe" actress to use in what was then a very segregated Hollywood.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:47 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,565,289 times
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Originally Posted by 415_s2k View Post
Very, very heavy accent; he barely spoke English. Most of the communication we had was in Japanese, actually... at the time I could have a fairly normal conversation (my then-girlfriend was half-white/half-Japanese, from Tokyo, and her dad owned an English school there, so she had no accent). All of his verbiage, of course, was typical of Japanese people... "I am so excited to see the home country of my grandfather!" and things like that. He asked if many Americans spoke Japanese, and hoped that they didn't mind his bad English. I jokingly told him that he and his girlfriend should talk to the American kids who hang out in Little Tokyo, that he'd be their hero: a real-life, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Japanese man! His passport had the surname in katakana, and the birthplace was listed as a Japanese city (don't recall which).

His situation, with not getting to the US or Europe till his late 20's and otherwise being totally Japanese, was obviously fairly unique... I've met white (or half white/half Asian) people who were born or at least grew up in Japan, Hong Kong, or China as kids, but usually they had at least one parent who was from the US, EU, or Australia, spoke English at home, possibly attended an American school in that country, and had frequent trips back to their parents' home country to stay with relatives... maybe even lived there for some time and went to school there. The fact that this guy was second-generation White-Japanese and more or less totally isolated from the US or Europe was pretty unique; it seems like most white people who settle in Asia, men in particular, end up marrying someone from that country.


Interestingly, contemporary Tura Satana, who was half Japanese, was just thought of as... a babe with big boobs:

Her Japanese ancestry didn't seem to be that widely touted. Could have been because she was mostly in B and exploitation movies instead of mainstream films; Nancy Kwan was attractive and looked more caucasian than Asian, so she was a "safe" actress to use in what was then a very segregated Hollywood.
Yes it does go to show they are out there. I've seen white people in Singapore speak 'Singlish' so it's fairly similar.

Interesting, France Nguyen was originally cast to play Suzie Wong in the 1960 film 'The World of Suzie Wong' which Kwan gained fame in. Similar to Kwan her mother was French and her father Vietnamese. It did seem that fully Asian actors, American or otherwise, weren't as 'acceptable' to Hollywood prior to the late 1960s. I've heard the story that Bruce Lee played a masked character in the Green Hornet for that reason. Although Anna May Wong, an American of Chinese ancestry, was one of the early stars of the silent era way back in the early 1920s.

Last edited by picmod; 01-09-2014 at 05:41 PM..
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