I Am Yellow, White, and a Bit Blue is a story about a half-Japanese boy and his Japanese mother’s experiences at a British secondary school. After graduating from a Catholic primary school, the son chooses to enter a local secondary school, formerly known as the “worst school.” Racism, gender inequality, income gaps… he faces many problems as he goes through his school days. His school life is like the microcosmos of our society today. The author, Mikako Brady, was born and raised in Fukuoka and now lives in Brighton, England, having moved there over 20 years ago. She works as a childcare worker and also a writer.
In this book, there is a chapter about “母ちゃんの国 (mother’s country).” When I read it, I was very shocked about his experiences in Japan, which included being stared at on the bus when he was only three years old, or the whispers of “gaijin” and “half.” How he felt in Japan is because some Japanese people still have a mono-ethic idea and a sense of national identity. It’s going to be important to embrace more diversity in the future in Japan. There is a conversation between the boy and his mother. “Diversity makes everything so complicated. Why is becoming more diverse good?” “If we only make the easy choice, then we will just be ignorant.” After I read this book, I realized that I’m ignorant but I feel I want to know more about our world and accept what is happening now in our society. I believe that makes our society better little by little.
If you want to know more about the cultural divide found within Japanese society, please try this book to learn.