Returnees in Japan

Halfies are people of 2 different races. Returnees are people who have lived outside/ left their country they were originally born in but have now gone back to that country. I hope that makes sense. (I am trying to explain the concept of 帰国子女/Kikokushijo.)

Often, both halfies and returnees end up in similar schools. Some private Japanese schools have an International department for both halfies and returnees. For example, you are Japanese but you were raised in America up to the age of 12, therefore attending  a regular Japanese middle school would be quite difficult. You might not understand Japanese as well as you would like or not be able to read certain kanji. This could result in bullying or depression and unfortunately some of my friends who are returnees that have attended local Japanese schools have been through this kind of stress and bullying. So this is where those private schools come in. It is ideal for many Japanese parents to send their child to a department for kids who are just like them. It wouldn’t be as costly to send them to a private Japanese school rather than an International school. But also, there would be no bullying and it will be a lot easier for their child to make friends. The children would get to experience a regular Japanese middle school life but in english. They wouldn’t need to be embarrassed if they cant read certain words or they can use english instead if it helps express their ideas.

For returnees, it can be confusing at times. They are Japanese yet they don’t feel Japanese. They may not feel as welcome or at home in the country that they were born in and are a part of. They may prefer life outside Japan. Some of my friends do, they say they want to leave Japan for University or for Jobs in the future. Im not saying all returnees feel this way, just the ones I have met share this opinion.

The number of returnees are constantly growing. More and more schools offer Japanese education in english for returnees. There are prep schools for returnee children to practice entrance exams into these private schools.The number of halfies that attend these schools are also growing. Not all mixed race families can afford high tuition for International schools. So returnees and halfies tend to make pretty good friends.

 

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