In a country like Japan where racial diversity isn’t as evident as places like America or the United Kingdom, children aren’t exposed to the concept of race, physically for a long time. Many white people are used in advertising here in Japan, so children will see them, but its just a picture. When you’re mixed race in a not too diverse country, as a young child you already realise you’re different. Many friends of mine who had gone to a Japanese pre-school like myself, have mentioned that “Because my skin was lighter” or “my dad/mom wasn’t like the other dads/moms” their younger self had noticed that they’re different. And being exposed to any negative things about yourself is never fun but especially if you notice something different at a young age, you’re more conscious of that something.
Fast forward to being a teenager, no one who is mixed race, that I know, isn’t proud to be so. All of them are proud of a mixed heritage. And they embrace the fact that they may not physically fit in. More and more people are mixed race and its not so rare anymore, depending on where you are. Especially the school you go to will change that. Growing up, because a lot of my friends were mixed race too, I didn’t care about it as much as I did when my surroundings changed having joined a public Japanese school (you can read more about that here). And also because there are more and more mixed race people who are in the media that talk about race and identity, it is helpful for learning about self love for mixed children. For mixed race people in media, you can read about it over here.
Early exposure to race can be a good and bad thing. But because I was conscious of the fact I was different at a early age it didn’t bother me as much living in Japan and as more and more people I met would ask about it, which you can read about on here.
Its up to you on how you see yourself but differences like race should never be a reason to single yourself out form others. It can really change the person you become at any stage of your life.