I’d suggest joining forums and groups about “third-culture kids” because that’s a cross-racial group that you’d probably fit into and have a lot of similarities with. You’re white racially and have white privilege. Unless your family is Japanese, you’re not Japanese or an honorary Asian, you’re a white person with very close ties to Japan, which is something you don’t need to be ashamed or proud or confused about, it’s just your life and the way things are. If you intended to go back and become a Japanese citizen and live there, then that identity might change.
Also, some Asian-Americans (myself included) get irritated when they hear white people call themselves “honorary Asians”. A lot of us had to face some pretty brutal anti-Asian racism in this country that so-called “honorary Asians” never had to face. Being Asian is way more than an honor badge. You’re not calling yourself an honorary Asian, it’s something other people have called you, but this is something to be aware of in future. Hope that helps!
This reminds me of a white American woman who claimed to have been raised in my state in India, doing a research project on what she called “her” culture, who then complained to me about how the Indian government wouldn’t recognise her as an Indian national.
I told her, it might be unfair, but that’s the way it is. You can’t be a part of a culture just because you want to. It’s like Hinduism; you can’t convert into it, you have to be born into it. It’s not unfair, it’s just the way culture works. If we’re not open to applications, then don’t try to apply.
Then she looks at me and says, “But I am a Hindu.” I nearly burst out laughing, and said, “No. Just… no.”.
Here’s a girl with hippie parents thrusting their way, unwanted, uninvited, into a community that doesn’t accept converts / colonizers, and then demanding to be recognized as one of us and complaining that we’re being unfair when we say we don’t like it. It’s not her fault, certainly - she had no control over it. But it was her parents’ fault for thinking that they could force their way into a culture like that. They didn’t even send her to local schools, “because they beat children”; they kept her at home and got a tutor in the language to come in and teach her this artificial version of the language that nobody speaks.
But she was not innocent in any way. She wanted to pretend she was, but her white privilege was at work at every moment she talked to me - and probably at every moment she soiled my land with her colonizer feet. She tried to imply that I wasn’t as Indian as she was, since I was partly raised abroad, since she’d been educated in some or the other Indian art form. These people are colonizers, and they suffer from a strong sense of entitlement and disrespect towards the people they claim as their own.
It was ridiculous, how she tried to appropriate my skin, and imply that I was the outsider. I know who I am, because my mother knows who I am and my grandmother knows who I am. The blood that runs in my veins knows who I am. My homeland - the air, the trees, the soil - knows who I am. That’s all anyone needs to know who they are. I am who I am without needing to prove it.