I only hope that the news evokes awareness on how health and identity of the youth should be protected. - That is my short response. Now, please feel free to read my longer story.
There are many Japanese who are born with very light hair and eyes. My son is one of them, so much that he's often mistaken to have white relatives.
But everyone understood, and schools always let students like him surrender notes from parents so that they will be allowed to wear their hair in their natural color. Same goes with natural curls.
Then a few days before his high school graduation, my son brought home a note telling him to dye his hair black. The reason was because "parents might be stunned when they see different hair color at the graduation ceremony".
In the 18 years of his life, I'd never been so shocked. His 18 years had been that well, and this incident was that idiotic, and puzzling at the same time. This was a rare occasion that I phoned his teacher telling him we cannot respond. The teacher asked why, I explained, and thankfully we didn't have to dye his hair. I knew the teacher will always understand. Simple as that.
At the final PTA assembly, I let it all out to fellow moms who were equally considerate. Then as the meeting began, the head parent started a lecture on how it was important for "the Japanese" to have "beautiful black hair", and everyone on the board followed suit including the schoolmaster. I figured this was what had happened all of the sudden after 18 years of understanding including the 3 years at this high school.
So again, I only hope that people around the world including Japan acknowledge that Japanese hair is not always black or straight by birth. And if people are "stunned" by that, let them learn something new.
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I easily saw both "The Cove" and "Behind 'The Cove'" at theaters here in Japan when they were first released here. When I saw them at packed tiny theaters that play some of the best movies from around the world, there were no protests and both audiences were cool. "The Cove" is available in DVD with Japanese subtitles. You can find it on Amazon Japan. Both movies are worth seeing. I thought "The Cove" was more entertaining, and "Behind 'The Cove'" was more friendly. But that's just me.
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