Hāfu (ハーフ, "half") is a Japanese language term used to refer to an individual born to one ethnic Japanese and one non-Japanese parent. A loanword from English, the term literally means "half," a reference to the individual's non-Japanese heritage. While Japan remains one of the most homogeneous societies on the planet, hāfu individuals are well represented in the media in Japan and abroad and recent studies estimate that 1 in 30 children born in Japan are born to interracial couples.
- Afro-Asian (also Blasian) - An Afro-Asian is an individual of Black African and Asian ancestry. Blasian, a portmanteau of Black and Asian, is a slang term and is regularly used among English speakers in North America.
- Ainoco (f. Ainoca) - An ainoco is an individual with one Japanese parent. The term is a loanword, based on the Japanese word ainoko (間の子, lit. multiracial) and is used by Portuguese speakers in Brazil and Pohnpeian speakers in Micronesia, both countries with a sizable Japanese populations.
- Ainoko (間の子, lit. multiracial) - An ainoko is a Japanese person with a non-Japanese or gaijin (外人, lit. foreigner), parent. It is a Japanese term, used in Japan.
- Amerasian - An Amerasian is an individual of American and Asian, especially East Asian ancestry. Historically, the term referred to children born to local women and American servicemen stationed in East Asia during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. It should not be confused with Asian American, which describes an American citizen of full or partial Asian ancestry.
- Eurasian - A Eurasian is an individual of White European and Asian ancestry.
- Hapa - A hapa is an individual of mixed Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, East Asian and/or Southeast Asian heritage. The term is a loanword, based on the English word half, as hāfu is, but, unlike hāfu, the term does not imply an individual is 50%, or half, of a certain race or ethnicity, only that they are mixed race. It is a Hawaiian term, used by English and Hawaiian speakers in Hawaii and California.
- Konketsuji (混血児, lit. mixed-blood) - A konketsuji is a Japanese person with one non-Japanese or gaijin (外人, lit. foreigner), parent. It is a Japanese term, used in Japan and is considered a derogatory term.
- Kwōta (クォータ, lit. quarter) - A kwōta is a Japanese person with one non-Japanese or gaijin (外人, lit. foreigner), grandparent. The term is a loanword, based on the English word quarter and refers to an individual's 25%, or one quarter, non-Japanese ancestry. It is a Japanese term, used in Japan.
- Mestiço de japonês - A mestiço de japonês (lit. Japanese mestiço) is an individual with one Japanese parent. It is a Portuguese term, used in Brazil, but enjoys less popularity than ainoco and hāfu.
- Mestizo de japonés - A mestizo de japonés (lit. Japanese mestizo) is an individual with one Japanese parent. It is a Spanish term, used in Argentina and Mexico.
Prehistoric and Feudal Japan
Hāfu refers to a person who has one ethnic Japanese parent and one non-ethnic Japanese parent. The term ethnic Japanese refers to the Indigenous Japanese people of the Japanese archipelago. Over the course of centuries the minority ethnic groups such as the Ainu and Ryukyuans were mostly assimilated into the Yamato population. Mixed race couples and thus hāfu people were rare in feudal Japan. There were mixed Asian couples between ethnic Japanese and other East and Southeast Asian peoples.
The most well-regarded theory is that present-day Yamato Japanese are descendants of both the Indigenous Jōmon people and the immigrant Yayoi people.  In modern Japan, the term Yamato minzoku is seen as antiquated for connoting racial notions that have been discarded in many circles since Japan's surrender in World War II. The term "Japanese people" or even "Japanese-Japanese" are often used instead.
Genetic and anthropological studies indicate that the Ryukyuans are significantly related to the Ainu people and share the ancestry with the indigenous prehistoric Jōmon period (pre 10,000–1,000 BCE) people, who arrived from Southeast Asia, and with the Yamato people who are mostly an admixture of the Yayoi period (1,000 BCE–300 CE) migrants from East Asia (specifically China and the Korean peninsula). During the Meiji period, the Ryukyuans distinct culture was suppressed by the Meiji government and faced forced assimilation..
Since 1899, the Ainu were increasingly marginalized. During a period of only 36 years, the Ainu went from being a relatively isolated group of people to having their land, language, religion and customs assimilated into those of the Japanese. Intermarriage between Japanese and Ainu was actively promoted by the Ainu to lessen the chances of discrimination against their offspring. As a result, many Ainu are indistinguishable from their Japanese neighbors, but some Ainu Japanese are interested in traditional Ainu culture. 
16th and 17th century
English sailor William Adams (1564 – 1620), a navigator for the Dutch East India Company, settled in Japan and ultimately, was granted the rank of samurai, one of the few non-Japanese to do so. He wed Oyuki, a Japanese woman and together, they had two children, Joseph and Susanna, who were hāfu.
Chinese military leader Chenggong Zhenga, historically known as Koxinga, was hāfu, born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Chinese father and raised there until the age of seven, known by the Japanese given name, Fukumatsu.
The presence of the United States Armed Forces in Japan and Asia saw the birth of many children born to American fathers; these children were called Amerasians. It's estimated that by 1952, anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 Japanese children were fathered by American servicemen, with many of the children placed for adoption by their Japanese mothers due to the stigma of out-of-wedlock pregnancy and miscegenation and the struggles of supporting a child alone in post-war Japan. One orphanage, Seibo Aijien (聖母愛児園, Seibo Aijien, Our Lady of Lourdes Orphanage), in Yokohama, run by Franciscan nuns, opened in 1946 and, by 1948, staff members were caring for 126 children fathered by American servicemen, by 1950 and 136 children. A letter, dated 1948, detailed an incident of a malnourished infant born to a Japanese teenager whose American father refused to support for fear his wife would learn of his extramarital affair. Another orphanage, opened in Ōiso by a Japanese woman named Miki Sawada, cared for more than 700 Amerasian children, none of whom were visited or supported by their American fathers.
Fashionable images of the half Japanese people have become prominent especially with the increased appearance of hāfu in the Japanese media. Hāfu models are now seen on television or fill the pages of fashion magazines such as Non-no, CanCam and Vivi as often as newsreaders or celebrities. The appearance of hāfu in the media has provided the basis for such a vivid representation of them in the culture.
One of the earliest terms referring to half Japanese was ainoko, meaning a child born of a relationship between two races. It is still used in Latin America, most prominently Brazil (where spellings such as ainoco, ainoca (f.) and ainocô may be found), to refer to mestizo (broader Spanish sense of mixed race in general) or mestiço people of some Japanese ancestry. Nevertheless, it evolved to an umbrella term for Eurasian or mixed Asian/mestizo, Asian/black, Asian/Arab and Asian/indigenous heritage in general. At the same time it is possible for people with little Japanese or other Asian ancestry to be perceivable just by their phenotype to identify mostly as black, white or mestizo/pardo instead of ainoko, while people with about a quarter or less of non-Asian ancestry may identify just as Asian.
Soon this, too, became a taboo term due to its derogatory connotations such as illegitimacy and discrimination. What were central to these labels were the emphasis on "blood impurity" and the obvious separation of the half Japanese from the majority of Japanese. Some English-speaking parents of children of mixed ethnicity use the word "double." Amerasian is another term for children of mixed ancestry, especially those born to Japanese mothers and U.S. military fathers.
Of the 1 million children born in Japan in 2013, 2.2% had one or more non-Japanese parent. According to the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, one in forty-nine babies born in Japan today are born into families with one non-Japanese parent. Most intermarriages in Japan are between Japanese men and women from other Asian countries, including China, the Philippines and South Korea. Southeast Asia too, also has significant populations of people with half Japanese ancestry, particularly in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
In the 21st century, stereotyping and discrimination against hāfu occurs based on how different their identity, behaviour and appearance is from a typical Japanese person.
Notable hāfu individuals
Hāfu (ハーフ, "half") describes an individual who is either the child of one Japanese and one non-Japanese parent or, less commonly, two half Japanese parents. Because the term is specific to individuals of ethnic Japanese (Yamato) ancestry, individuals whose Japanese ancestry is not of ethnic Japanese origin, such as Zainichi Koreans (e.g. Crystal Kay Williams and Kiko Mizuhara) will not be listed.
- Kiyomi Angela Aki (born 1977), Japanese singer (Italian parent)
- Sayaka Akimoto (born 1988), Japanese television host and singer (Filipino parent)
- Hayley Kiyoko Alcroft (born 1991), American actor and singer and child of Sarah Kawahara and Jamie Alcroft (White American parent)
- Devon Aoki (born 1982), American fashion model (White American parent)
- Minami Bages (born 1986), Japanese actor (French parent)
- Miki Berenyi (born 1967), English singer-songwriter and musician (Hungarian parent)
- Shane Keisuke Berkery (born 1992), Irish-Japanese artist (Irish parent)
- Nichole Bloom (born Nichole Sakura O'Connor; 1989), American actor (Irish American parent)
- Mashu "Matthew" Baker (born 1994), Japanese judoka (American parent)
- Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (born 1999), Japanese sprinter (Ghanaian parent)
- Asuka "Aska" Cambridge (born 1993), Japanese track and field sprinter (Afro-Jamaican parent)
- Bryan Clay (born 1980), American decathlete (African American parent)
- Ann Curry (born 1956), American TV journalist (White American parent)
- Ian Anthony Dale (born 1978), American actor (American parent)
- Taro Daniel (born 1993), Japanese tennis player (White American parent)
- Farid Yu Darvishsefat (born 1986), Japanese baseball player (Iranian parent)
- Roderick Genki Dean (born 1991), Japanese javelin thrower (British parent)
- Christa Deguchi (born 1995), Canadian judoka (Canadian parent)
- Marié Digby (born 1983), American singer-songwriter and musician (Irish American parent)
- Marcos Sugiyama Esteves (born 1973), Japanese volleyball player (Afro-Brazilian parent)
- Yu Shirota Fernández (born 1985), Japanese actor and singer (Spanish parent)
- Christopher Sean Friel (born 1985), American actor (White American parent)
- Nicola Formichetti (born 1977), Japanese fashion director (Italian parent)
- Nicole Fujita (born 1998), New Zealand model and tarento (European New Zealander parent)
- Ayako Fujitani (born 1979), Japanese actress and child of Steven Seagal (White American parent)
- Simon Fujiwara (born 1982), English artist (British parent)
- Cary Joji Fukunaga (born 1977), American film director and screenwriter (Swedish American parent)
- Jeremy Guthrie (born 1979), American baseball player (White American parent)
- Rui Hachimura (born 1998), Japanese basketball player (Beninese parent)
- Charlton Atlee Hammaker (born 1958), American MLB pitcher (German American parent)
- Aria Jasour Hasegawa (born 1988), Japanese footballer (Iranian parent)
- May "May J." Hashimoto (born 1988), Japanese singer (Iranian parent)
- Matt Heafy (born 1986), American musician (White American parent)
- Marie Helvin (born 1952), American fashion model (White American parent)
- Amy Hill (born 1953), American actor and comedian (Finnish American parent)
- Ryuju Hino (born 1995), Japanese figure skater (Russian parent)
- Keston Hiura (born 1996), American baseball player (Chinese parent)
- Rika Hongo (born 1996), Japanese figure skater (British parent)
- Lynne Hutchison (born 1994), British rhythmic gymnast (British parent)
- Hideki Irabu (1969 – 2011), Japanese baseball player (American parent)
- Takamasa "Miyavi" Ishihara (born 1981), Japanese singer-songwriter and musician (Korean parent)
- Travis Ishikawa (born 1983), American baseball player (White American parent)
- Stefan Daisuke Ishizaki (born 1982), Swedish footballer (Swedish parent)
- Arata Izumi (also known as Neelkanth Narendra Khambholja; born 1982), Indian-Japanese footballer (Gujarati parent)
- Eddie Jones (born 1960), Australian rugby union coach (Australian parent)
- Richard Nikolaus Eijiro von Coudenhove-Kalergi (1894 – 1972), Austrian nobleman and founder of the Paneuropean Union (Austro-Hungarian parent)
- Koh Gabriel Kameda (born 1975), German violinist (German parent)
- Paul Tetsuhiko Kariya (born 1974), Canadian ice hockey player (Scottish Canadian parent)
- Irina Mutsuovna Khakamada (born 1955), Russian politician (Armenian-Russian parent)
- Rie Kaela Kimura (born 1984), Japanese singer (British parent)
- Kane Kosugi (born 1974), American martial artist (Chinese parent)
- Ryō Kurusu (1919 – 1945), Imperial Japanese Army officer (White American parent)
- Karyn Kiyoko Kusama (born 1968), American filmmaker (American parent)
- Christel Masami Takigawa Lardux (born 1977), Japanese television presenter (French parent)
- Kyle Larson (born 1992), American stock car racing driver (White American parent)
- Eun-ju Lee (born 1998), South Korean gymnast (Korean parent)
- Sean Ono Lennon (born 1975), American musician and child of Yoko Ono and John Lennon (British parent)
- Ann Lewis (born 1956), Japanese singer (American parent)
- James Hiroyuki Liao (born 1985), American actor (Taiwanese parent)
- Michael "Mike" Lum (born 1946), American baseball player (American parent)
- Lyoto Machida (born 1978), Brazilian mixed marital artist (European Brazilian parent)
- Emi Maria (born 1987), Japanese singer (Papuan parent)
- Yūsaku Matsuda (1949 – 1989), Japanese actor (Zainichi Korean parent)
- Kinjiro Matsudaira (1885 – 1963), American inventor and politician (American parent)
- Siti Nur Syatilla binti Amirol Melvin (born 1991), Malaysian actor and model (Malay parent)
- Ariana Miyamoto (born 1994), Japanese beauty pageant contestant and Miss Universe Japan 2015 (African American parent)
- George "Joji" Miller (born 1992), Japanese YouTuber (Australian parent)
- Mitski Miyawaki (born 1990), American singer-songwriter and musician (American parent)
- Sonoya Mizuno (born 1986), British actor and ballet dancer (Argentine British parent)
- Erena Mizusawa (born 1992), Japanese actor and model (Korean parent)
- Anna Murashige (born 1998), Japanese singer (Russian parent)
- Renhō Murata (born Lien-fang Hsieh; 1967), Japanese politician (Taiwanese parent)
- Koji Alexander Murofushi (born 1974), Japanese hammer thrower and Olympic medalist and child of Shigenobu Murofushi (Romanian parent)
- Yuka Murofushi (born 1977), Japanese hammer and discus thrower and child of Shigenobu Murofushi (Romanian parent)
- Yukimi Eleanora Nagano (born 1982), Swedish singer-songwriter (Swedish American parent)
- Noemie Nakai (born 1990), Japanese actor-director (French parent)
- Issey Nakajima-Farran (born 1984), Canadian footballer (White Zimbabwean parent)
- Megumi Nakajima (born 1989), Japanese seiyū (Filipino parent)
- Ayami Nakajo (born 1997), Japanese model (British parent)
- Hikaru Nakamura (born 1987), chess grandmaster (American parent)
- Maiko Rivera Nakamura (born 1991), Japanese singer (Spanish Filipino parent)
- Micheal Yoshihide Nakamura (born 1976), Australian baseball player (Australian parent)
- Kōki Naya (1940 – 2013), Japanese yokozuna (Ukrainian parent)
- Isamu Noguchi (1904 – 1988), American artist and child of Léonie Gilmour and Yone Noguchi (White American parent)
- Sadaharu Oh (born 1940), Taiwanese baseball player (Taiwanese parent)
- Katelyn Ohashi (born 1997), American artistic gymnast (German American parent)
- Apolo Ohno (born 1982), American speed skater and Olympic medalist (White American parent)
- Anza Ohyama (born 1976), Japanese actor and singer (White South African parent)
- Naomi Osaka (born 1997), Japanese tennis player (Afro-Haitian father)
- Sono Osato (1919 – 2018), American dancer (White Canadian parent)
- Rina Ōta (born 1988), Japanese model (Russian parent)
- Louis Ozawa Changchien (born 1975), American actor (Taiwanese parent)
- Maria "Miyabi" Ozawa (born 1986), Japanese AV idol (French Canadian parent)
- Charles John "Yoshio" Pedersen (1904 – 1989), American organic chemist and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (Norwegian parent)
- Ryan Potter (born 1995), American actor (Jewish American parent)
- Rebecca "Becky" Rabone (born 1984), Japanese tarento (British parent)
- Sabrina Sato Rahal (born 1981), Brazilian television presenter (Swiss-Lebanese parent)
- David "Dave" Roberts (born 1972), American baseball player (African American parent)
- Gōtoku Sakai (born 1991), Japanese footballer (German parent)
- Rikako Sasaki (born 2001), Japanese singer (Filipino parent)
- Erika Sawajiri (born 1986), Japanese actor and singer (Pied-Noir parent)
- Erika Sema (born 1988), Japanese tennis player (French parent)
- Yurika Sema (born 1986), Japanese tennis player (French parent)
- Ayana Shahab (born 1997), Indonesian singer (Arab Indonesian parent)
- Ryu Shichinohe (born 1988), Japanese judoka (Belgian parent)
- Michael "Mike" Shinoda (born 1977), American musician and co-founder of the rock band Linkin Park (American parent)
- Alan Shirahama (born 1993), Japanese actor and DJ (Filipino parent)
- Erika "Aja Kong" Shishido (born 1970), Japanese wrestler (African American parent)
- David Jiménez Silva (born 1986), Spanish footballer (Spanish parent)
- Yuki Richard Stalph (born 1984), German footballer (German parent)
- Kentaro Suda (born 1985), Japanese entrepreneur (Malaysian Chinese parent)
- Musashi Suzuki (born 1994), Japanese footballer (Afro-Jamaican parent)
- Cyril Takayama (born 1973), American magician (Moroccan French parent)
- Denny Tamaki (born Dennis Tamaki; born 1959), Japanese politician (American parent)
- Tina Tamashiro (born 1997), Japanese actor and model (American parent)
- Tetsuji Tamayama (born 1980), Japanese actor (Korean parent)
- Akira Takayasu (born 1990), Japanese sumo wrestler (Filipino parent)
- Brian Tee (born Jaebeom Takata; 1977), American actor (Zainichi Korean parent)
- Stephanie Nonoshita Topalian (born 1987), American singer (Armenian American parent)
- Reina Triendl (born 1992), Japanese actor and tarento (German parent)
- Anna Tsuchiya (born 1984), Japanese singer (Polish American parent)
- Eiji Wentz (born 1985), Japanese actor and singer (German American parent)
- Wilbur Donald "Don" Wakamatsu (born 1963), American baseball player (Irish American parent)
- Don Wilson (born 1954), American kickboxer (American parent)
- Aaron Wolf (born 1996), Japanese judoka (American parent)
- Jang-choon "Nagaharu U" Woo (1898 – 1959), Korean-Japanese botanist (Korean parent)
- Sho Yano (born 1990), American child prodigy (Korean parent)
- Priyanka Yoshikawa (born 1994), Japanese beauty pageant contestant and Miss World Japan 2016 (Indian Bengali parent)
- Chenggong "Fukumatsu" Zheng (1624 – 1662), Chinese monarch and founding member of the House of Koxinga (Chinese parent)
- Kartika Sari Dewi Soekarnoputri (born 1967), a daughter of First President of Indonesia Soekarno (Indonesian parent)
- Buckaroo Bonzai, the eponymous hero of the 1984 film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, was described as "born to an American mother and a Japanese father" in the opening text scroll
- Granmarie Bido, a character in Yūkan Club
- Tamaki Suoh, a character in Ouran High School Host Club
- Asuka Langley Sōryu, a character in Neon Genesis Evangelion
Hāfu in popular culture
- Shuichi Akai
- Giorno Giovanna
- Josuke Higashikata
- Jotaro Kujo
- Jolyne Cujoh
- Kazuhira Miller
- Masumi Sera
- Mikasa Ackerman
- Takumi Usui
- Tamaki Suoh
- Pegasus Tenma
- Tsuna Sawada
- Hiro Hamada
- Shukichi Haneda
- Cygnus Hyōga
- Eli Ayase
- Arsene Lupin III
- Asuka Langley Soryu
- Hayato Gokudera
- Buckaroo Banzai
- Yasutora Sado
- Mukuro Rokudo
- Rin Okumura
- Ai Haibara (half English)
- Mari Ohara
- Kallen Stadtfeld
- Taichi Hiraga-Keaton
- Eve Wakamiya
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- Fujioka, Brett (14 January 2011). "The Other Hafu of Japan". Rafu Shimpo. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2011-04-12.
- "Being 'hafu' in Japan: Mixed-race people face ridicule, rejection". america.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
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- Hafu Film
- The Hafu Project - By artist Natalie Maya Willer and researcher Marcia Yumi Lise
- Hapa Japan
- "“This Is Who I Am”: Jero, Young, Gifted, Polycultural" -(Fellezs 2012)
- Die Kreuzungsstelle -voices of half Japanese, mixed race/multiracial or multiethnic persons
- Biracial Beauty Queen Challenges Japan’s Self-Image, NYT