Anonymous asked in TravelAsia PacificJapan · 2 months ago

My son thinks he’s Japanese ?

My wife and I are white Americans. We have zero Asian ancestry in our DNA to my knowledge. If so, it’s beyond what we can track. 

What began as an interest in Japanese culture for my son has turned in to something far more than that. At age 9, he started asking me about where Japan is on a map after watching a tv show about a Japanese character. 

He has always been interested in Japanese type fictional characters in comics, tv, etc. he is now a teenager, and he has joined all kinds of Japanese groups online, and dresses like what someone would dress in traditional Japanese culture. He began attending a Shinto Shrine as well. 

I don’t have a problem with any of this at all but he has openly said that he feels he is Japanese, and identifies as such. He talks about a past life in feudal Japan and feels strongly associated with that and has even gone as far as saying that he was “born” to the “wrong family”.

Parents: I am truly lost as to what to do, if anything. He even marks down “Asian” and writes in “Japanese” on questionnaires.

How would you approach this?



It’s not about objecting to an interest. I encourage exploration of other cultures. He thinks he IS of that race and ethnicity. 

8 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago

    Attends a Shinto Shrine?! It takes one minute to ring the bell and then you leave-so what? It's not like you have to show up for services or do much of anything to be Shinto. Is it some kind of new religious movement neo-shintoism where you actually have to do stuff?

  • 1 month ago

    Cool ! I wouldn't do anything .

    Let it ride .

  • Midas
    Lv 4
    1 month ago

    Sounds like a fantasy, an infatuation that will pass. 

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    He's been encouraged in this lunacy by leftwing fascists who use people's confusion for political advantage.

    Tell him the TRUTH, and tell him he's LYING.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Quinn
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    While fascination with other cultures is a good thing, anything taken too far it is  a sign of something mentally pathological.  For a young child, it is could simply be what typical children do - living out their fantasy. 

    So far, his behavior has not manifest anything that would be dangerous. But you need to understand that marking down "Asian" while he is patently not could be looked upon by the law as making false statements if he were to do that on any legal forms or documents and if he were to be brought up on charges, the judge may decide to have him examined by psychiatrists and who knows where that would lead.

    How to go about approaching this depends on knowing your son which is impossible for anyone over the internet. However, I think you should first examine him without the trappings of his fantasy and ask yourself: other than an obsession with Japan, how is his behavior? How is his grades in school?  Does he actually have any friends and not just those on the Internet? Does he have a social life? Is he isolated and spend hours in his room and barely talks to anyone in the family?

    These are all warning signs and if you believe that he is going over the edge, then as  a parent it is your duty to get him help. Otherwise, give ride it out. 

  • hihi!
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Perhaps he WAS in a past life in feudal Japan. Some reports in are similar. A child said he had previously been aborted and later born and his mother HAD had an abortion and subsequently had him. She never spoke of the abortion. Other stories parallel the issue. We can't prove it. 

    As long as no one is hurt by his "being" Japanese, let it be as is. LEGALLY, he may have to revert to reality, "become" white again, and keep Japanese "inside". 

  • 2 months ago

     what if your son interested in another culture like Jamaican or Pakistan would you object to it.

  • 2 months ago

    We live in a world where how you feel has become more important than reality. Your son is merely a product of that world. Rachel Dolezol, Elizabeth Warren, and others like them show us that accurately identifying your race does not matter, just as much as gender is a choice. Your son wants to be Asian?  I say let him be Asian. Although you may want to let him know that he will get a lower SAT score because of his race. He can temporarily call himself black during that time if he wants though. 

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.