The Black Tokyo Moderator, Zen, recently turned me on to a blog called Grits-n-Sushi. The Uchinanchu (Okinawan) blogger and UC Berkeley graduate student Mitzi Uehara Carter, Mit-chan, as her friends call her, is of Okinawan (Japanese) African-American ancestry.

Mit-chan has some very interesting views (and questions) on race and identity. For example, her observation of a New York Times article questioned why the writer did not go deeper to bring out the complexities of race and racialization in general such as “why is that you need to identify yourself as a racialized subject” and in our current political landscape, “in what ways do racial allegiances mirror or disrupt the notions of citizenship?” 

The avid sailor and Kung-fu master, Zen discovered that the up-and-coming sailor, writer and activist Mitzi-chan and her Psychiatrist husband will to sail to Okinawa (her mother’s birthplace) located in the beautiful Ryuku island chain of Japan.  While in Okinawa, Mitzi-san will reconnect and complete her thesis. While she’s soaking up the sun, I hope that she soaks up a few Orion beers and some Sokisoba for me. Having lived in Okinawa for four-years, I can vouch for the great people, beaches, and SOKISOBA!

Mit-chan served as a panel member during a forum held in San Francisco’s Japan Town. The forum explored Okinawan Identity, History, and Culture and how it relates to the Okinawan Diaspora. Her presentation on being “in between” explored the contradictions that exist between identity, history, and culture and how they reflect the ideas, thoughts and experiences of Okinawan-Americans, mixed-race Okinawans and Amerasians. Featured was performance artist and writer Denise Uyehara who showcased “The Senkotsu (Mis)Translation Project.” 

The BT family would like to send our congratulations to Mit-chan for having her essay published in the book, Multiculturalism in the New Japan. Be sure to check out Mitzi-san’s blog, Grits-n-Sushi.