Why Doesn’t Keanu Reeves Play More Hapas?

Check out this trailer for a new Keanu Reeves vehicle, based (believe it or not) on an actual Japanese legend, and due out this coming December.

The movie may or, perhaps more likely, may not turn out to be good. What caught our attention about this trailer though, much more than the low-budget CGI or action film clichés, was that first line, when the man with the full-body tattoo asks for a “half-breed.” The half-breed is Keanu’s character, and given the feudal Japanese setting it’s an obvious assumption that he’s playing what might today be more politely referred to as a hapa.
Happily, this is not an instance of the common and uncomfortable practice of casting white actors as people of color, a modern phenomenon uncomfortably analogous to historic traditions like blackface and yellowface. Keanu Reeves really is a hapa – his father was of native Hawaiian and Chinese descent. There has been plenty of commentary decrying the tendency to give similar roles to white actors. For us, 47 Ronin raises a different question. Why is it so unusual for a hapa actor like Reeves to play a hapa character?
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MMXLII Baby of the Week: Yuri “Lily” Lee

Yuri “Lily” Lee: Ukrainian, Korean, Brazilian, Japanese, Hawaiian, Irish, Greek, British, and German.  We just posted her pic to our Pinterest today just like that she already received a repin and a like.  Judging by her picture the parents are ready to send plenty of attention their daughter’s way.  Visit our pinterest to vote for your choice of MMXLII Baby of the week.