Multiraciality Reigns Supreme?: Mixed-Race Japanese Americans and the Cherry Blossom Queen Pagent
King O Riain, Rebecca (1997) Multiraciality Reigns Supreme?: Mixed-Race Japanese Americans and the Cherry Blossom Queen Pagent. Amerasia Journal: No Passing Zone, 23 (1).
Since 1968, a northern California pagent has chosen a queen to reign over the Cherry Blossom Festival held each April in San Francisco's Japantown. The Queen has come to symbolize northern California's Japanese American community in many ways. However, in the past five years half of the candidates, and two of the queens, have not been racially 100 percent Japanese. The increased participation of mixed-race Japanese Americans has an effect on both the mixed-race and the monoracial participants in the Queen Pageant as well as the community at large. This article examines how mixed-race Japanese American women define themselves in what has traditionally been a monoracial setting. In the context of the pageant, what does it mean to be Japanese American? How is that defined and how is that definition changing due to the increased participation of mixed-race Japanese Americans?
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