Basketball: Invented in Canada Refined in Japan

Sep 7, 2019

Basketball: Invented in Canada Refined in Japan

There was quite a stir in Japan recently as a Japanese citizen became the first Japanese basketball player to be taken in the first round of the NBA draft by the Washington Wizards.

This is a very important milestone for Japan as Rui Hachimura was raised in Japan, by a Japanese mother and a Benin father. Keep in mind Japan is 98{66e69f603db3b3c8dee03025d9684be02e41af2ac338e620601769d56a6872dc} homogeneous, and was until relatively recently for all intent and purpose closed to general immigration.

This young man went through the Japanese school system in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, about 300 km from Tokyo.

I can only imagine, some of the challenges this young man faced being raised in Japan in what the Japanese refer to as “half” but I refer to as “mixed compound hybrid”. Calling people “half” reminds me of racists referring to mixed race people as “half breeds” Unpleasant, yes, but the Japanese are know for using loan words without understanding the implications of such words.

I remember my son having making lots of friends when he was in kindergarten, and as we all know children are not born with prejudice, but this is a learn behavior. He was doing fine with all his friends, none of whom thought anything about this regular kid, but then when he change schools in elementary grade 3 and this nasty side of Japan reared its ugly head.

Original I suggested to my ex-wife he should stay at his first elementary school, as I had foreseen the trouble this move would make for him to leave all of his old friends behind, and trying to integrate as a “half” in a rural area of Japan.

Indeed the original school was not all that far away, and I drove that way every day for work anyway, what would it hurt for him to stay where he had his friends. She didn’t see it that way for sone reason that only she knows.

Needless to say the bullying started very quickly and this left my 9 year old son distressed and confused as to why he would be looked upon as anything other than a normal fun-loving 9 year old. Unfortunately, these prejudice run deep in the country side and do to this very day.

Fortunately my son has a purple belt in Kyokushin Karate, and although he used restraint for several months, he finally used these skills to cease the bullying once and for all.

We moved him back to his original school after that one very hard year.

Junior high school brought more bullying problems. I came home to see the vice principal and one of the teachers at my house with Japanese father and his son.

They were there to apologize for burning my son with a cigarette on his forearm. I accepted the apology while making it very very clear that we will not tolerate this kind of disgusting behavior ever again whatsoever.

We gave my son the option of going to high school in Canada while living with my parents and needless to say he chose this option.

With full respect to my son, he looks up on this experience as one that was able to formulate his character and he is now an international renowned music producer and DJ with fans from around the world.

Congratulation to Rui Hachimura and his family on this monumental achievement, and best wished for a long and illustrious career.