Kim Chee, Hapas and Heather Graham (and Hugh Jackman)

PBS has an interesting looking upcoming series, “The Kim Chee Chronicles,” about Marja Vongerichten, a hapa Korean adoptee, and her relationship with Korean food over her life. The show will take her back to her birth country, with her 3-Michelin-starred French restaurant chef husband, Jean-Georges and, for some strange reason (cough. ratings. cough.) her friends Hugh Jackman and Heather Graham. There, the quartet will travel the country trying different foods.

Not sure how I feel about all this, except that it’s making me crave kim chee.  This article has some background info on Vongerichten, and her childhood has is pretty interesting and is also quintessentially multiracial. And it’s always good to see multiracial issues reach a broader audience.

It makes me think of this upcoming documentary, “Hafu,” about multiracial Japanese nationals. The trailer has the following staggering statistic: one in 30 babies born in Japan is multiracial. Interesting, especially in light of the comments Tokyo Governor Ishihara made recently:

“Japanese are not a homogeneous people, because their ancestors can be traced back to Korea, Mongolia, China, Melanesia and even what is now Bangladesh… Since we are a mixed people, whether the number of foreigners increases or not in Japan is irrelevant.”

Pretty strange considering how, as Tomo pointed out, he’s made a lot of hawkish and xenophobic remarks over his career.

About Ben Hamamoto

Ben Hamamoto is a writer born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He's been published in the Oakland Tribune and has written for New American Media's YO! Youth Outlook and the Nichi Bei Times. He is a research manager for the Health Horizons Program at the Institute for the Future. He also edits Nikkei Heritage, the National Japanese American Historical Society’s official magazine and contributes to Nichi Bei Weekly.

Comments

  1. Well if anything, I’m pretty sure “The Kim Chee Chronicles” will be a much better and eye opening show than the run of the mill personal discovery tour. Food is a safe jumping board for people to explore unfamiliar territories after all.

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