ハーフ (Hafu): On the Fetishization and Mistranslation of a Biracial Identity

In the last installment of her column, Mistranslate, writer Nina Coomes unpacks the origins and use of the term, ハーフ, or hafu — meaning half, in English — and considers how bicultural identity in Japan is both otherized and fetishized.

Source: Catapult
Published: Jul 16, 2018
Length: 10 minutes (2,624 words)

Why My Family Takes a Thanksgiving Vow of Silence

A personal essay in which Nina Coomes recalls her family’s tradition of extreme unplugging — no reading, talking, using digital devices — while taking silent retreats at a Catholic seminary each Thanksgiving.

Source: Catapult
Published: Nov 22, 2017
Length: 6 minutes (1,533 words)

What Miyazaki’s Heroines Taught Me About My Mixed-Race Identity

On the wonder and strangeness of occupying a perpetually in-between space.

Source: Catapult
Published: Oct 16, 2017
Length: 9 minutes (2,494 words)