• SHARE

Not only was I unaware there were black “idols” in Japan, or black women who wanted to be idols in Japan — turns out, I didn’t know what an idol actually was.

You’d think that after 13 years of hearing the word if not every day, then damn near, that I would get its meaning. But after speaking with Amina du Jean, aka Aminyan, who claims to be the first black American idol in Japan, I realized I’d made the same error people fresh from the outside world tend to make: that Japanized English words always reside in the same lexicon as their English counterparts. They don’t. In fact, according to Amina, it’s meaning is almost the opposite.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)