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Around one in 49 babies born in Japan today are of mixed heritage. That’s a surprising figure considering that the country was closed off to foreigners for close to three centuries, way back when.

Until about two decades ago ha ̄fu (meaning “half-Japanese”) were viewed with a mixture of awe, envy, a bit of suspicion and a barrage of other emotions, some positive and some not. Now, mixed-race people are no longer that rare, and Japan has become more open about the whole thing. But have things really improved? Megumi Nishikura and Lara Perez Takagi’s documentary “Hafu” takes the bull by the horns and the results are intriguing.

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