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Yohen by Gotanda

Yohen by Gotanda

Ethnographic Account

I have always loved to talk on ethnicity because since we are different, there are crucial strengths that we gain from each other. Personally, I think I have the best experience despite the fact that my friends are from different cultural and national backgrounds. For a person studying in the US, there are high probabilities of meeting fellows from diverse cultures; this issue made my school years worthwhile. Being of the Asian American descent, I have always thought that I would not have many friends in the United States. Nevertheless, the kind of reception I encountered in this place quashed the previous stereotypes I had concerning ethnicity. It is amazing how we have come to ignore differences between us and share the things that bring us together. Therefore, education has contributed to quelling the ethnicity debate, and I appreciate it because I have never felt isolated. However, there are instances when we have to discuss the ethnicity issue. What I love about these conversations is how we disagree on the confines of friendship and love. This issue has never faded from my memory, and it makes much difference. Ethnography captures the details of life that people ignore in light of their cultural diversity. It is a theory that should spark love and unity among people, but it appears that despite the progress, some negative ideas still blind the eyes of many. I believe that ethnicity should be a form of unity that creates friendship and help build relationships. The play Yohen by Gotanda uses the example of a couple in order to address ethnicity and racism by showing their negative influence, emphasizing the need to embrace each other, encouraging flourishing interracial marriages, and explaining the Japanese views on these issues.

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Embracing Each Other

Yohen is an amazing play that clearly shows the importance of embracing each other’s ethnicity. Although it concerns a time when the racial and ethnic profiling took a heavy toll on people, it shows that good things can come from interracial friendship and love. Philip Gotanda is aware that the racial and ethnic debate has not left the minds of people; therefore, he creates a film that encourages people to embrace each other. His artwork blames the imperialist U.S. for the rigidness in dealing with this issue. Thus, to demonstrate the problem, Gotanda describes a marriage, a three-decade-long marriage, that is on the verge of crumbling due to the ethnicity fears and uncertainties. Despite asserting that couples have isolated themselves from the ethnicity issue, Gotanda revives the debate as they try to recover from their failing relationship. The protagonists, Sumi and James, are an Asian-American and an African-American respectively. Following their retirements, they are afraid that somehow ethnic stereotypes may break their marriage.

Negative Ethnicity

Gotanda also uses these couples to show that negative ethnicity is still rampant in the American society. This issue has made many families separate and destroy relationships. The approach that Gotanda uses in explaining the problem of ethnicity is critical. In many cases, it appears that any problem facing couples of different ethnic backgrounds is associated with their identities to some extent. One may attribute any visible weakness to the ethnic background of other partners. The application of this strategy, whenever there is a problem, hurts much those individuals, who feel that they are from the lower social strata. Whenever these races join in marriage or friendship, they have to make many sacrifices to restore their initial relations. However, it may prove challenging to reunite and forget these issues since some people show a high proclivity for racial profiling. Such people subscribe to racist ideologies, which may influence their decisions. Gotanda, for instance, explains this issue by exposing the fears that Sumi has. African-Americans have always felt that marginalization has affected them the most. On the other hand, the Asians feel aggrieved that America has never taken an interest in their plight. Because of such circumstances, this couple feels the pain. The concept of the ethnic disadvantage has seen them separate. This scene is an accurate reflection of what most couples experience in their families, particularly those of different ethnic backgrounds. Whenever challenges arise between them, they begin viewing another partner from his or her ethnic background. Consequently, they hardly solve the problem but rather exacerbate it. Therefore, it is essential that people treat ethnicity with a different approach, especially in families. They should not provide ethnicity with the opportunity to tear apart their marriage or relationships. Instead, these individuals must employ appropriate mechanisms that can help strengthen their marriage or relationship bonds.

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Furthermore, Yohen is a touching play that reveals this dark secret in the marriage. This problem had stood the test of time for over thirty-seven years. This play shows that no foundations are strong enough to withdraw the influence of the negative ethnicity. A specific example is Sumis fear that James may fall prey to these stereotypes. As a result, the wife wants him to remain busy most of the time. The irony is that Sumi is the one who engages in these extramarital affairs. Consequently, this woman strives to revive their marriage and, most importantly, their relationship. The couple is caught in between while trying to connect with the past and quash the race factor to no avail. What makes the scenario one of a kind is the manner, in which the two came together. If they have been together for that long, they need to accommodate each other. Thus, Gotanda sends a message that people can embrace ethnicity by building their relationship or marriage together. However, the writer also uses his film to remind people that stereotypes may have a bad influence; therefore, the society should not tolerate it. Yohen is a symbol that shows that no relationship is perfect. In the words of Sumi, “It sometimes turns out right.” Thus, it is a unique play that tells the truth as it is and further reveals that domestic racism can be the worst phenomenon if not controlled.

Flourishing Interracial Relationships

Gotanda reveals that interracial relationships can flourish. However, to realize the dream, love and friendship must be prioritized. These two elements can break the problem of racial and ethnic backgrounds that hinder the possibility of progress in marriage. This scenario represents one side of the reality that Gotanda uses in his film to send a crucial message to his audience. The power of racism is strong enough to break the closest marriage ties. As time passes by, people begin to feel isolated from the families they once loved. In most cases, the result is the breakage of their marriage. At this point, it is essential that people rethink their decisions and embrace the necessary mechanisms that can see them off this hook. The same issue makes Sumi strive to reunite her family by applying all available means. It does not mean that ethnicity is bad. It is a problem when people do not accept cultural differences of each other; thus, the new direction of hate and mockery may hurt the existing union. In such a manner, this situation explains the need to adopt various ways of handling this ethnic issue before it can harm marriages or relationships.

Another factor that Gotanda emphasizes is the source of racism. It is a creation of the mind, which depends on how people perceive the situation. It bases on the thought that some races are inferior to others. In fact, to some people, including Sumi, racism is a fear that exists deep in mind. The woman is afraid of what might happen to her 37-year-old marriage and the love of her life, James. As old age approaches, it becomes apparent that the two have not talked much for these years: neither about children nor anything as deep and crucial. Racial identities have dominated their mind while in marriage. This behavior is not healthy for the family as it only destroys the relationship. The longing for a peaceful and prosperous union should be the primary concern of most individuals. Couples should strive to make their family members happy instead of engaging in any the battles involving ethnicity. They need to refrain from racial profiling since this behavior contributes to the destruction of marriages and relationships.

Japanese Views

In the theory of pottery, Japanese consider Yohen an example of unwanted or unpredictable changes that occur on pots inside the kiln. Gotanda uses this metaphor to explain challenges that people face in marriages and relationships. This situation is evident in the life of this interracial couple. One can wonder why a three-decade-long marriage should be affected by anything like racism. Gotanda makes it apparent that racism is an enemy of love and progress and encourages the audience to resist it and support flourishing interracial friendships and love. The reality is that despite the attempts made by various scholars, racism remains a true threat. It is taking place in biracial families, at schools, hospitals, and even churches. People may not know that their actions are advancing racism, but in most cases, it brews fear in the minds of others about their acceptability. The concern is how the situation can be changed so that the world becomes a better place for all races.

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Finally, even with improved education and technological advancements, most people still fall victims of being racist against others. Sadly, immigrants in America who sought refuge in the great nation face unfair treatment and biases. Racial prejudice is present in American theaters, as well. The producers like Gotanda have faced this challenge; as a result, they wished to reveal it. Most Japanese actors do not have the free will to do what they prefer during productions. Their role is to follow the directions that their seniors give them in the American theaters. As a reaction to this condition, some of them created own theaters. Thus, to embrace each other, everyone needs to understand the principles of universal suffrage, which fights for the fair and equal treatment for all people. If the aim is achieved, there are higher chances that this divisive issue will ultimately bring people together. What change has produced is the reduced number of physical injustices that come with racism. The psychological pains remain, and they require healing, as well. It means that people still have a long way to go in eliminating racism. Gotanda tries to make these attempts through his films with the hope that they will send a message to all races on the vitality of embracing each other. Therefore, to embrace each other, it is advisable that people understand themselves in the light of their differences and ideas. Asian-Americans have constantly felt the pain of the racial marginalization because of their intensity. Despite advancements that they have made as a model minority, racial discrimination is still eminent in their daily lives. It best explains the frustration that Sumi undergoes in the play.

Conclusion

Racism has been a part of America for a long time. It has often been blamed on the large populations of non-Americans, who occupied lucrative positions in economy and politics. While it remains debatable, what is evident is that it destroyed the foundations of human ideals that formed the beliefs of the American nation. The social and economic disparities that exist between people today have led to the advancement of racism. For instance, the African Americans who find themselves in the middle of abject poverty with a college certificate is more likely to blame personal misfortune on racism. This condition makes it difficult for a white American to complain. Therefore, racism is a creation of the mind: either fear or a feeling of dominance. Immigrants are changing the economic and social aspects of the American nation; therefore, the country has to adjust. As usual, it has never been easy; thus, it sparked the hatred, especially from the whites who considered other people from other races inferior. These individuals formed a block and considered the white counterparts racists, who had no conscience for the ideals of love and unity. The competition for resources needed control, and racism was the best way to achieve this control. There are those who were mostly advantaged, but the minority races remained discriminated against at work and education. However, despite these sad ordeals, the United States has come a long way with racism. One can say that it has made progress in trying to deal with the vice. As complex as it was, racism today remains an issue that has a less intensive impact on people. Nowadays, students from diverse races can make friends that grow to marriages. Everyone has an equal chance of getting jobs despite racial background. Yohen explains that these steps are difficult to make; at the same time, it asserts that with determination, nothing is impossible. As an Asian American, I am happy with the steps being taken and hope that everyone will embrace each other’s diversity in the nearest future.

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