Carrie Ann Kanani Miyamoto, is my full name, I am of mixed ethnic background from Hawai`i. My mother is white from Ohio, she says she’s German Irish. My father is brown from Hawai`i, he says he’s Hawaiian Japanese. The Hawaiian islands are quite diverse. According to the US census Hawai`i has the largest population of racial minorities in the nation. Hawai`i is known for her Aloha spirt and hospitality. However, those of us who have lived there know that racial tensions and prejudices are high. In Hawai`i there are many racial entitlement programs, and many of them regulated by blood quantum. Although many of us from the islands are mixed we still try to find a specific place in this subjective state.
For many years I held a resentment for my family name, Miyamoto. This piece of my family history had been kept in a closet with no one really knowing or remembering the whole story. I have never meet any of my Japanese family members and I eventually came to terms with this history just hanging in the closet. However, who we are can be dictated partly through genealogy, and history. The tales of Ojiisan, is a look into my personal history. Through my work and education as a printmaker I have been led into research and discovery. This work has revealed my family history. The tales of Ojiisan is my quest to understand my entire identity by discovering and uncovering the past and pulling it out of the closet.
Through this project I have now come to realize and understand that ethnicity plays a small roll when it comes to identity today. Identity is an ongoing process which is never complete. Identity is a knowledge of self that is informed by all cultural narratives, including current media, historical, political, visual, and fictional input.