Miyamoto is Black Enough is a collaborative exploration of meaning and conversation, named after Ariana Miyamoto, a Japanese national who grew up as a self-described mixed race “hafu,” the child of an African American father and Japanese mother. After winning Miss Universe Japan 2015, many Japanese expressed concern at her lack of “pure” parentage—that she was not Japanese enough. Unfortunately, Miyamoto's story is not an uncommon one as African diasporic culture is made up of millions of Africans of mixed origin who are frequently disowned by their non-African sides. Black diasporic culture draws those to its massive collective and ever evolving flex. Blackness, in its cultural production, is constantly teaching the world a lesson about what it might look like to live in harmony with the rest of its selves.
However, Miyamoto is Black Enough is performed by a contemporary, hybrid Kaisoca Jazz P(f)unk band that boasts two “hafu” of their own—plus a Trinidadian poet and an Irish/Finnish/Swedish hip-hop influenced drummer—whose sound searches for a home at the same time as it relishes in the boxes it refuses to occupy. Moreover, this band emphatically believes that Miyamoto is most certainly Black enough.
This work celebrating Miyamoto’s legacy is a blend of hard driving rhythms and biting social commentary that utilizes steelpan, cello, drums, and poetry/vocals. Drawing from a melange of musical styles, Miyamoto is Black Enough forms a brash symphony that nods the head, moves the feet, and asks listeners/viewers to challenge and disturb their own comfort. The resulting work is a bold narrative about people, justice, struggle, joy, and celebration.
Miyamoto is Black Enough is produced by National Sawdust.