Pop singer-songwriter, musician, visual artist Kira Takei
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Kira Takei

Kira's 18th birthday tattoo!

Kira Takei's 18th birthday tattoo

Hello everyone! Thank you for your ongoing love and support, and all of the kind words in response to my latest song, ‘The Heart of Us’!

For this blog post, I wanted to share a story from my 18th birthday….

Ever since I was 12, I knew when I turned 18 I wanted to get a tattoo of my last name, ‘Takei’ written in Japanese. It is a tattoo my father, as well as his two siblings all have, and it’s known in my family as the ‘Takei symbol’; a recognition of our heritage, and a connection to each other through respect and honor. Over the course of my life, I’ve had a very conflicting relationship with my heritage, and what I chose to identify as. Growing up, recognition of my Japanese roots were always discussed and cherished - family is a very prevalent theme in my life, and with that, my family’s history. From watching Studio Ghibli movies with my Grandparents when we were little, to hearing my Grandfather’s stories about experiencing Pearl Harbor, being Asian is something I have been taught to learn about, and take pride in. However, as I have grown up, the question of “am I Asian enough?” has clouded my mind. “Am I Asian enough to identify with the Asian race?”, “because I’m definitely white passing, is it offensive to non-white passing individuals to identify as Asian?” - these trails of thoughts lead me to a confusing space with my identity. Of course, I am mainly white and I would never claim to only be Japanese, but am I allowed to cherish this side of me? Am I Asian enough to recognize it as a part of me, even though it has always been recognized and celebrated throughout my life?

While I still don’t know the answer to some of these questions, I do know that being a quarter Japanese is a part of me I can never change, and is a part of me I would never want to change. My tattoo will live on my body forever, and serves as a reminder that regardless of societal judgment, I am a Takei, and I am a part of my beautiful Asian-American family.

And that’s the story behind my tattoo. (No, it didn’t hurt, no, I don’t regret it, and yes, I love love love it.)

Thank you all for reading this blog post, and be sure to subscribe to my newsletter for more content, website updates, and more! I appreciate each and every one of you!