A Detroit girl fell in love with the Japanese culture and soon became a pop idol in that country. Amina du Jean, stage name Aminyan, balances her life as a university student and a pop idol. She is full-blooded African-American who lives in Japan. She has been inspired by two previous half-black idols, which is located in her personal website.
She explains to NextShark about her interest in Japanese culture:
“My family exposed me to a variety of documentaries, so I’ve always loved documentaries and various subcultures from elementary school”. She continues, “that kind of mixed with my fondness for the internet and from there on I loved Japanese girls’ culture”.
Du Jean has dealt with bullying in school, but her passion for this culture and the relevant community helped her through these times.
She enjoys the cultural attires and would have loved to partake in the Harajuku Girls’ outfits.
She admits that she has had experienced racism in Japan, especially in the entertainment industry. While walking the streets of Japan, she notices people’s reaction towards her skin color; she states that “in everyday life people assume that [she is] ‘athletic’ (even though [she doesn’t a] single muscle on [her] body) or that [she] can dance well or some other bullsh*t. But that’s no different than what American people say to Black people”.
Regardless of the adversities, du Jean is able to make a name for herself as an idol. At the age of 18, she landed an entertainment contract, signing up with a group called Chick Girls (currently in hiatus, since she is focusing on her studies). Du Jean enjoys going to conventions in America, to spread her experience and journey.
She has taken private Japanese lessons since the age of 12, saying that “[she] can participate in group conversations with [her] friends, text, go to doctor’s appointments and understand TV”. She also admits that she “can’t read books meant for ages 12 and up, though”.
In Japan Times, du Jean comments in regards to her racial identity:
“I mean, I am Black and I’m proud of it. I just don’t think Black defines me. But people who are the first at anything are bound to run into these kidns of problems, so I don’t mind it too much”.
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