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Physical appearances of mixed-race children: Caucasian/Japanese
ckret2 wrote in little_details
You'd think this would be a very basic easily-researched thing but apparently not. I've googled various combinations of the following terms: looks, mixed, race, children, japanese, appearances, culture, cultures, offspring, human, genetic, mixes. I've gotten scientific articles about gene mixing and I've gotten social support for mixed race people, none of which I really need.

I'm setting a story in a sorta-fantasy sorta-real world, and I'd like my main character and his sister to be blond, but they've also probably got Japanese heritage somewhere in their family. His father is most likely white. So, I don't know what kind of weird gene mixes that would involve (quarter Japanese, maybe?), or if perhaps I could end up giving the kids some other lightish-colored hair that isn't necessarily blond, but I really would like them to have a light-haired look.

And if anyone has some examples of what a white/Japanese child would look like--photographs or basic description or something, regarding eye colors, facial features, body type, anything--that'd be nice.

As for what the white half of his family's ethnic origins are, I dunno. I'd like to be lazy and say "American!!" so I can pull the "melting pot" card and say his father is a Generic White Guy, if such a thing exists. But his family name is Tulving, and I cannot find out the origin to that (Google fails me again), so if anyone happens to know...

Thank you for your help!

Model Devon Aoki, Japanese dad, English mom

Remember that with genetics, the dominant traits don't always carry forward. Sometimes things double up and let the recessives come forward and give you unusual combinations.

Two of my friends were female and half-Japanese, half-white (also, "white" in the US usually means "Well, I'm from these six European countries... and I have some Polish, and I might be 1/32nd Russian... I don't really know.", from everything I've been able to tell).

One girl had brown hair, freckles, large eyes, and basically looked generic white. Her mother was a small Japanese woman, and her father was large and generic white.

The other girl had brown hair (long, straight), maybe slightly smaller more "Asian" eyes, and no freckles. She looked more Asian than the other girl, I guess, uh... enough so that if you really wanted to figure out what race she was, you'd be uncertain.

I think the general consensus during highschool was that mixed-race Asian/European people looked more attractive than either Asians or Europeans, but not in a classical beauty sort of way.

I'm a double recessive. Dad is Chinese, Mom is caucasian (Brit). I'm never-see-the-sun palest white, blue eyes, dark blonde hair, caucasian eyelids. The only things I inherited from Dad were high cheekbones, thick hair, and a rare blood protein.

My siblings all have Asian characteristics, I look like a poster child for England's Royal Family. You'd never know we're all full-blood siblings. (And the entire family has undergone bone marrow testing, so yes, there was no milkman...)

You don't always have a mix.

Reminds me of a friend of mine. She is 15/16 Chinese (Scottish great-great-grandmother who went out to Australia, long story) and while all the rest of her family look pure Chinese, she has wavy brown hair and pink cheeks.

I knew a girl who was a quarter Japanese along with Scottish and a hodge-podge of other European genes. Her facial structure was strongly Japanese, especially the shape of her eyes and cheekbones, but because of her coloration (red frizzy-curly hair and lightish eyes) I didn't notice the Japanese traits until she told me. Then it seemed obvious. Her hair was still more dark than it was light- you'll probably have to go with less than a quarter Japanese to get to a lighter hair color. Perhaps if the father was Dutch?

My friend was about 5'5" and pretty thin- but the thin part was at least partially due to the fact that she was allergic to practically everything and therefore on a very strict diet.

An upperclassman at my high school was part Japanese. She had blonde hair and blue eyes, but fairly Japanese features. I'd say any kind of genetic combo is possible, especially since you're not going to be listing the father's or mother's genotype at any point.

Here's me and my sister at the ages of 4 and 3:

We're half-Okinawan to be more specific, but the young ones don't look much different than the half-Japanese kids do. There's a tendency for both to look more Hispanic as they grow up, near as I can tell. I think it depends on the caucasian parent's hair.

A friend of mine is 1/4 Japanese, platinum blond goth man with a Japanese last name which throws everyone for a loop.

I used to have several friends who were Caucasian Asian mixes back in high school, and it really depends on their parents, on the kinda of recessive genes they have, whatever. A couple of them had basically very Asian features, with the flat nose and the epicanthal fold, but very white coloring. Some of them had more Caucasian features. The Chinese/black/white guy looked mostly black but not entirely (it was mostly the straight black hair that pegged him as part Asian to me). I also knew a Chinese girl with light brown hair and skin whiter than mine who the nearest white relative was a single German great-grandparent. Recessive genes are funny things. One Thai/British girl I knew no one could peg her ethnicity at a glance because she got the really curly hair that some Thais have, with dark skin but fairly Caucasian features. I would've guessed her to be Middle Eastern if I hadn't known otherwise to be honest.

Basically you can pretty much get away with saying whatever you want if their genetics are mixed enough. I didn't know anyone with outright blonde hair (well. Naturally, at least), but that's mostly just coincidence.

People are surprised by it, but curly hair exists in more asians than people think. Just as an example, my Korean grandfather, dad, and (half Korean) sister all had/have curly hair once it grows out a little. My friend (half Chinese) has crazy curly hair.

I had an acquaintance who was white, but her husband was Japanese. Their daughter had blonde hair, and "asian looking" eyes, but the irises were blue instead of brown.

There were these two guys (brothers) in high school who were mixed Japanese/Caucasian (I think the dad was of Brit ancestry, though). They both had the "Asian eye" thing going but otherwise Caucasian features (no flat nose!). The elder brother had sort of chestnut brown hair and a slim, male model-type build, while the other brother was stockier and had very dark hair, almost black. Both of them had dark eyes. All the girls on campus thought the elder brother was the hottest thing ever.

I have currently have two friends (both girls) who are biracial. One of them is half Chinese and half Caucasian (I think of German ancestry), but you really couldn't tell that she's biracial at all except for the nose: she doesn't have a flat nose. Otherwise she looks totally Asian, except maybe her hair is finer (Asian hair tends to be very thick and heavy). The other friend is one quarter Chinese or Taiwanese, one quarter Japanese, and half Caucasian mutt. She's somehow the opposite of the other friend: she has the flat nose, but that seems to be the only physical Asian characteristic she inherited: no epicanthal fold, and her hand is sort of a light chestnut color. Her skin coloring is sort of Asian, though, with that sort of white coloring that was so prized among courtesans back in the day (and is still considered a standard of beauty; Eucerin lotion is marketed as a "skin whitener" in Asian).

Before reading this thread, I would have said that it seemed very unlikely that a biracial East Asian/Caucasian could result in a blonde child, since dark hair seems to be so incredibly dominant over, well, everything else. Apparently I was wrong! :)

Google Eric Zay (American/Japanese), Ken Loyde (British/Japanese), Olivia Lufkin (non descript European/Japanese), Ali Morizumi (American/Japanese), Anis (British/Morocan/Japanese) for some famous hafu faces. You can also do a search for ABC Studios Yokohama who are a talent agent and school that have a page of photos of their child models that are hafu. They have an employee called Jody Brown (sister of Eric Zay) who has the look you've described. She's a dark blond with big brown eye's. Realy little and skinny with a caucasian shape (ie; curvy). I'd find the link but my net has been throtteled and it will take to long.

Generaly speaking you'll find that hair color will vary from child to child. You'll have a range of colors from dark blond to black and eye colour can vary from hazel to dark brown. Skin color will also vary from fair skinned to a honey tan. As for eye shap, that can also vary but generaly you'll see almond eyes with a double lid.

yes you are right i have a harf japanese/australian gold blonde hair very white skin and japanese eyes and very blue eyes. she is 4 years old.

You wondered about the origin of Tulving and I did too, so I poked around a bit. This Wikipedia entry ( is about a neuroscientist born in Estonia, so ... possibly Estonian. I also found references to "renowed Estonian artist" Ruth Tulving.

Yes, the name Tulving screams Scandinavian-Baltic-whatever -- my guess would have been Swedish. Definitely Northern European.

It varies a lot. There's a whole range, with some people looking almost entirely asian, to others looking entirely white, to others looking white to asians and asian to white. There's no generalization available. I would say to go with at least two generations for blonde hair (even three, since they're both), but I guess it would be possible. Basically, you can mix and match. You could have the sister look almost perfectly white, and the brother much more obviously japanese, or the brother sort of japanese looking and the sister somewhat chinese looking (my experience is also that when you start adding caucasian genes into the mix, it gets harder to guess which asian someone is - i look properly half korean, but my sister could probably pass as chinese).

Common dominant asian traits I have seen are dark eyes, dark thick hair (curly, even, for some people), short legs with normal torso.

Eye shape is not very dominant in my opinion, partially because it's entirely different to the various cultures (bottom edge flat but angles up half way out, top edge flat all the way, squinty), partially since the shapes are common enough outside of asia also. Skin color varies hugely, from lighter than many caucasians or constantly tanned-looking to slightly green. Completely depends.

Basically, make it up. Use some common sense along the way. That's all that our genes did anyway.

Dark hair is a dominant trait, so you would need to half at least two Caucasian grandparents with blond genetics in them in order to get a blond kid out of the mix.

So, yeah, if one parent is generic white and comes from a family where blond hair is common, then yeah, the child could easily be blond.

Tulving sounds like it comes from Greek or some really old European would-be language, like Saxon or Norman.

"some really old European would-be language, like Saxon or Norman."

*has a linguistics student giggle*

The white ancestors can be many generations back; they don't necessarily have to be at the grandparent level. They could be seven or eight generations back, even. As long as the recessive gene is carried down to the child, the blonde can show up.

And then you have to add the gene for red hair into the mix. The child with two genes for red hair will likely have pale skin, red hair, and blue or green eyes no matter what other genes he or she inherits. There are villages in northern Pakistan that contain almost as many redheads as a similar village in Northern Ireland would, simply because some army wintered there two or three thousand years ago. I myself am the owner of a lovely head of red hair despite my father being dark; as my great-grandfather said, there must have been a Scots fur trader in the family tree.

The Google terms that pop into my head are Eiji Wentz (so cute) and Devon Aoki, who somebody already posted above. (I've seen her with a variety of hair colors, though.)

Also - Dean Cain, and the Tilly sisters Jennifer and Meg.

If I remember correctly, the cover model kid here, from "Adolf" Volume Three ("The Half Aryan") by Osamu Tezuka, is actually half Japanese and half German (although I remember his hair being a bit lighter on my copy, which is gone and lost to the ages).

And this is Miko Branch, who is half black American and half Japanese. Which is not what you were looking for. I just think she's pretty. I'm sorry! ^___^

My Japanese teacher's husband is American, and she's from Osaka...their daughter looks Japanese, though her hair is slightly lighter than her mom's...she's still really young (like, maybe two at most), so maybe differences will be more apparent later? Several of my Brazillian friends have Japanese grandparents. One looks very hispanic, but with slightly lighter skin than most (more a golden tone, less a tan tone), and the other looks just plain Japanese, but slightly darker skin tone. ^^

My son is part Japanese. He has very dark hair (almost black), dark brown eyes that are very oval shaped with dark lashes that seem to go on forever. In the winter he is normally very pale with a smattering of freckles on his nose, but in the summer he turns a lovely dark tan shade and those freckles disappear. And at 12, almost 13, he tops me at 6'2" tall - freaky thing is, he's still growing.

If possible, try to get a hold of this book. Lots of photographs of mixed Asian/white people.

I've googled various combinations of the following terms: [snipped]

Try googling: "hapa" or "hapa haole".

I'm half-Vietnamese, half-Belgian. My hair is somewhat wavy, and its colour is a dark brown that turns lighter in the summer. My skin is somewhere between white and golden, my eyes are brown-green, and don't slant at all - in fact, they're big even for a Caucasian. Most of the time, people can tell I'm from "somewhere else", but they rarely ever guess correctly until I tell them - some will venture that I'm Mediterranean.

Most of the other mixed people in my family look more Asian than I do, though. They all have dark hair and golden skin, and some having slanted eyes. But remember, they're half-Asian - so the further you get from the Asian heritage, the more likely you are to have someone with identifiably Asian features.

My cousin-nieces are half-Chinese, half-white. They find it so much easier to say "Latino" than explain the former.

I actually have a second-cousin who's half American Mutt (mostly English and Scottish descent) and half Laotian. She has the dark hair from her father, but her facial features, skin tone, and eyes are from her mother. I think there can be pretty much any mix, to be honest.

I'm half Japanese, half European mutt in background, and I know quite a few hapa as well. My sibs and I all have the dark, almost black hair of our Japanese-American mom, but the texture varies. Mine is a lot like my mom's-mostly straight with a little bit of wave once it grew out beyond my shoulders. My sister has very thin, straight hair, and my brother has hair that's almost curly, like my dad. None of us have the typical "Asian" eyes, aside from their color, which is varying shades of brown. Actually, almost all our coloring seems to have been inherited from Mom.

In general, all the half-Japanese I know tend to be a bit darker-skinned than their Caucasian parent. One thing that I have noticed with a lot of half-Japanese, as well as the 2 quarter-Japanese that I know, is that they'll often have light brown hair as little kids, but it will darken with age until by the time they're 10 or so, it's hard to call it anything but dark brown. Most of them look neither Asian nor Caucasian, but something in between.

I'm a quarter Japanese (Caucasian mother, half-Japanese father). My features are pretty Caucasian, but I have the eye thing going on a bit. People who know I'm part Japanese tend to see it more, though occasionally someone will squint at my face and inquire as to my ethnicity.
As for hair...I used to be blonde, but my hair darkened as I got older. It's a medium brown now. Nobody in my family has outright blonde hair, though my mother's is lighter than mine, so perhaps there was something there.

The person in my userpic is (my best guess) half Caucasian, half Asian, probably Japanese. Someone else mentioned Dean Cain, who's a quarter Japanese. Most often you seem to get Asian eyes while other features are basically Caucasian and dark straight hair, but it's very individual.

Also note that not all Asians, even Japanese, have black hair.

That, and not all "Japanese" have "Asian" eyes; there are the Ainu to the north and the Okinawans to the south.

My daughter's friend is Inuit/white. His dad is pale with curly strawberry blond hair (picture a typical IT geek); his mom has straight black hair and a definite epicanthal fold. She looks "Asian".

There are three kids in his family. The oldest looks Hispanic: straight black hair, brown skin, no epicanthal fold. The second oldest has platinum blond straight hair, pale skin with freckles and a slight epicanthal fold. The youngest has brown very curly hair, skin color between his older two siblings and a slight epicanthal fold. Most who look quickly at the younger two think they're white, not Asian.

I think you could have your person look just about any way you want. :)

blond monggols


2008-10-02 05:31 pm (UTC)

Actually, there are a number of asians that already have the features you described, so I'm fairly certain it can occur in one generation. As someone already said, it just depends on whether you have the genes (whether physically expressed or not). It's not common, obviously, but it does happen.

In Uyghur and Khagar, in the northern borders of China (near Pakistan and India) you can sometimes see Monggol tribes with light-skinned and light-haired children, sometimes with light eyes as well, but with very Asian features. There was a feature on this a couple of years back on the Discovery channel.

Some Okinawans in Japan as well the Ainu people (also in Japan), were well-known for being fair-skinned with light reddish hair.

Pictures enclosed. Hope this helps.¤t=greeneyeschinese.jpg¤t=mongolcopy-1.jpg¤t=azaricopy.jpg¤t=01886233471800.jpg

oh and ...


2008-10-02 05:49 pm (UTC)

You might also find this useful/interesting. It adds to the gene argument a bit. Unmistakably Asian old man with green eyes on the cover:

It's interesting... genetics...


2009-01-09 12:06 am (UTC)

It's interesting the talk about the genetics of hair and eyes... I'm Mauritian, a great grandmother on my Dad's side was Chinese and he is Creole, with darkish skin and slightly frizzy hair (My Aunts have Afros and one is really fair skinned), my mum is Half Tamil (Really Dark skin south indian/sri lankan, thick black hair, big dark eyes) and half indian mix (I'm not sure where, just that one side is a lot fairer)

My brother has turned out looking a bit arabic/indian with thick wavy black hair, light brown skin, and brown eyes but with a button nose. I've turned out looking superficially tamil but with finer, but natural curly/wavy hair. But when my hair's straight I look Oriental with dark skin, because my eyes are a little almond shaped and people pick up on it more when they aren't distracted by the curls.

Re: It's interesting... genetics...


2009-01-10 01:10 pm (UTC)

yeah im also interested how a child would look if i married a japanese woman

im caucasian/europe

You ask about the origins of the name "Tulving". Tulving is a made-up surname. My father made it up for his family when he was 10. The government of the then newly independent country of Estonia encouraged Estonians to "Estonianize" their surnames. My father proposed the name Tulving to his parents, and they accepted it. Initially there were only 4 Tulvings -- my father, his parents and his younger brother. Now there are a few more, but less than 15. We are all related. And yes, we are Estonian.

Wow, thank you for the information! I heard of the name in a psychology course, a reference to Endel Tulving, and I liked the surname, so gave it to my characters. (Based on your username and the biography I finally found about him, might you be his daughter?) I never imagined your name would have such a specific origin.

Thank you again for the information. That's quite a fascinating story to your name. I might have to change my characters' surname now; I didn't realize it had such a personal origin.

Re: Tulving


2009-01-28 02:16 am (UTC)

Yes, I am his daughter. What is your story about? Is it the online computer game I came across where one of the characters is named Tulving? (though in that case I believe it is the character's first name)

Oh, no, my story isn't actually posted anywhere. It's a young adult fantasy novel in the works. Tulving was going to be the surname of one of the main characters and his little sister. (Probably won't be now, though.)

well, I'm an example of what you are asking. haha. I am 1/4 Japanese. Then I'm also German, Irish and Cherokee. I wound up with red/auburn hair, almond dark "Asian" eyes, higher cheekbones, a wide nose, olive/yellow undertoned skin, freckles, and a slender frame. I'm also relatively short - 5'4". :)

Photobucket (

Thanks for posting the pic. I am soon to be grandma of 1/2 Japanese and 1/4 Irish/Scottish/German grandchild! Yay! You are very pretty and I could see my grand-daughter looking very much the same.

i am a quarter japanese, half german, and a quarter of mixed european races (english, scottish, irish). i inherited more of the japanese genes. i have dark straight brown hair, very tan golden skin. as for facial features, they are a hybrid of caucasian and asian. my eyes are slightly folded and smaller, but not drastically. my little brother on the other hand (who is the same ethnicity) has straight sandy brown hair, bright green eyes, and much lighter & diff toned skin. He has a few freckles. The only ways you could even tell he is japanese is if you look very closely at his eye shape and nose, but you would NEVER guess it!

asian/ white


2009-11-04 01:00 am (UTC)

My son in law doesn't know his heritage because his father, grandfather, grandmother are all deceased, but he has asian blue eyes, dark brown hair, but otherwise is caucasian looking. His mother is of mixed European, German, Polish etc.

My daughter is blondish, of German, Polish, Austrian, Romanian descent. Normal looking 5th generation American. My grandson who is two. Looks like a Asian mutant. He has very Asian eyes and facial features. However, they are the brightest and clearest blue, and his skin is very white with pure blonde hair. Genetically he is perfect. Asian Vietnam and Japanese restaurant people used to take him away from my daughter and walk around with him because they said he was a special prince, like a white buffalo or something. He is a beautiful child and everybody thinks he is adopted.
Anyway, its a mystery when it comes to our genes.


I had friend who was a quarter Japanese. Her dad was half Japanese and Half white (I think Scottish blood) with a little Native American. Her mother was white also with a little Native American. She looks white. She is 5'11", green eyes with hooded eyelids, high cheekbones like a Japanese. She was always dying her hair, but I think it was naturally like this light golden brown color and wavy. Here nose was a nice shape not too big or too small. Her mouth was kinda big, but not in a weird way. It was proportional. Her lips were medium thickness. She was a little overweight growing up but now she is thin and very pretty. I think the most obvious Asian characteristics were her eye shape a little and her high cheekbones.

I'm mixed Japanese and English, I have a cousin who is the same and she married a white man and their baby ended up blonde with hazel eyes.

I have dark brown hair with hazel (but mostly green eyes) my mum has blue eyes and my dad's are brown. All of my cousins and I are mixed Japanese and English.

I tried to upload a picture but it's not working.