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Imagine being perceived as an outsider, a status that does not accurately reflect your identity.

By Kinota Braithwaite, Anti-Racism and Anti-Bullying Youth Speaker

Meet Kei the main character in Kei The True Friend, a vibrant boy with both African-Canadian and Japanese heritage, who embarked on a life-changing journey when his family moved to Japan.

Kei's challenges in his new school in Tokyo, Japan underscore the societal perceptions of biracial children in Japan. His classmates' taunts and cruelty are a painful reminder of the prejudice and lack of understanding that can exist.

To his classmates and many in Japanese society, Kei was perceived as an outsider, a status that didn't accurately reflect his identity.

Kei's Journey to Acceptance Through Kendo

Kei's path to acceptance was marked by determination and resilience. One of the key turning points in his story was his involvement in Kendo, a traditional Japanese martial art.

The practice of Kendo, with its emphasis on discipline, self-confidence, and respect, helped Kei find acceptance, not only within himself but also within his new community.

Physical and Mental Discipline: Kendo instilled in Kei the discipline of both mind and body. This discipline allowed him to remain focused and determined in the face of adversity.

Self-Confidence: As Kei honed his Kendo skills, his self-confidence grew. This newfound confidence radiated into other aspects of his life, empowering him to stand up against bullying and teasing.

Sense of Belonging: Through Kendo, Kei found a sense of belonging. He forged friendships and connections with fellow practitioners, transcending cultural differences.

Respect for Others: Kendo taught Kei the importance of respecting opponents and working towards mutual understanding. This valuable lesson extended beyond the dojo and into his daily interactions.

Kei's journey teaches us that building bridges and breaking barriers is achievable, even in the face of adversity.

Let's Start a Dialogue:

Principals and Teachers, I extend a heartfelt invitation to engage in open conversations. Together, let's address concerns, exchange ideas, and craft experiences that transcend. Let's embark on a journey to enrich minds and create a lasting positive impact on the lives of students.

Warm regards,

Kinota Braithwaite

A Vision for a World Free of Racism and Bullying

You're welcome to connect with me at

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