PDA

View Full Version : Half Asians and Genes (and a small question about age and school)



EzzyAlpha
04-21-2012, 11:52 PM
Would it be possible for someone who's half-japanese to have blond hair? Or someone who's half-korean to have blue eyes?

I suppose the chance would increase if they had european ancestors?

Of a lesser importance, would it be possible to start elementary school at 5, almost 6, years old?

ViolettaVane
04-22-2012, 12:00 AM
a) It would be improbable, but possible. It would also be very, very clichéd.

b) yes, it's common to start elementary school (kindergarten) at 5 years in the United States.

jaksen
04-22-2012, 12:02 AM
Yes to the first question, keeping in mind that 'blue eyes' are believed to have been a spontaneous mutation that happened in Europe (the area of Poland? Correct me if I'm wrong) a few thousand years ago.

I started elementary school at age 4. Where I live the customary age is age 5 for Kindergarten (must be 5 by September 1 in most towns and cities). This means children start first grade at age 6.

But you always get a few older (they were held back or their parents held them back) or younger (they went to a private school or academy for Kindergarten or they went to one of the few towns that allow children to start Kindergarten at age 4.)

EzzyAlpha
04-22-2012, 12:02 AM
a) How would it be cliché? It's just a character design choice. (It's for a comic by the way)

b) I meant the first grade.

ViolettaVane
04-22-2012, 12:09 AM
Because blonde hair and blue eyes are such desirable traits for white people, so sometimes when (especially white) people make Asian characters, they seem to think, "I'd like to make them stand out more and be cooler if they're natural blonds and blue eyes," which leads to a ridiculous preponderance of naturally blond and blue-eyed half-Asians in comics and books.

I'm half-East Asian myself, have met plenty of other half-Asian/half-white people, and almost every single one of us has brown hair and brown eyes. I guess we're too boring though, sigh.

EzzyAlpha
04-22-2012, 12:15 AM
I think it's mostly because of design. A cast full of dark haired, dark eyed people is visually boring (and rather boring to color I must add) so you make some blond, some blue eyed. I know that's why I made those design choices *shrug*

And I don't really know of many half asians with light colors in fiction.

jaksen
04-22-2012, 12:19 AM
Well your Asian cast can have a few who color their hair. Many people do this regardless of hair color. I have a blond daughter who wants to go dark. (Yeah I hit her when she says that.) And there's a very well-known blond actress who dyes her hair red.

So have them dye, or shade their hair - some of them - and get the color variety you want that way.

EzzyAlpha
04-22-2012, 12:24 AM
The blue eyed girl does partially dye her hair but it doesn't fit the blonde's personality.

Snick
04-22-2012, 12:28 AM
Hair color is quite unimportant. If you wish to portray a character as East Asian, then the person almost certainly has dark hair and dark eyes. It isn't boring, nor are blue eyes and blond hair more desirable traits among people of European ancestry.

Children do start first grade at five sometimes.

EzzyAlpha
04-22-2012, 12:31 AM
I beg to differ. Colors are very important in character design.

LJD
04-22-2012, 12:34 AM
I'm half-East Asian myself, have met plenty of other half-Asian/half-white people, and almost every single one of us has brown hair and brown eyes. I guess we're too boring though, sigh.

yup, same here.

edit: in the simple model of eye color (it's actually controlled by more than one gene, I think), you need a blue-eye gene from both parents to get blue eyes because it's recessive. Both parents don't need to have blue eyes, but they need to carry the gene.

Snick
04-22-2012, 12:38 AM
I beg to differ. Colors are very important in character design.

Maybe to you, but not to readers.

EzzyAlpha
04-22-2012, 12:39 AM
It's not boring by itself, but I already have five dark haired characters and four dark eyed.

EzzyAlpha
04-22-2012, 12:40 AM
Maybe to you, but not to readers.

I have to repeat this is a comic.

Stlight
04-22-2012, 02:15 AM
Oh, now I get it, you mean a graphic novel. Visual is important there. But eye color is hard to get at a glance. You might think of giving one character a streak of white caused by a trauma or shock to be explained at some point.

EzzyAlpha
04-22-2012, 03:00 AM
It's a comic strip not a graphic novel, but yeah, that character in particular has red highlights in her hair.

bickazer
04-22-2012, 03:28 AM
Are the rest of the cast full Asian? Is that why they're all dark-haired, dark-eyed? Because they're not, I don't think there's a problem in giving some of them different hair colors than making the unfortunate decision to make the half-Asian character blonde.

And honestly, I think that differences in body types/clothing styles/hair styles matter more than differences in eye color and hair color. If each character has a unique build - a unique silhouette, even - that can be an even more effective way of distinguishing them.

Lhipenwhe
04-22-2012, 03:53 AM
Half-Asian/Ashkenazi Jew here. Wanted to pop in and say that yes, those colors are possible -- there are even pure Japanese people with red hair (although it's incredibly rare). My grandmother, my mom, and I have/had hints of red hair, and it didn't come from my Jewish side.

As an aside, I have jet-black hair and brown eyes.

Debio
04-22-2012, 09:11 AM
I am not asian. But I have lived in Japan for 15 years. My son is half American half Japanese. He has dark hair and dark eyes. ETA I have dark hair and blue eyes.

And anecdotally. In fifteen years in Japan, I have not once met or even seen someone with Japanese genes that has naturally blond hair. I have met one person who had naturally blue eyes. But he was not half asian. Both his father and maternal grandfather were blue eyed Americans.

I'm not saying it's impossible, just that in my experience it would be incredibly rare. Rare enough that they could probably become a famous TV celebrity on that trait alone.

But...

It is not at all rare for people to dye their hair blond or to wear colored contacts. It is actually rather popular in some segments of the younger population.

CEtchison
04-22-2012, 10:00 AM
My cousin, who has blonde hair and blue eyes, married a man from Hong Kong. Their son, when he was a toddler, had white blonde hair and brown eyes. As he has aged, his hair has darkened, but is still blonde.

Bing Z
04-22-2012, 10:30 AM
Make your character an European mix. Then he/she can plausibly have the color of eyes/hair you like and he/she can still live a normal life, especially childhood.

If his/her parents are both East Asians, his/her mother will have to live through endless accusations of adultery, especially prior to DNA paternity test era. His/her family may be battered at best. He/she will be discriminated and bullied severely at school and will not have a happy childhood. Chances are he/she will have a very complex personality.

shaldna
04-22-2012, 11:18 AM
Would it be possible for someone who's half-japanese to have blond hair? Or someone who's half-korean to have blue eyes?

If their parents both carried the necessary genes, then yes, it's possible. The most likely senario, though, is if both parents were half Korean, half European - this would double the chances of blue eyes - given that blue is a recessive gene.


Of a lesser importance, would it be possible to start elementary school at 5, almost 6, years old?

This is one of those weird situations where it's possible, and in some areas common, and in others, no so much. Here, Ireland, we usually start school in the calander year that you would turn five - so you get a lot of four year olds starting school. However, depending on when your birthday is, you could already be five (the summer cut of date is some times in July as far as I remember).

The school boards take into consideration other factors at that time too - such as long term illness etc, and may let you keep your kid back a year, or if they are very young for the year - ie. born in June and would only just have turned four before school, sometimes you can defer for a year.

EzzyAlpha
04-22-2012, 07:00 PM
It's not about making the characters look distinct, everyone has different body types and faces. I insist on making them look absolutely different from each other.

I rather like these designs and I wouldn't want to change it for genetics.

Thanks for your answers everyone :)

AndreaGS
04-22-2012, 09:36 PM
Another half-asian chiming in. I'm half Chinese, half Scottish. It's possible. I've seen a half-asian boy with red hair and dark blue eyes.

My dad has blue eyes and black hair. Me, my brother, and my sister all have black hair and brown eyes, though my brother was born with blue eyes. They gradually darkened, and are now a very light brown.

All my half-asian (and one quarter-asian) friends have either black or brown hair and brown eyes.

So, while it's possible, it's unusual.

jaksen
04-23-2012, 09:37 PM
If their parents both carried the necessary genes, then yes, it's possible. The most likely senario, though, is if both parents were half Korean, half European - this would double the chances of blue eyes - given that blue is a recessive gene.





Eye color is actually controlled by a group of genes, not a single gene pairing (one from Mom, one from Dad.)

I have dark eyes and dark eyes; so does my husband. I have two dark-haired, dark-eyed children and one blond with very pale blue eyes. My parents were dark; so were my husband's parents. We scratched our heads a lot when I had a little blond girl.

And that same blond girl is married to a dark haired guy and they have a little redhead, almost a carrot-top.

Genes and how they are expressed are funny things. Many of them work in groups. The ones Mendel studied were fairly simple. Two dominant reds, you get red-flowered pea plants. Two recessive whites and you get white. A red and a white, you get pink. Not every organism works quite that way, however.

I'd still just go with having some of the characters dye their hair. It gives you the color you're looking for without having to haggle about the genetic details or possibly insulting someone who thinks you don't know your genetics (and thinks you should.) You don't need to know anything about inheritance if your characters dye their hair.

thebloodfiend
04-24-2012, 02:23 AM
I don't understand why they don't just dye their hair if it's that important to their design. tbh, when I'm reading a comic, or designing a character, hair color is one of least important aspects because most comics are still drawn in black and white, and when you desaturate, you kind of want your audience to be able to tell the difference between your characters, unless you're drawing something super simple like XKCD or Cyanide and Happiness.

shaldna
04-25-2012, 03:28 AM
Eye color is actually controlled by a group of genes, not a single gene pairing (one from Mom, one from Dad.)

...

Genes and how they are expressed are funny things. Many of them work in groups. The ones Mendel studied were fairly simple. Two dominant reds, you get red-flowered pea plants. Two recessive whites and you get white. A red and a white, you get pink. Not every organism works quite that way, however.

I'll hold my hands up here and admit that it's been almost 10 years since I studies genetics and a lot of what I learned has changed and is constantly changing as newer technologies and understandings are developed.

Noah Body
04-25-2012, 06:51 PM
My son is hapa and he has strawberry blond hair but very dark eyes.

I've seen two biracial children with blond hair and blue eyes, but mostly they're brown/brown.

ArtsyAmy
04-25-2012, 08:39 PM
The blue eyed girl does partially dye her hair but it doesn't fit the blonde's personality.

Could this be a problem for you? You say dying her hair doesn't fit the blonde's personality, so you intend for her to be naturally blonde. But won't most of your readers assume her hair is dyed, since that hair color is apparently so rare for someone of her background?

shaldna
04-26-2012, 12:48 AM
The blue eyed girl does partially dye her hair but it doesn't fit the blonde's personality.

And what is the 'blonde's' personality?

I think you are straying too close to stereotypes here.

Mustafa
04-26-2012, 12:49 AM
Would it be possible for someone who's half-japanese to have blond hair? Or someone who's half-korean to have blue eyes?

I suppose the chance would increase if they had european ancestors?

Of a lesser importance, would it be possible to start elementary school at 5, almost 6, years old?


Blue eyes comes from both parents. So it's extremely improbable for a half-japanese to have blue eyes (in fact, they'd probably have to be something just below half).

Where I'm from you must be 5-years-old by December 31. So, many kids start school when they're 4-years-old. I did.

Sunflowerrei
05-24-2012, 08:58 AM
I'm half Japanese/ half Irish. I have brown eyes and dark brown hair.

I went to a Japanese language school when I was a kid and I knew a half-Japanese/ half-white girl who had red hair and a half-Japanese boy who had natural blondish hair. So, it's possible, but very rare.

I started kindergarten at 5.

JoNightshade
05-24-2012, 09:28 AM
We have a family here in town with a darker-skinned Asian mom and white/red-haired dad. The kids are red haired and dark skinned, with I believe dark blue eyes. Very striking.

Nevertheless, given the preponderance of characters with every color of hair imaginable in anime, I'm wondering why you're asking this question at all.

angeluscado
05-24-2012, 05:41 PM
Where I'm from, you must turn 5 before December 31 to start in September. My brother's birthday is in March and mine is in April, so we were both 5 when we started. My sister's birthday is in December, so she's one of the youngest people in her class.

I'm not touching the other question. :)

Snitchcat
05-26-2012, 11:18 PM
My friend's son is half-Chinese, half-English. Apart from a blond patch, his hair is brown, and so are his eyes. Despite living in an environment where there are plenty of half-Chinese kids, he's the only kid I've seen so far with that natural combination.

Others I know who are mixed, had red hair and brown eyes when they were born, but the red hair darkened to brown with red highlights. Same for those with blond hair when born; it darkened to brown with blond strands. But they have brown eyes.

If you're after blond, plenty of kids / teens dye their hair. Blue eyes would be obtained via lenses.

As a regular comics reader (strips, manga, Western comics, etc.), I would definitely notice the character design. If the character is meant to be some sort of reflection of the real world (regardless of genre), my first reaction on seeing those hair and eye colours on a half-Asian character would be to curse the artist and/or the writer. And thereafter ignore work by either one or both writer and artist -- "Thanks for the insult", basically. Unless the colours are explained. On the other hand, if it's a (SFF) manga, it won't bother me.

Regarding kindergarten, I haven't a clue as Grade 6 and 5 years old don't match up for me when it comes to kindergarten. For me, 5 years old was the time to start annex school, 7 was junior school. Sometimes, kids were 4 for the annex, and 6 for lower secondary. But that was because the birthday cut-off date was July somewhere.

espresso5
05-27-2012, 10:08 AM
While eye color is technically polygenic, for all practical purposes (such as in the OP's question) you could think of eye color as a Mendelian trait, with brown eye color being dominant. Therefore, to have an Asian with blue eyes would not be possible. If somewhere in the distant past the Asian in question had a great grandparent or something with blue eyes, then the individual could be a carrier, in which case half of its offspring would have blue eyes if they mated with an individual with blue eyes.
In terms of hair color, the genetics aren't quite worked out, but if they could have blue eyes, they could have a range of hair color, but again, dark colors are the default dominant.

EzzyAlpha
05-31-2012, 09:40 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone!

To clarify, the blonde is a very serious military woman. It didn't feel right to make her dye her hair to be honest.

Also, it's a webcomic and I do color strips once a week (out of 3 updates) plus there's color images and chapter titles. It's pretty realistic, usually on my sci-fi/fantasy works I'd wave it off. On the characters page, I plan to mention whenever someone's hair is dyed (it's a quirk of mine, since I'm not sure if the characters will all appears in color pages, I tend to to clarify their main colors). Also, since it's a webcomic I'm a lot more involved with my readers, so there is that clarification that I did research and that sort of exchanges. I hope this makes sense :p

I've decided on making the blond have a Dutch grandparent (I think, I have to do some research on when the Dutch were in Japan and stuff) and the blue eyed will probably have half-korean parents (which would make her genetically half-korean as well I think?) so thanks again c:

(even if this wouldn't come up in the comic I'd still like to know because I'm a detail and consistency freak)

L. Y.
07-14-2012, 04:37 AM
My nephews and nieces are japanese/caucasian, and they have blond hair. My youngest niece has light blue eyes, like her father.

So yes, it is definitely possible....

LupineMoon
11-19-2013, 08:24 AM
If I has a half-Asian/Caucasian had children with either a half or fully Caucasian person, the my children would, I believe have a quarter chance of having blue eyes. And on a similar note, I read a book about a man whose parents were German and Japanese. One of his brothers looked completely Caucasian in appearance though I believe he had brown eyes. The man's sons looked fully Caucasian - blonde even, I believe - but the one grandson who wrote the novel looked partly Asian.

kevinwaynewilliams
11-19-2013, 10:07 AM
If this is for anime/manga, make them whatever color you want and don't comment on it. It's been so widely done for so long that it's a convention. No one is pretending it's a realistic appearance for Asian characters, it's done simply to make it easier to tell character apart. I look over at my anime shelf and see Lina Inverse, Noa Izumi, and Nene Romanova without effort. Of the three, only Nene was ever portrayed as being anything but Japanese, despite all three being redheads.

Cath
11-19-2013, 02:54 PM
Any reason why we're resurrecting old threads other than to bump post count?

Locking this.