Warnings: This fic deals with racism. There are some characters in here who sound like they could've come straight out of Nazi-germany. This fic was semi-inspired by how many blondes/redheads there are in anime even though most Japanese are black-haired & pale-skinned. I also wanted to write something with Tai & Matt on opposite sides of a war.
It will probably stay a WIP 'cus I think I'm bored of it now. We'll see.
Yamachi, as always.
I don't know anything about real Japanese politics and I don't care to learn because this is just a piece of fiction.
The image of what it meant to be Japanese was changing. When you turned on the news now, instead of the traditional dark-haired, dark-eyed, pale young woman it was always a blonde with blue eyes. Prominent politicians looked like they could have landed in Japan from Sweden yesterday, all big, broad and light-haired, instead of the smaller, pale but dark-haired Japanese man. Rarely did you see a black-haired government official – the higher up in the ranks you went, the more Nordic looking they became. Even lowly civil servants rarely were any darker than light brown hair or amber eyes.
It had not happened over night, but over the course of the decades that President Purple had been in power. That was strange too for a democracy. Usually a president was elected for 2 terms; in Japan that meant a maximum of 10 years. But President Purple had been in control for nearly 25 years now.
Tai noticed the strangeness first when he was around 8 years old; his best friend Matt started staying after school for a special class. He didn't think much of it; Matt was smart – maybe smart kids were taking harder stuff? Then the Saturday afternoon classes started as well. Tai didn't know what to make of it. That was strange because Joe or Izzy were not in those classes but their grades were much better than Matt's.
He didn't give it much thought until he walked Matt to his Saturday class one day after they spent the afternoon kicking around a football. He'd asked Matt what happened in there, not that he wanted to go to class on a Saturday or anything, but just because he was curious. The other boy had invited him along to come check it out.
Tai was laughing and joking around with his buddy as they walked into the Ouran Private School building. But he stopped outside the door to Matt's classroom as he saw the kids inside. Even at nine, he instinctively knew that he didn't quite fit in. It took him a minute to figure out what it was – even though the kids inside were chattering and behaving like any other class full of 9 year olds, they did not look Japanese. This was a class full of blondes.
Since President Purple's election, Japan had gone through a peculiar change in its immigration policy. Europeans especially those with distant Japanese ancestors were enticed into moving to Japan with promises of a wonderful new life. At the same time Japan tightened its borders against anyone of Asian or African descent. Thus in any given week, you might see half a dozen or so naturally light-haired folks in Odaiba; not counting the police officers who all had some shade of red or light-brown hair. Even so blondes were a rarity– this was a whole class filled with them, about 100 kids in all.
Tai knew Matt had only one Japanese ancestor: his dad's grandfather was Japanese; the rest of his family was English or German. His mother and father moved to Japan soon after they married - the government was giving away free homes for Europeans of Japanese descent in prestigious neighborhoods with promise of free education and high-ranking job offers.
So Matt's parents, Malcolm and Nancy, made a comfortable life for themselves in their new country and Nancy gave birth to Matt a year after they moved to Odaiba. They lived in mostly segregated areas with other foreign-blooded Japanese. It wasn't surprising that they had a lot more in common with other European immigrants but Nancy had wanted her sons to learn of their Japanese heritage. So instead of attending the separate European-immigrant only private school with other children from their neighborhood, Matt and TK were enrolled in public school for years. That is where Tai had met and subsequently befriended Matt.
A blonde woman, a teacher from the looks of her, came up to Matt and Tai as they stood outside the door. "Hello Matt, who is this you have with you?" Tai could hear the odd strain in her voice; he noticed the way she was eyeing him distrustfully.
"He's my friend from day-school. He wanted to know what we do here every Saturday. I told him to come check it out."
"Oh dear, I don't think that would be appropriate – he doesn't quite fit, does he? And anyway, this is your friend? He certainly doesn't look like a friend of yours. There are so many other children in our class Matt. Why don't you pick one of them to be your friend instead?" She had ignored Tai through the entire thing.
Tai didn't understand what she was saying.
"I like Tai & that's it!" Matt was petulant at being told what to do. The woman gave Matt a disapproving glare & ordered him into the class. Matt turned helplessly to go towards his seat, waving a quick goodbye to Tai as he left.
Then the woman turned to Tai, venom and spite in her eyes. "Boy – you better run home. I think it's best if you don't see Matt anymore. You're not proper company for someone of his caliber."
The teacher turned away shaking her head in disgust. Oh. My. God. That child had come straight from some field. He looked even lower than the pure-blooded Japanese she disliked so much but could tolerate in small doses; atleast they were pale. This boy was probably some kind of low class Indian with his brown skin and the bushy hair on his head. It would not do for Matt, one of the brightest students in her class and a shining example of Japan's future ruling class, to associate with someone like that. She called Matt's parents right after class.
"Yes hello Mr. Ishida – I'd like you to know that I think it's best if your sons moved to Ouran full-time. They're absolutely capable of handling the course-work here & I believe they'd be around more appropriate companions."
"Yes, other children of foreign-Japanese – they would understand each other better, might make for a more rounded youth. Yes, very good… No I think the curriculum might be too simple for them at their old school… He will do much better here, I assure you... Good – we'll transfer him right away."
The next Monday, Matt and TK had both been moved to Ouran Private School. Nancy's protest had been feeble at best – Matt's teacher had said Ouran had a better curriculum than any other place. Besides they lived in Japan. Surely, the boys would be exposed to enough Japanese culture that way.