The Tale of a Japanese Peranakan

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At 51, Adel Yap Lye Meng is finally ready to share her story.

“Many of us keep it secret because of the vitriolic criticism we have received,” says the descendant of an allegedly powerful Japanese Peranakan family.

With her fair skin, deep-set eyes and high nasal bridge, Adel often receives questions about her ethnicity. However, things were more sensitive four decades ago: “I looked very Japanese in my late teens.


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