About 6 Degrees of Hapa
6 Degrees of Hapa is all about celebrating mixed cultures!
Hi 6º of Hapa Family,
Welcome to 6 Degrees of Hapa's online home!
I'm Naomi Takata Shepherd, the artist and creator behind 6 Degrees of Hapa. I'm a hapa/mixed Japanese American and white artist from the Bay Area and I’m passionate about creating work that focuses on intersectional and inclusive narratives. In addition to running 6 Degrees of Hapa, I write, design, and create art and films.
I draw inspiration for 6 Degrees of Hapa from my own cultural background by using imagery that often pops up throughout my life, like the kokeshi dolls from my grandparents’ house. Many of my designs have Hawaiian influences to honor and acknowledge where the word “hapa” comes from. I also bring in elements that mixed families can relate to, like food, because it’s a huge part of everyone’s cultural narrative and many foods would never have come into existence without mixed cultures and cuisines!
To me, “hapa” means that you’re a mix of cultures and it represents the idea of identity, community, and belonging. The word “hapa” has been interpreted in many ways over the years and, at times, its origin and contemporary use in the Hawaiian language have been forgotten. Hapa is a Hawaiian word that has several meanings including part, portion, fraction, and someone of mixed racial heritage. If you haven’t had a chance to research its history already, I encourage you to do so and consider what significance “hapa” holds for you.
When I set out to create 6 Degrees of Hapa, I set out to create a brand that celebrates hapas as individuals and the family, friends, and communities who hold us up and help make us who we are. So why 6 Degrees of Hapa? Well, everyone’s connected to a hapa!
Thanks for stopping in and for being a part of the 6º of Hapa Family!