RACISM IN JAPAN! 人種差別大國日本?

違ええんだよ!全然違えんだよ!そんなこと毛頭ございません!

実はネ、拙者を含めて多くの外国人がホザいて来た「ニッポンの人種差別」というのは、事実無根の愚痴に過ぎない。「『外人』は差別用語」だの「人に見られている」だの弱音を吐くより、先ずは全面的に自分達の日本語能力をレベルアップした方が遥かに得策。他人の国に住んでるのにその言葉をちゃんと学ぼうともしない我々外人=差別用語を語る資格の無い、迷惑的な存在だけだ。せやから、理不尽な主張を抜かす前に責任を取りましょう。何よりもここは日本で、国の主は日本国民(俺らも税金払ってんだけどね(笑))。そんなに辛い想いをしてるなら、他に200カ国ぐらいの国家がそこら辺に轉がってるし・・・

っちゅう事を、僕とYouTubeのTkyoSamが英語圏の皆さんに、今回のビデオを通して伝えたいと思った譯。殘念ながら内容は英語のみなんだけど、まあ、ターゲット層も英語圏の奴らだから或る程度合理的な選択かと存じまする!因みに、ワイは「植物中心食生活」(←関係ねえだろうがよ!^_^)のお陰で結構減量してるので、興味のある方は是非ご覧あれ!・・・やっぱり無いか・・・

Not really. In fact, not at all. In fact, people need to shut the truck up, learn Japanese (especially reading and writing), and stop overanalyzing every interaction they have in Japan like some kind of sociopathic girlfriend. As much fun as it is to try to demonize Japan, certain highly vocal countries which shall remain nameless have more racism between the cracks of their pinkie fingernails than Japan does in all 120 odd million of its bodies put together. We all need to give the people of the J-land a break (they’re busy at it is), and learn to have the finesse — I’m one to talk — to discern “racism” from misunderstanding from culture from just being a jerk. If you must hate something, hate individuals.

That’s the basic idea of the video was very kindly put up by TkyoSam. TkyoSam’s like “Konnichiwa, motherlover! I want sushi!”, and I’m like “No! I implement Fuhrman! Look how I’ve regained my girlish figure!” and he’s like “Like I give a truck! You don’t have to eat, just come! We’re recording video!”.

So we’re there, getting around like 寿司 on a 回転, recording a video while I eat peanuts out of my bag…Anyway, yeah — here ya go. Two parts.

And to the housing thing, let me add, you will never ever be prevented from living in nice places or from making PILES of dough in this country. And isn’t that what really matters? There’s really nothing to complain about. I mean, what, are we babies that need everyone around us to smile and applaud whenever we expel waste (グー!)? Is that it (for the record, I would actually like that, but this is early 21st century Japan, where most people simply have-no-time-for-you)? Extreme example…but it hints at something: namely, that what most people are really missing may be a loving family environment.

Remember: no likey = no havey to stayey. There are about 200 countries in the world, no use getting itchy haemmorrhoids over 1 [that’s smaller than California!].

  35 comments for “RACISM IN JAPAN! 人種差別大國日本?

  1. March 5, 2009 at 23:26

    This reminds me of my English professor. She lived in Japan for three years and during class claimed they were a racist and sexist country. However, if you knew her, you’d understand why she’d say that. And, me, being Japanese (in the sense that it’s the language I’m immersing in). I was offended, and so I began to ask questions and like you (Khatzumoto) said, if you’re looking for it, you’ll find it. This poor onna was obviously self-conscious and being overly analytic.

    Khatz, you’ve seen The Secret right? — This goes back to that “Law of Attraction.” Change the way you look at things and the rest falls into place. Thing is, it works both ways. Going into Japan, having preemptive thoughts about the people and culture will only disappoint you. Like you’ve said, Japan is full of normal people living normal lives.

    After interrogating my professor, she changed what she said from “sexist and racist” to “you’ll have an easier time as a guy.” — And, did I mention she never knew the language? Hmmm…

    Thanks for the video Khatzumoto. I was actually hoping this post was about the change you made to your SRS card format. 笑

  2. Anonymous
    March 5, 2009 at 23:43

    Oh god, I hope this whole “looking for trouble” argument isn’t a result of watching “the secret”. Only an idiot would actually… ah, screw it.

    Anyway, Khatz please make more posts related to learning japanese, how you did it, what other people are doing, etc.

    Thanks.

    p.s. Why are you producing video material for TkyoSam but not yourself? You could summarize your own articles in videos, that would get you more viewers/readers. Maybe that “consultant fee” you want to charge might get you rich, quick!

  3. March 5, 2009 at 23:53

    @Anonymous ↑:

    No no, I’ve seen the video. I was just using it as a reference because what they talk about makes sense. The idea that your state-of-mind has a lot to do with how you life plays out. Kind of how people magically become fluent in a language like Japanese because they said “sink or swim” and their mind adapted.

  4. March 6, 2009 at 06:11

    is it creepy that I already saw this video on TKYOSam’s channel before it was posted here? lol…

  5. Juz
    March 6, 2009 at 06:26

    @ igordesu
    I saw it too lol. A few days ago.

  6. Daniel
    March 6, 2009 at 10:47

    The only thing that I would really brand as unacceptable is the housing situation. Khatz, you mentioned that we work here and pay taxes just like everyone else…so why am I being denied an opportunity to rent a place just like everyone else? Its only based on my outer appearance (if my language deficiency is somehow making matters overly complicated, than maybe I could accept this, but you can be turned down even speaking perfect Japanese). There should be a law against this like there is in every other country that has signed international treaties on racial discrimination.

    Maybe we’re not citizens but thats only a difference of my passport when it comes to leasing an apartment or a house. Like I said, I work here, I pay taxes, I don’t break the law…but I can be denied just for my appearance. That biznaz has got to go.

    The other stuff that usually gets labeled racism is more a matter of ill-communication I would say. Either ignorance on the part of Japanese (people refusing to speak to you, frantically looking for another Japanese to direct their inquiries toward even though you’ve demonstrated ability to speak), or laziness of foreign residents and workers (not learning Japanese).

    But really, if your language is good these situations become few and faaaaaar between in my experience. Racism here aint like it is in America. Youre not gonna get a big Japanese posse trying to kick your ass or say really demeaning crap to you just because you look like you do. Most of the stuff that you’ll experience here just falls into the “really annoying” category.

    Its really easy folks if you can communicate, honestly. Had a friend blow up in a bar because he was called 外人. The Japanese guy I was talking to asked why, I told him that I didn’t like the word so much either and we just talked about it frankly and honestly. He said ok, I see your point, Ill try to use 外国人 or just find out the country where the person is from or something. No tears! But it couldnt have happened if I couldnt communicate well. So this is a good example of both parties willing to drop what normally gets in the way and causes these problems. Doesnt really matter what you think of this case or the word 外人, but I don’t think anyone can argue that if you cant communicate like a normal person you probably wont be treated as one. Here and any other country in the world. It just takes a little effort, so lets pull up our bootstraps and learn us some language folks!

  7. Thomas Johnson
    March 6, 2009 at 11:38

    Racism in Japan: An open letter from an illiterate
    Cc: Khatzumoto’s email account

    Khatzumoto,

    I have been reading AJATT and attempting to follow the methods you recommend, and I am currently half-way through Heisig’s book. You are an excellent writer with a great sense of humor and a talent for motivating people who read your work.

    I am a white man who is moving to Japan with my black wife, and I have of course experienced my share of ‘racial issues’ here in the United States. I had naturally heard about potential issues of racism in Japan. While some of your stories about what many would call racism is Japan were funny, in general they did not reassure me. However, I was even more disturbed by your attitude towards those who might be affected by the racism you describe.

    For instance, you seem to feel that unless you speak Japanese, you shouldn’t complain when you’re discriminated against, because you should have learned the language before you came here. Khatzu, I don’t deny that knowing the Japanese language is a useful skill. However, a large proportion of the United States doesn’t know how to speak English, and yet we still feel that they shouldn’t be discriminated against. Can you imaging how it would play in the U.S. if someone said, “I’m sorry, we don’t want non-English speakers in this apartment.”? Similarly, while it is wonderful that you were able to defuse the situation where you were being stopped repeatedly by police, the situation shouldn’t have existed in the first place.

    You also mention that “And to the housing thing, let me add, you will never ever be prevented from living in nice places or from making PILES of dough in this country. And isn’t that what really matters?” But as a well-educated person, you are I’m sure familiar with the basics of the economics of supply and demand. For a given number of foreigners, if there are fewer available places to live, then that drives up the foreigners’ average cost of living compared to if they could live anywhere. As you say, it doesn’t prevent you from making money or living in nice places, it just makes it a little harder. And making it a little harder for a certain race is really what a lot of discrimination is all about. After all, nobody prevented blacks during the mid-1900s from drinking water from public fountains or using public bathrooms or eating at restaurants — as long as they didn’t drink from the white fountains, use the white bathrooms, or try to eat at the white restaurants.

    But the idea that really struck me, and that motivated me to write this letter, was what you and your friend say about “if it is so bad in Japan, you should go back to where you came from” (around 6:15 in the first video). I suppose I’ve heard this sentiment expressed in America from various sources, but one of the first times I remember hearing it was on the Jerry Springer show, where he had a group of KKK members on stage. To paraphrase, they said that minorities who didn’t like how they were being treated in America should go back to their home country. Indeed, kicking out all the people who complain is one way to solve the problem. Another way, of course, is to stop engaging in the discrimination that makes them complain.

    Now maybe I am carrying some “baggage” from my experiences as an American as you say. But that baggage exists for good reason; it exists because some people in America waged a war for equality for more than a hundred years, and because in America that war isn’t completely over yet despite the election of President Obama. In Japan, it seems like people refuse to acknowledge that shots have even been fired, and you seem to be saying that if you’ve been discriminated against, it’s only because you went looking for a battle zone. But there should be no battle zones.

    Khatzumoto, in the writings on your website you stress intellectual individualism and the practice of ignoring people who tell you that “you can’t do it” or “it’s too hard.” I urge you to remain committed to that individualism, to stand up for yourself and for other people in Japan who are not ethnically Japanese, and not to take an apologist view of whatever discrimination you do encounter. Even if racism is rare, even if it can be circumvented, it is still unacceptable.

    Sincerely,
    Thomas Johnson
    Future resident of Japan

  8. Saif
    March 6, 2009 at 17:17

    You said “compared” several times, so I wanna add that foreigners are treated better than locals here in Jordan, do the comparison:)

  9. Max
    March 6, 2009 at 17:36

    Khatz, I can assure you that the situation with Germans is just like with Americans; There are more than enough of us who do speak and learn other languages, and do so happily. It’s just that only the idiots stand out and are more memorable than us other folks 🙁

  10. captal
    March 6, 2009 at 20:21

    Is it only me or does anyone else find TkyoSam incredibly hard to listen to? The guy uses the word like as often as a valley girl.

    Yesterday, I was sent to a school that I had never taught at before as a sub for a teacher who had “complications.” My company ordered a taxi to get there because there wasn’t a lot of time. On the way home I was asked to take the bus, and told “go to the main road and head right and you’ll see the bus stop.” After wandering for 15 minutes I hadn’t found the bus stop, so I asked an older Japanese man- すみません、バスの乗り場どちらですか? He asked where I was going, I told him I lived near a staion (about 15 minutes away). Instead of pointing me in the direction of the bus stop, he gives me a ride and drops his daughter off at bowling on the way (he was probably 75 and she was 50 something). We had a nice conversation the whole way. The point is, that would NEVER happen in America (and you probably wouldn’t accept the ride anyway)- but people in Japan have gone to ridiculous lengths to help me when I’m in a bind. If anything I see more reverse racism than anything else- people that go out of their way to help me just because I’m a foreigner. Or giving me gifts, or shops giving me “foreigner only” services (ie little goods like chopsticks or free coffee). Good luck with that in any English speaking country.

  11. Shea
    March 6, 2009 at 21:52

    This isn’t really racism at all but I too have experienced people going out of their way to get me “English menus” at restaurants and saying “Thank You” to me when I help them out…I really am making an effort to learn Japanese but people still assume I don’t or can’t. On the other hand, a few will speak only Japanese to me and when I reply back they smile and continue on with what we are doing, like they appreciate it. Other times I’ll get a random “HELLO” from strangers, and if I’m feeling a bit humorous I’ll say hello back in Spanish or something just for kicks. But I do let them know I understood hehe.

    Anyway, nothing severe I’ve come across. I have met some dumbass gaijin though that EXPECT to be treated as royalty in Japan because they are foreigners. I generally stay away from them.

  12. 誰かさん
    March 7, 2009 at 04:35

    @ Thomas Johnson

    I believe you are making a few ill fit comparisons between the US and Japan. I also don’t think Khatzumoto looks so lightly on discrimination towards 在日朝鮮人.
    There’s quite a difference between having a negative opinion of a person who emigrates of their own volition somewhere without first learning the adequate language skills to survive, and having a negative opinion of someone who was born and grew up somewhere but simply has a different heritage than the majority population.

    Also, in my experience, even in the US, people tend to be very accommodating to people with broken language skills, provided they are showing an effort.

  13. Abbas
    March 7, 2009 at 11:12

    Hi Khatz,

    I was a JET a long long time ago in a time-space far far away. Actually it was a small town in west Tokyo, with one main road from town to my place. I was a shiny new gaijin with a shiny new bike. Half way home was a keisatsu-koban (police box). The first time I got stopped was because I was a shiny gaijin on a shiny expensive bike. The next time was ‘cos my light wasn’t on. After that, I think they just stopped me for a chat, since they had no riots or other crimes to take care of. After a while it was kind of just a regular chat. I don’t think these guys (mostly) want to cause trouble; it’s just a good excuse to show they’re doing the police thing, and as long as you’ve nothing to hide and doing nothing wrong, then it’s just a few minutes out of your schedule to help these guys feel like they’ve done something that day.

    I often imagine Japanese police in training camps rolling and scuffling along the ground, hiding behind trees to ambush foreigners and give them directions to places…

  14. Shhhtephen
    March 7, 2009 at 16:33

    SO Khatz since you slightly mentioned it in this post on the book by Fuhrman why don’t you let us in a little more on it and what kind of Japanese food you can eat because if Sushi’s is out then what the heck can you eat. I clicked the link lots of positive buyers remarks but if Sushi is out such a book would scare me. I mean I was a Vegan for four years of my life once upon a time but I couldn’t contain such a diet with the delicious atmosphere that Japan has to offer. So yeah um enlighten me.

  15. March 7, 2009 at 18:15

    What Khatz has stated here is some of the very reasons as to why I don’t hanbg out with certain foreigners. All they do is whine about all the “racism” in Japan. Why are they HERE!?! Bloody foreigners! Wait…did I just make a racist comment against foreigners? I guess if there’s any racism against foreigners in this country, it’s coming from me.

  16. madamada
    March 7, 2009 at 19:01

    As far as some westerners in Japan are concerned, any Japanese who isn’t kissing their ass is a rascist.

  17. Scuba
    March 8, 2009 at 00:56

    Hey Khatz, first time post… love your site, thank you so much!

    But, I had to comment on the racism thing. I lived in Japan for about 2 years, and I did experience a few small incidents of open racism.

    i8.photobucket.com/albums/a9/stillbornsinger/060131_220001.jpg?t=1236439882

    That picture pretty much sums up my bad experiences…. There were several places I just wasn’t welcome as a foreigner. I didn’t really care all that much, because most of the places I couldn’t get into wern’t really places I wanted to go anyways. But there were several bars that would say things like. “Sorry, members only” or just outright だめ to any foreigners that tried to enter. (mostly buy-me-drink places, but not all, a few clubs too.) and according to my girlfriend at the time that was only foreigners they would ever say that too.

    In there defense though, this was near an American military base and I think they had a lot of bad experiences with service members (unfortunate) but that kind of killed it for everyone else.

    The other racism(?) that I experienced was more of the good type, like mentioned above. People would go out of their way to help me and make things more comfortable for me. Like for instance I stayed at a Japanese hospital for about a month, and they went out of their way to give me a fork, milk, and (nasty) bread with every meal instead of chopsticks, milk, and glorious Japanese rice. I had to keep telling the nurses to bring me what they were bringing the other patients.

    Otherwise, I felt like a rock star half the time I was over there because of the positive attention you get from the ladies… maybe it’s just cause they are learning English, or because they think foreigners are cool… whatever the case it works out to the 外人’s advantage more often than not.

  18. beneficii
    March 8, 2009 at 09:28
  19. March 8, 2009 at 10:13

    beneficii’s link is for C and Java too! It’s at the bottom of the page once you click the link. Thanks a lot! 🙂

  20. bubble
    March 9, 2009 at 04:01

    Yes, very useful. 😀

    I’m currently (since last night) reading an intro to Java text in French, mainly because I want to learn how to talk about programming in French, but also to brush up on Java. I took an introductory programming course more than a year ago that was mostly Java, and a game design course the following quarter that was mostly C# (which is syntactically similar to Java) but since then I’ve gotten out of practice.

    Anyway, I noticed that the text I’m reading does not contain Hello World or any French translation thereof (I searched for ‘hello’, ‘world’, ‘bonjour’, and ‘monde’). So I’m sort of wondering if that’s a U.S. only or English only thing, and if there are any standard intro programs (that is, the first program you would see in an introductory text for almost any programming language) in other languages. The intro program in this text is called ‘PremierEssai’ (FirstTry). It creates an integer, gives it the value of 2, and does nothing with it. Boring.

    As for the topic of this entry, I remember one time I told someone I wanted to go to Japan and they informed me that it was the most misogynistic country in the world, to which I raised my eyebrows, told them that I knew it was patriarchal (like just about everywhere else) but that I doubted it was the worst. I think there are a lot of people who either idealize or demonize Japan, and both camps tend to be all too eager to convince others.

  21. DaNn0
    March 9, 2009 at 10:36

    I can’t resist leaving a comment slightly prematurely asI am at work and can’t watch the video yet, so maybe I’ll be back to eat my words, but from the text of the post I do feel a comment is neccessary.

    While racism/ discrimination based on race in Japan can certainly be outdown by many so called developed countries, and yeah yeah, it aint so bad here, it diesn’t nean there isn’t rom for improvement. Especially considering most of us reading and commenting on here are English speakers. People with an english speaking background get a free pass here to some extent, especially if you are caucasian. but spare a thought for the very real discriminatyion experienced by those from other asian nations, or anywhere lower on Japans ethnic hierarchy. As much as we shouldn’t blow it out of proportion, or imagine discrimination where there isn’t, we should also not accept, ignore, or deny it where it really does exist. As the dude said earlier, other countries have improved on this front, as has Japan, but only because people speak up, and do not tolerate such mentalities, in whatever extent, have they managed to move forward. Shutting up and going home is an insult to those who went before us, and fought the battles they did so we wouldnt have to.

  22. DaNn0
    March 9, 2009 at 10:37

    sorry, im typing with one hand due to injury, too many typos to even poke a discriminatory stick at.

  23. Mark
    March 9, 2009 at 11:00

    Actually, there *is* a great deal of racism in Japan and at least with regard to the limits of “acceptable speech”, there is more than exists in the West. I’m talking here about anti-Chinese sentiment (which is rife) – I’ve only ever met one Japanese person who didn’t profess a dislike of Chinese people and this includes several people who study Chinese… (though I do live in one the less cosmopolitan areas of Japan…) and don’t get them started on the Chinese dust! Recently I had someone telling me they blame the Chinese for their hayfever. Obviously the recent food scandals have only added grist to their mill.
    Also, try asking a Japanese person why they don’t like Sumo… then imagine if you recieved a similar response in America. What would your opinion of that person be?
    Whether or not this makes Japan more racist or rather, less politically correct – the fact remains that there is racism in Japan.
    However, I have to agree that while racist attitudes undoubtably exist, I’ve personally never experienced anything but courtesy and kindness from Japanese people and agree that foreign people living in Japan can be very quick to see racism where none exists.

  24. March 9, 2009 at 14:37

    I don’t know if anyone else knows about this, but if you’re still in the states and you don’t want to pay those outrageous prices for shipping from Amazon.co.jp, you can use this website: www.sasugabooks.com/index.php

    They’ve got lots of books and manga, and it’s not that expensive even. And, last I remember the shipping was either very inexpensive or free for people in the states. Either way, it beats the heck out of Amazon’s shipping prices. And, you can even special order! So, if there’s a book you want, they’ll get it for you. 🙂

  25. March 9, 2009 at 16:09

    Most of the “racsim” I have seem images of from japan could be taken many different ways. Like the sign saying “Japanese only”. Normally I would take that to mean the language not the race, but since people don’t have the language or experience to know other wise some take it as racist.
    Also the sign saying “No foreigners ” to me means they had lots of trouble with forgivers in the past. Maybe not giving them notice of leaving or not knowing the amount to pay or what was expected of them. Basically the only way to know if someone is raciest is to talk with them with them.

  26. Ken
    March 14, 2009 at 11:55

    I totally agree with Khtaz at the end. A lot of the foreigners in Japan (and from my experience I’m talking about white English speakers) don’t do much for Japan. They “teach” English and mill about boozing and partying. Now if that is the life style they choose to pursue, so be it. I too enjoy partying and drinking once in a while, but I realize every action I take in public will shape the view of foreigners in my area. (I don’t like in a major metropolitan area)

    I think people need to see that they are ambassadors for their country and for all foreigners of their country. If someones goes out and gives a Japanese landlord some trouble… it is almost NATURAL that they would expect the same trouble with a future foreigner. I know many foreigners who leave Japan and don’t pay bills or leave their apartment trashed… and every one of these incidents hurt EVERYONE… not just the party involved.

    For people in America…. what are the stereotypes for Chinese? Japanese? Hispanics? etc.. etc..

    Guess what… in Japan they have a stereotype for whites, blacks, Chinese, Koreans, and the list goes on and on. Before people start yelling racism…. why don’t they try to look at it from a different perspective. I’ve hit a few walls myself, but I got what I wanted in the end… because with a little patience I was able to prove myself and improve the image of foreigners as a whole.

  27. March 14, 2009 at 12:27

    Do the cops in Japan actually have the right to stop you?
    I rode by one on my bike once and he ran after me for half a block shouting.
    (and I had a light and everything!)

    Pretty hard to stop someone on a bicycle when you are on foot.

  28. Buddy Jones
    April 8, 2009 at 03:50

    アメリカだったら、黒人だからこのアパートに住んじゃだめって言われたら同じ「そういう人が経営してるところに住みたくない」って反応をするのかな?

    もちろんそういうとこに住みたくないけど、そういうのは明らかに人種差別だよ。

    こういう扱いされたくないなら出ろと言う考え方もどうかと思うんだよね。

    もちろん日本に行くなら日本語を学ぶべきだけど、日本語ができてもちゃんとした「この人は頼りになる」ような格好をしても、礼儀や挨拶を上手く使ってもこういう場合もあるんだ。

    過去に外人と悪い経験があったかもしれない。それも同感できるけど、人種差別は人種差別。
    外人だから特別優しい扱いも人種差別になる。

    日本の外人向き差別はアメリカや他の国よりひどくないと言っても人種差別は許したほうがいいものじゃない。

    I have a dream

  29. samuel welsh
    July 27, 2009 at 09:53

    The japanese are not racist.

    This chap on the video is not a good europen his behavour should be avoided.

  30. Non-Japanese Asian in Nippon
    December 11, 2009 at 14:46

    Khatz,

    With all due respect, but you ought to stick to language learnin’ and keep away from the social issues and perhaps maybe avoid downplaying what certain individuals have suffered by living in this country. Maybe you’re not, but it seems as though you’re treating this thing frivously by the tone of your writing. For example: “There’s really nothing to complain about. I mean, what, are we babies that need everyone around us to smile and applaud whenever we expel waste”. Very cheeky, but also very condescending.

    Your perspective is off. You’re suggesting that there is racism in Japan in the way you compare its racism to other countries. That DOES NOT suggest the non-existence of racism in Japan. Moreover, just because certain countries are more vocal about their racism and in extreme cases more violent about it, does not suggest a gap in severity. You should know pretty well that it is a “cultural behaviour” for Japanese to be reserved in their expressions, which includes racist opinions. I’ve met quite a few Japanese people who have expressed their hatred towards Chinese people–I have a buddy who lives in a complex in Kobe (a very nice one) and he tells me that very few Japanese people have acquired residence in the complex for the reason that they do not want to have Chinese people as their landlords. Too bad for the Japanese people huh? Cheap rent and an awesome sight from the hills overlooking the city of Kobe? Yeah!…..well, still doesn’t take away from the fact that this is straight up racism. I have a private student (very nice guy) who, everytime we talk about economics, always has something to say about his hatred towards Chinese people. Also, I’ve seen in the classroom some students making condescending comments about Filipinos or making fun of a girl (albeit lightly) because she’s half-Filipino. I doubt Japanese people think highly of Filipinos. I’m Filipino myself and gave these children a pass because well, they are children. I can go on and on. Also, I’ve been meeting more and more Japanese people who will not deny that Japanese society is rife with racism.

    I myself have benefitted from your advice on language lernin’, to the point where some students really think I’m Japanese (I don’t look Filipino–I look more like I’m from North Asia–China, Korea, Japan). When I speak in Japanese, I really own it, and really “become” Japanese, although sometimes I can be a crude, Kansai-ben speaking one, heh. In any case, in professional situations, and how I generally carry myself, I’ve been able to prove myself to Japanese people and show them that non-Japanese Asians can be professional, classy, and forgiving. Isn’t it strange though that I have something to “prove” to the Japanese as a non-Japanese Asia? I mean, it was never really a pressure back home in Toronto, why should it be a social pressure now?

    I’ve been a victim of racist comments here in Japan and general 外人 discrimination in a church (of all places huh?), and I won’t get into it, and I don’t know how much you’ve experienced racism yourself here in Japan, but for those who say “stop complaining and leave the country”, I think you ought to think where some of us (making amateur, social commentary on Japan) are coming from. For some of us, the comments we make are not so much complaints, but perhaps an observation of reality. Sure, we can “complain” about Japan and you can recommend us to leave the country, why don’t you do the same to those who experience racism in England? In America? In Italy? If people are sick of white rednecks in the south saying the N word to them, why dont you just tell them to suck it up and just leave? I don’t think Japan is such a special case that we can exclude them from cases of racism. Japanese society of course will not bring this issue up, so I think it’s important that people who have experienced racism in this country should speak out. I personally am not gonna live in this country forever, so it is pointless for me to invest in time to topple down the whole system. I just do work where I am called, educate the students who are not spineless that they can be honest about the deficiences in the Japanese system, and give them enough tools to make the reforms they want to see in this country. At the same time, I am gonna benefit from this country and learn kobujutsu, learn Japanese (so I can learn kanji, better communicate with my students, read more Japanese literature, and give myself reference points and study methods to learn another language and to teach language), learn more about teaching methods, and take all my bad experiences here in Japan and turn that into a book of empowerment :D.

    No, not all 128 people are all up on your grill, and I have some very dear Japanese friends who are so far from all this racism bulls*t, but Japanese society itself is contaminated with racist elements–even my Japanese friends will not deny that. Perhaps you yourself have some great Japanese friends, and perhaps you are vouching for them. That’s cool, power to the people, son. However, you need to see the bigger picture. You have your small circle of Japanese friends,and your oba-chan that gives you free apples (I used to have that too when I was living in a small town in Hyogo. Now I live in Osaka. Oh how I miss free apples…and oba-chan), but these wonderful people, a wonderful exception, does not hide the racism that you complain too many gaijins complain about.

  31. samuel welsh
    July 12, 2010 at 21:12

    Japanese people are not racist acept the police in some areas could be

  32. vidhi
    September 10, 2010 at 17:38

    I cant say anything but from what i’ve heard from my japanese teacher nd my father is that japan is an amazing country safe n clean.Nd i’ll b going there to study in the near future.The thing i know is that every country big or small has individuals who r racist nd stuff n the truth is if u will behave yourself nd wont give the people any trouble then they’ll definitely accept you.I’ve heard many japanese people say that they hate the way sometimes tourists r treated in their country but that goes for every country.Nd if ur planning to go to japan its better that u learn the language so that there’s no communicational gap(which is the biggest cause of all the problems)nd accept their rules nd customs

  33. Jones
    October 6, 2010 at 08:22

    Daniel: “why am I being denied an opportunity to rent a place just like everyone else? … There should be a law against this like there is in every other country that has signed international treaties on racial discrimination.”

    Ah, yes! If there was a law, everything would be fine! :/

    I live in America, and I’ve been apartment hunting here (in very liberal cities!) where landlords have said “Sure, I’ll rent to you — the only people I don’t rent to are __, even though legally we’re supposed to, but I don’t want them around here”. Presumably these landlords don’t tell the __ this, and come up with another reason to convince them to leave.

    Unless you get someone who finds out about the violation and also wants to spend the time/money to fight a legal battle over it, a law might not do much at all. Yep, it would make Japan the land of racial harmony, like, uh, America!

    I don’t know what your experience with racism in America is, but I’ve not actually seen anyone here be a victim of violence because of race. It’s the “really annoying” kind here, too.

    • mariot
      August 9, 2011 at 23:20

      I experienced lot of trouble renting apartment to foreigners in Tokyo.
      I dont want to mention their nationality but I remember a guy
      running English school in Tokyo for several years saying
       “Nihongo wakarimasen(I dont understand Japanese)” whenever I
      call him to pay the rent.
      So the conversation was like this.
      Me:I just want you to pay the rent man. Namennayo.
      He:You are disturbing my private hours. I can sue you.
      Me: Oh yeah? then start learning Japanese ASAP.
      He:Japanese law dont protect land lords. Youre going to lose.
      Me:Heres lots of things other than laws, you will regret to learn.
      I feel sorry for foreigner looking for apartment but I dont want to get
      in trouble. Its nothing racial.

  34. Catherine
    December 26, 2011 at 08:25

    I was actually wondering if there was any sexism in Japan. I’m a foreigner and female from the US but I’m overweight. I know they like women being thin and tall and not sure if they’d judge me on that. :S
     
    I hardly know anything on this subject so yeah. ^^;

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