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Does Japan hate me?

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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby datdo » Sat 01.06.2007 11:16 pm

b4d0m3n wrote:
The class was filled with Asians, and out of something like thrity people there were only three Caucasians, including myself. Quite honestly, I had never before experienced this.


wow.... thats me in every class(except gym) since 6th grade. I'm usually one of 2 or 3 black kids in my classes but I've gotten use to it.

In middle school my school was almost exactly half black half white. I was in all top classes but there were usually only two other black kids in my classes. (the same two black kids too but neither were carribean. One was a direct african immigrant. The other didn't know his heritage well...)

I got a little rattle at the summer camp JHU CTY (Center for Talented Youth) because instead of white ppl there were asians but I got use to it too.

For high school I go to a private school so I am usually one of two black kids in my class but thats only because it seems that they group us together...
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby two_heads_talking » Mon 01.08.2007 1:19 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
If you learn too much about Japan and interact too much with the Japanese, you start to tend towards the Bitter Asshole.....


learning too much and interacting with Japanese = bitter asshole? (i know you were generalizing) but how so. how does learning too much about Japan make one bitter? What exactly is it that you are speaking of?
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby Rounin T » Mon 01.08.2007 2:24 pm

My experience hasn't been quite the same, though it may be that I just haven't learned enough about Japan to become a bitter asshole. As I learn more, the surprises come mixed -- some good and some bad. I didn't have any great expectations to begin with, though.

I think it's possible to hate any country, culture, or community as one acquires more information, especially when starting with lofty ideals. Every nation has its own dirty little secrets. I haven't yet caught on to what makes Japan somehow worse.
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby zenkudai » Mon 01.08.2007 3:10 pm

I have been guilty of this. In our school last year, a japanese transfer student came to our school, which has never happened before. I had no racism or bad feelings toward her, I was just too afraid of speaking to her, because I was afraid of being too forward or offending her (or put her in an awkward situation by speaking english in simplified form, treating her like she didn't know the language, or expecting too much and speaking familiarized english). I think it may be the same thing in the reverse situation, that some people are curious but don't want to be too forward and offend someone by introducing themselves out of nowhere, though I could be way off the mark in this case.
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby Dehitay » Mon 01.08.2007 3:15 pm

two_heads_talking wrote:
Yudan Taiteki wrote:
If you learn too much about Japan and interact too much with the Japanese, you start to tend towards the Bitter Asshole.....


learning too much and interacting with Japanese = bitter asshole? (i know you were generalizing) but how so. how does learning too much about Japan make one bitter? What exactly is it that you are speaking of?

it probly refers to people who are bitter assholes to begin with. If they don't believe Japan to be a normal place, they don't act normal themselves. But the more they realize it's just a civilization, the more their true form shows.
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby Schattenjedi » Mon 01.08.2007 3:58 pm

zenkudai wrote:
I have been guilty of this. In our school last year, a japanese transfer student came to our school, which has never happened before. I had no racism or bad feelings toward her, I was just too afraid of speaking to her, because I was afraid of being too forward or offending her (or put her in an awkward situation by speaking english in simplified form, treating her like she didn't know the language, or expecting too much and speaking familiarized english). I think it may be the same thing in the reverse situation, that some people are curious but don't want to be too forward and offend someone by introducing themselves out of nowhere, though I could be way off the mark in this case.


It's OK to talk to people... You'll know after about 15 seconds what her level of English is like and you can adjust it accordingly. Don't overthink the situation.
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby Mike Cash » Tue 01.09.2007 3:49 am

two_heads_talking wrote:
Yudan Taiteki wrote:
If you learn too much about Japan and interact too much with the Japanese, you start to tend towards the Bitter Asshole.....


learning too much and interacting with Japanese = bitter asshole? (i know you were generalizing) but how so. how does learning too much about Japan make one bitter? What exactly is it that you are speaking of?


Another usenet cut-n-paste will save me some typing:


I could do an anti-Japan(ese) rant that would make Ed look like a rank
amateur.

These days I have to purposely restrict my exposure to things that
would serve to further inflate my negative opinion of the Japanese as
a group and try to limit myself to exposure to my immediate real-world
Japanese acquaintances so I can have daily reinforcement of the fact
that they're not ALL assholes.

A big part of the problem in my particular case is that 99% of the
time I have for observing the Japanese is when they are on their
absolute worst behavior (i.e. when they're driving). Some people might
contend that people are at their worst when they're drunk, since
alcohol removes many societal inhibitions. But while alcohol might
allow some people to reveal their mean, combative, irritating, or
otherwise asocial sides, it also gives us a fair proportion of happy,
friendly, and gregarious drunks. For the Japanese, gripping a steering
wheel releases far more inhibitions than gripping a bottle does, yet
doesn't lead to anyone acting in a more friendly or courteous manner
than they do when *not* under the influence of a steering wheel. So
taken all around, you'd be more likely to come away with a favorable
impression of the Japanese as a group if you spent 12 hours a day
surrounded by drunken Japanese strangers than if you spent 12 hours a
day surrounded by Japanese strangers at the wheel.
Never underestimate my capacity for pettiness.
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby keatonatron » Tue 01.09.2007 4:23 am

Man, if you have to try that hard to enjoy living in Japan, I seriously suggest considering a change of profession. This sounds just like your "glass of water" post, both of which I can not relate to at all.

Even though I didn't have super-high expectations for Japan when I first arrived, it still looked shiner than it actually is--mostly because I couldn't read advertisements or understand what people were saying. Now that I've really gotten into the thick of it, I've come to see that it's a normal country with many problems, just like everywhere else in the world.

Even though I regularly face things I don't particularly enjoy, I feel a much stronger bond to my Japanese friends than to my American friends back home, and I love my life here so much more than the one I had at home. I don't have to work at keeping the water in the glass, because it simply never leaves.

If you can't have that type of fulfilling life because of your work, that is really really sad. :(
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby Mike Cash » Tue 01.09.2007 5:16 am

keatonatron wrote:
Man, if you have to try that hard to enjoy living in Japan, I seriously suggest considering a change of profession. This sounds just like your "glass of water" post, both of which I can not relate to at all.

If you can't have that type of fulfilling life because of your work, that is really really sad. :(


No, what is sad is how Japanese transmogrify behind the perceived anonymity afforded by a windshield. People who walking down the sidewalk would unconsciously shift to allow easy passage of others will go out of their way to cut people off or otherwise engage in overt acts of assholery when at the wheel.

What I didn't mention was how the problem was amplified at the time by the fact that I had been doing quite a bit of reading of Japanese books related to my interest, which is the criminal justice system. If a person wants to have their opinion of the Japanese as a people drawn to new lows, all that is necessary is to deeply inform one's self of the various vile and nasty acts they perpetrate on each other....something which normally doesn't enter the gaijin eye.

As I said, I recognized that the combination of my intense self-education via vernacular works and direct daily observations of people when on their absolute worst behavior was doing nothing but dragging my opinion of the place and people in a rapid downward spiral.

Hence, despite my interest in the topic, I entirely cut out reading books on the subject of Japanese crime. Further, I made a conscious decision not to expose myself to any news of such things. As for cutting down similar effects at work, I found that adding the idiocy of the Bob & Tom show podcast to my daily listening worked wonders. It's easier to laugh off what the idiots around me are up to when I'm already laughing at something else.

I recognized the problem and took actions to counter it. Years ago. I'm not bitter, and I do enjoy my work. At any rate, I find it beats the hell out of English teaching. At least it does for me. I did it, and was pretty good at it. But my personality wasn't really suited for it. I went from a job with at least a small matter of prestige to one with absolutely none, andI made twice as much money working about half the hours teaching English, but it wore on me far, far worse than anything I encounter in my current work. I won't say I'd never go back to it, but I do fervently pray that I never have to.
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby Schattenjedi » Tue 01.09.2007 5:36 am

Mike Cash wrote:

What I didn't mention was how the problem was amplified at the time by the fact that I had been doing quite a bit of reading of Japanese books related to my interest, which is the criminal justice system. If a person wants to have their opinion of the Japanese as a people drawn to new lows, all that is necessary is to deeply inform one's self of the various vile and nasty acts they perpetrate on each other....something which normally doesn't enter the gaijin eye.


Are these crimes you speak of unique to Japan? If so, could you give an example?
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby paul_b » Tue 01.09.2007 5:43 am

Schattenjedi wrote:
Mike Cash wrote:
If a person wants to have their opinion of the Japanese as a people drawn to new lows, all that is necessary is to deeply inform one's self of the various vile and nasty acts they perpetrate on each other....something which normally doesn't enter the gaijin eye.


Are these crimes you speak of unique to Japan? If so, could you give an example?


I don't think he was implying that. No doubt all that is necessary (for a Japanese person) to lower their opinion of the English as a people is to deeply inform oneself of [かくかくしかじか] It's just that Mike happens to be a gaijin in Japan rather than a foreigner in England (or whatever).
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby RpgN » Tue 01.09.2007 5:47 am

Well, by reading your comments guys, it's seems like it's impossible to become good friends with the Japanese people. I'm sure they are happy if they see some gaijins are trying their best to learn the Japanese language. In the end, you can only hope that they accept you as you are and don't try too be too crazy about the Japanese culture. If you show them that you are interested in their culture but also willing to learn some new stuff from them, then I think it works. But hey, I haven't been to Japan yet. I'm hoping to go there once I become 23-25 (I'm 18 now). I think people won't be afraid of my looks, since I have brown hair and eyes and my height is 1,63 m. Only the faice looks a bit different, but that's oke.

Not all the people in Holland are accepting foreign people, but somehow they accepted us. Since I was 10 I lived in Holland, but it's still hard to try and be exactly like them. So I think that don't try to be too much like Japanese people, because that won't happed. They will always treat you as a gaijin, but they are nice and you can make friends easily with them. I once had a penpal friend from Japan and she was so nice. She once said to me that when I come to Japan, she would welcome me in Osaka and that I can sleep with them in vacation :( Too bad that somehow I lost contact with her and now I lost her email-adress.
Last edited by RpgN on Tue 01.09.2007 5:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby Mike Cash » Tue 01.09.2007 6:14 am

RpgN wrote:
Well, by reading your comments guys, it's seems like it's impossible to become good friends with the Japanese people.


Nononononono, not at all.

I normally refrain from posting things like that in areas where I know there is a preponderance of people who don't have personal experience in Japan that will serve as a buffer or a filter to prevent their coming away with an unbalanced and unfair perception of Japan. Please note that the post was a cut-n-paste of a post I made to a usenet group which is primarily populated by other very long term foreign residents of Japan.

Someone like keatonatron, for example, has his own experiences to draw upon and comes up with a rational "Sux to be you" type response. Others without that are apt to come away with nothing other than an unfair negative image, one which will get blown out of proportion in their minds over time and with subsequent retelling to others.

A very important thing to keep in mind is that while I am fully capable of sitting down and bitching about the country and the people for hours on end, I do still live here by my own free choice and have done so for longer than many of our friends here at TJP have been on the planet. Use that as a filter when reading the negative.
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby Schattenjedi » Tue 01.09.2007 6:32 am

paul_b wrote:
Schattenjedi wrote:
Mike Cash wrote:
If a person wants to have their opinion of the Japanese as a people drawn to new lows, all that is necessary is to deeply inform one's self of the various vile and nasty acts they perpetrate on each other....something which normally doesn't enter the gaijin eye.


Are these crimes you speak of unique to Japan? If so, could you give an example?


I don't think he was implying that. No doubt all that is necessary (for a Japanese person) to lower their opinion of the English as a people is to deeply inform oneself of [かくかくしかじか] It's just that Mike happens to be a gaijin in Japan rather than a foreigner in England (or whatever).


True enough, but did you hear about this crime?

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/news/20070105i206.htm
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby keatonatron » Tue 01.09.2007 7:40 am

I'd say that while Japan's overall crime rate is quite low, their ratio of extreme/grotesque crimes are much higher.

I heard about one guy (early 20's) who kidnapped a little girl and kept her in his room at his parents' house for something like 12 years, when she was finally found and released at age 17 or 18. Her entire education came from the TV; she couldn't read or write, and lacked a lot of general knowledge. He would buy food at the convenience store and sneak it in to her, and his parents never knew what was going on. Talk about royally screwing someone up for life.
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