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Does Japan hate me?

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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby kohyin » Fri 12.22.2006 7:26 pm

Very interesting thread.

First of all, I would like to ask you not to include me in the people who believes that "日本人論”. I never read that theory... I also would like to suggest that it doesn't mean all the Japanese believe in that theory just because it was written by a Japanese. I am almost sure that one could find such an extremists in other countries as well. I read about DNA banking of so-called suprerior genes a while ago and that was on an English publication...

A girl from Germany (a freind of my friend) once visited me in Tokyo. She had pias(I don't know how to spell them but those nose rings and such) all over her and her hair was multiple colored. I am not exactly conservative (used to have one on my nose), but she was overly colorful to my taste so I'd asumed that other older Japanese might have some issues with her appearance. She took off and hitch hiked northern part of Japan and came back in one piece. I wouldn't recommend any young girl to go hitch hiking, but I learned that there were many generous and kind people out there in Japan. She did not only save her money on transportations but also lodgings and foods by being invited to stay at the drivers' homes. Apparently, her over-the-top colorful appearance didn't bother any of those country folks and that was over 2 decades ago.

I have met plenty good hearted young American military men and women in Tokyo. I remember once at a train station, a drunk man was being rough to his lady. Sadly, in my opinion, Japanese people in general tend to keep to themselves and ignore bad things happening around them unless it is happening to the people close to themselves. Two young (I believe) Navy men walked right up to the drunk man who was about to beat the lady and stopped him. Of course, the two American men probably didn't leave any good impression to the drunk man, but they left a very good impression to me and most likely many others. I also knew an airforce couple who lived outside the base to experience the traditional way of Japanese living. They rented a small apartment and used Japanese real futon (not those thick American futons) for their bedding. I think that the futon must have been too short for them, but it didn't seem to bother them.

It is true that there are some young American military people misbehave sometimes and there are reasons for some nightclubs and restaurants owners to be relutant of accepting those young men -- I believe it is unfair because not all of them misbehave, often Japanese drunk old men misbehave as well. But, unfortunately, young military men look stronger and rougher. Also, they speak the lanuguage the shop owners do not understand. I suppose it is racism but, imagine yourself facing a group of guys bigger than yourself and not being able to communicate with them. You hear about some of them raping local highschool girls and what not. The rumor grows and you have the imagination! You are pretty scared by the time you face a few drunk big guys like that, wouldn't you be?

When I was young, my best friend was from Seatle. She is a blond with blue (could have been greenish blue) eyes. We used to be treated very well at Disco clubs. They would always slip us in even if there were a long line. Waiters used to get us a good seat and they were all very friendly to US -- so I thought.. One day, I went to one of the clubs with my other Japanese friend. Then, I realized that the special treatment was all because of my blond friend... :(

I had many non-Japanese friends back in Tokyo. Often I would be walking around with a non-Japanese young man -- sometimes with my boyfriend, sometimes with a collegue, or jsut with a friend. Anyways, one night when a non-Japanese young male friend and I were chatting and waiting for other friends to show up, a fairly young Japanese man walked by and called me by the derogatory name (I don't remember the word now) for the girls who serviced American military men at leisure districts(?) right after the WWII. I was very shocked but I didn't respond on it being afraid that my friend might end up fighting with the man. Funny thing was that this young Japanese man himself was in a so-called international bar where lots of non-Japanese and international business people gathered. I reckon, he was jealous. I remember feeling a bit self-concious walking with my non-Japanese friends for a while. That was 2 decades ago, and I hope such inferrior complex is gone by now.

Originally my parents certainly were prejudiced toward non-Japanese. I think they were afraid that they might lose their only daughter to abroad. On the other hand, my father used to tell me that no Japanese man would marry me because of my strong personality... guess what it has proven to be true. B) I met an American surfer while studying Spanish in Mexico...

Prejudice is a lot to do with ignorance. My parents loved my best girl friend from Seatle after they got to know her. They adore my husband and, of course, their happa grandson. :)

Don't be afraid of prejudice. Be a friendly and kind person. Usually, frindly person attracts friendly people.

My advice is "gou ni itte wa gou ni shitagae (郷に入っては郷に従え)" - respect the rule of the locals, and "koketsu ni iranzun ba koji wo ezu (虎穴にいらずんば虎児を得ず)” − you won't catch a cub if you don't enter a tiger's den.

Wishing you a wonderful trip to Japan!
Last edited by kohyin on Fri 12.22.2006 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby Harisenbon » Fri 12.22.2006 7:35 pm

Adding on to what Mike said,

before I started working in Nagoya, I got kind of weirded out whenever I saw a foreigner. When I talked about this to one of my co-workers, they were really surprised. "But YOU'RE a foreigner. How can you be surprised by seeing other foreigners?"

The thing is, I don't spend much time looking in the mirror, so the only people I ever saw were Japanese. It doesn't matter what *I* look like, because I don't spend all day looking at myself. I was only used to seeing Japanese faces.
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby kohyin » Fri 12.22.2006 8:45 pm

mewarmo990 wrote:
I've read all of that....

So what about Asian-Americans? I'm Chinese-American, and if I go to Japan I'm scared people will just assume I know the Japanese language and customs. Then I get to look like an idiot explaining that I'm only learning Japanese. Bleh.


Sympathy to you.
I had a friend (actually my former boss's wife) who was a Japanese 3-sei who didn't speak a word of Japanese. I remember she used to come to office pretty upset because people gave her disapproving look because she didn't speak Japanese despite she looked very Japanese... but, people who knew her treated her well. So make friends!
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby kohyin » Fri 12.22.2006 8:54 pm

It's never easy to be the "odd man out". I work for a Japanese company and I am the only non-Japanese person there, out of about 140 employees. As a driver, I have to visit our customers and also go to various container yards in Tokyo and Yokohama....where again I am the only non-Japanese person.


One of my younger brother is in the business... now I know why you don't understand the word "holidays".
Hope you get to see your family at least during 大晦日and 元旦!

Wishing you a happy new year!
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby Xenomorph » Sat 12.23.2006 6:26 pm

My experiences in Japan have been quite similar to some echoed here in that the responses I get are in decidedly reluctantly spoken (and broken) English despite the fact that I have initiated a discussion in English.

The way I see it is that I don't consider the person I am speaking to is judging me, but simply reacting to the situations that they have with the vast majority of foreigners travelling there: a lot expect everyone universally to know English. I have a friend who is like this in fact and he is going on a trip to Tokyo with me in Feb which I hope will be an eye opener for him.
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby Hatori » Tue 12.26.2006 2:11 am

People here LOVE Americans. (and British and Australians). If you're white, you'll be seen as being from America (most likely). The only interaction with Americans that most people have is from movies and TV, so they kinda get the feeling that every American is as cool as Bradd Pitt and as sexy as... I dunno, choose some pop idol who's popular now.

"FIRST FLOOR! FIRST FLOOR!"

I think the biggest thing that bothers me is people's assumption that I CAN'T speak Japanese.

Anyway, I'm really not as down on Japan as my posts may seem. I love it here. I just want to present the seldom seen side of the situation B) And living here really is different than just visiting.

from what's said here, the japanese seem to be... afraid. more like nervous. i mean like, when i see a japanese person anywhere, i'm not likem"OH!!! let me help you!" ect. maybe it is a way to welcome more Americans to japan?? i don't know.

From the very beginning I was being treated with respect, and friendliness.

When I sat down to drink coffee people would smile and wave as they passed…unless they were a group of Japanese girls. They tended to giggle with each other and wave.

omg, the girls giggling... THAT'D BE ME! god that made me laugh. but yet i'm making fun of myself in a way to how i'm responding to this. LMFAO!
Last edited by Hatori on Tue 12.26.2006 2:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Thanks...

Postby odysseus123321 » Wed 12.27.2006 11:36 am

for all the entries in this thread. I was at work and I read every single one of these and I thought it was fascinating to hear what people had to say. I guess for me its hard to really believe Japan being an "evil" place for racism so i was skeptical about some of the entries in here. In seems to me that a lot of the regulars that write in here have the same opinion about things that I do and I tend to believe them more because they actually LIVE in Japan.

I hope i'm not going off-topic but racism for me is a very interesting yet touchy topic. I really don't tolerate any type of prejudice towards any race at all so when reading this thread, it just opened my eyes a bit more. I recently went through a co-worker using the "n" word describing black people in a very negative way. I cringe everytime I hear it and it got to the point where I told him i didn't like it, he didn't respect my views, so I told my boss about it. Lets just say he got his final warning at work. I hate to be "telling on" people, but it was getting out of hand.

If someone were to say a racist term towards the Japanese, that would hurt too. Of course it would hurt if i heard any other type of racial slur, but since I've grown to love this culture/language so much, its almost a part of me now. Its not only the Japanese culture I love, but I do study some Chinese philosophies (Taoism) and martial arts (T'ai Chi) as well.

At any rate, those are my two cents. I could go on and on but, that's enough for now. I hope I can write soon in the future and although I don't write much (because I'm at work), I hope to write more often. Thank you everyone :) Ja Mata!


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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby Hatori » Wed 12.27.2006 11:09 pm

odysseus123321 wrote:
I recently went through a co-worker using the "n" word describing black people in a very negative way.

I hate to be "telling on" people, but it was getting out of hand.


that's sweet of you to do.
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby odysseus123321 » Fri 12.29.2006 5:09 pm

Arre you mocking me... The guy is pretty much disliked by everyone and totally brings the morale down of where I work. He broke employee policy and should've been fired and he wasn't.

ANYWAY, I guess i'll have to see for myself what Japan is really like and how they treat me. ^_^ Mata ne!


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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby Hatori » Fri 12.29.2006 6:35 pm

odysseus123321 wrote:
Arre you mocking me... The guy is pretty much disliked by everyone and totally brings the morale down of where I work. He broke employee policy and should've been fired and he wasn't.


i wasn't mocking you. it was a compliment.
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby odysseus123321 » Sat 12.30.2006 4:41 am

Oh, okay. I'm sorry. LOL. Sometimes you can't tell when someone's being serious or not on here. ^_^ Ja Mata!


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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby b4d0m3n » Sat 12.30.2006 7:38 am

Wow. Didn't know this old thread was still alive. But since it is, I would like to relay an interesting story. Just this past semester, my last year of University (for now) I took Japanese 1B. It didn't work out too well for a variety of reasons that are quite beyond this post, but I learned something about myself which shocked and discomforted me. I learned that I am uncomfortable as the 'other'.

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. Well, I had as a child when I came to Australia from Poland, but even at that point I was in white-guy central. Whatever. This is beside the point. The point is that I felt very uncomfortable. Terrible, for a while. I got used to it, of course, but for a few days there I was uncomfortable in the situation and shocked at my discomfort.

So, you know, racism kind of sneaks up on you there. Well, racism of a kind, anyway. It seems I have a clear bias towards being 'with my own' and it is based on looks. How freaking weird is that?
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby WhiteFang » Sat 12.30.2006 9:25 am

Hmm... pretty curious about this because I'd love to visit Japan in the near future. Problem is, I'm not American, neither am I white or black, so I won't get admired(aww LOL). I'm a Chinese, Singaporean Chinese, not mainland Chinese(China)...big difference between us hehe

I was born in Singapore(i dont think u heard of this country before? pretty small country) and I'm still residing in here :D. We're pretty westernized as well, ALL of us can speak english, it's a compulsory subject in school. There're many Japanese people here as well, from what I've heard, about 30,000 of them, I've met some of them, but never interacted much with them cos' I'm always with friends.

Ok done with background :P, thing is, some people say I look like a Eurasian..(1/2 Caucasian 1/2 Asian) but I'm 100% chinese, black hair, pretty tanned skin, what kinda "first impression" are the Japanese people gonna have on me when they see me?
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby Mike Cash » Sat 12.30.2006 10:00 am

Why do people tend to speak of "the Japanese people" as though they were a monolithic entity?
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby paul_b » Sat 12.30.2006 10:04 am

Mike Cash wrote:
Why do people tend to speak of "the Japanese people" as though they were a monolithic entity?

Same reason people round my way tend to to speak of "the Americans" as though they were a monolithic entity.
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