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How do Japanese view foreigners?

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Re: How do Japanese view foreigners?

Postby distantsmoke » Wed 11.19.2008 4:13 pm

Different cultures have different expectations. I have also found most of the Japanese I have met to be very kind and thoughtful. A part of that comes from their culture.

But the Japanese generally don't invite people to their homes. It's nothing against you. It's just that for them the line between "in my home" and "outside my home" is a little stronger than it is in some other societies.

On the other hand the Japanese are great gift givers. Gift giving has a whole structure with rules and expectations.

I have lived in several countries in my life, and I generally find that if you approach people in a respectful way, being respectful of their culture, then you will get the same from them.
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Re: How do Japanese view foreigners?

Postby Mukade » Thu 11.20.2008 8:03 am

How do Japanese view foreigners?

Okay, two short stories:

I was once standing in the rain with no umbrella, waiting at a crosswalk for the light to change. It was dark, and quite cold, and although I was close to home, I knew it was going to be a miserable walk the rest of the way. Moments before the light turned green, an old guy in his 50's was riding a bicycle, one-handed, along the sidewalk I was on. In his other hand was an umbrella, and when he looked up from the sidewalk and saw me, he slowed his bicycle down, thrust the umbrella at me and said "Here!" (in English) I grabbed it, and he rode on without stopping or ever looking back. :o

On the other hand I was walking down the street on a beautiful spring day. My wife (Japanese) was walking beside me and we were happy, relaxed and having a good stroll together on the way to the local fish store. As we were crossing the street, an old guy in his 50's was standing at the other side, looking right at me and smiling the whole time. When we finally drew close to him, he said, "Go home!" (in English) Then, in Japanese he said "if you don't go back to your country, someone's going to kill you!" The whole time he had that same sh*t-eating grin on his face. We ignored him and walked on, our beautiful spring day ruined. :evil:

As much as Japanese people and foreign 'scholars' of Japan like to portray this country as homogeneous, it is far from it. If you want to know how Japanese view foreigners, you'd have to ask each and every Japanese person here.
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Re: How do Japanese view foreigners?

Postby Dehitay » Thu 11.20.2008 1:20 pm

Mukade wrote:On the other hand I was walking down the street on a beautiful spring day. My wife (Japanese) was walking beside me and we were happy, relaxed and having a good stroll together on the way to the local fish store. As we were crossing the street, an old guy in his 50's was standing at the other side, looking right at me and smiling the whole time. When we finally drew close to him, he said, "Go home!" (in English) Then, in Japanese he said "if you don't go back to your country, someone's going to kill you!" The whole time he had that same sh*t-eating grin on his face. We ignored him and walked on, our beautiful spring day ruined. :evil:

You're a better person than me. If it had been me, that would have definitely ended in some kind of confrontation to get that grin off his face. Of course with him being in his 50s and me being a tough looking guy, his spirit would probly break quick enough with a stare down. It's stimulus like this that makes me realize what a jerk I truly am.
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Re: How do Japanese view foreigners?

Postby chikara » Thu 11.20.2008 7:18 pm

Mukade wrote:.... an old guy in his 50's ......

Old! :shock:

Dehitay wrote:..... with him being in his 50s and me being a tough looking guy .....

What makes you think being in your 50's and being tough looking are mutually exclusive? I know a number of guys in their 50's who don't look tough at all but can kick the arse of tough looking younger guys with ease :wink:
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Re: How do Japanese view foreigners?

Postby Dehitay » Thu 11.20.2008 8:38 pm

chikara wrote:
Dehitay wrote:..... with him being in his 50s and me being a tough looking guy .....

What makes you think being in your 50's and being tough looking are mutually exclusive? I know a number of guys in their 50's who don't look tough at all but can kick the arse of tough looking younger guys with ease :wink:

I was judging by an average case scenario. Also, he said the guy looked like he was in his 50's and most of the guys who maintain their strength into their 50's don't have looks matching their age. Though even if he's pretty tough himself, I'm arrogant enough to think I can beat any 50 year old in a fight.
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Re: How do Japanese view foreigners?

Postby chikara » Thu 11.20.2008 9:49 pm

Dehitay wrote:...... Though even if he's pretty tough himself, I'm arrogant enough to think I can beat any 50 year old in a fight.

Are you going to Japan on the JET program? If so I can give you the address of a 道場 where you can put that to the test :wink:
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Re: How do Japanese view foreigners?

Postby Dehitay » Thu 11.20.2008 10:00 pm

chikara wrote:Are you going to Japan on the JET program? If so I can give you the address of a 道場 where you can put that to the test :wink:

Actually, I just mailed out my application today. The due date is the same day as my birthday (Nov 25) so it was easier to remember this year.

Actual fighting is a bit different than sparring. I'm the kind of jerk who will purposely take advantage of any weakness I find such as the weakened joints of some one older than me. However, I am a martial artist myself, and I always love a chance to spar even if I'm doomed to defeat. Unfortunately, people usually want me to pay for that kind of fun and I'm poor. I'm not sure how much that guy would appreciate a random youngun challenging him for no real benefit.
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Re: How do Japanese view foreigners?

Postby chikara » Fri 11.21.2008 12:50 am

Dehitay wrote:.... Actual fighting is a bit different than sparring. ...

I totally agree but the 8th dan karateka I have in mine could accommodate you at either :)

Dehitay wrote:.... However, I am a martial artist myself ....

Sorry for being a long way off topic but was it you that said they practiced Capoeira?
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Re: How do Japanese view foreigners?

Postby Dehitay » Fri 11.21.2008 12:55 am

chikara wrote:
Dehitay wrote:.... However, I am a martial artist myself ....

Sorry for being a long way off topic but was it you that said they practiced Capoeira?

If you're going to claim that capoeira isn't a martial art, I'll have to disagree with you and start crying till you see things my way. But even if you don't agree with that, you'll probly still agree that I'm a martial artist if I told you I also practice(d) Muay Thai, Juujutsu, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, and Kenjutsu.
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Re: How do Japanese view foreigners?

Postby chikara » Fri 11.21.2008 1:06 am

Dehitay wrote:If you're going to claim that capoeira isn't a martial art, I'll have to disagree with you and start crying till you see things my way. But even if you don't agree with that, you'll probly still agree that I'm a martial artist if I told you I also practice(d) Muay Thai, Juujutsu, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, and Kenjutsu.

I was going to do no such thing. I recognise capoeira as a martial art but I have only ever personally known one person who has practiced it although I have seen some live demonstrations of it.

Sounds as if you have a well rounded mix of styles there. :)
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Re: How do Japanese view foreigners?

Postby Dehitay » Fri 11.21.2008 1:23 am

Ha, that took minimal crying

Actually, it may sound impressive because I'm listing off previous styles in addition to what I actively practice. I could actually add Brazilian Jujitsu and Karate to that list, but I studied those styles for less than a month and can only remember 2 things from either one. I did fairly well in Tae Kwon Do, but it was the sporting version rather than the traditional Korean style. The sporting version is even weaker than Capoeira so I'm not pursuing it. I did Kenjutsu for 2 or 3 months, but I prefer bare handed techniques to weapon techniques so I don't incoorperate that style either. I did enjoy Judo. My uncle knew it and would teach me. However, Judo and Juujutsu are very similar in nature so it's easier to just stick to Juujutsu.

The styles I actively practice are Capoeira, Muay Thai, and Daitoryuu AikiJuujutsu. While Capoeira techniques aren't typically that useful in a fight, the training is better for building your body than any other martial art I've practiced. My goal is to build the speed, reflexes, balance, and strength that Capoeira produces, use the higher reaching Capoeira techniques for outfighting, the powerful Muay Thai techniques for infighting, Daitoryuu pressure points for targeting, and Daitoryuu again for grappling. And then after I'm happy with my style, I'll probly never get into an actual fight anyways. Yay!
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Re: How do Japanese view foreigners?

Postby Mukade » Fri 11.21.2008 2:32 am

Dehitay wrote:You're a better person than me. If it had been me, that would have definitely ended in some kind of confrontation to get that grin off his face.


Oh, believe me, I would have loved nothing better than to stomp a new mud-hole in him. The problem is that when your status in a foreign country is already tenuous at best, picking fights with the locals isn't likely to improve your chances of not getting deported. :x

There have been several occasions here in Japan when I've swallowed my pride quite simply because keeping my visa was more important to me than some sh*t-head trying to ruin my day.
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Re: How do Japanese view foreigners?

Postby epokw » Tue 12.09.2008 7:52 am

There are two types of people; one that love foreigners (never see those here) and the nationalists (A LOT of those... everywhere).

Gaijin lovers are those people, that when a foreigner passes by they go "GAIJINNNN!!!" (this seriously happened to one of my friends :lol:), they love to talk to foreigners, learn about their country and practice their English.

Then there are those nationalists that want Japan to be Japanese-only, saying stuff like they don't want gaigenes in their Japanese blood. They hate Koreans and Chinese especially. But which country doesn't have these kind of people?

I also forgot to mention the group which just don't care about foreigners :oops: They live in big cities like Tokyo :P
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Re: How do Japanese view foreigners?

Postby two_heads_talking » Tue 12.09.2008 12:31 pm

dammit, and I thought this stupid thread was gonna die..
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Re: How do Japanese view foreigners?

Postby Dehitay » Tue 12.09.2008 2:15 pm

two_heads_talking wrote:dammit, and I thought this stupid thread was gonna die..

kind of like racism itself; should die, but never will
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