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What is it like to be a 外人?

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What is it like to be a 外人?

Postby ダラゴスちゃん » Fri 03.04.2011 10:21 am

I'm just curious. For those that live in 日本, how are "外人" treated in society? Do people treat them differently than you would be treated? I would like to visit 日本 someday, maybe even study abroad over there. Just curious. :)
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Re: What is it like to be a 外人?

Postby tōkai devotee » Sat 03.12.2011 11:10 pm

That really depends on where in Japan you are. If you are in a big city like Tokyo or Osaka, then you may not even be noticed too much because there are many 外人's living there. But if you go to a small city, town or even village, then you'd expect to be literally pointed out by the locals. And if you are particularly tall or blonde or in any way 'different' then you'd be more noticable. But it's really no big deal, unless you are sensitive and take it personally. I used to joke about it and if Japanese school kids pointed at me saying "外人, 外人" I'd say something to them in Japanese and that'd give them a big shock!! :D
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Re: What is it like to be a 外人?

Postby BrianM » Sun 03.13.2011 10:35 pm

I remember when I spent 2 weeks there traveling to different areas I felt welcomed and great.
There were tons of foreigners there, given it was the summer, so it was nice to see people who looked like me lol.

I never lived there though so I wouldn't know but there are tons of youtubers who record and speak about their experiences in Japan.
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Re: What is it like to be a 外人?

Postby ryuubu » Tue 03.15.2011 8:21 am

You will find that you will get a slightly longer glance from some people, which isn't really bad, no complaints when it's a beautiful girl.

You will find a lot of people standing on the streets (especially so in Osaka), who hand out tissues and advertisements to passers-by. For better or for worse, these guys seem to avoid me a lot of the time...

So I guess, in my experience so far at least, there is a subtle kind of alienation.
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Re: What is it like to be a 外人?

Postby chikara » Tue 03.15.2011 9:26 am

ryuubu wrote:..... You will find a lot of people standing on the streets (especially so in Osaka), who hand out tissues and advertisements to passers-by. For better or for worse, these guys seem to avoid me a lot of the time....

There is also a lot of handing out of tissues with advertising in Tokyo, at least in my experience, and I didn't find I was noticeably avoided. The people handing out the tissue packs probably simply think that a gaijin can either not read the advert or would not be interested in the product if they can read it.
Don't complain to me that people kick you when you're down. It's your own fault for lying there
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Re: What is it like to be a 外人?

Postby ダラゴスちゃん » Thu 03.17.2011 10:50 am

That makes sense to me. Every culture treats foreigners differently. I was just curious :)
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Re: What is it like to be a 外人?

Postby burstandbloom » Wed 05.18.2011 3:12 am

Living in a town that sees hundreds of 外人 every single year, you will find people so completely intrigued by you or completely indifferent. That's the beauty of it. We got our heads torn of by an otaku clerk at a manga store for looking at the goods under the aisle (a no-no) but in the bar next store played pool and had great experiences with the local people(while being completely wasted and being "Americans"). With my experience with Japan 9 times of 10 good experiences with the people, but you will have your downsides. Don't let it be a factor in deciding to go. Go, be respectable, and for sure have fun.
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