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Asian-Americans in Japan

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Asian-Americans in Japan

Postby ohemgee » Mon 04.25.2005 12:31 am

I've heard it's easy enough to blend in if you are an ethnic Asian, but I've also heard horror stories of Japanese's prejudice against them. Many say it's hard to find jobs and apartments, or even english teaching jobs if you are a native english speaker. As a Filipino-American planning to visit/work in Japan someday, that is a little disturbing.

Can someone shed a little more light on this?
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RE: Asian-Americans in Japan

Postby Elumi » Mon 04.25.2005 12:35 am

ohemgee wrote:
I've heard it's easy enough to blend in if you are an ethnic Asian, but I've also heard horror stories of Japanese's prejudice against them. Many say it's hard to find jobs and apartments, or even english teaching jobs if you are a native english speaker. As a Filipino-American planning to visit/work in Japan someday, that is a little disturbing.

Can someone shed a little more light on this?

I hear you and no light can be shed on my part except that my gaijin friend studying there right now said that he was surprised to hear Nihongalog (Nihongo+Tagalog) from a lady. She looks Filipino because of her tan skin. So far no news about prejudism. You would think that they'll welcome us. But then again, maybe I'm just being assertive.
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RE: Asian-Americans in Japan

Postby jinksys » Mon 04.25.2005 12:39 am

If you ever have time read the book Zakennayo!, you can pick it up in borders or barnes and noble. It will immerse you in the darker side of the japanese, as well as how to survive it. The japanese put up a good front, but they are still people and people are prejudice, whether they want to be or not.
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RE: Asian-Americans in Japan

Postby ohemgee » Mon 04.25.2005 12:44 am

Nice to see another Filipino in here. Kumusta?

For an example of what I talk about, here is a link from BigDaikon, a website for JETs and potential JETs.

http://www.bigdaikon.com/mystory-miho.shtml

This is a story of an Asian-American seeking work in Japan.

In 6 months, not one person offered me a regular job. Door after door was slammed in my face immediately upon seeing I was not a "real foreigner..." I did manage to meet a few other foreigners in Japan of Asian descent who assured me that their experiences were all quite negative at first as well, and that it took a long time to gain acceptance. Many also said that it was extremely difficult to find jobs and felt they were something of "second class citizens" behind western foreigners... I strongly believe the Programme caters to the demands of the general population to be educated by JETs who are white. This is perhaps one of the greatest flaws of the program and only helps to perpetuate the myth that socially acceptable foreigners can only be white.


The article might also seem a little discouraging if you want to apply as a JET teacher, but I don't want to let it bring me down. I still definitely want to do it.
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RE: Asian-Americans in Japan

Postby Elumi » Mon 04.25.2005 9:17 am

ohemgee wrote:
Nice to see another Filipino in here. Kumusta?

Mabuti naman! Glad to have met you here, too!

For an example of what I talk about, here is a link from BigDaikon, a website for JETs and potential JETs.

http://www.bigdaikon.com/mystory-miho.shtml

This is a story of an Asian-American seeking work in Japan.

In 6 months, not one person offered me a regular job. Door after door was slammed in my face immediately upon seeing I was not a "real foreigner..." I did manage to meet a few other foreigners in Japan of Asian descent who assured me that their experiences were all quite negative at first as well, and that it took a long time to gain acceptance. Many also said that it was extremely difficult to find jobs and felt they were something of "second class citizens" behind western foreigners... I strongly believe the Programme caters to the demands of the general population to be educated by JETs who are white. This is perhaps one of the greatest flaws of the program and only helps to perpetuate the myth that socially acceptable foreigners can only be white.

That is quite sad...

The article might also seem a little discouraging if you want to apply as a JET teacher, but I don't want to let it bring me down. I still definitely want to do it.

I'm glad you have a positive view, at least. Besides, don't they know that Filipino tongue is the easiest to train in producing foreign accents? Show them what you got! So, hoping you do get a job there. :D
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RE: Asian-Americans in Japan

Postby jarad » Tue 04.26.2005 10:14 am

I believe it's probably going to be person by person case. I have friends in Osaka now, and they were looking for a new apartment as they were having to dust off their balconies everyday from black powder. They found another place and instantly the landlord told them they could have the place, as well as taking them out to eat. He even offered them Japanese lessons. So it's probably unfair to say that the Japanese people as a whole are prejudiced towards gaijins.
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RE: Asian-Americans in Japan

Postby dreamingxashley » Tue 04.26.2005 11:10 am

I believe it is mostly a stereo type from around the WW2 era. Im sure theres going to be a lot of older Japanese that will be as they say, but Im also sure theres going to be tons more that will treat you as if you had been born in Japan yourself. The Japanese are obsessed with Americans, so you'll become a hit with most young people... lol like that Zakannayo book says, all Americans (all english-speakers) are english-teachers whether you want to be or not. :D

Of course, these are just opinions, and they are subject to being wrong. ;)
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RE: Asian-Americans in Japan

Postby Schattenjedi » Tue 04.26.2005 1:36 pm

dreamingxashley wrote:
I believe it is mostly a stereo type from around the WW2 era. Im sure theres going to be a lot of older Japanese that will be as they say, but Im also sure theres going to be tons more that will treat you as if you had been born in Japan yourself. The Japanese are obsessed with Americans, so you'll become a hit with most young people... lol like that Zakannayo book says, all Americans (all english-speakers) are english-teachers whether you want to be or not. :D

Of course, these are just opinions, and they are subject to being wrong. ;)


Indeed, don't get too cocky. I've met Japanese here who have complained about the American exchange students at their universities in Japan because they are generally speaking immature and always speak English. You could say the same thing about the American students here as well.

And wasn't this thread about Asian-Americans in Japan and not foreigners in general?
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RE: Asian-Americans in Japan

Postby dreamingxashley » Tue 04.26.2005 6:07 pm

I didnt know I was being cocky. I was only stating observations from what I read and heard from others... maybe I should just not post anymore... :|
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RE: Asian-Americans in Japan

Postby Schattenjedi » Wed 04.27.2005 6:37 am

dreamingxashley wrote:
The Japanese are obsessed with Americans, so you'll become a hit with most young people... lol like that Zakannayo book says, all Americans (all english-speakers) are english-teachers whether you want to be or not. :D

Of course, these are just opinions, and they are subject to being wrong. ;)


dreamingxashley wrote:
I didnt know I was being cocky. I was only stating observations from what I read and heard from others... maybe I should just not post anymore... :|


I meant it loosely... just commenting on what you heard. No offense intended. I just thought it was far beyond any reality to say that Japanese are obsessed with Americans. From what I have read and heard there is some niche of society that is obsessed with all things western but it hardly represents the Japanese as a whole. The Japanese I have met have echoed this perception.
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RE: Asian-Americans in Japan

Postby SO_Rennish » Sat 07.16.2005 9:18 pm

Even if you can't get a teaching job, you can get another job. To make extra money, you can advertise for english lessons. My friend did that when she came to japan. She stayed with me, and every night around 6, she would meet my friends and me at a cafe, and we'd just practice english with her. I obviously didn't pay her, but my friends did.
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