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Does Japan hate me?

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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby BrianM » Thu 09.14.2006 9:47 pm

I found this site with plenty of info, this one link is about rascism
http://www.jref.com/culture/misconcepti ... ices.shtml
I hope to visit japan around next year or the year after as a study abroad program. Of course i need to perfect my japanese before i go to WOW everyone there lol. I've heard the good and the bad about the country, but every country is the same.
I was born in America, but I am of Portuguese descent. When i visit Portugal, there is grafitti(sp?) on walla with the Swatstika...wierd huh? Not really because the world is filled with Neo-nazis, and the like.
I guess a sign of rascism or more awkwardness is that many Portuguese will stare at you when you are walking with family or anywhere. It is very annoying. I even notice that here in the states, most Portuguese will stare at you for a matter of seconds...it is very annoying.
But i digress, i guess every country has their rascits and biggots or w/e, but that wont stop me from goin, as i have had 2 friends who have gone to Japan and they loved it. Also i knew a foreign exchange student from Japan who came to our school. She was always smiling, and happy...really brightned up everyday! lol
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby becks23 » Fri 09.15.2006 3:23 am

keatonatron wrote:
Good explanation Mukade, that's what I was trying to convey!

On top of the "foreigner's can't learn Japanese" feelings, I've come accross a lot of people who see it as "foreigner's have no interest in learning Japanese". I'm guessing this also stems from an inferiority complex (Since America is so great, why would any American look towards Japan and not towards America, like the rest of the world??)

I'm sorry I don't remember any of the specific situations... But often when people start talking to my about my skills (chopsticks, language) they always follow it up with a "but WHY do you like Japan??" and, as I said before, a lot of people have told me they expect foreigner's to simply not be interested in adapting to anything Japanese.

It's kinda like when you go out with a super hot girl/guy...:p "Wow, you're so great, I love everything about you! But what interest do you have in me? Surely your interest in me is just a formality... it's really you that's the great one here!"

Has... anyone else had those feelings or only me? :D


I can almost echo those feelings word for word. In my experiences, I've received comments like "your chopstick skills are really good" "your japanese is good" and "what do you like about japan" I found that the best way around it is to down play it, or in the case of what you like about japan, compliment the beautiful shrines or something about Japan's technology. When someone tells me my Japanese is good I usually reply with "う〜ん、私の日本語は小学の二年生です" That almost always gets a laugh, bizarre look, and a "何?" I've found that if you can make a joke about it; try it. It lightens the mood somewhat and in some instances...speaks the truth ;)

Along the lines of being white makes you American in Japan, not once has that happened to me. Everyone, whether it be stranger or friend(when asking), has asked if I'm Canadian. I have lived in this country(Canada) for the longest time but still hold British Citizenship, however I lack the British accent. It's funny talking to people about it or just asking them "where do you think i'm from?" Everytime it's Canadian. Going back to my last time in Tokyo, I asked; "Why do you think I'm Canadian?" to one girl. She replied with "You don't have an accent so you aren't from Britain, and you are very polite so I think you are Canadian" According to her(and this was echoed by others I asked) Americans will not listen to you where as Canadians will let you finish and not interupt. Furthermore, back in Canada, my friend was asked if he was Korean to which he replied Japanese. The girl remarked that it's hard to tell the difference between them and asked how do you know the difference between a Canadian, American and Brit. He replied with "We wait for them to talk"
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby mewarmo990 » Wed 09.20.2006 6:24 am

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.
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby keatonatron » Wed 09.20.2006 10:29 am

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.


There's thousands of full-blood Chinese in Japan who don't know a single word if Japanese (tourists, people living with relatives, etc.). You wouldn't have it any worse than them. People will understand.
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby two_heads_talking » Wed 09.20.2006 11:50 am

well, they will assume you know japanese until you speak. then, they will surely know you don't.. You will get a chuckle out of it and they will as well.

Besides, the worst you could do is be fluent and that's not a bad thing at all.
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby datdo » Wed 09.20.2006 1:26 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.


haha then they might become afraid that you might be angry about ... nvm I shouldn't bring that topic back up. But yah from what I've heard they have a lot of expectations of foreigners...TV does things to ppl...
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby Silvan » Thu 12.21.2006 1:43 pm

ive always been afraid of descrimination from, to put it bluntly, white people. But then passion i have for languages, and the urge to go to japan to teach a foreign language over came that fear just for a few moments, then submerged again. My mom said of course ill be different when im over there. im a dougla: mix between african and indian. So i have brown skin and my mom's straight hair, but normal douglas dont look like me, if they never saw my dad or if i didnt tell them, theyd think that i was an indian because of my hair. Douglas are slightly discriminated here (people would look at my dad funny, then look at me, cuz indians never were supposd to mix with africans and produce spawns of evil, like myself).
(off topic)
so basically waht im saying is... im scared to go literally around the world far away from my small island where im accepted to go to a place where ill basically be blasted on for something i cant help.
im glad i got that out of my system.
(btw, if everyone wants to live in japan...where are they all gonna fit? where am I gonna fit lol jk?)
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby two_heads_talking » Thu 12.21.2006 3:13 pm

Silvan, without being too blunt, you need to learn to love yourself and quit worrying about what "category" you fit into. and by assuming that everyone else will "blast" you before they know you is usually when you overreact to a situation and make it something it isn't. so, you have dark skin... and your hair is straight and you might look Indian or African or neither.. you are who you are, be happy with that and let the world enjoy the uniqueness of you .. You might find that the descrimination you get at home won't happen elsewhere..

From what i read here, I am guessing you are still in your early teens.. You have plenty of time to accept yourself and accept that others may or may not accept you.. Just be you and things will work out..

And lastly, until now I had never heard the word Dougla.. And I have many Indian and African friends.. So, your experience might just be a local occurance.
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby Chris Hart » Thu 12.21.2006 4:10 pm

Silvan -
I would also suspect your experience to be a local occourance. Where I work, there are people from all corners of the world. (Ann Arbor is a college town after all).
I have never heard of Dougla, outside of someone accidently mistyping the somewhat common first name.
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby Rounin T » Thu 12.21.2006 4:39 pm

mewarmo990 wrote:
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.

Actually, you might be surprised. All Asians may look alike to Westerners, but that's not the case in Japan. There is so little ethnic variation there that you could almost call it a nation state. They can usually identify foreigners, including Chinese and Koreans, at a glance.

But even if you had Japanese features, you wouldn't look Japanese. That may sound like a 矛盾, but it's not. If I understand correctly, you grew up in the United States and currently live in California. So your mannerisms are Western. Believe it or not, that alone affects almost every aspect of your appearance, from your gait to the shape of your eyes.

My guess is, 90% of the natives will suspect that you can't speak Japanese before you even open your mouth. If you spend a lot of time in Japan, you'll eventually look much more like a native Japanese person. By that time, though, you may just sound like one too. ;)
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby Silvan » Thu 12.21.2006 4:41 pm

:(dougla is a trinidadian term. and, yeah ill be 16 in early january. i know that my skin colour is a problem in some places and i feel conscious whenever i go to an all fair place.
I enjoy being different mentally (like..being all insane and extroverted and all that), and i can do that around my friends, but when im around fair skinned people its like im shy and depressed and crap. i hate it, but strangely, it happens automatically. :(
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby two_heads_talking » Thu 12.21.2006 4:59 pm

ahh, you are from Trinidad or thereabouts. cool. My personal opinion is that your skin color is only a small part of who you are. Don't make the mistake of making it all of who you are. You would be surprised of how many of those fair skinned people that would love to have a darker tone to their skin as well..

There really is little we can do about skin color. Express yourself and I am sure you will find that fair skinned people are just as concerned you might treat them differently as well. When you both realize that skin color is nothing more than that, and that a person is deeper, broader and more expansive than what color their skin is, how nappy or straight their hair is or the color of their eyes, then the friendships really begin.

Sadly there are still those that segregate due to color, but they are ignorant, and they are slowly becoming the minority in this world. Educate your fair skinned friends about your culture, your family, your heritage and Trinidad, you will find that your friend will be envious of your unique background.. I am sure they will compliment you or at least ask youabout your accent.. I think the Trinidad accent is dead sexy..
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby Silvan » Thu 12.21.2006 5:10 pm

lol strangely enough, that philosophy made me feel better. yeah, im trinidadian. and proud i guess. i just really have to change my mentality.
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby Mike Cash » Fri 12.22.2006 12:02 pm

Silvan wrote:
:(dougla is a trinidadian term. and, yeah ill be 16 in early january. i know that my skin colour is a problem in some places and i feel conscious whenever i go to an all fair place.


You might find it hard to imagine, but a white person would have the same problem if dropped into your circle of family and friends, if they are all of the same skin tone as you.

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. Around the docks, there are probably at least a couple thousand other drivers coming and going on a daily basis, and almost all of whom have seen me around....and I'm the only non-Japanese out of all of them as well. My being white (actually, my not being Japanese) was only an issue when trying to get a job. After that, it has never been an issue, while at the same time it is something that everybody is aware of, of course.

Sometimes Japanese ask me if I have gotten used to it. I usually tell them that since I am surrounded by only Japanese people pretty much 100% of the time, it really isn't an issue for me. It's what is "normal" for me. I turn the question around and ask them if they have gotten used to me.

In other words, don't let concerns about your skin color affect your thoughts about someday visiting Japan for a visit or working here.

I came to Japan when I was in the U.S. Navy, and I still very clearly recall my impression the first time I left the base in Yokosuka and went out into the town. I thought, "Damn! Look at all the foreigners!" And almost instantly realized, "Oh, hell. I'm the foreigner!"
Last edited by Mike Cash on Fri 12.22.2006 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Does Japan hate me?

Postby Silvan » Fri 12.22.2006 2:24 pm

you're right i guess. i wont let myself hinder me from my dream. ありがとございます everyone.
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