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Does Japan hate me (2)?

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Does Japan hate me (2)?

Postby Sarowe » Fri 09.22.2006 6:19 am

I know in every situation it's different, but admittedly people still have a general idea or opinion of a certain race. I read the thread "Does Japan hate me?" and it got me thinking, how do the Japanese think of South Africans? Im a blond female, so i guess they'll assume i'm american, but if i tell them im not?

The other thing i was wondering is, would it be hard being a Vegetarian in Japan?
Last edited by Sarowe on Fri 09.22.2006 6:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Does Japan hate me (2)?

Postby keatonatron » Fri 09.22.2006 6:30 am

Most people won't assume you're American. There are lots of people from England, New Zealand, Australia, France, Spain, Peru, Canada, Germany, and Russia here. If you're white with blonde hair, it won't matter where you came from. There will be people who love you because of it, people who dislike you because of it, and people who are indifferent.

And no, it's not hard being a vegetarian because meat isn't important here like it is in America or some European countries. The main staple is rice, and tofu is very popular. Even if you don't eat fish, there are lots of dishes with just vegetables.
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RE: Does Japan hate me (2)?

Postby Sarowe » Fri 09.22.2006 6:52 am

(sorry about the 'assuming comment'), but I'm still wondering how people perceive South Africans...

Isn't there oyster sauce or something similar used in some of the dishes? (excuse my ignorance)
Last edited by Sarowe on Fri 09.22.2006 6:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Does Japan hate me (2)?

Postby keatonatron » Fri 09.22.2006 7:11 am

Sarowe wrote:
(sorry about the 'assuming comment'), but I'm still wondering how people perceive South Africans...


I'd assume no one would have any opinion because they haven't met any south africans before.

Isn't there oyster sauce or something similar used in some of the dishes?


Sure is. The dish is called "Oyster Soup" ;)

You can always ask them what they put it in it. It certainly won't be easy being a vegetarian, but it won't be hard.
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RE: Does Japan hate me (2)?

Postby Hiroyuki kun » Fri 09.22.2006 7:17 am

[quote]Sarowe wrote:
but I'm still wondering how people perceive South Africans...

Good question. I have also wondered seeing as I'm South African hoping to get to Japan oneday.

P.S: How nice to see other South Africans on TJP. Japanese culture or people are far and few here in South Africa.
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RE: Does Japan hate me (2)?

Postby Sarowe » Fri 09.22.2006 7:34 am

thats unexpected and very nice! where in South Africa? Im from Natal.

I guess your right keatonatron, i've never actually heard of any South Africans going to Japan, im sure there are, but very few...
One thing though... i've never met any Australians before, yet i heard they are very loud (not in a bad way or anything) Just like you hear the Irish drink a lot (which is true, hehe) ... well maybe SA is not very popular, so it doesn't get discussed...

Being a vegetarian is hard anywhere i guess. A few of the more uneducated people in South Africa don't even know what a vegetarian is...
Last edited by Sarowe on Fri 09.22.2006 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Does Japan hate me (2)?

Postby ss » Fri 09.22.2006 9:12 am

Being a vegetarian is hard anywhere i guess..........


Hrmm....I've not been to South Africa before, so I can't really comment on that. But in S'pore here, we are really fortunate to have a wide variaty of food and lots of vegetarian restaurants and food stores.

A few friends of mine here are very strict vegetarians. They had enjoyed themselves very much when they visited Tokyo 2 years ago. I didn’t see any problem being a vegetarian so far. And, I feel that vegetarianism has become increasingly popular.

Here is some info of vegetarian sites from my friends.

V 1

V 2

V 3


Sakae Sushi has 30 outlets in S’pore offering conveyor belt sushi, with the option of also ordering from a menu. , recently there is a special vegetarian menu featuring 12 dishes, ranging from the traditional to the innovative at six of their outlets
V 4
Last edited by ss on Fri 09.22.2006 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Does Japan hate me (2)?

Postby Infidel » Fri 09.22.2006 9:13 am

vegatarian: yes, vegan, no, not easy at all.
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RE: Does Japan hate me (2)?

Postby Ezrach » Fri 09.22.2006 9:55 am

From my experience, outside of major cities, if you are white, they assume you are American. They won't just start calling you 'American', though - they'll be polite and ask where you are from. The word "Africa" will cause most people to think black, but only because they aren't familiar with the history of South Africa. (Which is also the case, I have noticed, in the States as well) You might get tired explaining the situation of South Africa, but it always leaves room for a conversation topic.

I don't know what you limit yourself to eating, but Japanese are generally ignorant about what it means to be on a limited diet. You may not eat fish, in which case you ask the server if there is any meat or fish in the food. They will say, 'No.' After you taste the food, you realize that it's made with fish stock. The same goes with beef or chicken broth.

If you simply don't eat chunks of meat, you'll be fine, mostly, but I was witness to some problems involving a vegetarian and prosciutto. (My Aussie friend that I met in Tokyo was a vegetarian, and she has a lot more stories like these from just one year in the big city) I guess salted, thin meats aren't REALLY meats? It was an odd conversation that we had with the server.
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RE: Does Japan hate me (2)?

Postby the_haunted_boy » Fri 09.22.2006 10:11 am

I am not blonde, I have very dark hair, and I hae been accepted just fine when I traveld there.
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RE: Does Japan hate me (2)?

Postby natemb » Fri 09.22.2006 10:15 am

keatonatron wrote:
I'd assume no one would have any opinion because they haven't met any south africans before.

I think that pretty much sums it up. There are two South African ALTs I work with here in Kyoto, and I don't think either of them encountered any real preconceived notions about their country... because most people here know little or nothing about South Africa.

I went with my Junior High School English department to watch a demonstration class by one of the South African ALTs, and one of the teachers asked me,

"What country is she from, again?"

me: "South Africa"

teacher: "I know, but what country?"

(I guess it's possible that this is a language problem, but this teacher is very fluent in English, and, anyway, the name is exactly the same in Japanese: 南アフリカ so my conclusion is that the teacher hadn't heard of your country in either language)

But the teachers here were all very interested in her and her country, so I imagine you would also get a lot of positive interest and curiosity if you came here too. Just expect some people to be surprised you are a white African, just as some people here are surprised that I'm an American with brown eyes. (I even had an elementary student inform me that I must be half Japanese because I have dark eyes like them!)
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RE: Does Japan hate me (2)?

Postby Sarowe » Fri 09.22.2006 10:46 am

thanks for the vegetarian sites! im a strict vegetarian, so no meat but diary products are fine. Sometimes I get quite tired of people asking "but you do eat fish/chicken don't you?" after telling them i don't eat any meat...
Maybe i'll have to eat plain rice just to be safe... hehe

It could be a good thing about South Africa not being well known, like you guys said about a good topic for conversation....and not too much stereotyping. A lot of people from other countries assume i'm black when i talk to them online though, so im getting used to that.

I really enjoy all your replies, thanks a bunch...
Last edited by Sarowe on Fri 09.22.2006 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Does Japan hate me (2)?

Postby ComradeJoe » Fri 09.22.2006 10:47 am

natemb wrote:

"What country is she from, again?"

me: "South Africa"

teacher: "I know, but what country?"


Haha! :D

I remember having a dialogue along those lines with an American I met in Greece (of all places).

ignoramus: "So, where are you from?"
me: "Romania."
ignoramus: "Uhh, where exactly is that?"
me: "Between Ukraine and Bulgaria."
ignoramus: "...?"
me: "You know, where the Danube pours into the Black Sea."
ignoramus: "...?!"

:|
They should make geography compulsory.
Last edited by ComradeJoe on Fri 09.22.2006 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Does Japan hate me (2)?

Postby richvh » Fri 09.22.2006 11:02 am

Sounds like a typical conversation I'd have when serving in the Marines.

New acquaintance: "So, where are you from?"
Me: "Pine Bush, New York."
N.A.: "So, where is that?"
Me: "In the mid-Hudson valley."
N.A.: "umm..."
Me: "Upstate"
N.A.: "So, it's up by Canada?"
Me: "No, south-eastern New York"
N.A.: "Oh, it's on Long Island?"
Me: "No, it's in the same county as West Point."
N.A.: "Oh, ok."
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