View Full Version : Sorry sir, but Japanese Only....

May 20th, 2004, 10:12
Anyone else tried typing in "Japanese Only" into Google (quotation marks included)? Just read the article about Misawa - not very comforting at all really.

I don't look particularly British or Japanese, having neither of the two in my blood. Is discrimination a commonplace thing?

Anyone elses thoughts on this?

May 20th, 2004, 12:35

May 20th, 2004, 12:51
Being a permanant outcast in Japanese society means you'll never have to conform to Japanese societal norms; that is, you won't have to worry about ever being accepted or being held to the same yard stick that Japanese hold to their own kind. This in itself is quite liberating, and in my humble opinion, is worth an occasional run in with discrimination. Does that give you the excuse to be a flaming prick? Of course not. Just be yourself (unless you're a flaming prick; in that case, be someone else--someone less prickish).

Water off a duck's back, I say. Japan is severly ethnocentric. Accept it and don't worry so much.

May 20th, 2004, 14:02
Sage words HappyJadeBuddha. Seriously.

Ilumynia - The article is fairly localised, but the other articles it references about Onsens goes on to say that despite the illegality of the signs they are spreading. In fact, in the little research I've done on this (i.e 20 minutes) it seems to be the result of a backlash to overt Internationalisation. Obviously, this is all speculation (like most of my posts), but it does suggest a certain element of futility in the JET cause.

However, curiously, the most endearing trait of all this (if one can call discrimination of any kind endearing) is that the discrimination in these establishments appears to be polite. Not seething outbursts of hate - generally, according to author, once the point was made the manager could see why the policy was unfair and did not ignore it - but the problem was the 'japanese way'.

Clearly your situation Illimynia is evidence that there are people capable of violent reactions to appearance, but isn't it comforting that more than 4 people came to your aid regardless of your appearance?

Another website that came to my attention:


Mostly because, now on the verge of going to Japan, this whole issue of race relations between the Japanese and anyone non-Japanese has certainly sparked my interest, from both an academic and a personal view.

Just from looking at the other websites around, the sweeping generalisations that are (Japanese) made are fairly harsh towards anyone who isn't a white male. Especially feelings towards Black people (to whom one lady attributes the rise in crime) and fellow asians who are nationals of 'western' countries (who have sold out somehow if from Japan, and who are inferior if not) and women (in general).

Lots of hot air and paranoia at 5am? or stuff worth discussion?

May 21st, 2004, 09:48

May 21st, 2004, 12:11
<quote>But in general, it's sweet to be a white male in japan, you're like a tourist attraction, everyone wants to stop and take their picture in front of you. </quote>

I have to disagree here. At least in my experience, I was looked at more as an oddity than anything else; of course, this really depends on where you are--ESID, if the cliche acronym can be pimped out any more than it already is. I think your attraction will have more to do with you being a JET than you being a filthy gaijin. Those Japanese who know you're a JET might try and strike up English conversations, or will be more likely to ask you questions about yourself; but out in the real world where you're a nobody, you probably won't get much more than an odd stare. This probably varies between severe inaka and places with higher populations.

Of course I could be wrong. My Japan experience was on a 90-day tourist visa, and not on a one-year visa with all the trimmings. Current JETs, please correct me if I'm wrong.

As far as white guys turning into assholes in Japan, I say if you're a prick in Japan, you were a prick in your home country, too. Japan just has a way of polishing the prickishness embedded so deeply in some people's souls.

Time for another beer....

May 22nd, 2004, 00:05

I really have to meet up with you in japan and get you to teach me your vast vocabulary of words that embarress japanese folk!!