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exactly how xenophobic is japan?

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Oct 9, 2005
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i've always been curious as to how japanese treat foreigners in general because its such a homogenous country and it seems its intent on keeping things so. while i understand its primarily older generations that disdain gaijan (a few of my relatives lived there in the early 70s; had some trouble with racism allegedly) it seems from reading here and other forums that gaijan are sort of seen as goofy and overly patronized.

i was just wondering about some of the more extreme cases of xenophobia/racism there.
 

MetalAlien

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Never been there myself, they always seem nice on the internet... I don't get the impression they feared other cultures..
 

MetalAlien

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The Frankman said:
Fear, no. Tolerate yes, as long as you don't do certain things. Like being black, for instance.

They don't like black people? But they love Michael Jackson! He used to be black!
 

bjork

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I like how in some movies or tv shows, the black guy will speak perfect english, but he's subtitled incorrectly. It's a conspiracy, I tell you.
 
Tyrone Slothrop said:
japan, stereotyping black people you say?? well i never

This reminds me of when I floated the suggestion on AnimeNewsNetwork Forums about the negative portrayal on Blacks in Japanese anime, and people were like "Huh?"

I have wanted to visit Japan but I worry about the stories. You know, since I'm an imposing black guy at 5'8 and 150 pounds. If someone makes a penis joke I may have to unleash jungle gajin wrath! :lol

But anyway, what are the other ethnicities that get shafted?
 

Barf_the_Mog

powerless or are they? o_O
Apr 28, 2006
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If you speak Russian as a first language, copy the American need to identify one's self as a Canadian abroad and say you are Polish. Japan has horrible equal rights laws compared to other first world countries and usually will do nothing to a store owner who discriminates.
 

bjork

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Barf_the_Mog said:
If you speak Russian as a first language, copy the American need to identify one's self as a Canadian abroad and say you are Polish. Japan has horrible equal rights laws compared to other first world countries and usually will do nothing to a store owner who discriminates.
let's call in this guy to fix that

 

demon

I don't mean to alarm you but you have dogs on your face
Jun 8, 2004
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Tyrone Slothrop said:
they have "japanese only" signs??

:lol :lol
Yup. You just better hope you don't run into any Ku Krux Kran meetings.
 

Kola

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from what i have heard, they do actually dislike East Europeans, Americans, black people and Koreans. it's supposed to be the opposite with germans, canadians and the french. most probably this is just stupid chattering, but that's what you hear alot
 

djkimothy

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Mar 1, 2006
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Kola said:
from what i have heard, they do actually dislike East Europeans, Americans, black people and Koreans. it's supposed to be the opposite with germans, canadians and the french. most probably this is just stupid chattering, but that's what you hear alot
OK, does that only apply to their nationality or race?

Cause I'm a Canadian but also asian (totally white washed though :D). So are they confused as to giving me a hard time?

Why would they dislike Koreans, they're their neighbours. And why would Canadians be regarded in higher standings than Americans? I though the Japanese were obsessed with Americana...
 
Japan ravaged Korea back in the day, which is why there is a a lot of kidnappings of Japanese people done by Koreans. Check the days of Imperialism, pre-WWI to WWII to see the horrors. It's another reason why Japan is terrified of North Korea bomb capability; they're a potential first strike target, and Japan is opposed to using its military by principle.

I just don't get the black people thing. I've heard ignorance but it probably stems from culture. I have a lot of Japanese friends, one who told me something to the extent in some Asian cultures black people are considered demons. My sis found that lesson out in Korea.
 

MetalAlien

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The Frankman said:
Asian cultures black people are considered demons. My sis found that lesson out in Korea.

Hmmm if you are just visiting, you could use that....

 

kablooey

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My dad (who, like me, is Indian) has visited Japan on a few occasions, and each time he came back with the same stories. He'd talk about how he wasn't allowed to sit in certain bars (the "Japanese only" signs are real), and the generally icy repection that greeted him. I'm interested in Japan and its culture, but I'm kind of scared of that sort of stuff happening to me as well if I visit there sometime.
 

Boogie

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djkimothy said:
Why would they dislike Koreans, they're their neighbours.
Yeah, and why would the French hate the Germans? They're neighbours too.

And Pakistan and India.

And Israel and Lebanon/Egypt/insert Middle Eastern country here.

And Iraq and Iran.

Or maybe you should just open a ****ing history book. :p
 

Draff

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Last time I visited, it seemed like the Korean boom was still happening there (i.e. Korean guys in ads, korean mags etc). I bumped into a lot of Korean tourists as well so it doesn't seem like there's any blatant animosity.

As far as Japanese only signs, I've never seen them but then again, it might be a rural thing cause I usually stick to the mid-to-large-sized cities.

Edit: Just saw the debito page. Osaka FTW.
 

Stormbringer

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Boogie said:
Yeah, and why would the French hate the Germans? They're neighbours too.

And Pakistan and India.

And Israel and Lebanon/Egypt/insert Middle Eastern country here.

And Iraq and Iran.

Or maybe you should just open a ****ing history book. :p
What ? The relation between France and Germany is very good actually, and absolutely, I mean, asolutely not comparable to the other examples you cited...
 

Stoney Mason

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Aug 2, 2006
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You can always judge the racial tolerance of a group on average by judging how the parents react when the offspring marry outside of the ethnic group.

Just from life experience I think most asian groups tend to be the most xenophobic in that regard. Not a great trait but then every group has it's odd hang-ups and of course not everybody in said group behaves or acts in such a manner.
 

fennec fox

ferrets ferrets ferrets ferrets FERRETS!!!
Jun 6, 2004
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As a foreigner, living in Japan is like being a guest at your friend's house. You'll be treated great, your friend and his family will be very courteous and polite to you, and you'll be able to do pretty much whatever you like around them. However, no matter how well you're liked or how much help you are, you can't truly become a member of your friend's family. There are some rooms of the house where they really wouldn't like you to be snooping around in -- the master bedroom closet, for example. It's not because they hate you, but just because the idea of your presence there is just plain weird and uncomfortable. You could be friends with the guy for 30 years, and that'd still be the case.

If you want to live in Japan, it's important that you're able to understand this and cope with it effectively. A lot of folks live in Tokyo for a few months and think "Pfft, what're they talking about!" -- and then it hits them when they're unguarded and it starts to make them terribly homesick.

As for black people -- well, you have to understand that racial caricatures were pretty common all across Asia well into the 80s simply because nobody told them that they were bad. There was a top-selling brand of toothpaste in China called "Darkie", complete with laughable engraving of a black guy in a top hat. They named it that because black people, in their eyes, all had really white teeth. This didn't go away until 1985, when the brand was bought by Colgate and they changed it to "Darlie" -- the Chinese name (which literally meant "Black Man" remains the same.
 

Aruarian Reflection

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fennec fox said:
There was a top-selling brand of toothpaste in China called "Darkie", complete with laughable engraving of a black guy in a top hat. They named it that because black people, in their eyes, all had really white teeth. This didn't go away until 1985, when the brand was bought by Colgate and they changed it to "Darlie" -- the Chinese name (which literally meant "Black Man" remains the same.
It's actually a damn good toothpaste though.
 

BlackMage

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Stormbringer said:
What ? The relation between France and Germany is very good actually, and absolutely, I mean, asolutely not comparable to the other examples you cited...
tell us how you REALLY feel
 

Takuan

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The full Chinese translation of Darlie toothpaste is "Black Man Toothpaste". Hilarious :lol
 

G-Fex

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I'm pretty sure they don't like brown people so I won't go there ever. Much less "ugly" people. ****ing japs, i'll buy your shit but I don't like your attitudes.
 
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My principle (who is black) went to japan, and when he shook hands with a man, the guy checked his hand to see if any black wore off on him.


Also, I thought the japanese loved americans? I've heard numerous times that japanese women fantasize about blonde haired, blue eyed american men
 

BlackMage

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Suburban Cowboy said:
Also, I thought the japanese loved americans? I've heard numerous times that japanese women fantasize about blonde haired, blue eyed american men
::buys tickets::
 

MetalAlien

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Just imagine the troubles we are going to have when or if we ever do meet Aliens... looking down on us for wearing clothing or needing to expel solid waste, being divided into male and female.. whatever...LOL
 

PolyGone

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My Japanese friend always tells me I'd be real popular over there with the ladies, being an average white guy. What does this mean? Is it truth, or trap?
 

Beezy

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Suburban Cowboy said:
My principle (who is black) went to japan, and when he shook hands with a man, the guy checked his hand to see if any black wore off on him.
*sigh* I guess I won't ever be going there.

Edit: Wait a minute. What do they think of Bob Sapp?
 
PolyGone said:
My Japanese friend always tells me I'd be real popular over there with the ladies, being an average white guy. What does this mean? Is it truth, or trap?

If you're above 6'3, expect for the random "woman-runs-next-to-you" suprise photo shot so they can tell compare their height to yours and impress the neighbors.

Person 1: "oh, he's a BIIIGGG gaijin!"
Person 2: "Hai!!"
 
Beezy said:
*sigh* I guess I won't ever be going there.

Edit: Wait a minute. What do they think of Bob Sapp?
Probably that he's a wrecking machine, fun to bet large sums of yen on, but don't let him near your daughters because he has the monster cock of Damien, and would wreck their delicate bodies like so many demons in Japanese anime. :lol


(yes, I know i'm using Fifty's tag)
 

Blackace

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Jun 7, 2004
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Have you been here Frankman? I am a black guy and I get treated better than I did in the states as far a s respect goes... It is all in what you do. If you make no effort to speak Japanese and understand the culture they do not like you at all.. in the long run that is... But the government is very xenophobic but the people are not as much.
 

ghst

thanks for the laugh
May 9, 2006
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From what ive gathered alot of Japanese youth culture romanticises England because of its history in the same way alot of young people in the west romanticise Japan.
 

Blackace

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Jun 7, 2004
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Yes there are a lot of stereotypes here but most them are second hand from WWII... when blacks were still "slaves" and MacAurther kept blacks in their own units even after the US decided to de-segregate the armed forces... As a Japanese history/culture major I see the chances for change in the people here. They just don't have a chance to meet any black people since most of the gaijin of past are white or in the armed forces... It is one of my driving forces to come here and teach to give the Japanese people a chance to see that we are nothing like they think... and I will keep on this mission until I die
 

djkimothy

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Boogie said:
Yeah, and why would the French hate the Germans? They're neighbours too.

And Pakistan and India.

And Israel and Lebanon/Egypt/insert Middle Eastern country here.

And Iraq and Iran.

Or maybe you should just open a ****ing history book. :p
Wow, you pretty muched named all the underdeveloped countries. Good point. :roll eyes:
 
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