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Maciamo
Nov 22, 2005, 21:41
Racism in Japan has been the object of many recent discussions. We have seen in the thread Just Cultural Differences? (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20459), that racism had a broad meaning, and could mean fear, discrimination or prejudice against one or many ethnic groups due to a sense of racial superiority, feeling of hatred, misunderstanding or ignorance toward that group. Racism can also be expressed in 5 intensity levels :

1) in thought/feelings only
2) verbally expressing it (e.g. calling a Black a "nigger", or saying "these Chinese are so inferior to us")
3) involving indirect actions (e.g. not recruiting someone because of their race)
4) involving direct, non-violent actions (e.g. refusing entry to someone based on their race, or the police assuming people of different races are more suspect)
5) involving direct, violent actions (e.g. beating up, killing...)

We have noted that most Japanese associate racism with (5), and to a lesser extent also (4) and (3), but almost never (2) and (1).

In this thread, I would like to discuss a typically Japanese phenomenon, which I will call "cute racism". Many TV programmes use Caucasians or Blacks for entertainment purpose. Caucasians may appear in serious discussions as well, but Black people are almost exclusively recruited as some kind of exotic animal made to be laughed at due to their strange appearance and behaviour. One of the most famous of them is Bob Sapp (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Sapp), who often appeared in TV shows and commercials, always looking as beasty as possible to please his incredulous Japanese audience.

Today, there was a more regular Black guy asking questions to Japanese people in the street. The interviewees were quite awkward, often laughing with their hand covering their mouth as the "strange Black man" asked them a question or made some primitive grimace he was paid to do. In my eyes, making fun of a person because they are Black, and treating them as a sort of freakish attraction, is a bit racist, even if no offense is intended. This kind of programme wit Black people show several times a week, so most Japanese should be used to seeing people with dark skin. I always feel like the hidden purpose is to show how primitive and inferior Blacks are compared to the Japanese. That's what many Japanese like about it. It says "look, this strange creature is just good at grimacing like a monkey and speak with a strange accent".

Furthermore, like in many TV programmes, there are some kind of big and colourful subtitles adding emphasis and emotions to what people say; and whenever a gaijin (esp. Black) speaks, for some reason the subtitles are all in Hiragana and Katakana. The message is clear "those primitives can't use kanji". "Of course, they are not Japanese !". In fact, I did ask several Japanese why it was so, and they did reply exactly that "gaijin can't use kanji" ! Dozens of times have Japanese people been very surprised that I could read kanji. Their common reaction is "eeeh, you can read kanji ! Sugoi ne !". I am talking about people I had know for months (some for over 2 years), and knew I could speak Japanese. It's just unbelievable for most Japanese that a gaijin could read or write kanji - even very basic ones. Kanji were one of the easiest and most interesting part of learning Japanese for me, and apparently quite a few other people who have learnt Japanese on this forum. Such assumption should in any case not become standards of how foreigners are seen on national TV. It only reinforces negative stereotypes of foreigners being unable to speak Japanese (see Assumptions that gaijin cannot speak Japanese (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19730) and Should all Japanese directly address foreigners in Japanese ? (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14915)). In short, no matter how friendly Japanese people are with you, and even if they pay you to show on national TV and are polite and apparently respecful and all, if they hold such beliefs, it means that deep inside them they still consider you (the "gaijin") as some sort of inferior species, a zoo animal used for entertainment.

But what I find more insulting in those TV shows is the use of Katakana when a foreigner speaks. Katakana is normally used for words of foreign origin (including transliterations of kanji). So it's use when someone speaks Japanese may first seem like their accent is so strong that they sound like they are not speaking Japanese. In mangas or in TV subtitles, Katakana is used for onomatopoeia, insults, or angry, harsh or strident language. The normal use is just one or two words per sentence for emphasis, or for interjections (e.g. コラアァー!). It's image is typically negative. So using it in half of a sentence mixed with Hiragana (and no a single Kanji) for very normal words when a person speaks on a normal tone, it feels like the speaker is a rough, idiotic person. This makes me feel all the more that the purpose of the whole show is to make fun of an exotic animal.

That is what I call "cute racism". "Cute", because the purpose is to make people laugh and enjoy themselves. It is a sort of racism as it is degrading for people of the targeted race. The fact that it is almost only Black people that are the "victims" leaves little doubt about that. Too bad some people are so much in need of money or want so much to be on TV, that they will accept to ridiculise themselves in this way, only reinforcing racist stereotypes among Japanese people.

Hyde_is_my_anti-drug
Nov 22, 2005, 22:21
God, I hate crap like that. It's like if someone's going to be racist I prefer them to just say it to my face but implying and hinting just for s**ts and giggles annoys me to no end. America does something similar with gays. They're in lots of TV shows yes but they're always shown as either the Raging Queen or the Butch Lesbian. As if to say, "Gay men are like Valley Girls and Lesbians will tear your head off. See isn't that funny? Teeheehee." :okashii: No, it's not funny. Either that are they show gays as sex addicts who sleep with anything with the same gender as them. All one night stands, threesomes, etc. So what they're saying is "Gays are sluts!!!" which is not true.
I hate it when people do stuff like this. Again just say it to our faces. Racism (and homophobia) is bad but putting a "cute" face on it is worse. Honesty is better then patronizing or silent whispering. If you don't like me for my race then SAY IT. But just sweetly implying it is just...agh!!! I can deal with yelling, name calling, physical violence, because I can DO something about that. But crap like this is hard to do anything about, that's what makes it so annoying and so dangerous.

Maciamo
Nov 22, 2005, 22:59
The problem is that probably don't realise that this is taboo in Western societies. For Japanese people racism involves violence or discrimination. Just making fun of other races or express a feeling of superiority is not regaded as racism in Japan.

lastmagi
Nov 23, 2005, 00:07
I'm with you both on this.

One of the most depressing things when you start to get into Japanese culture is precisely learning the ridiculous lack of awareness about racism, and the extent to which condescending attitudes are propogated. Although this may have sprung from its relative geographic isolation and demographic homogeneity (ergo, a belief in their 'uniqueness'), for a nation so praised for its "modernization," its fundamental principles are sorely lacking to include other groups of people into their sense of community.

Hyde_is_my_anti-drug
Nov 23, 2005, 00:38
Well Japan's never been good with how it handles forgieners. In a way they're way behind on that. I mean wasn't it like no one besides the Japanese had set foot in Japan for hundreds of years up until the Meiji Area? Or something like that. So it's understandable that they're behind. Understandable not excusable.

Mandylion
Nov 23, 2005, 00:58
The problem is that probably don't realise that this is taboo in Western societies.

Which makes foreigners seem all the more odd and unstable when they get upset and make a fuss about it.

as for the katakana thing on TV, while this is rampant in the daytime and variety TV shows, it is not just for short-term foreigners. There are several high-profile talents who have lived in Japan a very long time, are married to Japanese, and are essentially what most would discribe as socially Japanese. However, they still get the katakana treatment while their spouses, sometimes appearing in the very same segment, do not.

Compare this to the treatment of high-profile stars who are of mixed Japanese blood (esp. if they were born and raised in Japan) - they usually don't get the katakana graphics. However, I once saw a show about a foreign woman who had made her life in Japan and her struggles to continue after the premature death of her husband. She had been married to a very powerful business man. Guess what? No katakana. It is open to debate wheather this was due to her social status as widow of a powerful Japanese, or out of respect for her husband. Granted, this program was more subdued that normal TV, but there were still plenty of quotes displayed as the interview went along.

On an even wider level, when two Japanese people get married, one of them [b]must[/b[ change their last name. But if a Japanese person marries a foreigner, the household can have two different names. Why should there be a double standard...? But this is more an example of institutionalized discrimination (don't get me started about koseki and the like) than Maciamo's adept presentation of "cute racism."

Mandylion
Nov 23, 2005, 01:03
I mean wasn't it like no one besides the Japanese had set foot in Japan for hundreds of years up until the Meiji Area?

The sakoku policy of the Tokugawa bakufu did limit foreign contact to a few ports and highly restricted travel within Japan. However, Japan maintained limited economic ties with China and select European nations, so while remote, Japan was not shut off from the world (hence they could see Western colonialism at work in China and so work to head off the same subjectation of Japan, among other things - but that if off topic.)

But you are 100% correct when you say


... it's understandable that they're behind. Understandable not excusable.

Bibinbahell
Nov 23, 2005, 02:24
Yes, that stereotype of foreigners saying "OMG, Japanese is the hardest language in the world because kanji is so difficult!" seems extremely commonplace in the media to me. So, would learning Chinese be exponentially more difficult for the said foreigners? Because if kanji is the only difficult thing in the language, then I'm sure the Japanese would have no trouble learning Chinese since they have the kanji down.

I do remember a more recent occasion of images on tv with black people acting like normal people and the audience still laughed as if was the most hilarious thing in the world (black people are people too!? Ha ha ha!). I also recall scenes with white people (dressed up in a three-piece suit of course) tip toeing to the bathroom with his hand on his stomach, chanting out "Hold it in, hold it in. (subtitles in katakana of course)"

So it just seems painfully obvious that they find foreigners to be funny for the sake of them being foreigners. The fact that the general audience thinks it's hilarious to see foreigners trying to assimilate into their society by doing ordinary things(in vain) is what really angers me.

I do agree that there is a long way to go on this subject.

Mikawa Ossan
Nov 23, 2005, 08:21
Believe it or not, but I have been on TV about half a dozen times. Of course it was always local TV. I never got the katakana treatment. Here's my thought on that.

If a foreigner is on TV as a foreigner, in other words, if this person's role on TV is to be "foreigner", he/she will get the katakana treatment to emphasize the fact that it is a foreigner speaking.

If a foreigner is on TV as a person, in other words, if this person is not taking the role of "forigner", s/he will not receive the katakana treatment. How many times have you seen katakana in serious shows or the news?

On those comedy/variety shows, the foreigners are there to entertain in the role of "foreigner", and therefore they get the katakana treatment.

It's a comic device.

I don't think it's so bad, and sometimes funny for effect, but the problem comes, as Maciamo pointed out, from the overwhelming portrayal of (black) foreigners as wild, crazy or idiots, and no counterbalencing portrayal of them just as people.

misa.j
Nov 23, 2005, 08:52
Just before I left Japan, those subtitles(or are they closed captions?) started to appear a lot on TV, and I thought they were very distracting because they only put the words that they thought were funny or need to be emphasized which I usually didn't care about.

Those shows are awful, like most Japanese shows are.

Too bad some people are so much in need of money or want so much to be on TV, that they will accept to ridiculise themselves in this way, only reinforcing racist stereotypes among Japanese people.
Too bad indeed. Only if they had more authority, courage, and were wiser, they could have done something different and make Japanese people more aware of how ignorant their reactions towards other races are.

I know it sounds crazy, but I'm thinking of a show they have in the US; which could be offensive for some people but the guy(a British comedian) on the show is very intelligent and goes after politicians, famous writers, people in fashion business, torophy hunters etc. He makes himself look so unintelligent that a lot of them get upset, but you can see that it's them who are more ingnorant.

Personally, I think it's good that more people are talking about Japan's problems, and I hope the voices will be heard by the Japanese.

Maciamo
Nov 23, 2005, 13:33
Why should there be a double standard...? But this is more an example of institutionalized discrimination (don't get me started about koseki and the like) than Maciamo's adept presentation of "cute racism."

I turned on the TV for a few minutes and found a TV programme (on TV Asahi) about IQ tests called "世界初テストこれが新IQ驚異の全ぼう!! 脳タイプ判定で適職もわかる". I couldn't believe what I saw when they say and wrote on the screen something about "日本人の脳" (Japanese brains), explaining that they had found 4 types of Japanese brains (clearly iplying that Japanese brains were different from other races' brains in their functioning).

So the "日本人論" (Nihonjinron, or racist "theory of Japaneseness") is still more active than we could think. It was not just a euphoric extrapolation of the Bubble Years to explain why the Japanese were so sucessful despite their "tiny resourceless country" 3x the size of England, and of course without the help from the US...

Ma Cherie
Nov 24, 2005, 03:32
You know from learning about Japanese society and their issues with racism and such has made me wonder.:? I'm guessing you all would agree that most Japanese people seem very proud of their country. But I was wondering do you think there are some deep insecurity issues? (i.e. when some Japanese people ask "do you have this in your country? or do you have that in your country?") Do you think this may be an issue of insecurity? :souka:

Mandylion
Nov 24, 2005, 05:31
I would argue that there is a status issue - Japan has always wanted, and arguably achieved "equality" with the great nations of the world. Some argue this was one of the important motivations behind the push for modernization, colonies etc. in the late 1800's. It may even be behind (in part) Japan's push for a seat on the UN Security Council and playing a bigger role in international political affairs beyond economics issues. It is debatable to what extent this desire extends down to the individual level and the "do you have this/that" questions. However - this is just my feeling here - there still is a big emphasis on hierarchy in Japan's view of international relations, which could influence on what terms (media, econnomic, political etc) that Japan engages the rest of the world - which in turn focus people (in part) on material things, conditions in other countries etc.

Maciamo
Nov 24, 2005, 11:45
I agree with Mandylion that status in the international community is very important to the Japanese. I believe the same can be said of Korea and China.

Japanese people are well-known for being insecure. I hear the word "fuan" 不安(insecurity, angst...) all the time, while there is not even a direct translation in English or French.

That's a very good point to link questions like "Do you have this in your country" with the sense of insecurity. Now that I think about it, there is probably a strong causal link. That's also why the Japanese feel a need to tell foreigners that their country and culture are so great. One of the first questions foreigners are asked by almost any Japanese are "What do you think of Japan ?" and "Do you like Japanese food ?". Why ? Because they are anxious to get foreign approval of their country and culture. That's probably why whenever a Japanese asks me "Do you have this in your country ?" and I say yes (or worse, it comes from my country or from that other country originally), then feel even more insecure and need to ask about other stuff until finally I say "no". Then they can proudly say "haha, we Japanese have this and you don't !". Sounds very childish, but that's probably a way of satisfying their insecurity.

What's more, the Japanese tend to have a love-hate relationship wit Westerners (which is usually reciprocal). More accurately, they admire Western people, cultures and countries so much that they want to copy everything; not just systems, and technologies, but fashion, hairstyles (even colour), food, vocabulary, and some go as far as to get surgical operations of the eyelids to get a "third fold" to look more "Caucasian". That's also why Japanes girls are so fond of Western men. This further enhance the feeling of insecurity and worthlessness among some Japanese men. The same trend is also apparent in modern Chinese cities like Shanghai or Beijing (and even in South-East Asia, but a bit differently for economic reasons).

So racism is maybe a way for some Japanese to become more confident, by doing all they can to make "gaijins" look stupid or inferior, going as far as inventing theories such as Japanese having unique brains, being able to eat food that foreigners can't eat, or claiming that Japan is unique for its four seasons and cherry blossoms, or other narrow-minded (and deeply mistaken) nationalistic propaganda. That's also why they want to look superior to other East Asian countries, which they see (from outside) as politically and economically inferior to Western countries. Japan became a colonial power in the hope of reaching equality with the West. They still want to look superior nowadays - mostly because they measure the value of a culture or nation almost exclusively by economic success. That's why the Japan of the 1980's was more racist and arrogant than ever before, and why they fear China's economic growth, as it disturbs their status of "superior race" of Asia (eventhough they don't mind throwing away their own culture :clueless: ).

What can be done ? Tell them that racism and nationalism will only have the opposite effect and create resentment and despise among foreigners ?

Gaijin 06
Nov 24, 2005, 12:14
So racism is maybe a way for some Japanese to become more confident, by doing all they can to make "gaijins" look stupid or inferior, going as far as inventing theories such as Japanese having unique brains, being able to eat food that foreigners can't eat, or claiming that Japan is unique for its four seasons and cherry blossoms, or other narrow-minded (and deeply mistaken) nationalistic propaganda.

Sigh. I haven't heard the four seasons thing once here, and anyway I can't believe anyone would seek to define the uniqueness of their country by having four seasons.

As for food - I daresay there are plenty of foods unpalatable to the Japanese from many other countries.

I think you are drawing too many false conclusions from this limited data set. In all places I've lived or visited it is common to ask about things like weather, local food and other banalties of day to day life - especially as an ice breaker.

When I was in Hong Kong I was frequently asked if I ate chickens feet, I don't think this was nationalistic propaganda, any more so than a Japanese person asking me if I like sushi or sashimi.

Maybe I am just more open-minded, and don't seek to read slurs into everything to prove my point or reinforce my beliefs. I guess this may be an insecurity thing, if you feel the need to get your beliefs validated by every encounter or experience.

lglben
Nov 24, 2005, 12:33
The problem is that probably don't realise that this is taboo in Western societies. For Japanese people racism involves violence or discrimination. Just making fun of other races or express a feeling of superiority is not regaded as racism in Japan.

Recently, a good friend of mine (japanese), who I respect for his open-mindedness, told me that he thought a mutual friend of ours (who happens to be black) seemed a bit sensitive about his colour. I asked him why he thought so and he explained that someone had made a joke about how he (the black friend) would be difficult to see in the dark... Anyway, I thought it seemed like an innocent remark, so I didn't really know what to say. In the end, I ended up saying that if you met a fat person you wouldn't make jokes about being fat - an incredibly unsatisfactory comparison I know, but I was a bit flummoxed.
I think it's exactly as people are saying in this thread, particularly Maciamo's quote above. The use of katakana for foreigners' speech is mildly irritating, but I guess we have to try to be a bit humble about our funny pronunciation. The 'Bob Sapp' phenomenon is more worrying, I think; it would be more palatable if it was balanced by more 'serious' or 'real' black men and women also appearing on TV.

Maciamo
Nov 24, 2005, 16:42
Sigh. I haven't heard the four seasons thing once here, and anyway I can't believe anyone would seek to define the uniqueness of their country by having four seasons.

Did you ask people's opinion on the matter ? If you don't they are unlikely to mention it, except that week of the year when the cherry trees are in bloom, and only if you start discussing about it. I often discussed about it, as I wanted to know the "best places" for cherry blossom viewing. 2/3 of the people I talked to about this asked me whether "my country had 4 seasons", and all were surprised when I said "yes, of course, like most of Europe".


As for food - I daresay there are plenty of foods unpalatable to the Japanese from many other countries.

Of course ! That is the irony. I never miss to ask them if they "can' eat snails, frogs, rabbit, lamb, ostrich, kangaroo, crocodile, insects... Most of them make disgusted faces and say they wouldn't try.


I think you are drawing too many false conclusions from this limited data set. In all places I've lived or visited it is common to ask about things like weather, local food and other banalties of day to day life - especially as an ice breaker.

These were almost always with people I had known for months or years, and met in average once a meet for one-to-one lessons. They usually knew me very well when that topic came up - as it was during the blossom season (plum included) of the year that they all spoke about it, proudly thinking the 4 seasons were uniquely Japanese - or at least rare outside Japan. And guess when I wrote my article Common Japanese misconceptions regarding foreigners and foreign countries (http://www.wa-pedia.com/culture/misconceptions_prejudices.shtml) ? Just as the plum blossom season was starting and we were discussing it for the 4th year.

Gaijin 06
Nov 24, 2005, 17:01
Of course ! That is the irony. I never miss to ask them if they "can' eat snails, frogs, rabbit, lamb, ostrich, kangaroo, crocodile, insects... Most of them make disgusted faces and say they wouldn't try.


So you admit to doing one of the exact same things you accuse the Japanese of doing?!

Do two "wrongs" might a "right" for you? Or just don't believe in practisicing what you preach?

Mikawa Ossan
Nov 24, 2005, 18:09
...he explained that someone had made a joke about how he (the black friend) would be difficult to see in the dark... .... The use of katakana for foreigners' speech is mildly irritating, but I guess we have to try to be a bit humble about our funny pronunciation. The 'Bob Sapp' phenomenon is more worrying, I think; it would be more palatable if it was balanced by more 'serious' or 'real' black men and women also appearing on TV.
Greetings from next door! (Kariya, Aichi)

I think another aspect is intention. I do not think that your Japanese friend had any intention whatsoever to make a humiliating or demeaning comment to your black friend.

I remember when I was in college, I was in the habit of saying, "Hey, big guy!" or "Hi, big guy!" etc. I thought nothing of it until I said it to Gene, a VERY large cook at the cafeteria. He was polite, but very offended. He was OK after I explained that I honestly wasn't referring to his size, but I think this is similar to your friends' situation.

Actually, I did think that Gene was being a little sensitive about his size at the time, but I could understand. I think that's because in my native country, the USA, everyone seems to be sensitive about SOMEthing or another.

In Japan, (Japanese) people seem to have less to be sensitive about, or they just don't show it as much, in my experience.

But I don't know. I mean, I have no reservations about making fun of my "tall" nose, etc. Maybe that's bad, but I have NEVER once come across anyone trying to make me feel inferior about that or pick on me about it, either. It's not even a joke that comes up all that often.

The question as I see it is, when is a joke just a joke, and when does it cross the border into racism?

Maciamo
Nov 24, 2005, 20:08
So you admit to doing one of the exact same things you accuse the Japanese of doing?!

Do two "wrongs" might a "right" for you? Or just don't believe in practisicing what you preach?

I only do it when I am asked whether I can eat sushi, natto, umebosh, etc. especially if they tell me that "foreigners usually can't eat this or that", just to show them that it's the same everywhere. I also remind them that natto is not very popular in Western Japan, and that I have met some Japanese who didn't like sushi, and that sushi ranked as the most popular Japanese dish in the 2 polls about Japanese food on JREF (and indeed sushi restaurant are the most common Japanese restaurant in Western countries). Only after that do they seem to understand that it's futile to say such nonsense as "Japanese people can eat sushi, and foreigners can't".

kkkktttt
Nov 24, 2005, 23:04
Maciamoさんの発言で大変おもしろいのは、日本人自ら ェ語る「日本人論」自体に対しては極めて否定的な見方 する一方、 なた自身が数多くの独自の「日本人論」 披露していることなんですね。
しかも、 なたの「日本人論」は、日本人自身が語る日 本人論と同様に荒唐無稽なことが少なくないということ です。:blush:
例えば、海外の映画やテレビのバライティ番組などで描 かれる日本人像は、ほとんど例外なく滑稽なステレオタ イプで描かれているわけですが、この点を考えただけで も、「外国人をお笑いの対象にする」という風潮は決し て「日本的」ではなく、むしろ普遍的で ることが分か りますね。

Maciamo
Nov 24, 2005, 23:46
kkkktttt, in which country did you see TV variety shows making fun of Japanese people ? I have never seen such programmes (or movies) on French, Belgian or British TV. Of course, if you take the US or China as reference, you are up for surprises...

anjusan
Nov 25, 2005, 00:18
Ah, was that the gist of kkkktttt's post? I was wondering if anyone would para-phrase that for those of us not quite up to that level... Unfortunately I have seen a few shows that make fun of Japanese people...I have rarely found humor in jokes based upon stereotypes... they tend to make me feel uncomfortable... for those being make fun of...

I like Mikawa Ossan's comment "The question as I see it is, when is a joke just a joke, and when does it cross the border into racism?"

I was born half English / half American. I got the best of both worlds, yet I am an outsider to both... Both American's and English say I have a funny way of speaking... I will use English words American's have never heard of and visa versa. The people at work think it is the funniest thing on the planet... and I just don't get the humor... but I think it may have something to do with the unexpected in an otherwise boring situation... They certainly don't intend to be hurtful...

Comercialized humor on television is different though... they know exactly what they are doing and calculate the profits accordingly... I am not there so I cannot judge... but I have seen riotously funny Japanese shows that have only Japanese in them...

Maciamo, I can feel the strength of your concerns through the words you use in your posts... it is almost as if you are angry... perhaps you are expecting the Japanese people you know to act a certain way and when they don't you get frustrated... thinking they should know 'me' by now... is there no one you can talk to about it there?

Hyde_is_my_anti-drug
Nov 25, 2005, 01:02
Ah, was that the gist of kkkktttt's post? I was wondering if anyone would para-phrase that for those of us not quite up to that level... Unfortunately I have seen a few shows that make fun of Japanese people...I have rarely found humor in jokes based upon stereotypes... they tend to make me feel uncomfortable... for those being make fun of...
The problem is a lot of people don't really think anything of that kind of stuff. Because they think the stereotypes are actually true and therefor get very confussed when others have stronge negutive reactions to the things they say.
Racism has become, sadly enough, deeply imbeded in people on basic levels. It's disgusting really. The fact that it doesn't cross people's minds that things could be taken that way proves how much of a problem it is. People don't even realize they're doing it which is saddening. But honestly, where do you think phrases like for example "hey, big guy" came from? Even if, typically, they aren't used or meant that way it's rather obvious that that is how they came into existance. The very fact that those phrases even EXIST at all tells you how much of a problem racism is EVERYWHERE not just Japan.
When someone says something racist and you say so a lot of the time they look horrifide and say, "Oh, my God! I didn't think...was I really???" They don't know they're doing it. But which is worse? Not knowing and doing it or KNOWING and doing it anyway? Both are terrible. But I think knowingly being racist is far worse although unknowingly is much more sad. The one's who know attack you and the ones that don't just peck at the surface. I've had both aimed at me and neither is fun and both make you feel like shite. Racism is a nasty thing no matter what form it's in. But I think if Japan REALIZED what it's doing things might change but they honestly don't seem to know. Or maybe they do and I'm just being naive.

lastmagi
Nov 25, 2005, 03:19
When someone says something racist and you say so a lot of the time they look horrifide and say, "Oh, my God! I didn't think...was I really???" They don't know they're doing it. But which is worse? Not knowing and doing it or KNOWING and doing it anyway? Both are terrible. But I think knowingly being racist is far worse although unknowingly is much more sad. The one's who know attack you and the ones that don't just peck at the surface. I've had both aimed at me and neither is fun and both make you feel like shite. Racism is a nasty thing no matter what form it's in. But I think if Japan REALIZED what it's doing things might change but they honestly don't seem to know. Or maybe they do and I'm just being naive.

To me, what I find really disturbing is the first example, but coupled with a certain sense of denial, followed up by a need to rationalize their racism. Doesn't the nihonjiron(?) and concepts of Chinese and Koreans as "inferior" allow for this kind of rationalization?



Maybe I am just more open-minded, and don't seek to read slurs into everything to prove my point or reinforce my beliefs. I guess this may be an insecurity thing, if you feel the need to get your beliefs validated by every encounter or experience.

Apparently, this view is in the minority, so I'm not sure how "insecurity" has much to do with it if it's something that most agree is a problem. Nor do I see how this argument necessarily leads up to claims of open-mindedness.

pipokun
Nov 25, 2005, 05:24
Ah, was that the gist of kkkktttt's post? I was wondering if anyone would para-phrase that for those of us not quite up to that level... Unfortunately I have seen a few shows that make fun of Japanese people...I have rarely found humor in jokes based upon stereotypes... they tend to make me feel uncomfortable... for those being make fun of...
...

The kkkktttt's gist goes that Maciamo tells much about "Japaneseness" among his hundreds of would-be average J friends share, but what about his own Japaneseness?

anjusan
Nov 25, 2005, 05:42
Ah, I see, then Maciamo did not yet reply to kkkktttt's post...

Pipokun, what do you think is meant by their 'Japaneseness'? It was my understanding that Maciamo was French... I am a little confused now...

Gaijin 06
Nov 25, 2005, 09:01
Apparently, this view is in the minority, so I'm not sure how "insecurity" has much to do with it if it's something that most agree is a problem. Nor do I see how this argument necessarily leads up to claims of open-mindedness.


My point was aimed specifically at the things Maciamo posted, like Japanese asking him if he asks sushi, if Belgium has four seasons and things like that.

I do not deny that racism does exist, but I don't think these are valid examples of it.

Remember this is exactly what Maciamo posted



So racism is maybe a way for some Japanese to become more confident, by doing all they can to make "gaijins" look stupid or inferior, going as far as inventing theories such as Japanese having unique brains, being able to eat food that foreigners can't eat, or claiming that Japan is unique for its four seasons and cherry blossoms, or other narrow-minded (and deeply mistaken) nationalistic propaganda

Maciamo
Nov 25, 2005, 09:13
My point was aimed specifically at the things Maciamo posted, like Japanese asking him if he asks sushi, if Belgium has four seasons and things like that.

I do not deny that racism does exist, but I don't think these are valid examples of it.

Are you actually denying that the cherry blossom is the national(istic) symbol of Japan ? What's more, "sakura" (cherry blossom) is a common name both for people (used in given and family name) and company names. I find that latter particularily strange (Sakura Bank, Sakura Rubber, Sakura Industries ?). Entering the keywords sakura kabushiki kaisha (http://www.google.com/search?hs=NQR&hl=en&lr=&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&q=%E6%A1%9C%E3%80%80%E6%A0%AA%E5%BC%8F%E4%BC%9A%E7 %A4%BE&btnG=Search) (cherry blossom limited company), I got 2 million results ! Most Japanese regard the cherry tree as a symbol of their culture and identity, so it is not so far fetched that they should think of it as uniquely Japanese. Naturally (no pun intended), blossoms are associated with the 4 seasons, leading them to believe that if cherry (or plum) blossoms are "Japanese", then Spring as known in Japan is somehow unique to Japan, and therefore other countries may not have the same seasonal process. It sounds absurd to a Westerner, but believe me, it is not to the average Japanese.

Maciamo
Nov 25, 2005, 09:22
The kkkktttt's gist goes that Maciamo tells much about "Japaneseness" among his hundreds of would-be average J friends share, but what about his own Japaneseness?

This is not what kkkktttt wrote. The first paragraph is about the nihonjinron (not "Japaneseness" but "racist theory of Japaneseness"). I don't see how my explanations about what I experience in Japan is similar to the "nihonjinron". These are just facts such as how gaijins are made fun of, or subtitled in katakana on TV, or the Japanese obsession with questions about foreigners' opinion of Japan, and whether foreigners can eat this or that, or if they had ever experienced the 4 seasons before coming to their beautiful country... But maybe for kkkktttt, the nihonjinron (claiming Japanese racial superioty) is also based on facts ?

The second paragraph is the one I replied to. I am still waiting for an answer.

And for the record, it is not because I speak French that I am French.

kkkktttt
Nov 25, 2005, 09:40
kkkktttt, in which country did you see TV variety shows making fun of Japanese people ? I have never seen such programmes (or movies) on French, Belgian or British TV. Of course, if you take the US or China as reference, you are up for surprises...

イギリスの例を一つ
http://tviv.org/wiki/Banzai

また、ハンガリーでは次のような番組が放映されていたそうです。
http://www.sankei.co.jp/edit/bunka/2003/may/kiji/0501tv.html
この番組はもともとオランダで製作され、欧州の複数の 国で放映されてたものを、ハンガリーの放送局が版 購入し独自に製作したものだそうです。

日本人の大半はこれらの番組を笑って済ますぐらいの余裕が ると思いますが、海外に住みマイノリティーとして差別問題に敏感にならざるを得ない日本人の中に はracismを感じる人も少なくないでしょう。ちょうど現 在の なたのように。

そういえばフランス映画「タクシー2」でもおかしな日本人が描かれていましたね。

ベルギーについてはそもそもどのような番組が放映されているか 知らないので何ともいえません。

詳しくはgoogleで「変な日本」 るいは「ヘンな日本」 で調べてみてください。
http://www.google.com/search?num=50&hl=ja&q=%E3%83%98%E3%83%B3%E3%81%AA%E6%97%A5%E6%9C%AC&lr=
http://www.google.com/search?num=50&hl=ja&q=%E5%A4%89%E3%81%AA%E6%97%A5%E6%9C%AC&btnG=Google+%E6%A4%9C%E7%B4%A2&lr=

そもそも欧州では、各国の人々をステレオタイプ化して ネタにするアネクドートがまさに「文化」として根付いているのではないです か?
その中には日本人をネタにしたものも るはずです。

bossel
Nov 25, 2005, 10:23
...I have rarely found humor in jokes based upon stereotypes... they tend to make me feel uncomfortable... for those being make fun of...
Well, I'm a German & have seen a number of British comedy shows making fun of German stereotypes. I can't see much of a problem there. The problem is more in education. When you learn the same stereotypes at school or only learn about the stuff these stereotypes are built upon you may actually believe in the content of these TV shows.

Gaijin 06
Nov 25, 2005, 10:25
Are you actually denying that the cherry blossom is the national(istic) symbol of Japan ? What's more, "sakura" (cherry blossom) is a common name both for people (used in given and family name) and company names. I find that latter particularily strange (Sakura Bank, Sakura Rubber, Sakura Industries ?). Entering the keywords sakura kabushiki kaisha (http://www.google.com/search?hs=NQR&hl=en&lr=&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&q=%E6%A1%9C%E3%80%80%E6%A0%AA%E5%BC%8F%E4%BC%9A%E7 %A4%BE&btnG=Search) (cherry blossom limited company), I got 2 million results ! Most Japanese regard the cherry tree as a symbol of their culture and identity, so it is not so far fetched that they should think of it as uniquely Japanese. Naturally (no pun intended), blossoms are associated with the 4 seasons, leading them to believe that if cherry (or plum) blossoms are "Japanese", then Spring as known in Japan is somehow unique to Japan, and therefore other countries may not have the same seasonal process. It sounds absurd to a Westerner, but believe me, it is not to the average Japanese.

Would you consider a Canadian racist if he asked you if you like maple syrup?

kkkktttt
Nov 25, 2005, 10:26
日本人論=racist theory of Japanesenessではないですよ。
日本人論の中には優越主義的なものも りますが、自ら を否定的に描くものも少なく りません。
また、「荒唐無稽」といった通り、いわゆる日本人論の 多くはせいぜい酒席のネタ程度のものでそれほど真剣に 捉えられている訳では りません。

「日本人論」で れ「欧州人論」なんで れ、一見それ を根拠づけるような「それなりの事実」は るんですね 。
問題はそれを絶対化して特定の集団の特徴として論ずる 点ではないですか?


Of course, if you take the US or China as reference, you are up for surprises...

そもそも、唯一の超大国と世界最大の人口を持つ国を「 例外」とすること自体にムリが りますね。

Maciamo
Nov 25, 2005, 11:07
Would you consider a Canadian racist if he asked you if you like maple syrup?

Not more than a Japanese who asked me if I liked sushi. The problem with you is that you don't pay attention to wording and context, so you always think I mean things I don't mean.

There is a big difference between saying "Can foreigners eat sushi" "Do you like sushi". I have found Japanese people to ask me whether (all/most) foreigners or people from my country could eat this or that. Some would even say quite factually that "foreigners can't eat sushi, natto or whatever". I don't mind them asking me if I like it (not if I can eat it), but I question their vision of the world and conception of "foreigners" when they talk of "foreigners" as if it was a homogenous group, and even more when they doubt their ability to appreciate Japanese things (especially regarding foreigner living in Japan by choice).

My typical reaction when they ask me whether "foreigners have this or can do that" is to ask them which country they are referring to. Usually say that I can't speak on behalf of the Chinese or Nigerians, but if they want to know about my close relatives maybe I can try to answer their question.

Secondly, I didn't say that such behaviour in itself was racist, but underlied a way of thinking influenced by nationalistic or racist elements. You also confuse my points about nationalism and racism. Cherry blossoms are an obvious nationalist symbol, for instance, but has nothing racist. In this thread, I pointed out that both nationalism and racism as reaction to the latent Japanese sense of insecurity, and sense of inferiority towar the West. The TV stuff I started this thread with was an example of (soft) racism; the cherry blossoms and seasons, an example of common subconscious influenced by nationalistic symbols. It makes the Japanese feel "better" if they can proudly claim that "cherry blossoms are Japanese". Got it ?

kkkktttt
Nov 25, 2005, 12:37
「寿司は食べられますか?」
寿司は現在世界的なブームですが、わずか十年ほど前までは「生で魚を食べるな んて不衛生でグロテスクの極み」だと揶揄さたものでし た。
お隣の中国でさえ魚を生で食べることは一般には りま せんでした。
日本人が「寿司は食べられるか?」と尋ねるのはそのよ うな実態が ったからです。その点では日本人の認識に 「時差」が るのかもしれません。

日本人の多くは自国の文化に誇りを持ってはいますが、 同時に余り普遍性がないとも思っています。なにしろ長らく外国 に積極的に発信することもなく、とことん「日本人向け 」に築き上げられてきた文化ですから。
普遍性=偉大性と捉えるならば、その点では傲慢さとは 対極に ると思いますね。


「四季」について
もちろん季節に移り変わりが るのは日本だけでは り ません。当たり前のことです。
ただ、温暖湿潤気候帯に属すること、季節風の影響を受 けやすい大陸の東側に位置すること、国土が南北に長く 亜熱帯から亜寒帯まで幅広い気候に恵まれること、など から、国土面積の割にはその変化・多様性が比較的豊か な国の一つで るとはいえると思います。
ちなみにベルギー観光局の宣伝文句は「四季が流れる国、ベルギー」だそうです。
http://www.belgium-travel.jp/

Maciamoさんの投稿を見て思うのですが、 なたは自信 失っているのでは りませんか。
もう少し自分に自身と余裕が るのならば、桜について日本人が誇らしげに語る ことぐらい特段に気にもしないはずです。わたしも桜は 大好きですが、しかし、しょせん花のことなんですから 。

Gaijin 06
Nov 25, 2005, 13:03
Not more than a Japanese who asked me if I liked sushi. The problem with you is that you don't pay attention to wording and context, so you always think I mean things I don't mean.


I fail to see how this statement can be taken out of context



So racism is maybe a way for some Japanese to become more confident, by doing all they can to make "gaijins" look stupid or inferior, going as far as inventing theories such as Japanese having unique brains, being able to eat food that foreigners can't eat, or claiming that Japan is unique for its four seasons and cherry blossoms

Maciamo
Nov 25, 2005, 15:26
I fail to see how this statement can be taken out of context

I don't see any inconsistencies with what I explained above. Maybe you should try harder to read what I wrote, and not what you want to understand.

Maciamo
Nov 25, 2005, 15:59
日本人論=racist theory of Japanesenessではないですよ。
日本人論の中には優越主義的なものもありますが、自らを否定的に描くものも少なくありません。
また、「荒唐無稽」といった通り、いわゆる日本人論の多くはせいぜい酒席のネタ程度のものでそれほど真剣に 捉えられている訳ではありません。

If the "nihonjinron" is mostly limited to jokes at drinking parties, how do you explain that so many books were written about it, and that Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara has political views well in line with the "nihonjinron" ?

There have been similar racist theories of "White supremacy" (e.g. Nazism), but rare are the people who still agree with them or would publicly express them. I think that you (as a Japanese) do not understand that in Western countries, because such theories existed, there has been a movement to ban them, especially after the disastrous consequences of Nazism in WWII. However, I feel very much that the Japanese have no such taboo about it, and don't even realise that it is taboo for Westerners. Visibly, you also think it's ok at a drinking party...


そもそも、唯一の超大国と世界最大の人口を持つ国を「例外」とすること自体にムリがありますね 。

Well, I am not American nor Chinese, but European. I compare Japan to what I know best, and this is Europe, or more specifically the Benelux, France or Britain, which are the countries I know best in Europe. I have also criticised a lot the US - probably more than Japan. So, what's the point telling me that the US may be worse than Japan in this regard ? It still doesn't make Japan on the particular issue of racism alright by my standards.

Just to give you an idea of the treatment of foreigners in Belgium :

- All foreigners have the right to vote at local election. (not in Japan)
- Belgium provides integration courses for immigrants, including very cheap (sometimes free) language classes.
- Foreigners don't have to carry an alien registration card (but Belgium must carry an ID card)
- Foreigners can benefit from social security. (something I disagree with, but that is how it is).
- Foreigners married to a Belgian don't need a (spouse) visa, and can obtain Belgian citizenship after 6 months of marriage (as opposed to 4-5 years in Japan).
- In 2001, Belgium had 24,000 asylum seekers, as opposed to 400 in Japan. Belgium having a population and land area 13x smaller than Japan, it means that Belgium accepted 780x more asylum seekers per inhabitant than Japan. (sources (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/imm_asy_see&int=-1))
Furthermore, the acceptance rate of asylum seekers in Belgium is 24.5%, against 9.2% in Japan (sources (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/imm_asy_see_acc_rat&int=-1))

This is off-topic, but it may help you understand what is "normal" for me as a Belgian (and not for American or Chinese people). So I may be a bit more sensitive to issues of foreigners' rights, discrimination of racism than international average. But I am entitled to an opinion too, ain't I ?

Maciamo
Nov 25, 2005, 17:06
「寿司は食べられますか?」
寿司は現在世界的なブームですが、わずか十年ほど前までは「生で魚を食べるなんて不衛生でグロテスクの極み 」だと揶揄さたものでした。

Were there protests (outside Japan ?) against eating raw fish 10 years ago ? Where ? Sorry, I have never heard about this in Belgium. Did China participate ? If not that's strange because some Japanese businessmen I teach were so surprised when I told them that I saw sushi restaurant in Shanghai and Beijing. Their reaction (2 different people) was the same : "But Chinese people don't eat raw fish !". Well, apparently they do.


お隣の中国でさえ魚を生で食べることは一般にはありませんでした。

Here we go ! So you also think that the Chinese don't eat raw fish ! In fact, I asked our Chinese guide in Beijing this month, and "raw fish"; although less common than in Japan, is also part of traditional Chinese cuisine. They don't call it 寿司 (sushi) or 刺身 (sashimi) but 生魚片 (shengyupian) or something like that (my Chinese is very basic).

Then in several European countries, people have been eating raw fis for centuries. One of the most stereotypical food of the Netherlands is the "maatjes" (http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861678498/matjes_herring.html) (raw herring). Scandinavians also eat raw fish, and to a lesser extent Mediteranean people too. I guess that among Westerners, it is mostly in English-speaking countries, France* or Central-Eastern Europe that it is not part of traditional food. In places far from the sea, it is fairly normal. As for Britain, well, people boil or bake everything there !

Yet, most Western countries (including France and English-speaking countries) do have a tradition of eating raw oysters (alive).


日本人の多くは自国の文化に誇りを持ってはいますが、同時に余り普遍性がないとも思っています。なにしろ長 らく外国に積極的に発信することもなく、とことん「日本人向け」に築き上げられてきた文化です から。

The problem is not that raw fish is not eaten universally. What I dislike is people who assume that I can't eat raw fish because I am a foreigner. Even if raw fish is not commonly eaten in one country, it doesn't mean that people cannot appreciate it. Other Japanese dishes like "soba" or "okonomiyaki" are more typically Japanese than raw fish. Indeed I don't know any other country that have the same dish in their tradition, and such restaurant are much rarer than sushi in Western countries. Yet, not a single Japanese person has asked me whether I "could" eat soba or okonomiyaki. Why ? I don't know. It's probably because so many Japanese have the strange idea that sushi/sashimi is a kind of food that only Japanese people can appreciate. This is what I call a "misconception regarding foreigners/Westerners". In fact, I found that more Western friends of mine don't like much soba (especially cold), but almost all of them love sushi.

I suppose that if that idea that Westerners dislike raw fish is so widespread in Japan (although I never heard it before coming to Japan), it is because the media have advertised this idea. Why would they do that ?

1) Either by ignorance - looking only at the US to define all Western countries, which is a huge mistake, as the US is a melting pot of world cultures, which developed a society very different from European cultures.

2) In an attempt to create a idea that the Japanese could so things that "foreigners" couldn't. Why ? It's not clear, but as I said above, probably out of a sense of insecurity or complex of inferiority/superiority.



「四季」について
もちろん季節に移り変わりがあるのは日本だけではありません。当たり前のことです。

It doesn't seem so obvious to all Japanese that not only Japan has four seasons. Or at least, it is not obvious to them that all Europe does. Otherwise, why would it be such a common question, and why would some people be surprised when I say that Belgium, or France, or Italy all have 4 seasons ? Even my wife admitted that she did not know that before going to Europe (before meeting me). That's very strange for me. What do Japanese people learn at school about geography, I asked my wife. She said that 1) not everybody takes geography classes (it's not compulsory like in Europe), and 2) some teachers had told her that Japan was one of the rare countries in the world to have 4 seasons (I can't speak for other Japanese, but in her case, and other friends to whom I asked, that is what they were told).

Strangly, nobody asked me whether my country had a continental, oceanic, temperate cold, temperate warm, subtropical or other kind of climate. Well, of course, if Japanese people don't learn that at school, how would they all know about it ?



ちなみにベルギー観光局の宣伝文句は「四季が流れる国、ベルギー」だそうです。
http://www.belgium-travel.jp/

That's right - Belgium also has 4 seasons. So what ? The question is : why does the Japanese website of the Belgian Tourist Office mention it, while the American website (http://www.visitbelgium.com/) or French website (http://www.tourismebelgique.com/) don't ? Answer : 1) it's obvious to Westerners that Belgium has 4 seasons (but not to all Japanese), and 2) the Japanese spend a lot of money in "season tourism", which includes far away trips to see blossoms or autumn leaves.



もう少し自分に自身と余裕があるのならば、桜について日本人が誇らしげに語ることぐらい特段に気にもしない はずです。わたしも桜は大好きですが、しかし、しょせん花のことなんですから。

I was sure that you completely misunderstood me since the beginning, as I couldn't see where your replies were leading to. So you think that I dislike cherry blossoms, and should be more tolerant toward the Japanese like you who like them very much ? You are a good example of what I am complaining about among Japanese people. First of all, I also like watching blossoms, flowers, autumn leaves, etc. In fact, I like it so much that I have taken many pictures of them in Japan (just check the Gallery (http://www.wa-pedia.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/503)), and even wrote a special page about parks and gardens (http://www.wa-pedia.com/practical/tokyo_parks_gardens.shtml) in Tokyo, with the list of major trees and flowers in each, and recommendations about which is better for plum or cherry blossoms or autumn leaves (check the detail pages, clicking on the garden names). What irritates me is that most Japanese believe that admiring the seasons is something foreigners don't know and cannot fully appreciate. Many Japanese I met assumed that there were no trees in blossoms or no autumn leaves where I come from. This makes me angry, because :

1) it shows how ignorant they are of the world. Ignorance of such basic things is as much a crime to me as the "lack of appreciation for good food" would be for most Japanese.

2) it is condescending to think that someone cannot appreciate something because it is not part of their culture (e.g. cherry blossom viewing). This is the kind of attitude I call "dangerously close to racism" : If someone is not Japanese, they can't appreciate Japanese culture, e.g. cherry blossoms or sushi. Believe me, I have met people who told me that.

But I admit being more "sensitive" to people doubting my ability to do something than most people. It is more an insult to me to say (or even just imply) that I could not possibly do or appreciate something as well as someone else, than calling me names. Other Westerners who do not understand why I complain so much are just more thick-skinned.

Ermac
Nov 25, 2005, 18:34
I skipped most of this cause i got the general idea of this thread..

What about that show called takeshi's castle?
I find that pretty funny...I know its pretty old :blush: But still my point stands.

And my point is that they too do stupid things along with everyone else.
Maybe i will take more notice when these things happen to me...as with most human beings.

:cool:

kkkktttt
Nov 25, 2005, 19:56
Maciamoさん、欧州にも「外国人を笑いのネタにするバ 宴Cティ番組」が存在することはご理解頂けましたか?
確かに欧米では「アフリカ系の人々」を からさまに笑 い飛ばすようなバライティ番組はタブーなのかもしれません。もちろん、その背景には過酷なア フリカ人差別の歴史が るわけです。
同様の例は日本でも ります。 なたは韓国人をネタに したお笑い番組を見たことは りますか?日本では韓国 人をそのように描くことはタブーとなっています。
それぞれの社会には、各の歴史を背景とするタブーが存在するわけです。欧米の基準を絶対化して日本を判 断するのは誤りですね。


Were there protests (outside Japan ?) against eating raw fish 10 years ago ? Where ? Sorry, I have never heard about this in Belgium. Did China participate ? If not that's strange because some Japanese businessmen I teach were so surprised when I told them that I saw sushi restaurant in Shanghai and Beijing. Their reaction (2 different people) was the same : "But Chinese people don't eat raw fish !". Well, apparently they do.



Here we go ! So you also think that the Chinese don't eat raw fish ! In fact, I asked our Chinese guide in Beijing this month, and "raw fish"; although less common than in Japan, is also part of traditional Chinese cuisine. They don't call it 寿司 (sushi) or 刺身 (sashimi) but 生魚片 (shengyupian) or something like that (my Chinese is very basic).

中国人は古代には生魚を食べていたようですが、明や清 の時代以降は、一部の「美食」を除いて、一般には食べ られなくなったそうです。生魚が再び広く食べられるよ うになったのは改革開放の進んだ最近の話です。
しかし、上海などの沿岸地域や大都市の出身者はともか く地方出身者にはいまだに「生魚を料理として認めない 」ような人は多いですよ。
http://www.sinorama.com.tw/jp/1999/199903/803024j1.html
http://www2u.biglobe.ne.jp/~yangzi/my-memo/skech-ryoko/beijing04/beijing04.htm

kkkktttt
Nov 25, 2005, 20:06
It doesn't seem so obvious to all Japanese that not only Japan has four seasons. Or at least, it is not obvious to them that all Europe does. Otherwise, why would it be such a common question, and why would some people be surprised when I say that Belgium, or France, or Italy all have 4 seasons ? Even my wife admitted that she did not know that before going to Europe (before meeting me). That's very strange for me. What do Japanese people learn at school about geography, I asked my wife. She said that 1) not everybody takes geography classes (it's not compulsory like in Europe), and 2) some teachers had told her that Japan was one of the rare countries in the world to have 4 seasons (I can't speak for other Japanese, but in her case, and other friends to whom I asked, that is what they were told).

世界の気候については小学校、中学校、高校とそれぞれ のレベルに応じて習いますよ。高校では選択制ですが、 小・中学校では義務教育として習うはずです。奥さんは 忘れているだけではないですか?
地理の時間だけでは りません。
Antonio Vivaldiの「The Four Seasons」は日本でもっとも好まれるクラッシック曲の 黷ツで、学校の音楽の授業でも習います。欧州には の 謔、な名曲を生み出す美しい「四季」が るわけですね B
会話の内容にもよりますが、もし本当に「春夏秋冬は日 本にだけ る」などと思い込んでいたのならば、もう一 度義務教育をやり直すよう勧めてください。:-)

kkkktttt
Nov 25, 2005, 20:11
ベルギーでMaciamoさんと同じような境遇に った日本人の例を ミ介します。
母国を相対的に見ることによって、 るいは著者の「解 決法」を学ぶことによって、日本社会との「つき い方 」がこなれてくるかもしれないですよ。
http://www.infoplaza.be/belgium/bovy21/bo216225.htm

Maciamo
Nov 25, 2005, 22:01
中国人は古代には生魚を食べていたようですが、明や清 の時代以降は、一部の「美食」を除いて、一般には食べ られなくなったそうです。生魚が再び広く食べられるよ うになったのは改革開放の進んだ最近の話です。
しかし、上海などの沿岸地域や大都市の出身者はともか く地方出身者にはいまだに「生魚を料理として認めない 」ような人は多いですよ。
http://www.sinorama.com.tw/jp/1999/199903/803024j1.html
http://www2u.biglobe.ne.jp/~yangzi/my-memo/skech-ryoko/beijing04/beijing04.htm

Whatever these Japanese say, do you doubt the word of my Chinese guide, born and raised in China, who said that there is also raw fish in Chinese food, not just in Japanese restaurant in China ? She was not speaking about ancient times.

kkkktttt
Nov 25, 2005, 22:08
Whatever these Japanese say, do you doubt the word of my Chinese guide, born and raised in China, who said that there is also raw fish in Chinese food, not just in Japanese restaurant in China ? She was not speaking about ancient times.

中国人も言っていますよ。
http://www.joho-kyoto.or.jp/~lions/benron03/t03-03.html

googleで「中国人」「刺身」で検索してみてください。実体験に基づいたエピソードが数多く見つかりま す。すくなくとも、この点において日本人が全く根拠のないことをいっているわけではないことはご理解頂ける と思います。
http://www.google.com/search?num=50&hl=ja&q=%E4%B8%AD%E5%9B%BD%E4%BA%BA+%E5%88%BA%E8%BA%AB

まあ、中国は広いですから例外的な地域はあるかもしれませんが。
また、最近といっても中国が改革開放政策に転じて20年以上経過しているわけですから、ガイドさんの年齢に よっては「生まれた頃から食べている」ということになるのかもしれません。

kkkktttt
Nov 25, 2005, 22:23
Well, I am not American nor Chinese, but European. I compare Japan to what I know best, and this is Europe, or more specifically the Benelux, France or Britain, which are the countries I know best in Europe. I have also criticised a lot the US - probably more than Japan. So, what's the point telling me that the US may be worse than Japan in this regard ? It still doesn't make Japan on the particular issue of racism alright by my standards.

あなたが、バライティ番組で外国人を笑いのネタにすることを「a typically Japanese phenomenon」と言ったことに対しての発言です。日本人に典型である(=「日本人論」)というのな らば、少なくともこの二大国について調査しないのは適当ではないと思ったわけです。「他にはない」ことを証 明しなければ「典型的」とは言えないでしょ?
ご理解頂けましたか?

Maciamo
Nov 25, 2005, 22:52
世界の気候については小学校、中学校、高校とそれぞれ のレベルに応じて習いますよ。高校では選択制ですが、 小・中学校では義務教育として習うはずです。奥さんは 忘れているだけではないですか?

She could have forgotten, but then so did her 4 friends we asked, and so did about 50 of my students.


Antonio Vivaldiの「The Four Seasons」は日本でもっとも好まれるクラッシック曲の 黷ツで、学校の音楽の授業でも習います。欧州には の 謔、な名曲を生み出す美しい「四季」が るわけですね B

Exactly ! That's what I have answered a few times when I was asked whether Europe also had 4 seasons. Tonight again, we were talking about Italy, and I was asked if Italy had 4 seasons... Well, Vivaldi was Italian, they should know...


会話の内容にもよりますが、もし本当に「春夏秋冬は日 本にだけ る」などと思い込んでいたのならば、もう一 度義務教育をやり直すよう勧めてください。:-)

I completely agree. But then many business men and women I have met should go back to school. It should be quite obvious that Europe has four seasons, since the names for each season (spring, summer, autumn, winter) exist in every European language. If they weren't 4 seasons, why should they be just 4 names for them ?

Maciamo
Nov 26, 2005, 00:06
なたが、バライティ番組で外国人を笑いのネタにする ことを「a typically Japanese phenomenon」と言ったことに対しての発言です。日本人 に典型で る(=「日本人論」)というのならば、少な くともこの二大国について調査しないのは適当ではない と思ったわけです。「他にはない」ことを証明しなけれ ば「典型的」とは言えないでしょ?
ご理解頂けましたか?

I said that cute racism was a typically Japanese phenomenon. It's not the same as making ethnic jokes between Japanese. I am talking of recruiting foreigners and making them do stupid things, or making them look stupid by giving them katakana subtitles. In fact, some of the foreigners on TV do not even have to act stupidly to make the Japanese people on TV laugh (and the audience I guess). As other people said, many Japanese just find it hilarious to see a foreigner do things that are completely normal for Japanese people. As far as I know, there is no such TV programmes anywhere else. If there is, please tell me the name of the programme, channel and country where it is shown.

Ermac
Nov 26, 2005, 01:55
Fine disreguard what I said.....

Bibinbahell
Nov 26, 2005, 07:11
あなたが、バライティ番組で外国人を笑いのネタにすることを「a typically Japanese phenomenon」と言ったことに対しての発言です。日本人に典型である(=「日本人論」)というのな らば、少なくともこの二大国について調査しないのは適当ではないと思ったわけです。「他にはない」ことを証 明しなければ「典型的」とは言えないでしょ?
ご理解頂けましたか?

Your argument does not follow. What's "typical" for a certain group of peoples can very well be "typical" for another. You don't have to argue that a certain trait exists only in a certain sample of people for it to be defined as "typical."

But either way, what's irritating people is the kind of humor that the Japanese find funny. Time after time, foreigners are funny for the sake of being a foreigner in these variety shows (余談かもしれませんが、たしか正しい綴りは「バラエティ」の筈なんですけど。。。). I'm quite sure that shows around the world would have jokes about stereotypes. I'm also quite sure that many of those jokes are funny because it revolves around a specific quality or absurdity of the stereotype itself. A long shot away from the Japanese form where you can laugh at a foreigner for doing ordinary things.

Gaijin 06
Nov 26, 2005, 09:20
As far as I know, there is no such TV programmes anywhere else. If there is, please tell me the name of the programme, channel and country where it is shown.

I find it incredible you can even purport to hold a valid opinion on this matter, given you will have seen a tiny miniscule percentage of all the programming on TVs worldwide, in every country.

Here's a quick starter for ten:

Goodness Gracious Me, BBC2, the UK.

One of their most famous sketches is showing a group of Indian lads doing things "normal" for British lads, i.e. getting drunk and going into a foreign restaurant.

It is funny because it is out of character for them, even though you can see hundreds of British groups doing it every Friday and Saturday night.

Maciamo
Nov 26, 2005, 09:57
Goodness Gracious Me, BBC2, the UK.

One of their most famous sketches is showing a group of Indian lads doing things "normal" for British lads, i.e. getting drunk and going into a foreign restaurant.

It is funny because it is out of character for them, even though you can see hundreds of British groups doing it every Friday and Saturday night.

Wrong answer. This programme is made by British people of Indian descent for people of Indian descent. Actually, there is not a single TV programme made by Westerners for Westerners in Japan. You could say that "Goodness Gracious Me" is a proof of the good adaptation and lack of instintutionalised racism in the UK. What I complain about in Japan is not just that ordinary people should think in a racist way (this can happen everywhere), but that "racist views" are supported and advertised by the media or government. That is much worse, as it only reinforces the problem on a nationwide scale.

"Goodness Gracious Me" would be similar to Japan if the programme was made by White people who made fun of Indian immigrants (or children) speaking English, by providing subtitles in weirdly spelled English whenever one of them spoke in very good English (esp. that such subtitles are normally not used in the UK, except maybe for an elderly farmer with a heavy regional accent, but never in misspelt English insinuating that they can't speak properly).

kkkktttt
Nov 26, 2005, 10:14
Your argument does not follow. What's "typical" for a certain group of peoples can very well be "typical" for another. You don't have to argue that a certain trait exists only in a certain sample of people for it to be defined as "typical."

「典型的」と「普遍的」の違いがわかりますか?多くの 国や社会に一般的に見られることを「一部の集団の典型 的な特徴」とはいいません。それは概念矛盾です。
日本には「四季」が りますが、これを「日本に典型的 な特徴で る」などといったらおかしいでしょ?
もちろん、ごく少数の例外を挙げて典型性を否定しよう とするならば単なる げ足取りの議論かもしれません。 しかし、アメリカや中国を観察の対象から除外するのは 適切ではないですね。

kkkktttt
Nov 26, 2005, 10:21
I said that cute racism was a typically Japanese phenomenon. It's not the same as making ethnic jokes between Japanese. I am talking of recruiting foreigners and making them do stupid things, or making them look stupid by giving them katakana subtitles. In fact, some of the foreigners on TV do not even have to act stupidly to make the Japanese people on TV laugh (and the audience I guess). As other people said, many Japanese just find it hilarious to see a foreigner do things that are completely normal for Japanese people. As far as I know, there is no such TV programmes anywhere else. If there is, please tell me the name of the programme, channel and country where it is shown.

再掲になりますが・・・

イギリスの例を一つ
http://tviv.org/wiki/Banzai

また、ハンガリーでは次のような番組が放映されていたそうです。
http://www.sankei.co.jp/edit/bunka/2...ji/0501tv.html
この番組はもともとオランダで製作され、欧州の複数の 国で放映されてたものを、ハンガリーの放送局が版権購入し独自に製作したものだそうです。

日本人の大半はこれらの番組を笑って済ますぐらいの余裕があると思いますが、海外に住みマイノリティーとし て差別問題に敏感にならざるを得ない日本人の中に はracismを感じる人も少なくないでしょう。ちょうど現 在のあなたのように。

そういえばフランス映画「タクシー2」でもおかしな日本人が描かれていましたね。

ベルギーについてはそもそもどのような番組が放映されているか 知らないので何ともいえません。

詳しくはgoogleで「変な日本」あるいは「ヘンな日本」 で調べてみてください。
http://www.google.com/search?num=50&...5%E6%9C%AC&lr=
http://www.google.com/search?num=50&...C%E7%B4%A2&lr=

そもそも欧州では、各国の人々をステレオタイプ化して ネタにする「小話」がまさに「文化」として根付いているのではないです か?
その中には日本人をネタにしたものもあるはずです。


あなたの意見を読んでいると、出所は不明ですがある「ジョーク」を思い出しました。
「イギリス人は倹約家だがユダヤ人はケチだ。」

ちなみに、日本人の英語下手は結構ジョークのネタになっていますよ。当人たちは「ちゃんと話している」つも りなんですが。
googleで「engrish」で検索してみてください。
http://www.google.com/search?num=50&hl=ja&q=engrish

Bibinbahell
Nov 26, 2005, 12:33
「典型的」と「普遍的」の違いがわかりますか?。

Do I know the difference between typical and universal? I don't know. You tell me. What are you trying to say? That racism is universal? That everyone is a racist at heart?


多くの国や社会に一般的に見られることを「一部の集団 の典型的な特徴」とはいいません。それは概念矛盾です 。。

Huh? So you're saying that despite all the observations given that demonstrate that Japanese "cute" racism is perpetuated by ignorance, feelings of superiority, or whatnot, if racism exists outside of Japan, we cannot say, "It is typical for the Japanese to have racist views"? I'd say that's an attempt to play down the issue at hand. If it's only an individual problem, then that would be much better than what's happening now.


日本には「四季」が りますが、これを「日本に典型的 な特徴で る」などといったらおかしいでしょ?

Yes, it would sound strange because not all of Japan has the 4 seasons; like, oh, I don't know, Okinawa for one?


もちろん、ごく少数の例外を挙げて典型性を否定しよう とするならば単なる げ足取りの議論かもしれません。 しかし、アメリカや中国を観察の対象から除外するのは 適切ではないですね。

I thought that we are, in fact, talking about faults. I don't read or watch Chinese media but I can say that although the media in the United States may display ethnocentrism but it will, in no way, ever try to perpetuate racist views like they do in Japan (at least in respected publications).

kkkktttt
Nov 26, 2005, 13:12
Do I know the difference between typical and universal? I don't know. You tell me. What are you trying to say? That racism is universal? That everyone is a racist at heart?)

まずはご自分で辞書で調べてみてください。それでも分からなければ具体的に質問してください。教えてあげま す。
差別思想と全く無縁の人はいないでしょう。事実を冷徹に認識することは正しい解決の第一歩です。おのおのの 差別心を冷静に自省した上でその克服を目指すべきです。



Huh? So you're saying that despite all the observations given that demonstrate that Japanese "cute" racism is perpetuated by ignorance, feelings of superiority, or whatnot, if racism exists outside of Japan, we cannot say, "It is typical for the Japanese to have racist views"? I'd say that's an attempt to play down the issue at hand. If it's only an individual problem, then that would be much better than what's happening now.

わざわざ「typical」等と言わなくても日本の人種差別問題を批判することは出来ますし、自国が同じよ うな人種差別問題を抱えているからと言って他国を批判できないわけではありません。
金正日体制を支持する在日朝鮮人連合会でさえ日本の差別問題を批判できるのですから。
ただし、自国のことを棚に上げた議論を展開するならば、「説得力」は伴わないでしょうが。

普遍的な問題であるにもかかわらず日本だけの問題であるということは、一見人種差別問題の解消を目指してい るようで、実は日本に対する差別的な見方を助長する結果ともなりかねません。



Yes, it would sound strange because not all of Japan has the 4 seasons; like, oh, I don't know, Okinawa for one?

沖縄にも四季はありますよ。
http://www.google.co.jp/search?q=%E6%B2%96%E7%B8%84%E3%81%AE%E5%9B%9B%E5%A D%A3&hl=ja&lr=&start=10&sa=N

もちろん、北海道にもあります。
http://www.google.co.jp/search?hl=ja&q=%E5%8C%97%E6%B5%B7%E9%81%93%E3%81%AE%E5%9B%9B%E5 %AD%A3&btnG=Google+%E6%A4%9C%E7%B4%A2&lr=



I thought that we are, in fact, talking about faults. I don't read or watch Chinese media but I can say that although the media in the United States may display ethnocentrism but it will, in no way, ever try to perpetuate racist views like they do in Japan (at least in respected publications).

日本人はアメリカのメディアにおける格好の笑いの対象のひとつでしょう?最近は日本自体の影が薄くなってい るので余り取り上げられることはないかもしれませんが、ジャパン・バッシングの時代を思い出し てください。
また、程度の差はあなたが「差別する側」(笑う側)に立っているのか「差別される側」(笑われる側)に立っ ているかで認識が異なってきます。
日本人の多くは、自らのことを棚に上げて「アメリカの方がひどい」と思っているでしょう。
ただし、こんな議論をやっていて何の利得がありますか?双方に問題があるのならば共にその解決を目指すべき ではないですか?

Bibinbahell
Nov 26, 2005, 14:08
まずはご自分で辞書で調べてみてください。それでも分 からなければ具体的に質問してください。教えて げま す。

My bad. I completely forgot that sarcasm rarely works in Japanese.



差別思想と全く無縁の人はいないでしょう。事実を冷徹 に認識することは正しい解決の第一歩です。おのおのの 差別心を冷静に自省した上でその克服を目指すべきです 。

There's a difference between acknowledging racism as a problem and actively participating in it. You tell me whether Japan has a tendency to do the former or the latter. Solving the problems would be great. But considering how long it's been going on, you have to honestly ask yourself what measures have actually been taken to prevent racism?


わざわざ「typical」等と言わなくても日本の人種差別 竭閧批判することは出来ますし、自国が同じような人 差別問題を抱えているからと言って他国を批判できな 「わけでは りません。
金日正体制を支持する在日朝鮮人連合会でさえ日本の差 別問題を批判できるのですから。
ただし、自国のことを棚に上げた議論を展開するならば 、「説得力」は失うでしょうが。

普遍的な問題で るにもかかわらず日本だけの問題で るということは、一見人種差別問題の解消を目指してい るようで、実は日本に対する差別的な見方を助長する結 果ともなりかねません。

Okay. You don't like "typical?" How about "widespread?" Or maybe "mainstream?" It doesn't change that Japanese people who aren't racist are more the exception than the rule.

And you really don't have to worry about people discriminating against Japan. In my experience, most people are in the narrow range of looking at Japan through rose-color glasses to being downright apathetic. People who care about such social issues of Japan are relatively rare.


日本人はアメリカのメディアにおける格好の笑いの対象 のひとつでしょう?最近は日本自体の影が薄くなってい るので余り取り上げられることはないかもしれませんが、ジャパ ン・バッシングの時代を思い出してください。

Japan bashing? Are you talking about the times when workers in Detroit paid to take swing at Japanese cars with a bat? How many decades ago is that? You'll have to refresh my memory on any current events where America has said racist things to Japan. To the best of my knowledge, they're not doing it NOW. I have rarely seen references to Japan in the form of ridicule.


また、程度の差は なたが「加害者の側」(笑う側)に 立っているのか「被害者の側」(笑われる側)に立って いるかで認識が異なってきます。
日本人の多くは、自らのことを棚に上げて「アメリカの 方がひどい」と思っているでしょう。
ただし、こんな議論をやっていて何の利得が りますか ?双方に問題が るのならば共にその解決を目指すべき ではないですか?

Well of course. But the ones doing the harm is the overwhelming majority in Japan.

Sitting down to solve problems with mutual understanding would be great. We're (sort of) doing that now. Unless a body with political power pushes for change or that the Japanese come to their senses, that's not going to happen.

kkkktttt
Nov 26, 2005, 14:47
My bad. I completely forgot that sarcasm rarely works in Japanese.

私も皮肉で返したつもりなんですが。あなたには通じませんでしたね。



Okay. You don't like "typical?" How about "widespread?" Or maybe "mainstream?" It doesn't change that Japanese people who aren't racist are more the exception than the rule.

And you really don't have to worry about people discriminating against Japan. In my experience, most people are in the narrow range of looking at Japan through rose-color glasses to being downright apathetic. People who care about such social issues of Japan are relatively rare.

Japan bashing? Are you talking about the times when workers in Detroit paid to take swing at Japanese cars with a bat? How many decades ago is that? You'll have to refresh my memory on any current events where America has said racist things to Japan. To the best of my knowledge, they're not doing it NOW. I have rarely seen references to Japan in the form of ridicule.

マイケル・クライトンの「ライジング・サン」がベストセラーとなって映画化されたり、経済的なライバルでは あるものの安全保障条約を締結した同盟国である日本を軍事的脅威であったソ連と比較してその脅威を煽るよう な報道も目につきました。
また、解雇された労働者が日本人と間違えて韓国人移民を殺害したこともありましたね。被害者の家族にとって はなかなか忘れがたいことでしょう。
繰り返しになりますが、差別問題を論じる場合に、常に「差別される側」の視点を忘れないことが大事です。あ なたは「自分の側」に立って考えていませんか?自らが「加害者側」に立たされた場合にも常に相手の側(被害 者)の視点を忘れないでください。

最近の例では、アカデミー賞受賞作「Lost In Translation」があげられるでしょう。
海外に住み少数派として差別問題に敏感にならざるを得ない日本人の中には、この映画を日本に対して差別的で あると捉える人が少なくありませんでした。アメリカの報道でも一部そのことが取り上げられていたと記憶して います。

ただ、日本の経済力が相対的に衰退した影響で日本人が取り上げられることは比較的少なくなりま したね。
これからは中国人がターゲットになっていくでしょう。



There's a difference between acknowledging racism as a problem and actively participating in it. You tell me whether Japan has a tendency to do the former or the latter. Solving the problems would be great. But considering how long it's been going on, you have to honestly ask yourself what measures have actually been taken to prevent racism?


Well of course. But the ones doing the harm is the overwhelming majority in Japan.

Sitting down to solve problems with mutual understanding would be great. We're (sort of) doing that now. Unless a body with political power pushes for change or that the Japanese come to their senses, that's not going to happen.

在日韓国・朝鮮系の団体は大変強力な圧力団体を組織しています。あなたは在日韓国・朝鮮人がお笑いのネタに される番組をほとんど見たことがないでしょう?
各国や社会には差別問題をめぐるそれぞれの実情や問題があるんですよ。

lastmagi
Nov 26, 2005, 15:56
Bibinbahell: I agree with most of what you've said, at least, in the context in which I can understand them; I don't understand Japanese, so I can't really comment on your conversation with kkkktttt. Still, one part stuck out:


Japan bashing? Are you talking about the times when workers in Detroit paid to take swing at Japanese cars with a bat? How many decades ago is that? You'll have to refresh my memory on any current events where America has said racist things to Japan. To the best of my knowledge, they're not doing it NOW. I have rarely seen references to Japan in the form of ridicule.

Gotta disagree here.

examples:
Banzai (produced in the UK, but some of its episodes were purchased by networks such as Comedy Central and Fox) (http://asianmediawatch.org/banzai/)

Dean Koontz (http://todgoldberg.typepad.com/tod_goldberg/2005/11/authors_behavin.html)

Death of Vincent Chin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_Chin)

Also, from what I've heard, a lot of J-Pop/Rock fans have complained about their peers mocking Japanese musicians as being gay.


You also mention the Detroit workers incident being a little outdated, but since time by itself is not an improver of moral standards, I'd ask, have there been any significant moves towards greater understanding and acceptance? I don't know myself, so I'm not putting you on the spot, or anything. Of course, in the Vincent Chin article which was dragged on into '87, it seemed like the case was a significant rallying point for APA activists, but what of white Americans? Again, I don't know. I just wanted to point out that racism doesn't disappear just through the passage of time alone.

However, I think what you seem to be getting at is America as a whole allows for more discussions and awareness about racism because concepts of racism is there in their moral consciousness, which I agree with. I'm wondering: has there been any equivalent of a civil rights movement in Japan?


Another point I want to make: just because I had examples of anti-Japanese discrimination doesn't downplay the significance of racism in any other part of the world, Japan included. Each nation, culture, subculture, etc. needs to be carefully considered.

Bibinbahell
Nov 27, 2005, 07:56
マイケル・クライトンの「ライジング・サン」がベスト セラーとなって映画化されたり、経済的なライバルでは るも のの安全保障条約を締結した同盟国で る日本を軍事的 脅威で ったソ連と比較してその脅威を煽るような報道 も目につきました。
また、解雇された労働者が日本人と間違えて韓国人移民 を殺害したことも りましたね。被害者の家族にとって はなかなか忘れがたいことでしょう。
繰り返しになりますが、差別問題を論じる場合に、常に 「差別される側」の視点を忘れないことが大事です。 なたは「自分の側」に立って考えていませんか?自らが 「加害者側」に立たされた場合にも常に相手の側(被害 者)の視点を忘れないでください。

最近の例では、アカデミー賞受賞作「Lost In Translation」が げられるでしょう。
海外に住み少数派として差別問題に敏感にならざるを得 ない日本人の中には、この映画を日本に対して差別的で ると捉える人が少なく りませんでした。アメリカの 報道でも一部そのことが取り上げられていたと記憶して います。

Actually, I have read several articles criticizing Rising Sun for it's one-sided presentation of the Japanese. Also, I don't think the movie was ever very popular so I still don't understand your point. Most people nowadays should understand what's wrong with it. And regarding that comparison to the Soviet Union, there are always nutjobs in every time period. Look what comparing Middle East to the fascists have done. I believe that a significant portion of the population will still criticize that. Now you keep telling me to look at the point of view from the victims as well as the criminals. Maybe you should tell that to your fellow Japanese instead of the people here. After all, they're the ones doing the harm. That almost seems like another blanket statement hinting that the Japanese are the real victims here.

Funny that you should use the movie "Lost in Translation" as an example of racism against the Japanese. I constantly hear the Japanese claiming, "We're nothing like that!" while the people around me, who have been to Japan one way or another (because they like Japan), say "BULLs**t, you're not!" Whosever's opinion you'd accept is entirely up to you.


ただ、日本の経済力が相対的に衰退した影響で日本人が 取り上げられることは比較的少なくなりましたね。
これからは中国人がターゲットになっていくでしょう。

I sure hope not.


在日韓国・朝鮮系の団体は大変強力な圧力団体を組織し ています。 なたは在日韓国・朝鮮人がお笑いのネタに される番組をほとんど見たことがないでしょう?
各国や社会には差別問題をめぐるそれぞれの実情や問題 が るんですよ。

Oh, you mean media like : Book 1 (http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/488380478X/qid=1133045104/sr=8-2/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i2_xgl14/250-4197013-8316249), Book 2 (http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/4775506315/qid=1133045194/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_10_1/250-4197013-8316249), or Book 3 (http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/487031682X/qid=1133045470/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_10_2/250-4197013-8316249)? As explained in New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/19/international/asia/19comics.html?ei=5090&en=b0d32e601cb39284&ex=1290056400&adxnnl=1&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1132462894-Szo4gD+fdOcxM0Qn2qoTLQ), it's not an isolated issue. Granted they're not television shows, but being on best seller list should say something about them.

You obviously seem like a conservative since you're saying things are going just fine in Japan. Almost as if racism against the Koreans are non-existant.

Bibinbahell
Nov 27, 2005, 08:05
examples:
Banzai (produced in the UK, but some of its episodes were purchased by networks such as Comedy Central and Fox) (http://asianmediawatch.org/banzai/)

Dean Koontz (http://todgoldberg.typepad.com/tod_goldberg/2005/11/authors_behavin.html)

Death of Vincent Chin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_Chin)

Also, from what I've heard, a lot of J-Pop/Rock fans have complained about their peers mocking Japanese musicians as being gay.

Those are interesting links. But please let me point out that I have never said racism is not a problem in the States. In fact, I believe I have said in a previous thread that racism is still an ongoing problem. The main difference is the people's reaction to it. Take a look at your link about Dean Koontz. The person writing that blog calls Dean Koontz a "racist f***tard." Looking at the comments, everyone agrees that being a racist makes you "a wanker of the highest order." Now imagine a blogger saying Dean Koontz is a hero because he "gave it to those dirty Japs. They had it coming." And then everyone gives out comments and examples of how the Japanese will always be inferior. I believe that's the situation in Japan.


However, I think what you seem to be getting at is America as a whole allows for more discussions and awareness about racism because concepts of racism is there in their moral consciousness, which I agree with. I'm wondering: has there been any equivalent of a civil rights movement in Japan?

Yes, I agree that there is more discussions and awareness because Americans do recognize it as a problem. Japan, on the other hand, likes to sweep things under the rug thinking that it'll go away if you ignore it long enough. I think that it'll just make the issue fester until it explodes.


Another point I want to make: just because I had examples of anti-Japanese discrimination doesn't downplay the significance of racism in any other part of the world, Japan included. Each nation, culture, subculture, etc. needs to be carefully considered.

This kkkktttt person doesn't think so. He probably thinks that Japan should be exempt from such racial equalities because Japan has been discriminated against in the past.

lastmagi
Nov 27, 2005, 08:55
Those are interesting links. But please let me point out that I have never said racism is not a problem in the States. In fact, I believe I have said in a previous thread that racism is still an ongoing problem. The main difference is the people's reaction to it. Take a look at your link about Dean Koontz. The person writing that blog calls Dean Koontz a "racist f***tard." Looking at the comments, everyone agrees that being a racist makes you "a wanker of the highest order." Now imagine a blogger saying Dean Koontz is a hero because he "gave it to those dirty Japs. They had it coming." And then everyone gives out comments and examples of how the Japanese will always be inferior. I believe that's the situation in Japan.

Good point.


This kkkktttt person doesn't think so. He probably thinks that Japan should be exempt from such racial equalities because Japan has been discriminated against in the past.

That's a ridiculous proposition that any self-respecting civil rights activist/sociologist/intellectual creature would scoff at. Too bad I can't understand enough to argue back. sorry :(

ignore newasian. his posts have been nothing but spam. if he keeps it up, i'm sure he'll be banned.

kkkktttt
Nov 27, 2005, 10:39
Actually, I have read several articles criticizing Rising Sun for it's one-sided presentation of the Japanese. Also, I don't think the movie was ever very popular so I still don't understand your point. Most people nowadays should understand what's wrong with it. And regarding that comparison to the Soviet Union, there are always nutjobs in every time period. Look what comparing Middle East to the fascists have done. I believe that a significant portion of the population will still criticize that.

当時の世論調査では、アメリカに対するもっとも深刻な脅威として、日本の経済力をあげた人がソ連の軍事力を あげた人を上回りました。
あなたのまわりには分別のある人が多いのかもしれませんが、「日本と同様」にアメリカでも(あるいは世界の どの国でも)世論はメディアの扇動に影響を受けてしまうものです。



Now you keep telling me to look at the point of view from the victims as well as the criminals. Maybe you should tell that to your fellow Japanese instead of the people here. After all, they're the ones doing the harm. That almost seems like another blanket statement hinting that the Japanese are the real victims here.

私の投稿履歴を参照してください。
一例を挙げます。日本の方との議論です。

Originally Posted by ralian
I somehow feel that there is someone behind this anti Japan movement.
Who or which organasation will benefit from this?
それにしても、今回の反日デモに関して、だれか裏で工作しているような気がしますね。だれだと 思いますか。 大体、中国政府がデモを容認するなんておかしい話じゃ ないですか。この動きは、いずれ違う方向に向いていく ような気がしますねえ。

以下が私の返答です。
日本は、1930年代から15年もの長きにわたって中国を侵略してきました。これは「地上戦」であって、「 空襲」などとは違い実際に日本軍の軍人の「顔」が見えるわけです。憎しみが中国人民の心により深く刻み込ま れても不思議ではありません。
日本の敗戦後も、内乱による混乱や「文化大革命」によ る惨劇が続き、日本軍による被害を訴える場もありませんでした。日中の国交が回復すると、国際情勢や経済援 助の必要性から、中国共産党は親日政策をとらざるを得ず、民衆の反日活動は禁止されました。
もちろん、共産党政府の様々な思惑もあるでしょうが、いわば今初めて、中国の民衆が素朴な反日感情を発散す る機会を得たともいえます。



Funny that you should use the movie "Lost in Translation" as an example of racism against the Japanese. I constantly hear the Japanese claiming, "We're nothing like that!" while the people around me, who have been to Japan one way or another (because they like Japan), say "BULLs**t, you're not!" Whosever's opinion you'd accept is entirely up to you.

私自身はこの映画を差別的だとは思っていません。まあ、監督は日本社会に敬意は抱いていないとは思いますが 。
日本でも、特に差別映画としては取り上げられていませんでした。繊細で敏感な一部の日本人が「差別」だと捉 えたのでしょう。
日本における「外国人をお笑いのネタにする」番組をめぐる状況も同じようなものだと思います。



I sure hope not.

ジャパン・バッシングの後は「ジャパン・パッシング」あるいは「ジャパン・ナッシング」です。反発の後は嘲 笑というわけです。真摯な反省があるとは思えません。そうである以上、再び同じような事態が発生する危険性 はありますね。
アメリカの政界やメディア界に対して、中国がいかにうまくロビー活動を仕掛けるかにもよってくるでしょうが 。



You obviously seem like a conservative since you're saying things are going just fine in Japan. Almost as if racism against the Koreans are non-existant.

あなたの誤解です。
そもそも強力な圧力団体が存在していること自体、差別問題が依然として存在していることの反映 です。

あなたもお分かりの通り、私は「日本もアメリカも本質的には同じだ」といっているわけです。
日本に差別がないなどと主張しているのならば、同時にアメリカにも差別問題は生じていないことになり、そも そもアメリカについてあなたとの議論が発生するはずがないじゃないですか。
これらの問題は日本でのみ存在するという意見は偏りがあり事実ではないといいたいわけです。

日本には依然として根深い差別問題があります。いわゆる在日問題だけではなく同和問題などの様々な問題が、 かつてのようなあからさまな態様ではないものの、しかし依然として社会に沈殿しています。
また、外国人に対するアパート賃貸拒否などは生活の基本に関わるものだけに大変深刻な問題です 。
その他、声をあげようにもあげられない不法滞在者に関する人権侵害など、そもそも実態が十分に把握されてい ない問題もあります。
これらの問題を解決するためには、行政が積極的に介入できるような制度改正が必要です。日本は司法関係の予 算が他の先進諸国に比べて大変低く、法律が整備されてもその執行効率性が不十分であるという問題があります 。

ただ、日本がこれらの問題に対して何も対応していないというのは誤りです。アメリカとは取り組み方に違いが あるので外からは分かりづらいかもしれませんが。
同和問題に関する一例を挙げます。
http://homepage2.nifty.com/z-sai/Opinion/01%81Eshiyoukyu.html

また、ニューヨークタイムズの記事で「嫌韓流に対して主要メディアが反論をしていない」と指摘し、あたかも この本を容認しているかのような印象を与えていますが、これは事実に反します。
日本には「黙殺」という言葉があります。「無視して殺す」という意味です。日本の主要メディアは「嫌韓流」 を黙殺したのです。メディア界は、新聞やテレビがこの本を大きく取り上げれば、たとえ批判的であっても、一 般に広く認知されることになり、かえって売り上げを伸ばしてしまうことを危惧しているわけです 。
実際、この本の「売り文句」は「各出版社から過激すぎると、出版拒否された問題作」です。新聞や車内広告で さえ各社に拒否されたそうです。
私自身は、これらの書籍を積極的に取り上げて公に議論すべきであるとの立場ですが。

アメリカでもテレビとは違い、ラジオ番組などではあからさまな差別発言が乱舞しているのではないですか?車 社会のアメリカでは、ラジオメディアの影響力は依然として大変大きいと聞いています。

繰り返しになりますが、各国家・社会はそれぞれに差別問題を抱え、おのおのその解決に苦悩しているわけです 。

blade_bltz
Nov 27, 2005, 15:47
There is a world of difference between Lost and Translation and the kind of racism Maciamo is talking about, and kkkktttt hasn't seemed to have caught on.

kkkktttt
Nov 27, 2005, 17:48
There is a world of difference between Lost and Translation and the kind of racism Maciamo is talking about, and kkkktttt hasn't seemed to have caught on.

誰が何を基準に判断するかによるでしょう。
ただ、繰り返しになりますが、私自身は「Lost in Translation」を差別映画だとは思いません。観光客誘致のための良い宣伝映画になるんじゃないか と思っているくらいです。
日本人の私からすれば、描かれているシーンは特にエキゾチックなものではないので、作品のおもしろさを十分 に理解できたとは言えませんが。

日本のお笑い番組との比較では、「AUSTIN POWERS」の方がふさわしかったかもしれません。

あまりにもバカバカしい方が、現実味がなくて、かえって差別を煽るようなことにはならないのではとも思えま すが。

ladipeach
Nov 28, 2005, 12:36
thats good.

gojuryu
Nov 29, 2005, 07:34
The problem is that probably don't realise that this is taboo in Western societies. For Japanese people racism involves violence or discrimination. Just making fun of other races or express a feeling of superiority is not regaded as racism in Japan.
I think I have the stronges counter available for this. Where-ever I am in Japan I display a position of superiority overy whom-ever I am dealing with, unless they are my elders in my particular circle. I display my position from beginning to end in situations such as reservations or check-in to hotels, seating at restuarants, rentals, club entries, anything to do with Koban or post-office, etc. These are places where I have been clearly discriminated against for being Kokujin however have the right to service. Since taking my place as being their senior I reflect to them what their responsibility is. If all else fails I pick up the mobile phone and call my very rich great uncle and he makes things happen :p

eien23
Dec 6, 2005, 09:27
This is an interesting thread.

What are these shows that supposedly give gaijin all katakana, or even all hiragana subtitles? Since I saw this thread I have been specifically looking out for shows with gaijin and ALL of them have them kanji and hiragana subtitles. Im not saying such shows dont exists, but from the first post I got the impression that it was the majority of shows with gaijin, and it certainly is not. The Bob Sapp example is the only one I knew of to illustrate your point.

Also the use of katakana doesnt have the quite the connotation you said. It isnt necessarily negative at all. It is used for interjections like "daijoubu?!" (Are you all right?) and as you mentioned "Sugoi!" (awesome!) as well. Those arent particularly harsh or angry statements are they?

As far as other countries' racism issues cancelling out Japans (no matter how big or small) that certainly isnt the case. However, such a conversation does lend itself to a "you're one to talk" type of situation. Putting the magnifying glass on Japan when there are other countries with racism problems is by no means out of the question (this IS a Japan refrence site after all), but maybe some people feel it could be done in a bit more delicate way. Some posts do seem as if the feeling behind them is that their home country is almost perfect but Japan is absolutely horrible.

In regards to the tv program Goodness Gracious Me:
Why is it that if they make fun of themselves its funny, but if you change the skin color of the producers, but leave the same content it is suddenly evil and wrong? I dont think that is right.

What I complain about in Japan is not just that ordinary people should think in a racist way (this can happen everywhere), but that "racist views" are supported and advertised by the media or government. That is much worse, as it only reinforces the problem on a nationwide scale.
Also, surely non-Indian viewers can watch the program, so couldnt the show have the same effect?

abs_car
Dec 6, 2005, 09:43
Racism in Japan is well-hidden.
Japaneses tend to hate people with Black skin and ppl from South East Asia and South West Asia (Indians, Pakistanis, Nepalis.....)
Japaneses favour white people really much... I was shocked.

abs_car
Dec 6, 2005, 09:44
I agree with you fully on this regard.


Bibinbahell: I agree with most of what you've said, at least, in the context in which I can understand them; I don't understand Japanese, so I can't really comment on your conversation with kkkktttt. Still, one part stuck out:



Gotta disagree here.

examples:
Banzai (produced in the UK, but some of its episodes were purchased by networks such as Comedy Central and Fox) (http://asianmediawatch.org/banzai/)

Dean Koontz (http://todgoldberg.typepad.com/tod_goldberg/2005/11/authors_behavin.html)

Death of Vincent Chin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_Chin)

Also, from what I've heard, a lot of J-Pop/Rock fans have complained about their peers mocking Japanese musicians as being gay.


You also mention the Detroit workers incident being a little outdated, but since time by itself is not an improver of moral standards, I'd ask, have there been any significant moves towards greater understanding and acceptance? I don't know myself, so I'm not putting you on the spot, or anything. Of course, in the Vincent Chin article which was dragged on into '87, it seemed like the case was a significant rallying point for APA activists, but what of white Americans? Again, I don't know. I just wanted to point out that racism doesn't disappear just through the passage of time alone.

However, I think what you seem to be getting at is America as a whole allows for more discussions and awareness about racism because concepts of racism is there in their moral consciousness, which I agree with. I'm wondering: has there been any equivalent of a civil rights movement in Japan?


Another point I want to make: just because I had examples of anti-Japanese discrimination doesn't downplay the significance of racism in any other part of the world, Japan included. Each nation, culture, subculture, etc. needs to be carefully considered.

Maciamo
Dec 6, 2005, 14:35
Racism in Japan is well-hidden.
Japaneses tend to hate people with Black skin and ppl from South East Asia and South West Asia (Indians, Pakistanis, Nepalis.....)
Japaneses favour white people really much... I was shocked.

I am white, but still feel racism (though well-hidden) and experienced discrimination in Japan. But I suppose that it can only be worse for the people you mentioned. I noticed that there are very few Arabic people in Japan (not enough to be in the registered foreigners' statistics, so probably less than 5,000 people), and it doesn't surprise me. The Japanese unability to differentiate people from different countries, and good from bad people in each country (so basically they just see everybody as "gaikokujin") make them associate Arabs with terrorism and street violence as seen on TV (e.g. in Palestine or Algeria). That's probably why the Japanese autorities don't give many visas to the some 150-200 million Arabs on earth.

Maciamo
Dec 6, 2005, 14:46
What are these shows that supposedly give gaijin all katakana, or even all hiragana subtitles? Since I saw this thread I have been specifically looking out for shows with gaijin and ALL of them have them kanji and hiragana subtitles. Im not saying such shows dont exists, but from the first post I got the impression that it was the majority of shows with gaijin, and it certainly is not. The Bob Sapp example is the only one I knew of to illustrate your point.


Note that I said that they use katakana for words normally using kanji or hiragana. I didn't say that everything is in katakana. Maybe 1/4 or 1/3 of the words are in katakana in a sentence where there shouldn't be katakana at all (or just 1/20). So if you can't read and understand everything written, how could you judge if some words should be in katakana or not ?

Xkavar
Dec 6, 2005, 14:53
You know what you COULD do, Maciamo? Research what a wandering 17th century ronin would wear, buy a cheap plastic sword, and go around town with an amused look on your face. If they ask you a yes or no question, don't give them an answer. Simply grunt, or nod your head. Be quiet and very polite otherwise. Learn how to close your eyes and bring your sword down in front of your lap as fast as you can, so you can perform this action whenever you suspect people make fun of you! If people walk around you in the middle of the street, walk as though they're meant to in the first place! If you see a policeman, take a minute and bow deeply to them before you walk on your way, to show proper deference to the law. If you see a "Help Wanted" sign, go in and ask if they have any use for a hungry samurai.

That'll learn them bastards...

Have you been verbally or physically attacked before, Maciamo?

Maciamo
Dec 6, 2005, 15:10
You know what you COULD do, Maciamo? Research what a wandering 17th century ronin would wear, buy a cheap plastic sword, and go around town with an amused look on your face. If they ask you a yes or no question, don't give them an answer. Simply grunt, or nod your head. Be quiet and very polite otherwise. Learn how to close your eyes and bring your sword down in front of your lap as fast as you can, so you can perform this action whenever you suspect people make fun of you! If people walk around you in the middle of the street, walk as though they're meant to in the first place! If you see a policeman, take a minute and bow deeply to them before you walk on your way, to show proper deference to the law. If you see a "Help Wanted" sign, go in and ask if they have any use for a hungry samurai.

That'll learn them bastards...


:D When I go back to Japan, I will probably give it a try. :p

Raviolo73
Dec 15, 2005, 07:18
Hi to all,
is the first time i write in the forum. So hello to all.
I write to add my particular point of view and excuse me if i make mistakes in english, im not english speaker.

Im former spanish citizen (but half italian half spanish with double nationality), and i stay japan 2 times for some months and now i will go for more long stay (my wife is japanese).

I was surprised about how the japanese people are ignorant about the rest of the world in general (i stay in tokyo not in a rural area). They have very fix ideas about gaijin.

1)all caucasians are anglosaxon, wrong, lot of people around the world doesnt speak english and have nothign to do with america or england. We are also spanish, portuguese, italians, germans,switzerlands, east europeans. So japanese have admiration about the anglophonic world. Sometimes they ask me id i ride with bulls or i sleep all day...i reply them that if i see a bull they can be sure i will run like a demon far from it and that if i sleep all the day probably i will not have money for stay in japan and have my own house in spain already payed. Or if they see me speaking italian they think im a man that stay joking all the day and eating pizza.

2) they think that their language is unique and so difficult to learn. I still dont know a japanese even with really high level (i find teachers of italian in japan that teach the language over 30 years that make very very basic errors) that cant coniugate and use correctly the verbs of the neolatin languages in all the tenses.

Anyway i think is not fault of japaneses as persons, they re polite and i never had any trouble with them during my stay in japan. All people i meet in the street or new friends was so interested speaking with me and asking me lot of things about the mediterranean region and culture and was allwais happy to practice with me my poor japanese language skills.

The problem is the education system, the isolation of the country and the hierarquical structure of the japanese society where the old is the best and the boss. this makes that the old ideas and style survive and the yougn people adopt the old ideas and customs and perpetuate it.

As is easy to see is the prelude of a decadent system. beigining from the shrinking population, typical of a modern developped country, the lose of the family values and the high value they give to the success. Is like to say to see how the water of a lake go down under the sun and no new water come from outside rivers.

They are failing to manage the inmigration matter. Sincerely (and i dont want to offend anybody) lot of the gaijin i see around tokyo are really henna gaijin, losers that even people of their same country dont want there.
Japan actually is atracting a very low profile foreigners and this will create more problems and more racism. Due to the obvious increment of criminality and probelms between nihonjin and gaijin.

Other problem is that the government doesnt have any will tointegrate foreigners, or have no idea from where to start. But is soo easy THE LANGUAGE, if a gaijin learn the language, can be usefull for the japanese society and be productive and integrate. But almost all the language courses are in the hands of private institutions with really expensive courses that not all people can to pay. When in other countries like spain, that is supposed to be not advanced like japan, the government put lot of free full time courses for all the foreigners in all the cities. Is a well know curious phenomenon that when an inmigrant become totally integrate in a country become more "nationalist" than the people that was born there. Like here in spain where people inmigrated from Andalucia (poor but beautifull region) to Catalunia (more rich and advanced region with its own language different from spanish) these inmigrants become more catalans than catalans!

I think japan will change and advance a lot when will try to "japanize" more the foreigners.

I think japanese are good persons if you take one by one. As one famous man say "take all the persons one by one and they normally are good and intelligent and with goodwilll, take after all the same persons all togheter and they can be handled like a group of sheeps"

jajaja they re not good or bad...they re just japanese...and sometimes victims of they lack of open to the rest of the world....but they also have lot of good and admirable values! not all is bad!

ciao!!!

Pachipro
Dec 16, 2005, 01:37
Hello Raviolo73 and welcome to the forums. That was an excellent first post you made and do not worry, I could understand your English very well and the points you were trying to make.

You are quite correct on the first two points you made. Concering how the Japanese view all caucasions as anglo-saxon or from mainly America and that all foreigners can speak English, you are spot on. Read a little more on this forum and you will read views from other foreigners concerning this same point. Most of them are not very happy with this view of the Japanese and I do not blame them. Also, as you corectly pointed out, they do have their own stereotypes concerning people from other countriues. I found it amusing the examples you gave concerning the Japanese view towards Italians and Spaniards. At least it is not only towards Caucasions that they have stereotypes.

Secondly, they DO view their language as unique (as well as their culture, country, seasons, snow, and even their brains!) and that since they have such a hard time themselves with foreign languages, they think that others must have the same problem with Japanese. I have known very few Japanese English teachers who can speak fluently and who do not make minor mistakes. Only those that have actually lived and studied in an English speaking country can speak well and with ease. I'm not surprised that it is the same with other languages as well.


They are failing to manage the inmigration matter. Sincerely (and i dont want to offend anybody) lot of the gaijin i see around tokyo are really henna gaijin, losers that even people of their same country dont want there.
Japan actually is atracting a very low profile foreigners and this will create more problems and more racism. Due to the obvious increment of criminality and probelms between nihonjin and gaijin.
I'm surprised to hear that this is what is happening in Japan also. I always thought Japan was more strict about their immigration of foreigners. Not only is this happening in Japan, but in America, England, France, Germany, The Netherlands and many other countries. It sure does seem strange that all of the developed countries of the world have these days allowed anyone from any country to immigrate and are having an immigration problem with the lower class of uneducated immigrants. I smell a conspiracy somewhere here! The US is not even trying to prevent the illegal immigration of over 800,000 people from Mexico and Latin America yearly! And now Japan. Something is really fishy here.


Other problem is that the government doesnt have any will tointegrate foreigners, or have no idea from where to start. But is soo easy THE LANGUAGE, if a gaijin learn the language, can be usefull for the japanese society and be productive and integrate.
Same here in the US. Most illegal immigrants from Mexico and South America cannot even speak the language and have no desire to learn and the government is not even trying to help them. In fact everywhere you go or call there are signs in Spanish and English and your calls can be answered in either language. Immigrants can take their drivers license test in their own language and do not even have to show proof of citizenship for one! It seems like the government is bending over and grabbing their ankles when it comes to illegal immigration. I guess it doesn't matter as the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) has announced that by the year 2010 all of the Americas will be under one law and currancy like Europe, and soon to be Asia and Oceania. Maybe the same is happening in Japan. Yes, it's a conspiracy as it's not likely that ALL the major countries of the world would be having the same exact problem at the same exact time. The only question I have is WHY? Japan was always way too strict 20-30 years ago to have this problem. What made them change?


I think japan will change and advance a lot when will try to "japanize" more the foreigners.
I honestly do not think this will happen. No country cares anymore and Japan has seemed to join the party. WHY?


I think japanese are good persons if you take one by one. As one famous man say "take all the persons one by one and they normally are good and intelligent and with goodwilll, take after all the same persons all togheter and they can be handled like a group of sheeps"
Yes very true. Unfortunately, with very few exceptions, the Japanese as a whole are like sheep as they believe what they are told and taught and read in the newspapers and hear on TV. Very few take the time to do any real research on their own or question authority as they don't want to stand out in a crowd lest "the protruding nail gets hammered down."



jajaja they re not good or bad...they re just japanese...and sometimes victims of they lack of open to the rest of the world....but they also have lot of good and admirable values! not all is bad!
Yes they are and you are so right.

Maciamo
Dec 16, 2005, 18:22
Hi to all,
is the first time i write in the forum. So hello to all.

Welcome to the forum ! :wave:


Sometimes they ask me id i ride with bulls or i sleep all day...i reply them that if i see a bull they can be sure i will run like a demon far from it and that if i sleep all the day probably i will not have money for stay in japan and have my own house in spain already payed. Or if they see me speaking italian they think im a man that stay joking all the day and eating pizza.

I have heard similar stereotypes about Italy and Spain in Japan. Interestingly, the Japanese don't seem to have stereotypes about smaller European countries (e.g. Benelux, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe...). That's probably because they know even less (less than stereotypes !) about these countries. Most of them think "Australia" when you are talking about "Austria", which doesn't help...


2) they think that their language is unique and so difficult to learn. I still dont know a japanese even with really high level (i find teachers of italian in japan that teach the language over 30 years that make very very basic errors) that cant coniugate and use correctly the verbs of the neolatin languages in all the tenses.

I completely agree with that. The only difficulties of Japanese language for a Westerner is that it is very different from European languages, and that it is not very logically structured (even natives are confused about the use of particles, because of the lack of clear rules). Otherwise, it is much easier in every aspect than Latin or Germanic languages (among which English is already the easiest). Virtually no conjugation, few tenses, no gender, few metaphorical idioms, easy pronuciation... That's why I can't help smiling when a Japanese person says that their language is so difficult. :blush: Maybe they meant more difficut than Bahasa Indonesia/Malaysia (reportedly the easiest major language in the world).


The problem is the education system, the isolation of the country and the hierarquical structure of the japanese society where the old is the best and the boss. this makes that the old ideas and style survive and the yougn people adopt the old ideas and customs and perpetuate it.

Socially, Japan is a bit like Europe 50 years ago... The education system based on memory only is medieval.


They are failing to manage the inmigration matter. Sincerely (and i dont want to offend anybody) lot of the gaijin i see around tokyo are really henna gaijin, losers that even people of their same country dont want there.
...
Japan actually is atracting a very low profile foreigners and this will create more problems and more racism. Due to the obvious increment of criminality and probelms between nihonjin and gaijin.

Yes, that's why I hardly frequented the "gaijin" community in Tokyo, apart from a few selected people. Maybe that is because of some of these people, who come to Japan to party and get girls, care little about the language and culture and have little respect anything, that Japanese cops think that Westerners are bicycle thieves.

Then you have the otaku type of tourists (who usually don't live in Japan, as they are mostly teenagers), who may not steal anything, but do not enhance much the image of Westerners in Japan either. I was surprised that quite a few Japanese people I know, who did not know much about the West, knew about the existence of these Western otaku, because they are obvious in places like Akihabara.


Other problem is that the government doesnt have any will tointegrate foreigners, or have no idea from where to start. But is soo easy THE LANGUAGE, if a gaijin learn the language, can be usefull for the japanese society and be productive and integrate.

I don't think that they don't know where to start, but just have no will to do it. Japan is a country that has learnt, and still learns a lot from other countries, and especially from Western systems. There is no reason they could not learn from Western countries in this regard. They just don't want to, because it suits them.


But almost all the language courses are in the hands of private institutions with really expensive courses that not all people can to pay. When in other countries like spain, that is supposed to be not advanced like japan, the government put lot of free full time courses for all the foreigners in all the cities.

There are also such free or very cheap "integration courses" (language and culture) in Belgium, France and Britain. In Belgium they are even compulsory for every immigrant.


Is a well know curious phenomenon that when an inmigrant become totally integrate in a country become more "nationalist" than the people that was born there. Like here in spain where people inmigrated from Andalucia (poor but beautifull region) to Catalunia (more rich and advanced region with its own language different from spanish) these inmigrants become more catalans than catalans!

I believe that this attitude is fairly normal in (Western) continental Europe. Foreigners are expected to become as knowledgeable and as well-adapted as natives, and often do, because of the help they receive.

For example, I know a family of Russian refugees who came to Belgium about 5 years ago. They now speak French like natives, have jobs, Belgian friends, are well-integrated. The children even speak some Walloon, a dialect that most locals can't even speak ! But this is what is expected of immigrants in Belgium, or France or Spain. English-speaking countries have a slightly different attitude. Rather than expect immigrant "to go native", they tend to allow a certain multi-culturalism. This works well with non-European immigrants (e.g. in the UK), but I believe that the Continental European system works better for European immigrants. Belgium has received many Italian immigrants in the early and mid 20th century, and all of them are as Belgian as the purest Belgian. The current minister-president of the state of Wallonia is even of pure Italian descent, but possibly the most respected politician of his party.


I think japan will change and advance a lot when will try to "japanize" more the foreigners.

I agree. I left Japan justly because the Japanese would never accept that a foreigner could become "Japanised", and would always look at me as a "curious thing", and ask me stupid questions (can you use chopsticks ? can you eat sushi ? Have you heard of Hokkaido ?) even knowing that I had been in Japan for years, was married to a Japanese, spoke Japanese (to them), and managed this website about Japan. It is very irritating for someone who tries hard to learn as much about the culture "to go native", and still be treated like the first newly arrived tourist by people who have known him for several years. Sometimes, in an occasional fit a paranoia, I wonder if the Japanese government has not instructed all Japanese to behave exactly as they do to discourage "Japanised foreigners" to stay in Japan, so that they will not try to change their "pure" country.

Maciamo
Dec 16, 2005, 18:44
I'm surprised to hear that this is what is happening in Japan also. I always thought Japan was more strict about their immigration of foreigners. Not only is this happening in Japan, but in America, England, France, Germany, The Netherlands and many other countries.

Japan IS stricter about immigration. In Europe, it is fairly easy for immigrants to enter, move around, work illegally, etc. Especially since the disapperance of borders and passpport checks between most EU countries. I have explained the situation in Belgium in this thread (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20816). Western Europen countries accept immigrants and refugees much more easily than Japan (there are stats showing the shocking difference in this regard). But be them immigrants or refugees, in Continental Europe, they are expected to become like locals and act like locals. That's the problem France is having with its North African immigrants, who for some reason have a harder time "to go native" (probably because of their religion) than other immigrants, and therefore encounter more problems than say, Chinese, Indian or Eastern European immigrants.

Most Japanese believe so strongly that foreigners cannot understand their culture and learn their language that they do not expect them to become like locals. That is why the Japanese are stricter about immigration. Unfortunately these prejudiced beliefs of the Japanese naturally lead to more racism and discrimination, although it does also result in positive things, such as the government's will to translate public signs or documents in English (see article (http://www.wa-pedia.com/language/english_friendly_japan.shtml)), so that foreign tourists and business people would "not be lost". The problem in Japan is that any long-term resident will always be seen as just a "visitor", that has just got off the plane and doesn't know anything about Japan. In other words, Japan accept foreigners as long as they don't want to stay too long to settle down, and does everything it can to discourage them to do so.

Elizabeth van Kampen
Dec 16, 2005, 19:16
Not only in Japan also overseas, Japanese do not like to mix with foreigners.
In Tilburg where I live in the Netherlands are quite some Japanese working for FUTJI and a few other Japanese firms. They all live together just outside Tilburg in a villa quarter. There is hardly any contact with the Dutch people,
the Japanese families live on a island, also in Tilburg.

When we see our Japanese tourists walking through the streets of Amsterdam, Rotterdam or The Hague, they take thousands of pictures.
I often ask myself; "How do our Japanese visitors see us, what do they think of us, the Europeans?"

yukio_michael
Dec 16, 2005, 20:28
These are the figures I've researched, and perhaps someone can tell me if they are wrong, or inherently off base... In a given year of 1993, the United States permited residency to the same number of people that Japan had permited residency (inclusive to those people who did not come to Japan willingly), from 1946 to 1993.

So in just one year alone, there are the equivalent number of residencies granted in the states as there were in Japan for fourty seven years. I've not read contrary opinions to the nature that Japan does not seek to internationalize it's country in any way, rather it seeks to preserve it's culture (if you will----), by preventing immigration.

The benefits to a mixed culture society are obviously the nature that there are NEW good ideas to go along with the old ones... Japan seems to favour racial purity over residency when it comes to being considered Japanese, (the daughters and sons of mixed couples living in Japan are not seen as true Japanese)--- this seems to be a dangerous form of xenophobia at work.

I however don't think that Japan will change their policies about these things. The US and them policy of Japan seems hardwired throughout the culture... There will always be people that you meet who are kind to you and inquisitive, but on any given day I can walk down the street to the store and count the number of suspicious looks at the gaijin in their town... It saddens me and it's a little offputting--- My girlfriend chalks it up to the fact that they're not used to seeing gaijin, but I wonder if anyone thinks how rude it is to stare?

It looks like bilingual (english/Japanese) children are going to be a bigger thing these days--- so that will keep the English teachers comming, but I feel over all, the feeling is that you are welcome to visit, but please leave when we are done with you.

Maciamo
Dec 16, 2005, 21:21
So in just one year alone, there are the equivalent number of residencies granted in the states as there were in Japan for fourty seven years. I've not read contrary opinions to the nature that Japan does not seek to internationalize it's country in any way, rather it seeks to preserve it's culture (if you will----), by preventing immigration.

I have found similar statistics on Nationmaster (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/imm_ref)

Out of 110 countries listed, Japan ranks 101th for the acceptance of refugees per capita, with 0.0158535 refugee per 1,000 people. South Korea is last.
Here are the rates for a few selected countries for comparison (don't have the figures for the US or UK) :

Germany : 16.0037 per 1,000 people
the Netherlands : 8.03316 per 1,000 people
Canada : 4.84682 per 1,000 people
France : 2.3114 per 1,000 people
Italy : 1.1755 per 1,000 people

So Germany, the "pure Aryan country" of Hitler only 60 years ago, and by no means a traditional immigration country like the USA, welcomes about 1000x more refugees per capita than Japan ! Italy, at the bottom of the scale in Western Europe, still admits 75x more refugees than Japan. The Asylum seekers acceptance rate (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/imm_asy_see_acc_rat) in Japan (9.2%) is the lowest of the 18 countries listed (top = Denmark with 73.5%). Overall, Japan has 230x less asylum seekers than the UK (although Japan's population is over twice the UK's), and 220x Germany or the USA's...

Looking at the percentage of foreign population for OECD countries (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/imm_for_pop), we see again that Japan has one of the lowest figures, just before Poland, South Korea, Mexico and Slovakia (well, these 4 do not have the same economy to attract foreigners, to be fair). This does not even take into account that Western countries make it much easier for foreigners to be naturalised, lowering the number of "foreigners" in each country (of course, 10% of foreigners in the USA, but maybe 30% of "foreign-born immigrants").

Indeed, when we check new citizenships (per capita) (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/imm_new_cit_cap), Japan is second to last (Portugal is last). Japan grants citizenship to 24x less people than France or 54x less than Belgium.


over all, the feeling is that you are welcome to visit, but please leave when we are done with you.

That's exactly how I got the message, and so I left.

goatz
Dec 16, 2005, 22:29
That's exactly how I got the message, and so I left.
;( this feels like a warning that i should reconsider my visit to Japan. it seems very unwelcoming, the thought of others wanting me to leave as soon as i'm done visiting.

Pachipro
Dec 17, 2005, 01:26
;( this feels like a warning that i should reconsider my visit to Japan. it seems very unwelcoming, the thought of others wanting me to leave as soon as i'm done visiting.
Everyone's experience is different. For example, Maciamo's and my own experiences were quite different as were others'. You'll just have to go there and experience it for yourself. But please do not deny yourself the experience of visiting a foreign country based on the experiences of a few people who have posted on the internet. A culture and country, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Experience it and then decide.:wave:

Mandylion
Dec 17, 2005, 13:09
Not to spin off on tangents, but I wonder if Maciamo's observation...


For example, I know a family of Russian refugees who came to Belgium about 5 years ago. They now speak French like natives, have jobs, Belgian friends, are well-integrated. The children even speak some Walloon, a dialect that most locals can't even speak ! But this is what is expected of immigrants in Belgium, or France or Spain. English-speaking countries have a slightly different attitude. Rather than expect immigrant "to go native", they tend to allow a certain multi-culturalism.

is not due in part to the legacy of colonialism. Humor me for a second - colonialism didn't end very long ago for many nations so maybe there is something here...

I'm not overly familiar with how France, Belgium, or Spain ran their colonies, so I fully expect and welcome corrections, however - France in particular - viewed colonies as foreign reincarnations of the home country. For France, spreading the Napoleonic code, changing languages to romanized script (Vietnam), and directly administering their colonies etc. etc. Thus it is not too far of a leap to ruminate on the possibility that while empire has faded, the view of the foreigner being culturally engaged is coupled with the expectation that they can and should integrate as rapidly as possible is somehow engrained at least in part in a nations popular (by which I mean mass) conceptualization of itself. (possibly the worst sentence I have ever produced :-(

Contrast this to Britain and the US who tended to run their colonies indirectly (though local headmen who could enact the policies the colonial masters wanted rather than directly administrating the country with British or US citizens). Indirect rule assumed and, functioned with, diversity. This in turn is also reflected in the "proper" view of how immigrants should behave in the home country.

Japanese colonialism was quite direct and, like the French, thought their way of doing things was the bee's knees. However, while you could argue that France demanded compliance partly out of convenience, there might have been a bit of the idea that French rule makes subjects more equal - raises their position in the world - makes them more like France (=good). I grant that this is a very tenuous position...But Japanese colonialism never assumed any degree of equality. Japanese leaders hope every nation in East Asia would find its proper place (with Japan at the head) in the international system.

Thus, foreigners were never expected to integrate into Japanese culture while in French colonies and France itself, it was demanded. If a colonial subject of the Japanese Empire learned Japanese, adopted Japanese names, etc. they would not be equal, they would have simply assumed their proper role in the hierarchy of nations.

While westerners may view immigration to go hand in hand with some degree of assimilation/integration. In Japan this was never the case and remains an alien idea.

Our approach to foreigners is not something we actively do - we are not overtly socialized to it in most cases - it is largely dictated by our immigration ideologies which (I'm really reaching here) were probably in a large part formulated at the height of a given nations colonial power, or during their decline (when anyone with any money or connection was trying to get out), ie a major crunch point in social and political approaches to the question of immigrants. This is only a hunch, but how a nation views immigration is fairly static while a nation's immigration policies (exclusion, easy of migration etc) are more historical and based on changing needs, not fundamental values. Granted the two are connected in some form, which may account for why it is often a fight to change policy that goes against ideology.

If this hair-brained, rashly thrown together idea is true, the logical but not very mind-blowing conclusion is that a nation will fundamentally readdress its views of immigrants only in a time of great upheaval and realignment of basic priorities.

I'm sorry I don't have any examples to illustrate my points - and they may all turn out to be a load of phooey, but hey, thinkin' can be fun sometimes :relief:

PS to goatz: Listen to Pachipro - our friend Maciamo is not blowing hot air - his problems are very really, and I have gone through much of the same in my day, but we all are different and react to things differently. You just have to go and see for yourself. If you do, give it time before you make up your mind. Keep this stuff in the back of your head, but go simply ready to have fun and try something new and see where it takes you for better or worse

Maciamo
Dec 17, 2005, 19:28
is not due in part to the legacy of colonialism. Humor me for a second - colonialism didn't end very long ago for many nations so maybe there is something here...

I'm not overly familiar with how France, Belgium, or Spain ran their colonies, so I fully expect and welcome corrections, however - France in particular - viewed colonies as foreign reincarnations of the home country.

You are partly right, but I think it is important to nuance here.

First of all, Belgium only had one major colony, Congo (former Zaire), along with the adjacent and much smaller Rwanda and Burundi. But North African immigrants are much more numerous than Congolese immigrants in Belgium, despite the total lack of connection between Belgium and North Africa, apart from the language. So, if Morrocan or Algerian immigrants in Belgium start complaining about colonialism, it would be pretty much the same as Black people complaining to the Canadian government about African slavery in the US.

Secondly, the French colonial system was fairly complex. For example, Morroco was a protectorate (1912-1956, i.e. 44 years including 10 years of WWI and WWII), with its own king, while Algeria was a real colony with a French administration. There were over 1 million French colonist living in Algeria, which explains why France didn't grant Algeria its independance so easily as to Morocco, and the war of independance lasted 8 years. Only with these 2 neighbouring countries, we can see a very different colonial status and relation to France. There were other types of colonies as well, and some have remained part of France to this day. There are now 5 types of status for France's overseas possessions, with different levels of autonomy (see DOM-TOM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOM-TOM) :

- Overseas Departments : Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Reunion
- Overseas Country : French Polynesia (Tahiti)
- Overseas Collectivity : Mayotte, Saint Pierre and Miquelon and Wallis and Futuna
- Sui Generis Collectivity : New Caledonia
- Overseas Territories : French Southern and Antarctic Territories

In short, Overseas Departments are considered as administrative regions of France, like Paris or Normandy or Alsace... They have their own representative at the parliament and exactly the same autonomy, rights, currency, passports, etc. as those of the European part of France. In other words, when you are in Guadeloupe, you are in France and nowhere else. The locals don't complain as they have the exact same rights as people in "Metropolitan France". They are not immigrants either. If someone from French Guiana goes to, say Paris, they are at home and treated as normal French citizens. It is not like British dependencies (Jersey, Gibraltar, Bahamas...) which are autonomous, have a different currency, passports, and need a visa to stay in Britain.

French Polynesia's case is a bit different. I think that the passports are the same, but they have their own currency, own government and thus do not have a MP at the French Parliament. The other are less populous and could not really have their own government.

I don't see how you can compare French colonialsim with Japanese colonialism. Japan invaded most of Asia with a huge army, plundered it, then left, without giving any administration or building anything lasting (the Bridge of the River Kwai in Thailand maybe ? :sorry: ). The only Japanese colonies were Korea, Okinawa and Taiwan, but some of them were enslaved and deported to Japan to work in mines and factories during the war. France didn't behave like that in the 20th century. The major fatalities were in Algeriam during the independance war, which was more like the USA's or South America's independance wars, than anything else in history.

Regarding African immigrants in France, most of them have the French nationality now. They have the right to vote, run for election, work, or any other right of French citizens. But they should not forget that the French system is the same in Metropolitan France or overseas departments. It doesn't matter where you were born, or what you skin colou or religion is, you must abide to the French system and laws. Even the US does not have this level of equality for immigrants, as for instance people not born in the US cannot run for presidency (so rights are not the same for all citizens, and seeing Schwatzenegger's case, it could be annoying for some people). It sounds a bit ridiculous to say that France is not immigrant friendly, when we see that the leading presidential candidate (Sarkozy) is the son of a Hungarian immigrant, and several ex-Prime Ministers also had foreign roots (e.g. Balladur was born in Turkey and has a Turkish name) or intolerant to other religions (some PM's were Atheist, other Christian, other Jewish...). This is why it is difficult to understand why African immigrants do not integrate as well as Asian, Oceanian, European or American immigrants in France.

kokusu
Dec 18, 2005, 04:16
I don't see how you can compare French colonialsim with Japanese colonialism. Japan invaded most of Asia with a huge army, plundered it, then left, without giving any administration or building anything lasting (the Bridge of the River Kwai in Thailand maybe ? ). The only Japanese colonies were Korea, Okinawa and Taiwan, but some of them were enslaved and deported to Japan to work in mines and factories during the war.

I was thinking, was it possible that Japan didn't build any significant infrastructure in its Asian colonies simply because it got its butt walloped (during WW II) before having the opportunity to do so?

Also, there was the development of extensive rail lines in Manchuria, where the Japanese had set up a military administration. So, I suppose you might want to consider Manchuria another Japanese colony.

Of course, thinking about Manchuria reminds me that from the early 1930's onward (when Japan began its most aggressive military expansion into Asia), that Japan was in much turmoil, politcally and financially, on the domestic front. Because of failing relations with the West, exports - that ubiquitous driver of the Japanese economy - had fallen off sharply driving down the economy which exacerbated the tensions caused between political struggles between the rising ultra-nationalists and the more liberal and labor-focused political groups. All that to say, I am not even certain that Japan had the ability to establish much in the way of colonial infrastructures, though in Korea, Manchuria, and Taiwan they were able to do so to greater or lesser degrees.

Oh, wasn't there a starter colony in Russia as well, that included not only military servicemen but administrators and whole Japanese families, too? I seem to remember John Dower making reference in Embracing Defeat to the orphaned cihldren returning from failed colonies after the war, including from Russia . . . oh, if only I weren't so darn lazy at the moment I would look that up! Maybe someone else remembers this, too, ne?:bluush:

This is all, I suppose, just random information and not necessarily directly on the topic . . . of course, how this went from 'Cute Racism' to 'Compartive Colonialism' . . .:?

Yamatoblue
Dec 18, 2005, 05:39
That's the problem France is having with its North African immigrants, who for some reason have a harder time "to go native" (probably because of their religion) than other immigrants, and therefore encounter more problems than say, Chinese, Indian or Eastern European immigrants.

.
Maciamo:Um,no. It's ironic you talk about Japanese people being stereotypical and such, but here you are doing the same. And you come from a francophone country and say that(!!) What an ignoran thing to say....
Those North Africans are not immigrants, they are as French (language and culture) as everyone else. They are second and third generation North Africans and most don't even know that much about their faith since they have probably never stepped a foot outside France. Why were they rioting? Because it is hard for them to get jobs (because of their names and skin color), it does not have to do with religion.

国須さん:僕もシアトルに住んでいる。シアトルでは日 本人が多くて・・・

Rin Daemoko
Dec 18, 2005, 06:00
That's a bit frightening. Makes me want to bleach my skin before I go travelling. Although caucasian, I have darker-coloured skin from my southern European ancestors. :worried:

Maciamo
Dec 18, 2005, 18:05
Maciamo:Um,no. It's ironic you talk about Japanese people being stereotypical and such, but here you are doing the same. And you come from a francophone country and say that(!!) What an ignoran thing to say....
Those North Africans are not immigrants, they are as French (language and culture) as everyone else.

In France and Belgium, if you check the government's statistics, you will see that people from immigrant families (until the 3rd generation, I think) are called "immigrés" in French. In French "immigre" means "someone that has come to settle in foreign country", while "immigrant" means "someone who has (just) moved from one country to another". In other words, the former is used for people who have already settled (and their children), while the former is for those who are moving or have recently arrived. Thanks for pointing one of the rare cases where French language has 2 words for only one in English. :-)

Anyhow, it doesn't matter how you decide to call them (be it "immigrants" or "settled immigrants" or "people from immigrant families born in the country"), it remains a fact that the Chinese, Thai, Indians, Russians or Brazilians have in general adapted much better than the Africans, and that those rioting are almost exclusively the North Africans. Unemployment in France stands at 10% nationwide - also for people of "ancestral French descent". I rarely hear of unemployed or angry Chinese immigrants, and yet see Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese restaurants everywhere (always held by ethnic Chinese, Thai or Vietnamese), even in small towns where they are the only non-European. I have never heard of any problem with them.

The funny thing is that some people of North African descent could pass for Italians (physically), as there are alifgtly more people of Italian descent than North African (mostly Moroccan) descent in Belgium. But the Italians are much better adapted - their way of life is as Belgian as any "pure Belgian". The irony is that people of Italian descent live in the two cities with the highest unemployment in Belgium : Charleroi and Liege, while the Moroccans (half of whom were born in Belgium) are more numerous in Brussels and Antwerp. But I have never heard of riots or major problems with people of Italian descent. Brussels is a fairly cosmopolitan and tolerant city, with about 1/3 of its people being foreigners (+ naturalised immigrants !), but if we hear of problems, it is almost inevitably the Moroccans, which only make up 8% of the Brussels' population (1/4 of all immigrants).

This is not a recent problem. I have always known this situation, and it only seems to be getting worse, while other immigrant adapt better and better. I think that if you have never lived in France or Belgium, you can't imagine how it is. I have lived in the UK and Germany, but the ethnic minorities there seemed overall well-adapted, apart from some Pakistani communities in the English Midlands (e.g. Bradford).

Wataru
Dec 20, 2005, 15:58
Racism in Japan is well-hidden.
Japaneses tend to hate people with Black skin and ppl from South East Asia and South West Asia (Indians, Pakistanis, Nepalis.....)
Japaneses favour white people really much... I was shocked.

And how did they treat you as a south korean?

I diddnt know this was such a big issue in japan, I have made plans to attend ICU and teach english and help spread lacrosse. I am visiting for the first time in june, I hope to god that I will have a good experience.


That's a bit frightening. Makes me want to bleach my skin before I go travelling. Although caucasian, I have darker-coloured skin from my southern European ancestors. :worried:

I know this was a joke, but still.

Be proud of who you are and make sense of what you see in the mirror. Any changes you make with yourself should be for you and not for somebody else. I dont know why you would want to be around someone who would like you more if you had lighter skin.

If theres alot of people like that in japan, then I am in trouble.

pipokun
Dec 20, 2005, 18:58
Maciamo:Um,no. It's ironic you talk about Japanese people being stereotypical and such, but here you are doing the same.

Totally agreed.

To Wataru
You're future community will not only at your school.
Before you get in toubles, go and see other communities outside yours.
Shinjuku or Setagaya-ku were the only ku where I lived before in Tokyo. But they had lots of activities you can also involve in, such as volunteer activities, something about Japanese culture or other cultures. Actually I did.

After joining this forum, I realized it was not sufficient for people with their critical mindsets just to see local fes. So it might be an idea to be a communiry activity hungry person.

Maciamo
Dec 20, 2005, 19:56
After joining this forum, I realized it was not sufficient for people with their critical mindsets just to see local fes. So it might be an idea to be a communiry activity hungry person.

I don't see how participating in comunity activity may be of any help to improve the way most Japanese see/behave toward foreigners in a huge city like Tokyo. In my experience, the majority of the people who had known me for years (in laws, friends, students...), better than they could have known me with community activities, still behaved with me as if I was an outsider and asked me stupid questions (of the "can you use chopsticks" variety) as if I had got off the plane. It's so deeply ingrained in the Japanese mind that no matter how well you know people, 99% of the Japanese still behave in a way I disliked enough to make me leave.

pipokun
Dec 20, 2005, 20:14
One point you didn't say was that those people did communicate with you.
If they were really stupid or rasists, you may call them cute, they would not even talk or ask their stupid questions to you.

Gaijin 06
Dec 20, 2005, 20:20
Originally Posted by abs_car
Racism in Japan is well-hidden.
Japaneses tend to hate people with Black skin and ppl from South East Asia and South West Asia (Indians, Pakistanis, Nepalis.....)
Japaneses favour white people really much... I was shocked.

I saw a lot of this in Hong Kong. In fact much more than I have in Japan, although that is probably/possibly because I have been here so little time - only 4 months now.

In HK anyone with vageuly brown skin was looked down on, and anyone in white skin seemed often to get better treatment than the locals, although certainly not all the time or everywhere.

Very interesting that only decades ago HK was exporting maids to the Phillipines, and now the roles are reversed. I wonder what the world will look like in 50 years time?

I think exposure breeds tolerance, although it may take a long time. I am appalled at some of the "racist" views of my grandparents, but they are normal people and lived in the middle ground of their society at the time, and now.

I wonder what sins our children and grandchildren will ascribe to us? Remember that 50 years ago there wasn't much TV, international air travel, computers, the internet and all the things that have changed our society forever.

Most of us should still be around in 50 years time - and does anyone seriously think the pace of innovation is going to slow down?

Anyway, the only point I was going to make is be as inclusive as possible, see things from the other point of view when you can and try and swap roles and see how you would react.

I am surprised by some of the frankly racist comments by people even on this site, who have had problems integrating into another culture then go back to their homeland and criticise Africans for going through integration problems.

Europe > Japan may well be a smaller cultural step than Africa > Europe in many ways.

Maciamo
Dec 20, 2005, 20:43
One point you didn't say was that those people did communicate with you.
If they were really stupid or rasists, you may call them cute, they would not even talk or ask their stupid questions to you.

I didn't say that the people I frequent were racist. You mix everything up. Those I accuse of racism are the media, some real estate agencies (you know those that write "no dogs or foreigners" on their door), many small shopkeepers (those that feign not to understand by making gesture when you talk to them), older people, etc. None of them are among my friends or students. But even those that are not racist tend to be quite prejudiced (in the questions they ask) and not very accepting of foreigners as part of their society, even towrad permanent residents married to one of them.

Please don't confuse racist people with prejudiced people. Racist people are those that discriminate openly toward "foreign-looking people". Prejudiced ones are those that do not discriminate, but have deeply mistaken ideas about foreigners. For example, if someone were to believe (rather than ask) that Europeans do not eat rice, it is of course not racist, but it is a prejudice, because it is a strongly mistaken belief based on ignorance. Just ignorance is not a problem, as people can learn and ask questions. What I describe as prejudice is people who, for example claim that Europeans don't eat rice, rather than ask how common eating rice is in Europe.

Just for the information, there is about as much rice in Belgian or French supermarkets as in Japanese ones as a proportion of all the products available. Traditionally, Spaniards use rice in paella, Italians in risotto, French people in riz au lait, Greeks in various dishes... Chinese food has become one of the most common cuisine in most of Europe, while Indian food has the de facto national cuisine of the UK for at least 20 years. Yet, I have noticed that many Japanese people wondered if we could even find rice in a European supermarket ! It is true that Japanese rice is more difficult to find (they have some at Carrefour though), but Mediterranean, Indian, Thai or American rice are as common as potatoes or pasta.

Pachipro
Dec 21, 2005, 05:57
I diddnt know this was such a big issue in japan, I have made plans to attend ICU and teach english and help spread lacrosse. I am visiting for the first time in june, I hope to god that I will have a good experience.
You should have a good experience at ICU. Good Luck!

Your experience in Japan will be what you make of it. Everyone has a different experience even when they experience the same things. One may see the Japanese as prejudiced in one situation while another, in the same situation, may see them as just being Japanese and a little ignorant of foreigners and not think of it as prejudice taken to the extreme.

The word prejudice, while meaning a judgement or opinion formed without gaining all the facts, can also mean an irrational hatred or suspicion of a particular group, people, or religion. In the case of the Japanese, and based on my own personal experiences spanning many years, I do not believe that they have an irrational suspicion or hate of foreigners as some may have you believe. I believe the Japanese are just ignorant of the facts and are not prejudiuced in the extreme meaning of the word towards all foreigners. Of course, as in all societies, there will be some irrational hatred/suspicions of foreigners everywhere, but I think those experiences may be in the minority.

It all depends on your mindset and how you look at it. Look for the good and a good time in Japan and you will find it; look for flaws and a bad time and you will find them also. I wish you the best.

Maciamo
Dec 21, 2005, 07:01
The word prejudice, while meaning a judgement or opinion formed without gaining all the facts, can also mean an irrational hatred or suspicion of a particular group, people, or religion. In the case of the Japanese, and based on my own personal experiences spanning many years, I do not believe that they have an irrational suspicion or hate of foreigners as some may have you believe.


I never use the word "prejudice" in the sense of "irrational hatred", but rather "judgement based on ignorance or mistaken beliefs" (from the root of the word "pre-" => "before" and "judice" => "judge", so "judge before having the knowledge" or "judge based on ignorance").

Your definition of prejudice is my defintion of racism. :p

Gaijin 06
Dec 21, 2005, 07:30
I never use the word "prejudice" in the sense of "irrational hatred", but rather "judgement based on ignorance or mistaken beliefs" (from the root of the word "pre-" => "before" and "judice" => "judge", so "judge before having the knowledge" or "judge based on ignorance").

Your definition of prejudice is my defintion of racism. :p

Hahaha. Is this after I helped you understand what is actually meant? Not so long ago you were thinking that what most term discrimination was actually prejudice.

Since you seem to have a short memory, here is what you posted on 5-Dec



Originally Posted by Maciamo
In English, this s called prejudice (=unjust behaviour formed on a preconceived opinion not based on actual facts or experience).


I helpfully pointed out



Originally Posted by Gaijin 06
Prejudice is simply an opinion or idea, formed by "pre-judging" someone or something.

Maciamo
Dec 21, 2005, 19:28
Hahaha. Is this after I helped you understand what is actually meant? Not so long ago you were thinking that what most term discrimination was actually prejudice.

Since you seem to have a short memory, here is what you posted on 5-Dec


The main reason of conflict with you, Gaijin 06, is that you interpret and distort the meaning of what I said all the time, and turn this into personal attacks.

What I said on 5th December was first in this post (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showpost.php?p=280173&postcount=104)):


This attitude of pre-judging countries they don't know is what I call "prejudice".

However, on 18th March (quite a long time ago) I had said :


In English, this s called prejudice (=unjust behaviour formed on a preconceived opinion not based on actual facts or experience).

to which you replied only on 5th December (here (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showpost.php?p=280414&postcount=109)) :




So, to clear the confusion, I gave you the two defintions of the oxford dictionary in this post (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showpost.php?p=280414&postcount=109)



1 preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or experience. 2 unjust behaviour formed on such a basis. 3 chiefly Law harm that may result from some action or judgement.

ORIGIN Latin praejudicium, from prae ‘in advance’ + judicium ‘judgement’.

As you can see, both definitions I gave are "correct", except if you judge that your authority in matter of English language is greater than the Oxford Dictionary (something you have implied for the 2nd time here). So, no you did not "help me understand what it means"... You are just fooling yourself into believing that you are always right.

I already warned you that you misinterpreted what I said, and you do it again now, 2 weeks later, as if you hadn't understood. I find your behaviour very provocative, because almost every single of your post in reply to me is a personal attack based of misreading of misunderstanding of your part, and that you come back again and again with the same things, without ever contributing to the thread constructively.

pipokun
Dec 21, 2005, 21:16
Why didn't you use your 一般的なフォーラム here to avoid the stupid questions you were asked or discuss your interested topics with Japanese.
This site is much better than other big Japan-related sites in terms of Nihongo tolarence for Japanese players. I think just translations of your previous threads does work to invite more Japanese here.

I bet most of your misinformation will be solved.

Maciamo
Dec 21, 2005, 22:02
Why didn't you use your 一般的なフォーラム here to avoid the stupid questions you were asked or discuss your interested topics with Japanese.
This site is much better than other big Japan-related sites in terms of Nihongo tolarence for Japanese players. I think just translations of your previous threads does work to invite more Japanese here.

I bet most of your misinformation will be solved.

As if all Japanese people read what is on this forum... You can't change people even by explaining things to them. How do you expect to change a whole society just by posting stuff on a forum with just a few hundreds Japanese members ?

pipokun
Dec 21, 2005, 22:09
As if all Japanese people read what is on this forum... You can't change people even by explaining things to them. How do you expect to change a whole society just by posting stuff on a forum with just a few hundreds Japanese members ?

At least, all your posts turn into more realistic ones with more Japanese players here, trolls or not.
I've tried not to reply you back in Japanese here, for I don't know your Nihongo skill and I guess it is not better than I imagine.

Pachipro
Dec 22, 2005, 01:06
Originally Posted by Pachipro
The word prejudice, while meaning a judgement or opinion formed without gaining all the facts, can also mean an irrational hatred or suspicion of a particular group, people, or religion. In the case of the Japanese, and based on my own personal experiences spanning many years, I do not believe that they have an irrational suspicion or hate of foreigners as some may have you believe.

I never use the word "prejudice" in the sense of "irrational hatred", but rather "judgement based on ignorance or mistaken beliefs" (from the root of the word "pre-" => "before" and "judice" => "judge", so "judge before having the knowledge" or "judge based on ignorance").

Sorry if you thought that I was referring to you in the above quote. Everyone who knows you knows you do not mean hatred when using the word prejudice. However, some may think that after reading some of your posts and taking the word out of context. I was taking it to the extreme and just using of Dictionary.com's meaning of the word:



Prejudice:

1.
a. An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts.

b. A preconceived preference or idea.

2. The act or state of holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions. See Synonyms at predilection.

3. Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion.

4. Detriment or injury caused to a person by the preconceived, unfavorable conviction of another or others.


Your definition of prejudice is my defintion of racism.
And the definition of the word racism can also mean prejudice:



racism

1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.

2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

Now let's look at some synonyms:


Synonyms for prejudice:

ageism, animosity, antipathy, apartheid, aversion, bad opinion, belief, bias, bigotry, chauvinism, contemptuousness, detriment, discrimination, disgust, dislike, displeasure, disrelish, enmity, foregone conclusion, head-set, illiberality, injustice, jaundiced eye, mind-set, misjudgment, narrow-mindedness, one-sidedness, partiality, pique, preconceived notion, preconception, prejudgment, prepossession, racism, repugnance, revulsion, sexism, slant, spleen, tilt, twist, umbrage, unfairness, warp, xenophobia


racism, definition: prejudice
Synonyms: apartheid, bias, bigotry, discrimination, illiberality, Jim Crow, one-sidedness, partiality, racialism, sectarianism, segregation, unfairness


Synonyms for discrimination:
bigotry, favoritism, hatred, inequity, injustice, intolerance, partiality, prejudice, unfairness, wrong

Although prejudice and racism both use the word discrimination as synonyms, the word discrimination does not use the word racism, racist, or racial for synonyms although it is used as racial hatred, racial injustice, etc. Strange.

My, isn't English a difficult language with so many meanings and synonyms for the same word. If you use the above definitions literally one may say that not only are the Japanese discriminatory towards foreigners, but they must also be racist and prejudice. And I'm sure in some cases they are, as are all nationalities to some extent.

Therefore, if I say the Japanese are discriminatory towards foreigners in a particular context, another person may conclude that I meant they were also racist and prejudice when that is not what I meant. That's why, in English, when things are taken out of context with what the author is meaning it can lead to misunderstanding, confusion, and even anger among some readers as so often happens in the US. I wonder if other languages are as complex as English?

GoldCoinLover
Dec 22, 2005, 13:11
Hey mac, you are absolutely right. I was talking to some japanese people, and they said they do not americans. They said, "They are too pushy". and they said, quote, "if anyone has a racisim issue is the north americans"

They also said this, but Ic an't undrestand it well, maybe later:
アメ人さんさ、日本人はアメリカ人に対して自主差別す るって良いだ
前英語で困った

They also said american people are funny

Hanneesh
Apr 28, 2006, 04:16
... but that's probably a way of satisfying their insecurity.
What's more, the Japanese tend to have a love-hate relationship wit Westerners (which is usually reciprocal). More accurately, they admire Western people, cultures and countries so much that they want to copy everything; not just systems, and technologies, but fashion, hairstyles (even colour), food, vocabulary, and some go as far as to get surgical operations of the eyelids to get a "third fold" to look more "Caucasian". That's also why Japanes girls are so fond of Western men. This further enhance the feeling of insecurity and worthlessness among some Japanese men. The same trend is also apparent in modern Chinese cities like Shanghai or Beijing (and even in South-East Asia, but a bit differently for economic reasons).


wow is that true? thats awesome.(not the demeaning of japanese men and women having surgery, just the way japanese look up to westerners) I think that smaller degrees of racism are understandable in Japan for these reasons to make them feel not superior but to raise their self esteem and patriotism a bit. I don't think this should be taken out hand though and should be kept uncommon and relativley harmless. After all japanese can't really justify racism against the west, technically we made them what they are today. (apart from having two atomic bombs dropped on them)

The thing about black people makes me really angry. If it happens the way it has been described by the op (is that the person who writes the thread?) then more effort should go on promoting awareness and anti-racist strategies should be employed. (maybe if it was cool in the west not to be racist?)

I hate hearing about racism in Japan and i don't want to generalise because i'm sure thousands of foriegners live in Japan and encounter no racism, but i find myself getting angry about the ignorant element that exists there.

yukio_michael
Apr 28, 2006, 04:39
thats good.
[img]- GIGANTIC IMAGE HERE /img]Your sig is huge, and it's not even in the signature, you seem to be adding it by hand. You should maybe reduce that down to a third of it's size...

Your whole response is "That's Good", with a gigantic image underneath about 50 times the size of the words you posted.

Minty
Apr 28, 2006, 07:17
Then in several European countries, people have been eating raw fis for centuries. One of the most stereotypical food of the Netherlands is the "maatjes" (raw herring). Scandinavians also eat raw fish, and to a lesser extent Mediteranean people too. I guess that among Westerners, it is mostly in English-speaking countries, France* or Central-Eastern Europe that it is not part of traditional food. In places far from the sea, it is fairly normal. As for Britain, well, people boil or bake everything there ! Yet, most Western countries (including France and English-speaking countries) do have a tradition of eating raw oysters (alive).

French do eat raw fish just not with “wasabi” but some creamy sauce on a petite toast called Canape'.


Yet, not a single Japanese person has asked me whether I "could" eat soba or okonomiyaki. Why ? I don't know. It's probably because so many Japanese have the strange idea that sushi/sashimi is a kind of food that only Japanese people can appreciate. This is what I call a "misconception regarding foreigners/Westerners". In fact, I found that more Western friends of mine don't like much soba (especially cold), but almost all of them love sushi.

Maybe it’s because of Pasta? Pasta is noodle but of course the sauces of Pastas dishes are very different to Japanese noodle dishes hence say the dish "Chicken Fetuccini" and the dish "Tempura Udon" would be different. However they are still noodle dishes.


Either by ignorance - looking only at the US to define all Western countries, which is a huge mistake, as the US is a melting pot of world cultures, which developed a society very different from European cultures.

I find Japanese and Taiwanese (not counting the ones who lived and studied overseas) tend to only know Americans as Westerners.


It doesn't seem so obvious to all Japanese that not only Japan has four seasons. Or at least, it is not obvious to them that all Europe does. Otherwise, why would it be such a common question, and why would some people be surprised when I say that Belgium, or France, or Italy all have 4 seasons ? Even my wife admitted that she did not know that before going to Europe (before meeting me). That's very strange for me. What do Japanese people learn at school about geography, I asked my wife. She said that 1) not everybody takes geography classes (it's not compulsory like in Europe), and 2) some teachers had told her that Japan was one of the rare countries in the world to have 4 seasons (I can't speak for other Japanese, but in her case, and other friends to whom I asked, that is what they were told).

That’s really strange; I would have thought common knowledge like this would be taught in school. I have met Japanese and Taiwanese who didn’t believe Perth have no time difference between Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia…etc.

They said "Australia is at the bottom side of the globe, so it must have time differences than those countries who are not."

Of course this means they don’t know how time zone works.


Yes very true. Unfortunately, with very few exceptions, the Japanese as a whole are like sheep as they believe what they are told and taught and read in the newspapers and hear on TV. Very few take the time to do any real research on their own or question authority as they don't want to stand out in a crowd lest "the protruding nail gets hammered down."

My university lecture mentioned to us once that the obedience rate of Japanese was 90 percent while in Chinese was 70 percent and the obedience rate of Americans was only 50 percent.


agree. I left Japan justly because the Japanese would never accept that a foreigner could become "Japanised", and would always look at me as a "curious thing", and ask me stupid questions (can you use chopsticks ? can you eat sushi ? Have you heard of Hokkaido ?) even knowing that I had been in Japan for years, was married to a Japanese, spoke Japanese (to them), and managed this website about Japan. It is very irritating for someone who tries hard to learn as much about the culture "to go native", and still be treated like the first newly arrived tourist by people who have known him for several years. Sometimes, in an occasional fit a paranoia, I wonder if the Japanese government has not instructed all Japanese to behave exactly as they do to discourage "Japanised foreigners" to stay in Japan, so that they will not try to change their "pure" country.

Well, this is my experience as a Chinese born in Malaysia, but later as an immigrant of Australia. It is wondrous if you can come to Australia, reside in Australia, study the language and then implement for citizenship.
Nevertheless, while the official "paper" naturalisation is rather unproblematic, the interpersonal one is much more effortful if sometimes not absolute close to impracticable. Take your new compatriots, the "native" people, with their innate human curiousness they will ask you the same question no matter where you go- the "Where are you from?" question.

Unless you are some lingual virtuoso and have a good musical ear, you will have an accent. Or, if you are of a contrastive cultural group, you will appear dissimilar from the absolute majority of people. Your name may also excel. So, people will question you the same thing over and over again: "Where do you come from?" Sure, now you can tell them about your recent abidance in the country, the brand new town where you reside. They will then plausibly grimace insatiately and demand you a more straightforward, more perceptive question that you plainly cannot obviate.

Now- "Where do you come from, to begin with?" Now, this is a pugnacious one. Unless you want to prevaricate, you will have to narrate them the verity. So, in interpersonal situations, you frequently, if not always, persist as an outsider. In spite of the vow you took when you became a citizen of the country.

If people get huffy at you for any grounds, they may even say to you "Go back to (insert country’s name here)! even though you are a citizen of Australia.

Now, it is pleasant to get a new passport and exalt with preen: "I am a citizen of..." Nevertheless, for some reason, not a single country in the world releases a passport that does not have your birthplace inscribed in it. So, if you jaunt, officers that ascertain your passport may begin questioning you, sometimes culpable, but, sometimes, wary ones and address you as a person of the former country, not the new one you are a citizen of. And God proscribe if your former country has a rotten reputation in the one you are visiting. You can be labelled all kinds of names, or even denied ingress.


Not only in Japan also overseas, Japanese do not like to mix with foreigners.

In Tilburg where I live in the Netherlands are quite some Japanese working for FUTJI and a few other Japanese firms. They all live together just outside Tilburg in a villa quarter. There is hardly any contact with the Dutch people,
the Japanese families live on a island, also in Tilburg.

In France they do the same thing. They have their own Japanese schools here, they don’t attend local schools.


Those North Africans are not immigrants, they are as French (language and culture) as everyone else. They are second and third generation North Africans and most don't even know that much about their faith since they have probably never stepped a foot outside France. Why were they rioting? Because it is hard for them to get jobs (because of their names and skin color), it does not have to do with religion.

No it has to do with religion and their attitudes, I know some Vietnamese French who have lived in France since five generations but never received any discrimination from the white French.


Just for the information, there is about as much rice in Belgian or French supermarkets as in Japanese ones as a proportion of all the products available. Traditionally, Spaniards use rice in paella, Italians in risotto, French people in riz au lait, Greeks in various dishes... Chinese food has become one of the most common cuisine in most of Europe, while Indian food has the de facto national cuisine of the UK for at least 20 years. Yet, I have noticed that many Japanese people wondered if we could even find rice in a European supermarket ! It is true that Japanese rice is more difficult to find (they have some at Carrefour though), but Mediterranean, Indian, Thai or American rice are as common as potatoes or pasta.

I don’t think there are as many kinds/brands of rice as you have described, but I agree that Japanese should not assume you can't find rice in Europe at all. I think out of the countries I have been America has the biggest range of products.

In France, they have lots of products but mainly French products. I find many missing ingredients I need in the Asian grocery stores here.


wow is that true? thats awesome.(not the demeaning of japanese men and women having surgery, just the way japanese look up to westerners)

Actually eye lid surgeries are more common among Koreans because something like 70 percent of Koreans are born with single eye lid, something considerate to be not pretty in East Asian ideology of beauty.

osias
May 10, 2006, 04:17
In France they do the same thing. They have their own Japanese schools here, they don’t attend local schools.

Is this a problem?? I guess most of these kids stay there for like 3-4 years, and then move on to another place, parents don't want their kids to drop out of the mainstream educational system, just because of language difficulties and different educational systems..They are not immigrants..They are Japanese citizens, they will not settle down, and most of them will eventually go home..

Those who attend local schools will have lots of problems when they return, and many will take some time to assimilate back to their own culture..These people are called KIKOKUSHIJOs, or in English, "third culture kids".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_culture_kids

pipokun
May 10, 2006, 22:16
つtiens Lycee franco-japonais de Tokyo (http://www.lfjt.or.jp/htm/index.htm)

osias
May 10, 2006, 22:38
つtiens Lycee franco-japonais de Tokyo (http://www.lfjt.or.jp/htm/index.htm)
Right, French people also have their own schools in Japan..

Minty
May 12, 2006, 05:47
Is this a problem?? I guess most of these kids stay there for like 3-4 years, and then move on to another place, parents don't want their kids to drop out of the mainstream educational system, just because of language difficulties and different educational systems..They are not immigrants..They are Japanese citizens, they will not settle down, and most of them will eventually go home..
Those who attend local schools will have lots of problems when they return, and many will take some time to assimilate back to their own culture..These people are called KIKOKUSHIJOs, or in English, "third culture kids".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_culture_kids

You sir like to stick words in my mouth, where did I say it is a problem? I just mentioned this because it is the same in France as it is in the Netherlands.

osias
May 12, 2006, 06:09
:?
You sir likes to stick words in my mouth, where did I say it is a problem? I just mentioned this because it is the same in France as it is in the Netherlands.
oh, i thought we were talking about racism.:?

pipokun
May 13, 2006, 09:36
:?
oh, i thought we were talking about racism.:?

No, this thread is not about racism, but just easy generalisation.
For example, just imagine where on earth is the stupid Japanese who believe pasta and udon noodle are the same.

jonathancameron
Dec 13, 2006, 14:03
I only do it when I am asked whether I can eat sushi, natto, umebosh, etc. especially if they tell me that "foreigners usually can't eat this or that", just to show them that it's the same everywhere. I also remind them that natto is not very popular in Western Japan, and that I have met some Japanese who didn't like sushi, and that sushi ranked as the most popular Japanese dish in the 2 polls about Japanese food on JREF (and indeed sushi restaurant are the most common Japanese restaurant in Western countries). Only after that do they seem to understand that it's futile to say such nonsense as "Japanese people can eat sushi, and foreigners can't".

私は、刺身は非常に嫌いなので、これは差別とゆう資格 は るかどうか分かりません。

Jpstw
Dec 23, 2006, 12:57
What the ****, "cute Racism", ummmm i guess, people on this forum need to stop the silly bashing on japan and toughen up 4x more.

caster51
Dec 24, 2006, 14:19
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llzAXr-MW70

justinod
Apr 4, 2007, 01:21
I am tired of this self-righteous crap, lol.
Look, OFFENSE IS TAKEN NOT GIVEN. I am a gaijin and I understand that I am a guest here no matter what; whether i am here with my wife for a few years or the rest of our lives.
What happened to inalienable rights? You, me, or anyone else in the world does not have the right to complain about someone else's racism. I believe that everyone has a right to their opinion, views, etc.
It may offend you to watch tv here, but it would be a lot worse if it was mandated that the tv programs were not allowed to self govern.
I don't like this kind of crap any more than you guys do, but the bottom line here is that everyone in the world SHOULD have the right to free speech, including us, but to think that it is somehow wrong or bad... nah.
Do not 'slippery slope' my comments.

Aerain
Apr 4, 2007, 05:15
Asian countries may be more xenophobic due to past event in history, anyway that's the way I see it, and you know Europe weren't as much open as Japan in the past either. Also, I experienced racism in my childhood and even in late high school, having been thrown rocks at, spit in the face, mocked, sprayed chemical products in the eyes... by other kids, so I don't think racism is worst in Japan than anywhere else, god you people should grow up.

maushan3
Apr 5, 2007, 13:59
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llzAXr-MW70

The Amazing Racist, huh? Looks more like the amazing dumb***. Would be an honor to take him down, teach him right. That was pretty harsh man.

Mauricio

Gentleman10
Apr 5, 2007, 15:00
... I think we all need to get off our computers and go outside and get a breath of fresh air/play some sports rather than argue this, it's gettin' kinda silly.

sliderkta
Jun 26, 2007, 11:33
I think everyone needs to remember that Japan has never had any wars or division based on any type of discrimination.

Has Japan had a Civil War? No.

Has Japan had a 9/11 incident? No.

Has Japan ever had a war between religious groups (like the UK's Williamite Wars or the Crusades)? No.

Has Japan ever enslaved blacks, white, native americans, and/or any other "foreign" groups? Not to my knowledge.

Has Japan ever had any "gender wars" (like the American Feminist Movement of the 1970s)? No.

If you read Japanese history, you'll find out why these people do and say things they do. I notice that Japanese society also has a "That-won't-happen-in-my-country" attitude, simillar to America's pre-9/11 attiude. Does it make racism okay? No.

Like it or not, people have to experience trials for themselves in order to understand the trials of others. I've had the sad experience of Brits and Swedes telling me to my face that I was an anomaly because I am racially mixed. I had to understand that they will never know how I felt because they have a single racial ancestry.

Side note: Too bad they missed out on the many stories about my ancestors SAVING or CONTRIBUTING to their countries. I often hope that those type of people become like me in their next lifetime. Hee hee hee... :-)

--Kadiya

Bucko
Jun 26, 2007, 12:44
Sorry but I have to correct some things here...


Has Japan had a Civil War? No.
Wrong. Japan's history is filled with civil wars, both large and small. The last being the Boshin War from 1869 to 1869.


Has Japan had a 9/11 incident? No.
You wouldn't compare the atomic bombings and firebombings as the same as the 9/11 incident. If anything, what the Japanese experienced was far worse than the petty 9/11 incident.

Has Japan ever had a war between religious groups (like the UK's Williamite Wars or the Crusades)? No.
Are you kidding me? WWII was basically a religious war for the Japanese. As well as that, the Tokugawa Shoganate banned Christianity in 1614 and killed anyone who was thought to be Christian, thousands died. As well as that, there have been mass slaughterings of buddhists all throughout Japan's history.


Has Japan ever enslaved blacks, white, native americans, and/or any other "foreign" groups? Not to my knowledge.
There has been slavery in Japan, but not to the extent of other countries, and certainly not of foreign groups. However, during the Second World War the Japanese army did use captured POWs for slave labour.


I've had the sad experience of Brits and Swedes telling me to my face that I was an anomaly because I am racially mixed.
I'm sorry you had to hear that.

JapaMisawa_BR
Sep 1, 2007, 10:33
Japanese people are more xenophobic because they live on an island. As a result, they don't have much contact with foreigners.

I have "japanese" brazilian relatives and friends that are in Japan and they say that there are many pejudiced japanese.

I have talked to one of my teachers too and he said that this happens because japanese people see brazil as a country with african-culture only.

Mike Cash
Sep 1, 2007, 10:58
We all live on islands. It is just that some islands aren't surrounded by water so we tend not to notice we're on them.

JapaMisawa_BR
Sep 1, 2007, 11:11
We all live on islands. It is just that some islands aren't surrounded by water so we tend not to notice we're on them.

How many countries share borders with Japan?? :okashii:

pipokun
Sep 1, 2007, 19:40
Didn't your friends living in Japan tell you that they could drive safely to stop at a red light even in red light districts at night?

When I got upset at a border town in your country, a racial profiling that a border cop got on the bus and tageted only me, my friend kindly explained the smuggling problem by Asians.
So the island stuff is not relevant to this topic.
If the J cop have not stopped me for the infamous bike check, I would be an enegetic adovocate for non-Japanese residents here. But I've never forgot the stupid face of a cop last month. When he checked my bike, the host computer was running down then.

EmperorHirohito
Sep 1, 2007, 19:59
I live on an Island that is surrounded by water, oh deary me is that going to make me racist or resent other foriegn nationals? I certainly hope not.
But there again We all live on an Island, its a very small one, but its surrounded by the seas of space, which go on for miles and miles. It is said that some people come from Mars and that some people come from Venus, but sometimes I do wonder if some people come from another of the planets, its somewhere inbetween Pluto and Saturn but for the life of me I cant remember its name right now.


How many countries share borders with Japan??

I think you will find the correct answer is more than two counties, Russia is one of them, China is another and South Korea is the possible third, it all depends how far apart these countries are from Japan, if its less than 12 miles then there will be borders in territorial waters.

Mars Man
Sep 1, 2007, 20:45
I think it would be good to look into the matter more deeply, JapaMisawa_BR san. I would bet that we would, relatively speaking, not so much more--if any more--true xenophobic tendencies among the Japanese than any other social group.

I have known a fair number of folks from Brazil here and have spent a good bit of time with some of them. I would say that some would disagree with what you have stated, and some would agree--the difference very possibly being closely tied to the individual's personality and the degree to which that individual worked at operating in as much of a 'Japanese' social fashion as possible.

Before you draw any fixed and final conclusions, it would surely be a good thing to investigate it further.

kireikoori
Sep 2, 2007, 09:37
*sigh* I hate to be responding to really old(and possibly offtopic) posts, but I feel an itching to respond to a few.

The only difficulties of Japanese language for a Westerner is that it is very different from European languages
Depends on the European language. Japanese shares similarities to Uralic language. And Altaic language as well if you consider that European.

Ari Shaffir youtube video
Ah, Ari Shaffir. What a crazy guy. I've never been fond of ethnic humor. Carlos Mencia, Dave Chappel, I've never enjoyed any of it. Makes me kind of uncomfortable infact. Not in the least bit funny.
He doesn't seem to mind racist humor toward other groups, so I wonder how he would feel about that sort of prank towards Jews?

and some go as far as to get surgical operations of the eyelids to get a "third fold" to look more "Caucasian".
I'm sorry, but saying that eye operations are to look more Caucasian is like saying those who tan are trying to look more black.

White skin has also been historically looked at as better in Japan. It's a part of Japanese culture and not born from any sort of foreign influence.

I dunno much about this whole eye thing really and what third fold or whatever means, but alot of Japanese, that I see have eyes just like me. On kids too young to be having any sort of surgery. But maybe I'm not looking closely enough at the eye...

Anyway, I appreciate the fact that Japanese people have more mixed feelings about non-Japanese than negative. Nobody wants to be hated.

Are you actually denying that the cherry blossom is the national(istic) symbol of Japan ?
Maybe I'm getting you wrong, but it seems like you think Japan having a sense of uniqueness is necessarily racist or nationalistic.
Every country has a sense of uniqueness. Japanese language is so unique that for a long time it was classified as a language isolate. Celts are not the same as Slavs. There's nothing nationalistic about Japanese recognizing that they are unique from other cultures in Asia just as European and African ones.

Thinking that your culture is superior and that people are superior is racist. Which can go along with thinking Japanese culture is unique. But not always.

To me it's racist to lump all Asian people and culture together just because they're Asian.

Forgive me if I've been too assuming.

Mike Cash
Sep 2, 2007, 10:40
How many countries share borders with Japan?? :okashii:

Irrelevant to my point, which was meant to be taken in an abstract philosophical way rather than a concrete geographical way.

When I was a kid growing up in West Tennessee, I lived on an island. It was an island of the mind, circumscribed by the limits of my normal activities. In other words, any area that was beyond the area in which I normally moved, for all practical purposes, may as well have been separated from me by an ocean. There wouldn't have been any difference as regarded me as an individual.

As an adult, I live on a very tiny island of the mind which is physically located on a portion of Honshu. If the actual seashore were just a few kilometers north of my home here in Gunma, it wouldn't make the slightest bit of difference to my daily life. Everything and everybody on the other side of the boundary of where I normally travel may as well be 1000 miles, 10,000 miles, or a million miles away.

You've probably heard of people who were born, lived their lives, and died without ever traveling more than a few miles. What difference would it have made to them if the area had been bordered by water? That was as far as they were going anyway.

We all live on islands....we just don't all realize it.

ArmandV
Sep 2, 2007, 11:26
Some call it living in a fishbowl.

Mike Cash
Sep 2, 2007, 12:43
Some call it living in a fishbowl.

An apt and often used phrase for describing living in Japan as a foreigner, but not quite what I was talking about.

GodEmperorLeto
Sep 3, 2007, 05:15
I live on an Island that is surrounded by water, oh deary me is that going to make me racist or resent other foriegn nationals? I certainly hope not.
Yeah, but, well, your island has suffered way more invasions than Japan. Celts, Rome, Angles/Saxons/Jutes, Vikings, Normans. Thankfully, for the past thousand years, you've been a'ight.


It is said that some people come from Mars and that some people come from Venus, but sometimes I do wonder if some people come from another of the planets, its somewhere inbetween Pluto and Saturn but for the life of me I cant remember its name right now.

Uranus and Neptune. Ceres was once a planet, but it preceeded Pluto in its not-planetitude.

The analogy isn't the same, though. England built a powerful navy to keep invaders out, but also traded for goods and maintained a strong presence in regional (and later global) affairs. Japan... shut down, really. If they could have built a wall around their shores to keep foreigners out twice as hard, they would have. And a bit of that mentality still seems to exist there.

But I have to say, in truth, the old adage: "no man is an island". You are in the world, and you can ignore it, embrace it, or coexist. It's your choice how you react to reality, but it's always there.


An apt and often used phrase for describing living in Japan as a foreigner, but not quite what I was talking about.

Have you (or any other gaijin in Japan) considered viewing it throughout anthropological eyes? As an historian, I've been exposed to a great deal of anthropoligical works, and while most of these deal with cultures that are occasionally barely chalcolithic in technological capacities, the techniques could be applied to life in Japan. I mean, if we are going to be outsiders, instead of insulating ourselves, take the role of objective observer. And besides, the sort of racism you experience in Japan is nothing compared to what some neolithic tribal cultures will express towards outsiders.

I dunno, it's just a thought.

EmperorHirohito
Sep 3, 2007, 05:35
Yeah, but, well, your island has suffered way more invasions than Japan. Celts, Rome, Angles/Saxons/Jutes, Vikings, Normans. Thankfully, for the past thousand years, you've been a'ight.

Yes that is true, since 1066 the only people to occupy any of our territory has been the Germans in 1940.
Mind you my nation did do alot of colonization in the past, we once had 13 colonies across the pond :)

jmwintenn
Sep 4, 2007, 13:52
wow,you people are quite uptight it seems. I have no problem with racial humor, as long as there isnt hate inflected in it.

I tell black jokes to my black friends,they don't lynch me,they laugh. I tell my fat friends not to fall asleep on the couch if I'm on it so I won't get crushed. I call my korean friend a chink and the like and he calls me crack or whitey or a hick. Yes people around us that hear us speak to each other get upset and try to lecture us on manners,but it doesn't concern them and we are ok with it,and that's all that manners.

I also don't have a problem going to comedy shows and laughing at the ethnic jokes infront of the ethnic people. I really don't understand why people(especially white ones) won't laugh(in public) at the jokes and say the comedian shouldnt use racial humor. It's funny to mock our differences or the sterotypes. I don't get my panties in a bunch when I see,repeatedly, a southern person on tv with such a strong accent. I personally don't know anyone with a thick southern accent, though that's what the producers want. It doesn't bother me to hear it though,because I find it amusing when I speak to someone from the north or west and they gasp because I don't sound like the people or tv.

Maybe it's because I was raised to judge people based on who they were and there was no racial undertone,or maybe there's just way too many scared white people.

Personally,since the Japanese programs are just poking fun at the people,and it's meant to entertain and not meant to be outright slanderous,I don't see the problem with it.

Mike Cash
Sep 4, 2007, 18:49
I mean, if we are going to be outsiders, instead of insulating ourselves, take the role of objective observer.

I don't isolate myself. I work in a Japanese company as the only non-Japanese person. My work environment is 100% Japanese. I have no real-life foreign friends or acquaintances, outside of once-in-a-blue-moon things like a JREF get-together. My children are monolingual Japanese speakers and attend our neighborhood public schools. I'm at a loss as to what more I'm supposed to do to not isolate myself.

Glenski
Sep 5, 2007, 06:53
wow,you people are quite uptight it seems. I have no problem with racial humor, as long as there isnt hate inflected in it.
I tell black jokes to my black friends,they don't lynch me,they laugh. I tell my fat friends not to fall asleep on the couch if I'm on it so I won't get crushed. I call my korean friend a chink and the like and he calls me crack or whitey or a hick. Yes people around us that hear us speak to each other get upset and try to lecture us on manners,but it doesn't concern them and we are ok with it,and that's all that manners.
I don't have to read any other post here to comment on the above.

Is everyone your friend? You might want to hold your tongue when calling people those epithets, if they are not your close friends.

jmwintenn
Sep 5, 2007, 08:04
No everyone isn't my friend,I don't see why you'd ask that seeing as I said that's how my friends and I are.I didn't say I walk up to black people and say "whassup nigga",nor do I walk up to asian people and call them "zipper-head."

I was trying to make a point that my generation is a relaxed one when it comes to most racial issues.

though,to be quite honest,I have no idea why everyone and their cousin wants to defend the black populace from things they apparently dont care about since they haven't voiced a complaint. Rest assured that a black leader has seen the program and has apparently deemed it "ok" or at least nothing to be troubled about.

GodEmperorLeto
Sep 5, 2007, 23:38
I don't isolate myself.
Ummm. Sorry, I didn't mean to come off quite like that, implying that you do isolate yourself. Indeed, it seems that you've done a great deal of assimilation. I'm interested in what you and other expatriates have done, especially since I am planning on moving to Japan for several years before returning to the U.S. to finish my schooling.

Elizabeth van Kampen
Sep 6, 2007, 00:56
Rascism is very ugly in my eyes.
My ex-husband and I have adopted two children from India.
I love my daughter and son very deeply and I don't see the differense between them and me.

I think it far more a matter of education and good manners
I don't like sitting next to a Dutch man/woman who has no manners.
But I sit next to anyone in this world who has good manners and is like me openminded.

Mike Cash
Sep 6, 2007, 01:19
Ummm. Sorry, I didn't mean to come off quite like that, implying that you do isolate yourself. Indeed, it seems that you've done a great deal of assimilation. I'm interested in what you and other expatriates have done, especially since I am planning on moving to Japan for several years before returning to the U.S. to finish my schooling.

It boils down a simple matter of "even though" instead of "just because".

I want to be able to live and work in Japan even though I am a foreigner...not just because I am a foreigner.

You jokingly asked in another thread if it was my dream to drive trucks. No, it wasn't. But it was my goal to attempt to live in Japan without taking any advantage of or making any use of my foreignness.

Now that I've seen I can do it, I feel perfectly free to go back to teaching English if I want. I just didn't want to keep on teaching English feeling that it was all I could do and that the only reason I could keep the wolf from the door was because of an accident of birth which meant that I picked up English as a child instead of some language that would be unmarketable in Japan.

I just keep driving trucks because it beats working for a living. Seriously, though, among other reasons, I just don't have the temperament for teaching English.

Pachipro
Sep 6, 2007, 01:40
I just keep driving trucks because it beats working for a living.

Amen brother. That's why I have the signature I have.It's not work to me and I do so much love driving trucks!