Quote Originally Posted by Uchite
I think that the bottom line is that you are a Gaijin. You always will be no matter how much you try to be accepted as a Nihonjin. Don't worry about it and just accept things as the way they are. There is nothing in the world you can do to change it. However, by learning Japanese and trying to conform with Japan's social niceties and social customs, you are doing all you can.
Very well said Uchite! You can live there for 50 years and they will still see you as a Gaijin no matter how fluent you are or how well you understand the culture, or even if you become a citizen. Once one accepts that fact, no matter how insane it may be to us "outsiders", their life in Japan will be that much easier and fulfilling. Just go with the flow. I don't mean you have to be a doormat, but just understand the Japanese thinking on this subject and their culture and the reasons why they act the way they do and do not take it as an insult.