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View Poll Results: Multiple poll (min. 5 answers, choose any that apply) - Please read carefully !

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  • 1.1 Housing : I have been refused accommodation because I was a foreigner

    25 40.32%
  • 1.2 Housing : My company provides my accommodation (so no problem)

    9 14.52%
  • 1.3 Housing : I have only stayed at gaijin houses, hotels or friends' houses

    9 14.52%
  • 1.4 Housing : I have lived in Japan for many years, rented my housing via a estate agent, and never had any problem

    4 6.45%
  • 1.5 Housing : I have only stayed in Japan for two years or less, rented my housing via a estate agent, but never had any problem

    9 14.52%
  • 2.1 Tourism : I have been refused entry to a hotel, guesthouse or weekly mansion because I was a foreigner

    6 9.68%
  • 2.2 Tourism : I have stayed a few times in hotels, guesthouses and/or weekly mansions and have never been refused entry

    19 30.65%
  • 2.3 Tourism : I have stayed numerous times in hotels, guesthouses and/or weekly mansions and have never been refused entry

    25 40.32%
  • 3.1 Entertainment : I have been refused entry to at least one restaurant, bar, nightclub, onsen or public bath because I was a foreigner

    16 25.81%
  • 3.2 Entertainment : I have been a few times to restaurants, bars, nightclubs, onsen or public baths, and was never refused entry

    15 24.19%
  • 3.3 Entertainment : I have been a hundreds of times to restaurants, bars, nightclubs, onsen or public baths, and was never refused entry

    22 35.48%
  • 4.1 Police : I have been stopped and asked for an ID (passport/alien registration) by the police for no reason

    12 19.35%
  • 4.2 Police : I have been stopped while riding a bicycle and had my bike registration checked during day time for no reason

    3 4.84%
  • 4.3 Police : I have been stopped while riding a bicycle and had my bike registration checked during night time for no reason

    4 6.45%
  • 4.4 Police : I have been mistakenly arrested (taken to the police station)

    1 1.61%
  • 4.5 Police : I have had other discriminatory problems with the police

    4 6.45%
  • 4.6 Police : I have stayed for many years in Japan and have never been checked or annoyed by the police in Japan

    15 24.19%
  • 4.7 Police : I have stayed less than 2 years in Japan and have never been checked or annoyed by the police in Japan

    24 38.71%
  • 5.1 Sexual Discrimination : I have experienced sexual harassment in Japan

    7 11.29%
  • 5.2 Sexual Discrimination : I have experienced sexual discrimination regarding promotion, salary or opportunity

    4 6.45%
  • 5.3 Sexual Discrimination : I am not a woman or have never worked in a Japanese company

    39 62.90%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Have you encountered discrimination or prejudices in Japan ?

  1. #51
    Regular Member Yamatoblue's Avatar
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    Wow, this is such an interesting topic.
    I've wanted to go to Japan since I was in high school, but after going to arudo debito's site and researching racism in Japan, I think I'd just want to go there for vacation.
    When it comes to racism, and such, I think there is racism in the USA as well. Maybe it's not racism, but it's a kind of undertone...for example, a Japanese classmate who came to the US as a ryuugakusei told me that she is kind of disappointed and wouldn't want to live here. She said she's disappointed because she wants to have some American friends and the only ones who will be her friends are mormons who want to convert her to Christianity (God Forbid), which she is not interested in. She said that she talked to her other Japanese friends who have become Christians (God forbid) and they got American friends by going to church and converting (God Forbid).
    So when people don't want to associate with you, I think that is a kind of racism as well. Yes, I see there is a lot of Japanese racism and sort of stereotyped and prejudices.
    I was at the Kinokuniya Bookstore here in Seattle and asked for the famous Japanese novel,"Yukiguni,"雪国 mind you I didn't say "Snow Country." Anyway, they directed me to the English version which I did not want...sigh...
    Maciamo: Yes, lynching against Muslims happens here in the US. But I, as a muslim, have encountered very little hostility since 9/11 and maybe that's just me. Yes, this country has a more than atrocious track record when it comes to dealing with Muslims and people in the Muslim world, but I really think that when it comes to blatant racism and such against muslims or anyone else, Canada and the US can't be beat. People are more open towards people of other cultures,etc. I'll give you an example: I started working at this company recently and told them that I need to pray 5 times a day and that it would take only a few minutes. So they got me an empty office room and I can leave any time I want, and I got time off for Ramadan. That's pretty great, isn't it? I doubt I could have something like this in Japan, where I'd be looked at strangely just because I know more japanese than just "konnichiwa" and "arigato."
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    →将来、日本に行きたいですよ。

  2. #52
    Your Goddess is here Ma Cherie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yamatoblue
    Wow, this is such an interesting topic.
    I've wanted to go to Japan since I was in high school, but after going to arudo debito's site and researching racism in Japan, I think I'd just want to go there for vacation.
    When it comes to racism, and such, I think there is racism in the USA as well. Maybe it's not racism, but it's a kind of undertone...for example, a Japanese classmate who came to the US as a ryuugakusei told me that she is kind of disappointed and wouldn't want to live here. She said she's disappointed because she wants to have some American friends and the only ones who will be her friends are mormons who want to convert her to Christianity (God Forbid), which she is not interested in. She said that she talked to her other Japanese friends who have become Christians (God forbid) and they got American friends by going to church and converting (God Forbid).
    So when people don't want to associate with you, I think that is a kind of racism as well. Yes, I see there is a lot of Japanese racism and sort of stereotyped and prejudices.
    I was at the Kinokuniya Bookstore here in Seattle and asked for the famous Japanese novel,"Yukiguni,"雪国 mind you I didn't say "Snow Country." Anyway, they directed me to the English version which I did not want...sigh...
    Maciamo: Yes, lynching against Muslims happens here in the US. But I, as a muslim, have encountered very little hostility since 9/11 and maybe that's just me. Yes, this country has a more than atrocious track record when it comes to dealing with Muslims and people in the Muslim world, but I really think that when it comes to blatant racism and such against muslims or anyone else, Canada and the US can't be beat. People are more open towards people of other cultures,etc. I'll give you an example: I started working at this company recently and told them that I need to pray 5 times a day and that it would take only a few minutes. So they got me an empty office room and I can leave any time I want, and I got time off for Ramadan. That's pretty great, isn't it? I doubt I could have something like this in Japan, where I'd be looked at strangely just because I know more japanese than just "konnichiwa" and "arigato."

    You "think" there's racism here? Darling of course there's racism here in the US. And as far as muslims being lynched, I don't think that's quite true, I know there's been attacks on muslims, but I don't know about lynchings What makes you believe that racism in the US and Canada are much more worse than anywhere else? Just out of curiousity

    Well, I could say that it's a good thing that you being a muslim your customs are being respected.
    "Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot."
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  3. #53
    Regular Member Yamatoblue's Avatar
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    Well, you're right there have not been any lynchings on muslims in the States, but that's not the case for muslims in Russia. After the Beslan school shootings, there were quite a few retaliatory acts...I remember reading about one muslim woman who was killed and someone wrote "terrorist" on her back and threw her body in a desolate place.
    There have been mosque attacks in the US, but I really think people here and in Canada are much more tolerant. Yes, there are obvious divisions (people who are hispanic live in hispanic neighborhoods and many dont want to interact with non-hispanics), but I mean it's just plain illegal to be racist here and in Canada.
    The reason I say other countries are worse is because it's true. I grew up in Germany and can remember kids calling me the n-word (my skin is as white as any German's, but I have brown hair and eyes), and having their moms ignore me or act uneasy when they see me (a 7year old kid!!). One time, I even went to this German kid's house and talked to his racist mother who was instilling these values.
    I think Europe (and Japan, it seems like) are very racist places-in France, if you're north African they refuse you entry in many places, England's pretty good like the US and Canada. They are just much more open countries.
    Ma Cherie, which countries would you say are the most racially tolerant in the world?
    I would love to go to Japan someday, but now..Im not so sure if I'll be able to handle all the gaijin discrimination.

  4. #54
    Your Goddess is here Ma Cherie's Avatar
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    I don't think there is a country that's is actually racially tolerant. I mean the US for example still has the Klu Klux Klan who hates anyone that isn't white. I also heard similar stories about the one where you pointed out that Africans in France are discriminated against. I've also read somewhere that the lower class in France, some of them are north African immigrants I really don't know how true this is. Maybe it's a matter of how countries deal with racial issues. Like will countries admit that they have racial issues or what kinds of problems do foreigners face, things like that.

    It doesn't seem like Japanese society is ready to deal with most of the issues of foreigners. Hanging "No Foreigners" signs in onsens and such places, I would think something like that should be illegal.

    But you know, Yamatoblue? I think you may have a wonderful experience if you visit Japan.

  5. #55
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma Cherie
    I don't think there is a country that's is actually racially tolerant. I mean the US for example still has the Klu Klux Klan who hates anyone that isn't white.
    Let's not forget that the US also still has the Nation of Islam, which does a very good job of giving the impression they aren't too fond of anyone who is white.

  6. #56
    silent-buddhist Jack's Avatar
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    kkk dont just hate non-white folk, they hate all that dont agree with them.

  7. #57
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    I have just had my bicycle registration checked by the police for the 8th time.

    I was riding around my nearest metro station as everyday (that's where all the shops and restaurants are). I passed in front of the Koban (police box) at 5pm in the middle of the crowd. There were dozens of other people riding bicycles. One police officer saw me coming and got out of the Koban hurriedly toward me making a sign - but I was too fast and he couldn't stop me. I passed again 30min later in the other direction to go back home. This time, he was waiting and stopped me with another cop. He then asked (I was a bit nervous so my Japanese was a bit strange) :

    Police officer : ちょっとすみません。 ("excuse me")
    Me : はい。何ですか?("yes, what is it ?")
    Police officer : 日本語わかりますか?("do you understand Japanese ?"
    Me : はい。("yes")
    Police officer : この たりの方ですか?("are you a local resident ?"
    Me : はい。("yes")
    Police officer : お住まいはどこですか。 ("where do you live ?")
    Me : 「。。」です。 (in ...)
    Police officer : 、SAKURA HOUSE*ですか?(ah, are you from Sakura House* ?)
    Me : いいえ、違います?("no, not at all")
    Police officer : 登録をチェックさせてもいいですか? ("would you let me check your registration")
    Me : なぜですか?("why is that ?")
    Police officer : 最近窃盗が多いんですよ。 なたの自転車ですか?("recently there has been a lot of thefts. Is that your bicycle ?")
    Me : はい。 ("yes")
    Police officer : 登録をチェックさせてもいいですか?("would you let me check your registration ?")
    Me : なぜですか?私は泥棒だと思いますか?("why is that ? do yo think I am a thief ?")
    Police officer : いいえ、いええ!誰でもご協力を頼みます。("no, no. We ask the cooperation of anybody.")
    Me : では、なぜ の人かこの人ではないんですか?("so, why don't you check this or that person ?" [pointing at other bicycles that had stopped at the traffic light 10m away])
    Police officer : は ぁ。。はい、その人も。誰でもチェックします。(" err.. yes, this person too. we can check anybody")
    Police officer 2 : 顔で泥棒かどうか良くわからないよね。("we cannot be sure whether someone is a thief just by looking at their face...")
    Me : 30分前もう私を止めようとしました。 (30min ago you already tried to stop me")
    Police officer : はい、そうです。声をかけようと思ったけど。 ("yes, that's right. I thought of calling after you, but...")
    Me : それは、私は欧米人だからですか?("Is that because I am a Westerner ?")
    Police officer : いいえ。日本人も止めます。("No, we also stop Japanese people")
    Police officer 2 : なたの自転車のかご壊れてますので。。。盗まれた自転車の中で壊れた自転車多いんですよ。("your bike's basket is broken... many of the stolen bicyles are broken")
    Me : もう4年前から使ってますからね。でも、私はちゃんと 鍵をつけてますね。
    ("I have been using it for 4 years already. But I have the key as you can see")
    Police officer : そうですね。すみません。一回チェックをするだけ。 ("that's right. Sorry, I'll just check once [the registration]"
    ...
    etc.

    I finally let them check the registration. They apologised and told me that if my bicycle is ever stolen, I should report it to the Koban by giving them the registration number (a way of excusing themselves, as they understood that I was not bvery please by their behaviour).

    *Sakura House is a "Gaijin House" with branches all over Tokyo. The police officer visibly didn't know his district well, as the neighbourhood I mentioned was not the same as the nearby Sakura House, although not far away.

    It seems pretty clear that they stopped me because I was a foreigner. The cop didn't even deny that he already tried to stop me the first time. I find it amazing that I pass there everyday, on the same bike with its broken basket, I have stopped in front of them with my wife, both on our bikes; she has asked the police officers something a few times with me, and they still find it necesaary to check me. That's actually the first time I have been checked at a Koban. 6 of the other 7 times, it was one or two cops with a red stick on the main road. Once, it was a police car that stopped me around noon when I was riding on the road (with the cars, not on the pavement).

    That's the first time I asked them to justify themselves and asked if they stopped me because I was a Westerner. Before, my approach was "the fatest it is done, the fastest I can go". But 8 times, that's really enough - especially 6x in my own neighbourhood ! Funny that not a single of my Japanese relatives, friends or acquaintances I asked has been checked in their whole life (in the same neighbourhood) ! They can claim that they stop other people too at the Koban, but in 50 months in Japan I haven't seen a single person have their bicycle checked at the Koban in my area.

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  8. #58
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    Just 8 times? it is much fewer times than i imagined.

    today i also get checked, though i felt sense of guilty after a glass of wine at lunch.

  9. #59
    相変わらず不束者です epigene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    It seems pretty clear that they stopped me because I was a foreigner.
    I don't think so...

    You've said you live in the shitamachi area. If you see one of those 犯罪マップ, a map showing the crime rates in the various parts of Tokyo, the shitamachi crime rate is very high (red=top level). I have a Japanese American friend living in shitamachi, and she said that there most of the houses in her neighborhood had been burglarized because of the narrow streets, the very same quality that makes the shitamachi quaint and nice. Her boys (100% Japanese blood) are routinely stopped by police when they ride their bikes--because they're young and dressed like rockers...

    As for my family, we live close to Seijo (which is an exclusive neighborhood with movie stars and other rich people as residents), and the crime rate there is also high (including the well-publicized killing of an entire family on Dec. 31, 2000--not sure about the date). And my husband (100% Japanese) was routinely stopped by the same cop! That's because he takes the same routes all the time on his bike and he likes to see the beautiful flowers in other people's gardens. The cop always tells him it's his job... My husband was so pissed he showered him with all the most sophisticated Japanese vocabulary and expressions he could muster (to get the message across that he is dealing with a well-educated professional). He apologized and went away with his tail between his legs.

    He's still getting stopped by cops (new ones probably assigned to the job the other guy used to have...)
    I'm not stopped because I'm an obasan--the obvious target of purse snatchers... (I almost got my purse snatched twice by Japanese youngsters, but I noticed them first and stared at them.)

    FYI: 犯罪発生マップ (Tokyo crime rate map)

  10. #60
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
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    Maciamo...are the same officers ther all of the time? You've been stopped 8 times, but how many times by the same officer? Instead of getting iritated, have you attempted to get to know the officers at that koban?

    I'm not sure about Tokyo, but here we have the same officers all of the time. I know who they are and even know their families. One officer has a child in the same class as one of my son's.

    We have discussed this in other threads, but maybe you need help with social skills. I realize that getting checked is inconvienient in the least, but maybe you need to put forth an effort in order to stop this string of events! Instead of getting upset, talk to them as equals. One day stop by and drop off some simple snacks as an offering.

    I believe one reason that you get stopped is that they have a quota, a number of persons that they are required to check in say a day, week, month. He (may have) came after you because it is less embarrasing to stop a foreigner and ask (and be wrong) than stopping a local and being wrong!

    Just a thought.

  11. #61
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epigene
    I don't think so...

    You've said you live in the shitamachi area. If you see one of those 犯罪マップ, a map showing the crime rates in the various parts of Tokyo, the shitamachi crime rate is very high (red=top level).
    From the map in link, my area is the greenest possible (it's not Taito-ku !). Likewise, I have been checked twice in Nihombashi-Otemachi (inlcuding the time by the police car), which is also in the green.

  12. #62
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CC1
    Maciamo...are the same officers ther all of the time? You've been stopped 8 times, but how many times by the same officer? Instead of getting iritated, have you attempted to get to know the officers at that koban?
    As I said, it was the first time I was stopped at the Koban. The other times were at different places on the main road. The cop who stopped had seen me before because I asked and my wife asked him something a few months ago (almost 1 year actually, so I would understand that he did not remember me). The Koban is just next to the subway exit, and I have passed there thousands of times (often several times a day). If he could spot me so easily twice that day when it was already dark (although only 5pm and still crowded), how comes he didn't see me the other days since he works there ?

    There were 3 cops at the Koban at the time (2 who talked to me), so I can't believe that none of them had never seen me before passing with the same basket-less bicycles hundreds of times. I am one of the few long-term resident Westerner in that neighbourhood, and some people I have never met told my wife or her mother that they had seen me many times around (they know who I am, as I stand out as a tall blue-eyed Westerner that has been living there for years). I can't believe that the cops, whose job it is to know the neighbourhood, didn't know me or remember me.

    2 years ago, I was stopped by the same cop twice in 2 days, and he asked me exactly the same thing the same way ! (starting over with "where are you from", "where do you live?", etc. and I lived 100m from there).

    One day stop by and drop off some simple snacks as an offering.
    Is that bribe or worship ?

  13. #63
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    As I said, it was the first time I was stopped at the Koban. The other times were at different places on the main road. The cop who stopped had seen me before because I asked and my wife asked him something a few months ago (almost 1 year actually, so I would understand that he did not remember me). The Koban is just next to the subway exit, and I have passed there thousands of times (often several times a day). If he could spot me so easily twice that day when it was already dark (although only 5pm and still crowded), how comes he didn't see me the other days since he works there ?
    Once again the tone of your post is irritating. Only trying to help. But in all honesty, how many strangers would you recognize if merely passing them day to day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    There were 3 cops at the Koban at the time (2 who talked to me), so I can't believe that none of them had never seen me before passing with the same basket-less bicycles hundreds of times. I am one of the few long-term resident Westerner in that neighbourhood, and some people I have never met told my wife or her mother that they had seen me many times around (they know who I am, as I stand out as a tall blue-eyed Westerner that has been living there for years). I can't believe that the cops, whose job it is to know the neighbourhood, didn't know me or remember me.
    Point is that you are not sociable (obviously) in your own neighborhood and haunts. If you were more personable, maybe they wouldn't think you were a criminal? (ok, that might not be fair) How about this...if you were more friendly, instead of being irritated because you were stopped, maybe you could develop friendships with these people. When I pass the officers in my community they wave and say hello to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    2 years ago, I was stopped by the same cop twice in 2 days, and he asked me exactly the same thing the same way ! (starting over with "where are you from", "where do you live?", etc. and I lived 100m from there).
    In all fairness this guy may be an idiot!

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Is that bribe or worship ?
    It is called an act of friendship...you should try it sometimes!

  14. #64
    gunjin Carlson's Avatar
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    most my problems are going into some bars down town roponngi... thats about it...
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    *Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.
    *Is often lack of insight, whereas cowardice in many cases is based on good information.

  15. #65
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CC1
    Once again the tone of your post is irritating. Only trying to help. But in all honesty, how many strangers would you recognize if merely passing them day to day?
    Considering that I am a Westerner in Japan, they should remember me. Whenever I see another Westerner in my neighbourhood, I remember their face, even if that was 3 years ago. When I was living in Belgium, if a non-Caucasian person passed in my neighbourhood (esp. in the countryside or a small town), I would notice them and remember their face, especially if I saw them repeatedly. I know most of the "baachan" living near my house and can tell where they live (and they probably can too), although they are not the kind of persons I would socialise with (yes, you are right, I am pretty selective, even among people of my age).

    Point is that you are not sociable (obviously) in your own neighborhood and haunts. If you were more personable, maybe they wouldn't think you were a criminal? (ok, that might not be fair) How about this...if you were more friendly, instead of being irritated because you were stopped, maybe you could develop friendships with these people. When I pass the officers in my community they wave and say hello to me.
    I think there is a big cultural difference between Northern Europeans and Americans about this. In Northern Europe, it is not normal to start talking to strangers, nor even to talk with people you know around strangers (like in a lift/elevator or crowded train). It is as true in Britain, the Benelux of Scandinavia. Belgian people are usually distrustful of strangers (according to some cultural comparisons I have read, but I fully agree).

    Then there is my own personality (partly forged by the culture). Even compared to the average Belgian, I tend to dislike more when a stranger address me. My natural reaction is "what does he/she want - leave me alone". I am already irritated by people who want to be friendly by starting talking about such subjects as football, or in Japan, asking if I can eat sushi or use chopsticks. Whatever their intentions, I loathe that. I don't need to be friend with someone who think that I may not be able to use chopsticks, or even less with a cop that think I could be a thief.

    In French, there are two very common words for "friend", with a clearly distinct meaning : "copain" and "ami". English does not have this distinction. A "copain" could be any acquaintance, like a workmate, classmate, etc. even if we don't get along very well (as long as the relation is informal). An "ami" is a real friend, with whom you share interests, personal experiences, and can count on to help you when you need them. People usually have very few "amis", but can have hundreds of "copains". When I use the word "friend" in English, it means "ami" (I use "acquaintance" for "copain"). Therefore I am very selective with who can become my friends, and don't really care about getting more closely acquainted to people who think I could be a thief. I have such contempt for thieves (even a child stealing a pen from a classmate) that I could never have positive feelings toward someone who suspects me of being one. That is partly why I got the idea of making the thread What would you do if a bag-snatcher ran toward you ?, because, although I would never do it, it is the last option of the poll which reflects my real feelings.

  16. #66
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    Not all police officers are not so smart as you. Some even quetioned ex-chief of the National Public Safety Commission supervising J police at a street in Shibuya...

  17. #67
    相変わらず不束者です epigene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipokun
    Not all police officers are not so smart as you. Some even quetioned ex-chief of the National Public Safety Commission supervising J police at a street in Shibuya...
    I agree! I've seen a lot of dummies in my neighborhood and elsewhere!

  18. #68
    Cat lover Apollo's Avatar
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    Being half Japanese and half Danish in Japan was not all good sometimes. I am so glad that I grew up in Yamate, Yokohama where there were many foreigners, so I didn't feel that much different.

    In fact, I was born with very light-brown hair, and sometimes I got teased and bullied by other few Japanese kids in the neighbourhood because I looked different: light-hair and pony-tails!!!...only innocent kids' teasing and bullying though. I am glad that I went to international school in Japan, so I didn't feel that much different from the other kids in school, but some Japanese kids in the neighbourhood could be very evil sometimes - until they of course got to know me better - that I actually spoke Japanese too....

    However, now I don't get teased or discriminated against in daily life in Japan, maybe because I I know the country so well, have darker hair and can talk back IN Japanese!!!

    OH no!!! Plz ignore my voting on the poll!! I must have been cross-eyed, pop-eyed, too quick to click with the mouse or whatever to misread it!!! I thought it read "I have Never been discriminated against", but instead I'd voted "I have been discriminated against"...
    Last edited by Apollo; Oct 31, 2005 at 22:30.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Considering that I am a Westerner in Japan, they should remember me. Whenever I see another Westerner in my neighbourhood, I remember their face, even if that was 3 years ago. When I was living in Belgium, if a non-Caucasian person passed in my neighbourhood (esp. in the countryside or a small town), I would notice them and remember their face, especially if I saw them repeatedly.
    Hello, again! Once again, I find myself in disagreement with you, Maciamo. Let me explain.

    If you were the only Westerner in the area, I would agree with you more than not, but I think that we "Westerners" tend to look pretty much the same to most Japanese. When I did my study-abroad several years ago, another (Japanese) student came up to me and thought I was one of the other "Western" foriegn students. This happened on several occasions over the course of a month or two, after they got to know him better and finally learned his face. I was pretty surprised, because we really didn't look that similar, but it happened nonetheless.

    I thought about why this might happen, and it occurred to me that Japanese tend to see us "Westerners" as all looking basically the same when they look at us only casually. Of course, if they have regular contact with us, they learn our faces and whatnot, but otherwise, for the most part they don't have enough contact with us in their daily lives to make distinctions upon casual observation alone.

    Think about how many people the police see every day, including "Westerners". I would imagine that it's a pretty impressive number. I don't think it's fair to ask them to remember one specific person's face, "Westerner" or not. If the same officers stopped you on a regular basis, they'd probably figure out who you are pretty quickly, but I'm talking like once a week or something along those lines, not 8 times in 4 or 5 years, or even in one year.

    And remember, too, that not everyone is the same. Just because you could remember people's faces well in Belgium doesn't mean that other people can remember faces so well. You may have something closer to a photographic memory than most people.

    On the other hand, I'm suprised to hear you have been stopped so many times, because I never have even once. You might want to invest in fixing your bike or buying a new one to give them one less excuse to question you if it bothers you so much.

  20. #70
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    umm.. i know this is very off topic but can i please ask some questions maciamo? First of all Isalamualikum i'm muslim as well!
    Anyway please dont these questions as being racist this is for my knowledge.(and yes i know you already answered some of these questions)
    What color is your skin
    What colors are your eyes
    What is your origin
    What are your parents origin
    what is your profession


    ... I was wondering something, lets say you are a foreigner with white skin, hazel greenish eyes, and knowing japanese well going to japan to work as a doctor. Would you still be discriminated against? Does having power and money affect your status in japanese society?

  21. #71
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobeen
    umm.. i know this is very off topic but can i please ask some questions maciamo? First of all Isalamualikum i'm muslim as well!
    Why as well ? I am not a Muslim (but a convinced Atheist).

    What color is your skin : white (northern European type)
    What colors are your eyes : blue
    What is your origin/What are your parents origin : same question isn't it ? Northern European
    what is your profession : Language instructor in big companies, translator + some IT-related work.

    ... I was wondering something, lets say you are a foreigner with white skin, hazel greenish eyes, and knowing japanese well going to japan to work as a doctor. Would you still be discriminated against?
    Yes. I am also a "sensei" (not doctor though) with an hourly salary similar to that of a Japanese GP (although I work much less), and fit your description. Yet, I was stopped many times by the police for no reason, asked for my alien registration card for no reason, refused accommodation because I was a foreigner, etc. In Japan, it doesn't matter whether your are a thug or a well-educated professional. If you are not Japanese, you will be discriminated or treated differently at some time (although not on a daily basis, fortunately). The real estate agents and policemen in Tokyo are the worst in my experience.

    Does having power and money affect your status in japanese society?
    Not as a foreigner. 5 out of 8 times I was stopped by the police, I was wearing a suit with designer shirt and tie (bought in Japan, and chosen by my Japanese wife, so we cannot even say they were conspicuous).

  22. #72
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    WOw shocking. First of all let me apologize for thinking and calling you a muslim.
    I don't understand this.. I though many japanese though high of blonde hair and blue eyed people that came from western Europe and its very hard for me to believe that they are that discriminative..

  23. #73
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    Yearly Spring and Autumn trafic safety campaign, in some area all 4 season trafic safety campaigns here.
    Year-end public safety campaign
    ...and more.

    Is his 8 times for 4yrs really so many?
    When he want more for his story here, he should ride his bike painted all in flashy pink like I did when I was a kid.

  24. #74
    Regular Member Yamatoblue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobeen
    WOw shocking. First of all let me apologize for thinking and calling you a muslim.
    I don't understand this.. I though many japanese though high of blonde hair and blue eyed people that came from western Europe and its very hard for me to believe that they are that discriminative..
    assalamu aleikum
    Im muslim, maciamo isn't lol

    Macaimo, are you going to stay in Japan for the rest of your life or are you going to move back to Europe? I think there's racism in Europe (from what I've experienced in Deutschland), but seems like there's less than in japan.
    I'll have to go and see for mysself one day.

  25. #75
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yamatoblue
    Macaimo, are you going to stay in Japan for the rest of your life or are you going to move back to Europe?
    I am going to move back to Europe very soon as I am fed up of the daily bias, prejudices, discrimination or just reactions like "oh, gaijin da !" (see this post) whenever a Japanese stumble on me unexpectedly. There are other reasons for me to go back to Europe, but this is clearly the most important. Life in Japan is just too stressful and irritating for me as a foreigner who cares about what people around feel and think.

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