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

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62. You may not vote on this poll
  • 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. #176
    ƒKƒCƒWƒ“–şB doinkies's Avatar
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    Indeed, and that book was published by a small, obscure publisher that is now out of business (gee, I wonder why...).

    It's also worth noting that the blog Japan Probe was actually the first to report on the book and to tell the people at stores selling it not to carry it anymore. In fact, a frequent commenter from Japan named Ponta was instrumental in this campaign, helping list some polite ways in Japanese of telling stores that the book is doinky and racist and as such should not be sold. Along with many other readers of Japan Probe, Ponta also wrote to some stores about the book. Thanks to their efforts, in the end, most stores did take it off the shelves.
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  2. #177
    Just me Glenski's Avatar
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    How many "isolated cases" does it take to make an issue systemic?

    1) Tons of places post "Japanese Only" signs.

    2) The government ignores the Zaiinichi yet forces other non-Japanese citizens to fingerprinting and photographing, despite renouncing the fingerprinting program in place earlier.

    3) Police in many districts discriminate against foreigners on bicycles, not to mention post those insipid posters about ATM thefts (despite many Japanese committing the same crimes).

    4) The government (again) discriminates by the Japanese wording of its own constitution and by not enacting laws to enforce an anti-discrimination treaty it signed.

    5) Many schools discriminate against students with foreign parents, not letting them take part in certain athletic events (because they make the Japanese students look bad) or because they might have better English (some don't).

    6) High schools and universities with 2 separate hiring systems, based on nationality.

    Systemic, bakakanadajin. And, pretty blatant.

  3. #178
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    1) Tons of places post "Japanese Only" signs.
    ...
    1) You should say tons of places in the sex industry
    2) I agree on the inequality. And I even support the idea that all Japanese should be fingerprinted.
    3) Wrong. The bike check also applys to Japanese. In Augst, I could not forget the stupid face of a cop when he wanted to check my bike, but the host computer was down. I voluntarily told them about my address and phone number when you would find something wrong, though I thought it must be an incredible human right infringement.
    No phone call from him.
    4) Ok, please do not claim, "Japan is a horrible police state!", when the govenment enacts the controversial law.
    5) Do you know that the government trys to decrease the non-Japanese children whose parents are not interested in education of their kids?
    6) Tell me how many foreign nationals are hired by your government in your home country. When you want to get a stable teaching position in a public school, elementary, junior high, high schools, just take the teacher's license course and pass the exam like non-Japanese teachers here.
    And I think the post doctor problem is the same which brings hard time to find a place to work for the highly educated people in your country.

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  4. #179
    diceke
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenski View Post
    4) The government (again) discriminates by the Japanese wording of its own constitution
    Again, as I said earlier, the wording of the constitution is not that significant, in my opinion. (If the translation is bad, people can change that.)

    The US Bill of Rights (and parts of the US constitution) theoretically applies to all persons within the US territory (citizens, non-citizens, visitors), it's not because of the legal document per se, being that it applies to non-citizens, but a succession of interpretations and reinterpretations. Same in Japan here (the MacLean Case, which became precedent in 1978).

  5. #180
    Œp‘ą‚Í—Í‚Č‚č bakaKanadajin's Avatar
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    Glenski almost everything you've mentioned there happens in the West too. We may be less obvious about it but it definitley happens. Before you can enter an American college you need a SAT score of however much; anyone witout a decent command of the language isn't going to pass. One could argue that's discriminiatory but really how far can arguments like that be taken until you're basically giving foreigners special treatment just to fill a quota?

    To answer your question, it takes way more than what you've mentioned for something to be a real problem. Canada has some of the most advanced hiring and equalizational policies around and many newcomers still catch a rough ride and can't get decent jobs or do certain things. If you open up the system too wide it loses strength and stops working for the people it's designed to serve. Like I said before, the Japanese system works for everyone except a few foreigners here and there.

    There are plenty of foreigners living in, succeeding in, integrated into Japanese society. Most of those who really succeed have taken the time to really understand the culture and learn the language so they're able to integrate better. I think there was a thread about that elsewhere, one of the first I ever posted in, about language and how necessary it is to survive in another country.

    The need for guarantors and stacks of paperwork in Japanese would exist with or without foreigners, its probably confusing for a lot of first time Japanese renters as well. So what is the difference? Well how many times does a real estate agent really want to go through the hassle of trying to translate and walk a gaijin through that process, are they obligated to even bother? It's their country, if I can't understand a lick of Japanese what right do I have to expect someone to hold my hand and help me get an apartment? Now if I can read and speak and fulfill the requirements on my own then I'd probably receive way less resistance and hassle, and most of this so-called 'racist' attitude disappears. I think in many cases actually, it was never there to begin with.

    And even if you can't speak Japanese, a country with systemic racism wouldn't allow all the specialty companies that help foreigners acquire things like apartments, vehicles, insurance, etc. to exist. But, there are many organizations advertised regularly in the Metropolis and other gaijin publications that are designed to help foreigners succeed. That's pretty impressive for a country whose composition is around 1% foreign.

  6. #181
    Sister Earth Goldiegirl's Avatar
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    I would love to see Wal*Mart in the US post a sign saying "no foreigners allowed". I am amazed at the Japanese level of discrimination. I can understand it to point though, when Japan is still basically "Japanese". It's amazing that my husband who is not a legal US citizen was able to open a bank account, get a cell phone, internet hook-up, an apartment and buy 3 cars all without a guarantor or anything else. He loves the US.
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  7. #182
    japႎ vagyok undrentide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldiegirl View Post
    I would love to see Wal*Mart in the US post a sign saying "no foreigners allowed". I am amazed at the Japanese level of discrimination.
    Is there any establishment equated to WalMart in Japan that says "no foreiners" or "Japanese only"? Did you see shops with such a sign yourself?
    I don't say there's no such shops in Japan, but your statement sounds as if there were many shops with such signs you can see everyday, everywhere.

    ---
    I see several posts mentioning guarantor for renting apartment house, but it is not just for foreigners - Japanese citizens also need a guarantor. At least in Tokyo, yes. There are some apartments advertising "no guarantor required" but they are exceptional.
    Last edited by undrentide; Oct 7, 2007 at 06:39.
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  8. #183
    Tubthumper JimmySeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bakaKanadajin View Post
    GBefore you can enter an American college you need a SAT score of however much; anyone witout a decent command of the language isn't going to pass.
    Probably neither here nor there, but I thought I should point out that almost all American universities will accept a TOEFL score in place of SAT I Verbal for non-native English speaking foreign students. At the same time I should mention that most Japanese universities evaluate foreign applicants' language abilities using a test for foreigners, so on that point, Japan and the US are about the same.

  9. #184
    Œp‘ą‚Í—Í‚Č‚č bakaKanadajin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldiegirl View Post
    I would love to see Wal*Mart in the US post a sign saying "no foreigners allowed". I am amazed at the Japanese level of discrimination. I can understand it to point though, when Japan is still basically "Japanese". It's amazing that my husband who is not a legal US citizen was able to open a bank account, get a cell phone, internet hook-up, an apartment and buy 3 cars all without a guarantor or anything else. He loves the US.
    You wouldn't see a store of that size in Japan with a 'no foreigners' sign either. The closest comparison I can think of is Costco, which is open to anyone with a membership and I knew several foreigners who had one.

    In Japan, I was able to get a bank account, cell phone, internet and several of my friends got apartments with little to no difficulty as well! I think Japan and America are both great countries for this.

    Another dynamic worth noting is that the West is an immigrant destination; a place which experiences an above average influx of newcomers. We sell ourselves this way. Our governments go abroad and basically recruit foreigners and entice investment and so on and so forth. I don't think it's reasonable for us Westerners to expect countries operating outside this dynamic to go to the same lengths that we do if the same demand isn't there. Above all that it seems a bit bossy and hypocritical to me since we have all this wonderfuly shiny bureaucracy in place and many of the same problems persist.

    Let me ask this.. to those who feel short-changed by the Japanese system: how exactly would improvements be made from the top-down? Exactly what needs to change, would it be tangibly effective, and would it also be cost-effective as a nation to do that based on Japan's current sociocultural composition?

  10. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldiegirl View Post
    I would love to see Wal*Mart in the US post a sign saying "no foreigners allowed". I am amazed at the Japanese level of discrimination. I can understand it to point though, when Japan is still basically "Japanese".
    Quote Originally Posted by bakaKanadajin View Post
    You wouldn't see a store of that size in Japan with a 'no foreigners' sign either. The closest comparison I can think of is Costco, which is open to anyone with a membership and I knew several foreigners who had one.
    I agree with bakaKanadajin here. Although I personally have never seen one of these signs, and I've travelled around central and western Japan pretty extensively, they seem to be a small businesses from what I gather.
    Quote Originally Posted by Goldiegirl
    It's amazing that my husband who is not a legal US citizen was able to open a bank account, get a cell phone, internet hook-up, an apartment and buy 3 cars all without a guarantor or anything else. He loves the US.
    I was able to do all this without a special guarantor, too.
    Well, OK, in my time here I have only ever bought two cars.

    I have also secured loans on several occasions, received two credit cards, been interviewed by a newspaper, TV news crew (twice, and one even made it on the news!), and cable news crew.

    I have received "loan cars" on two separate occasions, I have been able to join a volunteer group and help organize a local festival for the kids, I have helped carry the mikoshi shrine of the main Shinto shrine in a certain small town, I have joined the JAF and gotten assistance from them on several occasions, I have gotten an international drivers license from Japan in less than 10 minutes, I have....

  11. #186
    Just me Glenski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipokun View Post
    1) You should say tons of places in the sex industry
    What are you talking about. I'm referring to convenience stores, other shops, and bathhouses. Haven't you seen any of the Rogues Gallery posts on www.debito.org ?

    3) Wrong. The bike check also applys to Japanese.
    Read what I wrote. I'm not wrong when some people report that they have sat by after getting stopped and seen the police never stop a single Japanese. Did I say this happens all the time? No.

    4) Ok, please do not claim, "Japan is a horrible police state!", when the govenment enacts the controversial law.
    I have no idea what you are talking about here. Japan says it is behind the concept of anti-discrimination, yet doesn't do anything about it.

    5) Do you know that the government trys to decrease the non-Japanese children whose parents are not interested in education of their kids?
    I have not heard of this, and I don't even understand what you mean. Could you explain more?

    6) Tell me how many foreign nationals are hired by your government in your home country. When you want to get a stable teaching position in a public school, elementary, junior high, high schools, just take the teacher's license course and pass the exam like non-Japanese teachers here.
    For universities no license is necessary. For private high schools, the license is a rubber stamp on your translated resume, transcripts, and degree (no testing needed). I'm not talking about people being hired by the government; I'm talking about people being hired by schools, where the Japanese people get salaries and benefits that are usually different than non-Japanese people in identical posts.

  12. #187
    Just me Glenski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bakaKanadajin View Post
    Glenski almost everything you've mentioned there happens in the West too. We may be less obvious about it but it definitley happens. Before you can enter an American college you need a SAT score of however much; anyone witout a decent command of the language isn't going to pass. One could argue that's discriminiatory but really how far can arguments like that be taken until you're basically giving foreigners special treatment just to fill a quota?
    What does this have to do with inequalities in hiring (as I outlined in a tad more detail to pipokun), to "Japanese only" signs, and the other remarks I made? You've really lost me here with SAT scores...

    To answer your question, it takes way more than what you've mentioned for something to be a real problem. Canada has some of the most advanced hiring and equalizational policies around and many newcomers still catch a rough ride and can't get decent jobs or do certain things. If you open up the system too wide it loses strength and stops working for the people it's designed to serve. Like I said before, the Japanese system works for everyone except a few foreigners here and there.
    What system is that? I get hired, for example, at a university or high school with the same title as a Japanese person with the same qualifications, yet I get paid differently and am not given tenure (while he is from day one). Does that happen in Canada?

    I'm not talking about people who can't speak/read/write Japanese and complain about having a hard time finding work here. In fact, I post on many forums to encourage people to learn the language (and do far more) especially if they are interested in non-teaching jobs.

    And even if you can't speak Japanese, a country with systemic racism wouldn't allow all the specialty companies that help foreigners acquire things like apartments, vehicles, insurance, etc. to exist. But, there are many organizations advertised regularly in the Metropolis and other gaijin publications that are designed to help foreigners succeed. That's pretty impressive for a country whose composition is around 1% foreign.
    It's a little more than 2% actually, but the majority of them are the Zaiinichi, so you are skewing the facts here. As for the "specialty companies", yes, they exist, but in pitifully small numbers, and they are recent, so that I would put it to you that it is they who are the isolated cases.

  13. #188
    Just me Glenski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikawa Ossan View Post
    I agree with bakaKanadajin here. Although I personally have never seen one of these signs, and I've travelled around central and western Japan pretty extensively, they seem to be a small businesses from what I gather.
    Does that make it any better?
    http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html#index
    LOCATIONS REFUSING OR RESTRICTING NON-JAPANESE CUSTOMERS

    Onsens in Otaru (Hokkaido), Bars, baths, karaoke, and restaurant in Monbetsu City (Hokkaido), Public bath and sports store in Wakkanai (Hokkaido), Pachinko parlor, restaurant, and nightlife in Sapporo (Hokkaido), Bars in Misawa (Aomori Pref), Disco in Akita City (Akita Pref), Hotels and Bar in Shinjuku (Tokyo Shinjuku-ku), Women's (i.e for women customers) Relaxation Boutique in Aoyama Doori (Tokyo Minato-ku), Bar in Ogikubo (Tokyo Suginami-ku), Bars in Koshigaya (Saitama Pref), Bar in Toda-Shi (Saitama Pref), Stores and nightclubs in Hamamatsu (Shizuoka Pref), Onsen in Kofu City (Yamanashi Pref), Nightlife in Isesaki City (Gunma Pref), Nightlife in Ota City (Gunma Pref), Bars in Nagoya City (Aichi Pref), Internet Cafe in Okazaki City (Aichi Pref), Onsen Hotel in Kyoto, Eyeglass store in Daitou City (Osaka Pref), Bar in Kurashiki (Okayama Pref), Nightclub and Bar in Hiroshima (Hiroshima Pref), Restaurant in Kokura, Kitakyushu City (Fukuoka Pref), Billiards hall in Uruma City Gushikawa (Okinawa Pref), Miscellaneous exclusionary signs (Tokyo Ikebukuro, Hiroshima).

  14. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenski View Post
    Does that make it any better?
    No, it doesn't. But like I say, I have never seen one with my own eyes. Also, as I've stated elsewhere on this forum, I have only been denied service once because of my foreigness, and that was something that I'm completely fine with, anyway. I've even been to a place that told me by mouth, "no foreigners" until I spoke in Japanese, and then it was like I wasn't a foreigner anymore. He even explained to me why he had started that policy, and believe it or not, I agreed with him 100%.

    The one internet cafe in Okazaki strikes me as interesting, though, because it's close. I'll have to look for it, although I must admit that quoting Debito to me largely falls on deaf ears. I think he is a blowhard who makes more problems than he solves.

  15. #190
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    you missed the entire point of what I said, so there's no point in me trying to explain it again, your mind is made up.

    I have to say though, glenski, your posts have a hostile/angry tone to them. You do like referencing the bike stop though, and have said yourself a few times that it is a case by case thing. The fact it is a case by case thing proves it's not the nation as a whole that is racist. Others have stated they've seen numerous Japanese stopped as well. Racists will exist no matter where you go, and like I said earlier, some will be in positions of authority.

    The fact that there are government scholarships for foreign students, private scholarships provided by Japanese companies for foreign students, and special places for foreigners to go shows that they're making an effort to not discriminate.

    To be honest, if you're so vehement about this issue, why do you live there?

  16. #191
    Œp‘ą‚Í—Í‚Č‚č bakaKanadajin's Avatar
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    I had this whole long thing written out.. I'm just going to say this instead.

    In Japan, if you keep walking into a doorway and hitting your head on it and this prevents you from entering, neither the doorway nor the manager are to blame. It is you who has failed to bow your head slightly in order that you may enter.

    Carrying yourself with a little humbility, and understanding where you're not allowed to go within a foregin culture opens up a lot more doors such that the few that remain closed are of less concern. That at least was my experience. Having for the sheer sake of having is fruitless in my opinion. For every onsen that won't accept foreigners there are tons more that will, yet some people would be content to stand there through the night shaking their fist, yelling at that one onsen, keeping everyone else awake.

  17. #192
    Just me Glenski's Avatar
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    I get hostile when people put on blinders and say there are no problems, or when they cite inaccurate or misleading information.

    Why do I live here? I have a nice job and family. No place is perfect, and I enjoy being here despite the problems I have described. Does that justify the problems, and should they be ignored? Of course not. Why do you think people ("blowhards") like Debito Arudou fight so hard against them? I think you belittle his accomplishments and efforts, and he is not even a foreigner here anymore, since he became naturalized! jmwintenn, you admit you have never been here, nor do you even know people who have been here. Why do you feel you have any valid opinion about the situation of those of us who have been or are still living here? I'm really quite amazed that you think you have something to offer the forum. Zero experience in a situation, yet you try to say something of value. I don't get it. I'm not telling you you can't post here. That's for moderators. I'm just totally baffled by your standpoint, whatever that is, for offering advice on a situation you know nothing about.

    In Japan, if you keep walking into a doorway and hitting your head on it and this prevents you from entering, neither the doorway nor the manager are to blame. It is you who has failed to bow your head slightly in order that you may enter.
    If this means learn to adapt to cultural differences within a country, I'm 100% in agreement with you. I say this a lot in many of my own posts, especially to the "hostile" complainers who have obviously not learned to keep their western morals in check. If, however, it means blindly accept discrimination when it should not exist, I'm 100% against that.

  18. #193
    Regular Member KirinMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by undrentide View Post
    Is there any establishment equated to WalMart in Japan that says "no foreiners" or "Japanese only"? Did you see shops with such a sign yourself?
    I don't say there's no such shops in Japan, but your statement sounds as if there were many shops with such signs you can see everyday, everywhere.
    ---
    Even if there is one establishment in Japan that has a sign that refuses entry to foreigners it is one too many.

  19. #194
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    A Japanese man challenged the inequality of notorious speed traps in the court, and claimed it was violating the constituion...
    Article 14. All of the people are equal under the law and there shall be no discrimination in political, economic or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin.
    ...
    No public servant on duty has no right of portrait and no law against wiretapping here now. So why don't you wiretap and record them in the next spring trafic safety campaign?
    I am afraid that the conversation between you and the cop may be quite a polite one, if you don't have your bike painted in flashy pink and you are not an angry junior high school student like me.

    About the teaching position, I know how instable the hijokin koushi instructer's positon is.
    Who do you support, a Japanese instructer who is fired or a newly hired Italian instructer in Ritsumeikan Uni?
    http://generalunion.org/kumiai/video/Rits2005EN.html
    I don't know her Italian skill, but it is the biggest eikaiwa school's conspiracy that many Japanese come to believe the native speaker is better.

    Debito is the good example that you can live here, naturalised or not, no matter how loud you are.

  20. #195
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    One little-known method of fighting against a ticket from a speed trap is to inquire if the officer operating the radar had the proper amateur radio license to do so. If he doesn't have the license, then you can try to beat the ticket in court. Actually, you can arrest the guy yourself on the spot, but it wouldn't be advisable to try it.

  21. #196
    Regular Member Taiko666's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikawa Ossan View Post
    But like I say, I have never seen one with my own eyes.
    It's amazing that you've never seen it with your own eyes.
    I'm no party animal, but by the time I'd been in Japan only one year I'd already been refused entry to 4 ('normal') bars specifically for not being Japanese (in Ogikubo, Nishi-Ogikubo and Harajuku.)

    But then, reading your post further, it seems you have seen it with your own eyes, at least twice...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikawa Ossan View Post
    I've even been to a place that told me by mouth, "no foreigners" until I spoke in Japanese, and then it was like I wasn't a foreigner anymore. He even explained to me why he had started that policy, and believe it or not, I agreed with him 100%.
    Your acceptance/approval of this discrimination makes very depressing reading. Even the guy's intolerance of non-Japanese speaking people is bad enough, but he goes one further and has a 'no foreigner' policy unless you can convince him that you're not 'like a foreigner.'

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikawa Ossan View Post
    I must admit that quoting Debito to me largely falls on deaf ears. I think he is a blowhard who makes more problems than he solves.
    Whatever one might think about Debito's controversial style, it's obvious that you and he are on opposite sides of the fence. He expends a considerable amount of time and energy opposing discrimination, while you seem to accept and even excuse it.
    Last edited by Taiko666; Oct 9, 2007 at 11:59.

  22. #197
    Tubthumper JimmySeal's Avatar
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    Some establishments are not so overt about discrimination as to put signs on their doors. earlier this year, I went to a rather large restaurant with some friends and was greeted with "I'm sorry, we're full." I asked how long the wait would be, and as they were going to check, a group of Japanese walked in and were immediately ushered to a table. Realizing that they were caught in a lie, they quickly led us to a table too.
    After that we were treated to some of the worst service I've ever seen. About 1/5 of the items we ordered were never brought to the table and when we asked a waiter the status of the items (we did this a few times), he would leave to check on them and never come back.
    Quite a jarring experience.

  23. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taiko666 View Post
    It's amazing that you've never seen it with your own eyes.
    I'm no party animal, but by the time I'd been in Japan only one year I'd already been refused entry to 4 ('normal') bars specifically for not being Japanese (in Ogikubo, Nishi-Ogikubo and Harajuku.)
    But then, reading your post further, it seems you have seen it with your own eyes, at least twice...
    Actually, no, I have never seen a sign like that even once. I was told vocally once, and I'll freely admit that, but I have never seen a sign like that.
    Your acceptance/approval of this discrimination makes very depressing reading. Even the guy's intolerance of non-Japanese speaking people is bad enough, but he goes one further and has a 'no foreigner' policy unless you can convince him that you're not 'like a foreigner.'
    Actually it was just if you could convince him that you spoke Japanese.

    And as I said, I agreed with him after hearing his story. It's somewhere else, but let me relate it to you again as best as I remember.

    The barber never used to have such a policy, and gladly served foreign customers. I assume that he never had many foreign clients before, but he had nothing against them.

    Then one day a Brazilian couple came in. I think what happened was the man wanted a hair cut and explained what he wanted through the woman, but she left immediately afterwards. The barber did the best he could with what he was told.

    Finally the man saw his haircut and was furious. He kept yelling something or another, but of course the poor barber couldn't understand a thing. I don't remember the story very well after this point, but anyway, you get the point.

    He decided he didn't want a repeat of that and changed his policy.

    I thought it was a rational choice.
    Whatever one might think about Debito's controversial style, it's obvious that you and he are on opposite sides of the fence. He expends a considerable amount of time and energy opposing discrimination, while you seem to accept and even excuse it.
    I think life is too short to search out for things that make you unhappy.

    I suppose that I should add that I am of the opinion that if you plan to stay for more than a short vacation, I think you should try to learn the local language of any country you go to.

    Perhaps I am wrong, but personally I don't find mild discrimination of non-citizens nearly as problematic as discrimination of citizens. Yes, there are human rights and they are to be observed and respected. But being allowed into a certain drinking establishment/onsen/etc. is not an inalienable human right in my opinion.

    I live in a country of which I am not a citizen. I am a minority. However I am able to freely enter into contracts, live and work where I want to, participate in the national medical and pension systems, live without fear of religious or ethnic persecution, and make friends with whome I chose.

    It is not a perfect society or place to live, no place is, but the minor restrictions and inconveniences I have to face to live out my life as I have chosen are very small indeed. Nothing in life comes for free, and I just see it as the price I pay to be a foreign national.

  24. #199
    Œp‘ą‚Í—Í‚Č‚č bakaKanadajin's Avatar
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    I don't think anyone here realistically believes discriminatory attitudes aren't a problem in Japan, they're a problem in every country so to say Japan has none at all would be sheer blindness.

    But tolerance goes BOTH ways. Changing the attitudes of a few people who reject the principles of the existing legislative enactments is a life long endeavour which is chiefly accomplished by other individuals becoming ambassadors of their own culture. Therefore, worrying about this, banging drums, sounding alarms, and forcing change doesn't help the situation and probably creates resistance and ill-will towards foreigners where it may not have even existed prior.

    Understanding how the Japanese culture works and finding a solution thusly tailored to generating a change in attitude seems more sensible to me then forcing people to let you into their restaurants by drawing unwanted attention and shame to the situation as that jackass Debito does. I'm sure he's SO well-received and really changes people's hearts and minds with his approach.

  25. #200
    Wookies ftw
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    To say that you have to experience something to have even a remote grasp of that something, to me, seems ignorant and seems like logic is of no consequence. I do believe that's all I wish to say on this topic anymore.

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