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Thread: Cute racism a la japonaise ?

  1. #76
    New gaijin in japan
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    Japan and foreigner

    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!!!

  2. #77
    JREF Resident Alien Pachipro's Avatar
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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raviolo73
    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.
    Do What You Love And You'll Never Work Another Day In Your Life!


  3. #78
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raviolo73
    Hi to all,
    is the first time i write in the forum. So hello to all.
    Welcome to the forum !

    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. 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.

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  4. #79
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pachipro
    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. 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), 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.

  5. #80
    Regular Member Elizabeth van Kampen's Avatar
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    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?"

  6. #81
    Koyaniskatsi yukio_michael's Avatar
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    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.
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  7. #82
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yukio_neko^_o
    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

    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 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, 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), 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.

  8. #83
    *loves tsukasa~ goatz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo

    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.

  9. #84
    JREF Resident Alien Pachipro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goatz
    ;( 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.

  10. #85
    Omnipotence personified Mandylion's Avatar
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    Not to spin off on tangents, but I wonder if Maciamo's observation...

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    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

    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
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  11. #86
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandylion
    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 :

    - 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 ? ). 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.

  12. #87
    変な狼 kokusu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    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?

    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' . . .
    毎瞬間が新しい

  13. #88
    Regular Member Yamatoblue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    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・・・
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    →イスラム教徒で日本語が大好きです
    →将来、日本に行きたいですよ。

  14. #89
    赤魔 Rin Daemoko's Avatar
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    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.
    "Kindly let me help you or you'll drown," said the monkey safely putting the fish up a tree.

  15. #90
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yamatoblue
    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).

  16. #91
    Regular Member Wataru's Avatar
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    Quote 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.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rin Daemoko
    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.
    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.
    "Psychedelics, used responsibly and with proper caution, would be for psychiatry what the microscope is for biology and medicine or the telescope is for astronomy." - Stan Grof, M.D.

  17. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yamatoblue
    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.

  18. #93
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipokun
    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.

  19. #94
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    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.

  20. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by abs_car
    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.

  21. #96
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipokun
    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.

  22. #97
    JREF Resident Alien Pachipro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wataru
    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.

  23. #98
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote 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").

    Your definition of prejudice is my defintion of racism.

  24. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    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.
    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.

  25. #100
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaijin 06
    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):

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    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 :

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    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) :

    So, to clear the confusion, I gave you the two defintions of the oxford dictionary in this post

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxford Dictionary
    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.

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