Wa-pedia Home > Japan Forum & Europe Forum

View Poll Results: How do you feel when a Japanese calls you "gaijin" ?

Voters
58. You may not vote on this poll
  • "You are an outsider and will never belong to Japanese society" (exclusion)

    17 29.31%
  • "You are an outsider, ignorant of Japanese ways" (cultural ignorance)

    17 29.31%
  • "You are different from us ! Hahaha !" (childish differentiation)

    12 20.69%
  • "You are not Japanese, but I am" (opposition)

    13 22.41%
  • "You are not a Japanese national" (on the passport)

    11 18.97%
  • "You are not an ethnic Japanese" (different looks)

    13 22.41%
  • "Wow ! You are better than me !" (awe)

    8 13.79%
  • Don't know

    10 17.24%
Multiple Choice Poll.
Page 4 of 11 FirstFirst ... 23456 ... LastLast
Results 76 to 100 of 259

Thread: What connotation does the term "gaijin" have for you ?

  1. #76
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 3, 2004
    Age
    49
    Posts
    198
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    What would you have done if the person had not been Japanese and couldn't speak Japanese ? Would you have felt embarassed or not at all ?

    I would have apologized...I am not so full of myself that I can not accept being wrong!

  2. #77
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    ¼‹ž
    Posts
    2,434
    Quote Originally Posted by CC1
    all of that said, you have to admit that you are an English speaking caucasian...so they are at least partly right!
    I speak 7 languages and English is of course one of them. But Japanese also is one. Neither are my native languages. What makes them think that a young Caucasian in Japan has higher chances of speaking English than Japanese, with all the exchange students and the people interested in modern Japanese culture that come to Japan to learn Japanese ?

    I would have been equallly offended had they addressed me in any other language (regardless of whether I speak it or not) than Japanese or my mother tongue (French) without knowing whether I spoke that language or not.

    I was raised in a multilingual country which has the unpoken rule that people should use the official language of the area where they are (e.g. French in Wallonia, Dutch in Flanders, either in Brussels) in case of doubt. While in Japan, I expect even other Caucasians to address me in Japanese if they don't know me.

    When I was in Italy, I would address and be addressed by everyone, Italian or not, in Italian. Same in Germany. Same in Spain. It would not have crossed my mind to address someone in French or English in these countries even if I could see they were not locals (e.g. tourists with cameras or other students in my Italian school), because we were in Italy ! If they didn't speak Italian, they would say something in their language, and we could have seen if we spoke a common language.

    I suppose that Americans and Japanese just don't have enough experience of learning languages abroad and not associating looks with a language. In Europe, almost everybody could be from any country from looks (sometimes you can guess where they are from, but without guarantee of being right), and languages are different in almost every country (or within the same country). So you get used NOT to assume anything and just speak in the local language if you can (and learn it if you can't ).

    The Japanese having an even harder time to differentiate Caucasians, they should be all the more careful when addressing them. If someone address you in Japanese, reply in Japanese unless you know what language they speak !

    CC1, in your case, I guess that you had enough clues that the person was Japanese not to embarass yourself. After that, if you were in the US it is fine for the Japanese guy to talk back to you in English, and fine for you to talk to him in his mother tongue. In Japan people don't address/reply to me in my mother tongue, and many don't even reply to me in Japanese. See the difference ?

    Visit Japan for free with Wa-pedia
    See what's new on the forum ?
    Eupedia : Europe Guide & Genetics
    Maciamo & Eupedia on Twitter

    "What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?", Winston Churchill.

  3. #78
    Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 5, 2006
    Posts
    111
    If you support the Japanese behaviour it can only mean that you also behave the same way and prejudge people based on appearances...
    Wrong!! You assume that the Japanese should be like you and follow how you think. Now you are going beyond your knowledge and are talking nonsense. If I didnt know any better you are accusing me of being a racist. Why not read my score on a thread you started;

    http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showth...t=15719&page=4

    In the first line of your reply to me you said that you do not come from a racially diverse country like I do. Then you go on to accuse me of something I never have and never will be? You are naive.

    To me you have a bad habit of making accusations or assumptions if anyone else here did the same things or made similar posts as you have they would either be warned or banned for thier commentary.

    In Japan, just too many people assume that because I am Caucasian I am an 'English-speaking American'. Well, over half of all the world's Caucasians are European, and not even all American speak English.
    So...what did you expect coming here?

    I have not had this problem only in Japan. While travelling around Asia, I have met people in almost every country assuming that I was American or Australian just because there were a lot of tourists from these countries in that place. Some people ask first, of course, but not all. In Japan it seems that a majority of the people just think "gaijin" when they see a Caucasian and hardly care where they are from unless they intend to become friends (and sometimes even in spite of that).
    Ok this is Japan and it is a fact of lif living here that one has to go through this kind of ****.


    I wanted to test whether becoming a permanent resident would make any difference or not. Actually I enjoyed my 2 first years in Japan. The 3rd wasn't bad. The 4th and 5th were the worst and getting worse with time, so I decided to leave as I had had enough.
    Get rid of the PR status then if you had such a bad time of it. Or quit using that as the basis you use here on this forum to "prove" yourself as an "expert" about Japan.

    How in the hell are people looking at you going to know? They aren't, even if you tell them that you have it, means nothing. Like CC1 wrote in a reply to your post and to which I wholeheartedly agree with;
    Quote:Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I am a permanent resident in Japan, so that alone makes me almost Japanese and likely to understand Japanese.


    It makes you nothing of the sort...it merely means that you are a permanent resident!

  4. #79
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    ¼‹ž
    Posts
    2,434
    Quote Originally Posted by Mikawa Ossan
    For the life of me, I honestly can't comprehend why you thought it might.
    Indeed, and so apparently does it make no difference to be naturalised Japanese. That is why we can rightfully accuse the ethnic Japanese of Japanese nationality to consider that anybody who doesn't look like an ethnic Japanese is automatically a foreigner who cannot speak Japanese and is ignorant of Japanese ways, even if the person is a naturalised Japanese who speak Japanese and know as much about Japan as a Japanese.

    (phew, that must be the sentence with the most repetition of the word "Japanese" that I have written !)

    Conclusion : the Japanese are prejudiced toward different-looking people (which is sometimes a definition of "racism"). Thank you, that's all I wanted to say.

  5. #80
    Non-Member
    Join Date
    Sep 17, 2005
    Posts
    153
    Quote Originally Posted by Hachiro
    To me you have a bad habit of making accusations or assumptions if anyone else here did the same things or made similar posts as you have they would either be warned or banned for thier commentary.
    Maybe, but they wouldn't be an admin now, would they? As Mel Brooks said, "It's good to be the king!"

  6. #81
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 15, 2002
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    291
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Funny, my definition of 'tourist' is someone who comes to a country for sightseeing and typically moves around staying in hotels, hostels or other short-term accommodation. Countries which have "tourist visas" never grant them the right to work, afaik.
    Four and a half years is "short term".

    The permanent residence visa only means that the government has given you permission to stay as long as you like. I can't understand how you would expect the average Japanese stranger to either know or care that you have (had?) it, or how they should treat you differently because of it.

  7. #82
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    ¼‹ž
    Posts
    2,434
    Quote Originally Posted by CC1
    snide remarks only make you seem much smaller a person!
    funny that you wouldn't realize that much of the spanish speaking population are not legally in the US.
    I was only referring to the legal population taken into account for statistics about languages.

  8. #83
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 15, 2002
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    291
    I'd be interested in seeing a list of all the Caucasian Japanese citizens. I can only think of two, neither of whom I have met personally.

    Is it really all that odd that Japanese seeing white people automatically think we're foreigners? Hell, in practically every single case, they're right.

  9. #84
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 3, 2004
    Age
    49
    Posts
    198
    The "legal" population is not at all accurate. Census takers in the past did very poorly in verifying who was indeed legal or illegal. That was one cause for the numbers being inaccurate. Also note that in the last census, the illegals were encouraged to partake in order to obtain more accurate numbers of the total number of peoplel living in certain areas.

  10. #85
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    ¼‹ž
    Posts
    2,434
    Quote Originally Posted by Hachiro
    So...what did you expect coming here?
    I admit that I had a slightly idealised image of Japan. Contrarily to many Americans, I never looked down on the Japanese for sleeping on the floor, eating rawfish and loosing the war. My image was that of a technologically advanced and modern country where people were disciplined, well-educated and well-travelled. I can't say I was wrong, except for the things I took for granted and which happened to be so different in Japan. Japan was not half as socially and politically developed as I had imagined. Its people were far from open-minded from their travel and education, and even knew very little of the rest of the world and were so full of prejudices about looks, money, etc.

    I didn't expect Japan to be many things, including :
    - so promiscuous (even more than the US, which I perviously regarded as the height of promiscuity in the developed world),
    - so materialistic (again as much or more than the US, which was my maximum standard)
    - so ignorant of the world and poorly education in social sciences (even about Japan) and languages.
    - so unaccepting of foreign residents (under pretenses of politeness)
    - so politically corrupt (which in my mind was the opposite of the image of the self-disciplined nation I had)
    ...

    How in the hell are people looking at you going to know? They aren't, even if you tell them that you have it, means nothing. Like CC1 wrote in a reply to your post and to which I wholeheartedly agree with;
    You still don't get that it wouldn't change anything to my situation if I took on the Japanese nationality, do you ?

  11. #86
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    ¼‹ž
    Posts
    2,434
    Quote Originally Posted by CC1
    The "legal" population is not at all accurate. Census takers in the past did very poorly in verifying who was indeed legal or illegal. That was one cause for the numbers being inaccurate. Also note that in the last census, the illegals were encouraged to partake in order to obtain more accurate numbers of the total number of peoplel living in certain areas.
    Doesn't matter if the total population is accurate or not. We only care about the number of US citizens who don't speak English in this case, not illegal immigrants. And stats about US citizens should be correct as every citizen is registered in the government files (at least for nationality).

  12. #87
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 3, 2004
    Age
    49
    Posts
    198
    how can you not know that those numbers come from the census?

    Nevermind...talking to you is like talking to a brick wall. I can understand why you find life challenging!

  13. #88
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    ¼‹ž
    Posts
    2,434
    Quote Originally Posted by CC1
    how can you not know that those numbers come from the census?
    Nevermind...talking to you is like talking to a brick wall. I can understand why you find life challenging!
    Talk for yourself. There should be stats for the mother tongue of all US citizens. Such exact stats exists in Belgium, so that the government can send official documents or notices in the right language to each person. I suppose that the US is as evolved as Belgium and also holds detailed stats of its population.

    Here is what I found on census.gov (this one is just a census for all residents regardless of nationality, but the US government should have the exact number for US nationals) : Language Use & English speaking ability in 2000. These stats are for people over 5 years old. There you see that over 3 million people answered that they do not speak English at all, and another 7.6 million doesn't speak English well. Overall, almost 47 million people in the USA are not native speakers of English - i.e. 18% of the population ! Don't tell me that all of them are illegal immigrants. In fact, even if common sense has it that a big part of all these non native speakers are in fact US citizens, I can actually prove this. Here are the stats regarding non native English speaker divided by US-born and foreign-born. As you can see, nationwide, out of the 47 million non native English speakers, only 54.3% are foreign born, which mean that 45.7% are automatically US citizens by birth (regardless of the naturalization rate of the foreign born). 5.6 million of these US-born non-native-speakers admit speaking English less than very well. I wish there were also the figures for "not at all", but I haven't found them on this page.

    Let's come back to your previous replies to me :
    Quote Originally Posted by CC1
    did you really type this? AFAIK, the only Americans that do not speak English would be naturalized Americans, and they do have to take a literacy test.
    ...
    snide remarks only make you seem much smaller a person!
    ...
    Nevermind...talking to you is like talking to a brick wall. I can understand why you find life challenging!
    You may try to abuse me with such remarks, the bottom line is that you started attacking/mocking me for something you didn't even know about your own country. For your defence you only tried to insult me, but it is obvious to most readers of this forum that you are the one making a fool of yourself. I have the statistics, you only have your insults.
    Last edited by Maciamo; Jun 30, 2006 at 00:06.

  14. #89
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 3, 2004
    Age
    49
    Posts
    198
    please provide a link that works next time

  15. #90
    Regular Member Mars Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 28, 2005
    Posts
    63
    We do have to be careful with statistics, even regardless of what source they come from. I can't get any results from the links either--one of them was titled 'illegal'... MM

  16. #91
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    ¼‹ž
    Posts
    2,434
    Is it working now ? (btw, it is a pdf file)

  17. #92
    –l‚Í’j‚ÌŽq‚¶‚á‚È‚¢!
    Join Date
    Jun 30, 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1
    Wow, This thread is getting a little heavy. When I was in Japan, I never was called Gaijin to my face (behind my back (literally!) if at all). But when I was with other foreigners we referred to ourselves as gaijin. We sort of held the belief that it was ok for us to say it because we all were, but probably would have been a little pissed if a Japanese person called us gaijin.

  18. #93
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 15, 2002
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    291
    Quote Originally Posted by Seku Hara-chan
    Wow, This thread is getting a little heavy. When I was in Japan, I never was called Gaijin to my face (behind my back (literally!) if at all). But when I was with other foreigners we referred to ourselves as gaijin. We sort of held the belief that it was ok for us to say it because we all were, but probably would have been a little pissed if a Japanese person called us gaijin.
    Because you had heard from others that you were supposed to be offended by it?

  19. #94
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 15, 2002
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    291
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I admit that I had a slightly idealised image of Japan. Contrarily to many Americans, I never looked down on the Japanese for sleeping on the floor, eating rawfish and loosing the war.

    - so promiscuous (even more than the US, which I perviously regarded as the height of promiscuity in the developed world),

    - so materialistic (again as much or more than the US, which was my maximum standard)
    These irrelevant and gratuitous snide swipes at Americans are getting tiresome and they are offensive. Get off your holier-than-thou European high horse.

  20. #95
    Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 5, 2006
    Posts
    111
    You know what Amin here or not I have a few things to say in reply to you Mr. Maciamo. I get very well what you are saying.

    Conclusion : the Japanese are prejudiced toward different-looking people (which is sometimes a definition of "racism"). Thank you, that's all I wanted to say.]
    You are prejudiced against people that look like you. Your snide comments about Americans and equalling them with all that is wrong with the world. You are as guilty if not more so than the Japanese people of prejudice or racism. At least the Japanese people have ignorance on their side.

    If I didn't know better I would think that your posts on these types of topics was the work of a high class troll, but a troll none the less. You know why? There is absoluetly no way a person that allegedly speaks 7 foreign languages, has travelled extensively through different countries in the world graduated(?) from college and among a whole list of other things not lastly being married to a woman that gives you a constant reminder of the country that you obviously hate has such a narrow view of one particular country and it's people. It's incredulous to say the least.

  21. #96
    Non-Member
    Join Date
    Sep 17, 2005
    Posts
    153
    Quote Originally Posted by Mars Man
    We do have to be careful with statistics, even regardless of what source they come from.
    Yes. Statistics are meaningless without interpretation. In the hands of a crafty propagandist, the same statistics can be turned to mean almost anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cash
    These irrelevant and gratuitous snide swipes at Americans are getting tiresome and they are offensive. Get off your holier-than-thou European high horse.
    I agree. What do your views about America have to do with your views on Japan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hachiro
    If I didn't know better I would think that your posts on these types of topics was the work of a high class troll, but a troll none the less. You know why? There is absoluetly no way a person that allegedly speaks 7 foreign languages, has travelled extensively through different countries in the world graduated(?) from college and among a whole list of other things not lastly being married to a woman that gives you a constant reminder of the country that you obviously hate has such a narrow view of one particular country and it's people. It's incredulous to say the least.
    There are two topics in which discretion is the better part of valour in these realms when an admin steps in. One is religion. Any guesses on the other?

  22. #97
    Regular Member ex-gaijin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2, 2006
    Location
    London
    Posts
    15

    A Gaijin in korea

    I was in Korea with a german friend, visiting a templein Seoul. We arrivedto the temple pretty early and the next tour in english was around midday. My friend, feeling confident in my japanese, decided to take the japanese tour instead...

    We ended up in a group of almost 100 Japansese, not to mention we were the only gaijin, everyone stared at us!
    While queueing, I heard a few comments from a lady in her 50s, standing behind us. She siad: aahah look at these stupid gaijini (baka gaijin), they`re taking the Japanese tour and won`t understand a word! How can they be so stupid..(sonna ni bakayaro)

    I couldn`t contain myself by saying something! I broke into the conversation and told her: look, I speak Japanese I`m going to translate for my friend. You`ve been very unrespectful and noisy (shitsurei and urusai) and you should apologise for what you siad!

    She realised she had put her foot in her mouth and started praising my japanese, " oh your pronounciation is so good", "oh you should come and visit me in Tokyo"...and so on!

    I think some of them don`t really mean anything when use the word gaijin. But I have to say that many people use it as a derogatory word to address the foreigner as "weird creatures coming from outside"!

  23. #98
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2005
    Age
    46
    Posts
    64
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    - so promiscuous (even more than the US, which I perviously regarded as the height of promiscuity in the developed world),
    Haha... that's one of the best typos I've seen in a while...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cash
    These irrelevant and gratuitous snide swipes at Americans are getting tiresome and they are offensive. Get off your holier-than-thou European high horse.
    I've been reading this forum for quite a long time before I finally became a member, and I've personally lost count of the number of times you've said something similar. I greatly admire your tenacity, but as for getting down off the horse, I think we both know it's never going to happen.

  24. #99
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    ¼‹ž
    Posts
    2,434
    Quote Originally Posted by ex-gaijin
    While queueing, I heard a few comments from a lady in her 50s, standing behind us. She siad: aahah look at these stupid gaijini (baka gaijin), they`re taking the Japanese tour and won`t understand a word! How can they be so stupid..(sonna ni bakayaro)
    I couldn`t contain myself by saying something! I broke into the conversation and told her: look, I speak Japanese I`m going to translate for my friend. You`ve been very unrespectful and noisy (shitsurei and urusai) and you should apologise for what you siad!
    She realised she had put her foot in her mouth and started praising my japanese, " oh your pronounciation is so good", "oh you should come and visit me in Tokyo"...and so on!
    Thanks for sharing this. I have experienced this kind of situation many times too. If someone does not realise that many Japanese are hypocritical to foreigners and tend to disparage them behind their back, then praise and compliment them in their presence, then either this someone has been to Japan, doesn't speak Japanese, or is a poor psychologist. I am tired of some people who constantly deny the obvious because it would be too painful for them to admit it (maybe because they would have to feel differently about Japan or the Japanese people they know). Don't deceive yourself, don't live in an illusionary world. Look at reality. Thank you ex-gaijin !

  25. #100
    Regular Member ex-gaijin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2, 2006
    Location
    London
    Posts
    15
    Well Maciamo, I have a lot of stories like that, and I`m gonna have to agree with what you say about Japanes people and their concepts of Gaijin forever! They will never accept us as part of their society. Sakoku is still well rooted in modern Japan...

Page 4 of 11 FirstFirst ... 23456 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Why do the Japanese make so much fuss about "gaijin" ?
    By Maciamo in forum Immigration & Foreigners
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: Mar 18, 2005, 23:34

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •