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Thread: Discrimination in Japan

  1. #176
    Junior Member BBRyukyu's Avatar
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    I have only lived here for two years, but I have never experienced any kind of discrimination. Besides the random stares of some senior citizens and children. I have however head from a few friends who are married to foreigner men that their family has been upset that they married a non Japanese man, and put untold stress on their marriage.

  2. #177
    Just me Glenski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBRyukyu View Post
    I have only lived here for two years, but I have never experienced any kind of discrimination.
    Well, congratulations. As of November 20, 2007 you have.

    What sort of job do you hold? Perhaps there is discrimination there that you are not aware of?

  3. #178
    Junior Member BBRyukyu's Avatar
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    I teach part time at a juku, and have never had any problems with the Japanese teachers or staff. As for the new fingerprinting and photo policy it seams more like governmental due diligence, and less like discrimination to me.

  4. #179
    Just me Glenski's Avatar
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    Do you get paid as much as a part-time Japanese teacher there? Do you have exactly the same benefits as a Japanese PT teacher there? Have you ever been refused housing (or were you secretly shuffled to housing that accepts foreigners, thus avoiding housing that doesn't)? There are many forms of discrimination, you know.

    As for "due diligence", kindly explain what is so "due" about this policy. As for not seeming like discrimination, you obviously have not read enough.

  5. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaijinalways View Post
    I would say it's still pretty underground, though there are some she-hes who play on the variety show circuit, but I don't think they are seen as 'average' citizens. I have heard from someone here in Tokyo who used to frequent gay bars and clubs in Tokyo that the gay community is tighter and more welcoming to hetrosexuals than in the UK (where she is from).
    Well, She-he's aren't very representative for the gay "community", don't you think? Also, I don't like to use the word "gay community", because than it seems if all gays are part of one single community, but that isn't. Correct me if I'm wrong, but many gays don't go especially to gay-bars etc. Still my question hasn't been fully answered; how does the large public (the 90% of the population which is heterosexual) see homoseksuality? Do most people think it's okay, or do most people think it's "wrong" ?

  6. #181
    puzzled gaijin
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    Right, but the shehes are the only real public display you see of the gay community here. Kind of like the don't ask, don't tell policy mostly here. I don't think you'll see many Japanese 'running out' of the closet soon.

  7. #182
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    Being Gay And Gaijin In Japan
    What is it like being a homosexual foreign male in Japan? Well eScottf age 39 (who wishes his real name not the name of his partner not be used) has agreed to tell us a little bit about what it is like. Scott will tell a little about his life here in Japan on the condition that it not involve any strictly private or embarrassing details about his relationship with his Japanese partner. Thank you Scott.

    Scott met his Japanese lover eTarof (age 44) in Vancouver, Canada about 5 years ago where he was working at the time as an assistant manager of a museum. Taro soon returned to Japan, where he worked as a restaurant manager, and they corresponded over the years, occasionally meeting and traveling together to various places around South East Asia. Finally, he invited Scott to join him in Japan, and Scott hesitatingly agreed to do so.

    gI had been to Japan a few times before actually moving here for the long term, so I sort of knew what to expect, but I had some worries about how I would be treated and whether I would be accepted. I just took it a day at a timeh he says. gMy partner wanted us to move in with his elderly mother in Northern Japan and I was kind of hesitant about doing that. I mean I didnft know how people would react. Everyone knows him (Taro) and they soon understood what my relationship with him was. I was worried about living in a conservative city in Northern Japan.h

    gWell we moved into his motherfs place and Taro started working in one of her (partnerfs mother) snacks (bars) . I helped out a little at the beginning, but we had so many people show up who were curious about me, and wanted to meet me, I had to stick around more and more, now I am working pretty much full time. I made up some dishes I thought would be tasty to our customers. Some have been hits and others have not. The Taco Salad we added to the menu is very popular, but the avocado dip however was a bombh Scott says. gItfs really a hit and miss thing, but I have very much enjoyed what I am doing here, it is what I wanted to do together with Taro.h

    Scott says that his relationship with his partner has had a few difficult moments, but they remain strongly committed to each other. gWhen we first started living with his mother, I saw a side of him I didnft know existed. He is a very good son, and his mother has a very strong personality, even at her age (80) and she controls him quite a bit, but I canft say that is bad. She and I get along good. I help take care of her. I do some of the shopping, and help her with some of her personal needs. She agreed to build us a separate house on property she owns, and she did that. We moved in last summer. It is nice to have our own place now.h

    Scott was worried about how he might be treated in their community, but he says after a ehoneymoon periodf things have settled down quite a bit. gA lot of Tarosf and his motherfs friends would drop by to meet me and say hello, and bring gifts. Most of them were really nice. When Taro re-opened the snack that his mother owned, the first few weeks were really busy, but now it has quieted down to a pretty regular crowd. gThe whole thing is really so normal. We have had a few problem customers, but you get that everywhere.h In fact it is so normal, it can be downright boring sometimes, according to Scott. gI have had some children point their fingers at me and laugh, but I think that is just because I am not Japanese. That happens everywhere. I have also seen some people gesture towards me and whisper so I can only guess what they are saying, but that really doesnft bother me. I would go crazy if I let that sort of thing get to me. I just smile.h

    When asked if his intent was to set up a gay bar in his area, Scott replied that it was not. It just worked out that way. gMy partner and I had no intention of making our place exclusively anything, we wanted everybody, no matter who they were, to feel comfortable about coming here, but it is hard to know for sure, we get all kinds of people from every walk of life..h In fact it has been very good for Scott and Taro. They are planning to remodel and re-open another restaurant/bar soon. gWe have ideas on opening a second place. We will probably have to hire some people, but I am sure it will be successful, the place we have now is a small place and some nights the crowd here is overwhelming. We will expand carefully and slowly.h Scott says that they have several options for the future.

    Scott passes the time he is not working alongside his partner, painting and studying Japanese. gThe hardest part is not being able to communicate with our customers well enough yet. I am improving, but I still have a long way to go.h gI just want people to know it is possible to be happy here and live your life as you like, no matter who you are.h That is a message that everyone can appreciate.
    http://jp.globalvoicesonline.org/2007/11/06/95/

  8. #183
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    As for "due diligence", kindly explain what is so "due" about this policy. As for not seeming like discrimination, you obviously have not read enough.
    Wow. scary ,you are an activist like ant -japan propaganda

  9. #184
    Just me Glenski's Avatar
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    caster,
    Just trying to be sure what the poster meant by "due diligence". IMO, we foreigners have no discrimination "due" to us, so I wanted clarification on the term.

  10. #185
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    @ Caster 51: Thank you^^. From what I read in that article Japanese people seem to react quite well. Even if the children are pointing at scott for being gay, that's pretty normal, and you'll find that phenomenom also in the very LGBT-open country's.
    Last edited by The 10th Plague; Jan 9, 2008 at 06:01.

  11. #186
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    Wow. scary ,you are an activist like ant -japan propaganda
    North Korean pachinko propaganda.

  12. #187
    puzzled gaijin
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    Thanx Caster, that article was an interesting read.

  13. #188
    Regular Member Bunshinsaba's Avatar
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    My first post - two cents.

    I've been living in Japan and working for 10 years in an English language school, first as a teacher and now as an ***'t Director. Finding discrimination is all a matter of looking under the right rug and knowing where the Japanese keep those rugs.

    If I may unroll (lift) one that stands out in particular.

    Three years ago, our (Japanese-run English school) company decided to fly about 40 staff members on a "fact finding" mission to Las Vegas for a all-paid weeks trip.
    Even the Japanese sales reps from head office who had just joined the company a month previously were invited. Who were not invited? Our (British) Academic Director, and his two assistant directors (of whom I was one). And neither of us are American so Vegas would have been a nice trip.

    My partner (the other assistant director) followed up this shocking news with a very frank and open discussion with our Japanese Center Director and basically blasted him for discriminating against foreigners. The Japanese argument (defense?) was this: Japanese join a company for life, whereas foreigners are here only for a limited time and rarely settle into one job for life. I guess the bottom line was that the trip was a reward for the anticipation of a life-long career with the company... so long as you were Japanese.

    Arrogance clashed with reality when one discovered, three months after the Vegas trip, that a handful of those so-called "life long" Japanese employees jumped ship for another job.

    The irony since then has been that our Brit director, myself, and the other ***'t Director have been with the company since it opened shop in Tokyo, seven years ago. We were in the building when the frigging carpet was laid and the first books arrived. We have more longevity with the company than 97 percent of the current staff and management - even three ago. This fact was apparently "swept under the carpet" when the Japanese management were deciding on what batch of dedicated emloyees to take to Las Vegas.

    I have lots of stories like this because, frankly, after 10 years of being in Japan and working in a Japanese-run company, seeing through their clever veils of discrimination is as easy as putting on a hat.

    But hell... where doesn't discrimination live? And considering the problems other countries have with it, at least the Japanese are super polite about it.

    Despite the contradiction, I love living in Japan. I have long learned to laugh, roll with the punches, and chalk stuff up to little more than the occupational hazards you have to endure to live in a country where 80 percent of the girls you see on the street everyday make you go "Schwing!!!"
    Last edited by Bunshinsaba; Jan 20, 2008 at 07:39. Reason: I have not edited this, but have taken note. MM

  14. #189
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    My first taste of discrimination came from a "hafu" who thought he spoke for all Japanese when he refused me employment based off of my ethnicity. He of all poeple who probably experiences discrimination more than I do would have the audacity to discriminate against me.

  15. #190
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    @Bunshinsaba
    Interesting read Thanks for the info.
    Definitely will keep it in mind, since I'm going to start my getting a job in a Japanese-run company/interviewing etc process in 2-3 months.

  16. #191
    Regular Member Bunshinsaba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirirao View Post
    @Bunshinsaba
    Interesting read Thanks for the info.
    Definitely will keep it in mind, since I'm going to start my getting a job in a Japanese-run company/interviewing etc process in 2-3 months.
    Well don't let me make you paranoid... I am sure you will have a great time here as most of us do. Just NEVER forget that Japan is an island and learn to forgive them sometimes as a significant number of folks have "island thinking" and all the preconceived notions and phobias about foreigners that go along with it. And they not only have them... they act upon them freely with little regard to foreigners and their views and reactions.

    But unless you spend a significant amount of time in Japan, and/or work at a middle management level or higher, you may not even notice it that much... unless you get turned away from an apartment because you are a foreigner. When my (Japanese) wife and I were renting, the landlord always had to be notified if a perspective tenant was a foreigner. No big deal to me really...

    Only rarely these days - after 10 years of seeing so much - do I bat a lash at some of the goofy race-related things the Japanese do, say, print, or consider... like a 2005 city-wide post-earthquake plan to deal with "Rampaging, rioting and looting foreigners !"

    Jesus.

    And here's a funny one.... In 2006 on Hallowe'en, some foreigners of an undisclosed race and social / work status got a little party-hearty at Ebisu station in Tokyo. So of course, Hallowe'en 2007, the Japanese management of our school issued a statement to all our (professional) teachers that they should avoid... "... getting out of control on Hallowe'en and creating disturbances."

    Jesus!!

    After a significant amount of time here, you may find that so many Japanese suffer from "islander's logic" when it comes to foreign people.

    All cats have four legs. My dog has four legs, therefore my dog is a cat.
    or... in the case of Hallowe'en

    All rowdy foreigners have two legs. Our teachers have two legs therefore...


    Well... can't write all day. I'm going for sushi.

  17. #192
    AXg Rioneru's Avatar
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    As stated many times before, racism, prejudice, and discrimination are everywhere. I've never been to Japan, but I've heard more bad talk on foreign treatment than good. I've heard enough to dissuade any non-Japanese person to even want to visit. However, I've heard very good stories too and it is with a clear conscience I will first visit Japan to assess for myself.

    As an American, I see many foreigners come here on their own accord, often in search of a better life. Now whether the move was instigated by those glorifying America or damning it; point is, travelers and immigrants alike find out for themselves.

    If you base yourself solely on fears erected by others, where goes personal experience?

  18. #193
    Regular Member Petenshber's Avatar
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    Glenski you have a good point, but be careful to acknowledge looks can be deceiving.

    Bunshinsaba, i really like your explainations.

    Despite what people may believe, white males in America receive more than our
    fair share of racism and sexism (mostly in the form of accusations of racism or sexism).
    Racism wouldn't stop me from moving to Japan, i think it would kind of amuse me.

    As for jobs, they work the same way here, i wouldn't notice a difference

  19. #194
    Just me Glenski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petenshber View Post
    Glenski you have a good point, but be careful to acknowledge looks can be deceiving.
    What does that mean?

  20. #195
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    Conclusion....

    So it's looks as if after reading all the posts, we have now determined that discrimantion is alive and well in Japan on all sides of the fence

  21. #196
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    Plus the over-the-fence-climbers on both sides. . .
    By the way, it was a befriended japanese business man, who unexpectedly once encouraged me to do so, for real! And that fence was high and dangerous and my shoes absolutely unfit for this, despite being bumpers. . .but he just waited and helped, after having climbed to the other side already. (it wasn't any better in his shoes though, so I decided to do it without shoes after all)
    The simple fact, that he was sure, that I can, made me do it. Its this mentality, that I really appreciate.

  22. #197
    Regular Member Bunshinsaba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petenshber View Post

    Despite what people may believe, white males in America receive more than our
    fair share of racism and sexism (mostly in the form of accusations of racism or sexism).

    Spot on, mate! Let me just add, change one little thing.... white people in America receive...

  23. #198
    Regular Member Petenshber's Avatar
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    Glenski - I mean that i agree with watching for discrimination in all of it's forms,
    but some things witch aren't discrimination could be mistaken as such,
    an investigative mind should consider that possibility.

    Bunshinsaba - I apologize for sounding single-minded, i only meant that when
    white people fight among ourselves we're often divided by our sexes.

    I'm sure white women would have plenty to say for their part of that point,
    but i prefer to leave that for them to say, i speak for my part of it.

  24. #199
    Just me Glenski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petenshber View Post
    Glenski - I mean that i agree with watching for discrimination in all of it's forms,
    but some things witch aren't discrimination could be mistaken as such,
    an investigative mind should consider that possibility.
    I don't suppose you have any examples in mind?

  25. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chi65 View Post
    Plus the over-the-fence-climbers on both sides. . .
    By the way, it was a befriended japanese business man, who unexpectedly once encouraged me to do so, for real! And that fence was high and dangerous and my shoes absolutely unfit for this, despite being bumpers. . .but he just waited and helped, after having climbed to the other side already. (it wasn't any better in his shoes though, so I decided to do it without shoes after all)
    The simple fact, that he was sure, that I can, made me do it. Its this mentality, that I really appreciate.
    I was in the supermarket today and an old lady approached me and said:

    "Would you mind walking around the supermarket with me as you remind me of my son who died in the war"

    I replied: "Sure"

    We were walking around for around thirty minutes, got to the checkout, the checkout girl had finished adding up all the goods, when suddenly the lady said to me:

    "I forgot my purse" "Please wait here whilst I go to my car to get it"

    Around 15 minutes had passed, the lady hadn't returned.

    I went out to the carpark to find her, I got to her car and starting pulling her leg, just like I'm pulling your's!

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