Japan’s lack of fondness for foreigners?

When it comes to Japan’s more hands-on means of amusement, non-Japanese are not always welcome — the bath-based satisfactions of soapland being especially well known for its racial restrictions. A policy that this maid-themed massage place in particular has taken to heart, making sure that foreigners know in no uncertain terms how unwelcome they are before they’ve even dared walk through the door.

Tokyo maid soapland

However, somewhat more surprising is the far from favourable feelings towards foreigners expressed by Japan’s tourist industry. As, despite the nation’s continually touted Yokoso! Japan (Welcome!) campaign, a recent survey by the Ministry of Internal Affairs has discovered that a lot of hotels and inns are more than content to accommodate only their countrymen:

Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs says over 70 percent of Japanese inns and hotels that didn’t have foreign guests last year don’t want any in the future either. The ministry says that a survey of such businesses showed they feel unable to support foreign languages and that their facilities are not suited to foreigners. The survey released Thursday shows that over 60 percent of Japan’s inns and hotels had foreign guests last year, but the majority of the rest don’t want any.

A set of figures that if nothing else must please ex-Tourism and Transport Minister Nariaki Nakayama, who was forced to resign after — among other things — claiming that Japanese people were “ethnically homogeneous” and “definitely … do not like foreigners.” Although at the same time, with such strong support from certain sections of society, he may well feel that his decision to step down was happen a bit hasty.


  1. Leaves says

    Kind of depressing, especially for a foreigner that’s looking to move there in a few years. Just a reality we have to live with, I guess.

  2. says

    Being a Gaijin in Japan is about as close as a white guy can get to experiencing what its like to be a black guy in the states (well maybe just a taste). My Japanese wife and I with our children were once turned away from a restaurant which was ‘Japanese only”.

    • Geni Mine says

      Hi Kaiju.
      I’m doing a project about foreigners in Japan, and I would appreciate it very much if you can answer some questions I have. Could you please email me? My address is bloo.cheeze@yahoo.com.
      Thanks! :)

      • alan says

        Your point being? Oh, I see, since there are many instances of racism and ethnocentrism around the world with little of none exception, it is OK for Japanese to discriminate foreigners. These people should be ashamed of their lies and their society. They sell themselves overseas as a 1st world country, a democracy, when they are still in the middle ages. Nowhere in the world you can find a situtation, a social construct, comparable to that found in JP. Nowhere. DAME`!

    • Joe says

      Wow are you for real?

      I’m a fucking Puetorrican and that’s the most retarded shit I ever read. My native language is Spanish and I know English as a Second Language and I never felt excluded from any establishment or treated harshly anywhere in the United States. On the contrary I was always treated with respect.

      To compare the modern treatment of foreigners in Japan with how minorities are treated in America is white guilt liberal bullshit.

      Japan needs to learn to respect other cultures and stop being fucking xenophobic fucks, I mean there was a time that America was like that but not anymore. Japan could learn more from them.

      • kenji says

        Comparing the United States to Japan is a big mistake my friend, US is way more developed and diverse.

        • Will says

          What Kenji says is true. Japan is a solid 50 years behind the curve on race relations. There is no law in Japan against racial discrimination or xenophobia.

        • jasmine says

          ya that’s why blacks get shot and killed by police and disproportianetely serve longer sentences in jail right?. institutionalized racism is well anchored by whites in stolen America. whites should be deported out of native indigenous indian lands(canada and america and have their white utopia back in Europe.

          • white guy says

            I’ll go back to Europe just as soon as all the blacks get back on the boat to west africa then we can give it all back to the indians, mexicans, aztecs, etc.
            Hopefully that means you’ll be on the boat too. Bon voyage sister; leave the food stamps, welfare, and birth control behind.

      • alan says

        I agree with you mate 100%. I have lived everywhere and never found such a blatant, ruthless, silly-and-stubborn-at-the-same-time racism as here in JP. They should be ashamed of their society. How about putting an embargo on this fucks?! No more sales until they change their shitty way of behaving.

      • jasmine says

        maybe you ought to learn about ferguson Missouri you dumbass. America is the worst place for racism . also whites should go back to Europe and stay out of indian land America considering racist whites don’t belong in America to begin with. you should also go research the 7 Sikhs killed in Wisconsin and the indian grandfather who got paralyzed beaten by police in Alabama fool! you obviously have no idea what the hell you are talking about then again Spaniards are mud monkeys of the white race anyways. another thing why did America, Kanata, and Ukraine not sign the anti Nazi resolution which Russia signed and 111 other countries? why did 55 countries from Europe abstain votes regarding the anti Nazi resolution. seems like whites still to this day glorify Nazism. also the swastika doesn’t belong to white trash it belongs to India. white trash should quit misappropriating colored peoples iconic symbols considering the swastika belongs to a colored race in india not whites and no indian is white either.

        • Dennis says

          jasmine says….. indeed?

          I am a white male married to a non-white female, so my statement is not racist in any manner. The situation that happened in Ferguson, Missouri was unfortunate, but it was cleared by a court. Michael Brown did not have his hands up as some of his thug gang members stated, and he was advancing on the officer after being told to get down on his knees. He was 6.4 and over 300 pounds and known to be aggressive, Michael Brown was also a notorious thug, with a rap sheet pretty damn long. You can check him out robbing a convenience store on you tube, if you are really curious and open minded?

          Your point of view, and the way you express yourself, is racism in it’s purest form. You broad stroke an entire race of people. Put them all in a category to promote your argument. Pretty simple minded if you ask me. I am sure you are too angry at the world to see this. No matter what your color is, when a police officer orders to you stop, raise your hands, get out of the car, lean against the hood, back up, get on your knees or whatever etc.. You should be intelligent enough to comply, instead of regarding yourself as some special race that does not have to comply with a police officer. Of course, if you are stupid, you are most likely walking around angry all the time anyway and have definite issues with authority.

        • white guy says

          Jasmine is just another of the many disgruntled negros living in america. oops Hands Up Don’t Shoot.
          No one cares. Black Lives Matter? Obviously not to the majority. We just turn the channel and laugh.

    • xenon says

      What’s wrong with you guys? Doesn’t Japan have the freedom and the right to do what they want and don’t individuals have the right to run THEIR (not, “their” means it belongs to “them”, not “you”.) businesses the way THEY want to?

      Are they insulting you, beating you, lynching you, ganging up on you, raping you, robbing you, like Blacks in America are doing to non-blacks in a 50 to 1 ratio?

      Instead of self righteously bitching and complaining about a nation and people who have just about the lowest crime rate in the world, is clean and safe place to leave, produces a ton of the world’s best products even without any natural resources, why don’t you simply explain to yourself and your children that it’s the RIGHT of SOME, INDIVIDUAL, Japanese people to not want to serve non-Japanese, and this does NOT mean they are racist or hateful.

      In many cases, it simply means they do not want to deal with the hassle of trying to communicate with a foreigner, especially the Western foreigner who expects to everyone to speak Engrish and to be catered to and coddled wherever he goes. Would you like dealing with that when you have no ability to speak the foreigners language at all, and he does not speak yours?

      Another non-racist reason is that they have the RIGHT to peace and privacy to feel comfortable and have the expectations of what to expect by being around other Japanese. They have the RIGHT to have places they can go and not have to worry or deal with foreigners and how they act, think, stare, or behave.

      You guys are so selfish, rude and judgemental it’s unbelievable. Here you are pontificating and putting yourselves up on your high, brain washed, liberal, throne of self righteous judgement towards a people who simply are being polite in telling you “we are not equipped to serve you, and we are not comfortable with you around us, be we don’t have anything against you, so can you please leave us the fuck alone?”.

      I am NOT Japanese, but have been there a few times, love and dislike many things about them and their culture, but I RESPECT THEIR RIGHT TO MAINTAIN THEIR CULTURE AND DIGNITY.

      If you don’t agree, then how about we force the NAACP, Viva La Raza, and every other none-white group in the US to allow a white man to be their president?

      No, we don’t do that, because in America, we are NOT free. Otherwise, we would grant freedom to white people to have white only businesses and organizations, like the blacks and latinos have.

      You guys sure are adept at getting your “racist gun” and label-maker out, but are completely blind to your own prejudice and sin.

      • Ichiko Hatsumi says

        Well, I was turned away for being fully Japanese, because my friend was American. Someone shouldn’t be stripped of a service or experience, because of something they can’t help. You honestly sound pretty spoiled, not to come off offensively.

        • Kylai says

          Hatsumi-san are there any places in Japan that arent foreign hostile i really want to know i may be partially African-American but it has been my dream to be in Japan please if there are any regions that arent hostile please email me at guccibaby1324@gmail.com thank you

      • Guest says

        Christ … maybe the reason people so often call you a racist is because you are one. Please leave the US and never come back. Scum like you give the rest of us a bad name.

      • Kuma says

        It’s still kind of rude, most people aren’t self-entitled jerks, but it would be nice if they tried to serve foreigners instead of excluding us right off the bat.

      • Simo Vihinen says

        I’ve heard of a family (husband was gaijin but wife Japanese) being turned away from a restaurant because “Japanese only”. You’re saying this is because of the language barrier?

        Otherwise you’re saying it’s a safe place to live, but I’m reading about domestic abuse getting very little attention having happened to non-Japanese inhabitants of the country. (well, possibly it’s hard for Japanese women too)

        Also, can you please explain why nobody else is turning away Japanese tourists at restaurants and attractions umm… anywhere in the world? Can we not expect the same from them?

        Also calm the fuck down please.

        • Simo Vihinen says

          Having said that, I’m a non-American (as you may have guessed) but I find the racism question interesting nevertheless. I think the only difference between having white-only places and something else -only places is the something else is always going to be the minority. So maybe there’s some idea of compensating for that by making some extra allowances because it’s tougher standing in a minority. Or something along those lines.

          I think if other statistics (wealth and education say) were on the same levels amongst the blacks etc. there would certainly not be any 50 to 1 ratios anywhere if that’s a fact. The main thing though is you’re (in this post) just being angry. If you want to say something, don’t say it angrily or it’ll spawn more anger and nothing will have been achieved.

      • lymrixs says

        Sorry my friend but you are truly wrong with your point of view . Your excuses for bad behaviour and disrespect to others are weak. I agree that people have the right to perseve their culture and what not” but there is a place for this, it’s called AT HOME, not in public and not in a business where people have no choices. If I were to go to Japan I would need a place to eat, need a place to sleep, need a place to receive aid such as a hospital. Discrimination takes away our rights as humans and should not be permitted simply because it may annoy the Japanese for couple of hours… This is 2015 times have changed for the better, North America does a shit ton of business and trade with Japan so they may want to catch up with rest of the world. What if the shoe was on the other foot and North America decided to take our laws back a few hundred years? Where would we all be? The world has changed in formost for the better. For those of us who see the beauty in all cultures and humanity are continuously fighting for better cause…. You should get on board.

  3. says

    Here in Spain that kind of local policy is illegal and, although there are places where some ethnic groups are not so welcomed, it’s never so explicit, and of course can’t reach the point where you get fired.

  4. says

    It is sad; especially for a country that has so many wonderful things. This kind of overt racism taints the whole experience of being in Japan.

    Of course, there are some foreigners, as there are in any country, who fail to understand the etiquette of the local culture. However, most foreigners are not thugs or yobs, but only wish to engage in the culture, so that they can learn and enjoy it.

    Yet, I have nothing but pity for racists, bigots and small-minded individuals. Their fear of the unfamiliar is a trap. Whilst they hide behind their doors terrified of difference, I boldly travel around the globe embracing all the variety that it has to offer. With certainty, I know that my life is one filled with exotic experiences, for which the bigots can but only dream of.

    • tron says

      Diaoyu Islands have been a part of China since the Ming Dynasty, US Congressman David Wu remarked in a statement at the Georgetown University.

      “Historically and geographically the Diaoyu Islands have been a part of China since the Ming Dynasty. Japanese sources have acknowledged Chinese ownership since the late 1700s,” said David Wu.

      Japan only laid claim to the islands after its war with China in 1895, David Wu added.

      In 1945 Japan agreed to accept the Potsdam Proclamation. And according to the proclamation, Japan should return to China/Taiwan and Diaoyu Islands it had illegally seized from China. Japan returned Taiwan to China but refused to return Diaoyu Islands to China.

      And in 1951 Japan unilaterally signed the San Francisco Treaty with the US, which enabled the US to exercise the so-called “administrative rights” over the Diaoyu Islands. But this illegal treaty has never been accepted by the China government.

      The US committed an error by letting Japan to manage the islands instead of returning the islands to China. This is an error made by the US that needs to be corrected, David Wu said.

    • ivania says

      I think the cause of this issue is not only about them being racist, but also them feeling comfortable around less people, don’t like noises, etc. they probably don’t want to be bothered by having to change their ways for the sake of getting on the good side of foreigners. they just want to be left alone doing their own things and having their own typical lives. I also think they are so quiet, they appreciate silence, introspection, meditation, activities of the like, but foreigners can be obnoxious and disrupt their harmony.

      Asia in general has never been so famous for the social skills of the young generations after all.

      • Joe says

        Still racism is never ok.

        Just put a sign saying keep yer mouth shut or we remove you from the premises.

        • jasmine says

          really? and pls. enlighten me ? who invented racism, fascism, colonialism, imperialism, jim crows law, IRA,kkk, segragation aparthied, classism, sexism, feminism, concentration camps? could it be by any chance be WHITE PEOPLE??!!!!!!! why don’t white people stay in Europe and stay out of all non white countries considering whites have caused enough problems such as atomic bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki , qings dynasty in china forcing Chinese to sign an unequal treaty stealing their porcelain ,green tea, silk, gunpowder, invading India in 1498 and 1849 (Portuguese)(british trading company)looting trillions of Indias pounds of wealth and looting their Kohinoor diamonds, crystal throne, huma bird artifacts, crystal throne, golden crown,cotto0n,spices,tea. trying to ruin indias education system,trying to ruin indias Aryan culture and religions,bombing grenada,stealing diego Garcia and leaving the chagos homeless, turning Hawaii into a state,stealing Australia and new Zealand from Maoris and Aborigenese, raping native Indians in America and Canada displacing them in reserves while left to 2% population and killed by white mans small pox and other various diseases as well guns, Mexicans lands stolen from them like state of Texas, Arizona and California, raping Mexicans which were white Spaniards, attacking Vietnam attacking Korea, causing massacre to middle east while raping their women and killing their men and stealing their resources, stealing native Indians resources today. whites are the most xenophobic bigots who slander oppress demonize and dehumanize every race on the entire planet and should be charged for war crimes for still illegally occupying non whites lands today. dont even bother stating it was your ancestors because who is running congress today? it certainly aint the native Indians now is it? also south Africa was stolen by british and dutch. this has gone too far and everyone is sick of white people.learn to mind your own business and quit telling other immigrants not to arrive to the lands you people stole because you whites being a hypocrite should realize that America was stolen by whites in 1492 and british stole Canada in 1775. also british aided Europeans (fake Hebrew Israelites) in stealing Palestinian lands in 1947 and America white illegal trash illegally recognized it on may 14,1948. this is all the truth and nothing but the grim truth whites should stay out of non white countries there is proof to support this and that’s why nobody likes white trash . whites on the other hand have absolutely no reason to be racist and should shut up and leave honestly people don’t like you whites because you are a complete nuissance and have caused nothing but problems not only a few centuries ago but 5 centuries straight and still counting today. wherever whites go they turn any place worse than a third world sh..-hole like they are doing to America with a 18,114,000,000,000 debt . in January 2015 the debt was 18,085,826,074,242 now its almost April and the debt is getting worst .why cant whites exhaust their health care back in Europe and leave non whites alone GET LOST! also quit mocking other races religions and making movies like the interview and India rape movie when it is clear whites are the highest rapist when comparing population per capita which stupid whites don’t want to do that. also quit marketing off east Indians yoga they don’t appreciate that. you whites have no manners and no respect for other races and that will lead you to being boycotted and nobody of color would ever hire you. also falklands (Malvinas) doesn’t belong to whites and neither does belize nor Tuvalu better known as the Polynesian islands.

          • Open says

            Honestly, you should probably learn tolerance yourself. Reverse racism only makes you look worse than those you speak out against. Global racial equality is obviously not going to start with you. Any man or woman who would openly entertain prejudice or racism as you have done should be ashamed of themselves.

            • Shaby says

              Jasmine, your point may be correct in-fact I will say it is quite close to truth but presenting in such a angry manner and doing reverse racism is absolutely wrong way to retaliate. I fully understand your anger and frustration, but the way you are presenting your facts say that if you are in their boots you will do the same thing as they have done. No all white men are bad, not all colored or black men are good….. Lastly it is all still the Jungle Law :(

  5. Daemon says

    The main reason given by businesses that don’t want to serve foreigners, is that the foreigners don’t speak Japanese, and the business therefor can’t deal with them properly – especially if the gaijin in question is causing problems by not knowing Japanese culture.

    It is apparently illegal for them to ban foreigners as a class… but most foreigners 1: don’t know the laws and 2: can’t speak the language in order to actually argue it.

    I’ve been told that most places that have signs like this will let gaijin in with no problems if they have a Japanese friend with them or display a working knowledge of the language.

    • tom says

      I’m white my wife is Japanese I have never had a problem in japan or Okinawa going any place I know of some whites being turned away and all blacks being told they are not welcome there

    • alan says

      That is just rubbish mate. I speak Japanese almost as a native and they wouldnt let me in either. You have smoke in your brains.

      • nemrut says

        Your attitude speaks volumes regardless of your language proficiency.

        Rude, arrogant and obnoxious behavior is not tolerated in Japan especially from entitled assholes like yourself and others from predominantly euro-centric countries.

  6. MrSatyre says

    Daemon has a point (although there is still a degree of racism—even among Japanese—present in Japan). I went with some Japanese friends to get a massage, and I was turned away once inside. Logically, it turned out. The proprietors explained to my friends that because I was not fluent in Japanese, any potential misunderstanding between myself and one of the girls could quickly get out of hand. Safety of the staff was paramount, and I fully support that.

    • fasdfh says

      how did they know you were not fluent in japanese? did they talk to you?
      to me it’s more of an excuse that they don’t allow foreigners because they’re worried of misunderstandings. those that speak japanese should be allowed in.

    • scotty says

      you’re an idiot! how could you fully support that if you had no intention of letting things get out of hand (quickly). don’t be such a push over, maybe they booted you out becasue you don’t have balls

    • Joe says

      Sorry but thats a load of bullshit. A friend of mine went to Thailand and he was treated like a fucking king and many of them barely knew english. That was fucking racism, what if you knew Japanese? Then what?

  7. jurgen says

    this is some bad press for the tourism trade coming into japan when signs read essentially your not welcome. i’d rather see a sign asking foreigners to have an accompanied translator then one stating bigotry.

  8. The Truth says

    Having been to Tokyo, I NEVER encountered any of this. During my entire trip, the Japanese were the most polite, friendly and gracious people I have ever met anywhere in the world. I can’t say enough about how well I was treated.

    • Ken says

      Ah, key word in your comment “TRIP”. Short term visitors are far more likely to have comments such as yours. If you stayed a few years you’d encounter it.

      • Dianne says

        Our family spent nine years living in Japan (1998-2000; 2004-2011): in both Kobe and Yokohama, and we traveled to many different places within the country. I only once experienced anything negative — an elderly couple moved away from my children and me on a train. Our overwhelming experience was one of kindness and solicitousness. Especially when my children were small and I struggled with language and signs, strangers who spoke English consistently volunteered their aid. Our youngest boys attended yochien (Japanese preschool and kindergarten). The families were curious about us, and a bit shy at first, but welcoming, helpful and kind.

        Men seem to have more trouble as foreigners in Japan, especially if they are young; still, the incidents are relatively rare. As an American of European descent, I experienced and witnessed much more — and more serious — racism against “foreigners” living in Hawaii than my family or associates ever experienced in Japan. My husband and oldest son read, write and speak Japanese fluently and all of us have some understanding of Japanese, so this isn’t a matter of being clueless.

        • Tom says

          Wait, I’m confused. Are you and your husband European-Americans who formally lived in Japan?

        • nemrut says

          The older couple moved away because American children are often loud and unruly. Who wants to deal with that especially when it’s not the norm in your culture?

    • Geni Mine says

      Hi Person! 😀
      I read your comment about how well you were treated in Tokyo. I’m doing a project on foreigners living in Japan now, and I would appreciate it so much if you could answer some questions for me.
      My email address is blue.cheeze@yahoo.com. Message me if you are interested.
      Thank you so much!

    • Rainbows says

      After reading some of these comments, it’s important to point out the bias of the article is mostly geared towards massage parlors and other non-touristy places like gambling houses and what not. It’s out of character for the Japanese people to be impolite to anyone, and most people are extremely welcoming (from any foreign country) if you show interest in their culture and can even speak the language. The majority of gaijin are not going to these “no gaijin allowed” places so this article’s stance on Japanese being close minded is blown out of proportion and unrealistic. As for these tools who are commenting about how they went to Thailand and got full service without any trouble due to the language barrier are obviously not there to experience Thailand’s culture and are only their to exploit them–which is very typical of most Americans who go on vacation who actually have no interest in the actual culture of a country. That’s why “no gaijin” is probably reserved for the similar-minded morons who while vacationing in France request a bucket of KFC from the concierge.

      • Will says

        Recently there was a “Japanese only” sign at a football game. The vast majority of Japanese do not want to deal with foreigners.

  9. says

    I have been in Tokyo for the last 9 months, but never faced any racial discrimination from any of the Japanese people I interacted with. Dailiy I have to travel in the fully packed Toei trains in the morning to reach office at Tokyo. If Japanese people have any such racial feelings, at least I could have sensed when I travel in the train almost literally ‘sand-witched’

    Japanese people have self restriction in talking with us due to language barrier. This is ofcourse true. And have nothing to do with the European or American versions of racial discrimination culture. Why in European and American only, in the racially mixed and complexed my own country India, more than half of the population still practice those ‘untouchability’ caste or racial discrimination at maximum possible events of life.

    ‘Japan’s lack of fondness for foreigners’ would be rather interested to view as a misinterpreted fear of Japanese people towards English and their sincere apology to handle foreign people.

    • Geni Mine says

      Hi Person!
      I read your comment on wordpress.tokyotimes.org regarding your stay in Japan. I’m doing a project on foreigners living in Japan now, and I would appreciate it so much if you could answer some questions for me.
      My email address is blue.cheeze@yahoo.com. Message me if you are interested.
      Thank you so much!

    • Jung says

      JayaPrakash, your absolutely right. As an Asian young man, whenever i am in India i can feel it very openly. Actually, you can be attacked as a foreigner especially when travelling at night time. Day time could be lesser, but the risk is not worth the take. Better travel in groups or two.

  10. Alex says

    I’ve never been but from what I understand of the culture, Jayaprakash’s take on the subject seems valid; they are probably afraid of miscommunication and the resulting embarrassment more than anything.

    • fasdfh says

      so what? their incompetence shouldn’t be a reason to treat others badly should it? come on, show some respect for your own ‘kind’ will you.
      the very first thing they should do is ask foreigners if they understand japanese. if they do, then good. if they don’t then yeah there would be a good reason to not allow them in. but i bet that most of them never bother to ask.

      • Anthony Hamilton says

        This is not about ”respect for own kind” or kinds. Objectivity my man. My girlfriend still babbles incoherently when talking to strangers much to my irritation! I also think the fact that said foreigners may quibble when it comes to parting with money is part of the problem.

        Not to diminish the pain of someone that was slighted and/or dehumanised by the subject matter!

  11. Baye says

    As a black man living in Japan, I can tell you first hand that jayaprakash is very fortunate. I experience acts of xenophobia and/or racism daily. I’ve found that lack of English is just an excuse they use to rationalize their fear. I can speak Japanese fairly well and I’ve gone out of my way to make that fact known when i go places just to test that theory. For example, I pretend to have a phone conversation and let loose some fluency. Sometimes it works, and people around me relax but usually it makes no difference. I have simply taken to ignoring the ignorance, and channeling my inner Obama (-: Patience is needed when dealing with such blatant hostility. Of course it takes on a much more polite form than it would in the US. No violence or anything of that nature. But, in a way, to be discriminated against politely is even more offensive than the American way. When people turn away from you on crowded trains, or leave the car and re-enter at another door, or give enough space on a train to do calisthenics, or refuse to occupy the seat besides of you, or transfer wallets and purses from to the side opposite you, or refuse to speak Nihongo or to understand you even though you are speaking their language to them (some actually say, sorry I don’t speak English!!!” Bitch! I’m speaking your language!!!” I want to say) or any of a hundred other obscenities I deal with regularly, it’s enough to make you wanna ring somebody’s neck! Anyway, living here has taught me a great deal about patience and tolerance and I think when I go home (God Bless America- never thought I”d ever say that) I’ll be a better man for it.

    • Raine says

      Baye…I thought I was the only one who had those things happen to me. I am a white average looking male and I too get those looks and reactions. I find that the only people here in Tokyo who are nice to me are the people who have too…ie: service employees (7-11, Lawsons…etc). Ironically, I find that I get the worst looks from old women and middle age men. The only time people smile or don’t act scared of me is when I’m with my daughter…who looks 100% Japanese.
      I also find that the lack of willingness to hire foreigners is out of control. A Japanese national will always get the job first.
      The Japanese will refuse to admit their racist feelings but if you actually look around you will see the reality.

    • Geni Mine says

      Hi Person!
      I read your comment about how you were treated in Japan. I’m doing a project on foreigners living in Japan now, and I would appreciate it so much if you could answer some questions for me regarding this.
      My email address is blue.cheeze@yahoo.com. Message me if you are interested.
      Thank you so much!

  12. JayJay says

    I’ve lived in Japan for 5 years and I can say this. Most Japanese are not racist, but some most certainly are (as any country). The difference to other countries is it’s tolerated, ignored and excused (“Japan’s an island country” is a common one) and the most racist offenders are IN the government (Ishihara and the above mentioned Nakayma).

    Also, I might rub some people the wrong way here, but not all foriegners are treated equally. I’m as white as they come and NOT American, so I’ve had little trouble except some grumpy old bastards and young punks trying to prove a point. And I have never been asked for ID by the cops, not once.

    However some friends of mine who are black, middle eastern and ESPECIALLY non-Japanese Asians get racist treatment on an almost daily basis. I totally believe Baye when he says what he said.

    In summary, the Japanese are no more racist than anyone else, but there is no real force to combat it here.

    • Lallyzippo says

      Hey, I’m very interested in your statements. Are your friends all male that are receiving this treatment?

      • Rawr says

        What he says makes sense. The staring is one thing people often complain about. But even as a foreigner myself I can’t but help at least take a glance at foreigners when I see them (I mean, they are freaking rare in smaller towns).

        Browsing 2ch boards having to do with foreigners, you would be surprised how few xenophobes there actually are (granted you have the Japanese understanding to make sense of the boards). Very few Japanese are afraid of white people. It’s the others that get huge racist treatment. Especially other types of Asians.

        Though I have to say as a fellow foreigner, some foreigners do make me sick.- The type that come to Japan without a goal, sit and hardly learn the language only well enough to get around and not really communicate. Not attempting to learn the language while living around it is unacceptable in my opinion. You wouldn’t be living in Japan, you would just be a mere existing hunk of unintelligible flesh.

  13. xlolitsachax says

    I live here in Japan and I’ve nvr been treated that way.Well yea I did find them who turned away when I asked abt something as directions,but I think its bcz of the language barrier.As for the black people,idk,but many of my japanese friends more like ‘afraid’ to them.yknw thr are many black men who often forcefully grab n drag us to their clubs or shops whr they’re working at,n it aint a good thing.so myb its bcz of the bad image they hv in mind

    • Ballzout says

      That is a great good point. Bit like Iranians and the international phone cards 20 years ago.

  14. says

    After reading Baye and JayJay probably I have to consider myself ‘fortunate’ or I have to spend more years to face that kind of racism from Japanese people. I agree with JayJay that ‘not all foreigners are treated equally’.

    I need to find out from Japanese colleagues only the reason why they treat foreigners differently, whether it is due to the skin color or country’s image. My own previous version of Fear to English language only does not hold true on the lights of Baye’s experiences in Japan. I don’t either speak Japanese fluently like Baye.

    Need more real life experience from other friends.

  15. says

    One reason that soaplands and other such services refuse foreigners is cause they believe HIV and AIDS to be a “foreigner disease,” and believe that it is more common than it actually is.

  16. says

    Well, I don’t live in Japan but I go pretty often (about once a year) to just vacation. I haven’t had too much trouble w/ the local folks. Akihabara has been quite nice and I haven’t had any real problems in Maid Cafe’s despite the language barriers.

    The biggest problem I faced was at a yakitori stand under the train in shimbashi. Don’t really blame the guy that much as we couldn’t even order. We just went to the yakitori place next door that had an english menu and it was all good.

    Strange thing is that even though i’m Chinese people there always assumed I was Japanese and would speak to me. Hell in Osaka a couple of times people came up to me to ask me directions.

  17. says

    I agree what everyone has posted. As a matter of fact, you are all right in your own way. But remember, isn’t the reason we all came to Japan is to be in a place that is not like our own country? If the Japanese are or are not bigots, that is not the question. The question should be, what can I get out of this experience and how can I change the world into a better place because I was here in Tokyo. We understand that America has bigots, but isn’t that what makes our lives worth living? We can make a positive change to our surroundings. By the way, Obama is half white and half black. That makes him, us!

  18. thrustievious says

    You know there is a VERY good reason why they have “no foreigners allowed” signs hanging up in some places. Think of it as like you are sitting in class and someone acts stupid and pisses the teacher off and then the teacher gives everyone extra homework because of what one person did. Some foreigners do not know how to act while in another country, and it ruins it for everyone else. Same goes with trying to rent an apartment or a hotel in Japan.

    • fasdfh says

      sure, but does that allow them to discriminate against all foreigners? of course not!
      they should treat every foreign individual respectively, not lable them as a whole group of bad people.

      • Juicy says

        fasdfh: remember that we are not living in a perfect world, and I am sure that you have the same attitude toward different people (lumping them all as one)–it’s natural human behaviour to judge. what thrustie says is so dead-on. I have traveled a lot and noticed the obnoxious behaviour, particularly of americans in foreign countries and it is downright embarrassing. and no, I realize it’s not ALL americans who act like idiots abroad, but unfortunately, it is more often than not that the moronic behaviour’s source is american.

      • Rawr says

        During my time in Japan there were a lot of times I felt very uncomfortable going out with other foreigners because they didn’t know how to conduct themselves properly in public…

        • Imagine if says

          Imagine seeing “no hispanics allowed” or “no asians allowed” here in America. But I guess they aren’t really discriminating by race… they’re just saying no one but Japanese people allowed. That’s nothing like “Whites only” or anything like that.

          • rich says

            Yes it is just like “whites only”.. the Japanese are a distinct RACE of people.. Im from the UK and if we placed a sign “English only” we wold be thrown in jail. so it is still racist.

  19. Ron says

    Folks, there’s no comparison between racism in east Asian mainstays, like Japan/Korea, vs let’s say an American city, like NYC or Philadelphia. By nature, overt racism is looked down upon, outside of the redneck parts of the USA, and if no one’s realized, every white ethnicity is “Americanized” within a single generation, from Ireland -> to -> Malta -> to-> Finland. There’s practically no difference from the American p.o.v. So for America, it boils down to skin color and language (mainly Spanish vs English). From there, social gradients start to form in terms of class/education, etc. I’ve notice that ‘white’ hispanic isn’t even really ‘hispanic’ from the American lens of the world esp once that person develops a New York or Miami accent. That person then becomes another look-a-like Italian-American by default.

    In contrast, east Asian countries discriminate on both race and nationality. People do not go from Chinese or Korean to Japanese, after a generation or two, of living there. In fact, third generation of Koreans, living in Japan, feel like outsiders. All and all, mixed Asian ethnics are better off in Singapore or Hawaii, where they have diasporas of similar backgrounds. So true, Japan is insular and I think foreign residents should consider not looking at the place as a potential place to settle in but a place to do business and to hang out in. And if you’re an American, married to a Japanese person, make sure you raise your child in Hawaii so that they have an authentic homeland. Don’t let those first few years make them feel like they’re an outsider for life. It’s easier to live in Japan (or another non-assimilating culture) once you’d established an identity elsewhere like a Hawaiian or continental American.

  20. Kenji says

    I am Japanese and I can tell you that we don’t want you foreigners moving here to Japan. When you ask a foreigner why they want to move here, they give the same answer, “Because I like the culture”. When asked a follow up question, “What do you know about Japanese culture?”, the response is usually an ignorant one.

    Just because you watch Japanese anime and movies doesn’t mean that’s how Japanese live, or that’s the culture.

    We know why you white devils want to move here. We’re not fat and stupid like you Americans.

    • Jon says

      Well Kenji…I agree that the people who come here because they “Love the Culture” are not straight in the head. However, a lot of us did not move here because of the culture we moved here for other reasons.
      You may not like us “FAT” Americans but your women love our FAT cocks!

    • Smenji says

      I think people who love the word “racist”, seem to ignore the practicality of not allowing foreigners in certain contexts. It is possible, that what is racist is also reasonable, precaution – I just don’t buy that someone who discriminates is necessarily doing the wrong thing.

      For example, if I see a person who has certain facial features (say something like a ‘Maori’) and he threatens me. I recognise the facial features over and over and every time I see a person of these strong facial features, the person is violent, angry or threatening.
      After several years of seeing only danger in relation to a person with these facial features then discriminating or prejudging the next one you see IS PERFECTLY REASONABLE. Normally, this sort of common sense is called “experience” or learning, but in the context of people it’s racist. But who cares when it’s a reasonable precaution? To call it racist and it assumes it apprehensible is stupid. It’s racist but it’s not necessarily wrong in all contexts.
      If I were in Tokyo, where American/Russian sailors and nob-heads walk the streets, I would probably disallow foreigners as well, to be quite honest.

    • Anon says

      Kenji, your argument Is a legitimate one, but your accusations are baseless and unfounded. You preach of Foreigner’s ignorance, and at the same time fall victim to hypocrisy. Your words exude ignorance in it’s purest and most unadulterated form, hatred.

      You know nothing of how we live, or anything of our culture. You see Hollywood and read about Us from unreliable or uncredited sources, that sounds just like Americans and your Anime.

      Thank you, for reaffirming my “assumption” and I say assumption, because I am not fool enough to judge your countrymen on your own selfish words.

    • JC says

      I’m not American yet i believe the problems with Japan are people like you are just racist, and scared of new and foreign cultures, you are self defeating yourself by showing how bad some people like you in Japan are “We know why you white devils want to move here. We’re not fat and stupid like you Americans”. Not all japanese people are like that but if that portorion of racist were gone from japan it would be a much beter place.

    • Imagine if says

      fuck you Kenji. I hope you get to watch as your economy collapses due to your “herbivore” brethren. Foreigners would save your country, but I wouldn’t mind watching it die if that is how Japan feels.

      • European man says

        In Japan (sadly) you are being judged according to your ethnic origin, no matter whether you’re a foreigner or even a naturalized citizen. After having lived in Japan for a long time, I have stopped learning Japanese any further. It’s just pointness. Even if you’re fluent in Japanese, ethnic Japanese will still talk to you in English on many occasions (just because you don’t look Japanese).
        And even if ethnic Japanese do talk to foreigners, it’s always the same kind of conversation like where you’re from and if you can use chopsticks etc. … meaningful conversations are rare.
        What Japan needs to do is very easy: just treat everyone equal. Most foreingers who visit Japan or live in Japan – I guess – want just that: being treated like all other Japanese people as well. Why is that so difficult to understand for the Japanese?
        Japanese peope are sadly blinded by education and TV programs etc. They believe that if they just follow their rules they’ll be all right in the end – not realizing that their economy already had its day. Once the bond bubble sets in and the yen collapses, then that’s it.

    • Braveheart says

      Kenji if any people are ‘devils’ it is the japanese. If any people are bigoted idiots it is the japanese. You are cowards at heart with no honor and no spirit. You can have your island to yourselves as for the socalled “FAT” americans I would watch that attitude you have toward them. When the ‘fat’ americans had you at their mercy they did not exterminate you with a shower of nuclear bombs as they could have easily and rid your sorry race from the face of the Earth. Next time you see one of those ‘fat’ americans you need to bow down and kiss his feet you stupid japanese bigot. They were merciful and only bombed two cities to get you to surrender then the americans helped you rebuild. I would have just wiped your asses out.

    • Ben says

      Kenji. Japanese people have every right to run the country the way they like it. Japan belongs to the Japanese and not anyone else. The reasons do not matter and the foreigners who complain and bad-mouth you are just childish whiners who want to find reasons to control your culture. Every country has the right to their own culture whether outsiders approve of it or not. As a democracy, Japanese people decides what is good for Japan, not for foreigners. Those who think otherwise are bigots amd intolerant of other cultures. I say this as a white American.

    • lymrixs says

      I hope you still live in Japan so you can spread your anti American views! “Its clear ignorance is truly bliss for you”. “I’m honestly sad that your so angry.” Maybe you should channel this anger into actions that reflect on Japanese culture, beliefs and social etiquette in a positive view. I think if there were more openness, kindness and willingness to teach foreigners the history and ways of life in Japan the experience and exchange could be one all involved could apriciate.

  21. Jimmy Page says

    I have a relative who is half-Japanese and he says its Japanese culture to keep to themselves but he also said that WWII and the atomic bombings also shaped their perceptions as it is today.

    • Raine says

      Jimmy Page!!!
      I can understand the bombing shaping their perceptions. However, I find it ironic that they would over look the fact that they attacked the US first. Also, that most Japanese hate the fact China keeps asking Japan to apologize.

      Atomic bomb or not it is 2009 almost 2010. The world is so much different now than then. I can understand those feelings is smaller cities, but larger ones like Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka? I don’t understand that.

      I guess as an american I see that people in large american cities are more understanding of other cultures while in smaller cities that aren’t as much.
      I guess I would expect the same in Japan.

      • HanaKi says

        Hey, Raine.

        Not likely. They are more than kind in little towns than big cities. They still have the “otagaisama” culture (which means that both, you and me have difficulties in life, so it’s just natural to help each other) between them.

        …Which is strange, and actually ridiculous as most of the people living in Tokyo are not born there. One of their reasons to not be fond of foreigners is that they got back on their feet really fast after the bombing; beggining to think they were really awesome to have been able to do this the “We are the best” kind of thought stuck to their minds, gradually growing into a “We are the best because we are Japanese ” (as other countries involved in WWII weren’t able to get back up that fast) … and then to our generation it grew into a “we, japanese are the best” racial way of thinking.

        This is also historic as Japanese didn’t open its ports until late into history. This has also made Japan a country that cherishes its origins. (Even though in the very beggining they were poblated by mostly Koreans and Taiwanese). After all, there aren’t many places in were you can wear your traditional attire in the city and seen as a normal person out there.

        Basically, they are like this: The nicest guests in the world if they know you are just on vacation, even if it’s quite a long one. But when they get to know you are attempting to find a job and settle, they show you their worst face and begin making you feel you are not welcome (hell, even the language, as the word “chigau” for different also means “wrong”or a “mistake”). In my own experience, I was there as a representative of my country in a somewhat of a cram school to know the environment for work in their enterprises. I was not surprised to notice that whatever one of us said (we were 13 representatives of different countries) whatever the Korean girl, the Hawaiian guy and the Polish girl said was being put into account, while whatever me (from a third world country, El Salvador (yesh, go google it everyone as most people on the internet that I know don’t know where this is) or the Mexican guy (half japanese) said, was not really taking their interest.

        It’s also really annoying to listen to a “hau mei ai herupu yu” from the Mc Donalds girl when you just said in japanese which set you wanted to order (and with a smile at that!).

        People in small towns looked at my long, black wavy hair and then my whitish face with fascination, and quite dissapointed to know I was not from France, or Spain… maybe Italy…. but still… one of them asked me to meet his son and date him. While in Tokyo they just look at you and avoid talking to you, even the person who gave me directions and offered to take me to that place in Tokyo, was from Hokkaido.

        …Everyone has their resons, but most of them wouldn’t like to talk in english if they had an option. (and most of us know how much their english sucks… generally, peoplewho actually study and like it don’t have that problem, though)… After all, controlling a drunk foreigner talking nonsense must be really difficult too.

        • Rawr says

          I agree, smaller towns are so much better than the bigger towns. I initially lived in a small town in Hokkaido, but then after visiting Sapporo, it was quite the different horror.

      • felice says

        hi, raine, the japanese NEVER admit that they commited the great massacre of Nanking in China,
        that is why China wants them to admit and apologize…Try read history and you can appreciate
        the sentiments.. ..You know what they said’ the Nanking massacre is a fiction story !!
        and when they invaded South east asia, they said they are just trying to FREE them from their Colonial
        masters ??

      • primepeng says

        the atomic bombing was done by the white…today they remember it, so the japanese girls are more reluctant to sleep with white men but no problem at all with black men…you can find porn with black men more available and abundant.

  22. unknown says

    i agree with baye, at first i thought japanese are polite now i knew what it really meant,they are very racist,im not generalizing but i think most of them are so full of themselves.for almost one year that ive stayed in tokyo i never been felt so belittled in my entire life by anyone until i came in japan..i was a trainee and even my coordinator was very discrimanative,if i only i can to turn back the time i will never ever come to japan.to kenji sorry to tell you not all people want to live in japan anyway or want to come to japan .always bear that in your narrow mind.my coordinator and other staffs told me that foreigners want to come to japan. ha!really!in your dreams!

  23. Bruce Hancock says

    While it isn’t nice to be at the wrong end of discrimination, I can understand the business owners’ perspective. A soap land is just an euphemism for a brothel (an important piece of information you left out for some reason).

    The nature of the business of prostitution is that the women should be able to decide what customers they’d like to service. There *are* many strange western men with “yellow fever” coming into Japan to look for prostitution, so I think in this case the sign is a protection of the women having to work there more than anything else.

    You won’t find a bakery or supermarket banning foreigners. Only businesses where you have to have a very detailed inside knowledge about their etiquette (upscale bars, hotels, or brothels) will ban foreigners.

    Personally, I can live with it, as I wouldn’t enter such a place anyway.

  24. God says

    The Japanese are very ethnocentric people. That’s not to say it is a bad or good thing. It is tradition. Traditionally the archipelago was also called “land of the rising sun” because it almost seemed as if the sun rises on this planet first in Japan then anywhere else. Given this idea along with a whole host of other ideas they thought of themselves as “the chosen ones” or the center of the world. A similar ancient story can be said of China and The Koreas. Also take into account the Japanese/Chinese/Koreans are mostly ethnically “pure”. Meaning they are none mixed which they take great pride in. A concept that NO mixed individual can ever understand. Whereas a mixed individual can EVER hope to graps what it means to be “ethnically pure”. If you’re in japan and the natives don’t like you because you’re a “gaijin” or foreigner so what? Doesn’t make them racist/bigoted and above all “narrow-minded”. If that is how you perceive racism then you’re the narrow minded one. Drop the political correctness and you will see things in the other individuals light. Lets remember that in this region of the world multi-culturalism is not embraced. And i applaud them for this, i personally think MC brings more bad then good.

    • HanaKi says

      Let me tell you that they are actually 11 different races among Japanese. Most of them were mixed with Korean and Taiwanese races in the very beggining. This is why no one notices those little difference at all, actually most of them don’t know that.

      It’s still difficult to preserve something while promoving it without it getting changed. Like Culture. I’m envious of how they have preserved their culture until now, being very unique while living in a modern world as ican’t say my country has done that.

  25. Ken says

    One phenomenon on this topic that constantly bewilders me is the lengths that some foreigners will go to to deny the validity of, and marginalize, other people’s negative experiences in Japan, or negative information about Japan. I find this particularly among folks who visit short term, or less than a year.

    I’ve been here for 8 years, and I’ve been dealing with Japanese people and culture for over 20 years, and it’s simply a fact that deep down inside Japanese people are xenophobes, and generally do not welcome unfamiliar and foreign things, simply because their culture instills in them a disliking of foreign and unfamiliar things and people. I’ve been told as much on numerous occasions, straight up, by Japanese people, both of the 100% domestic type and the internationally-traveled/foreign-language-speaking type, who were honest enough to share this dirty little secret.

    When discussing the low birth rate in Japan with even an open-minded group of 20 somethings, the idea of immigration (even by similar looking people from other Asian countries) as a solution doesn’t even warrant discussion. It’s simply out of the question.

    Anyway, although I choose to maintain my contact with Japan through living here, working here, and marrying here, and I love all the good things about Japan, I simply cannot delude myself that Japan is only about the polite outer displays of behavior, beautiful traditional arts and culture, anime, etc. I have to deal with the reality of what MODERN Japanese people are on a daily basis, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but it’s not this rosy place that some people seem to so desperately to need.

    There is a tendency to want to sweep dirty and unsightly things under the carpet in Japanese culture, and unfortunately some people are just hoodwinked by this. It’s all just a big show, and you have to dig a bit deeper to find out what’s really going on here. When you do it’s not quite what you expected, and it aint all pretty. That’s just the way it is. Human nature doesn’t change just because it’s wrapped up in some “ancient”, exotic, Asian package.

    • bart echosowa says

      Being born in Poland in 1983, I moved to London in 2003. Since then I have frequently visited Japan and have active personal and professional relationships.
      I have to agree with you. Japanese people often mentioned “freedom” and “tolerance”as a main reason why they would like to live in London. I did not understand that until I met some mental types in Japan and I mean people who dress up in white shirts, recite buddist mantras and drive to Shizuoka prefecture every saturday to donate money for movemnt hich will “clear out Japan” and defeat “rising devil – China” with their 100.000 strong army of ubermensh Japanese.

    • Dianne says

      I posted at length, above. Our experience was quite different from yours; we lived in Japan for nine years, and my husband has been traveling to Japan regularly for fifteen years. We all miss Japan, and my two oldest sons are planning careers that will allow them to return. We found that learning the language and customs opened many doors for us. I knew foreigners who had lived in Japan for most of their lives and didn’t speak Japanese at all. One short term resident, a woman who complained to me about how racist the Japanese were, was aggressively insensitive in relating to her own country(wo)men; I can only imagine how she interacted where she was unfamiliar with the customs. That being said, one of my male colleagues has had trouble, apparently solely because he is so big (6’3″ athlete). He is married to a Japanese woman and has made real efforts to learn the language and customs.

  26. Andy says

    Anyone who lives in Jap should come to China some day.
    Not joking, i appreciate this kind of action very much.
    In my hometown, Chengdu, Sichuan of China, you will find many facilities dedicated to foreigners only, like the concession during the WWII.
    This is really embarrassing and simply i feel insulted, but what you gonna do? This is under local policies.
    I am not provoking laughter here, and direct opposite, i want to shout out when i typing above.

  27. WavFunc says

    A lot of people here are saying how bad it is but it’s not actually something you have to deal with everyday unless you’re trying to do something out of your normal routine. Japan rarely feels racist or xenophobic, it only happens to come up when you’re doing something mentioned in the article. I know plenty of people who claim to have never experienced any sort of xenophobia in all their years in Japan (other than having to fight for an apartment to rent).

    On the other hand, try your luck at living in Korea. I lived there for three years and did feel racism everyday. Sometimes it was even yelled, spit and sworn at me. I once went into a restaurant in Korea where one of them women came running at me yelling “foreigner! No, no no! Get out!” (in Korean) while wailing her arms in the air. But that’s a different story…

  28. Peter says

    It’s amazing how the people of Japan or generalized as “racist”. You need to understand that Japan is a completely different culture in comparison to America, Australia, and Europe for example. In general, Europeans, Australians, and especially Americans tend to be louder, more obnoxious, more outgoing, and often overly expressive with their verbal and physical mannerism. Although we think nothing of it and often think of it as having a good time, others may think otherwise. In a culture such as Japan this behavior can be quite offensive to some. And with the inability to speak the language, foreigners might as well be running around like a bunch of wild gorillas let loose. So really, can you blame them? Not one human being is perfect and not one human being hasn’t experienced a sense of ignorance somewhere down the line. But to generalize Japan as racist, as a whole? Sure, Japan isn’t perfect….nor is any other country for that matter. But to be frank, I’ve found more ethnic discrimination and racism in other parts of the world where these so called “foreigners”, “visitors”, or “Gaijins” originated from. Especially here in States.

    If you ask me, I would seriously think twice where the real racism and ignorance lies.

    • HanaKi says


      I was taught Japanese manners, while I (not to show off) have a very fluent Japanese, so much that a person on the phone (when I answered it) wasn’t able to tell i was a foreigner until they asked my name. Still, one of the people who explained us (a girl from Romany and me) asked why were we using japanese gestures and ways of moving as she *knew* we were faking it. No, it doesn’t matter how much japanese you are able to speak, how much years you have lived there or how much you are really able to blend in. What matters to them is that you are not yellow, short and have smaller eyes.

      I’m not generalizing either, however, they DO expect you to be rude because you are not japanese.

  29. ShooBop says

    Welcome to the real world people. It doesn’t matter what country your from and what country you visit. You will always be justified as the “foreigner”. You’ve made the choice, now live up to it, adapt, and progress to making it a better and much more positive life ahead.

  30. Foreigner says

    Xenophobia i think is everywhere, and the japanese way is much more polite to be insulted directly. i am turkish and live in germany, they were xenophob when people from everywhere moved in, and now it turned into an immigration country ! yaaaaay

  31. silvia says

    I am a half Japanese Brazilian girl, my father is white(Portuguese/Italian),my mother, daughter of Japanese who immigrated to Brazil when they were young encouraged by the Japanese government at that time to try life abroad ,promoting the abundance of land in Brazil and the facilities for making money and having a better life.Needless to say, they encountered great difficulties in a country where they could not speak the language , but a very big Japanese community has established mainly in the biggest city, Sao Paulo. Outside Japan, that is where the largest japanese community is. So being a grandaughter of japanese, I have a long term resident visa here. The other day, I was approached by a japanese man in a supermarket, I couldn’t understand him at first but then I finally got it…he was saying “body touch” and if a “kiss” was ok…the bottom line is…he was explicitly calling me a whore…he would have women suing him in other countries for that. So just because I am a foreigner in Japan, they have the right to insult me, to offend me? Even though I have Japanese family, I can say they are cold people, very cold…a lot of Japanese women after they get married and have kids, they give money to their husbands to go out and have fun with other women, because they don’t want to have sex anymore, they’ve already had kids, so what’s the point right? They humiliated employees, I have seen a japanese boss making his employee get down on his knees and plead forgiveness.They just do not want to talk to you, know you, or anything about your culture. I feel sorry for them for having such a poor image of the World and think they are better off closing themselves and continuing having one of the highest suicide rates and hideous crimes within the family, mothers killing babies, sons killing fathers. There is something really wrong here.

    • Scott says

      There is an element of bitterness in this effort from Silvia………it would have been better had she left out ”even though I have Japanese family”. This contribution failed on several levels …Japanese are cold, women pay husbands to go out simply because they don’t want to have sex etc.

      Japanese people might seem too cold to a latin American but not to a Finn, German or Brit:)

    • jim says

      i agree with you silvia, japanese who havent traveled think they are better than the rest of the world, and have a lot of xenofobia, they have a beaiutiful history, but nothing compared to lets say italy , france or germany, brazil rules, i would prefer brazil any time over japan, japanese are cold and rude, very rude, i dealt with some who were just plain nasty and some who were wonderful, but they do seem to hate everything foreign which istn bad, but comon its the 21tgh century and none of them speak english , spanish, french, portuguese, and thats so primitive

  32. Leo says

    I agree with Silvia. In her case, that’s not really a matter of lack of cultural knowledge or just cultural differences, rather than this it seems a matter of education. I’ve heard several times how many half Brazilian – Japanese women faces this kind of situation with men on street. Due maybe to their obvious beauty since they have a mixed race or whatever, only for being Japanese no man has the right to insult a woman such like that only because of her appearance. But that is just an evidence of how Japanese people can easily create an image of foreigners by a personal experience making an evidence of the incapability of the Japanese people to accept different culture people living in their country. Which is actually a matter to not to blame them as a unique and sophisticated culture people. But even so, we, as foreigners living in Japan and trying to stay on this country need to accept this ‘Lack of fondness’ for not only the GAIJIN but also for the NIKKEI and half people. Very sad matter for all of us if from the beginning we cannot accept this lack of acceptance and tolerance by the owners of this beautiful country.

  33. Mike says

    I find it really bizarre what some foriegners will say, like “Ive been here for so many years and never experienced any racism at all!” Like its all our fault or we, not them of course, are doing something wrong and they are doing it all right. I think all of us were newbies at one time, and found the reserve or “tranquility” of Japanese to be refreshing and thought what a great place to live. Latter, for those of us engaged in daily life here (not diplomats, expats, base clowns or others who are shielded from it but instead pampered due to their status in the caste system here) we begin to see why there is a reserve to speak your mind etc. due to the mind control of the media and gross corruption etc. We discovered the bunker mentality and the hive syndrome as well, and found no matter how hard we tried, we were not to be accepted in Japan Inc. Some have fooled themselves into thinking they are, but the joke is on them, and Japanese are using one of their most effective weapons very effectively: Fake praise. If your still buying that crap and cant see through it, you aint been here long enough. Leave your comfort zone, and try to get a job on the local economy. You can see for yourself how really hard it is. I have the rejection letters to prove it- gaikoujin need not apply. Everybody cycles through many emotions here, from exhilaration, to disappointment, to depression to acceptance to repeat cycle. I dont think you ever really get used to it. So we trade violence, unstable work enviroments, poor infrastructure, but equality, relative stress free life due to open spaces etc (Im from the U.S.) for a relatively safe place to live, stable work if you can find it, attention from the opposite sex, high cost of living, poor quality of life and discrimination in Japan. And if you dont like it or complain about it, Kuni ni Kaere! is what youll get. Just dont never tell a Japanese working on a base, US embassy or in the US at our universities to go back to Japan. Save yourself the trouble, been there done that.

  34. Mike says

    “Lets remember that in this region of the world multi-culturalism is not embraced. And i applaud them for this, i personally think MC brings more bad then good.”

    Can you believe some of these people….LOL. Yeah, Im sure you do applaud it, but you be crying foul if it happened to you in the U.S. Foriengers go there, set up thousands of corporations, attend our universities only to return to their home countries to apply their learned craft, join and retire from our military only to receive a pension from US taxpayers in their country of choice, etc etc. Dare we complain, oh hell no! Just make sure you dont go live in their country however, you aint wanted, and thats not discrimination because they arent capable of it, only white people. What a mess.

    • HanaKi says

      Heh, come to my country, you will find people asslicking you. Hell, yeah foreigners are highly accepted here. I don’t think we have our own idendity really…

    • KillaSammi says

      It all depends what your intention is in Japan. This blog started as a convo on westerners being banned from brothels. Well that’s kind of understandable. Japan is reasonably sophisticated and I’m sure the Japanese men hate westerners having sex with their women. They would therefore fill their minds with all sorts of horror stories. They used to tell civilians in ww2 to kill themselves if they loose a town ect coz the americans would eat them. It hurts their ego on a number of levels. It’s not just the big dick thing. Although white guys hate it when white women start saying how they love big black cock, so I guess Japanese hate white guys thinking they are good on that level. Westerns also stink to most Asians, and we sweat a lot, and have a different sexual style. All things the Japenese don’t enjoy. I’m from Melbourne Australia, prostitution is legal here, and we have a lot of high class and mid level brothels, even though we don’t have signs preventing certain races…it’s well known that white Australian girls hate taking Asian clients. Because to us they stink, and they are apparently very pokey and have sex in a very unpleasant way, by our standards…and white men constantly make fun of Asian sexuality…so maybe the Japanese clients feel uncomfortable by our presence in their brothels.
      But I think if your in Japan for the right reasons and not prostitutes, you will be treated by most by the way you act and way you present. Like most places, if you’ve got no money or are dressed sloppily, most nations look down on you. The world is more divided by class, money and education these days rather than culture… A millionaire in Japan would have more in common with a millionaire in the US than a peasant from the countryside. If its Japanese women you want come to Melbourne coz there is heaps of them here. And heaps of them in legal brothels. They are as common as mud here. If you really have yellow devour, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos are much better places to go. The fattest, filthiest oldest douche bag can get a hot girl in these places. Or if you want the light skinned Asian girls consider northern China. Most westerners can’t tell the different betweens north Chinese, Japanese and Koreans… And a pretty Chinese is just as good as pretty Japanese…and much cheaper. Or just pick up a Japanese girl elsewhere, if your a westerner its easy to pick them up at nightclubs and bars. But you can enjoy the Japanese culture better without factoring the sex trade into the experience. Jap girls are overrated anyway. Most aren’t that attractive in reality, they don’t shave their pubic hair, and for what they charge for sex in Japan it’s a ripoff. But seriously western men, get a grip… Japanese culture has become “cool” in recent years….why? Coz everyone has been watching Internet porn and has a hard on for Asian pussy. Take the sex factor out of it, I bet there would be hardly any interest in Japan. Or Asia in general. What’s so great about fish and vegetables, sleeping on the floor with a rock for pillow, packed trains, cartoon that aren’t in English, …even the technology is all copied from the west…they imitate and shrink it…what’s the big draw card? The allure of Asian pussy I’d say. What else to western men want from Japan? Everything else is just semantics…generally speaking…

  35. Mike says

    This beautiful lady knows what she is talking about, unlike some of the other clowns who posted on here:

    “I have seen a japanese boss making his employee get down on his knees and plead forgiveness.They just do not want to talk to you, know you, or anything about your culture. I feel sorry for them for having such a poor image of the World and think they are better off closing themselves and continuing having one of the highest suicide rates and hideous crimes within the family, mothers killing babies, sons killing fathers. There is something really wrong here.”

    If you dont know the real soul of many Japanese, go do yourself a favor and read about what they did to their subjects in WWII, like the “logs” of Nan King experiments etc. Many japanese have a bizarre cold indifferent feeling towards anything unlike them and feel it must bow down to them and worship them. There will be none of that from me of course, but Ive also seen/expereinced it. Ive never quite really understood what makes Japanese happy. Is it living all cramped up in apartments, is it cramming thousands into trains every morning? Is it starring at your cell phone, pretending your actually occupied with something when your not? Is it bashing foriegners? Is it traveling in your car on the weekend….to nowhere in particuliar? Is it a sense of belonging? Is it all cramming into COSTCO to buy that foriegn crap that somebody way up on top of the buerocratic moutain in Japan said hey, its ok to import that, we checked it, now you masses can buy it? is it flocking to hawaii or indonesia to bang everything in site twice a year? Just wtf is it and who decides all this shiit?

  36. jamesmallon says

    I am living here with my Japanese wife and our Anglo/Japanese four-month old for a year or two, but we’ll leave long before daycare, so much as elementary. Intelligent comments have stated that the culture allows racism to be expressed, though the human nature is shared world wide. It also allows sexism and authoritarianism, needless to say.

    In ‘The West’ we are gross hypocrites: about racism, sexism, and other xenophobia. Would you like to be Islamic or black in the US, Canada, the UK, etc.? I would not, because I’d be taking the crap I get as white sometimes in Japan, but in my own country! That said, the scorn people get who express their hidden hatreds in polite company keeps some of the worst abuses in check – that check scarcely exists here.

    What you will find is that the Japanese you have met abroad, or have met in Japan who have lived abroad, or are studying a language in order to live abroad, are most of the interesting Japanese you will ever meet: most of the rest drinking all the ‘ware ware Nihonjin’ cool-aid they can.

    My own mother-in-law, who is otherwise very nice to me, and adores her ‘hafu’ grandson, is blatantly racist. She told my over-thirty wife, living in Canada before she met me:
    – year one, only marry a Japanese
    – year two, only marry a Japanese, or an Asian
    – year three, only marry a Japanese, an Asian, or a white
    – year four, just don’t marry someone black
    I do not let her get away with it: I have pointed out that if our white/Asian son has children with the Indian/Black daughter of a friend the offspring would be perfect.

  37. Matsuo says

    We should stop the influx of foreigners who come to live and, more importantly, breed in Japan. This is a soft form of assimilation that whites have used for generations to change the racial outlook of nations. We must not allow ourselves to become yet more victims of conquest, or else we will lose our cultural and ethnic heritage in the same manner as the Americas. Our country and our people will be more conquered than at any time during our history–and irrevocably so.

    What we have now is our own–crafted by our own minds and hands–and should never
    fall into the hands of any other race. This white male/japanese female trend needs to end, and quickly before it posts a threat.

    Japan for the Japanese.

    • SomeGuy says

      God DAMN, I love how chauvinism ALWAYS comes into issues such as this (This is NOT exclusive to Japan, or any one country for that matter. This isn’t me making some tirade about the Japanese people; Matsuo’s comment really just works as an example.)

      “This white male/Japanese female trend needs to end, and quickly before it posts a threat.”
      I assume, of course, that Japanese Male/White Female would be A-Ok though? Am I right? (If you are opposed to the inversion as well, I tip my hat to you.) I have noticed this EVERYWHERE I go on the internet. *Insert Other Race* Male/*Your Race* Female? RAGE! THIS IS THE GREATEST EVIL! WHAT A TERRIBLE CRIME! THAT SHOULD NOT HAPPEN!!!! *Your Race Male*/*Insert Other Race* Female? At the least people don’t care. At the most he is a hero, and his intermarrying with another race becomes some sort of metaphor for racial superiority.
      All in all, I find it absolutely hilarious the way gender is brought into these things. It is NEVER “Our race should not marry people of other races!” No no no! It is always our WOMEN should not marry the MEN of other races! Long story short I find it adorable.

    • HanaKi says

      Hey, Matsuo, don’t you know that whatever offspring is brought to the world by falling in love?
      Oh, I forgot that most japanese don’t marry the one they love, but the one they believe they do at omiai.

      …Who said there’s only male foreigner – japanese female? … O well, japanese girls are really cute… but guys…. I wouldn’t say that.

    • KillaSammi says

      I would say its more of a Chinese/white man issue rather than Japanese… And it’s the other way. Japan is finished, it’s old news….what you have now is immigration. That is your skill. Copying others. Japan has been America’s bitch since it conquered you in the 40s. They bombed you… Then turned you into a little slave work force in global capitalism…you have lost your culture… You now dress like westerners… Build your cities like westerners, rich Japanese study in western universities…you have been forced to become lap dogs of the US… U can’t have an army… You’ve been humiliated basically… Westerners may say they like the culture but that’s generally bullshit, they are looking for submissive and tight Japanese women like what they have seen online. Even your gangsters dress like 1920s western gangsters…… Little kids in west like the martial arts but generally grow out of that when they become teenagers… And the west is more interested in China now… They are the new kid on the block… Japan has become boring now…and China is not so much a bitch as Japan is…and you can say what you like about the US, I’m Australian so doesn’t bother me… But I predict The Chinese are going to treat you guys like shit from now on in…they say what goes around comes around…. Don’t get me wrong… I like Japan, just like I like many nations… But don’t fool yourself into thinking your anything that great…. You didn’t create what you’ve got now through your own minds or your own hands… Your economic, political and legal systems are all copied off west…u dress like us, you want to be like us…unfortunately Asian women is the only thing westerners want from Asia, you don’t have much else that interests us…. Clearly we have so much that interests you guys…

  38. S.K. says

    I wish Sweden was more like Japan.

    Sweden welcomes thousands and thousands of immigrants every year, and other cultures and religions such as Islam are staring to smother our own… As a Swedish native you’re no longer allowed to openly be proud of your own country — it’s history, our culture, our traditions — because then you’re being racist. Some schools have banned the National anthem from graduation cermonies because “it’s discrimination against the foreigners” — or “New-Swedes” as the political correctness wants us to call them. I’m sick of seeing their mosques here! And I don’t want to go swimming in the same pool as someone wearing a burqa or niqab.

    The immigrants don’t even have to make an effort, they pretty much don’t have to lift a finger to be able to stay here. They don’t have to work (!), don’t have to learn Swedish. They take advantage of our welfare system (I’ve even heard illegal immigrants mock Sweden because they KNOW they can use us like this!), they get to use our high standarded prisons while they in reality should be exiled to their own country… And, I mean come on, what other country can you go to and live without even having the money!? As if I’d go to Japan and they’d just give me an apartement and money for food and necessities… yeah, don’t think so.

    Here in Sweden, asylum seekers get to stay in HOTELS while they wait, and they show NO gratitude what so ever! Instead they COMPLAIN about the stupidest things… you’d think they’d at least be a bit grateful when they get to stay here instead of in their warring countries. But no. Foreigners (men) call Swedish girls “whores” and they steal our bikes. Oh gee, wonder why I don’t want them here! (People call me prejudiced… but what’s prejudice when I’ve experienced this behaviour myself!? And NEVER from a native Swede. I am not saying all foreigners behave like this, but A FRICKING MAJORITY OF THEM DOES.)

    This “multi cultural” shit is breaking apart our contry. And it’s not only accepted but encouraged! If you look at statistics and such — or if you’ve just middleaged or such — you can easily see how dramatically Sweden’s changed in only a couple decades. It’s a wonderful country to be proud of (just like Japan for the Japanese), but I don’t see why we should share it with the rest of the world!? Let us have our contry, just like the Japanese wants to have theirs. It’s okay to visit, if you behave respectfully and don’t take advantage of our benefits… but obviously people from certain countries can’t handle this responsibility. Again, is it so strange if I and many, many with me, don’t want them here?!

    To You who read this — no matter what it looks and sounds like, NOT all Japanese are xenophobic. Not all Japanese wear fake smiles while on the inside thinking “go home!”. Even if, yes, a lot of them do… But don’t get upset about it, instead accept that they are proud and protective of their country, as they should be! And if you’re Japanese — good luck! I sincerely hope your contry won’t go down the same path Sweden did. It happens quickly and with no mercy.

    Yes, yes, not all foreigners are “bad”, but obviously enough of them are! Prejudice always has its roots in truth. I mean, if 90 999 foreigners are messy and disrespectful and whatnot, it’s just NOT WORTH IT if just because ONE knows how to behave.

    Sorry, I got carried away. But I stand by all I say.

    Xenophobia isn’t necessarily a bad thing… OIKOPHOBIA however IS!

    • andra says

      I totally understand where you’re coming from – I agree with you.
      I am an immigrant myself, moved to Montreal in 2004 and I’m still living here. I am and will forever be grateful to Canada, because it chose to accept me and offer me a home and opportunities I am sure I would never have had back in my native country. I has gotten to the point where I prefer to say I am Canadian (I have the citizenship), rather than Romanian. I am embarrassed to speak my native language in public, unless it is with my parents.
      At the same time, I completely and totally despise immigrants who come to Canada (and anywhere else for that matter) only to be parasites on the “adoptive” society – not work, stay on welfare forever, be aggressive and try to impose their rules and behaviors on those that chose to receive them. Immigrants need to be FULLY AWARE that countries that accept and receive them are doing THEM a favor, not the other way around! The adoptive country IS NOT responsible to make the immigrants feel good – if you don’t like it, then f*cking go back home, don’ try to change the laws and traditions just because you think you’re entitled to. You’re NOT! Immigrants need to learn what RESPECT means.
      And, along the same lines, people in immigrant-receiving countries need to understand that there are benefits in welcoming foreigners. Europe, and Japan as well, are beginning to face huge challenges in terms of labor and welfare. A very big number of people will be retiring in the next 10-20 years, and there are not enough young people to take up their jobs and help the government with pension – I mean, where is the government going to find the money to pay those retiring people? They need new forces to fill the labor market, and when the local population will not be enough, what then? That is why France has recently pushed back the retiring age from 60 to 62. I find that completely reasonable, but still not enough.
      Think that birth rates are consistently going down. What will happen when you and me reach retiring age? Who’s going to pay for our retirement?
      The same argument is valid for Japan – not only do they have a large number of old people to take care of, they also have the longest living-span in the world! They need young people, a larger work force more than anybody else.
      All this to say that although I understand why Japanese do not want to welcome foreigners in their “island-nation”, they need to readjust, and fast. It’s such a shame that they’re are dwindling, both socially and economically.

    • JC says

      I do understand where your coming from but but do you know how foreigners feel when they are looked apon just becasue they have a diffrent race or religion, thankfully i reside in Australia where i haven’t encoutered much racism at all. How would you like it if you had to move to another country where racsim was accepted and thats all you got, wound’t you hate everyday wakeing up to that!
      I like the idea of a country which accpets multicutral, and i would belive it would make the country beter in many ways, and decrease racism tremendously.

    • Nick says

      You are 100% right. Please give this reality check to as many Swedes + foreigners as you can. It might just help save your country. You’re going to have to fight consistently to prevent your country from being overrun. So, don’t just think getting angry on the internet will be enough. Get involved in a legit organization with the power to lobby government.

      I’m an American. Last time I went to Switzerland (Zurich, but especially Geneva) w/three beautiful Brazilian sisters they literally had to cling to me to keep from being groped and cat-called by Arab immigrants and visitors. One of the sisters was going to school there and mentioned how everyone she met there was sick of the waves of Arabs + other Muslim foreigners overwhelming and polluting the country with their backward ways.

      Our country has already gone to shit in many ways because of this misguided multi-cultural shit which is, unfortunately, extremely rampant in Sweden.

      • DL says

        As a grandchild of immigrants it may seem very hypocritical to be hostile towards immigration. All four of my granparents immigrated to Australia from Italy in the early 1950s following the war. Upon arrival they made an effort to get jobs, learn the language and make their best efforts at assimilating. They have maintained the language and culture of their homeland but have also embraced that of their new land. Despite never having been to Italy I speak the language fluently and am familiar with customs.

        In recent times there has been an influx of immigrants who have no inclination to learn the language or make any attempt to assimilate. Instead they take this country’s fundamental rights to express what is ‘wrong’ with Australia. The hypocrisy of it all is infuriating. They flee their war torn dictatorship countries only to come to a new country and enforce the tyrannies of their old homes. They don’t bother to learn the language yet are outraged if various shops or businesses have trouble catering to them. Worst of all many of them commit heinous crimes yet show little understanding of what was so wrong with what they’ve done.

        Following a spate of rapes commited by Muslims in Sydney a well known Sheik had this to say:
        “If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it … whose fault is it, the cats’ or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem. If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred.”

        Basically he blamed the rape victims for the crime as the ‘cats’ can’t help themselves when faced with temptation. The gall of these people who have been given the oppurtunity to make a new start to their lives in a new land and yet choose to bring their oppressive ways with them to a new country.

        Multiculturalism can work, but like all things it has a limit to its success.

    • KillaSammi says

      I feel your pain S.k. I’m in Australia… Same story here. We have heaps of migrants here and refugees who don’t have to work, learn language ect… They get approx $500Us a week from welfare for nothing… Free housing… Free healthcare…they are laughing at us….who is doing this to us? Who has castrated the white man…. Japan gets away with it, Israel gets away with it… White ethnic nations have become pathetic…. I actually think it’s been western white women who have weakened the men… We can’t do this, we can’t say that… They are raising their sons to be weak… No wonder there are so many homosexual fairies in the west these days…I don’t mind a bit of welfare and migration, but not to the point it’s gotten too. I have not been to Sweden but on traveling to Europe and Britain, it was so disappointing that it’s actually losing its culture…in England it took me about 5 days before I saw a white man….it decisions that are made by rich wealthy white women, who control the sex valves of all the plain jane sheep below them who are doing this…would we do it too ourselves? Any form of white pride is equated with nazism and is considered evil…however black pride is a good thing…and racial pride is generally a good thing for most cultures, even eastern Europeans… But whites from western European background are prohibited from expressing any sort of pride and we have achieved so much…and we are expected to feel guilty and fascist if we do…. Im not a racist… I’m fascinated by other cultures…but I’m also fascinated by my own…in Australia the aboriginals have a genuine claim to the land and have an old culture here, which is fair enough, but as white Australian I can’t return to my ancestorial homelands…I’m stuck here… And my ancestorial homelands are becoming shit.

  39. Sohj says

    Countries like China, Korea and Japan have a long ancient history in that region. Korean and Japanese share a common ancestor that trace in South Siberia more than 10000 years ago. Over all these time, you can imagine how much history these people have in common to share. But now, in less than two decades, so many things are changing in Japan, it is becoming a completely different country. I ask, anyone can blame them for not being fond of it. More two decades, Japan will be unrecognizable like some countries in Europe are right now. In my opinion, what will make this world beautiful is the fact that there are so many different cultures and ethnic groups across de globe, and not a multicultural pot elsewhere, not original by the way, which will increase strain anyway. It hurts not only all Japanese people but also will hurt Korean and Chinese, and I believe it is also hurting European as well. Americas and Australia are completely different from these regions, they have been formed by immigration recently (200 years), there is no long history behind them. They basically will make their own history over the next 1000 or 10000 years. Another thing that need to be considered. Everybody knows, most of foreigners are just looking for ladies to have fun or get married to get permission to stay in the country. Unfortunately, most of women in Japan as well as in many other countries in the East are very “easy to pick up for Westerns”, these are not my words, you can find on youtube. Besides, these countries, in particular Japan, is brainwashed by Western media, particularly by Hollywood. Don’t be mad at this comment, it is only my viewpoint.

    • kdt says

      Mutlicultural and melting pot aren’t the same things. Melting pot assimilates people into one culture, like in America mostly, which has worked well in the past. In America, we make our own single unique culture. Yes, American Culture exists.

      Multicultural means people don’t mix into one and two cultures inhabit one place, which they do in Europe mostly, which hasn’t really gone so well in some places. Because they think differences are more important.

      Right now, it sounds like you’re more for the European style.

      • J-Bird says

        “Has worked well in the past”. for whom?

        Canada is multicultural and the last time I checked not on the European continent.

        The melting pot is still “be like us or leave” and unfortunatly assimilation doesn’t create equality through force it simply excludes people who are unable or unwilling to agree 100% to what is predefined. If they are a visible minority or worse, visible immigrant they are often assumed to not be able to assimilate anyway. What is the advangate of pretending that we all agree and are all alike? Fuzzy-warm comfort zone?

  40. Make says

    American “multiculturalism” has indeed been very very different from Europe for example. Here’s a (partial) quote from American president T. Roosevelt: “In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here.”

    The multikulti in Europe on the other hand is exactly the opposite: “come to Europe even if you can’t read or write, the state will take care of you and your whole family. You can practice your own religion and culture without ever interacting with natives, other than welfare officials!” Multikulti and political correctness are destroying Europe, dividing the people and draining (in some countries a lot!) resources from the state. Luckily I happen to live in Finland, and even though we live next to Sweden (which is going to be muslim majority in my life time) the multikulti isn’t so bad here, though it’s getting worse. I can only hope that Europe wakes up ASAP, and there are signs of that everywhere, even here in Finland where the elections are coming soon and a new party is rising, and it has a stricter stand on immigration from countries/cultures that have a hard time integrating in Europe.

    While I’m not fond of racism, I salute the Japanese who wish to maintain the homogenous population and culture. I just wish you would be welcoming and open when it comes to tourism or those that come to work there. That’s how I view my own country – you’re welcome as long as you have the money/job and a motivation to learn the language and culture (unless you’re a tourist of course, then you only need to have money and some knowledge of English.)

    • HanaKi says

      I agree with you as wanting to live and work in a certain place doesn’t really always mean to try to generate a multicultural offspring. What about the couples who go and live together on a certain place without necessarily mixing genes with the locals? People need to try to understand the others, isn’t that just common sense more than anything?

  41. japanese loosers says

    How ridicules, in rest of the world (beside north korea)you can enter a place even tho you dont speak fluent or speak the language at all. the japanese just have a real third world mentality! we really don`t need that kinda mentality in this world of 2010.so give the japanese back with the same coin would maybe make them realize how retarded they are, but then we would be just as simple minded as the japanese

    • HanaKi says

      Hey Im from a third world country, and *maybe* to your surprise I speak and write fluent English and Japanese. And yes, I have lived all my life here, and no I’m not rich or anything like that. Not everyones is as you say heh.

  42. Mike says


    Yes, keep Japan for the Japanese, but the Japanese can run rampant all over the world, to include my home state in the U.S. with more Japanese companies than anywhere in the world now I believe. Keep all U.S. companies out of Japan and treat its foreign community like dogshit, but treat the Japanese like royals anywhere else. Fine, let Japan return to the Edo period. No more copying of U.S. technology, then claiming you invented it. Japan never had any originality to begin with and still doesnt. Most Japanese guys are creeps, and their women have no choice but to look abroad for affection or remain single. Sucide rates are one of the highest in the world, so your obvisouly not happy in your own country, but fuck like rabbits when you come to Hawaii. China has already become #2 in the world and the rest of Asia is to follow. Good luck Japan, I think your going to need lots of it if you think you can go at it alone.

  43. Mike says

    Also, to those who feel that Japan can become multicultural like Europe, or copy the U.S. model, think again. Even if you become Japanese where, speak it fluently and your a foreigner at the same time, youll always be a gaijin. Gaijin is a word that means outcast. So everywhere you go, you have to prove your not an outcast but initially perceived as one. Its perpertual insanity. Japan has no intention on allowing foreigners to live in its country, only a small majority approves of it. They have an almost paranoid fear of anything foreign, to include machines. The media and academia has brainwashed them, and its quite bizzare to watch. Yes, Europe did fuck up when they opened its doors to the muslim world and the U.S. with its Mexican problem however Japan is something alltogether different. You can be fluent, married with green card and contributor to society but still openly discriminated against.

    • Pinpointing says

      Very well said, 100% agree with you.
      I will never be Japanese, and will be treated as a foreign all my life despite the Japanese level i could have.
      Be here to fuck your women? You must be kidding

  44. BigWiz says

    As an American living in Japan, I have read over these responses with a complete understanding of all. I have experienced the “racism” people talk about.
    The man walking up to you with his arms crossed in an X, telling you Japanese only.
    At first I have to admit, this did not sit well with me.
    Was this guy really showing me such blatant discrimination? How dare him!
    As I walked down the street I spotted another restaurant. I walked in and was greeted by a small statured older Japanese man. He was bowing, and welcoming me into his establishment. As he pulled my seat out for me, and gave me a warm towel to clean with. I couldn’t help thinking. Wow! This is a whole lot different than the last joint.
    Fact is some places of business do not want “outsiders” Entering there doors. However this is a small percentage of places in Japan. Most are more than happy to accommodate. Almost go overboard sometimes.
    We “Outsiders” have a hard time coming to grips with the fact that you are in Japan, and some places in Japan are traditional. They want to remain traditional. They want to hold to there heritage. Being a place where they can get together without outside interruptions.
    It could be compared to an eagles club. You’re welcome if you’re a member.
    In Japan, membership requirements are being Japanese.
    In short…
    If you get turned away, don’t cry and moan about it. Swallow your pride and move on. For every place that does not want you, 20 others are more than happy to take you’re Yen.
    When you think about it… Is it really so bad to have pride, and individuality?
    Is it wrong to say.
    Hey, we don’t hate you.
    Fact is we love you.
    We just don’t want to hang. You’re not a member of our club.
    Guess it’s something to think about.

    I live in Japan, so I see the back ally Japan. If you are planning a vacation here, the tourist destinations are very user friendly. Japan has many awe inspiring things to see, and is an amazing vacation destination.

    • HanaKi says

      In fact youger people are the ones trying to get closer to foreign things, understand english and see the world. Japan is admirable by its world heritage, but they don’t have to be over paranoid as to think a picture in Asakusa with a GaiKOKUjin (foreigner) (not gaijin – outcast) in it pollutes the enviroment.

    • melon says

      Try to rationalize it anyway you want, but it’s just as bad as racism in america over black people. they can’t do certain things just because they aren’t a certain race..

  45. Cocoichinumber1 says

    Well, in all honesty, there is no place on earth safe from xenophobia. I’m of black and east Asian parentage (im british) and I have lived in japan for a total of 3 years or so. The vast majority of days aren’t bad at all, as the locals know im a decent person who goes to work, comes home, return greetings from others (it helps that i can speak the language, although i make it a point to keep admitting how dreadful i am, purely for humility) and has more or less adapted to the way in which they deal with each other… As I live in a rural city, my presence cannot be ignored by the locals (although at times I wish it was lol), and many people i havent even met have found out my history and purpose in the country through the local “grapevine”, so to speak. Most days in my city are spent working, meeting local community groups and doing all the usuals (shopping, eating at several places, of which cocoichi has to be the most visited, the occasional asobi with colleagues or friends, etc) and so my relations with the vast majority of people are cordial and pleasant. It’s only when I go to some unfamiliar places outside my city that some people (mostly people in their 30s upwards and older men) would treat me a bit strange.. So what do I do to combat it,?? if I visit an area in which I have a not-so-good experience, I avoid those places and people associated with such areas and save myself the feelings of isolation or depression that come with repeated visits. If I am in the train, i put my earphones on and read a book or play a game on my iPhone.. Simple ways of avoiding even eye contact with undesirable people. And you will see the vast majority of people here do the same among themselves. Just save yourselves the trouble and don’t stick around places where you are not made to feel welcome, there are places and people here who will give you a chance to show yourself as the respectful and openminded person you are, but you have to stick to them and those friendly places/towns/shops/businesses.

    The Japanese live their lves among sub-groups of sub-cultures within their own huge society (eg. army dudes only into hip-hop, teachers who are into traditional culture, nurses who like everything polynesian, middle aged female English club members, hanshin tigers fans from a certain district, harajuku girls etc), and they generally stick to their little sub-groups and go to places that cater for their subgroups.. If you look at it like that, then you can find the types of people that interest you, and live your lives among them.

  46. nucleo says


  47. says

    I’ve always believed that China will surpass Japan. Not only economically, but also in quality, the contribution of the human. Japan, you only lost to China, you can not lose to the earthquake and tsunami, strong stand up and cheer.

  48. Cornell says

    That’s just like Japan to treat foreigners like Non Humans. But when something bad happens please foreigners save us we’re just like you. Well anyway that how i see it now don’t get me wrong i do not hate Japan not at all i love everyone. But as a black man i just don’t like the thought of being treated differently. When we are all Humans we all Laugh / Cry /Feel & Love and Just because you are from a different land doesn’t change that.

  49. Elt Smag says

    I can completely understand issues with translation and dealing with delicate cultural issues.. but when I got a cab ride in japan and the cab driver drove us to the location, waited until we paid him and then told us that the place we were going was closed.. go home, no gaijin welcome.. and then drove of leaving us stranded. My friend and I lost in a foreign country only increases the chances of one of us stepping on a local’s feelings and perpetuating the stereotype and racism that is ultimately being justified here. having said that, I feel that just like with any other culture a few bad people can paint a bad image of a truly amazing and wonderful majority. All in all I say, just be mindful in foreign places and educate yourself where you can like using http://www.englishok.jp/ which has many helpful resources for english speakers in japan.

  50. Luke Adams says

    I think when I first came here I was worried about what everyone thought. Its best to embrace who you truly are and be proud of your heritage. I deck myself out in some of the best getups and just be myself. (not burping into peoples face) but not giving a shit either. They are the ones at the end of the day who are losing out from their ridiculous constant group minded bullshit. I work at one of Japans biggest publisher companies that is responsible for Pokemon etc and I conform but at the same time use up all my “get out of jail im a gaijin cards” often to pull back from being sucked into the group vortex. I love the culture and respect and conform where I need to. I speak Japanese as often as possible but when I can, not using keigo at all because I don’t kiss ass when I speak in English. I might also think like this because I fight Muay thai here as well with a Japanese coach and team who all think the same. Just respect the culture, don’t be too rude, loud and proud, but don’t give too much of a shit and stress yourself out either.

  51. Gonzalo says

    Although I’ve never been to Japan, I’m amazed at how similar are people’s reactions to foreigners, despite the countries, races or languages involved.

    I’ve seen young kids crying in terror or hiding behind his mother, when someone disguised as a clown or Barney approaches him. We adults learn to work out more sophisticated reactions to strangers, though we still try to stay clear from what is ‘strange’ or ‘different’.

    I think we all feel a bit uncomfortable with language barriers, basically because both parties need to get out of their comfort zone, in an effort to get understood by the other. Sometimes using gestures and talking in a way that might make us look ridiculous or weird for our peers. Each one of us would deal with this in our own ways, some will talk louder, some would be nice thought keeping some safe distance, and some just walk away. Some people, though not xenophobic, find it very challenging to deal with foreigners when talking or writing is a challenge, and might unintentionally fall in offensive attitudes like walking away or ignoring someone asking for directions.

    Sometimes the foreigners themselves make things more difficult for locals, perhaps because of that sense of freedom, “I’m far from home, THEN nobody is watching”. All of us feel a bit embarrassed now and them, when coming across someone from our own country acting stupid or rude, with little or no respect for the local customs, talking like idiots on the street, pubs or after some sport event abroad.

    Perhaps being exposed to other cultures is like a workout in the gym, or learning a new language: it might be challenging at first, but you get smarter, open-minded, flexible and less ignorant.
    BTW, I’m a Chilean engineer of Spanish-French-Latin ascendant. I’ve visited Denmark, Netherlands, Latin America and the States. Working daily with people from China, the US, Latin America and Europe.

  52. Sheldon says

    There is only one way that I can really use non-verbal protest against Japanese racists. That is to rip the Japanese flag in their faces.

  53. Anthony Hamilton says

    Somebody said it before but as a gaijin and a black dude to booth, I have not had anyone look at me sideways in Japan and/or Korea or ban me from anywhere. I have even had a plate of some fine food offered gratis (£30) on engaging the restaurateur in banter about mutual love of food in question! Now, such largesse has never been accorded to me elsewhere.

    The only problem I have had is from my girlfriend’s father which is understandable as he does not want his daughter to live abroad…….and of course my Japanese is zero!

    I see all manner of people comment here, Germans too. I was told an almost funny story by my mate. He was in Germany and got into this pool and everyone promptly rushed out probably on account of his black skin muddying the water or something!!

    Some folks do protest too much in my view. Charity must start at home!

    • Naymel says

      You make me feel more at ease, i’m latin and i want to do my graduate studies in Japan and after that i would like to work and live there and i’m currently learning japanese, so if this discrimination is not that big a deal i think i will be fine =)

  54. Anthony Hamilton says

    Somebody said it before but as a gaijin and a black dude to boot, I have not had anyone look at me sideways in Japan and/or Korea or ban me from anywhere. I have even had a plate of some fine food offered gratis (£30) on engaging the restaurateur in banter about mutual love of food in question! Now, such largesse has never been accorded to me elsewhere.

    The only problem I have had is from my girlfriend’s father which is understandable as he does not want his daughter to live abroad…….and of course my Japanese is zero!

    I see all manner of people comment here, Germans too. I was told an almost funny story by my mate. He was in Germany and got into this pool and everyone promptly rushed out!

    Some folks do protest too much in my view. Charity must start at home!

  55. NowhereNTime says

    All very interesting and insightful posts here. All in all I take a different approach. Regardless where you are in the world. There are people which won’t like you just because of who you are or where you come from. In a way I can understand that coming from the US. Look how we have screwed up just about everything and anything we have come in contact with. No thanks to our government which likes to stick it’s nose in everyone elses business. In a way the whole not liking what is different and unfamiliar is not unique to Japan. We are the worse offenders of that by far. Americans are just as paranoid if not more so of foreigners especially if they happen to be from the middle east. You think Gaijin are treated badly try being east Indian. If you even look cross-eyed you are likely to be picked up by the police or have the FBI watching your every move. If anything we are the worst when it comes to trying to understand people who are different and what is unfamiliar to us. You ask the average American how much he knows about Japan or anywhere else in the world. The answer would be just as vague as Japan knows about us. In fact we have Japan beat in one aspect. You ask people here who our president is or how many states there are or how many seats there are in congress. Most people are completely clueless! ! Who was our first president? Ah ah let’s see Bill Clinton lol. I am not joking as some would likely give that as an answer.
    What does July 4th represent? Ah let’s see oh I know I know. It is when Christopher Columbus discovered America!! Are you freaking kidding me lol. Hell and we talk about Japan being clueless.

    As far as multiculturalism goes I have decided it doesn’t work. For being a country founded on the backs of immigrants we sure haven’t learned much have we. So before we start accusing Japan of being so close minded. Maybe we should look at ourselves first. At least Japan hasn’t lost it’s identity unlike us. In closing I think this world was a complete utter failure and should never have existed in the first place. What’s the point in having so many people with so many different customs, culture and viewpoints on such a tiny insignificant planet. We may as well been from other worlds as at least we would not have to interact with anyone. Race, Culture, Ethnicity, Identity is all pointless as it proves nothing. If someone asks me where I am from I just say Earth. Why does where I am born or what race I happen to be determine who I am. Why is our identity so important especially when our time on this planet is so short? When we die who the hell cares where we come from. We all return to the ground which doesn’t discriminate. In closing if there is an afterlife I hope it is better then this one which clearly has been a complete waste of everyone’s time. Japan might be homogeneous or intervened but can’t we all say the same of ourselves? You really have to question the powers that be what they were thinking and what purpose they have for all of us. At least if we all spoke the same language it would have helped if nothing else.

  56. Ms Dissapointed says

    Wow ,I must say I just Lost A little Respect For Japan… (Ill Gain It Back Watching Anime) But Thats Still Messed Up, You Would NEVER Find A Sign Like That In America… You Would Probably Get Arrested Or Something For Putting It Up. Wow Nihon Just Wow…

  57. roj says

    As someone from Texas who has been to Tokyo 7 times in the past 5 years I think it’s interesting to read the comments posted here.I’ve never been refused anything there as far as entry to a club or place that serves food and have had many people there help me when i am lost with a kindness i have never experienced anywere.I have never seen these signs there but would rather be told with a sign than made feel uncomfortable once I get inside.They also have clubs there that say foreigner ‘s welcome which I think is similar to say a club that caters to people who like a certain kind of music.I don’t see it as racial.I think there are a lot of non verbal messages in Japanese society so if you are a shy polite person as I am you should have a great time in Japan with no problems.
    Japan is mostly owned by the Japanese (99.something percent I think)and keeping non Japanese from buying property and living there without a good reason is how they have managed to preseve there culture.It helps a lot if you know were you are going in Japan and knowing the language will allow you to meet people who could become your friends for life. Just like any country there are parts of town you might not want to go and places you might not feel comfortable and I think its good they are pretty upfront about telling you about it.

  58. Sheldon says

    Let`s face it. Japanese people are the most racist people in Asia. I have no Japanese freinds because of them, not because of me. I am willing to hurt Japanese people upfront for their racist behavior. I have been living and working here in Japan for 5 months and the only friends I have here are only blacks and Filippinos. This weekend is Martin Luther King Weekend and I can tell you that when it comes to the discrimination that Japanese have against foreign customers who want to stay at an inn, Japanese people are no different than the Ku Klux Klan.

  59. anonymous says

    well don’t u all think that to label one particular national as racists can be considered racism already?
    just because some of the people you encountered in another country treated you badly, you cannot label the whole majority as rasists.
    Isn’t that the same reason why you feel outrageous about the sign in front of soapland in the article?
    I guess they probably had bad experiences with some foreign customers before so they banned all foreigners.
    If you’re like shouting out “Japanese are racists!” in here, you have no right to blame the owner of the soapland, don’t you think?
    Just a thought…..! 😛

  60. JRN says

    I have to after reading everyones post that I am both sad and happy about being in Japan. I have lived here for over 5 years now, speak business level japanese, and have a Japanese wife and two sons. I can honestly say that I have never seen or experienced more racist, etc. behavior anywhere before in my life (and considering I was a police officer before moving here, I know racism). Getting a job here if you a foreigner of any color/race doing anything other than teaching english is nearly impossible. My sons who look perfectly japanese are constantly called names and other racist things just because I happen to be a foreigner. Even my wife is continuely denigned promotions and the right to get a new job purely because her last name is not japanese. We proved the latter part to her parents by changing her name back to Sato (the most common Japanese name by the way) and she was able to change her job after one week, compared to the year of trying with a foreign name. Dont get me wrong I do undertand the culture and I do love this country for it beauty. But definately not for its people, who on a constant basis prove to find new ways to be harsh to foreigners.
    Even as a teacher here, I was fired from one teaching position because my class (senior students) refused to do any homework and failed almost every test; but when I failed them the school fired me because they said that the japanese students should not have to pass a foreign language test even if it is required by law, and that I should pass them anyways. I refused and so they fired me. Everything about this country is a huge joke rapped in a pretty present and tied with a fake bow. As others have said, japan IS a great place to live, IF you AREN’T actually trying to fit into society. Those rare people who do fit in either come here because they were paid to come, or because they have a ton of money and BOUGHT their way into the culture. Either way, they are shielded and dont have to live with the daily racist crap that me, my sons, my wife, and several of my firends (some japanese married to foreigners, or just plain foreigners) have to put up with. If you love japan, thats fine, go on vacation and leave, DONT STAY!!!

  61. bill says

    To all those Westerners (especially Aussies and European Americans) that critisize incessantly that the Japanese are copiers of Western culture… Japan has done the best in absorbing old world European Arts, Sciences, Music, Religion, etc. without losing its identity the best. Aussies think they are different and proud but the rest of Asia really laughs at their achievements as they have copied everything from Europe, England and the US – except the cute aussie accent. Aussies copies English from Britain, basic sciences from Europe and even copies the flawed immigration policy of the US and the UK. Without the US as a military back up, Australia would be overrun by Asia. Member of the British Commonwealth? What is that? But the aussies are a HO gage scale of the United States. Americans are the largest copycats of all. Stole the english language from England (like the aussies twisted the accent a little), stole basic science from Europe, improved on European products, ideas or inventions (auto (Germany, France), plane, nuclear fission and fusion (hungarian), a-bomb technology (Germany,), bicycle (France), electricity, agriculture, hamburgers (Germany), hot dogs, pizzas, spagetti, etc). What is genuinely American? I suppose covered wagon, grits, “book him Dano”, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, inner city slums, hula hoop, square dancing, …

    Not slamming Aus or US. Just making a point all countries borrow significant technologies and become copycats. The US are good IMMITATORS and offer step wise production line improvements (automotive industry and the jet plane industry as examples). But what has the US (or australia) invented in fundamental originality or/and world significance?

    So Japan also copied but at least they didn’t copy english or the flawed UK/US/Aus immigration policy. Hey, don’t like Japan, leave it.

    • JRN says

      The computer was invented in the US by an american! So was most wifi tech. But I do have to say, as an american, that your point is valid. Everyone copies from everyone else. What people seem to forget isnt that we are ALL copying something, its that technology as a whole is just stuff we use and make better anyways. The computer was invented in the states, but the the laptop in Japan. And then the first “notebook” in Europe (pretty sure it was Germany). So while I do agree with you, I have to also say that it is really a moot point as no one can really clame to have invented anything any more unless it is completely 100% origonal (i.e. The Ipod for example.)

  62. Jim says

    All of these discussions, which span years, are about how to best tolerate or not tolerate diversity. Very simply, if you are still talking about tolerating diversity, you need to question how much of an enlightened thinker you really are. The discussion should be, of course, how to best celebrate diversity. In my 25 years of living, working, and traveling around in Asia, I have more than a 100 times have had to point, figure things out, laugh, play, etc. to get my point across, or to understand someone else`s point. These experiences are mankind at our best–celebrating our differences as we try to communicate with each other. These banal, inane, vapid discussions about is how to tolerate foreigners, or who is right about a customer experience in a restaurant where the customer does not speak the host language and the host decided he would rather not deal with it serve no purpose. All sides are wrong here–the only right way to approach any of this is to encounter diversity, celebrate it, enjoy the ride, and get on with your life with a nice collection of smiles on your face when you kick the bucket.

    I cannot tolerate the lack of celebration when it comes to diversity, and anyone that has a different opinion than mine or a different perspective here will not be allowed into my restaurant. haha.

  63. J-Bird says

    I won’t bother to re-tread what others have written here. I am married with child in Japan and have really struggled in terms of dealing with the close-minded view that many Japanese people are allowed to not only take (everyone is allowed their own opinions) but actually put into policy.

    I take issue at a basic philospohical level with anyone who lines out what I can or cannot do based something as random and ultimately decorative as culture. Ask yourself how did culture become so sacred? People take for granted that cultures must be adhered to like they are god’s writ or something. For the record, I never consciously follwed anyone’s culture, even in my home country. Unconsiously I’m sure it is something thataffects everyone but why is it deemd so important that peopel are hurt over it. I don’t naturally dislike any people or people’s and surely always do my best to avoid hate of any kind. I agree with the commentor above about celebrating diversity and those who are able to do it certainly lead richer lives but I doubt that is the case with most people.

    About all of the complaints from various people here about immigrants ruining the culture of a country. First of all what ultimate diety bestowed the rights to a defined piece of land to any certain group of people (and how would one go about defining what any race actually is??)? I realize that throughout history borders were drawn up and are now maintained for a number of reasons (no need to go into Marxist rants) which are obvious or less so but if we are arguing such contentious claims for protectionism we need to recognize that borders and cultures are human-made. These things could change rapidly and always will change over time. Defining what I can or cannot do or being shamed or belittled for things I do or don’t do (I’m assuming here that most people on the earth do not engage in violent and truly terrible behavior) based on some lines in the sand or the way that a certain number of people living in a certain space over a certain amount of time have agreed to either explicitly or tacitly are the customs and ettiquitte that they will be defined by and limited to is as arbitrary as defining what I can or cannot do based on a psychic connection to trees or something.

    I used to believe that respecting all cultures is the way tio a better world in which we can all enjoy each other’s diversity and if “respecting cultures” didn;t almost always mean bowing to it or being shuddered or ignred if you choose not to do it that way then it may work for many/most/all people. After having travelled and lived in many countries (some with more singular ideas about their own culture and others with broader ideas) I now see this idea of a respect for culure as a needless repression. After all culture is not the beatutiful painting, the amazing dances, the wonderful dialect, the interesting approaches to life it is the agreement or assumtion that people who live in a certain area or engage in a certain activity or are born with certain characteristics are the same. It is often adherence to customs and traditions that mean nothing more to anyone than a feeling of connection toothers who did the same thing and a wayto make sure people in the future do the same. Why is it so hard to respect people instead of groups of people? Why do so many of us feel the need to engage in ceremony (and by ceremony I not refering only to heavy things like chanting but also day to day ceremony’s like assuming/occasionally forcing people to drink beer as the first drink at a party)? Why do we think that to live in a certain part of the world we naturally have to do what many other people do in that part of the world or else be shunned as ignorant? If we asked ourselves more often “why do I do this”? Just asked. We might be suprised with what we find.

    When it comes to raising a child in an international marriage many people who are of any depth at all will ask these questions. How does one decide how to raise the child on a daily, hourly basis without questioningthese things and discussing with their partner? Assuming that the other person in this case would do it the same way is not really realistic. What you are left with is an opportunity to define the world in the terms that suit you and you familly best. Ways that you can both agree with. Leaving it to a group of ancestors (whatever that means) to decide what you do in your life is not really my idea of freedom. But perhaps that is one of those unconscious cultural values seeping in.

    In the end, I’ve never found any just/fair/equal justification for protecting culture or borders. That sounds so radical but it really shouldn’t. Everyone in this string of comments needs to think about what culture really is (I’m not saying my definition is, well, definitive), what purpose it has, what good and bad affects it has and whether any people anywhere should be expected or forced to follow it. The same goes with race, gender, and other criteria by way people are categorized and subsequently expected to follow rules based on.

  64. Sheldon says

    Most Japanese people are racially gullible and stupid. They are so morally numb that you can`t tell them that racial segregation is wrong. I would love to rip the Japanese flag in front of racist Japanese store owners.

    • Yoshiko says

      Not this “Japanese person”! Do not be so mean, it’s not just Japan! There are racist people in the USA too. >_<

      • Yamamura says

        The difference is that your basic racist american is so afraid of showing his racism in fear of popular backlash and serving jailtime that he’ll refrain from doing so. That and the few who use their “free speech benefits” to make public their racism are ourtight ousted by society.

        Yes, there are racist people in the USA, yet your average racist redneck from the deep south/bible belt is still less racist than your average japanese.

  65. Bill says

    For all the white posters who decry Japanese racism. US had a all white policy, Australia had a all white policy as well as South Africa. The Russians have an all white Russian policy. So I don’t think Americans and Australians are in any position to point the finger at the Japanese for an all-Japanese mentality. I think we are all human.

    On a more general note, the human race has not evolved to the point that race and culture is unimportant. It is my belief that that point will sadly (or cheerfully) never be achieved.

    • Imagine if says

      “Had” that is the key point. Jim Crowe was buried half a century ago and while his ghost can be seen amid the shadows of the darker more southern parts of the world, he is excorsized at every siting. Racism is illegal, immoral, and idiotic. If you’re going to hate someone, it is far more satisfying to hate them for who they are than what color their skin is.

  66. Higurashi-sama says

    Hey it’s alright everyone, we should just put up signs in america indicating “NO JAPANESE” I never knew that they put signs like that in japan, *sigh* I guess i won’t visit there after all, they seem a bit harsh if you ask me. *bummer* :(

  67. This Guy Says... says

    It’s annoying how some of you, like #50 up there, are defending japan’s unnecessary racism towards visitors! Some of you try to back it up by saying, “Oh, well the U.S is racist too.” Well at least they keep it under wraps and smile, and at least respect each other on the surface. Japan is a little childish for putting up signs such as those; They might as well keep foreigners from entering their so called “pure” country whatsoever! I’ve seen their hentai.. *TALK ABOUT PURE* >___:(

  68. HUMAN RACE says

    I dont think there is pure culture in our modern world today. All culture in the world have mixed up a bit from all around the globe. I found it stupid to be proud to speak any language. Language is just a tool to communicate. We, the human race should stop all this stupidity and do more interesting stuff together like making sure all of us get enough food, proper shelter, proper education and happiness all around. For me its just stupid to conserve any culture. Culture doesnt work that way people!! Culture tend to change over time. Thats the truth! Let us all think about making earth a better place to live in. Watch “Pale blue dot” in youtube and accept that we are all somehow related to each other.

  69. HUMAN RACE says

    And if theres any japanese who read my message above and agree with me, please translate it to japanese. And even better, if the Pale blue dot video translated to japanese too. Actually anyone with any language they are good at, please do the same. We should realize that any piece of land on earth is actually on earth too and we breath the same air here on earth. Peace…


    Translation to malay:
    Aku percaya tiada budaya yang betul-betul asli pada zaman moden hari ini. Semua budaya di dunia saling kongsi dengan budaya lain. Bodohlah orang yang berbangga dengan bahasanya. Bahasa cuma alat untuk kita berhubung. Kita manusia patut hentikan semua kebodohan ini dan lakukan sesuatu yang lebih menarik, macam pastikan semua orang didunia mendapat makanan,tempat tinggal,pelajaran yang berkualiti, dan kegembiraan untuk dunia keseluruhannya. Pada saya, bodohlah untuk mengekalkan apa-apa budaya. Budaya tidak berfungsi macam itu! Budaya sentiasa berubah mengikut masa. Ini kebenaran! Mari kita fikirkan tentang bagaimana mahu menjadikan dunia tempat yang lebih baik untuk kita tinggal. Tonton video “Pale blue dot” di youtube dan terimalah hakikat bahawa kita semua sebenarnya saling berkaitan.

  71. bobo says

    I’m a white american and I like Japanese arrogance and racism 😀 Japan has good dominatrixes

  72. kolokolo says

    I’ve been living in J-land for some time as my wife (which I truly love) is Japanese. Personally I have experienced lack of trust and so called discrimination (but indirect) from local people in Nagoya.

    If somehow you find yourself as a tourist in Japan, you may find peoples’ acting strange when they see or confront you. You still have a good impression in general, because you have been very well served in convini or coffee shop. But that’s it. Now look at the picture from foreign resident point of view. Within 2 weeks nice holidays in Japan you have encountered strange attitude towards you few times, that you have never payed special attention, but treated this fun as interesting experience. When you live in Japan you face this so called “strange attitude” on daily basis. The small bits after a while become massive problem.

    One of the most shocking racial experience in Japan didn’t actually happened to me, but I was the victim at the end of the day. I have been teaching english in one of the private school in Nagoya. It is actually not a school – it is a kindergarden/preschool for kids in age from 1 – 12 years old. Our classes always had 2 teachers – one japanese teacher (usually female) and the other one foreign (in this case it was me). In one of our classes (5-6 year old kids) we had 1 kid from mixed couple – mother japanese, father korean. I have spotted the kid as his name was a bit unusual for japanese and was confirmed by my coworker his father is korean. On one of our lesson we introduced phrase “Where are you from?”. Because our kids are japanese we taught them “I am from Japan”, however when it came to answer the question from student whose father is korean descent my co-worker insisted the student to say “I am from Korea.” I would understand the lesson to be diversified it would be nice to use in answers other countries, but this wasn’t the case. When the student said “I am from Japan” I was very happy giving him thumb up, but against my expectations he was corrected by my coworker by saying “Anata wa nihonjin jyanai. Anatawa konkoku jin! (You are not japanese. You are Korean)”. For the hells sake he is 5 years old and he was not probably aware of his father’s roots yet. He was insisted to say “I am Korean”. Some kids reacted the kid’s way and make him actually cry. After the lesson (not trying to be bossy at all) I have asked my coworker for a quick word. She still tried to persuade me he is Korean, and she did a right thing. Because I didn’t want to argue I left the problem unresloved, but asked her not to do this way especially when I am around. That must made her upset. Since then I got in trouble with my japanese supervisors.

    • Joe says

      But she was wrong. He isnt from Korea, his father is from Korea. What a bitch and your supervisor was also a bitch.

  73. The Japan Rants says

    Thanks for the great post.
    This is something that we all struggle with when coming to Japan.
    I think that the view of Japan before actually coming to live here, and the reality of living here can be quite different.
    Before I moved to Japan, I had a woman who lived here for 18 years tell me to prepare myself for disappointment. But I have managed to enjoy every minute in one way or another.
    Some people really make the best of it~

    I actually wrote about this quite recently~ Come by and check it out if you will

    http://www.thejapanrants.com/blog/hottest-brand-in-japan/ – Part 1
    http://www.thejapanrants.com/blog/js-story-make-the-best-of-it/ – Part 2



  74. That1Gai says

    It’s instinct. Upon seeing something different
    the mind asks itself,”Is this a threat?”
    From previous knowledge it can answer,”Yes”
    Then ask, “How can I control this?”
    You can already guess the answer.
    Ofcoarse being another race that rivals
    your intellectual stand raises your threat
    level. And just like many times in the past,
    Another question could come to mind.
    “If I can’t control this threat, how can I eliminate it?”
    That when war starts.
    That is the thought process with every interaction not
    just with humans but animals too. Animals only focus on
    individuals instead of whole races.
    This is the reasoning behind every conflict you read in a history book.

  75. TokyoAndy says

    I’m a “Gainkokujin” (please note that “Gaijin” is a derogatory term) I live in Japan. this post is about “SoapLands” they are “whorehouses”, you guys are seriously arguing about whether or not to allow foreigners into Whorehouses??? (they are illegal anyways). It’s a bathhouse with a happy ending…

  76. Crazy says

    I am 20 year old Mexican male who is born in the US. I started learning Japanese since 2007. When will the Japanese stop hating on foreigners!? Why do they hate us!? We’re not stupid and fat!! I should have been born as a Japanese! It’s not fair!! It makes me sad……!! My dream is to visit Japan one day and we want to be treated with respect…… Everyone should feel the same way I do. All Japanese people start respecting us and not hate us anymore! We are not enemies!! Was it because of World War II!? Was it because the Japanese were killed by Americans!? The Japanese needs to stop hating on foreigners!! WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!! I HOPE ALL THE JAPANESE WILL LISTEN TO ME AND STOP HATING ON US FOR GOOD!!! IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE PEOPLE OF JAPAN!!! WE WILL COME TO JAPAN ONE DAY WETHER KENJI LIKES IT OR NOT!!! WE WANT TO BE TREATED EQUALLY!!! WHO’S WITH ME!? I HOPE EVERYONE AGREES WITH ME!!

  77. DECEMBER 21, 2012 says

    We are not here to make enemies!! Can’t we all be friends!? THE MAYANS PREDICTED THIS!! THE WORLD WILL END WHEN ALL THE JAPANESE HATE ALL FOREIGNERS!!

  78. Crazy says

    ……Sigh…… That Luke Morse (aka LukeMorse1 from YouTube who lives in Japan) guy…… I wonder how he’s doing in Japan? Did he experienced anything negative in Japan? Anyway, like said before, we do not want to be discriminated anymore! I hope Kenji apologizes to foreigners for calling us white stupid devils, then we’ll forgive him! Would I rather commit suicide or what!? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THIS WORLD!? WHAT IF GOD IS MY FATHER!? WHAT WOULD HE DO!? GOD!!! PRAY!!! PRAY TO GOD THAT THE JAPANESE WILL STOP HATING ON FOREIGNERS FOR GOOD EVERYONE!!! I DON’T WANT TO LIVE IN A WORLD NO MORE!!! IF I WAS JAPANESE, I WILL ACCEPT FOREIGNERS FOR WHO THEY ARE INSTEAD OF HAITING ON THEM!!! SO WHO’S WITH ME!? WE WANT THE SAME RESPECT AS THE JAPANESE INSTEAD OF BEING TREATED DIFFERENTLY!! I HOPE EVERYONE AGREES WITH ME!!

    • B says

      ….i think you just want a spicy mayo california roll with cream cheese, deep-fried with tons of eel sauce….and o-nigiri, so you think you’re eating healthy. stop talking about god.

  79. DECEMBER 21, 2012 says


  80. ata says

    many people are missing the point that, foreigners in japan (and especially those who don’t look east asian) are, besides being a visible minority, also a “true” minority.Unlike the U.S where even the minorities (blacks, hispanics) can have strong communities, in japan foreigners will be surronded by 99% of japanese/people who look japanese, and will not be likely to encounter many other foreigner like them living here as well.The constrast of being a “common people” or a type who don’t stand up in his own country and the life in japan in which you are not only foreigner but you completely realize you are foreigner everyday is tremendous. about the thing “people will not considerer you japanese” even if i don’t understand foreign people who say that (i will find it much more “normal” to have this feeling if they were raised in japan or have a japanese parent) this is not japanese people who come to say to them “you are not japanese” but to me , the fact is that they feel everyday that they are actually foreign even if they want to deny it and pretend they are not different than the others.

    Like someone said on a brief post, it will become for people (especially white people) the first time they will experiment the feeling of being a foreigner, a minority.The kind of discrimination of not allowing people in a place by races in japan is visible in many other countries, so one have to look at both side before riding for conclusions.I live in france and here too, you can heard about minorities problems (maghreb arabian people and black people).Even if France is on of the most ethnically diverse country in europe,issues about employement discrimination based on ethnicity (even if people have french nationality) are a recurrent issue here. Not only that, even if there is an official acceptation of diversity and multiculturalism, laws against racism, (which are not yet existing at the same extend in japan) you will always find people who will not consider for example a maghreb originary people as a “true” french.The only difference is that they will not say it frankly.There was many cases of nightclubs for examples who were clairly refusing people of maghrebian or african descent here, but of course they will not say the true reason, saying for example “the club is full” or “private club sorry”, and of course there will be no “White french people only ” in the front of the etablishment. It is a “multicultural” country but then, it’s just the same here.

    Of course racism and discrimination, xenophoby exists in japan, which is still a very homogenic society with much of his population being ethnically japanese.To the contrary of some western countries, muticulturalism doesn’t exists, i think we have to try to switch our minds just to imagine how we will react if in the situation we live in a very homogenic country and have to react to people who are different into skin color, facial features ect. As an human being, and if someone is honest, i think that about difference,and things who change you everyday life, you can never be indifferent (good or bad reaction).The difference with people who can be disturbed by what they are not accustomed and true racist is that in one case people may have their point of view changing even by little (even in a certain way like some poster who talk about his japanese wife’s mother but the true racist will already have is mind fixed and will not be likely to accept things to turn out differentely.

    Unfortunaly racism or discrimination can be seen everywhere and is an human thing.Then People who generalize and have stereotype about people or prejudice them based of their looks,people who are afraid/don’t want their everyday life to change in any degree ect.But as time progress, things are getting better and I hope it will continue to improve.

  81. Reese says

    As a black man of 6’4 and 220 I went to Japan to see the beauty of the people and absorb some of the culture. I am a guy who loves to experience all cultures and people. I loved Japan and people were all cool to me and I had a great time. I had only on indent: The police stopped at about 4 pm out of the blue in the middle of a semi busy street and asked me if I had drugs or a knife. I know this world is sick with racism so I was not surprised and I just laughed when I realized what it was all about. Overall I love Tokyo and I will not let small minded people take away from being in such a beautiful city/country. One thing Id want to add I think its good that white Americans get a taste of the racism that some of them are imposing on minorities in the states. Not a nice feeling right? Do unto others.

    • John says

      Businesses should have the right to exclude whoever they like. I respect that. I know a Korean here in the US, and he despises niggers. They frequently steal from his store. Niggers generally view Asians as weak, so they steal and disrespect him. He is cautious when niggers come into his store. He is aware of the nigger theft tactics and keeps weapons behind the counter. He has a small boy that speaks Korean.

      • Jaime says

        Well then…I don’t know exactly how respond to that but I’m going to give it my best try. You sir, sound like a piece of trash. I don’t agree with your view that a business should exclude people just because of their ethnicity and from the number of times you said niggers in your comment I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re just a fucking bigot.

          • BlackLady says

            Hi, Johnny boy. Sooo, are niggers people like Casey Anthony, George Zimmerman, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Timothy McVeigh, Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky? Because yeah, dude. I wouldn’t want those niggers in my store either.

            But if you mean people like Oprah, the First Lady, President Obama, Robert. L. Johnson, any elite members of the Jack and Jill club or Martha’s Vinyard population, I beg to differ.

            In fact, since you can’t take your friend to a Klan rally with you due to him being a minority himself, I would suggest you urge him to relocate his store to a place where there’s lower crime. Then again, maybe he can’t afford it. Maybe blacks with more money have higher standards and would not want him NOR YOU bringing down their neighborhood because…they don’t like niggers.

      • John Goodman says

        Right on. I am glad to see someone talk frankly about the negro problem. Koreans know the truth about negroes, but most Whites are scared to say what they can see with their eyes all around them. As for Japanese wanting to keep Whites or other foreigners out of certain hotels and other facilities in Japan; it doesn’t bother me in the least. It is their right. Just don’t be surprised if we Whites put up signs saying no non-whites allowed in certain facilities in North America. That is our right!

  82. Devrim Solen says

    This rule doesn’t apply to Turkish nationals. Whilist my stay in Tokyo, even in “Japanese Only” places, people behave me friendly and they gladdly accepted me when they learned that I was from Turkey. So, to my humble opinion, they don’t want other “white trash” whose ancestors nuced their holly land two times — I can understand them.

    If you are white and you want to be welcomed in “Japanese only” establishment, go ahead and tell that you are from Turkey (they might not ask to see ID or passport).

    It is not to see the fact that western people are also discriminated :) LOL

  83. So What says

    To all the white guys complaining about racism, you got your wife or girlfriend here so can`t be all THAT racist can it?

    Much harder for SE or East Asians or citizens of western countries who are of Asian decent that may looks like the general population more or less, but may not be fluent in the language (or may be) to get a ticket on their looks.

  84. Waiguo Ren says

    As a white girl teaching and living in Taiwan (capital city, Taipei) I have a different point of view. My husband is Taiwanese and at the language center where I work we have a lot of Japanese students who come to study Chinese and English. I have had one on one classes focusing on conversation with several Japanese, ranging from high school aged to lower 60s. I had an awkward experience once where the eldest Japanese student I ever had (he was prone to opinionated outbursts) bellowed “The Taiwanese are just like Americans, no morals!” Of course it was offensive, but I felt insulated since I have good people around me and a loving husband here in Taiwan, had I been in Japan and spoken to in that way, I think I would have been completely alienated. Luckily, that student didn’t want to continue to have classes with me, but at that point I had already built up a good social dynamic with some of my other Japanese students, with whom I have had conversations on such a broad range of topics. I don’t know, maybe they are more open minded about relating socially to foreigners since they are already living abroad in a foreign country, Taiwan. Another one of my students who is a Japanese housewife, studies English for fun (it’s her hobby) she is very polite and dedicated, she has brought me numerous small gifts every time she goes back to Japan. She has also told me that she has a “close feeling” to me as her teacher. Again, we talk about so many things. I have a very positive overall impression of Japan and the Japanese. However, as with any culture anywhere in the world there is going to be some good and some bad. As for the racism toward foreigners, it’s a good opportunity for white Americans such as myself to get a taste of our own medicine; being outside our “safety zone” of white privilege.

  85. Paul Martin says

    I live in Japan, My Sons are married to Japanese and my grandchildren are part Japanese. I am a foreign correspondent, former top British dj in America and Australia. I have lived all over the World. At 73 I have had enough experience as a World traveler and single father to know about the differences in countries. There is racism in every country, in the US for example there has always been separation by race, nationality,education and affluence. Where Singapore, HK, Korea and Taiwan. Japan has always been a completely different place to all the others though. There is a huge separation between the older Shinto leaning Japanese who still cling to the traditional Japanese ways and younger Japanese, many who have traveled, lived in and schooled in Western countries and many more who are married to gaijins, foreigners and who are a lot more open minded than their parents and grandparents,etc. I do NOT think that MOST Japanese are racist or anti-anyone, I believe a lot of it relates to NOT wanting foreigners to IMPOSE their ways or try to CHANGE the Japanese way of life which is rapidly becoming more Westernized as it is ! It is true that the wealthy, older property owners do NOT want to rent to foreigners and that the right wing politicians are determined to keep Japan Japanese and NOT multi cultural ! But it is a VERY safe and HONEST country and MOST Japanese have always been friendly, helpful and polite towards me and my family, so overall it is still a good place to live for everyone !

  86. Oishiimaru says

    Well, if I were ‘Japanese endowed’, I, too, would rather my prostitutes would remain ignorant of Westerner ‘appendages’. Japan is already depopulating itself into extinction, with many women looking to escape the place with a foreign suitor. The last thing the face-saving Japanese man wants is more reasons for his kawaiis to abscond…

  87. Takashi says

    Only ethnic Japanese are real Japanese. Foreigners are Gaijin, meaning non-Japanese. Even if Gaijin becomes citizens, they are not Japanese, they are still Gaijin.

  88. Anonymous says

    Right, you do not like westerners coming into Japan? If you really stick to that then don’t come to us. I live in the UK and I see many Japanese people wondering about in my home town! I don’t have a problem with it but if Japan does then maybe they shouldn’t bother coming here. Hypocrites.

  89. Siva says

    It is good the Japanese don’t want foreigners. That is the only way to preserve your culture and traditions. I wish we Indians had the foresight to do the same.

    The topic of this post is about restricting entry to certain groups or nationalities. The owner of the place has put in his money. So if he wants only Japanese visitors he has every right. Nobody can question him.

    I own several rental properties. I never give them out to people specifically some castes or religions I don’t like. I don’t have to explain to anyone. It’s my property, my wish.

    I seem to recall something about Japan not allowed to have a big army due to post war rules. I would suggest to the Japanese that you ignore such rules. If there is a war with china the US will not help you.

  90. B says

    Why would the Japanese want a huge flock of tourists and expats invading the country? Even if some people are well-mannered, there are many, many others who come in and wreck the place. Or get picky with the food they’re served. Or fist-fight in the train station. Or try to learn how to draw anime so they can take it home and make money from it. Or dub dramas and sell them overseas. Or try to learn how to make sushi so they can bastardize it. Or turn that schoolgirl pop-idol singer into a sexy, half-naked Rihanna. Or take advantage of a slumped economy to get a cheap contract from Mitsubishi.

    Japanese grow up in a strict heirarchy, and it’s not one’s place to go against the grain, much less let a foreigner integrate so he can. Everything is done for the good of the whole, so how would the selfishness of foreigners help Japan? To be able to better serve their customers – so you can get your spicy mayonnaise eel sauce deep fried California roll? To better interact with other countries – so you can get that famous high-quality rice delivered straight to your door in New York for 4000 yen, shipping included? I don’t think Japan cares giving up the things they hold dearest, business-wise or leadership-wise, so that someone who don’t give a damn can enjoy the fruits of their labor for cheap.

    As more and more of us (myself included) have gained entry into one of the most culturally isolated countries of the world, we need to be thinking how are we contributing to the good of the whole, not what we can get for ourselves. And helping them does not include shoving Christianity down their necks. Free-for-all foreigners are ruining Japan.

    Yes, it is theirs. Just like our own countries, they fought hard and shed countless amounts of blood to get where they are. And you guys are on the Almighty Internet complaining that they won’t let you in and have a taste of their daughters.

  91. Tenshi says

    I have lived in Japan for 3 years; 2 and a member of the military, and 1 as a citizen, and I have experienced many cases of racism in this country. The 3 worst were 1. With the police, 2, housing, and 3. Japan’s lega system in its entirety. In the legal system here, they are blatantly biased/racist/discriminatory against foreigners. It’s even worse if you’re a colored person like myself… Also Japan’s government is still pretty Showa era minded so there is no love for foreigners when it comes to governmental support, do your homework, it’s all out there to be seen…. If you have any questions, please contact me at: Tenshi0080@gmail.com.

  92. 日本人だけど says

    Anybody who promotes multiculturalism is a racist, because multiculturalism is racism.All those who think we are brothers and get along well together in one house are just dreamers or hypocrites.100% of people are potentially racist and you can’t deny it. You face racism in Japan and I face racism outside of Japan. Racism will never die out. It’s human’s nature. No foreigners in Japan, no foreigners in Asia, no foreigners in Europe, no foreigners in Africa etc. This is the best way to start the world peace.

  93. dibbzy says

    people knows nothing about japan. there s no such thing as japanese
    they are all koreans and thats where the race issue starts

    1998 ?


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