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Another Japanese celebrity claims discrimination in France; netizens not so sympathetic

90 Comments
By Scott Wilson, RocketNews24

Back in April we had a story about Japanese singer Gackt facing discrimination while abroad in France. He managed to handle a frustrating situation with class, and his incident sparked a conversation online about racial discrimination.

Emiko Kaminuma, a well-known Japanese media personality, found herself in a similar spot while in France. She faced discrimination in a Paris restaurant, and she has been making a huge deal about it on her TV shows. However, her story seems to be a little different from Gackt’s.

Kaminuma is a Japanese comedian from Osaka, best known for her TV show "Kaminuma Emiko no Oshaberi Cooking" (“Cooking and Chatting with Emiko Kaminuma”).

That’s not Kaminuma’s only show, either. She also acts as co-host of the gossip talk show "Ueda-Takada no Kugizuke!" (“Ueda and Takada’s Headlines!”).

On July 5, Kaminuma talked about how she felt she had been discriminated against while in Paris, just like Gackt. Here’s what she had to say:

“There’re a lot of people who discriminate in Paris. My husband and I were at a restaurant off Champs-Elysees ready to order, so I put my hand in the air and said ‘Excuse me!’ Some of the staff made eye contact with me, but none of them came over.

"I waited like that and kept calling for 40 minutes. Finally I told my husband ‘Let’s get out of here,’ but he said, ‘Come on, let’s wait.’ I told him I’d had enough of waiting; I’d been doing it for 40 minutes! One waiter had looked at me several times. That’s discrimination. For sure, that was discrimination.”

Kaminuma also claims that while she and her husband were waiting for 40 minutes, the staff served Caucasian customers who had come in after them. She also says that she left the restaurant in a huff, being sure to make loud noises to make herself feel better.

Now, her story is a little different from Gackt’s. Gackt confronted the manager, made his case, and then left on his own terms with the understanding that there’s no point in getting angry – just do what you can to not stand for such nonsense.

Kaminuma on the other hand says she sat for forty minutes with her hand in the air, only saying “Excuse me.” Now she’s probably not as fluent in French as Gackt and there might have been other things going on as well, but that hasn’t stopped Japanese netizens from criticizing her instead of showing support like they did for Gackt.

“You hear about this a lot, but it’s not discrimination. At high-class restaurants, it’s just simply rude to call a waiter over by putting your hand in the air.”

“I think she should have instead said: ‘For sure, this shows I am given preferential treatment while in Japan.'”

“You can’t call them over by putting your hand in the air. To them, that’s you trying to show that you’re superior to them. They’re the ones who feel discriminated against. I wouldn’t want customers doing that at my restaurant. It’s obvious.”

“What will you have us do as retribution, Queen of Osaka?”

“You make your living off of complaining about people, that’s why everyone is so accommodating to you in Japan.”

“I think I’d ignore someone too if they were waving their hands in the air and yelling ‘Excuse me!’ for 40 minutes.”

Source: Livedoor News

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Oh boy, that’s pretty racist: Vine Japan edition -- The little test that’s blowing Japanese netizens’ minds -- The ultimate spork that’s just for eating ramen

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90 Comments
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Yep, heard similar stories from other Japanese about their stay in France. If you look Asian you must obviously be a Chinese in the eyes of every French citizen and some (many) French seem to have a problem with that. Or maybe it's just the abnormal arrogance that the average Frenchman displays while dwelling in his national pride that makes it look like discrimination to foreigners.

8 ( +22 / -14 )

If events unfolded exactly as she described them, then it is poor service. There is no evidence of racism or discrimination though. And maybe there are facts not mentioned, such as the place possibly being very busy, or Ms Kaminuma somehow incurring the wrath of the waiters by yelling, expecting to be understood in Japanese, waving in an exaggerated manner, etc. It does sound like she has reason to be unhappy, but we don't know enough from this account to judge.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

I don't know who this woman is.

If she was shouting like one does in an Izakaya, and being from Osaka she was probably screaming...........so that may well be why she was ignored LOL!!!

20 ( +24 / -4 )

she has been making a huge deal about it on her TV shows.

So this big-mouth gossip queen got snubbed in an uppity french restaurant. It's not so unusual (so I've heard). Get over it.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

This woman deserves to be snubbed -- but snubbed for being rude, not for being Japanese or Asian. You don't shout for the waiter or waitress in Western restaurants UNLESS they are not performing their duties. My guess is she called to them as she would in a Japanese restaurant before they had a chance to do the rounds and see to their needs, hence marking them as obnoxious and putting them at the bottom of the list. This woman did it to herself, and that's all there is to it. In any case, if you notice, a lot of the comments that come from Japanese or others crying racism do so by suggesting the staff thought the person being discriminated against was Chinese (hence, they are more concerned with being thought of as a Chinese person than they are against discrimination in general, which is a horrible form of discrimination itself). Many would also probably complain about all the Chinese shoppers in Osaka and other parts of Japan that are bolstering the economy.

16 ( +27 / -11 )

Yeah, no. No discrimination here. French waiters are rude to everybody on an equal level. (sarcasm - I'm french).

However we don't know the place, the situation, anything ... And yes, probably at the caucasian table were sitting much more important people than you, regulars, influent people, who knows... That is also the ability of each restaurant to adapt customer service.

Sometimes japanese celebrities / obasans love to whine about anything ...

17 ( +25 / -9 )

LoL. Everyone remember how friendly and polite the French waiter was to C. Chase's fam on "European Vacation" movie?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Nope, that was no discrimination. Even Europeans get sometimes snubbed by the idiotic waiters of France. The right attitude is to either call the manager, or, if you're in a bad mood, just shout "M#RDE!!" and leave... don't waste more than two minutes, especially if the place does not look busy.

LOL, as her "customer is God" Japanese expectations were definitely not fulfilled. She sounds like she's not very experienced travelling in France...

BTW, this would NOT have happened in a Germanic country in Europe, there the waiters come as soon as they are called.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

You need to say "monsieur" to get a waiters attention in France, if they are male and "mademoiselle" if female. Tourist traps in Paris do NOT have good service. Always look for smiles from the staff. Got smile? Sit down. No smile. Passer!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

For sure thiss was discrimination ...probably the waiter thought she was one more chinese tourist ... Even chinese are tired of all that ... And now the chinese tourists are preffering to come to Japan at theirs holidays ... than France ... where they have discrimination ...

-16 ( +6 / -22 )

I think it's a French personality quirk... they don't like anybody lol

6 ( +12 / -6 )

It's offending as well to french people to claim parisian behavior represents the french behavior ! Parisians are notorious for their unwelcoming behavior amongst french population.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Patrons in Japan never greet their servers which I think would exasperate the situation. Any time you enter an establishment in Europe, it's good manners to greet the staff. Japanese rare do this. Don't think it was racism either as the French are like this to everyone, particularly non French speakers.

7 ( +8 / -2 )

This is my sense of her story and Gackt's and others like them, you leave your country where you're well known, treated like a star, service staff bend over backwards for you, cater to all your demands, then you go to a country where they have no idea who you are but you still expect the royal treatment and it just ticks you off to no end that they don't jump every time you bark.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

It's Paris, not France. Paris is another world full of rudeness and ignorance.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I feel really bad about this as I am French.

It might be easy to think this is discrimination but I think it is actually just the way Paris is and especially Champs Elysees.. Just don't go there if you expect good (or even basic) service. The waiters are simply rude with anybody Asian or not. Countless times I was ignored by the staff and just left the place as they did not need more customers obviously.

Knowing Japanese customer service, I can understand that it might be a shock for Japanese people not used to this degree of bad / non-exisent customer service. But I think taking it to the "racist" zone is groundless. I think the waiter just didn't care at that moment or was not "in the mood".. Waiters in Paris are often behaving like rockstars..

Taking things personally is the last thing to do in Paris. You will end up crazy.. Most of French people I know here would never go to Champs Elysees if you want to enjoy good service (or you have to go to the luxury places not a regular café).

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Emiko Kaminuma, a well-known Japanese media personality,

media personality....good God, i simply don't wait /watch her programs and change tv channel at faster than Shinkansen Speed (!)

4 ( +6 / -2 )

At high-class restaurants it's just simple rude to call a waiter over by putting your hand in the air

At high-class restaurants waiter MUST appear nearby your place in a few seconds, looking at you very attentively, speaking very politely. That French restaurant is nothing short of a hole worthless to come in.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

she was probably screaming "suimasen" and just assumed that everyone would know what that meant.

but this tale is hardly believable. probably more to get attention than anything else.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

You need to say "monsieur" to get a waiters attention in France

And then you have a 50/50 shot of service.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Perhaps she didn't thank the staff who showed her to her table. Major faux pas elsewhere, but commonplace here.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ive seen this bothersome woman on TV. I would snub her too if I was a waiter.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

seriously these J celebs think there own importance extends beyonds Japans borders, legends in there own back yards, a nobody in everybody elses!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

All BS, the ugly Obasan thinks of herself important. Here is what happened:

She entered the restaurant thinking of herself an important person without smiling, greeting the staff and without saying any thank you to them once they were brought to the table, you know like they do here.

Her husband and her took one minute to choose and then started to shout at any staff “Excuse me, Excuse me, Excuse me” repetitively and aggressively without being polite like they do here when they shout at the staff "Sumimasen, Sumimasen, Sumimasen" with an arrogant attitude like saying "come here fast". What always amazes me is that even when they are seeing the staff is not immediately available, they just keep shouting "Sumimasen, Sumimasen, Sumimasen".

The french staff who is not trained to put his head down and obey like a dog notice an ugly woman is shouting at them and guess what? They think that she can go screw herself, they will make her wait and they will serve first those smily and polite "Caucasian" customers.

She comes back to Japan and play the victim, claiming she has been discriminated. And frankly a Japanese speaking of discrimination is for sure quite delicious knowing what they do to foreigners here.

Now please stop with the french people are this or that. There are fantastic places with great service in France. I do know that Paris has some quite rough places (it's kind of a Parisian thing) but generalizing to all of France is just stupid. And on the other had, at last they are real people, you get really what you have in front of you. A good service with nice people, a bad one with jerks. Here they are all fake....

9 ( +15 / -6 )

Was she saying 'excuse me' or 'excusez-moi'. If there is one thing that really annoys French waiters, or francophones in general, it's assuming that they must speak English (even if they most likely do). Almost as annoying as Japanese people assuming that every caucasian foreigner in Japan must be an American.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

She is a comedian, and her style is to exaggerate everything to absurdity. You can see that, just by watching her show for a couple of minutes. Everything she talks on TV should be taken as a joke, rather than any serious complaint.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Simply put raise your hand but don't wave. Most waiters are very busy but will get to you eventually. Make eye contact and talk to your waiter with respect controlling your tone and attitude without yelling or snapping your fingers. Last of all always remain polite. If your waiter is ignoring you he or she may be busy and stressed out with too much work.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Well, it is Paris we are talking about, so I'll keep an open mind.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This is in no way discrimination! Parisians are equally rude to everyone! French people will attest to this, Oui?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Paris is a cruel and unforgiving experience to the uninitiated, I have worked there for prolonged periods and will be returning on Friday week. Déjeuner, you are 'waited' upon, Gackt 'maître d’ is just the 'help' for want of a better word, the top paying guests get the views the 'rest' get the wallpaper sorry to be so blunt, but that is the gospel according Une chambre.....

Now “Kaminuma Emiko no Oshaberi Cooking”, is a victim of circumstance, the 'maître d’ made the assumption that Emiko quintessentially is a poor “le pourboire” (tipper) I won't translate the slang but 'uncivilized rude' comes a close second.

Paris...... C'est la vie.....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yes Mike, if you read the comments above you'll find they already did.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In the early 1970's I lived in Paris for a year to study art and enjoyed an amazing time. Then went to Florence and Rome.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

If you are important and/or famous in Japan, does not mean it is equivalent in other nations.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

daito_hak

"She entered the restaurant.. without smiling, greeting the staff and thank you"

Usually we enter the restaurant to eat delicious dishes, drink good alcohol and have rest. Of course, we greet, smile and thank staff in case of good service. But we aren't obliged to smile to arrogant or plain rude waiter who pays no attention to guests since the very beginning.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Wait after Grexit then they'll service you hand and foot. Ha Ha!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Well zichi 'the Nineteen Seventies', Dad keeps harping on about groovin down with freaky-deaky and DJ Dy-no-mite, you are a lucky man, all that polyester though, you all must of been in constant fear of ignition?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Gossip talk show “Ueda-Takada no Kugizuke!” (“Ueda and Takada’s Headlines!”). talked about how she felt she had been discriminated against while in Paris and waited 40 minutes and call that’ discrimination. LMFAO I call it stupidity to wait that long after 5-7 minutes if you don't have a server you should be out the door!!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I must say I have never seen this woman on TV. TV is my very rare and last resort to entertainment. But it surprises me Kaminuma is crucified for how she behaved in a Paris restaurant and the attending personnel got off easily. One thing comes to mind is the lady is a comedian of a type not everyone likes, and she may have exaggerated her experience because, well, she is an entertainer, maybe not of the most sophisticated kind. Another thing is that this happened on the Champs Elysees, a place where the restaurants with their snobbish waiters choose the clientele and not the other way round.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@daito

All BS, the ugly Obasan thinks of herself important.

So if she'd been young and good-looking, there wouldn't have been a problem?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Simply put raise your hand but don't wave. Most waiters are very busy but will get to you eventually. Make eye contact and talk to your waiter with respect controlling your tone and attitude without yelling or snapping your fingers. Last of all always remain polite. If your waiter is ignoring you he or she may be busy and stressed out with too much work.

The customer is not allowed 'an attitude' . The waiter is.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I hate stereotyping as much as the next trendy, pinko Guardian reader.

But in my experience French waiters are obnoxious. And that includes French waiters working in Manchester. Horrible.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I find it amusing how many people were willing to defend the French waiters. I don't care if Kaminuma did not play to "French doctrine" when it comes to the techniques of greeting and calling waiters - as staff worldwide, a bare minimum of service is expected and letting any customer wait for 40 minutes is completely unacceptable. If they were that much of a nuisance, at least get someone to warn them, even escort them out of the place. To ignore them is indefensible.

People complain about Japanese being racists, but here's what I think. If that French restaurant is only willing to give that level of service to Japanese (perhaps on the pretext of them missing some unique nuance about French customer service), they might just as well hang a sign out there that says "No Yellowskins allowed." Better to say you just don't want some types in than letting them in and giving them this.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Maybe there were many Japanese who misbehaved badly before.

Maybe the French waiters were not good at speaking Japanese so they try to avoid Japanese.

Maybe the Japanese woman must have done something bad to anger the waiters.

This was all a misunderstanding because the woman didn't speak proper French or don't know french customs and culture.

All the usual weak excuses made by Japanese, when Japanese discriminate against foreigners in Japan, but in reverse.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

We've had so many posts in this thread by people claiming 'well it happens in Japan too', or something along these lines.

One can surmise that the people saying this have had similar experiences in Japan. One can also surmise that the people saying this weren't happy when it happened. So it's not cool when it happens to them, but it's ok when it happens to her, because it happened to them.

Surely I'm not the only one who sees the failure in logic here.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

M3M3M3 - "Almost as annoying as Japanese people assuming that every caucasian foreigner in Japan must be an American."

That's not that bad considering Japan, in general, doesn't get a lot of exposure to Westerners vs say, the US. In the US, the king of multiculturalism, you still have Americans assuming that every Asian (Asian-American or tourist) in the US must be a Chinese. Plus, they assume Asian-Americans (even 3rd or 4th generation ones) to be foreigners and are surprised when they speak English so well.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki,

as staff worldwide, a bare minimum of service is expected

In the land of Liberté, Fraternité, Egalité, waiters and waitresses expect to be treated as equals by their customers.

That often doesn't happen in Japan, and there's a distinct possibility that Ms Kaminuma, brought a "customer is god" sense of entitlement with her to Paris, rubbing the waiting staff the wrong way.

hang a sign out there that says "No Yellowskins allowed."

Unlike Japan, that would be illegal.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

She obviously knows nothing about France and French waiters in particular. That behaviour is the norm, especially if you don't bother to speak French. Anyway, how did she know these other customers were from the Caucuses as she claimed? I would also like to pass on to her something that has been told to me numerous times in Japan 'That's how we do things here". Same in France.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

SenseNotSoCommonJul. 08, 2015 - 11:16PM JST

hang a sign out there that says "No Yellowskins allowed."

Unlike Japan, that would be illegal.

Action speaks louder than words. Just as many posters here are defending the French waiters, I think there may be some truth to what Kazuaki Shimazaki posted. With that said, maybe it wasn't racial discrimination. Maybe it was simply "refusing to serve rude customers". But then again, another way of saying that would be "discrimination against patrons who didn't know the local culture and etiquette". In which case, you have ask yourself, is it justifiable to make somebody sit at a table but refuse to serve them?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Tahoochi - " In which case, you have ask yourself, is it justifiable to make somebody sit at a table but refuse to serve them?"

Definitely not, but the majority of the people commenting here on JT are not Asian. They usually side with their people (Europeans, Americans, Australians, etc).

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Perhaps if they just put the sign out in front of the store in Chinese and Japanese that they don't serve Asian people it would be okay. Right Japan?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The French (parisian) have the reputation for a reason, though I've never had any issues when in Paris. I have heard a number of my French contacts talk with distain about dealing with Chinese tourists. I think that's the most likely reason she was snubbed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The only outsiders that Europe is good for are Africans. Seems like boatloads of them head over there. They get treated and accepted better than Asian tourists, who actually spend money and help the local economy. Asians should just stay away.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is my sense of her story and Gackt's and others like them, you leave your country where you're well known, treated like a star, service staff bend over backwards for you, cater to all your demands, then you go to a country where they have no idea who you are but you still expect the royal treatment and it just ticks you off to no end that they don't jump every time you bark.

Ridiculous. Anyone waiting for 40 minutes to get the attention of the waiter/waitress deserves to be complained. Check out yelp and you'll find many people who gives less stars because of bad service. Can't really tell whether the woman's case was based on discrimination but the Gackt guy may have been. Can't really know for sure but Gackt really took it professionally. The woman? Yea, huffing and puffing while storming out won't do much. Should have complained to the manager and even if the manager couldn't understand what she was saying, they would know something is up and hopefully provide more attention to her.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's helpful when travelling to know the etiquette of the place you are visiting. It's clear here that she did not.

This article doesn't indicate at what stage in her dining experience she was at -- but in France, one doesn't always order their entire meal at once and drinks aren't served immediately as they are in many other cultures. Waitstaff may begin by taking appetizer orders first, then go around again for the main course etc...

You certainly don't raise your hand or snap or click your fingers and you aren't ever loud or agressive. It would be considered extremely rude to raise your hand and shout or raise your voice to say "excuse me".

Eye contact and a gentle nod of the head is generally sufficient And above all else, in France, one doesn't shout at waitstaff imperiously.

A far more typical way to indicate that you are ready to order is to simply close the menu and place it face down on the table -- if the wait staff fail to respond in a reasonable amount of time, the next step is to make eye contact and nod politely so they know they are needed. If the wait staff is standing nearby you may politely say "Monsieur,s’il vous plaît" to let them know they are needed. And then you wait....

if you've behaved appropriately they will come and take your order when they are available to do so. If you've been rude you might be waiting all night.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@mojomartha

If a person waits 40 minutes in any restaurant, something is wrong with their procedure. Somebody should've came over and ask what they need and resolve the problem. Paris is an international city, and the manager and the owner understands that they get many clients from abroad. The manager has to train these waiter and waitress to understand the different cultures and behavior of other countries. Unless they are really out of line, the is always customer is right. They pay for the bills.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Now please stop with the french people are this or that. There are fantastic places with great service in France. I do know that Paris has some quite rough places (it's kind of a Parisian thing) but generalizing to all of France is just stupid. And on the other had, at last they are real people, you get really what you have in front of you. A good service with nice people, a bad one with jerks. Here they are all fake....

But generalizing Japan is okay....gotcha.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

That is not the case in France. Again, understanding the etiquette of the culture you are visiting should be part of any traveller's protocol. "The customer is always right" is an American tenet, not a French one. The customer is not always right in France. Wait staff in France are not subservient either in the manner they are in Japan and also in America.

Like I said it's a matter of understanding foreign etiquette. If you enter a restaurant in France with an imperious attitude and expect immediate service and a subservient attitude you will wait all night (or 40 minutes until you leave in a huff).

That is France and that is their culture. A savvy traveler should learn the culture of the place they are visiting and observe how locals handle things. This isn't a case of racism. It's the case of cultural ignorance and arrogance on the part of the customer. I'm confident that the waitstaff would have ignored ANY person who tried that approach with them regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender etc... if the customer treated them in that manner.

Is it how I would run my restaurant? No. But I'm an American raised with the understanding that the customer is always right and good service means taking their lack of cultural sensitivity into account.

The idea that other cultures need to conform to your own culture's etiquette is the issue here. When in Rome...do as the Romans.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Suppose the thing to do is not to go to these restaurants. My French is very bad and not everyone can speak 8 languages. I speak three but not French. Since rude is a french custom it is best to avoid the country. I had no troubles in Germany nor England though the food there was ah different. So I guess if I encounter French the key is to be as rude as possible to them so they feel at home.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

There is another possibility, Japanese usually don't tip, unproffessional waiters will prioritize customers that they think will tip regardless of race.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I am not taking her side, but she got used to the Japanese style service were waiters and waitresses serve their customers with humility and will do all to satisfy their customers. These French waiters at that restaurants are very unprofessional and too proud, If they are being offended by Hand raising w/ "EXCUSE ME" then they should find a different line of work, How will I get attention to order if the restaurant is busy and jam packed with people. But that is the FRENCH WAY so she should not complain and just deal with it, like what locals say , if you don't like the way they do things in their country get the hell out....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I have had a tough time in Paris too. Service there is a sort of duel.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Visited Paris with a group of five other Japanese media people and we had an excellent time. No one spoke French in our group but the service was excellent and food delicious. And no, we didn't wave our hands for service at all. In Nice and Cannes, it was the same, great service and food. Enjoyed France a lot.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Definitely not, but the majority of the people commenting here on JT are not Asian. They usually side with their people (Europeans, Americans, Australians, etc).

Isn't this how that Power of Attraction works? If you go looking for prejudice, your brain will find it in every pore of your counterpart?

Yes, I'm European, and I abhor prejudice in any and all forms, including racist blanket comments.

Tourisme France might not be pleased, but Japanese travellers to their capital should be warned of Paris Syndrome (パリ症候群).

12 or so Japanese tourists a year who are said to be so disenchanted by their encounter with the fabled French capital that they end up needing psychiatric treatment

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2006/10/29/editorials/japanese-and-the-paris-syndrome/#.VZ3LjkKDndk

Paris is not a theme park. It's a living, breathing, dynamic city, with no Tatemae.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Behave boorishly, receive appropriate treatment. Waving a hand and screaming "sumimasen" or its equivalent in any language, outside of Japan, will result in well-deserved treatment. Not discrimination by any stretch of the imagination. I've seen middle-aged and older Japanese women behave this way in France and Italy. Many lack awareness of basic politeness standards common in other countries. Indeed, too many seem to think "anything goes" and that Japan is the only country with observable customs and standards of behaviour. How wrong they discover they are.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Contrary to many of the posters above, I have NEVER met any Japanese tourist behaving so boorish that they deserved ill treatment. In fact, I did find the Japanese to be the contrary despite how much the bashers want to portray: <>http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8143780.stm

Some tourists are bad and some are good. But reading some of the comments, I smell total BS.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I have NEVER met any Japanese tourist behaving so boorish that they deserved ill treatment.

Maybe not tourists Yumster, but watch out for those old business men. I was on an elevator on the Long Beach Queen Mary II with friends and this Japanese business man just pushed my friend out of the way and walked out. Not saying it happens all the time, just my experience. If she has this holy attitude, I wouldn't be surprised.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Fizzbit

Wow, that is so rude and that is UNACCEPTABLE. But again, I said some experience may lead to bad experience and some good. The consistency as a whole is what I'm talking about and it seems that the Japanese don't behave in an atrocious manner as some would like them to be. Many Japanese tourist seems pretty normal rather than standing out for their outlandish behavior in my experience and the link also seems to prove that point. Key point, "many." Not every single one of them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

We, french people, have the (correct, imo) reputation for having sometimes bad customer service. Our waiters and taxi drivers can be rude compared to other contries. That's right. That' a shame, and a fact.

We are also very bad when it comes to speak with foreigners. Their english is often as bad as ours, but with our french accent and theirs, it's sometimes difficult to understand each other. This could be an explanation for the relunciancy of the waitress to talk to asian customers. an exeplanation, not an excuse.

Celebrity or not, customer like other people deserves respect.

Still, there is no excuse for racism.

I've been several times to Tokyo and Kyoto. To them, I'm a barbarian, an Gaïjin. Someone that can't even read ! Still, they were very kind, nice. I mean everyone, not only the waitresses.

This is something France have to work on. But please, foreigners, come over that. We have beautifull sites to see. Not only in Paris. Please, Mont St Michel, les chateaux de la Loire. French people are less stressed and nicer outside Paris.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

can't find the post again where it is pointed out that anyone providing a 'service' in France...might ...very reasonably ...expect to be treated as an equal...not any kind of 'slave'. I have known two Americans driven to paroxysms of rage...by Parisien exchanges with people they expected to be much more subservient. Having sufficient money to pay for someone's time, almost anywhere in France...does not give you the right to claim it...or to decide the kind of behaviour from them..that you are entitled to. Come to France without any sense of entitlement...is best... I'm most familiar with the complaint 'bad service'....from British travellers or new residents in France. (Born in London but ...with several different cultural influences)... All cultures that have a strong class structure, whether based in wealth/property..or lineage/ancestors etc....no matter where in that structure anyone might identify as an 'own place'...tend to teach expectations that do not work well in less class divided societies. Do not expect anyone to behave as if you have any right to claim his/her attention, or time. If you are a millionaire or a pauper...have the courtesy to recognise that égalité means much in France. ...Not always...but very often.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As I recall, you're supposed to make eye contact with the waiter and say please, preferably in French.

I have no idea what she may have tried to do to get a waiters attention (other than raising her hand and being observed doing so) but that's not going to get a Parisian waiter, especially, all that interested in attending to you .... especially during tourist season.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Lesson: Don't be a buffoon tourist in France. Doesn't matter where you come from or what your payscale is. Taking a uppity Japanese celebrity down a few pegs is the best lesson.

It pays to be able to respect the local culture. If she is this boorish then that's what McDonald's is for

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt considering that Paris, France is ranked the most rudest city on the Planet. I mean, I thought British people were mean, but it's a good thing I can't understand french, otherwise, they'd probably have a TON of insensitive and rude things to say, just liike at John Galliano

1 ( +2 / -1 )

french are lovely people, but in the french world of service (restaurants, shops), if you don't speak french, it often happens you don't get service, in the most offending way: you are ignored, or even get snubbed (with upturned nose and all). if you look asian, poor you if you happen to meet one of these "no-french-no-service" people. i am not asian. i experienced this several times after announcing with extreme politeness "je-ne-parle-pas-francais, may i speak english?"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm fully aware that two wrongs don't make a right and what I'm about to say is hypocritical and does nothing to advance the fight against racism and discrimination; but after living in Japan and dealing with Japanese day in and day out, this lady can go cry me a river.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is very good service...in many French shops and restaurants.... Just remember that the people who work there...are not to be patronised. Thats to say...treat each person as an equal...with friendship and politeness. Restaurants are not places where you go to get food, eat and leave...no one is in a hurry in French eating. You will not be ushered out...if you sit and talk for a long time... and if that's what everyone seems to be doing...and not thinking about your needs...then be glad to be a part of a relaxed eating community. Almost everyone here gets 2 ..maybe,2 and a half hours...for lunch break ..it is not polite to demand that the custom changes to make a nation of fast-serve food.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I waited like that and kept calling for 40 minutes. Finally I told my husband ‘Let’s get out of here,’ but he said, ‘Come on, let’s wait.’ I told him I’d had enough of waiting; I’d been doing it for 40 minutes! One waiter had looked at me several times. That’s discrimination. For sure, that was discrimination.”

No, that's France! (No offense to the french here, I love France but its kind of a standing joke that uppity French restaurants can be, well, uppity, and frankly if they've got some Japanese banshee screaming at them demanding service they have every right to be!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oh! Boo Hoo! Hoo! Welcome to our world.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

P

eople complain about Japanese being racists, but here's what I think. If that French restaurant is only willing to give that level of service to Japanese (perhaps on the pretext of them missing some unique nuance about French customer service), they might just as well hang a sign out there that says "No Yellowskins allowed." Better to say you just don't want some types in than letting them in and giving them this.

Stop making this about race. They are equally rude to Europeans who don't speak french too. They don't discriminate.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@NathalieB - "They don't discriminate."

Really? I'm guessing you're not Asian then?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"When in Rome"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

StrangerlandJUL. 08, 2015 - 11:02PM JST We've had so many posts in this thread by people claiming 'well it happens in Japan too', or something along these lines. One can surmise that the people saying this have had similar experiences in Japan. One can also surmise that the people saying this weren't happy when it happened. So it's not cool when it happens to them, but it's ok when it happens to her, because it happened to them. Surely I'm not the only one who sees the failure in logic here.

Come on, man! Get down off your high horse! You know what's going on here. It's illogical to pretend otherwise. Yeah it's wrong to discriminate reversely; to say: well that's what Japanese deserve because of their own acts of discrimination does squat to combat discrimination. But you have to understand that those who are doing this are just venting. It's what the Germans call shadenfrued. It's only human nature to take joy in seeing one get a taste of their own medicine. And that's all it is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's what the Germans call shadenfrued.

Only the dyslexic ones.... ; )

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Only the dyslexic ones.... ; )

Not dyslexia, just a few pints of beer. But hey, thanks for pointing that out!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The waiters are don't discriminate in Paris. They are rude to all!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ha Ha. I love this part.. She is not helping the cause.

she left the restaurant in a huff, being sure to make loud noises to make herself feel better.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese are not the only people that seem to get the cold shoulder in France. I studied the French language for 8 years (middle school through college) and although I can read and understand it well, my mastery of conversation and accent is not so great. The funny thing is when I try to speak French with a French person they are quick to tell me that I do not need to try to speak French because they speak English. The funny thing is that their English is not so great either.

I had an experience in a restaurant where myself and three business associates sat for something like 30 minutes after the maître d had seated us. No one gave us a water, bread or a menu. I waved and politely gestured every few minutes at the waiters who I think find this amusing and that received no results. Finally I got up and went to the manager and asked if the restaurant is a non profit organization and he said of course not, we are a business. I told him that he just missed out on at least $150 of business and we all walked out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've seen Japanese raise their voice/shout at waiters in western countries, which tends to annoy the waiters. Last summer, I saw one middle aged Japanese woman stand up at her table and wave her bill in the air, to the rolling eyes of others in the place.

She did this for a couple of minutes, while others were saying under their breath, "sit down and relax."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@NathalieB... so... the article contained DID NOT suggest looking at her constitutes racial discrimination?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Emilio San is on her way to becoming a real kokusaijin!!!

Félicitations ^ ^

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have just returned from a holiday in Paris and France. I am a Japanese Canadian so, a visible minority. I have absolutely no doubt that this Japanese woman was discriminated against in Paris - I was myself. I was standing in line waiting for a table. There was no doubt that the Maitre de saw me. I tried to get his attention by saying politely, "excuse me" but he just looked right through me, around me, over me anywhere but in the eye. I was patiently waiting when two French women came up behind me in the line - they were speaking French to one another. The maitre de could not serve them fast enough! and still left me standing. I have absolutely no doubt that this man was a racist. Coming from Canada, I am firstly used to North American service in restaurants - friendly and respectful and, coming from a multicultural society, I have never, ever experienced racist treatment. It was an absolutely gut wrenching experience... I just left. Like the Japanese male celebrity, I spoke to the manager. While she was very nice, nothing was done about it. After my husband and I left the hotel, we got a form type email - the maitre de was one of their most respected employees, etc. etc. It was not the only restaurant where we experienced rude, arrogant, and possibly racist treatment. It got so bad, that we started eating in ethnic restaurants - Italian, Japanese - anything not to have to put up with the rude, arrogant behaviour of Parisian waiters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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