entertainment

Netizens support foreign comic after Japanese man’s discriminatory remark

119 Comments
By Jamie Koide, RocketNews24

Jason Atsugiri is currently one of the hottest comedians on Japanese television. His “Why Japanese people?!” skit is so popular even kids who have zero English skills have mastered imitating his staged outbursts.

Because of that, when the comic tweeted about a possibly discriminatory remark he received at Tsukiji fish market during a shoot, Japanese netizens were surprised to see he didn’t lose his cool. Impressed, the post has been favorited and passed on by many, inspiring a much-welcomed discussion on how not to treat foreigners.

Atsugiri, whose real name is Jason Danielson, is an IT company employee who recently got his big comedic break with his sketch, “Why Japanese people?!”

Although he’s not the first foreigner to succeed at capturing the Japanese entertainment spotlight, only a handful of foreigners before him, like Patrick Harlan (Pakkun), have managed to do the same.

While filming on location at the famed Tsukiji market in Tokyo the other day, he had an unpleasant encounter with a Japanese man, which he then tweeted about.

“When I went to use the restroom while filming at Tsukiji Market, a man approached me from behind, telling me in an angry voice that it was ‘JAPANESE ONLY’, but quickly changed his tune, calling out, ‘Oh, he’s a TV personality,’ after I turned around.

At first I was irritated, but after mulling it over for a while, I began to think maybe they get a lot of foreign tourists who interfere with business and cause them a lot of trouble day after day.”

Unlike the Japanese language newbie character he plays in his sketch, Jason has been living here for over four years with his Japanese wife and two daughters. No doubt like many seasoned expats, he has no problems seeing things from the Japanese perspective.

Still, many netizens were surprised he didn’t respond with, “WHY JAPANESE ONLY?!” in light of the situation, and the Twitter post soon went viral and received many comments of support:

“He must be a saint.” “That guy sounds crazy, telling him ‘Japanese only’ even though he did nothing wrong.” “We apologize on that man’s behalf.”

However, a small group of concerned users, perhaps in defense of the man’s behavior, brought up the fact that some tourists have in fact caused disruptions at Tsukiji by climbing onto places they shouldn’t or licking the fish offered for sale (yes, you read that right!).

A number of other commenters, though, were quick to rejoin that in this case the ends didn’t justify the means, saying:

“I’m not saying it isn’t a problem, but surely there’s a better countermeasure than just suddenly being all Japanese only.” “They should have said staff only or something instead.” “It’s probably difficult for foreign tourists to understand all of Japan’s complicated manners or rules.”

All in all, you could definitely say this is one time where not having a meltdown definitely boosted his notoriety. And who knows, maybe if “Why Japanese people?!” gets old, this experience might inspire him to make some netizens happy and incorporate “Why Japanese only?!” in another sketch somewhere down the line.

Source: Twitter/@atsugirijason

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119 Comments
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"All in all, you could definitely say this is one time where not having a meltdown definitely boosted his notoriety."

Except "notoriety" means ""the state of being famous or well known for some bad quality or deed".

Kudos to him for taking it in stride.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

No danger of Tsukiji morphing into Disneyland, then.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I had never heard of Jason Atsugiri, so ended up watching his routine on YouTube.

<www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkmawfKNNZA>

The humor apparently derives from the stereotype of the continually gesticulating and irate foreigner who doesn't quite get Japan. Not my cup of tea.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

He's integrating well, what with being able to now justify casual nationalistic racism.

Soon we'll see him in Korea Town doing his popular "WHY GOKIBURI?!??" sketch.

Japanese TV producers really only use white guys for one thing: minstrel shows.

24 ( +33 / -9 )

He is a Japan apologist - let's say a black person tried to use a toilet and was told "sorry, whites only", that would be classified as racism. However a Japanese telling a foreigner that he can't use the toilet "because foreigners cause trouble" is acceptable? It's time Japan woke up to the 21st century and foreigners who make excuses for racist behavior are no better than the racists themselves.

39 ( +53 / -14 )

a small group of concerned users, perhaps in defense of the man’s behavior, brought up the fact that some tourists have in fact caused disruptions at Tsukiji by climbing onto places they shouldn’t or licking the fish offered for sale

Unless the out-of-control furriners are climbing on the cisterns and licking fish swimming in the bowl (??) how can this possibly be any kind of defence of 'Japanese only' toilets?

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Wankers, the pair of them.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A toilet being Japanese only? The Japanese guy was probably drunk.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Maybe it was a squat toilet? I'm quite happy for those to be Japanese only.

25 ( +27 / -2 )

"It’s probably difficult for foreign tourists to understand all of Japan’s complicated manners or rules.”

There is nothing difficult or complicated about some idiot approaching you in a toilet claiming "Japanese Only".

There have only been a few cases where I felt the "JP Only" situation was justified, and none of them were in the real world. There's no reason a foreigner should not have access to public facilities such as bath houses, etc.

In my case, those specific examples were in online games where it was more about being able to communicate in a particular game scenario that...well...requires a lot of communication to succeed. That, I can understand... I've never needed to communicate with anyone in the toilet.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Is this really racism? Are Japanese a race?

Seems more like xenophobia, which in my opinion is based on culture as well as features. Everyone should know Japanese are mongrels just like the rest of us.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

A lot of shouting very little observation.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@bobbysix: He is a Japan apologist - let's say a black person tried to use a toilet and was told "sorry, whites only", that would be classified as racism. However a Japanese telling a foreigner that he can't use the toilet "because foreigners cause trouble" is acceptable? It's time Japan woke up to the 21st century and foreigners who make excuses for racist behavior are no better than the racists themselves.

Or, rather, instead of going for direct confrontation (which quite a few westerners would no doubt have preferred), he chose the Japanese way of conveying his message (that the old guy was a mindless nationalist discriminating against foreigners) and helped the plight of many foreign residents and visitors to Japan. Obviously, his "Japan apologist's" way was much more effective as it got him the support of the Japanese netizens than the western way of confronting the guy straight away. But then, it seems that if you get the support of the Japanese you will lose the support of (some of) the foreign residents here. Damn if you do and damn if you don't.

11 ( +18 / -7 )

Seems more like xenophobia

I'd go with bigotry.

instead of going for direct confrontation (which quite a few westerners would no doubt have preferred), he chose the Japanese way of conveying his message (that the old guy was a mindless nationalist discriminating against foreigners) and helped the plight of many foreign residents and visitors to Japan. Obviously, his "Japan apologist's" way was much more effective as it got him the support of the Japanese netizens than the western way of confronting the guy straight away.

Bingo. Much more effective than freaking out, as many would have done.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

He should have turned around and peed on the man to show his dominance.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

Looked the devil in the eyes and smiled back. Pretty cool.

Still the Freudian slip remains......"Japanese Only". I've been told many times that this is Japan as if I were ignorant of my whereabouts. Yes, I know what my GPS says. I can see myself on Google Maps. Dakara nani?

Hiding one's racist nature must take great effort. This guy got caught with his true colors showing. I really want to have it out with racists. We need that forum so we can identify the racist masses.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The main problem with this guy is that the endlessly repeated catchphrase is not actually English. He is missing a crucial comma after 'why':

"Why, Japanese people?"

Even then, it's not a phrase that has been uttered by anyone, ever.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

Even then, it's not a phrase that has been uttered by anyone, ever.

That's why he's the "star", and you're not, don't you think?

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Another sad foreigner allowing himself to be used as a clown for the Japanese audience and a few bucks more.

I'm not saying he was wrong for not making a scene here, but he knows who's paying the bills. The last thing a sell out like him wants to do is rock the boat

15 ( +24 / -9 )

Japanese TV producers really only use white guys for one thing: minstrel shows.

LOL Perhaps there's some truth there. Then again, you also have Bob Sapp and Bobby Ologun playing the loud, obnoxious foreigner types.

As for his shtick which relies on the nuances of kanji, he ought to be saying "Why, Chinese people" instead as those characters came from China. Though that obviously wouldn't sound as catchy in Japan.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

It's time Japan woke up to the 21st century and foreigners who make excuses for racist behavior are no better than the racists themselves.

Yes, there are racist people in all countries and cultures. Yet, you say "Japan" needs to wake up? So you are basically calling a country racist because the acts of a few? How is what you said any better?

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

That's why he's the "star", and you're not, don't you think?

He is welcome to his "star"dom; nothing would interest me less. But the main point is that his use of chunks of English vocabulary is just a prop to his stereotype gaijin routine which was no doubt cooked up by the TV show producers whose script he follows.

As for the Tsukiji episode, there is no way to defend the boorish behaviour he encountered. Best response would have been to politely enquire where the non-Japanese users were supposed to go, or just to ignore the oaf.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

It's time Japan woke up to the 21st century and foreigners who make excuses for racist behavior are no better than the racists themselves.

a few idiots and suddenly it's national trait? there are idiots like this everywhere. and trying to understand the situation is perhaps more important than going ballistic on the man. you're not going to change his opinion so why get hot and bothered by it? handling an incident with class and dignity will do more for society.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Best response would have been to politely enquire where the non-Japanese users were supposed to go, or just to ignore the oaf.

His response evoked a non-condemning conversation among the Japanese, whereby they are discussing the actions of their countryman. It's likely this will get some of them to reconsider their thoughts and actions. Evoking conversation like this isn't something most of us have the scope to be able to do, and had he freaked out it wouldn't have happened, so I'd say his response to the situation was a good one.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Jason Atsugiri is a side-show attraction, like the bearded lady...apologists don't realize that Japanese are laughing at him, not with him. I'm always embarrassed when my girlfriend watches his schtick.

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

His attempt at humor looks rather sad but fits in well on Japanese TV.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Patrick Harlan

Has zero talent.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

When I was an intern I was rebuked because I used a toilet for graduated staff. I entered it because the "no degree" toilet was under cleaning. I found so stupid this that I said that would piss on my trousers next time... ;) Non sense deserves equal answers...

12 ( +13 / -1 )

If I became famous in Japan, I would have to stop reading Japan Today. The negativity of foreigners disparaging their fellow gaijin because he is doing something different is downright depressing.But it shows the true colors of those living here and jealousy is one of them.Why? Because if you were happy with your lives,you wouldnt be making unnecessary negative comments about someone trying to make his way in Japan.

-1 ( +15 / -16 )

I'm not saying he was wrong for not making a scene here, but he knows who's paying the bills. The last thing a sell out like him wants to do is rock the boat

I hate sell outs. Clamenza is making some good points here.

Another sad foreigner allowing himself to be used as a clown for the Japanese audience and a few bucks more.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Yes, there are racist people in all countries and cultures. Yet, you say "Japan" needs to wake up?

Yes it does. Nobody is arguing that there are racists everywhere. But in what country is it LEGAL to say No Foreigners?

Why is it that there is no law against discrimination except when it comes to taxes? When it comes to paying taxes, that's the only time when we are all considered equal

5 ( +10 / -6 )

There sure are a lot of jealous and bitter gaijin on this site.

-2 ( +21 / -22 )

This type on TV reminds me of the gaijin lapping up the attention in the local izakaya with natto/monja/difficult Japanese language/sitting on tatami/using chopsticks etc conversations.

Some gaijin love it. If you're that type, you may as well get paid for it. Not my thing but perhaps doing the performing seal turn is an easier way of living here than being a miserable, cynical sod.

As for the walking waste of oxygen in the toilet, there is a very large percentage of Japanese people who are not used to dealing with non-Japanese people and a much smaller percentage who actually dislike them. These days I don't actually care which it is. They are not people I would waste my time with nor get upset about. There are many decent people here.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

@Bobbysix

IMO that's an unfair analogy - black people have never directly obstructed business of the shop where the washroom is by using that washroom. Hence, to block black people from using the washroom is racism and unjust.

Some foreigners at Tsukiji have, on the other hand, obstructed business by their actions (ie. licking/tampering wit the fish rendering them unsellable).

Although I believe to group ALL foreigners into one group is taking it too far, given the linguistic limitations at play in this case, it probably was the simplest solution that the workers at Tsukiji could adopt given the resources at their disposal. IOW they can directly tell or make signs for Japanese people dictating what they are and aren't allowed to do on the premises.

I presume people like yourself would start demanding that the workers (or Japan as a whole) improve their English skills such that better, more advanced solutions can be adopted. But the primary function of Tsukiji is to sell fish to buyers, it is by no means a service industry oriented place that prioritizes catering to tourists over its normal operations.

To those of you who keep pulling the 21 century BS: Exactly, this is the 21 century, stop with all this cultural imperialism already. That sh*t is so last century. Japan and Japanese people aren't Geishas who exist to serve you. If the way they live their lives is somehow inconvenient to you, get over it.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

I became a Japanese national so they can't use the stupid "Japanese only" argument.

12 ( +17 / -6 )

Come on Strangerland, you are better than that. Using the old 'you're just jealous' routine isn't going to cut it here. He is a clown act, as every not asian foreigner is here.

A reassuringly unthreatening looking white guy pulling faces and talking funny with his voice going up and down is also astute enough to not bite the hand that feeds him.

As we all do.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

I'm guessing the man actually wanted to say "Employees Only!", but used the only English words he knew "Japanese Only"

But either way, foreigners in Japan are so quick to bitch and moan about racism, because they have never experienced it back home. After one unpleasant experience at an izakaya left me fuming, my wife offered me some great advice: "that person is a very small hearted simpleton, why would you let someone like that bother you?" It turns out she had experienced that and much worse many times when we lived overseas, but she just didnt let it phase her. No place is perfect, and no country is without racist pea-brains.

If it bothers you so much, you should probably move back to a country where you are no longer a minority.

3 ( +14 / -11 )

JaneM: "he chose the Japanese way of conveying his message"

If this were "the Japanese way", which is as discriminatory as what the man behind Astugiri shouted, said man would never have shouted anything to begin with but been all diplomatic and rationally explained the problems they've encountered with foreign tourists in the past, no? So, while you deride "what many westerners would have done", don't forget to deride the very same kind of instigation coming from a very Japanese man.

And while I do applaud Danielson for being diplomatic, the problem with the Japanese man and his approach isn't just that he singled Danielson out as a foreigner and shouted "Japanese only!", but that he only seemed to acquiesce because he recognized Danielson as a 'talento', not as a fellow human being.

Glad to see a lot of support for Danielson as well. There always is, of course, and are ALWAYS people against racism in any shape or form, but you don't hear of it spoken out against as much.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Come on Strangerland, you are better than that. Using the old 'you're just jealous' routine isn't going to cut it here. He is a clown act, as every not asian foreigner is here.

I was just pointing out the facts. People who aren't bitter and jealous don't need to denigrate others.

I wouldn't do his shtick myself, nor do I enjoy watching it. But I respect him for doing something he wants and succeeding in an industry that's not easy for foreigners to get into. Because I don't need to be jealous of him.

His Japanese is pretty good too.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

These sketches speak to the irrationality of kanji, and he's poking fun at Japanese people - not foreigners - in a way that (and this is a rare phenomenon) resonates.

His skits are fun, common sense kanji learning aids for the rest of us too.

I hate sell outs

Bolt the trailer door and pull the blinds. There's a big scary world out there demanding dialogue.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

At first I was irritated, but after mulling it over for a while, I began to think maybe they get a lot of foreign tourists who interfere with business and cause them a lot of trouble day after day.”

No wonder he has many Japanese supporters in this, he thinks like them (quite the opposite of his comedic skits of being a frustrated foreigner who doesn't understand Japan). What's next, he's gonna stop and ponder that "maybe the guys in the black vans with loud speakers are trying to keep pesky foreigners from disturbing the streets of Japan"?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm guessing the man actually wanted to say "Employees Only!", but used the only English words he knew "Japanese Only"

I was actually thinking the same. I wish Jason had asked the guy "WHY Japanese only?" in Japanese so that perhaps the guy could explain.

In some places where you see "Japanese Only", it actually means "Japanese language Only" (they do not speak English or other foreign languages) . They should say "We only speak Japanese" or "We don't speak English" but they use the phrase "Japanese Only" which gives a very wrong impression.

While I am aware that there are Japanese people who do not like foreigners (just like in many other countries they don't like foreigners), in many cases (I'm not saying ALL the cases) it is a simple misunderstanding or miscommunication.

It makes total sense if the guy was trying to say the toilet was for employees and he realized Jason was working there that day and said no problem.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

@Clamenza: Another sad foreigner allowing himself to be used as a clown for the Japanese audience and a few bucks more.

Really, Clamenza? Then all the comedians in this world are being used by others for a few bucks, uh? If so, how about the movie stars, TV personalities, etc.? It seems that people like Jason Danielson fare much better both financially and socially than some unhappy foreigners here.

I'm not saying he was wrong for not making a scene here, but he knows who's paying the bills. The last thing a sell out like him wants to do is rock the boat.

Yeah, but his tweet was accepted and he is supported by the supposedly “racist” Japanese netizens who are actually talking about what happened and discussing the behavior of their countryman. While your comments here remain just what they are: comments of a disgruntled foreigner.

@ F4HA604

A wonderful post but you may soon realize that, unfortunately, observation power and analytical ability is not among the traits of many of the patrons of the JT forum.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Another disgusting article from Rocket News 24 to justify and defend Japanese racism using paid Japan apologist.

However, a small group of concerned users, perhaps in defense of the man’s behavior, brought up the fact that some tourists have in fact caused disruptions at Tsukiji by climbing onto places they shouldn’t or licking the fish offered for sale (yes, you read that right!).

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

Why are people so upset with the 'clown act' routine? The same people usually tell us, with some truth, that Japanese TV is moronic in general regardless of the nationality of the performing clown.

He's doing what they do anf very probably giggling to himself along with other performers thinking 'I can't believe people actually watch this mindless crap and I'm getting paid for it...'

Definitely not the worst way to keep bread on the table.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Readers, please refrain from insulting Mr Atsugiri and posting drivel such as "paid Japan apologist." It is petty and reflects badly on yourselves.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Jason has been living here for over four years... No doubt like many seasoned expats, he has no problems seeing things from the Japanese perspective.

Four years makes you a seasoned expat? Really? SMH...

11 ( +14 / -4 )

.apologists don't realize that Japanese are laughing at him, not with him well im laughing at you since you dont really understand what a comedians job is. good comedians dont care if people are laughing at them, which is actually better becuase when there laughing with them it means there making fun of some other group, person, thing. All that matters is people think hes funny and they laugh

2 ( +6 / -4 )

It is funny as I have lived in Japan more than 15 years the same issues keep recycling with different facts,,, Where is Arudou Debito?!!!

If he can't phiss in the crapper, then phiss on the fish.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@Smith: So, while you deride "what many westerners would have done", don't forget to deride the very same kind of instigation coming from a very Japanese man.

Smith, there is nothing derogatory in pointing out the difference in the way people (depending on their cultural background) react in certain situations. If you cannot see the difference between how Japanese people and western people in general react when presented with the same issue, you obviously know nothing about this country or any other country for this matter. Stating that many westerners would have confronted the man directly and that would have gotten them nowhere is not derogatory. It is an observation resulting from the fact that social norms and customs are different here. But you see what you want to see and no matter how objective somebody’s comment is, people will always choose to twist it to serve their own views.

As for the Japanese guy, in case you have not noticed, there is nothing in my comment excusing the behavior of the Japanese man.

If this were "the Japanese way", which is as discriminatory as what the man behind Astugiri shouted, said man would never have shouted anything to begin with but been all diplomatic and rationally explained the problems they've encountered with foreign tourists in the past, no?

No, because even in Japan where the social norm is to remain quiet and civil (rather than go ballistic) in annoying situations, there are nuts like the guy in question. This, however, does not mean that you can lump all the Japanese as “loud” and “racist” because that one guy shouted at Jason Atsugiri. Your argument is futile also because that one guy’s shouting at Jason Atsugiri does not mean that all the Japanese would do the same. You, who have supposedly lived in Japan for a long time, should know better than other people that the customs and social norms in this country are very different from those of many countries in the west, and depending on the situation it could be a good or a bad thing (In this case though Jason’s reaction was the proper thing to do as it got him the support of the Japanese audience and got them talking about the inappropriate behavior of their countryman.)

According to you, the only way Jason Atsugiri should have acted is confronting the guy on spot because of his being a westerner, no? Your logic, if extended further, would lump all the westerners as “loud” and “confrontational” despite the fact that many would keep their cool and try to make the best of a bad situation as did J.A.

1 ( +9 / -9 )

You're on a roll Jane. Good, solid comments one after another in this thread. Keep it up.

Four years makes you a seasoned expat? Really? SMH...

I had a pretty good handle on the country after four years. I've been here 20 now, and I definitely have a better handle on things, particularly as my Japanese is miles above where it was at after four years, but even so I had a pretty solid handle on things even then. And I've known others who do as well.

In fact, I'd say that as time increases, many expats (not all by any means) lose touch of the reality of things, rather than gain a better understanding. The bitterness of many causes them to get caught up in a downward spiral of 'if it's Japan or Japanese, it sucks', and the lose perspective.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

Really, Clamenza? Then all the comedians in this world are being used by others for a few bucks, uh? If so, how about the movie stars, TV personalities, etc.? It seems that people like Jason Danielson fare much better both financially and socially than some unhappy foreigners here.

Really, Jane! The difference between Jason Danielson and the rest you mention is the purpose he serves; to be the foreign clown. But in your opinion, he's making money at it which makes it ok despite the fact it chips away at our dignity little by little. Thats called a sell-out.

Not sure you'd understand that because there tends to be two kinds of foreigner in Japan; The loud bores who will do anything for attention (being a foreigner in Japan isn't enough for some reason)

and the rest of us who simply want to get through the day with as much dignity as possible.

Moderator: Sorry, we requested that readers stop insulting Mr Atsugiri. He is not chipping away at your dignity and he is not "selling out," whatever that means.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yeah, but his tweet was accepted and he is supported by the supposedly “racist” Japanese netizens who are actually talking about what happened and discussing the behavior of their countryman. While your comments here remain just what they are: comments of a disgruntled foreigner.

Of course his tweet was "accepted", Jane. He took the insult, and immediately excused it by tacitly blaming foreigners.

I guess pointing this out makes me a disgruntled foreigner with no friends. So very sad that you have to resort to this lazy stereotype of anyone who disagrees with you. It really lowers the discourse to unacceptable levels.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

He took the insult, and immediately excused it by tacitly blaming foreigners.

Finding reasons that a Japanese person may have for being discriminatory is not blaming foreigners.

This is part of what I was talking about with my 'downward spiral' comment.

The only way to fix a problem is to understand it. Jason Atsugiri seems to have a better handle on that than the majority of people in this thread. Yelling at a problem never fixes it.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

I began to think maybe they get a lot of foreign tourists who interfere with business and cause them a lot of trouble day after day.”

As I said, he is trying to find an understanding of why the guys may feel the way they do. He hasn't blamed the foreigners with that comment, and only someone looking at the glass half-empty would take it to mean that he did.

Its pure logic, really.

It's actually not. It's emotion.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

I do find Atsugiri/Jason Danielson routine a tad irritating, I am sure he is a affable guy.

There is no excuse for publicly humiliating Jason in this manner. Jason should have retorted that he has neither the time or the crayons to direct a idiot back to his village.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"interfere with business" ?

All the foreigners I know just wait their turn when somebody is already doing their business.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Jason is probably reading these comments and laughing all the way to the bank. Personally not a fan of his skit but he's a hard worker and enjoying his opportunities, also very impressed and jealous on how insanely fast he became fluent at Japanese.

As for Patrick Harlan having no skills, I beg the differ. Harvard graduate, won various comedy competitions, has been host of a variety of tv shows.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Okay, kudos for having kept cool under the circumstances, but this...

At first I was irritated, but after mulling it over for a while, I began to think maybe they get a lot of foreign tourists who interfere with business and cause them a lot of trouble day after day.

...is a rather unhealthy dose of victim-blaming.

I don't know if Atsugiri was purposely trying to ingratiate himself with the natives or not, but there's a whole world of grey in between being craven and going the full Debito. He should have calmly asked the man to explain himself and uploaded the response to the twitterati.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

As Japan has no anti discrimination laws nor any penalties for such behavior then we just have to suck it up........

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

I do feel as if people are laughing at him not with him. It was the same for Bobby, who was acting as a black ape because that's how the Japanese view black people. And then you have MR JAMES from the McDonald commercial.

There is a steady campaign to label foreigners as different. Black men are like apes. White men can't learn kanji and scream "why Japan" as well as speaking in stupid Katakana English like MR James. This is important to them, because it JUSTIFIES their racism. Deep down inside the Japanese know they are racists. They just need justification to continue it. I remember the fish licking incident. That was a long time ago; even before the earthquake. To tell someone that they can't go somewhere or do something because someone else did so and so is riduculous. After all, how many Japanese reading this would be ok with not being let in somewhere else in the world because of bad Chinese behavior?

Those of you who say we should just go home fail to realize that most foreigners did. The foreign population has been on the decline since the lehman shock as well as the fall of Nova and Geos. That portal that brought foreigners in has dried up.

The vast majority of the ones here today are married with kids, and its not just them that this discrimination hurts, but their Japanese families; their spouses who have to deal with the social stigma of not marrying a japanese national and their kids who see Jason, James, and Bobby make fools of themselves on TV and then get told their foreign parent must be the same way.

Those of you who are apologists are not helping Japan nor are you being openminded. Racism is racism. It is what it is. The problem we have with Japan is that the racism is institutional; and herein lies the problem. Japanese and foreigners alike need to unite and take a stand against all discrimination. How can Japan continually endorse world peace when it can't even make peace with the foreigners living on its soil.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

Has zero talent.

Not sure if that is true, but it would make him on par with all the other "talento". And since he graduated Harvard, he's at least smarter than most of them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

One trick ponies like this only last a few months on Japanese TV, then around we go...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

'There is a steady campaign to label foreigners as different. Black men are like apes. White men can't learn kanji and scream "why Japan" as well as speaking in stupid Katakana English like MR James. This is important to them, because it JUSTIFIES their racism.'

Idiots who watch rubbish like this are generally not the kind of people foreigners should be associating with anyway. As I mentioned before, there is a large proportion of Japanese people, those who are not used to or dislike foreigners, who can and should be written off. I know many decent, intelligent and open-minded Japanese people who are as embarrassed about idiots in curly blond wigs and plastic noses as you are angered by them.

Not worth the stomach ulcer.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Strangerland: "I was just pointing out the facts. People who aren't bitter and jealous don't need to denigrate others."

Wrong. If I point out how wrong the new legislation 'for defense' is and how harmful it would be to Japan, instead of improving things, that in no way makes me bitter or jealous. Your inability to admit you simply overstated things and attempts to justify said overstating is rearing its head again.

JaneM: "Smith, there is nothing derogatory in pointing out the difference in the way people (depending on their cultural background) react in certain situations. If you cannot see the difference between how Japanese people and western people in general react when presented with the same issue, you obviously know nothing about this country or any other country for this matter."

And you obviously cannot see your own hypocrisy and have, as usual, completely missed the point! You're saying a white, Western male 'reacted in a Japanese way' by being calm instead of lashing out as Westerners do, to a Japanese man who was lashing out! So, is the man who shouted "Japanese only!" not Japanese? Sorry, Jane, but it IS discriminatory to overlook, and so inherently believe, that people are different based on nationality instead of people just being different based on who they are.

"This, however, does not mean that you can lump all the Japanese as “loud” and “racist” because that one guy shouted at Jason Atsugiri."

I did not do that at all. YOU are the one who said Westerners are one way and Japanese the other, and cannot even say that Danielson might not be like other Westerners, but instead "acted Japanese". I said that people are different, regardless of cultural background, and you have admitted it without seeing the hypocrisy you spout.

"According to you, the only way Jason Atsugiri should have acted is confronting the guy on spot because of his being a westerner, no?"

Again, not at all. I said Jason was being Jason, as not all Westerners and not all Japanese are alike (never did I say they are all like the man who shouted, did I?). YOU are the one who said one culture is like A, and the other like B. Jason is A but was acting like B, but the man who shouted is B... but suddenly he's not B. Your contradictions as well are baffling since you cannot see them.

Sorry, but you're being downright discriminatory. Period.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

When I first started learning Japanese as a highschooler, my Japanese teacher (a Tokyo native) always went on and on about Tsukiji and recommended it as a place to visit. When I went there as exchange student some years later, yeah the kaisendon was delicious but I felt like I was interrupting busy people at work. A couple Japanese shopkeepers made no secret of the fact they thought so too. There was a stream of Japanese tourists too but I guess I stood out. It was awkward. I won't be going back, ever. Maybe it was a better place to visit back in the day when my teacher was still living in Japan...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@strangerland

Thank you. I have read your comments and appreciate the points you have made, too.

@Clamenza,

Is it you calling the kettle black? He he. I do not resolve to lazy stereotypes. And please kindly let me know where I said anything about you not having friends? As others have said it before, bigotry is a two-way street. I have seen so much stereotyping done by foreigners about other foreigners, about Japanese, that yours, one more case, is just a drop in the ocean. I only wish that stereotyping others could make people happy. Then we would have so many happy guys here at JT!

@smith

Did I touch a tender spot somewhere inside of you? Do you feel discriminated against by me? Or do you try to speak for the Japanese whom I have (according to you) derided on this thread? You can twist people's comments as you please. I guess everybody wants to make ourselves look good in the eyes of others and quite often in such cases the result justifies the means.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Pointing out inconsistencies in kanji does not equal "white guy who can't read kanji." You actually have to have a decent grasp of it to do his schtick.

It's pretty much stuff all foreigners have thought about while studying kanji. It probably seems new to locals (hence funny) because they were just taught to accept it since childhood. Don't hate on the guy for capitalizing on it. Unlike Bobby, he doesn't play dumb. He's actually pretty articulate and comes of as pretty "majime" when not doing his act.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Tsukiji is hell for everyone that does not work in there or doesn't know how to behave inside that market... no matter if you are Japanese of foreigner. Japanese are bit less "yell at" because, the common Japanese manners kick in (the nick-nacks of being Japanese), not the case of non-Japanese or even expat Japanese (yes there are expat Japanese that ignore most of those Japanese behavior)

That is not to say, that people that work in Tsukiji are very rough, impolite and nearly brutish at the moment of treating people. But to be truth, those people are well heart, most of them.

Final thing, making people laugh (in any language in any country) is a extremely difficult thing and in fact you have to be pretty smart to do so. Being a "tarento" in Japan, true is that in some cases there is no need to have "academic knowledge" or even common sense, but those "tarento" tend to be short lived. If you want to survive as a tarento here you need to have some good skills, make that "academic", "social" or "physical" (put special emphases in SOCIAL). Did you people know how many "tarento" and "comedians" in Japan have a College title, there are a lot, and from very good Colleges in Japan and in overseas. So the "ignorant buffoon" thing is wrong... "Hear Angry People!!"

5 ( +7 / -2 )

It's amazing to me that there are still places in the world where racism is not only socially acceptable but also legal .

0 ( +6 / -6 )

JaneM: "Did I touch a tender spot somewhere inside of you?"

I think everyone should object to discrimination, and objecting to your discriminatory attitude is no exception. You did not 'touch a tender spot somewhere inside' me.

"You can twist people's comments as you please."

It's you who is doing the twisting, saying Western people are one way (but some ACT like Japanese if they are behaving well), and Japanese (not Asian, mind you, only Japan vs. one group called "the West"!), and then suggesting that my saying Danielson is not 'being like Japanese' means he should have been belligerent when all I said is that he acted like Danielson, etc. Let's look at some examples!

"This, however, does not mean that you can lump all the Japanese as “loud” and “racist” because that one guy shouted at Jason Atsugiri."

I did not do that at all. YOU are the one who said Westerners are one way and Japanese the other, and cannot even say that Danielson might not be like other Westerners, but instead "acted Japanese". I said that people are different, regardless of cultural background, and you can't see the glaring hypocrisy.

"According to you, the only way Jason Atsugiri should have acted is confronting the guy on spot because of his being a westerner, no?"

See? You twist my words. I literally said you cannot say Westerners are like this (unless they 'act like Japanese' and are calm, and polite), and Japanese like this (and then of course you have to backtrack when pointed out it was a Japanese who is loud and obnoxious), but that people are people, and you suggest I mean that all Japanese are loud like this guy? I never said that at all. And your defense is the usual, "If you cannot see what I said, you do not understand the culture, etc."

"Or do you try to speak for the Japanese whom I have (according to you) derided on this thread?"

WHERE have I said you derided Japanese on this thread?? You've indirectly discriminated against people in general through bias, but nowhere have you said you derided anyone, did I?

"I guess everybody wants to make ourselves look good in the eyes of others and quite often in such cases the result justifies the means."

Again, can't even seen the hypocrisy. Need proof?

"Thank you. I have read your comments and appreciate the points you have made, too."

Strangeland: You're oversimplifying by saying that if someone doesn't like this guy's act and/or points out that he is appealing to the J-audience's way of seeing others must 'be jealous'. That's ludicrous. It is a fact that he has played into, and cleverly and successfully so, the stereotypical way in which many Westerners are seen. Now, I don't think you need evidence, but in case you do why is it if a kid sees a relatively young, white man they will start mimicking Danielson and shouting, "WHY JAPANESE? WHY?!"

I don't really care one way or the other about his act. I'm happy for him that he's been successful, and happy that people had the grace to support him against this unruly Japanese racist who confronted him. I think it's a shame, though, he has to play to stereotypes -- and that does not make me either bitter or jealous.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Strangeland: You're oversimplifying by saying that if someone doesn't like this guy's act and/or points out that he is appealing to the J-audience's way of seeing others must 'be jealous'.

Not really. People who aren't bitter and/or not jealous don't waste time hating on others. Look at Jimizo for example - he's been clear that he doesn't like this guy's thing, but he hasn't hated on him. He very obviously isn't bitter or jealous. I put it that the people who are hating on him are jealous and/or bitter.

why is it if a kid sees a relatively young, white man they will start mimicking Danielson and shouting, "WHY JAPANESE? WHY?!"

I'd laugh, and I'd applaud that the kid is trying to reach out and communicate in a way he can. That takes a lot of guts, that a lot of kids here don't have. Not everything needs to be taken with a chip on the shoulder.

I think it's a shame, though, he has to play to stereotypes -- and that does not make me either bitter or jealous.

I can accept that you're not jealous. But you forget that I read your posts here every day - and you are clearly very bitter about Japan, whether you like to admit it or not.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

ah Jane, where to start?

Pot calling the kettle black? In what regard?

Bigotry is a two way street? Who have I been bigoted against?

You haven't made one coherent point other than you are angered at foreigners who have the gall to have an opinion different from yours. Not very becoming at all...

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Readers, no more bickering please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's amazing to me that there are still places in the world where racism is not only socially acceptable but also legal .

Manny, what's even more amazing is that they keep getting a free pass and the west tends to admire them and gloss over their overt racism. And even more amazing- they're going to host the Olympics in 5 years. I7m actuallty glad in a way. When many people get told "Japanese only" during that time it will probably hit the major news channels and the cat will be out of the bag.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

@Smith: It's you who is doing the twisting, saying Western people are one way (but some ACT like Japanese if they are behaving well), and Japanese (not Asian, mind you, only Japan vs. one group called "the West"!)

If you say so, Smith. But then, are you trying to tell me that people who come from the same cultural background are all the same, that there are no deviations from what is considered a common trait based on shared history, cultural background, customs?? Or that there are no such things like cultural differences and everybody acts as they please, never (subconsciously) shaping their behavior so that it would suit the norm in their community or society? Could you please make yourself clear before trying to interpret my comments for me?

I referred to the Japanese culture because the article is about a happening in Japan, involving a Japanese guy and a western guy. So why should I comment on all Asians and compare them to the westerners? Again, the story in question involves only one Japanese and one western person (the latter’s nationality not stated in the article).

0 ( +6 / -6 )

All great points smith!

Its unfortunate that certain posters here celebrate the loud, buffoonish sell-outs here that make it a little harder to get through the day with dignity intact.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's pretty much stuff all foreigners have thought about while studying kanji. It probably seems new to locals (hence funny) because they were just taught to accept it since childhood.

Actually I think Japanese people find it funny because it is pretty much stuff Japanese kids have felt for themselves when they were learning kanji. And that adults still feel but are hesitant to mention. And as you say, he needs to be pretty articulate (and to know his kanji) to be able to pull it off.

I think it's a shame, though, he has to play to stereotypes

You mean the stereotype of the foreigner who can analyse the structure and meaning of kanji, and can write 憂鬱(yu'utsu, depression) while pointing out how having to learn so many strokes is enough to make anyone depressed? Yeah, that stereotype is all over the place....

9 ( +11 / -3 )

Strangerland - You say that you've been here for 20 years yet you still don't realize the actions of one foreigner is reflected on all of us, unfairly or not. I suspect his 15 minutes are just about up, but not without perpetuating the image of the loud, thick-headed screaming foreigner.

Moderator: Sorry, but we have instructed readers not to badmouth Mr Atsuguri.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As long as he doesn't parody the stereotypical gaijin faux pas then however he makes his crust is up to him. Its hard enough convincing folk around me that we aren't all idiots who have no clue about what is right and wrong behaviour in this country.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I cannot understand why Tsukuji allows tourists, it's a place of business not a theme park. Stop letting them in. As for the idiot who made the xenophobic comment, I would have asked him why a lavatory was 'Japanese only'.

9 ( +8 / -0 )

Well said on the 憂鬱, Cleo!

Emigré comedians the world over point out their hosts' foibles, and are loved for it. Atsugiri is no different.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

sir; And why not nihon no ? O)))) its their home :O)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'm starting to think some people have picked up two of the less desirable Japanese traits - caring too much what other people think and watching ludicrous and balloon-head television. Does it really matter if Japanese people assume you can't read Kanji? The same types often assume that Japanese people can't speak English.

Be careful people, there are many virtues to admire here but there are also pitfalls...I hope my Japanese coworker who was transferred to my home country hasn't started binge-drinking and telling people to eff off.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

To set the record straight, I have no beef against that guy. It's the fact that he was justifying the racist old guy by suggesting that some foreigners cause trouble therefore it's o.k to discrimate against them. And what's more surprising is the number of people on this site who have the 'if you don't like it, then go home' attitude. Obviously they are happy being discriminated against and have no desire to improve the situation. Of course racism ( or bigotry) exists in all countries. What's even worse is people trying to excuse or justify it.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I think that as guests in this country we should be seen and not heard just to be on the safe side. It has been said that the actions of one reflect on us all. That is more the case in Japan than any other country I have lived/visited. I don't want this guy on TV. Its good to have a foreign perspective like Dave Spector but folk like this guy just bring up the same tired stereotypes.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

I think that as guests in this country we should be seen and not heard

Who is this 'we' you speak of? Some of us are not guests, this is our home, and we've been given permission to live here indefinitely.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Japan is blissfully mono-cultural and homogeneous. Thankfully we foreigners have the option to ignore this country if we can't keep up with their unique antics.

4 ( +6 / -3 )

I ain't no guest as I have been granted permission to stay and have enormous amounts of taxes extracted from my earnings.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I ain't no guest, neither. I got a card saying my legal abode is here.

It has been said that the actions of one reflect on us all.

Whoever said that is a fool. My actions reflect on me, no one else. Atsugiri's actions reflect on him. No one else. The only people whose actions reflect on me are my kids, coz I brung 'em up and they get their basic moral code from me and their Dad.

I don't want this guy on TV

Then don't watch.

folk like this guy just bring up the same tired stereotypes

What stereotypes are those, then?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I can't believe some of the replies here. Why take things so literally. I have permanent residency and I pay my taxes. I work in the business that is unique and necessary in Japan that the Japanese cannot provide for themselves. It's my OWN business!! I probably pay more taxes than many on here. But get this folks... We are all guests here!! And that permenant residency that you Think makes you bulletproof can be rescinded at any time you do not have a lifetime ticket to living in Japan as you think you do. One more thing if I have to explain what stereotypes I speak off then perhaps you don't know as much about Japan as you seem to think you do. I love this country as I do my own I have been here 10 years I have no wish to leave and want to stay for as long as I possibly can but that does not mean living in Japan is easy for foreigners and the last thing I want and the last thing I need are other foreigners creating stereotypes that make ridicule of us all and make life all the more difficult for us that tay here

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

'I think that as guests in this country we should be seen and not heard just to be on the safe side. It has been said that the actions of one reflect on us all.'

Oh, play the world's smallest violin. I regard myself as a guest - to be honest, my partner and I are basically here for the money these days. Still, why does it follow that I should be seen and not heard? As a guest, I don't see myself as a representative of guests in general either. Neither am I prepared to take s### from obnoxious idiots. Put the violin away, ignore the ignorant, stop watching Channel Moron on TV and grow a backbone.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I can't believe some of the replies here. Why take things so literally. I have permanent residency and I pay my taxes. I work in the business that is unique and necessary in Japan that the Japanese cannot provide for themselves. It's my OWN business!! I probably pay more taxes than many on here.

Maybe. But maybe not. I pay a lot of taxes.

But get this folks... We are all guests here!!

Again, speak for yourself. Guests are temporary. I've already been here longer than temporary.

And that permenant residency that you Think makes you bulletproof can be rescinded at any time you do not have a lifetime ticket to living in Japan as you think you do.

You are basing this comment on...?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

that does not mean living in Japan is easy for foreigners

It's easy for me.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Readers, please focus your comments on what is in the story.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Jason Atsugiri/Danielson is first and foremost a TV personality, probably at the whim of an 'agency'. Jason is not the type who is going to make waves.

There is a novel entitled, Foucault's Pendulum, denotes four types of characters cretins, fools, morons, and lunatics, it is rare to stumble on a mixture of all four, but that fateful day Jason Atsugiri/Danielson caught sight of the window licking version. Although having said that Jason san could make comic capital out of this encounter, and belittle and shame his tormentor.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@clueless If you're looking for the best or the easiest place to live as a foreigner, you've chosen the wrong place. This country has many wonderful qualities but it isn't famous for its ability to deal with or accept foreigners for a very good reason. Don't start moaning about the rain if you have chosen to live in my home country. Go to the pub and enjoy yourself. Have a pie as well.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

i would have just calmly said to the guy in Japanese, "Ok this is the toilet for small wieners, wheres the big weirner toilet!?"

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@clueless. Thank you. Japan is for "Japanese ". Foreigners will always be outcasts.

But japanese know which foreigners to bow down to & which are to be generally tolerated-

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

I agreed with Kabukilover the Japanese guy was probably drunk if Jason Danielson was racial discriminated by Japanese guy in the toilet but I doubt it was happened.

Does he tell the truth? Does he have footage of shouting him as "Japanese only"? I don't take serious words come out from entertainers especially come out from American. They make up the story everyday for publicity. So why I have to believe it was trued?

I really doubt about Jason Danielson’s Tsukiji toilet story. It’s made up story for publicity.

In Tsukiji Fish market, they don’t like all tourists regardless of White or Yellow or Black because they try to touch fish, disturbing activity and take selfies when they were busied. Peoples should think with their brain whether that story was made-up story or not before commenting on net.

His “Why Japanese people?!” was real offensive and making joke about stereotype of ethnic group was quite offensive and racist in Australia.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

@Clamenza

Angered at foreigners who do not share my point of view?? No. People are not obliged to share my way of thinking. But it does bother me when people who stereotype others accuse others of stereotyping them.

BTW, I am not surprised you cannot see my point as coherent. After all, it takes much more than a knee-jump reaction to at least try to understand what others say.

Be happy.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

What is truly interesting here is not the story itself I think. Just one tweet that nobody can even check and with far too many uncertainties is not news.

It is the fact that this article is (and by far) one of the most commented articles on JapanToday. Some people here are blaming Daniel for his silly act, or the bad way Japanese humor works by laughing at a foreigner "clown". But those same people are the ones taking time to comment, thinking about it, and overlooking other matters much more important in Japan.

To me, that says one important thing: Those people criticize Japan and the Japanese for doing being shallow and narrow-minded, but are doing exactly the same thing!

They should read more about the new immigration law that is being passed with some possible very bad consequences for everybody (the Japanese society as well). Or almost any other policy that is being enforced for that matter. Most of them (in my view) right now go against what would better Japan even more, for the Japanese, for the foreigners living here. Even for people outside through the way governments work with each other.

Just change "Jason" with "Kardashian" and you will get to see how ridiculous the whole thing is. Nobody should even care, they are entertainers and their goal is not making anything serious better.

And to people wanting to say "but aren't you doing the same thing, wasting time on that exact matter?". Please don't even try, it cannot compare. It would be the same as saying that a demonstration is as pointless as the thing it is demonstrating against. If you think so, then you have lost grip of how a constructed dialogue between reasonable people works. And your answer is not something I look forward to.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

To me, that says one important thing: Those people criticize Japan and the Japanese for doing being shallow and narrow-minded, but are doing exactly the same thing!

I said a similar thing on here before but the person who calls out an entire country for the acts of one individual gets the most thumbs up in JT history. How does labeling the whole country as racist not equal discrimination?

I swear on every article on this site, if something bad happens, a few people always say it is a Japan thing. Coming to a country and discriminating against the natives is plain weird in my opinion.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

'I really doubt about Jason Danielson’s Tsukiji toilet story. It’s made up story for publicity.'

It never ceases to amaze me how many Japanese people find it difficult to accept that some of their fellow Japanese are racists. Is it the 'Japanese people wouldn't do that' argument? I've lived here for 15 years and found the majority of Japanese to be not used to dealing with foreigners and a smaller number who just don't like them. I don't waste my time with these people.

Honestly, the bigots are there. Drunk and sober. I've met them in both states.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@Jane - Quite frankly, you were angry someone had a very legitimate and popular opinion you didn't share. Then you decided to become nasty about it, unfortunately. I always look to other JT posters for insight and wisdom, yet in your case was met with crassness. Im saddened.

remember in the future to allow other points of view as an opportunity to learn.

God bless!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

One of my uni classes ends every week with some of the guys shouting "Bye, Japanese, bye!"

Funny, but a bit wearing after the fifth time....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

and Sense, why would you call it "reverse snobbery"?? I never charged anyone with being a snob. Only cringe-inducing.

Very strange choice of words....

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Ahhh strangerland, again lowering the bar for civil discourse. It really is a sad reeflection on this otherwise fine site.

You can't actually debate my points that Jason does us all a disservice by playing the lunatic AND blaming foreigners for the racism they sometimes receive, so you resort to childish emotional insults.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

why would you call it "reverse snobbery"?? I never charged anyone with being a snob.

Should I Google it for you? Atsugiri has achieved success and a modicum of fame partly through his grasp of language. Some people aren't too great at masking their disdain for this.

"maybe they get a lot of foreign tourists who interfere with business and cause them a lot of trouble day after day" is an over-exaggerated translation of his tweet: たぶん毎日毎日外国人観光客に営業妨害されていて築地の方々は大変だろうなと思うようになった, in which Atsugiri doesn't actually posit that tourists cause them a lot of trouble.

Tsukiji is a market, not a theme park, but loads of camera-toting tourists get off the Hibiya Line there. Atsugiri merely saw that tourists do actually (inadvertently, but by their mere presence) interfere with business.

You can blame JNTO and Tsukiji management for that. But why blame someone for seeking to understand the oyaji's context and turn the proverbial other cheek? If that's "selling out," I'm a turncoat Uncle Tom!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I too have been in Japan long enough to realize that indeed, a lot of foreigners here don't know enough about the language or culture to not completely muck things up. Thus I too take this sort of xenophobia in stride. I simply explain calmly that I understand what is going on, in the language of this, their country, and have not had what might have been a JP only situation bar me yet.

This might surprise you, but I have met all sorts of people from all sorts of countries I would not even want in my yard! But, for sure, certain people from certain countries tend to be more trouble than others in certain things. Once the pass the " calm and rational" test though, I will take anybody.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It ought to be easy to check up on his story. How many restrooms could a fishmarket have?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Some foreigners at Tsukiji have, on the other hand, obstructed business by their actions (ie. licking/tampering wit the fish rendering them unsellable).

@F4HA604

Here is the video with the foreign tourist licking the fish at Tsukiji: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7qf41_douche_webcam

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Four years is still newbie phase. It smacks of "Im trying at all cost to make this work, and really love it" 8 years that slowly changes, add 8 more to that you pretty well know whats up. this guy, while I respect his attempt at his hustle, is still learning, and I think thats why some J veterans are annoyed by it. Its not being a hater, and Im surely not jealous, it just seems too naive. we all go through this phase, and it will pass. The racist oyaji is must more common than some here seem to think Come back in 4 more years, see if he is still at it. Other tarento have tried it, and they either left, or changed it up a bit. The problem comes when they try to change it up. The rigid tate shakai rears up and doesnt like change so much. Many gaijin are stuck in the same roles they started out as. Some may point to Pakkun as an exception, but he is really only following the same route. Start off as the unique gaijin doing comedy, then move into a guest on a talk show that adds his countries perspective and does allot of sou desu ka's and role playing. To each his own, but I for one dont find that appealing. .

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Four years is still newbie phase.

Maybe for some people, but by four years, most people have already ridden the wave of honeymoon -> crash -> normalization.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I have never bought into the whole honeymoon crash assimilate paradigm. Its more like honeymoon, crash or leave, then try to find your natural order of things by searching out the honeymoon all over. I say this, as the very meaning of gaijin is outsider, so there really never is any assimilation, as the loop cannot be broken and your the perpetual outsider.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

For those who think that trying to find an understanding of the thinking of the Japanese guy is blaming foreigners for the Japanese guy's actions, this article is a good read: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/03/the-audacity-of-talking-about-race-with-the-klu-klux-klan/388733/

I say this, as the very meaning of gaijin is outsider, so there really never is any assimilation, as the loop cannot be broken and your the perpetual outsider.

It depends on what your expectations of assimilation are. Do I feel Japanese? No. Do I want to be? No. But I've found acceptance here, and that's what matters to me.

One thing I've noticed about those who go on about being the perpetual outsider - they generally put themselves in that position. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Strangerland

Yes, a thousand times! Those who want to be outsiders will always be so. Those who want in will always find a way.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@Clamenza, I am sorry if you felt offended by my comments. I do not expect people around me to share my opinions and I do not lose sleep over JT posters’ disagreement with me either. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion and I respect that. However, it is indeed tiring to see here the same comments about the Japanese who “always stereotype foreigners, do not understand foreigners,” etc. This, in itself is also stereotyping and does not put the person expressing such an opinion at a higher level than the behavior he/she tries to criticize. Unfortunately, this time the vile was also addressed to a fellow foreigner who, despite being described as an “apologist” and what not, got the best of the situation thanks to his understanding of the locals’ ways. I sure very much hope that you look to other posters for insight and hope to see some more understanding of why certain things in Japan are done in certain ways.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

JaneM - apologies accepted. As a long-time resident of Japan, I also hope in the future that you will accept without complaint that "certain things done in certain ways in Japan" should never have to include throwing all foreigners under the bus so as to not rock the boat.

Agree to disagree, I guess.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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