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Times are changing

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he does still get stared at

What does he expect? Dude dresses like a clown and has an afro the size of a medicine ball.

14 ( +24 / -10 )

Surely, it’s the bad dress sense that is the problem....

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Wow, what progress! Two native women speak to a black man; I just hope I live long enough to see the same thing happen in my own country — England. But, perhaps, that's just a pipe dream.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

My question to Soejima san: パパは?

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Somewhere in the world, there is The Most Racist Country. There is also The Least Racist Country. Every other country lies somewhere in between.

Different people have different ideas about where Japan lies on that scale. There is no doubt that there are some racist things in Japan; any foreigner who has ever rented an apartment in Japan has had this thrown right in their face with no unclarity whatsoever that they are being denied the right to rent certain places due to their ethnicity.

Now that said, the idea that Japan is The Most Racist Country is pretty silly. Even if you want to think that Japanese people have a more racist mindset than any other country in the world, it would mean they are really, really good at stifling that and dealing with real-world foreigners without refusing to even interact with them. I would assert that means they are not The Most Racist Country.

There is definitely room for improvement, but for a country that has always had at best a miniscule visible minority population, and even now still only has a fraction of a percentage of visible minorities, they are at least trying to work on it to some degree. As more and more of them grow up with multi-racial kids in their classes, seeing multi-racial kids in society, subconsciously the national image of what it is to be Japanese cannot help but change alongside that. That's why people like Naomi Osaka are so important. They show that national identity is not just blood, but also a culture that one can choose, or choose to cast aside. This also forces the Japanese to confront their ideas of what it means to be Japanese, which will also only result in greater acceptance for their multi-racial children across the wider-scope of society, even while a percentage of it stews in their perceived dilution of its ethnic purity.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Pretend your in a street gang and two brothers are the leaders. Loyalty and trust between these two brothers(Japanese) will always be stronger than with the rest of the group(foreigners). This is Japan. I don’t try to fight for leadership or fawn for acceptance. frustration from foreigners probably comes from those needing this acceptance. My in laws have certainly accepted me and that’s all that matters, and should matter. Everything else is just insecurity.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

From my experience in the US, a racist white man or woman (not the kkk type) and a racist black man or woman (not the black panther type) can still get up in the morning, go to work, and successfully work with each other all day, then go home. This to me is what makes the US much better than most most countries. Institutionalized racism is a whole different animal. We had a half black/white president for 8 years and I didn’t see him try at all to attack this. His skin was black, but his policies were little different from Bush jr.

Freedom of thought is important. If you want to be a racist, go ahead, but your still going to have to get up, go to work, and work next to that black, Asian, or middle eastern person and keep your mouth shut if you want to eat.

Japan is very different. You have a large coherent group with a strong social culture. I can understand their desire to protect it. The US, not so much, and proud of it.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Jun Soejima, with his magnificent Afro tonsorial arrangement, would be a ideal subject for a caricaturist. However,any who did draw him ,even in a complimentary light, would be running the risk of incurribg the wrath of the PC Warriors and their fellow traveller comrades.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

This guy has adopted a kawaii gaijin schtick like most of the foreigners on TV here.

If they’re cool playing cartoon humans that’s fine. I just can’t see any connection between a handful of ‘entertainer’ foreigners in the media and the wider subject of acceptance in Japanese society.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Paustovsky,

Soejima is Japanese, was born and raised in Japan by his Japanese mother and grandmother, never knew his father, never even traveled overseas until a short trip after the age of 30.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Oh and he is totally inept at the English language.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just because Naomi Osaka won a big tournament and they can finally say a Japanese is a tennis champion doesn't mean 'Times are changing.' Haven't seen any other changes here except people soaking up some of her sunshine. Give me a break!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Paustovsky

Like most people on tv, the guy probably has an invented "character" that is not 100% his true self. I would expect everyone on tv to be projecting some kind of image, even newsreaders and commentators who feign concern about stories they are probably not interested in and know nothing about beyond the script they are reading.

Soejima san was raised in Japan and culturally he is close to 100% Japanese. Thane Camus is too. They grew up watching Japanese tv and talking about it at the normal Japanese schools they attended. In Soejima's case, he grew up in Japan without a Japanese father spoon-feeding him with "ore" type male speech. This situation tends to produce young men who come across as "kawaii". He's probably hamming it up a bit, but not that much. It is not uncommon for male haafus to not speak ore ore Japanese.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Good looking dude. Love that fro.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

My family likes Jun-chan. He is funny, especialy for kids and can speak Japanese very well. Jun-chan and Naomi-chan are doing their best to integrate into the Japanese culture, and show the world that Japan is welcoming for foreigners and minority groups Especially with Olympics just around the corner.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Gambatte Pls, I am a foreign lady that operates a business of 30 years in Japan.I get ijime by old Japanese employee that encourage new employees to ijime me too The male accountants and share-holder owner and this ijime is going still going on everyday. But I always remember , What my grandfather had said, God have eyes and good people have eyes too.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Ganbare,

Your post is quite ridiculous. He speaks Japanese well? Well, since he was born and raised here and it’s the only language he knows, I would think so. He’s integrating into Japanese culture? He doesn’t need to because it’s the only culture he knows.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

"Well, since he was born and raised here and it’s the only language he knows"

I met a Japanese guy whose mother was black, and he looked way more black than Japanese with an afro and he couldn't speak a word of English. It was a major problem for him being as how everyone who met him for the first time and not knowing who he was automatically assumed that he could speak English.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My family likes Jun-chan. He is funny, especialy for kids and can speak Japanese very well. Jun-chan and Naomi-chan are doing their best to integrate into the Japanese culture

This was so frustrating to read. Funny how much praise biracial Japanese people get.....when they're popular in Japan, yet the issues remain regarding racial prejudice. Jun doesnt need to “integrate”, he was born and raised in Japan yet you treat as if isn’t. You even have Japanese folk on forums questioning if Naomi’s nationality.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Not sure whats up.. he basically trying to copy Richard Aoyade ( Moss from IT crowd ) both in dress and hair...

Obviously he would be stared at...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Ayoade

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I always hear bout bullying towards biracial children from people in their 20s and 30s. How about today?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Although I usually disagree with what @Ganbare Japan posts, and whether he is trying to bait the posters, what he posts here is probably fairly representative of the 127m people in Japan.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I always hear bout bullying towards biracial children from people in their 20s and 30s. How about today?

My kids have been pretty fortunate that they haven't been bullied at all.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What s stupid caption. That story has been told over and over again. Every time a "black" or "half black" person breaks through the tatami ceiling, there is an article about how Japan is "changing" - bullocks (https://ameblo.jp/sentoryu/). Change would be if newscasters, politicians, Ceos of major historically Japanese corporations, etc. where accepted. When articles like this do not have to be written, times will be changing. This guy is (seen as) a clown and unbeknownst to him if he looks or acts any way shape or form other than what they understand as "black", he will be toast.

I was studying Enka and Minyou for years in Japan back in the day. I was entering and winning competitions and everyone wanted me to go pro. I refused because I knew that if I gained popularity, it would be only because I was black and sang enka. About a year later, Jero came out and was an instant hit. My enka teacher was like "I told you so". But I was fine. I looked forward in his career and saw that he would have to be singing and dancing like a mistral show for the next 100 years and he would be nothing more to the Japanese than a "mezurashii", "sugooi", "omoshiroi" artist....and if he ever decided to be or do anything else outside of that (i.e. be a real artist), he would find out real quick, that it was is race/look, not his talent that made him a star. I told my teacher my purpose was to be a great (enka & minyou) singer, not a freak show.

Fast forward 10 years later and just as I suspected, Jero has gassed out of the market. Probably some other half black "mezurashii", "sugooi", "omoshiroi" artist took his place. The brother announced that he will no longer sing and build his career as a computer engineer. But it makes sense. He was used by the Japanese entertainment industry to sing and dance like a circus clown....and discarded when people stopped paying (and/or he got wise and saw that it was dead end street.)

My kids will NEVER be accepted by "real" Japanese people...but that is ok. I did not raise them to feel the need to have to prove their Japaneseness to a country that will continuously doubt and question their validity as human beings. I raised them to love and accept themselves. They are accepted by god, by me and they accept themselves. If Japan figures out that that they are the future, cool. If not, my kids are the future regardless.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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