I spent two decades in Hokkaido. I was a business owner, college professor and a Rotarian. During my time there, I met quite a few people who commonly used the expression, “外人” . Once in Guam when called out as a Gaijin by a young Japanese boy, I explained that he was wrong being that I am American, and Guam is an American territory. I showed him my passport, stepped in line with my fellow countryman and other visa holders. I then said that he would have to get in the foreigner line with the other “外国人”. We were passing through immigration. He asked his father if this was true. His father acknowledged that I was indeed correct. The boy started crying fairly profusely. I apologized to his father, wished them well, but I often wonder if that boy who’s now a young man points to non-Japanese people and calls them gaijin. Maybe I should have ignored him, but the way the word is used can be the same as calling someone a bad name etc, etc. Arguably, some people bring disrespect upon themselves through very dishonorable behavior. Regardless of their race, they are not gaijin, honkies, etc. They are just plain old idiots. One caveat here is that a lot of Japanese people believe that they are a superior race. Those folks will simply get old and die just like the rest of us. I wonder how much they will learn in their lifetimes.
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