HaileG comments

Posted in: The problem is they want the workers but not the people. See in context

That's very honest of her.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: World's smallest baby boy returns home healthy: Japanese university See in context

My daughter was born in Japan at 286 grams. Her care was excellent and I am sure that they saved her life. The other amazing thing was that insurance covered almost everything including 6 months in the hoospital.

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Posted in: Crazy in love? The Japanese man 'married' to a hologram See in context

Also he mentions being bullied by Japanese women....

Japanese women are notorious, among Japanese men and women, for being incredible bullies and quite "scary" I have heard uncountable stories about the wrath and coldness of Japanese women. It is no wonder that some men are smart enough not to dive into that pool.

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Posted in: Crazy in love? The Japanese man 'married' to a hologram See in context

Good for him. He is happy and not hurting anybody.

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Posted in: If you saw an adult hitting, roughly handling or yelling at a child in public, would you intervene or just mind your business and assume it was a parent disciplining his/her child? See in context

I saw a fight recently between two elementary school kids in the street. One was beating up the other and the one losing even pulled his personal alarm. I wanted to intervene but as a foreigner I was hesitant to do so. If I was in the US I would have but I was afraid of stepping over boundaries and getting involved especially with children involved. Would you have intervened?

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Posted in: Woman arrested for beating boyfriend to death because he locked her out See in context

My ex hit me over the head with a beer stein when I suggested she might have a drinking problem. Many years later I still remember the combo of blood and beer running down my face as I quickly exited the rather fancy restaurant.

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Posted in: Japan to conduct first major survey on racism: report See in context

I have been living in japan for more than 50 years. I have never ever heard such a statement. And I can easily find hundreds of Japanese who say no it is not true.

I I have been living here for 30 years and every Japanese I told this story to has said it was true. If I asked if they thought foreigners were sub-human ...they would say no of course not. But when I say my Japanese friend said it, they all acknowledge it is true. The fact that a Japanese admitted to it gives them an out, to admit it is indeed true. Ironically it is always non-Japanese who deny it. I think they can't accept the idea that their friends, wives etc. would think such a thing. I have had students say in class, in front of international students, that Japanese don't like foreigners. The Japanese in the class just nod in agreement.

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Posted in: Japan to conduct first major survey on racism: report See in context

Many years ago I was at a friends home, an American husband and Japanese wife. While the husband was out of the room the wife told me a story about some Japanese acquaintances that had shown her husband and her around a local shrine. She said that behind her husbands back, the Japanese had been complaining about having to guide this stupid gaijin around. She said to me, "The reality is, that Japanese don't consider foreigners human" I was shocked to hear that, but in a way relieved because it explained a lot of things.

After that dinner I went home and saw my Japanese girlfriend and told her that story. Her response, "Oh yeah, that's true." I was dumbfounded because I had said similar things to her many times and she had always denied it. But when it came from a Japanese persons mouth, she agreed immediately. I have told this story many times over the years. Universally the response from Japanese has been yes it is true. The response from foreigners has been denial or to say I am racist. If you want to do an experiment, tell one Japanese person that you heard that Japanese don't think foreigners are human. Tell them you heard it from a Japanese friend. See how they respond.

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Posted in: Osaka train driver apologizes to Japanese passengers for ‘having many foreigners’ on board See in context

I have found the Japanese much more open about their feelings recently. I had one Japanese student say slightly apologetically in a class of international students. "We Japanese feel we are superior to foreigners" to agreement from the other Japanese. Another student said in a discussion about immigration, "Japanese just don't like foreigners" I have been here thirty years and it is the first time I have heard Japanese students express their opinions so openly. It has always been true but it just wasn't openly expressed.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan latest battleground in Airbnb home-sharing war See in context

They said some of the neighbors had commented that many foreigners were coming to our house.”

This is a key point. They are happy to have foreigners spending money in Japan but they don't want them invading their neighborhoods.

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Posted in: 5 ways college life is different in Japan and U.S. See in context

Having taught at many universities in Japan I believe the idea that Japanese universities are hard to get into is a myth. I'm sure some universities are hard to get into..Todai etc. but for many universities, if you can write your name you can get in.

Also of course there are other ways to get in other than the entrance exam, like by recommendation. I look at some of my students and it is hard to believe that they could pass any test.

I also agree that the idea that American universities are easy to get into is untrue. Of course some are easy but the high level ones certainly are not.

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Posted in: Survivor recalls life in internment camp for Japanese-Americans See in context

While the internment camps were wrong and a dark mark in US history, I would much rather have been in an American internment camp with the movies nights then in a camp run by the Japanese, like the ones in The Philippines.

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Posted in: Father of bullied boy who killed himself files criminal complaint See in context

I agree with GW that bullying is as much a part of Japanese culture as rice is. I have lived here for 25 years and these stories happen every year with the required, "Why oh Why?" after each one. Japanese are kept in line by the fear of being bullied, The biggest motivating force that makes them act the same as everyone is the fear of being the target of them bullies. Japanese will get rid of bullying when they get rid of conformity.

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Posted in: One finalist for AKB48 draft this year is just 11 years old See in context

Wow!! From that video she is clearly a great talent. I can see why she was chosen :)

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Posted in: Multiracial Miss Japan hopes to change homeland's thinking on identity See in context

I agree with you Jerseyboy. The Japanophiles are living in their fantasy bubble and are so unaware of what is really happening around them. The "halfs" are actually emerged in the culture and know how it really is here.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Posted in: Have you ever experienced racism or sexual harassment? If so, what did you do about it at the time? See in context

Japanese racism to Caucasian foreigners is often more subtle so it can be hard to determine what is actually happening by the recipient of the racism. The biggest and most frequent experience I have had is being intentionally kept outside the group.

I have joined a couple of different "sporting" groups and my experience with both was the same. They let me join but treated me as a stranger each time I came, no matter how many times I had been there. For example I always had to initiate conversation, no one would come up to me and talk. Also when I did initiate the conversation went like this. Me: Greeting. Them: Greeting Me: Question Them: Short answer Me: Question Them: Short answer Long quiet I walk away.

I have had similar experiences to this many times. With many people, no matter how long you have been in their group, you are always an outsider.

I have talked to many foreigners over the past 20+ years and one commonality to almost all of them is loneliness. This loneliness is caused by a systematic effort to keep foreigners at a distance.

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Posted in: Ex-adviser to Abe praises apartheid as means of immigration control See in context

"Let them in but keep a distance" is what Japanese do to foreigners now. A certain number of us are let in but always kept far outside no matter how hard we try for acceptance. Her policy would only make the distancing less subtle and less deniable.

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Posted in: How do you feel when you speak fluent or reasonably good Japanese to a Japanese person and they insist on answering you in English? See in context

0 Good Bad

FightingVikingNov. 17, 2014 - 09:16AM JST

@HaileG

Have you ever tried speaking Japanese to Japanese people in your home country? I have and it never goes well. They look at me like I am from a different planet.

Were you sure they were Japanese ???

Yes I am sure they were Japanese. I have lived here for 20 years and I am reasonably sure I can identify Japanese when I hear it :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: How do you feel when you speak fluent or reasonably good Japanese to a Japanese person and they insist on answering you in English? See in context

Have you ever tried speaking Japanese to Japanese people in your home country? I have and it never goes well. They look at me like I am from a different planet.

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Posted in: New daycare centers held up by residents opposing noisy kids See in context

I live out in the countryside where the bosozoku ride one of the routes every weekend around 2-3 in the morning. They arrive like clockwork every Saturday night with their earsplitting motorcycles. Do the police or the local people do anything to stop them? Of course not. But I am glad to hear that Japanese can organize themselves to fight against the wild pre-schoolers of Japan!!

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Posted in: Japan's population target unlikely without migrants but door stays shut See in context

Why don't they offer more accessible PR to English teachers who have been living here for years, contributing to society and with a proven record of successful adaptation to the society. If there was a real possibility for a future many people would consider settling here. Also if there were laws that encouraged permanent employment instead of a series of short-term contracts it would be a viable option to consider living here as a permanent resident.

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Posted in: Report on lousy schools in Japan spurs debate on who’s to blame See in context

In the scathing report, the ministry pointed out how some schools were teaching junior high school-level English lessons. Since the Japanese education system requires at least six years of English classes before even entering university, the government seemed quite surprised to find out how many schools are spending time each week teaching topics like “how to read and write the alphabet” and “reviewing the verb ‘to be’.”

On the other hand there are universities (most) where they teach obscure "high level" grammatical structures where the students can't correctly produce sentences using the "be" verb.

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Posted in: ANA apologizes over racial stereotyping in new TV commercial See in context

Univerman

Yes I lived in Japan for many years and when people ask me about Japan I tell them about people like you. I tell them not to believe the outward smile of Japanese. I tell them about the real Japan.

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Posted in: Is Japan really racist? See in context

I understand why there is some debate on the point. Racism here for most westerners isn't continually in your face. It is periodic and often it is not clear why that strange thing just happened. I believe the more you are in situations where you are the only non-Japanese in a group and the longer you are here the more likely you are to be aware of it.

I think the perfect judges of whether it exists are not are the bi-cultural kids who are fluent in Japanese and are in the heart of it every day. They know the reality.

I just watched this short documentary about this sweet bi-racial girl who was bullied throughout junior high school She was told to die, go back to America, disappear etc. because she was gaijin. I know many bi-racial people and they all have similar stories to tell. I think she said it well. " I love Japanese culture but I don't like Japanese people.

The documentary is on Youtube: Ha-fu: ハーフ Documentary

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Is Japan really racist? See in context

Mirai,

Thanks for your response but that is not me at all. I have lived here for 25 years have worked hard on my Japanese language skills and worked in all Japanese environments where on a staff of 100 there were only 3 or 4 foreigners. I joined Japanese sporting clubs and honestly of the westerners I know I am the one who consistently goes to join groups where I am the only westerner. Yes, she said it was my fault but when I told her the non-human comment, immediately without hesitation she said it was true. After years of saying I should try harder she quickly admitted that we are perceived as less than human. I repeat that over the years I have had the same response from many Japanese.

Japanese will often tell you it is your fault. If you were more Japanese, fluent. etc you would fit it. This drove me crazy for many years as I tried so hard to be a good gaijin, to follow the customs, to always go along with the group/go to all the group activities. go to the parties but to no avail. I would go on the staff ski trips on the weekend and return to work on Monday and have the same people I had skied with on the weekend ignore me

I also saw at my school,(yes I am a lowly teacher) how badly the foreign teachers were treated by the staff. I once saw a group of teachers play rock/paper/scissors to see who had to sit next to the foreign teacher on the school bus. I know of two teachers who were only allowed to go into their in-laws house at night so the neighbors wouldn't see who their daughter had married.

This doesn't mean that all Japanese hate foreigners because of course they don't. Many Japanese like foreigners and are attracted to them. It means that there is a Japanese cultural belief that foreigners aren't human. What are we? I don't know. I have never asked that question.

Somehow I doubt there are groups of Chinese living in Japan debating whether Japanese are racist of not. They clearly know the situation. What confuses many westerners is the fact that we get many positives along with the periodic negatives. I think many westerners also disregard the whole honne/tatemae. They don't understand how important that is here. They think what they are seeing is real, while it is really just tatemae.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Posted in: Is Japan really racist? See in context

Kickboard,

I don't particularly care if you believe the story or not but I am curious how you presented this story to your wife.

I have lived here for 25 years and as I said westerners almost always don't believe my story and every Japanese person I have told this to, has admitted it was true and often given examples of how this belief is acted on.

I don't understand your comment about why the man married such a narrow minded person. She didn't say he wasn't human. She was expressing what she as a Japanese, believed was a Japanese belief.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Is Japan really racist? See in context

Thanks Mike. I am glad that someone has had the same experience.

One of the reasons that we are even arguing this point is because racism isn't something most people experience everyday. To me those experiences are sporadic and not always obvious why they happen. At times they are subtle. There are no crosses burning...so often experiences can be interpreted different ways.

I agree with the person who said the better your Japanese is the more you are aware and often the unhappier you are. I also think the more you are in situations where you are the only foreigner, the more often you will see Japanese people's honne. When they are with mostly other Japanese they feel more free to show their true feelings.

I think the hardest thing for many non-Japanese, even those who are totally aware of the racism is the reality of being kept outside. I have tried to enter several groups both professional and athletic where I was the only non-Japanese. My experiences have been quite consistent. Initially I was welcomed but each time I came after that, I was treated more and more coldly. I have been going to one group for years, (because I want to do that sport) and almost every time I talk to individuals it it like they have never met me before and they aren't particularly interested.

The typical conversations goes.

Greeting - Greeting I ask question about them - Short answer I ask another question ----- Short answer Long silence ----I slink away

One last comment...westerners in a group situation often portray themselves as being very happy here and feeling very accepted by the Japanese. In my experience when you get them alone, ideally with a drink or two in them, they will confess to being terribly lonely.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Posted in: Is Japan really racist? See in context

Thunderbird

As I said..the westerners never believe it.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Is Japan really racist? See in context

I could give 100 examples of racism/xenophobia but I will tell one story. I was having dinner with an American friend and his Japanese wife many years ago. When he was out of the room she told a story about the two of them being taken to a local festival by a Japanese acquaintance. When the husband was not there the Japanese remarked to another Japanese what a pain in the a%% it was to have to take care of this stupid gaijin. After she told the story she said to me, "The truth is that Japanese don't think foreigners are human." This comment of course shocked me. For years I had tried everything possible to fit in but with no success.

Later that evening I was at home talking to my girlfriend. We had talked about this subject many times and she had always put the blame for my lack of success on me. She said I needed to try harder. Anyway I told her this story...Can you predict her reaction? She immediately said it was true. No hesitation. Just that it was true. I have told this story to many Japanese and to many westerners over the years. The reaction from the westerners has almost universally been disbelief or scepticism (sp?) Every Japanese I have told this story has said it was true. Every one. No argument. No hedging. Try an experiment...tell a Japanese person that another Japanese person told you this. It is important to say it came from a Japanese.(If you say you heard it from a foreigner, they will deny it) See what they say..

1 ( +6 / -5 )

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