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Philipp Horrie comments

Posted in: Why did those foreigners who decided to leave Japan in the aftermath of the March 11 disaster come in for so much derision from some people who labeled them with words like 'flyjin?' See in context

*Today is the first time I heard "Flyjin." I live in Japan, but I don't really do the "foreigner" thing. I speak Japanese pretty well and as such, I am not dependent on anybody for translation. No I wasn't born that way. It took 4 years of extremely hard work and study to get this good. I hate Anime and Manga, so I learned Japanese through kokugo books and drills and by reading medical documents while I was hospitalized. Most people tell me I sound like a professor when I speak Japanese. Good.... It means I am conveying information. Now I'd like to convey my experiences...

It's funny how these people are talking about giving their boss "Two weeks notice." Radiation gives you no notice and can kill you within a matter of days. If someone was working in Fukushima and ditched their job, they are smart for not wasting time with idiotic formalities (What? you need to have an uchiawase about when to plan the kaigi that will decide when the meeting about my resignation ceremony will be held? No thanks. Nomikai? No thanks, I'll keep my 5000 yen).

People don't have weeks with nuclear radiation. It's minutes or hours. Hesitating to give anyone notice would be the stupidest thing you could do. The safest thing to do is escape immediately. Downplaying the danger just because you can't see it is just as stupid as panicking. Unless you are a nuclear expert and can prove me wrong (at which point I STILL would say "better safe than sorry") your gut knows what I am saying is right, even if your head is trying to convince it otherwise.

My boss tried to convince me to go home after I was hospitalized for a disease and received botched medical treatment, and then again after I was stalked by a mentally ill person and I had to go to the police SIX TIMES to get anything done. Two events that were entirely not my fault and entirely out of my control (and two events that are covered by the taxes I pay). Then suddenly the worst disaster in decades occurs and my boss wants me to stay and encourages me to only listen to "correct" (i.e. Japanese) news. Now we find out more and more of that "correct" news he was listening to was covering up a lot of incompetence and not giving everyone all the facts about produce, meat, and water being contaminated. It would be great if we could just get my boss down to two faces. His tatemae has its own tatemae

My sense of "Don't tread on me" is quite strong. I would think no higher or lower of anyone for leaving or staying. As long as they've broken no laws and not affected me negatively, then who cares? I can't respect or disrespect people I don't know anything about. Everyone has to earn my respect by getting to know me (sorry old gum-sucking xenophobic elderly people of Japan, I don't celebrate keirou no hi).

I would be more inclined to ridicule people for living in a country where the citizens (oh excuse me, subjects) cannot elect their own prime minister-of-the-week, and where there is still an "emperor" who has no empire and is simply born into power. Why rag on people for leaving a situation that is confusing, unclear, awash in government lies, and potentially dangerous?? Ever hear the term "Better safe than sorry?" Fukushima may or may not be dangerous. If you flee, you have covered both possibilities. If you stay, your risk one of those possibilities. Can you prove to the "Flyjin" and to yourself that it is safe to be in Fukushima? Not convince. Prove.

Just look at some pictures of the deformed children born after Chernobyl and listen to a physicist's lecture about how long radioactive particles take to decay.....and it would be enough to convince most people NOT to even come to Japan.... EVER.

I can guess whoever is calling people "Flyjin" doesn't live anywhere near Fukushima. ANOTHER report last Tuesday confirmed that the radiation levels in some locations between Dai-ichi to the north and another nuclear plant to the south were the highest since this disaster started. Over 100 millisieverts....

Looks like I was right to evacuate from where I was living... 60 miles away from Dai-Ichi in a poverty stricken rural community in northern Tochigi.

I gave my boss notice and wrapped up everything with my apartment of course. There was simply no incentive for me to stay. My pay was horrible, my apartment was literally a slum, the jr. high school I got transferred to just had the WORST neolithic-era, unnecessarily severe, male chauvanist teachers (I'm not even a chick btw). 3 years or work I had with elementary school kids was effectively ruined. During the earthquake a huge metal vent fell directly on my desk (luckily I was teaching a class with other things falling from the ceiling of the just-finished schoolhouse).

Finally I had experienced the most hostile attitude toward teaching and learning English (and learning it correctly) from nearly everyone EXCEPT kids under 10. I had elementary school kids pronouncing words better than their own Japanese English teachers... Trying to undo this "Shou ga nai" bullshit that poison's everyone's brain in the countryside was seriously a lost cause. Eigo wa muzukashikute dekinai. Shou ga nai.

Every day was a battle against the notion that somehow Katakana is a good way to represent a Germanic language formed by Anglo-Saxons two continents away 1500 years ago.... I felt so hopeless, and all but one of my schools treated English as if it was a joke (despite the huge section on the high school entrance exam). So... you tell me.... Why even bother sticking it out? Rodney Dangerfield would have had a field day with the lack of respect...

Fukushima was essentially the same as where I was living. Very rural, and the closest 7-11 to me was 8 km away. It is nothing like living in Tokyo or Yokohama. THERE IS NOTHING OUT THERE! Everyone has already moved to the cities.

Actually the term "Flyjin" should be worn as a badge of pragmaticism. *

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