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Thin Line

What is going on with Westerners in Japan today?  We are a motley bunch, aren’t we?   We come from all over the place; U.S.A, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and even as far away as Africa.  What do we all have in common?   We are all foreigners.  Isn’t that beautiful?  The Japanese do not categorize foreigners according to social or economic status, we are all in the same pool called “non-Japanese.”  I love this!  Foreigners come here from all backgrounds and religions and lick each others wounds whenever they get down and out. Only in Japan!  Why?  Because we are in the same pool regardless of how we look or how well we speak Japanese.

(N.B. Most Westerners only choose to be tolerant of other races in their OWN home countries.  In Japan, this is clearly different.  All foreigners experience the same pains of living in Japan on a mostly equal level and thus are able to find solace in one another, however, this cannot be duplicated in say, like the U.S.A. where everybody has a different set of problems and circumstances for living..e.g. whites and blacks have a different set of social requirements according to stereotypes and social demands.  Being young and black in America is like carrying around a cross where you have to always prove yourself worth and legitimacy to everybody whereas being young and white is about living up to societies expectations of you as a white person.  ( You are white and therefore are supposed to graduate college; you are supposed to have a house with a white picket fence.   You are black; have you ever been to jail; how were your parents able to afford college; do you come from a single parent home?).

There needs to be a line between what is clearly Japanese and what is foreign because mixing the two is clearly out of the question. 

I am not an integrationist because of how it creates a power structure, like a pyramid, amongst the races….i.e.Blacks are typically at the bottom wrung of the economic ladder in every country you go to, and will continue to be as long as there are stereotypes that divide races in a multi ethnic and multicultural society. 

Multiculturalism divides, not unites simply because only one cultural paradigm can be adapted at one given time according to the most dominate race.  From the outside it looks different but from the core it’s not.  In Japan there are only two races; the Japanese and the non-Japanese.  Easy.  Eliminate one of problem that create economic disparity amongst the races by establishing a LINE between Japanese and non-Japanese in order to insure a smoother running society.  This is how Japan should continue to be!  In Japan any race can be successful as long as they abide by Japan’s rules.  In America nepotism and stereotypes dictate and controls who gets ahead.


I didn’t fly all the way over here to Japan just to listen to some foreigner whine about how unloved or unaccepted he or she is here in this country; Japan is accommodating enough I think, and she doesn’t need to spread em’ any wider if you know what I mean….

Most Westerners and Asians who come to Japan loose sight of this, and insist that Japan should be even more accommodating to its foreign community, why?  Because it’s in the economic and international interest of the international community, I beg to differ!  The mere thought of it is disgusting if you ask me.  The reason why 90% of the Westerners are here in Japan today is because its JAPAN for the Japanese with an appetite for foreign things!  Appetite only.

Think about that…. 

We are here because of its appeal as a nation that’s largely mono-cultural and mono-thinking.  Westerners bring salt and pepper to the table, that’s it and that’s the way it should be.  Many Westerners have a tendency to eat where they shit.  Shit in your own  country and let Japan be Japan. 

If I step onto an elevator full of Japanese people, and they all grab their purses and wallets as a defense mechanism, so to speak, then good on em’  I’m the same way.  If I see someone whom I’ve never seen before step on my elevator, I’d grab my wallet,too.  It’s just common sense.  I trust no one, not even the people who look like me.  If I have to sit shoulder to shoulder with any grown man on a train, I opt to stand up.  I hate sitting, eating and chitin in close proximity to another person I don’t know.  I take no offense to a Japanese person who reacts like this to me.  Why?  Because I am the same way towards them.

In the end, it’s always about race no matter how you slice and dice it.  Will President Obama’s election make things better for America, in terms of race ?  No!  It’s merely created more of a race problem.  Who’s the next president going to be?  What other minority gets to become president next time?   Will the world look more favorably upon African Americans now that the president is black?   Hmmm….Maybe Baracks nomination will only serve to cover up more of the problems of history related slavery being that his ancestry has no connection to slavery whatsoever. Or, maybe his nomination will vilify whites who struggle with “white guilt” over past injustices to African Americans. 

(“ You have a black president, now we are even.  Forgive and forget.  Move on.  We don’t need to issue a State level apology to a bunch of dead slaves.  You should have a better attitude.  You have a black president now”).

End of Story


  1. Interesting post. I wonder... Is the concept of a hard line between native and foreign unique to Japan, or it it shared in China and Korea? I've been living in Japan for 3 years now, and I think that while there is a hard line between native and foreign, there are softer lines dividing people by race. Native Japanese will have different sets of expectations for the white foreigner and the Asian foreigner.

  2. Gy, Thanks for the comment. Hard line....thin line. China and Korea are the worst asian nations when it comes to stereotyping and labeling non-asians. In Japan these label exist too, but less obvious. Can you name a dozen successful African Americans living in Korea and China? In Japan there is a large number of Africans, Asians, and Latino who have not only adapted quite remarkably to the social climate here in Japan , but have also gone on to establish successful businesses, in spite of their racial background. Had Japan adopted such ingorant stereotypes as her neighbors then these other countries would be far less appealing to visit and live. That's why I say Japan is very accomidating.

    In China, African Americans are regarded as sexual predators and basketball dunkers. In Japan these stereotypes are desireable and at times emulated, so no there are no expectations.

    Chinese and Koreans may at times experience prejiduce here in Japan, but that's of a historical context.


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