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02-09-2008, 01:20 AM

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Originally Posted by Sphinx01 View Post
Hmmm..is that so?
Oh yeah. It probably happens less in Tokyo, where foreigners are more common, but I was 1 of only 2 obvious foreigners in a city of 55,000 (there were 2 other Asian-American JETs besides us, but they blended in enough that most people didn't know they were not native Japanese until they started talking), in a countryside prefecture. I met tons of people who had never in their life seen or talked to a real live non-Asian person. I probably got amazed stares from kids at least once a week, if not more. I even met an old grandmother who said she'd never seen a foreigner in person in her life!

Seeing other non-Japanese people was so rare that 1 day some white guy got off the train, looking somewhat confused. We'd never seen him before, so we started talking to him, and it turned out he'd gotten on the wrong train (and there was no train heading back toward Osaka until the next morning). So one of the other JETs let him stay at his apartment overnight!

By the way, I only personally knew 1 black guy in Japan, but he loved it there... he'd done 3 years on JET and then married his Japanese girlfriend and was living there permanently. He was fluent in Japanese, and knew all kinds of cool places to go, where to get stuff, etc. (Veteran JETs tend to help newer JETs with that kind of stuff, and having stayed even beyond JET, he was like an old pro at Japanese Survival.)


JET Program, 1996-98, Wakayama-ken, Hashimoto-shi

Link to pictures from my time in Japan

Last edited by samurai007 : 02-09-2008 at 01:23 AM.
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Sphinx01 (Offline)
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02-09-2008, 01:28 AM

Interesting


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10-04-2008, 04:38 AM

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Originally Posted by DXL View Post
You can meet some nice people like this old lady that sat next to me on a shinkansen, when another woman had just got up and to go find another seat just as i sat down. She talked to me in Japanese (i dont speak it) but i knew what she was asking and when i got to where i was going, she showed me where to catch the next train and where to leave my bags.
O my gosh that's horrible!!! If i tell my friend that she definitley won't go with me But how sweet of the other lady even so I wouldn't have been able to get through that.... I would have ran home crying LOL im so sensitive


"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."

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10-04-2008, 04:49 AM

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Originally Posted by Meta77 View Post
I have been planning to go to japan for a long time. But i read in a book that japan is rather curious around black people and blonds because there arent many that come through. Is this true. I would love to go but i would hate it if no one liked me.
I read Black and blond/blue eyed people are just considered a bit unusual in Japan but not in a racist way. Don't worry
Racism against Blacks seems to be worse in other countries...


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10-04-2008, 06:36 AM

Although I am not black, I am blonde/blue eyed, so I stick out almost as much as you will there In my 3 1/2 months, I never encountered any problems that had to do with racism. Usually if people are racist, they are racist against all non-Japanese, but hey, racists suck..who wants to talk to them anyway? As other people have said, if you venture to places outside of Tokyo, you will get stared at a lot more then I'm sure you're ever used to. The thing is though, it's almost never an angry stare, more of a "curious, wow there's actually a foreigner here", kind of stare. Most of these will come from children and gray-haired folks. I made it a point to speak in Japanese to anyone who looked afraid of me, because you'll be amazed at how much a lot of people will open up to you once they realize you can speak Japanese, and are not a zettai wakaranai gaijin (foreigner who doesn't understand anything).

I have a story I love to share about this. I was on a very crowded train going from Kyoto to Osaka. So, I, like many others, had to stand up on the train. This cute little family was standing next to me, and they had a boy and girl, no older then 9 and 7 respectively. The whole ride, they would just *STARE* at me, and I thought they were adorable, so every so often I'd glance down at them and chuckle, and they'd get embarrassed and look away for a second, and then continue to stare. At one of the stops, the train stopped kinda quickly, so we got jolted forward, and the little boy stepped on my foot. This kid's face turned white as a sheet, and was very, very, visibly afraid of what was going to happen to him next. So, without saying anything, I bent down, looked right in his eyes and said "daijoubu dakara kinishinai de (it's alright, don't worry about it) ^_^". His face was priceless He smiled really big and started tugging at his mom, and I hear from her "ii hito dane (see, he's a good person)" I looked the mother and just started laughing, because it was so cute. End Story XD

Basically what I'm saying is, don't let your skin color stop you from going


なんでやねん

- Studied in Tokyo for my 2007 Spring Semester. Lived in Ota-ku in the Ontakesan area. Pics can be found on my Facebook. Feel free to add me ^_^
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10-04-2008, 08:21 AM

That is a cute story. Is it wrong that I want to experience something like that as well? I bet that made that kid's day. I wonder if he bragged later about how he talked to a "gaijin" who was nice and understood Japanese. I really wish I was better with Japanese. My speaking and listening skills are downright awful, imo.
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10-04-2008, 04:52 PM

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Originally Posted by SSJup81 View Post
That is a cute story. Is it wrong that I want to experience something like that as well? I bet that made that kid's day. I wonder if he bragged later about how he talked to a "gaijin" who was nice and understood Japanese. I really wish I was better with Japanese. My speaking and listening skills are downright awful, imo.
I don't think it's wrong at all. Since I'm white, I always thought it was interesting being on the other side of the minority spectrum, and especially in Japan, you really can experience things like that that I could never experience at home. A lot of funny and interesting things will happen to you because you're a foreigner, so just sit back and enjoy them ^_^


なんでやねん

- Studied in Tokyo for my 2007 Spring Semester. Lived in Ota-ku in the Ontakesan area. Pics can be found on my Facebook. Feel free to add me ^_^
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10-04-2008, 05:13 PM

I was having a discussion - or an "arguement" with a guy who says that 97% of Japanese people hate blacks and that they get treated badly while whites get treated fairly and they get all the girls [who cares?] while blacks dont. This guy apparently lived in Osaka for 6 months. He says he's 'saving lives' by telling black people not to go to Japan. Seriously, talking about your own experience and making people feel as if they will be treated the exact same way is not helping anybody. I see no reason why black people would be treated differently in Japan. People will be curious because you're not Japanese, but they aint gonna run after you with pitchforks because you're black are they? Chances are, if you behave well and are respectful, you'll be treated like everybody else and you'll have a good time. If I was black I'd have no doubts about going to Japan, despite what anyone says. Race shouldnt be an issue.
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10-04-2008, 06:57 PM

If you have any question just ask me..i was in Tokyo for 3 month and Im still alive....


I Honestly, seriously and truly.....don't care about U
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10-04-2008, 07:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DXL View Post
Meta77, i went to Japan solo and i'm black. You have no worries there. There are one or two people that stopped to ask me where I was from, some kids stared at me but that was mainly outside Tokyo (in Kyoto, Himeji, Hiroshima, Nara etc) and other big cities like Yokohama and Osaka. And besides most of them seemed more scared of me, but all very friendly.

You can meet some nice people like this old lady that sat next to me on a shinkansen, when another woman had just got up and to go find another seat just as i sat down. She talked to me in Japanese (i dont speak it) but i knew what she was asking and when i got to where i was going, she showed me where to catch the next train and where to leave my bags.

So go on, Japan was alright for me. and if you want to see black people, head to Roppongi, it seems like thats the meeting point
What a great story! Some people are snobbish or don't want to feel awkward so they might avoid or ignore you.
And then you have good hearted fellow human beings like that old lady you mentioned. Your story has lightened my day.
Snail
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