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Do you live in Japan? (Read 2187 times)

Offline faa2010

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Do you live in Japan?
« on: November 02, 2014, 04:33:54 PM »
Are you japanese or have you ever lived in Japan?

Excuse me if I asked about it, but it's just that I want to know more about japanese culture, the language and how the customs have evolved or continued as well as the way of studying.

Thanks in anticipation.

Offline cwjalex

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #1 on: November 02, 2014, 05:53:28 PM »
i'm not japanese and haven't ever lived in japan but i know a lot of people who have.  one thing i have consistently been told is that unless you are 100% japanese be prepared for some in your face xenophobia and racism.

Offline starlady

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #2 on: November 05, 2014, 03:12:29 AM »

I have been living in Kyoto for 2 months and will be here another month, and I love it here.

Granted, I can't pass for a local, speak the language fluently, or find shoes my size, and very small children sometimes stare at me on the subway, I think it's the blue eyes  ;).
But I wouldn't call that racism or xenophobia.   I am in a strange country, so I am a stranger; what else can I be?  I accept that, and appreciate the hospitality I have been shown. 

Also I have a fabulous piano teacher who I will happily recommend to anyone visiting Kyoto. I want to stay here longer just to keep working with her.  --s. 

Offline cwjalex

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #3 on: November 05, 2014, 04:17:09 AM »
I can't pass for a local, speak the language fluently, or find shoes my size, and very small children sometimes stare at me on the subway, I think it's the blue eyes  ;).
But I wouldn't call that racism or xenophobia.   I am in a strange country, so I am a stranger; what else can I be?  I accept that, and appreciate the hospitality I have been shown. 

you are lucky because i have heard many stories.  it's actually pretty well known how xenophobic/racist japan is toward non japanese.  even if you are 1/2 japanese you can be subject to harsh ridicule and discrimination.  one of my friends told me he saw a blood donation sign that said "no gaijin" (no foreigners).  he also said he's been stopped by the police for no reason at all and a bunch of times and that kids have yelled "die gaijin" to him.  i heard the upper class in japan isn't like this though. 

Offline outin

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #4 on: November 05, 2014, 04:23:02 AM »
I know several people from my country who have stayed in japan and they didn't feel unwelcome at all...maybe it's just Americans?  ;D

Offline cwjalex

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #5 on: November 05, 2014, 04:35:53 AM »
I know several people from my country who have stayed in japan and they didn't feel unwelcome at all...maybe it's just Americans?  ;D

no, i know a lot of non americans who noticed the same thing.  like i said before it is pretty well known how xenophobic japan is.  

Offline outin

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #6 on: November 05, 2014, 04:42:11 AM »
no, i know a lot of non americans who noticed the same thing.  like i said before it is pretty well known how xenophobic japan is. 

They are very protective of their culture, but that's not necessarily racism. Those people who go there to learn about the culture and assimilate seem to get a rather warm welcome...

Offline cwjalex

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #7 on: November 05, 2014, 04:44:43 AM »
They are very protective of their culture, but that's not necessarily racism. Those people who go there to learn about the culture and assimilate seem to get a rather warm welcome...

this is taken from the first paragraph of the wikipedia page "ethnic issues in japan"  

 foreign nationals are sometimes restricted from certain services and activities.[1] Another issue of racism in Japan is the idea of ethnic purity as 98.5% of Japan is the Yamato ethnic group. [2] Culture in Japan has a long belief of xenophobia and jingoism towards foreign cultures.

i know how trendy and hip it is to bash america but it's not just americans.  

Offline outin

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #8 on: November 05, 2014, 05:25:45 AM »
this is taken from the first paragraph of the wikipedia page "ethnic issues in japan"  

 foreign nationals are sometimes restricted from certain services and activities.[1] Another issue of racism in Japan is the idea of ethnic purity as 98.5% of Japan is the Yamato ethnic group. [2] Culture in Japan has a long belief of xenophobia and jingoism towards foreign cultures.

Wikipedia is of course a most reliable scientific reference ;D

It really is quite normal to only offer certain services to nationals only, that is not considered racism. Maybe time to look at your own country's legistlation?

Offline cwjalex

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #9 on: November 05, 2014, 05:36:45 AM »
Wikipedia is of course a most reliable scientific reference ;D

It really is quite normal to only offer certain services to nationals only, that is not considered racism. Maybe time to look at your own country's legistlation?

and what legislation would that be?  if you are going to make a statement like that don't be vague, be clear with your point.

the point of referencing wikipedia was more to show how ubiquitous and well known it is that japan is xenophobic.  you seem to be adamant in your denial of this well known aspect of japanese culture.  have you even bothered to search about the subject?  a single google search will leave you overwhelmed with articles and stories about japanese xenophobia. 

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #10 on: November 05, 2014, 05:40:30 AM »
-
No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline outin

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #11 on: November 05, 2014, 05:45:37 AM »
and what legislation would that be?  if you are going to make a statement like that don't be vague, be clear with your point.
EVERY state has legistlation that limits services to it's own nationals only.

the point of referencing wikipedia was more to show how ubiquitous and well known it is that japan is xenophobic.  you seem to be adamant in your denial of this well known aspect of japanese culture.  have you even bothered to search about the subject?  a single google search will leave you overwhelmed with articles and stories about japanese xenophobia. 

The problem is that you're mixing two concepts as if they are one: racism and cultural protectionism. Racism exists practically everywhere, in your country and mine and in Japan also. But in Japan there's a much higher level of cultural protectionism than in most countries. There's very little in yours, so it's understandable that it feels strange and is difficult to cope with. Those who are used to it or are happy to accept it can handle it better.


Offline cwjalex

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #13 on: November 05, 2014, 05:52:01 AM »
yes racism exists everywhere but you are making it sound like the racism in japan is the same as it is in the united states and other places.

Offline starlady

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #14 on: November 05, 2014, 06:29:41 AM »

Gee, I must be very stupid, since while actually living here I don't feel what wikipedia says I should be feeling  ::)

--s.

Offline cwjalex

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #15 on: November 05, 2014, 07:16:30 AM »
Gee, I must be very stupid, since while actually living here I don't feel what wikipedia says I should be feeling  ::)

--s.

wikipedia doesn't say you should feel anything.  it was to illustrate how well documented the xenophobia is in japan.  you have only been there 2 months and who knows how much you go out?  it's pretty sad that you chose to live in japan and you too seem to be ignorant of this issue in japan.

http://wordpress.tokyotimes.org/japans-lack-of-fondness-for-foreigners/

at the end of that article are hundreds of comments from different people.  yes there are people who have had a good experience but look at all the horror stories are there.  it's frightening. 

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #16 on: November 05, 2014, 08:18:09 AM »
-
No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline cwjalex

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #17 on: November 05, 2014, 10:12:35 AM »
i think u guys aren't quite understanding how bad the xenophobia/racism is for some people.  here are some comments by people.

alan says
8/15/2014 at 3:40 am

I have lived everywhere and never found such a blatant, ruthless, silly-and-stubborn-at-the-same-time racism as here in JP. They should be ashamed of their society

Ichiko Hatsumi says
8/22/2014 at 9:00 pm

Well, I was turned away for being fully Japanese, because my friend was American. Someone shouldn’t be stripped of a service or experience, because of something they can’t help

Will says
3/22/2014 at 2:44 pm

Recently there was a “Japanese only” sign at a football game. The vast majority of Japanese do not want to deal with foreigners.

Baye says
10/16/2008 at 11:24 pm

As a black man living in Japan, I can tell you first hand that jayaprakash is very fortunate. I experience acts of xenophobia and/or racism daily. I’ve found that lack of English is just an excuse they use to rationalize their fear. I can speak Japanese fairly well and I’ve gone out of my way to make that fact known when i go places just to test that theory. For example, I pretend to have a phone conversation and let loose some fluency. Sometimes it works, and people around me relax but usually it makes no difference. I have simply taken to ignoring the ignorance, and channeling my inner Obama (-: Patience is needed when dealing with such blatant hostility. Of course it takes on a much more polite form than it would in the US. No violence or anything of that nature. But, in a way, to be discriminated against politely is even more offensive than the American way. When people turn away from you on crowded trains, or leave the car and re-enter at another door, or give enough space on a train to do calisthenics, or refuse to occupy the seat besides of you, or transfer wallets and purses from to the side opposite you, or refuse to speak Nihongo or to understand you even though you are speaking their language to them (some actually say, sorry I don’t speak English!!!” pregnant dog! I’m speaking your language!!!” I want to say) or any of a hundred other obscenities I deal with regularly, it’s enough to make you wanna ring somebody’s neck! Anyway, living here has taught me a great deal about patience and tolerance and I think when I go home (God Bless America- never thought I”d ever say that) I’ll be a better man for it.

Raine says
6/23/2009 at 3:56 pm

Baye…I thought I was the only one who had those things happen to me. I am a white average looking male and I too get those looks and reactions. I find that the only people here in Tokyo who are nice to me are the people who have too…ie: service employees (7-11, Lawsons…etc). Ironically, I find that I get the worst looks from old women and middle age men. The only time people smile or don’t act scared of me is when I’m with my daughter…who looks 100% Japanese.
I also find that the lack of willingness to hire foreigners is out of control. A Japanese national will always get the job first.
The Japanese will refuse to admit their racist feelings but if you actually look around you will see the reality.

JayJay says
10/22/2008 at 6:17 pm

I’ve lived in Japan for 5 years and I can say this. Most Japanese are not racist, but some most certainly are (as any country). The difference to other countries is it’s tolerated, ignored and excused (“Japan’s an island country” is a common one) and the most racist offenders are IN the government (Ishihara and the above mentioned Nakayma).

Also, I might rub some people the wrong way here, but not all foriegners are treated equally. I’m as white as they come and NOT American, so I’ve had little trouble except some grumpy old bastards and young punks trying to prove a point. And I have never been asked for ID by the cops, not once.

However some friends of mine who are black, middle eastern and ESPECIALLY non-Japanese Asians get racist treatment on an almost daily basis. I totally believe Baye when he says what he said.

In summary, the Japanese are no more racist than anyone else, but there is no real force to combat it here.

xlolitsachax says
11/5/2008 at 10:30 am

I live here in Japan and I’ve nvr been treated that way.Well yea I did find them who turned away when I asked abt something as directions,but I think its bcz of the language barrier.As for the black people,idk,but many of my japanese friends more like ‘afraid’ to them.yknw thr are many black men who often forcefully grab n drag us to their clubs or shops whr they’re working at,n it aint a good thing.so myb its bcz of the bad image they hv in mind


thrustievious says
8/6/2009 at 2:12 am

You know there is a VERY good reason why they have “no foreigners allowed” signs hanging up in some places. Think of it as like you are sitting in class and someone acts stupid and pisses the teacher off and then the teacher gives everyone extra homework because of what one person did. Some foreigners do not know how to act while in another country, and it ruins it for everyone else. Same goes with trying to rent an apartment or a hotel in Japan.

Kenji says
11/23/2009 at 12:24 pm

I am Japanese and I can tell you that we don’t want you foreigners moving here to Japan. When you ask a foreigner why they want to move here, they give the same answer, “Because I like the culture”. When asked a follow up question, “What do you know about Japanese culture?”, the response is usually an ignorant one.

Just because you watch Japanese anime and movies doesn’t mean that’s how Japanese live, or that’s the culture.

We know why you white devils want to move here. We’re not fat and stupid like you Americans.

European man says
11/19/2012 at 1:13 pm

In Japan (sadly) you are being judged according to your ethnic origin, no matter whether you’re a foreigner or even a naturalized citizen. After having lived in Japan for a long time, I have stopped learning Japanese any further. It’s just pointness. Even if you’re fluent in Japanese, ethnic Japanese will still talk to you in English on many occasions (just because you don’t look Japanese).
And even if ethnic Japanese do talk to foreigners, it’s always the same kind of conversation like where you’re from and if you can use chopsticks etc. … meaningful conversations are rare.
What Japan needs to do is very easy: just treat everyone equal. Most foreingers who visit Japan or live in Japan – I guess – want just that: being treated like all other Japanese people as well. Why is that so difficult to understand for the Japanese?
Japanese peope are sadly blinded by education and TV programs etc. They believe that if they just follow their rules they’ll be all right in the end – not realizing that their economy already had its day. Once the bond bubble sets in and the yen collapses, then that’s it.

unknown says
12/8/2009 at 9:28 pm

i agree with baye, at first i thought japanese are polite now i knew what it really meant,they are very racist,im not generalizing but i think most of them are so full of themselves.for almost one year that ive stayed in tokyo i never been felt so belittled in my entire life by anyone until i came in japan..i was a trainee and even my coordinator was very discrimanative,if i only i can to turn back the time i will never ever come to japan.to kenji sorry to tell you not all people want to live in japan anyway or want to come to japan .always bear that in your narrow mind.my coordinator and other staffs told me that foreigners want to come to japan. ha!really!in your dreams!

Ken says
2/7/2010 at 11:53 am

One phenomenon on this topic that constantly bewilders me is the lengths that some foreigners will go to to deny the validity of, and marginalize, other people’s negative experiences in Japan, or negative information about Japan. I find this particularly among folks who visit short term, or less than a year.

I’ve been here for 8 years, and I’ve been dealing with Japanese people and culture for over 20 years, and it’s simply a fact that deep down inside Japanese people are xenophobes, and generally do not welcome unfamiliar and foreign things, simply because their culture instills in them a disliking of foreign and unfamiliar things and people. I’ve been told as much on numerous occasions, straight up, by Japanese people, both of the 100% domestic type and the internationally-traveled/foreign-language-speaking type, who were honest enough to share this dirty little secret.

HanaKi says
1/31/2011 at 1:44 pm

Heh.

I was taught Japanese manners, while I (not to show off) have a very fluent Japanese, so much that a person on the phone (when I answered it) wasn’t able to tell i was a foreigner until they asked my name. Still, one of the people who explained us (a girl from Romany and me) asked why were we using japanese gestures and ways of moving as she *knew* we were faking it. No, it doesn’t matter how much japanese you are able to speak, how much years you have lived there or how much you are really able to blend in. What matters to them is that you are not yellow, short and have smaller eyes.

I’m not generalizing either, however, they DO expect you to be rude because you are not japanese.

Mike says
9/6/2010 at 4:59 pm

I find it really bizarre what some foriegners will say, like “Ive been here for so many years and never experienced any racism at all!” Like its all our fault or we, not them of course, are doing something wrong and they are doing it all right. I think all of us were newbies at one time, and found the reserve or “tranquility” of Japanese to be refreshing and thought what a great place to live. Latter, for those of us engaged in daily life here (not diplomats, expats, base clowns or others who are shielded from it but instead pampered due to their status in the caste system here) we begin to see why there is a reserve to speak your mind etc. due to the mind control of the media and gross corruption etc. We discovered the bunker mentality and the hive syndrome as well, and found no matter how hard we tried, we were not to be accepted in Japan Inc. Some have fooled themselves into thinking they are, but the joke is on them, and Japanese are using one of their most effective weapons very effectively: Fake praise. If your still buying that crap and cant see through it, you aint been here long enough. Leave your comfort zone, and try to get a job on the local economy. You can see for yourself how really hard it is. I have the rejection letters to prove it- gaikoujin need not apply.

Matsuo says
10/22/2010 at 6:16 pm

We should stop the influx of foreigners who come to live and, more importantly, breed in Japan. This is a soft form of assimilation that whites have used for generations to change the racial outlook of nations. We must not allow ourselves to become yet more victims of conquest, or else we will lose our cultural and ethnic heritage in the same manner as the Americas. Our country and our people will be more conquered than at any time during our history–and irrevocably so.

What we have now is our own–crafted by our own minds and hands–and should never
fall into the hands of any other race. This white male/japanese female trend needs to end, and quickly before it posts a threat.

Japan for the Japanese.

BigWiz says
12/12/2010 at 8:18 pm

As an American living in Japan, I have read over these responses with a complete understanding of all. I have experienced the “racism” people talk about.
The man walking up to you with his arms crossed in an X, telling you Japanese only.
At first I have to admit, this did not sit well with me.
Was this guy really showing me such blatant discrimination? How dare him!
As I walked down the street I spotted another restaurant. I walked in and was greeted by a small statured older Japanese man. He was bowing, and welcoming me into his establishment. As he pulled my seat out for me, and gave me a warm towel to clean with. I couldn’t help thinking. Wow! This is a whole lot different than the last joint.
Fact is some places of business do not want “outsiders” Entering there doors. However this is a small percentage of places in Japan. Most are more than happy to accommodate. Almost go overboard sometimes.

Cocoichinumber1 says
2/2/2011 at 7:07 pm

Well, in all honesty, there is no place on earth safe from xenophobia. I’m of black and east Asian parentage (im british) and I have lived in japan for a total of 3 years or so. The vast majority of days aren’t bad at all, as the locals know im a decent person who goes to work, comes home, return greetings from others (it helps that i can speak the language, although i make it a point to keep admitting how dreadful i am, purely for humility) and has more or less adapted to the way in which they deal with each other… As I live in a rural city, my presence cannot be ignored by the locals (although at times I wish it was lol), and many people i havent even met have found out my history and purpose in the country through the local “grapevine”, so to speak. Most days in my city are spent working, meeting local community groups and doing all the usuals (shopping, eating at several places, of which cocoichi has to be the most visited, the occasional asobi with colleagues or friends, etc) and so my relations with the vast majority of people are cordial and pleasant. It’s only when I go to some unfamiliar places outside my city that some people (mostly people in their 30s upwards and older men) would treat me a bit strange.. So what do I do to combat it,?? if I visit an area in which I have a not-so-good experience, I avoid those places and people associated with such areas and save myself the feelings of isolation or depression that come with repeated visits. If I am in the train, i put my earphones on and read a book or play a game on my iPhone.. Simple ways of avoiding even eye contact with undesirable people. And you will see the vast majority of people here do the same among themselves. Just save yourselves the trouble and don’t stick around places where you are not made to feel welcome, there are places and people here who will give you a chance to show yourself as the respectful and openminded person you are, but you have to stick to them and those friendly places/towns/shops/businesses.

Sheldon says
1/16/2012 at 1:33 pm

Let`s face it. Japanese people are the most racist people in Asia. I have no Japanese freinds because of them, not because of me. I am willing to hurt Japanese people upfront for their racist behavior. I have been living and working here in Japan for 5 months and the only friends I have here are only blacks and Filippinos. This weekend is Martin Luther King Weekend and I can tell you that when it comes to the discrimination that Japanese have against foreign customers who want to stay at an inn, Japanese people are no different than the Ku Klux Klan.

JRN says
3/22/2012 at 9:40 am

I have to after reading everyones post that I am both sad and happy about being in Japan. I have lived here for over 5 years now, speak business level japanese, and have a Japanese wife and two sons. I can honestly say that I have never seen or experienced more racist, etc. behavior anywhere before in my life (and considering I was a police officer before moving here, I know racism). Getting a job here if you a foreigner of any color/race doing anything other than teaching english is nearly impossible. My sons who look perfectly japanese are constantly called names and other racist things just because I happen to be a foreigner. Even my wife is continuely denigned promotions and the right to get a new job purely because her last name is not japanese. We proved the latter part to her parents by changing her name back to Sato (the most common Japanese name by the way) and she was able to change her job after one week, compared to the year of trying with a foreign name. Dont get me wrong I do undertand the culture and I do love this country for it beauty. But definately not for its people, who on a constant basis prove to find new ways to be harsh to foreigners.
Even as a teacher here, I was fired from one teaching position because my class (senior students) refused to do any homework and failed almost every test; but when I failed them the school fired me because they said that the japanese students should not have to pass a foreign language test even if it is required by law, and that I should pass them anyways. I refused and so they fired me. Everything about this country is a huge joke rapped in a pretty present and tied with a fake bow. As others have said, japan IS a great place to live, IF you AREN’T actually trying to fit into society. Those rare people who do fit in either come here because they were paid to come, or because they have a ton of money and BOUGHT their way into the culture. Either way, they are shielded and dont have to live with the daily racist crap that me, my sons, my wife, and several of my firends (some japanese married to foreigners, or just plain foreigners) have to put up with. If you love japan, thats fine, go on vacation and leave, DONT STAY!!!



okay i hope that's enough to make my point. like i said before there are several posts where people have had positive experiences.  one thing i have noticed about reading all these is white women tend to have the least problem with this.  also there seems to be a consensus that blacks and non-japanese asians seem to be heavily discriminated against.  seeing how blacks and asians probably make up more than 60% of the world's population (including me) that's a lot of people that could potentially have a bad experience in japan.  

i know it seems like after reading all this it appears that everyone is heavily discriminated against but that's not the case.  if you plan on living there for an extended period of time you probably won't have as much trouble if you are a white female.  also, people say that if you keep to yourself and not go out you will still enjoy japan.  the trouble only happens if you try to assimilate yourself into society.  

people like to bash america for being racist, ignorant and a horrible country but i have experienced very little racism after living here for 20+ years and my ethnic group makes up less than 1% of the population of where i live.  my best friends that i hang out with are black and hispanic and of course ive seen some racism and heckling every once in a great while it is nothing on the scale of what i have read about japan.

Offline j_menz

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #18 on: November 05, 2014, 10:22:06 AM »
i know how trendy and hip it is to bash america but it's not just americans.  

Possibly it is... and you can get bashed anywhere, not just Japan.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline cwjalex

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #19 on: November 05, 2014, 10:25:49 AM »
Possibly it is... and you can get bashed anywhere, not just Japan.

i think u may have misinterpreted that comment.  i was saying it's not just americans that experience racism in japan.

Offline visitor

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #20 on: November 05, 2014, 10:38:14 AM »
i dont think you understood that comment.  i was saying it's not just americans that experience racism in japan.
i understand you were simply relaying something you believe but I do not understand all the push back.  Specially since you disclaim at the begging you do not live there. Not picking on you it why all the push back vs simply being open tithe possibility that there can be and likely are some less than rare exception to the 'documented' trend.  Can you not be "right" but also someone else wih a different view or belief ( even if just to a lesser extent or as anecdote only)?

Again not picking in you or jumping on the vs side of it all. Just observing and find curious you defend something so vehemently that you do not have personal experience with or anything at stake w the premise being validated in tho discussion

 :)

Offline cwjalex

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #21 on: November 05, 2014, 10:42:36 AM »
i understand you were simply relaying something you believe but I do not understand all the push back.  Specially since you disclaim at the begging you do not live there. Not picking on you it why all the push back vs simply being open tithe possibility that there can be and likely are some less than rare exception to the 'documented' trend.  Can you not be "right" but also someone else wih a different view or belief ( even if just to a lesser extent or as anecdote only)?

Again not picking in you or jumping on the vs side of it all. Just observing and find curious you defend something so vehemently that you do not have personal experience with or anything at stake w the premise being validated in tho discussion

 :)

because i am a big defender of truth and i have read so much about japanese xenophobia from reliable sources, read many stories about it, seen many youtube videos of testimonials, and have probably 7-8 friends who have told me in person.  also, outlin likes to take the opposite side of every opinion i form on every thread so that's irritating to me which is another motivation.  also the sarcasm from other people who are implying that it doesn't exist that much and tacitly calling me ignorant is further motivation.  but the main reason, i am a big defender of truth.

PS:  i already acknowledged that not everyone experiences racism.  it would be like if someone didn't acknowledge racism in the united states just because they had never experienced it themselves.

PPS:  yes ive never been there but i've never been to the moon or seen any physical proof yet i defend vehemently the idea that we landed there.

Offline visitor

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #22 on: November 05, 2014, 10:51:15 AM »
because i am a big defender of truth and i have read so much about japanese xenophobia from reliable sources, read many stories about it, seen many youtube videos of testimonials, and have probably 7-8 friends who have told me in person.  also, outlin likes to take the opposite side of every opinion i form on every thread so that's irritating to me which is another motivation.  also the sarcasm from other people who are implying that it doesn't exist that much and tacitly calling me ignorant is further motivation.  but the main reason, i am a big defender of truth.
Fair Enough I suppose

My direct experience with virtual contact is that I suspect that it may be to a lesser extent in business.  In a global economy business leaders and small business owners  understand the need to be open w international commerce.  When I have conducted business with people in japan I have only experienced
Helpfulness and accommodation and a genuine desire to meet my needs and wants from a product an services only perspective . I also know a foreigner who lives here several months  of the year who only has had wonderful things to say about how warm a people they are and can be, but I is in a higher education and internationally friendly enviro similar to business I suppose .


I do not argue for or against re day in day out reality of social interaction there as I am no authority in the matter , so again was more wondering  where your motivation for needing to be "right" in this context and discussion was coming from.  Which you answered nicely.  So thanks  :)

Offline cwjalex

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #23 on: November 05, 2014, 10:52:47 AM »
Fair Enough I suppose

My direct experience with virtual contact is that I suspect that it may be to a lesser extent in business.  In a global economy business leaders and small business owners  understand the need to be open w international commerce.  When I have conducted business with people in japan I have only experienced
Helpfulness and accommodation and a genuine desire to meet my needs and wants from a product an services only perspective .

I do not argue for or against re day in day out reality of social interaction there as I am no authority in the matter , so again was more wondering  where your motivation for needing to be "right" in this context and discussion was coming from.  Which you answered nicely.  So thanks  :)

i also read that this racism is pretty much non existent in upper class.

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #24 on: November 05, 2014, 10:59:38 AM »
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No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline cwjalex

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #25 on: November 05, 2014, 11:07:13 AM »
Why can't you just accept that different people of different nationalities may have different experiences (= their own thruth)? For every negative example, there are probably hundreds of positive ones. That's why I simply can't accept the generalization that Japan is or that the Japanese in general are racists. It's not my personal experience.

Here is an article by a foreigner who has lived quite some time in Japan. It discusses some of the realities of living in that country as a foreigner. I hope you will read it till the end because there are some really positive points: Are foreigners perpetual outsiders in Japan?

i read it to the end and that is only a single person's example who claims in the article that japanese is not a difficult language to learn despite experts saying the contrary. and did you read all the comments?  they are filled with people with a different story.  

i already accept that not everyone experiences racism but you aren't accepting the fact that a huge population of foreigners DO experience racism.  and didn't you say you are a white guy?  blacks and other asians get the worst of the racism and that's most of the worlds population.  that's like you saying that american southerners aren't racist because they accept europeans even though they discriminate against blacks.  so as long as they aren't racist toward you it doesn't matter if they are racist toward a huge population of other people?

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #26 on: November 05, 2014, 11:12:44 AM »
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No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline cwjalex

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #27 on: November 05, 2014, 11:14:38 AM »
If that is the message you got from it, then I can't help you. You seem to be on a mission so it's pretty useless to counter your arguments with something positive. Very sad indeed. :(

that was to show that his experience is vastly different from most people.  i dont understand people who won't change their opinion when faced with mountains of evidence.  even the link you gave me supports my position.  read all the comments.

also, the positive aspects of his story have nothing to do with our argument.  we have already established that some people have a good experience in japan.  what you seem to fail to
acknowledge is the huge amount of people that face overt discrimination

furthermore for someone who is seriously thinking about spending a long period of time in japan i dont think they want a sugarcoated version, they want the truth.

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #28 on: November 05, 2014, 11:35:41 AM »
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No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline amytsuda

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #29 on: November 05, 2014, 11:42:00 AM »
Hello, I am born, raised in Japan, but then, lived in many cities in the US, in Hong Kong, in a few cities in Europe in my life. Now I live in California. It's interesting to read what everyone thinks of Japanese.  

I think there's always some truth in the stereotype, but then, when you really understand the context you also see a beauty in them. It's like when I traveled to Egypt on my own, some people warned me saying they are sexist, they are religious extremist, I have to hide all my skins, all sorts of things. I had a chance to take a boat ride on the Nile river where there was no other tourist on, so I had a great philosophical conversation with the guy who was operating the boat. It was around 5pm and at some point, suddenly it hit me like what it is. I felt like I saw a beauty in the way they live. Seeing a beauty doesn't mean that I'd agree or accept their way of living and I won't move there ever.

There's a truth in it that Japanese are cultural protectionists. And their motivation and drive are quite beautiful if you'd really take in who they are. Would that be going to work with where the world is going in the future? No. Would that make some foreigners feel unhappy? Yes. Would that intrigue some foreigners and make them love Japan? Yes. My husband is Chinese American and he loves Japan more than I do. I have many friends white and black and man and woman who decided to live in Japan, while I left there.

Since everyone is music lovers here, please go and watch some Kabuki shows, watch some Samurai shows on TV and look for Pacific Overture videos, or even Madam Butterfly. Even though frustrating, if you could spare the moment to feel like you are the Japanese, you may see it.

Well, they love classic music, so if you are a pianist, you'd be so welcomed there :)

Offline cwjalex

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #30 on: November 05, 2014, 11:45:02 AM »
The bitter truth is that racism is present virtually everywhere. It's nothing typical of Japan.

yes, it's present everywhere but a lot of people are unaware how strong it exists in japan.  take amytsuda.  to her, japan being racist and xenophobic is a stereotype yet to many people in this thread they didn't even know it existed.  "ladystar" is living in japan and she didn't even know about it. 

Offline amytsuda

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #31 on: November 05, 2014, 11:49:38 AM »
@cwjalex  It seems I didn't communicate my point well  ;D  But that's okay.

Offline outin

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #32 on: November 05, 2014, 02:52:12 PM »
 also, outlin likes to take the opposite side of every opinion i form on every thread so that's irritating to me which is another motivation.

Actually no. I only feel it necessary to comment where there's something to comment. I agree with a lot of what is written here, but it's not common in my culture to say things just for the pleasure of saying them ;)

It is normal and expected that when you present very black-and-white claims on an internet forum, your views will be questioned and the other side of things (that usually does exist) will be brought forward. Why would that be irritating if you have studied the issue and can defend your views in a logical way?

Offline cwjalex

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #33 on: November 05, 2014, 10:23:04 PM »
Actually no. I only feel it necessary to comment where there's something to comment. I agree with a lot of what is written here, but it's not common in my culture to say things just for the pleasure of saying them ;)

It is normal and expected that when you present very black-and-white claims on an internet forum, your views will be questioned and the other side of things (that usually does exist) will be brought forward. Why would that be irritating if you have studied the issue and can defend your views in a logical way?

i am saying it is irritating that in almost every thread that i write you respond with some sort of negation, which was one reason i defended my position with vigor. that guy was asking why i was so vehemently defending my position and i explained to him you were a small factor. 

i started this thread by explaining that many foreigners experience overt racism and xenophobia.  the opposite side of this position is that many foreigners do NOT experience xenophobia and racism and that the majority of foreigners can easily assimilate in japanese culture.  that position is demonstrably false.  i linked many articles from newspapers and other reputable sources talking about japanese racism.  i then copied at least 15 or so people talking about the racism/xenophobia they faced.  how can you ignore all this evidence? dima_ogorodnikov linked a blog in which a single person explained how they had a good experience in japan, but the end of the article had dozens of responses by people who had the opposite experience.

we both agree that people can have a good experience in japan but you seem to ignore the vast amount of evidence that shows a large population of foreigners face overt xenophobia and racism. 

Offline cwjalex

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #34 on: November 05, 2014, 10:25:45 PM »
i think this person's comment is especially fitting here:

Ken says
2/7/2010 at 11:53 am

One phenomenon on this topic that constantly bewilders me is the lengths that some foreigners will go to to deny the validity of, and marginalize, other people’s negative experiences in Japan, or negative information about Japan. I find this particularly among folks who visit short term, or less than a year.

I’ve been here for 8 years, and I’ve been dealing with Japanese people and culture for over 20 years, and it’s simply a fact that deep down inside Japanese people are xenophobes, and generally do not welcome unfamiliar and foreign things, simply because their culture instills in them a disliking of foreign and unfamiliar things and people. I’ve been told as much on numerous occasions, straight up, by Japanese people, both of the 100% domestic type and the internationally-traveled/foreign-language-speaking type, who were honest enough to share this dirty little secret.

Offline amytsuda

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #35 on: November 05, 2014, 10:58:29 PM »
@cwjalex I think it's the choice of words and the impression the words give, that are leading to the debates. "Xenophobia" sounds like people would be running away from you in a fear or like that, but it's not like that in Japan. "Racism" feels like you get kicked out of a place violently, but it's not like that in Japan. It's all in the cultural context and in the subtlety, and the expectation of visitors before coming in, etc. There's cultural protectionism in Japan and it's not a dirty secrete, it's known. Will that cause the horrific experience of people to use the strong words like "xenophobia", depending on the person, they feel that way, they may not feel that way. Some foreigners love the culture and the aspect of cultural protectionism, and they don't feel they are treated with xenophobia. Some leaves the country being upset feeling rejected, and most cases that happen when they want Japanese to change their ways of cultural protectionism. And you are right most people who stay for the short term go home very very pleasant experiences. So I'd recommend not to use strong languages like "racism" and "xenophobia" which could give totally wrong impression of a sort of violent, uncivilized society where people may be shooting the other just because of the color. Japan is a peaceful, non-violent, polite, pleasant place.   

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #36 on: November 06, 2014, 04:35:28 AM »
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No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline outin

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #37 on: November 06, 2014, 04:52:15 AM »
i am saying it is irritating that in almost every thread that i write you respond with some sort of negation, which was one reason i defended my position with vigor. that guy was asking why i was so vehemently defending my position and i explained to him you were a small factor. 
Well, I can only remember that I have disagreed with your claim that it is generally advisable to go after some very challenging pieces of the piano literature with no real experience or work on the basic playing skills. What you do yourself and what generally works may  be two completely different things, so a little less black-and-white attitude would not hurt when giving advice to others.

i started this thread by explaining that many foreigners experience overt racism and xenophobia.  the opposite side of this position is that many foreigners do NOT experience xenophobia and racism and that the majority of foreigners can easily assimilate in japanese culture.  that position is demonstrably false.  i linked many articles from newspapers and other reputable sources talking about japanese racism.  i then copied at least 15 or so people talking about the racism/xenophobia they faced.  how can you ignore all this evidence? dima_ogorodnikov linked a blog in which a single person explained how they had a good experience in japan, but the end of the article had dozens of responses by people who had the opposite experience.

we both agree that people can have a good experience in japan but you seem to ignore the vast amount of evidence that shows a large population of foreigners face overt xenophobia and racism. 

As someone who has been studying racism as well as other social phenomena I just cannot accept the way you (and many others) use these concepts as something simple and easily measurable on/off things. Also my processing of evidence seems to be different to yours, probably due to been through years of methodological training. Why would highly educated people and whole research groups around the world spend time researching these issues if it's enough to just browse the internet and talk to a few people and then make a statement about the level of racism in any country?

Subjective experience is not necessarily objective evidence, even when expressed in numbers. My young nephew spend a year in Japan, my cousin works there quite often and I know other people who have spent time there. When I talk to them both positive and negative things come out, but DIFFERENT things with different people. That's because it's their expectations and also the way they act/react that forms their experience even if they were in the same country.

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #38 on: November 06, 2014, 05:10:02 AM »
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No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline cwjalex

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #39 on: November 09, 2014, 04:21:51 AM »
outin -

you have a reading comprehension problem.  there was nothing black and white about my suggestion to choosing difficult to play pieces.  i specifically prefaced my statement that not everybody would agree with this method and that i can only say that it worked for me.

as far as the topic of the thread my opinion was not only based on testimonies but also on the numerous articles i found written by reputable sources.  you guys seem to be under the impression that i have the view that japan is heavily racist and xenophobic place when all i am saying is that there is a well documented and large population of people who have had a negative experience in japan.

i also found it funny that outin says that subjective experience does not equate to objective reality and then proceeds to talk about her own subjective experience.

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #40 on: November 09, 2014, 04:57:47 AM »
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No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline outin

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #41 on: November 09, 2014, 05:54:02 AM »
outin -

you have a reading comprehension problem.

I can only disagree with you on this one. Reading has never been a problem for me. I may not always be able to make myself understood well enough when writing though. When in hurry one may not choose the right words.

i also found it funny that outin says that subjective experience does not equate to objective reality and then proceeds to talk about her own subjective experience.

There's nothing wrong with talking about or working on one's subjective experience. Everyone does that since it's impossible to live any other way. But at best one understands the difference and can learn how to analyze information when more objective asessments are needed.

Referring to the other thread, it would greatly help me to make an objective assesment of the proposed method, if some results were available to be scrutinized.

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #42 on: November 09, 2014, 06:30:47 AM »
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No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline outin

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #43 on: November 09, 2014, 06:51:41 AM »

Just don't stand out, don't behave loudly and/or rudely (speaking loudly on mobile phone on the subway train, for example, is considered extremely rude, so avoid answering phone calls there) and don't stand out too much in a way that is not typical for their culture.

I know of no other culture where trying not to offend anyone else is so much a way of life. It's almost an obsession. True racism, therefore, simply doesn't fit in the mindset of the average Japanese person.

You have a point here. There's certain "modesty" or reserve in the Japanese behavior that may be really difficult to understand if you come from a very different culture (like US). There's something similar in my own culture (with the exception of drunken behavior) and that probably is one reason why we tend to fit in rather well there. I have been told that many Japanese also like it in my country.

What is considered friendly in most other countries might be considered "pushy" by us.

Offline cwjalex

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #44 on: November 09, 2014, 02:03:15 PM »
dima - how can you claim that i didn't document it already?  did you read any of the links that i posted?  you give 3 experiences that are semi positive in japan while i linked dozens and dozens of bad ones.  i guess i have to keep giving more articles to convince.

http://fpif.org/japan-still-hobbled-racism-militarism/ - PHD in international relations

http://www.uog.edu/sites/default/files/arudou_embedded-racism-japanese-law.pdf well cited article in the pacific asia inquiry

http://www.japanfocus.org/-The_Asahi_Shimbun_Culture_Research_Center-/2932

the 3rd link i posted is about a united nations special rapporteur on human rights and how after a 9 day investigation in japan he concluded that Japanese authorities were not doing enough to tackle what he called Japan’s “deep and profound racism” and xenophobia, particularly against its former colonial subjects.

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #45 on: November 09, 2014, 02:51:03 PM »
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No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline cwjalex

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #46 on: November 09, 2014, 03:13:05 PM »
@ cwjalex

I am not interested in politics and/or dirty games. I have my own experience with Japan and it's deeply in conflict with the links you give to what appear to be typical anti-Japanese propaganda materials.

united nations is anti japanese propaganda materials?  Lol.  you say i don't document anything and then i give documented evidence but you still refuse to believe.  it is pathetic that you continue to ignore so much evidence. you remind me of conspiracy theorists with your refusal to accept evidence.   what kind of "documented evidence" would make you believe?  you say before if i could document it then u would believe.  i document it with personal testimonies, news articles, and official documents and you still choose to remain ignorant.  

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #47 on: November 09, 2014, 03:30:09 PM »
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No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline cwjalex

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #48 on: November 09, 2014, 03:32:59 PM »
I was waiting for real-life stories to see from the context whether the so-called "victims of racism" where right in their judgement of the situation or not. That is the kind of documentation I would like to see. Politics and statistics are really not my cup of tea. Sorry.

why don't you read all the comments i posted above?  those are real life stories.  there's also a few comments from japanese people saying how they don't want foreigners in their country.

what about all the news articles talking about the racism?  you ignore those as well?

Offline amytsuda

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Re: Do you live in Japan?
«Reply #49 on: November 09, 2014, 03:35:00 PM »
I never expected to encounter this level of passionate debates about my country on a piano forum.... @Dima and Cwjalex, both have points and both are correct.

That's why I wrote my experience of going to Egypt. When I was young, I simply traveled with a small backpack with no money. My friends were like, "you shouldn't go there, they are sexist, they are extremest, make sure you don't show any skin, otherwise, you get raped" and like Cwjalex, they'd share all sorts of articles, news, analysis, etc. Anyway, I went there on my own, and got on a Nile boat with T-Shirts and Jeans, with no other tourist, and had a long philosophical conversation with the guy operating the boat. And suddenly, I saw it the way Dima sees Japan. Political game is one, but the culture and life of commoners are another.

If you are a politician trying to negotiate, you can definitely take the anti-Japan position. If you are simply exploring the culture and pleasant adventure in another country, you can definitely take Dima's position. And for a commoner like me? We are unhappy with any official we choose, but we have no idea what's best for the country, and we just keep living our lives the way we like... being peaceful, reserved, polite and orderly.

Regarding an apartment, it's more complex than that. In Japan, most apartments require you to have a guarantor to sign. So if you don't pay rents, they'd go after the guarantor next. Obviously, most apartments want the guarantor to have bank accounts in Japan. Often, Japanese people who are from more unfortunate backgrounds (lost parents, etc) have difficult time to get an apartment because of that. It's not just foreigners. But of course, it ends up an issue for foreigners.  It's a tradition from the history which worked when families and relatives are closer to each other, and community helped each other. The society changed, so it doesn't work. But in Japan, changing anything that has existed for a long term is a very slow process.

Most commoners in Japan don't grow up with a concept of racism. We grow up in an environment where everyone around us is Japanese. Some commoners don't even have a concept their behaviors could be connected with a concept of racism. Restaurants, I have seen those in rather crowded central downtown areas. Most cases, they had bad experiences (couldn't handle some difficult customers) and put those signs up without even realizing that's a racism. They even may not realize there are many kinds of foreigners or how to identify foreigners (it's not like they do passport check, so in fact Asian in Japan may have an advantage). So yes, you can call it racism. But if you tell them that they are racists, they'd be shocked and have to look up what racism means. Once they learn the meaning, they'd profusely apologize probably. Is that ignorance? Yes. Uncivilized? I don't know.

I need to wake up early tomorrow morning, so I will stop here.