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Are American Japan residents considered Gaijin?

512kb

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I don't know if I said that right...but I was wondering if people that used to be Americans (but now legally living in Japan) are considered gaijin to "No Gaijin Allowed" bars?

Also, what kind of legal things do you have to go through to become a Japan resident?

Thanks :)
 
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GaijinPunch

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Once a gaijin, always a gaijin.

Also, what kind of legal things do you have to go through to become a Japan resident?

Residency is pretty easy. You just need a visa and a gaijin card. Doesn't make you a permanent resident, and are still most definitely, a gaijin.
 

Uncle Frank

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When I Was In Fukuoka......

there were plenty of places with "no gaijin" signs, BUT, I never had any trouble getting in. I would kid with them in Japanese about how I had my eyes docked and skin whitened and really was Japanese which they knew was absurb. They always seemd to like the way I kidded around and I usually had my Japanese friends with me; for some reason, they always let me in?

Frank

😊
 

Jack

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living in japan doesn't make you home grown, just means your a part of the japanese society
 

Ewok85

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"No foreigners" signs generally don't mean that, I never had a problem, its more of a "we don't want foreigners making trouble" thing.
 

Silverpoint

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Or "we can't speak your language so it's difficult for us to deal with you". If you demonstrate you have a reasonable level of Japanese they're often a lot more easy going.
 

Pachipro

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Ditto to everything said above.

Thanks for the link budd. Very interesting story.

As long as you have round eyes, white, brown, or black skin, you will ALWAYS be considered gaijin-even if you were born there. But it's how you act that makes all the difference.
 

Mike Cash

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512kb said:
I don't know if I said that right...but I was wondering if people that used to be Americans (but now legally living in Japan) are considered gaijin to "No Gaijin Allowed" bars?

You are confusing residency and citizenship. Just living in Japan doesn't void one's citizenship. An American living (legally or otherwise) in Japan is still an American.

Also, what kind of legal things do you have to go through to become a Japan resident?

Thanks :)

Again, you're confusing residency and citizenship.
 

Maciamo

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First answering the title question; American are the gaijin par excellence for the Japanese. All too often, when a Japanese use the word gaijin, it has very strong connotations of an American (more than other Westerners or foreigners). Many Japanese (or Koreans or Chinese) also think that all Westerners are Americans. Strange as there are twice as many Europeans as Americans in the world.

512kb said:
I don't know if I said that right...but I was wondering if people that used to be Americans (but now legally living in Japan) are considered gaijin to "No Gaijin Allowed" bars?

Also, what kind of legal things do you have to go through to become a Japan resident?

I think you confuse residence with nationality/citizenship. It's not become someone because a resident in Japan (even permanent) that they lose their original nationality and become Japanese. Never ! You have to apply for naturalisation, but there are conditions, such as having lived at least 4 or 5 years in the country, speak some Japanese, have a stable job, etc.
 

deadhippo

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youll be a gaijin forever, but dont take it too hard
be proud of your heritage

also these days i dont think there are too many no gaijin signs
at least in yokohama the one i used to see has been removed
they are worried about being removed
that doesnt mean you can pass freely wherever you want to go though
like in every country they can use the members only trick

and imo theres no reason to go to such places anyway
which are probably hostess bars with some skanky yanki chicks or money grubbing schoolgirls
 

Mikawa Ossan

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No matter how long you live in Japan, and even if you gain citizenship, you will almost certainly be considered a gaijin by the population at large.

However, more importantly (at least to me) are the people around you. On a personal level, you can find people who will eventually see you as Japanese. You will still be different, but face it: you are. Nevertheless, with enough effort, you can still be seen as Japanese by your co-workers and friends. It won't help you when you go out to town, but it can be very comfortable in your private life.

This can only happen to people who assimilate into the culture and stop seeing themselves as any different from anyone else. If you keep a world-view that is not complementary to Japanese in general, don't expect people to think of you as anything other than a foreigner.

So in my experience, it's possible. It's not the same as in countries with large immigrant populations, but it's possible albeit on a limited scale. The important thing is how you think, react to situations, and behave in your daily life.

I don't think of myself as Japanese per se, but I am seriously told (by Japanese) every so often that I should become a naturalized citizen. I think of this as nothing less than being accepted into the fold. Still, people who don't know me would never even THINK such a thing, nor do I expect them to.
 

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You can only ever be who you truly are, no matter where you live. I know people who had moved to england when I worked there, and even though they had even gained quite an accent the British there still considered them Americans...

You'll always be a gaijin in Japan, but that's quite alright, you shouldn't want to be anything more than that--- if you do, you'll only be more unhappy. So long, as Mikawa said, that you assimilate yourself into the culture, you can have the same level of satisfaction living in most major* loacales. Sometimes people wont like you, but that's the way life goes, and if its their loss or not, I dont know... can't say, but no use crying over the possibility of it.

*by major I mean, say Japan, as uposed to Burkina Faso, or Tirkrit... that sort of thing...
 

Maciamo

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yukio_neko^_o said:
You can only ever be who you truly are, no matter where you live. I know people who had moved to england when I worked there, and even though they had even gained quite an accent the British there still considered them Americans...

That's maybe because of a lack of cultural adaptation. Interestingly, I have been taken for a local by locals in many countries, even those where I have never lived. I could go to France, Luxembourg, Switzerland without that having people thinking I am a foreigner. Likewise, I have been mistaken for a German in Germany (the looks I guess) at the time when my German was still quite good, and had Italian people wonder if I was Italian too. Recently, I met an English woman who asked me if I was from England as well. I was quite happy because the English accent is the most difficult to imitate perfectly due to the irregular pronuciation and some quite unique sound of the language (I still have difficulties pronoucing distinctively the two "th" : thita and delta).

As a European I feel that normal. In fact, I do not mind being taken for a Englishman, Frenchman or German, because I have ancestry in each country and know each country quite well.

As for Japan, I never asked to be taken for a Japanese, and do not want to become Japanese anyway. But it's irritating that on the one side (Europe) you are taken for a local when you can speak the language with a good accent, and on the other side (Japan) you are always taken for an ignorant outsider who "cannot possibly know anything our country, language and culture" just because he doesn't look Japanese. This is what I find irritating with the Japanese. Where I come from, nobody would assume that a foreign-looking person (or someone they know for sure is a foreigner) knows nothing about their country or language. In fact it's the opposite; they expect them to be interested and learn about the country they visit or live in, and would find it strange if somebody who had lived for a few years in the country didn't know almost as much as the locals.
 

Mike Cash

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I find the "...always taken for an ignorant outsider..." to be an overly-broad and inaccurate generalization.
 

Maciamo

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mikecash said:
I find the "...always taken for an ignorant outsider..." to be an overly-broad and inaccurate generalization.

It may be a bit exaggerated. I'd say that those the most likely to fit this generalisation are those who do not often meet foreigners (i.e. most Japanese) or have only met the "bad examples" of gaijin. I personally manage to dispell those prejudices quite quickly once we start discussing, but the most common attitude from the start (i.e. before we get to know each others) is the one I have described. It has become almost annoying to meet new people, as I have to start again the process with most people.
 

yukio_michael

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Maciamo said:
That's maybe because of a lack of cultural adaptation. Interestingly, I have been taken for a local by locals in many countries, even those where I have never lived.
I was always treated well in England, I suppose because I never acted like what they expected an American to act like: loud, rude... etc.

Oddly I was at 'my local' --pub that is, in St. Albans where I lived while working, and I was talking to a fellow engineer from Liverpool, in comes exactly the type they cringe at, it was odd--- as if it were staged. A big man from texas, bellowing about how in Texas he could show them how they make a 'real' steak or, how big such and such was... you could hear his voice over all the other patrons in the pub. The friend from liverpool leaned over to me and said, 'that man, is what we here call... a wanker.'. Enough said...

I'm irish and italian, so I have features that make people thnk I'm from any number of places. My girlfriend was astonished that I had any ammount of cultural background other than -american- though, growing up, in a big Italian family, I identify myself with that culture mostly. It was only later in life that I learned my grandfater was adopted and was actually Irish.

The Netherlands was one of the nicest places I've been to in Europe, the people there were so immediately welcoming and kind... People spoke Dutch to me assuming I could speak it (I had studied it a bit in highschool, but forgot all about it, years later)... One thing, ordering katsup for some french fries... the waiter said, "Ahhh American!"... couldn't I have been English!? ;)
 

Maciamo

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yukio_neko^_o said:
One thing, ordering katsup for some french fries... the waiter said, "Ahhh American!"... couldn't I have been English!? ;)

As a Belgian, I may have had the same reaction. First of all, Americans eat Ketchup with their fries, while in the Benelux nobody would do that (there are dozens of much tastier sauces not found on the American continent :p ). Then, if you actually said "French fries", it means you are not British, Irish, Australian or whatever, but most likely North American. Had you said 'Belgian fries' :p or "frites" (even in the Netherlands), they would have reacted very differently. Btw, the Belgians pride themselves on having invented chips (rather than the French), and even the Dutch and French know that the best chips are to be found in Belgium (many of them actually cross the border to buy them in one of the numerous "friterie/frituur").
 

GaijinPunch

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I actually top my fries with msutard. Never did like Ketchup that much.

On topic: Am I the only foreigner that feels the conversation/mood goes up when the other side realizes you can converse with them in their language? Yeah, it's usually cab drivers, and I am indeed sick of telling the same story over and over again, but I've almost never been given that "you couldn't possibly know what you're talking about" look. I do get the "Wow, your'e Japanese is great! I'm still going to butcher English in our conversation though!" bit quite often.
 

Mike Cash

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Maciamo said:
It may be a bit exaggerated. I'd say that those the most likely to fit this generalisation are those who do not often meet foreigners (i.e. most Japanese) or have only met the "bad examples" of gaijin. I personally manage to dispell those prejudices quite quickly once we start discussing, but the most common attitude from the start (i.e. before we get to know each others) is the one I have described. It has become almost annoying to meet new people, as I have to start again the process with most people.

I realize you have lived in Japan only a very short time and thus don't have much of a baseline for comparisons, but things as they stand now are a vast, vast improvement over what they used to be.
 

Mars Man

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All that really should be said here, to that original question, has been said. I guess that I could only point out that there was this case in Hokkaido about the hot springs that would not allow non-Japanese (gaijin) in, and refused entry to one (I think he had been from the USA--could be wrong on that)man who had Japanese citizenship. He took it to court, and you'll have to forgive me, because I cannot recall just what the conclusion was. But the point was that being a Japanese citizen even, will not always give you a non-gaijin card in the eyes of some Japanese people.

I have been here for almost 21 years now, and get by quite well in Japanese conversation and mannerism and all, but still am a gaijin. (which I don't mind being called) I recall once when being stopped for a license plate check by the police (in Matsumoto, here) and I had rolled down my window to offer a polite ganbatte kudasai, and the solemn faced officer simply called to the one who had been taking down the numbers as they had been called out, saying " gaijin, danshi" without the least bit of effort to show gratitude for my attempted politeness. That's life on the big Island Chain !! :)
 

Mike Cash

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You encountered a ナ椎ク窶禿「. Don't see those too often anymore.
 

Mike Cash

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I really wish you would quit arbitrarily doing that whenever it strikes your fancy.

It would be best if you asked in the thread if the participants think it should be split off.

Failing that, at the very least you really ought to include a post in the old thread redirecting people. Quite often you fail to do that.
 
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