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Davey

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I really find that people sometimes go to far in Japan. Of course there is an understanding as we shouldn't travel in a way but we sometimes just have to!

I traveled from Kobe to Himeji and Ako, didn't feel that comfortable as usually so tried to wear a mask and wash my hands as much as I could.

How about you? Are you traveling, what do you care and worry about?

I do think that we will see a big rise in numbers in the upcoming 2-3 weeks...
 

thomas

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We travel by car to neighbouring prefectures and haven't had any issues (in Kanto). I am cycling a lot into Tokyo, Saitama, and Yamanashi. We always don masks when entering convenience stores or other places, so no issues either.

One of my private students from Ehime told me that when the prefecture reported the first case in his town, people put up posters showing the patient's face and particulars as if he was a criminal. Such vigilantism is truly repugnant.
 

Lothor

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We travel by car to neighbouring prefectures and haven't had any issues (in Kanto). I am cycling a lot into Tokyo, Saitama, and Yamanashi. We always don masks when entering convenience stores or other places, so no issues either.

One of my private students from Ehime told me that when the prefecture reported the first case in his town, people put up posters showing the patient's face and particulars as if he was a criminal. Such vigilantism is truly repugnant.
It didn't surprise me at all that in Davey's post the person who wrote the message did it anonymously. There's a certain type of person who's nasty, quick to jump to conclusions and too cowardly to put their name to anything they do.

On the TV this morning, they were showing stickers you can buy for your car to avoid such problems, which basically say that although the number plates are from a different prefecture, the driver is a local person.
 

cocoichi

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I guess fear and the Japanese dificulties of expressing and discussing ones feelings openly and clearly, leads to a dangerous cocktail.
 

Uncle Frank

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Violent attacks are on the rise here in America. Among other reasons , I think fear of the virus and how it is disrupting our lives is causing a lot of internal anger that there is nothing we can do to make it go away. This anger seems to burst out over stupid little things. There seem to be a lot of issues with mask wearing people trying to police the non-mask wearing people and a fight breaks out. I'm glad I'm retired and don't have to venture outside of my own yard.
 

Petaris

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I guess fear and the Japanese dificulties of expressing and discussing ones feelings openly and clearly, leads to a dangerous cocktail.
I agree with you, however its hardly a Japan only problem. In general fear, lack of information, and lack of critical thinking lead to dangerous situations. The news doesn't help either, anything to stir people up and increase their ratings. :/
 

jack6251

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I've been around Ibaraki and Tochigi, even into Saitama actually. In one supermarket near where I live I actually saw the social distancing tape had been removed from the checkout area for some reason.
 

jack6251

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I agree with you, however its hardly a Japan only problem. In general fear, lack of information, and lack of critical thinking lead to dangerous situations. The news doesn't help either, anything to stir people up and increase their ratings. :/
No but there's a tendency in Japan to "kneejerk" react to their own shadow if it's cast in a new place they haven't seen before...."AARRG WHAT'S THAT!!!!??" I've been on the receiving end of many a "blown out of proportion over nothing" situation here, things that in probably most other country's people would take in their stride and not be phased by at all.

Regarding travelling in Japan during the period of the plague...always keep a mask on you and "be seen" to be doing what's expected to avoid hassle and you'll be fine.
 

Seiko

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See, this is why i didn't want to go back to Japan this year to do my personal work. Even if i had that small window of safety to go, i would not have gone. I told myself, if i do go, and i stay in the countryside or small town i would be okay. But i know that i am a foreigner, and even if i was not sick or had the virus and someone in the around the area would have got sick i was in, i would be blame for it.
 

Petaris

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No but there's a tendency in Japan to "kneejerk" react to their own shadow if it's cast in a new place they haven't seen before...."AARRG WHAT'S THAT!!!!??"

It really depends on who you are dealing with. I would tentatively agree that it seems to happen more often in Japan however I also see that here in Chicago. It really reminds my of the line from the movie Men in Black: "A person is smart. But people are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it." It is sad but true. All it takes is one person to go crazy and most of the people around them just jump on the crazy train like, well, like crazy. 🤷‍♂️
 

misternada

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I spend a lot of times out walking around and there are people who don't wear masks, people with simple mask, people with the Arab face mask・フェイスベール (even men, probably only a Japanese thing), people with full Japanese army outfit or a bit more futuristic outfits like the ones below with a face mask on top:

ba4c6f28cc778a3a9c4296718399967e.jpg


Now there are people who take down their mask and put it back when they cross someone on their path, there is a variation with the towel on mouth, that's pretty rude IMHO, although they might do that when they cross other Japanese and not only foreigners so it is not an obvious case of racism.

There are also nutcases who completely freak out when they see a foreign, it happened to me once as I have already reported on this forum.

I've seen a report on TV with some foreign girl who was told to go home by some ojiisan in some park in Tokyo, I would like to see this happening to me, I guarantee the old guy will wet his pants.

Now when I see something I don't like, I don't hesitate to tell them to go to hell, maybe they do because it is getting harder and harder to find those Japanese weirdos and I have extended my hunting grounds ...

Just to balance things out I would like to say there are also friendly people. I guess it is probably a lot worse in any gaijinland nowadays.
 
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dogdays21

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I
I spend a lot of times out walking around and there are people who don't wear masks, people with simple mask, people with the Arab face mask・フェイスベール (even men, probably only a Japanese thing), people with full Japanese army outfit or a bit more futuristic outfits like the ones below with a face mask on top:

ba4c6f28cc778a3a9c4296718399967e.jpg


Now there are people who take down their mask and put it back when they cross someone on their path, there is a variation with the towel on mouth, that's pretty rude IMHO, although they might do that when they cross other Japanese and not only foreigners so it is not an obvious case of racism.

There are also nutcases who completely freak out when they see a foreign, it happened to me once as I have already reported on this forum.

I've seen a report on TV with some foreign girl who was told to go home by some ojiisan in some park in Tokyo, I would like to see this happening to me, I guarantee the old guy will wet his pants.

Now when I see something I don't like, I don't hesitate to tell them to go to hell, maybe they do because it is getting harder and harder to find those Japanese weirdos and I have extended my hunting grounds ...

Just to balance things out I would like to say there are also friendly people. I guess it is probably a lot worse in any gaijinland nowadays.

Interesting. I imagine this pandemic, and the resulting economic fallout, will further expose all the fault lines resulting from the vast global migration experienced by many developed countries in recent years - including Japan. How severe will vary according to how each country approached it, and the characteristics of their native cultures.

I would think the deeply embedded fear of the ‘other’ (often evolutionarily valid ) is more acute in a rapidly aging, formerly very homogeneous society like Japan, where large numbers of the elderly live alone, or without convenient medical access. They are aware of what happened in Italy, so their fear is real.
 

Lothor

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I don't believe that most people in Japan have any awareness of 'what happened in Italy'. And what in particular did happen in Italy? Apart from a brief flurry of interest in Turin during the 2006 as a background to Japan's Winter Olympic medal hopes and lots of very dramatic reporting of the deaths during the peak of the coronavirus outbreak (complete with a horror film-type soundtrack), I've seen almost no coverage of the country in the Japanese media beyond the 'Isn't Venice pretty?' and "Isn't pizza delicious?' variety. And I've never noticed any greater aversion to foreigners among elderly people compared with younger people since coming to Japan in 2003. All this is anecdotal I know, but one thing that is factual is that Japan has not experienced vast global migration as you claim. The number of foreigners is still only about 2.5% of the population, up from about 1.5% when I first came here. And we're not particularly conspicuous, apart from in a few areas.

I agree with you that coronavirus is exposing various faultlines. I think that by far the biggest faultline is the massive global inequality of income, health, and job security, which coronavirus does seem to be exacerbating. However, I suspect that plenty of people in charge are going to play the migration/race card to try and distract people from this, and often their poor handling of the pandemic, to stoke their fear of the 'other', which I also agree exists.
 

dogdays21

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I don't believe that most people in Japan have any awareness of 'what happened in Italy'. And what in particular did happen in Italy? Apart from a brief flurry of interest in Turin during the 2006 as a background to Japan's Winter Olympic medal hopes and lots of very dramatic reporting of the deaths during the peak of the coronavirus outbreak (complete with a horror film-type soundtrack), I've seen almost no coverage of the country in the Japanese media beyond the 'Isn't Venice pretty?' and "Isn't pizza delicious?' variety. And I've never noticed any greater aversion to foreigners among elderly people compared with younger people since coming to Japan in 2003. All this is anecdotal I know, but one thing that is factual is that Japan has not experienced vast global migration as you claim. The number of foreigners is still only about 2.5% of the population, up from about 1.5% when I first came here. And we're not particularly conspicuous, apart from in a few areas.

I agree with you that coronavirus is exposing various faultlines. I think that by far the biggest faultline is the massive global inequality of income, health, and job security, which coronavirus does seem to be exacerbating. However, I suspect that plenty of people in charge are going to play the migration/race card to try and distract people from this, and often their poor handling of the pandemic, to stoke their fear of the 'other', which I also agree exists.

”...very dramatic reporting of the deaths during the peak of the coronavirus outbreak...” is what happened in Italy. The sensational nature of the media report do it is what will stick in people’s mind, and enough to fuel their fear. And this was due in part to many Italian’s insistence on continuing normal close-contact social gatherings and activities, including many elderly, who comprised the majority of Covid deaths. Deaths that may have been preventable if not for an overwhelmed local healthcare system.

“Vast” is a subjective term, which will differ based on individual perception, experiences, situations, and tolerance level. Regardless of objective statistics. the impact will be felt more in a small, very ethnically and culturally homogeneous country such as Japan, than say, Malaysia. Especially given the Japanese culture for law, order, etiquette, cleanliness, and other social norms, behavior and general personality traits which may be very different from some of the incoming cultures. But these peculiar traits are what makes Japan Japan, enabled it to make remarkable achievements in various fields, become a developed nation, and draws people to visit or live there because of it.

Given the human propensity to view the ‘other’ with at least caution, if not outright hostility, foreigners will stand out if their behavior conflicts with the native’s, even if it occurs infrequently or among a minority. Until trust is established and a base level of compatibility is reached among the native and incoming group, then the tendency is to paint the incoming group with a broad brush and view them with distrust, or anger if they are perceived to lower the native’s standard of living in any way. At the societal level, this can only occur organically over time, I’d say at least a generation or two.

Rapid demographic changes - especially among visually different groups (races) and/or vastly different cultures - that occur before that leads to reactions and conflicts we are currently witnessing worldwide, with the rise of nativist parties and movements from Britain, to the US, to Germany and France, and other Western European countries. This is worsened if the government does not encourage assimilation, which builds trust amongst diverse groups and lessens the negative effects of the tendency to ‘other’ the incoming group. Media PR, educational programs, etc praising just the benefits of diversity alone doesn’t cut it if the local on the street sees and experiences otherwise. And ignoring, denigrating, and attacking the natives’ oftentimes legitimate concerns and very real experiences will turn potential allies/friends into foes/enemies, by increasing local support for nationalistic parties. And everyone will lose, both natives and the incoming group(s).

Natives who tolerate it just for the financial benefits will quickly turn against it if the economy tanks. Then the base survival instinct to compete for resources will dominate and the foreigner- the ‘other’ - is now viewed as just a competitor for scarce resources.

I don’t live in Japan, nor am I knowledgeable enough about its domestic immigration issues to comment of the specifics of your situation. These are my opinions on a global phenomena, by someone who has been both native and incoming, and witnessed the effects - positive and negative - of the changes within my adult lifetime, in various countries)
 
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dogdays21

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Btw, as a foreigner resident or visitor, I‘ve found adapting to local social norms and being respectful of locals ( unless otherwise warranted) went a long way toward making both of our experiences positive when it could have turned negative. I value a harmonious society, but will admit that my base nature is quite compatible with many of the host country’s, and also Japan’s.
 

Mikawa Ossan

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Did they throw beans at the guy in the OP? (Sorry, the first thing that came to mind when I saw the OP was Setsubun.)

鬼は外福は内

 
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