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is this common?

Although Debito often has accurate information on Japan, one would wonder why one so inclined to point out the imperfections of his home would decide to live there and even become a citizen? Personally I wouldn't get caught up over it, and would rather go out and have fun somewhere else then cry about it on a website😊

But to answer your original question, it's not a common sign. Especially not in larger cities which make some money off gaijin coming and going.
 
Sacred is right, it's not that common at all. I've actually been to several of the places that were highlighted in his gallery (including the now "infamous" Otaru onsen 8-p). I've also had the chance to meet Mr. Aldwinkle on several occasions in and around Sapporo during my stay there although I highly doubt he would remember me.

I admire and respect the man for the strength of his convictions and for taking up what he feels has become his own personal crusade. And yet... I also subscribe to the idea that legitimate businesses should have the right to operate in their own best interests and with some measure of discretion (within the confines of the law of course) in re: to what sort of clientele they wish to pursue.

Granted, posting a sign out front seems a bit crass... but such discriminatory measures exist whether we like it or not and is by no means exclusive to Japan. One may be able to eliminate the physical signs on the storefront... but can you eradicate the more intangible attitudes that exist behind those closed doors in the process? As a result, the fact that they exist here and there in Japan doesn't really offend me as much as it does Debito or some others, but that's just me. Bottom line is this: for every establishment out there that forbids foreigners, there are a hundred more that will readily accept your hard-earned yen with a bow and a smile.
:)
 
I have never seen any signs saying "no foreigners allowed", but I do have this experience.

Once I went to a local barber to get a haircut. When he first saw me, he said something like, "No gaijin!" or something, until I asked him something in Japanese. Then he was very friendly and even invited me to a local festival after cutting my hair. He told me that he had had a really bad experience with a foreign customer once who didn't speak English, and he was just trying to avoid similar problems in the future. He actually had nothing against foreigners per se.

I think the best thing any foreigner coming to Japan can do is learn the language.
 
Seppuku said:
i found this site and the guy has all these pictures of places that will not alow "gaijin" into them is this a common sight or is it only in some places? www.debito.org: THE ROGUE'S GALLERY: Photos of places which refuse non-Japanese in Japan

Yeah, it tends to happen in developping countries - especially the double fee thing. I also encountered that in India, where Indians paid, say 20 rupees to visit the Taj Mahal, while "foreigners" had to pay 20 US$ (about 50x more !).

No, just kidding about Japan as a developing country (well, all well considered... 😌 ). It does happens everywhere in India, but only at some limited locations in Japan (Kyoto and Hokkaido seem to have a bad reputation, for very different reasons; Kyoto because of its ultra-conservative mindset, and Hokkaido because of Russian sailors).

Have a look at the thread Have you encountered discrimination or prejudices in Japan ? to see what is common and what isn't. Rather than hotels or restaurants, I think that the usual complaints are about real estate agencies and the (Tokyo) police.
 
Yeah? I sure don't deny their existance, even though I've never seen them. I have been denied access to several places through the years, but in all honesty, they weren't places that made much difference to me. :smoke:
 
Having a look at this one :
pachinkodonkeysign-1.jpg


It seems obvious from the text that nobody understands English there. :p

Then it shows how deeply prejudiced those particular Japanese are toward "foreigners".

1) They insinuate that all foreigners speak English, and that they cannot possibly speak Japanese. Reminds me of this article

2) They believe that people are stupid enough to want to pay in foreign currency rather than yen (never met anybody like that !). They must never have travelled abroad. I can't see another explanation. They don't know that it is possible to exchange currencies or withdraw yen directly from the ATM with a foreign card !
 
Yeah, but there are some real idiots out there. I know of people who have tried to pay for things in foreign currency, and pretending not to know any Japanese to try to get out of certain situations. There are many honest, decent foreigners in Japan, but there are many dishonest stupid ones too. Same goes for Japanese, but I think signs like that are our (meaning people of foreign decent in Japan) own fault (in the aggregate, historical sense). If we want to stop people from posting signs like that, we need to demonstrate that there's no need for them in the first place. Not that I think it'll happen in my lifetime, mind you. :)
 
"They believe that people are stupid enough to want to pay in foreign currency rather than yen (never met anybody like that !)."

i have

"He told me that he had had a really bad experience with a foreign customer once who didn't speak English, and he was just trying to avoid similar problems in the future."

same experience here with korean video store owner. thanks for posting.

"I know of people who have tried to pay for things in foreign currency, and pretending not to know any Japanese to try to get out of certain situations."

ditto

"Not that I think it'll happen in my lifetime, mind you."

ditto
 
What I dont understand is WHY he is going out of his way to find these places that dont allow foreigners in. Like Iron Chef said, there are hundreds of other places to go to. Sure it might suck if youre in the middle of no-where and you want a bath, but then thats up to the travel guides to point out that if you want to ride your bike miles out of civilisation, dont expect to get a bath anywhere.
What about bars in other countries? Nearly every bar in NZ has a sign up that stipulates certain things that they will allow and wont allow. So what? Move onto the next bar.
There is nothing wrong with requiring that foreigners can only enter if they are members. Obviously if there are members who are foreign they respect the place, and the people working there. There are Members Only bars worldwide.
The no tattoos in gyms etc arent only here in Japan. I have been to bars that will not let you in if you have visible tattoos. But once again, just move onto the next bar.
Discrimination is everywhere in many different forms. For somebody to want to go out of his way to cause trouble for owners of such places, when the next five places along probably dont have such signs, and he can have just an enjoyable time there... aarrghhhh, its just pathetic.
 
What I dont understand is WHY he is going out of his way to find these places that dont allow foreigners in.

Same reason any advocate goes out of their way to find certain things - to correct these actions.

Im just bowled over that it seems so blatant. I wish someone said something like that to me here or posted that here - theyd be dropped like a bad habit.

Discrimination is everywhere in many different forms.

Here - at the very least we have laws prohibiting such OVERT discrimination that seems to going on in these pictures.

For somebody to want to go out of his way to cause trouble for owners of such places, when the next five places along probably dont have such signs, and he can have just an enjoyable time there... aarrghhhh, its just pathetic.

/scratches head -

So the Store Owners, blatantly discriminating against ALL foreign visitors is the victim here?
 
Well not in all circumstances were ALL foreign visitors the victims. If it was a whole street worth of stores, restaruants, bars and what-have-you then yeah go ahead kick up a stink. We are talking about a whole country here, not just a street, there are soooooo many other places a foreigner could go to, there are foreign freindly bars everywhere, so why would someone try to get into a bar where they obviously arent wanted? In most cases im sure that they have their reasons and are protecting those such reasons.
Think of it as an exclusive members bar, where any Joe Bloggs off the street cant come in. Of course they arent gonna cause this much fuss, its too much effort, they will just go to the next bar that will let them in.
Would you really want to force your way into somewhere you arent wanted? Of course you arent going to get a freindly reception once you had acheived your goal. Best to be somewhere you are kindly accepted.
If you cant see my point of view keep scratching. Im just giving my two cents worth.
 
So the Store Owners, blatantly discriminating against ALL foreign visitors is the victim here?

Well, it's much easier for them that way.

On a side note, I can see where perhaps Russian or maybe some European foreigners could find this a troublesome, but for the many native English speaking gaijin -- they should really just shut up and go on. Life can be much easier in Japan as a gaijin than a Japanese if you choose to take that route. Not saying everyones does, but it's an option.

The other argument of course is that nobody is requiring them to live in Japan in the first place.

I think that the usual complaints are about real estate agencies and the (Tokyo) police.

I think real estate companies have one complaint -- the langauge barrier. It is very hard to have a tenant/landlord relationship when you can't talk. I almost didn't get a place until the agent said communication wouldnt' be an issue.
 
I agree with Gaijin Punch.
How on earth can you put what I was trying to say into one paragraph?? Hhahaa.
 
Kara_Nari said:
What I dont understand is WHY he is going out of his way to find these places that dont allow foreigners in.
I think mainly because for our friend Mr. Aldwinkle, being the protesting gaijin who is 'fighting the system' has become something of a career as well as a crusade. As well as a published book (in both Japanese and English) he writes about the subject for newspapers like the Japan Times and does a certain amount of public speaking. He needs to keep digging up new issues, to keep his profile high.

I find I agree and disagree with him at times. I admire his strength of conviction but sometimes I think he can take things to an almost petty level, which doesn't help his general cause.
 
Kara_Nari said:
What I dont understand is WHY he is going out of his way to find these places that dont allow foreigners in.
...
Nearly every bar in NZ has a sign up that stipulates certain things that they will allow and wont allow. So what? Move onto the next bar.
There is nothing wrong with requiring that foreigners can only enter if they are members.
...
There are Members Only bars worldwide.

I think that Debito's examples are all cases of places that allow any Japanese under no special condition (no Members Only). If he wanted to spot the Members Only places, then I'd go to Tokyo (Ginza...) or Kyoto (Gion...), as they are full of them. But I don't remember him mention this once. It's fine to have conditions for people to enter a place, but when it's open to people of of race/nationality without restriction, and that only foreigners are banned, it becomes racist discrimination. What is more, Arudo Debito has been nationalised Japanese several years ago. Yet, there are places which won't let him enter even when he shows in his passport that he is Japanese, because he "doesn't look" Japanese. This is clear discrimination. Check the picture where the clerk obervse his passport and still refuse him entry although he is Japanese.

Discrimination is everywhere in many different forms. For somebody to want to go out of his way to cause trouble for owners of such places, when the next five places along probably dont have such signs, and he can have just an enjoyable time there... aarrghhhh, its just pathetic.

It's not pathetic, it's his job. Debito is a sort of "foreigner rights' activist" and a lawyer. He makes his living helping foreigners who encounter discrimination in Japan. Among the pictures he took, some may have been when he really wanted to go to the place, but my guess is that he was looking for such places in order to analyse how widespread this problem is.
 
GaijinPunch said:
I think real estate companies have one complaint -- the langauge barrier. It is very hard to have a tenant/landlord relationship when you can't talk. I almost didn't get a place until the agent said communication wouldnt' be an issue.

I went to one of Tokyo's biggest real estate agency with my wife to look for an appartment, and the staff said outright that many landowners would not accept a foreigner in their appartment, even renting together with one or more Japanese, and even with a stable job and as many guarantor as you want. The problem was that some landlords just don't want any foreigners (whatever the country) under any circumstances, and they can tell the real estate agency about it (in their "preference list"). Indeed, I asked about 5 or 6 appartments that looked good for us, and for all of them the policy was "no foreigner allowed". Do you find this normal ? I have seen other agencies where it was clearly written on the door "no foreigners", so I didn't even bother. I don't know in the States, but in Europe such discriminatory rules are strictly prohibited. At best, a landlord could refuse a tenant after meeting him/her if they have a good reason (e.g. lack of revenues), but even saying "I don't like that guy" is not a legally valid reason.
 
I agree with Maciamo. This kind of thing can happen in the US when it comes to renting apartments. Gay couples, for example, might be denied by some landlords. And of course, we all know that such discrimination is absolutely unconstitutional. The fact that discrimination in Japan can be so blatant, particularly in the case of restaurants and bars, shows at best a very disheartening apathy on the part of the citizens who do nothing to put an end to it. And for the people here who brush it off so lightly - there is nothing paradoxical about loving a place yet being open to changing it for the better. Sure, the language barrier is an obvious issue when it comes to an apartment but honestly when it comes to a bar? restaurant? hotel?....I am pressed to think of any legitimate justification for barring entry to foreigners. It's discrimination, plain and simple.
 
Maciamo said:
Debito is a sort of "foreigner rights' activist" and a lawyer. He makes his living helping foreigners who encounter discrimination in Japan.

To the best of my knowledge, he is not a lawyer. Nor does he "make a living" helping foreigners who encounter discrimination in Japan.
 
mikecash said:
To the best of my knowledge, he is not a lawyer. Nor does he "make a living" helping foreigners who encounter discrimination in Japan.

Not sure if he is a lawyer. That's what he seemed to be saying in this article, but it's not very clear :

Arudo Debito said:
They also apparently radioed every other roving Kanda bike cop to warn about the foreign-looking lawyer on two wheels.

As for "making a living", it may not be the appropriate term, but he certainly is an activist spending a lot of time trying to improve the condition of foreigners in Japan. Whether he actually makes money from it, I can't say, but that is not what I intended to say anyhow.
 
Does anyone know why Arudo Debito even obtained Japnanese citizenship in the first place? I think he might truly believe in what he's doing, but I also think that he loves the attention, being in the spotlight. I don't know too much about him, nor do I really care, but sometimes I think he is actually doing more harm than good. I think that one BIG reason that Japanese business owners in general might feel uneasy with foreigners in general is that foreigners in general may be less likely to brush even little things off and avoid conflict. Am I wrong? Please correct me if I am.🙂
 
Mikawa Ossan said:
Does anyone know why Arudo Debito even obtained Japnanese citizenship in the first place?

It is explained on his website. But basically to buy a house and because he is a professor at the University of Hokkaido.

I think that one BIG reason that Japanese business owners in general might feel uneasy with foreigners in general is that foreigners in general may be less likely to brush even little things off and avoid conflict. Am I wrong? Please correct me if I am.🙂

Americans are known for liking lawsuits and being confrontational, but this is far from universal in other places in the world. Even in Europe, the Scandinavians or the Dutch, for instance, are closer to the Japanese than to the Americans in this regard.
 
Im sure its "no big deal" to quite a few people on this forum, but I would just ask - how would you feel if you arrived in America for instance, and looking to enter a grocer you were told - "sorry, we've found [insert nationality] to be too [insert characteristic]" - and refused you service. Though it may be 1 person out of 1000 (no doubt more) - you would still take the slight BADLY and wonder what the hell is going on here. Its not a matter of it being one person out of millions - its a matter that that one person is allowed to operate without repurcussions. If this was standard accepted practice here (or unenforced) - the global media would have a FIELD DAY and Euro/Asian press would be (again) wagging its finger at the "foolish Americans".
 
Maciamo said:
Not sure if he is a lawyer. That's what he seemed to be saying in this article, but it's not very clear :

He's one of the least bashful people on the planet when it comes to tooting his own horn; if he were a lawyer I'm sure he would have made mention of it on the web by now. I don't understand how you can read that article and get the impression he is a lawyer. Not everybody who knows the word 窶「sツ審ナステ is a lawyer, or practically the entire population of Japan would be members of the bar.


As for "making a living", it may not be the appropriate term, but he certainly is an activist spending a lot of time trying to improve the condition of foreigners in Japan. Whether he actually makes money from it, I can't say, but that is not what I intended to say anyhow.

It isn't the appropriate term and it gives the exact opposite impression to the reader than the actual facts of the matter. The idiom "make a living" has, to the best of my knowledge, only one meaning in English. If you don't know whether he makes his living being a foreigners' rights advocate, then perhaps it would have been best not to state that he does in such a matter-of-fact way.
 
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