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yokutoshikun

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My question is regarding how nice Japanese people are.

Are Japanese people nice to Americans?
Are they nice to Chinese?
Are they nice to Korean?
or Are they friendly and nice at the same time to anyone who is willing to talk with them??

REply with your thoughts. THey are always welcome.
 

Maciamo

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Depends who of course ! Japanese people are usually very polite with whoever and are very concerned about their image abroad. However, there has been racial discrimination especially against Chinese and Koreans in Japan.
 

luzie

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Originally posted by Maciamo
However, there has been racial discrimination especially against Chinese and Koreans in Japan.

Yes, it's true...some Japanese have racial discrimination
against Asian people...
I'm ashamed of them...
I think they should be ashamed of themselves!!:box:
 

den4

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Discrimination

Japanese folks are no more discriminatory than any other nation. I've met folks who would be anti-foreigner regardless of what nation they came from, so it's really a case by case situation...and there are redneck J-folks, too....I think once people get off their pedestal and see people as they are, on a person by person basis, then it is the best...
I will say the Japanese are uncomfortable with folks who are not part of their immediate circle or group, but that is partly because of the way they were brought up, the society being the way it is, and so on.....but discrimination is not unique to Japan.....people in any country have a natural suspicion towards "outsiders." And if the foreigners behave in a rude and crazy fashion, then chances are that will cloud the vision of the Japanese that had to deal with such ugly foreigners.....but remember, there are some pretty ugly Japanese folks, too....with equally rude and uncouth behavior...so let's just say people are people.... :D
den4
 

thomas

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Originally posted by yokutoshikun
Are Japanese people nice to Americans?
Are they nice to Chinese?
Are they nice to Korean?
or Are they friendly and nice at the same time to anyone who is willing to talk with them??

Some Japanese are nice to Americans, others aren't.
Some of them are nice to Chinese and Koreans, others aren't or just don't care.
Some Japanese are nice to anyone who's willing to talk to them, others aren't nice or are unwilling to talk.

You get my drift, lol. *The* Japanese do not exist, just as *the* Americans, Koreans or Chinese. As Den4 wrote, people are people.

:)
 

Maciamo

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@den4

Japanese spot more easily foreigners in their country as they belive they are a homogenous people. Anyone that doesn't look Japanese (especially Caucasians and Blacks) will be pointed at in the street with muttering like "mite ! gaijin da yo !" and chuckles. That isn't racism or discrimination in itself, but that gives an idea of how the average Japanese think and explains why so many real estate agencies have signs that read "no dogs, no foreigners" (whereever they are from is not important to them, as someone can only be Japanese or foreigner).


@depends on the people ?

My impression was that most Japanese having lived/studied abroad are very open to foreigners. Those who often travel abroad or work for foreign companies using English or other languages than Japanese also are. The most xenophobic people are usually elderly and more often than not people who have never left Japan (or at least never been outside East Asia).

I've noticed in among my Japanese acquaintances that ignorance of the rest of the world is often a factor for racist judgement or behaviour. I hear someone say even apparently benign things like "only Japan has 4 seasons" or "this or that exist only in Japan/ is traditionally Japanese" (when it's in fact not true and could be a Western import, like New Year's greeting cards) or "can you use chopsticks ?", I expect that this person is among those who look down on non-Japanese and are thouroughly ignorant of other cultures or live on stereotypes.

Of course, there are people who know a lot about the world but remain racist and plenty of other who don't know anything (especially in the remote countryside) but will be very well disposed towards foreigners. I recommend the book "Roads to Sata : a 2000 miles journey through rural Japan", by Alan Booth to understand better this Japanese dilema.
 

yokutoshikun

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all of you are correct, but expecting a negative reaction from the Japanese people can nto come to nice. I mean they are known very well for their politiness and when somethings wrong You feel bad for yourself. Yet, I hope I will not see that when I travel to Japan this summer.
 

Maciamo

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@what is Japanese racism ?

Japanese racism is non violent. It's nothing to do with nazism and ideas of exterminating non-Japanese (fortunately !). There is no Ku Klux Klan or far-right groups that lynch foreigners and burn their homes. It's rather a fear of not being able to communicate or a fear that the gaijins will cause problems by their "uncivilised" or "unjapanese" behaviours. It's also the attitude to try to make Japanese society impenetrable to outsiders.

Japanese discriminate against foreigners when they refrain them from renting an appartment, say a hotel is full when it's not or refuse entry to some restaurants or clubs to non-Japanese. The reason is often the presumption that foreigners can't speak Japanese and don't understand Japanese ways and therefore accepting them would lead to misunderstanding and problems.

What is alarming is how Japanese DON'T discriminate enough AMONG foreigners. For them 6 billions non-Japanese in the world are just "foreigners" and none is supposed to know anything about Japanese language and culture. The reality is that few Japanese people have a substantial knowledge of the rest of the world (don't ask them where is Argentina, half of them would tell you its in Europe or in Africa !) and that is why they are so convinced that foreigners cannot possibly know about their country.

So Japanese may be very kind, altruistic and peaceful, but they do have predispositions to discriminate against foreigners and that is also racism.
 

thomas

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Just found this related article.

Atavistic racism: greatest impediment

Racism, alas, exists in all societies. In Western Europe, racism is practiced by fringe minority social groups -- such as attacks by German skinheads against immigrant Turkish workers -- or as a reaction against the liberalism and the openness of mainstream society -- such as voter support for Jean-Marie Le Pen in France.

In the United States, even though the White House is now inhabited by what many consider a very rightwing president, there are blacks in his Cabinet and his rebuke to Trent Lott, the Republican senator from Mississippi, cost him his job as majority leader.

Japan has not reached this stage. Japan is an outlier; from the racism viewpoint, it is a pariah state. Racism lies in the very fabric of Japanese society; it is still at its primitive, visceral and atavistic stage. It is so ingrained that Japanese often appear totally bewildered when told they are racist. Being racist and being Japanese are so intertwined that racism is not seen as a form of deviance, but as normal. So Japanese racism is rarely expressed in vituperatively violent form. It is passive, intrinsic, underlying general social behavior. Barring foreigners from joining golf clubs, for example.


=> http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/geted.pl5?eo20030106jl.htm
 

Maciamo

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Excellent article !

Let me skip a few decades back and recount two stories that occurred in Oxford when I was there in the late 1960s. Oxford landladies were notorious for not renting rooms to nonwhites. One of the students at my college, a Ghanaian -- who has since become a prominent official at the United Nations (not Kofi Annan!) -- kept being told over the phone that rooms were available, only to be turned down when he arrived at the door.

...

The Oxford landladies and my friend's parents did not see themselves as racists. They would not be the kind to go out and burn crosses or engage in the skinhead pastime of "Paki-bashing" (beating up Pakistanis). They were caught in the social warp of the time. Like most Japanese today, their racism was one of exclusion due to suspicion of the unknown.

Very good comparison indeed !
 

Maciamo

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Is Japan abusing the rest of the world

In other countries belonging to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, "multinational corporations" are increasingly multicultural, one of the reasons why (even among French firms!) English is more and more becoming the corporate language. And the multiculturalism of French multinationals is what allows a hitherto parochial French firm like Renault to hire such a brilliant corporate leader as Carlos Ghosn, a Brazilian of Lebanese extraction.

But go to the headquarters of any Japanese firm, even supposedly highly international ones such as Sony, and you will find generally exclusively, sometimes simply overwhelmingly, Japanese at all levels, especially senior levels, of the hierarchy, and no foreigners. Indeed, the founder of Sony, Akio Morita, considered it completely normal that he should coauthor a book with the avowed racist Shintaro Ishihara, the present governor of Tokyo.

So true one more time ! I also feel that the Japanese take advantage of other (Western) countries under cover of extreme politeness and cultural differences. American or European companies in Japan engage mainly Japanese people (or at least half) and even send them to work in the mother country. Japanese company do exactly the opposite. They send their own staff to fill all the important (managment) positions in their branches abroad. To illustrate this, I know a Japanese working for Mizuho Bank (the world's largest bank) and who spent some time in their London branch; he told me he that all the staff there was Japanese.

This is even more accentuated when we compare the proportion and size of Japanese companies in Europe and America (Sony, Hitachi, Toyota, Honda, Nintendo, etc.) with the actual foreign presence in Japan - except a few American securities and computer companies, thanks to the post-war special status of the US, not much.

So it seems to me that Japan can just establish any major car or hi-tech factory in Europe and the US, keeping it as much a Japanese affair as possible, but on the other hand refuses to let Western companies do the same in Japan (it has been changing sa little recently, on condition that foreign firms have a partnership or a holding with a Japanese one, or just acquire one like Renault did with Nissan). They happily work abroad or for foreign companies in Japan, but don't let foreigner do the same with them.

I wonder how other countries have been allowing this. Japan is making much more money selling its TV's, videos and cars in Europe than Europe is doing exporting a few Vuitton bags or some English marmelade to Japan (which are overpriced because they can only be imported at high cost, unlike Japanese cars made in Europe). Japan got a great deal with Western nations in this system and that may well answer to the Japanese "economic miracle" of the 1950's to 80's, when Japan had an overwhelmingly excedentary balance of payments. After all, they might well have won WWII to cut such an interesting deal. Not that I would like to change everything radically now, as it could sink Japan for good, but I believe that Japan has achieved its economic success thanks to the underlying racism in mentalities, that has preserved it from foreign infiltration and kept all its money in Japanese hands while it was exporting much more than it imported. Very cunning indeed, if not underhand.
 

thomas

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Just on a side-note: I think it is incorrect to use the term "racism" in this context. The question here is whether you are part of the group ("Japanese") or not. Webster defines racism as "a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race".

While Japan's idea of state and society was definitely "racist" before 1945, economic protectionism and policies after WWII are not based on biological racism.
 

den4

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interesting....

Originally posted by Maciamo
@den4

Japanese spot more easily foreigners in their country as they belive they are a homogenous people. Anyone that doesn't look Japanese (especially Caucasians and Blacks) will be pointed at in the street with muttering like "mite ! gaijin da yo !" and chuckles. That isn't racism or discrimination in itself, but that gives an idea of how the average Japanese think and explains why so many real estate agencies have signs that read "no dogs, no foreigners" (whereever they are from is not important to them, as someone can only be Japanese or foreigner).

@depends on the people ?

My impression was that most Japanese having lived/studied abroad are very open to foreigners. Those who often travel abroad or work for foreign companies using English or other languages than Japanese also are. The most xenophobic people are usually elderly and more often than not people who have never left Japan (or at least never been outside East Asia).

I've noticed in among my Japanese acquaintances that ignorance of the rest of the world is often a factor for racist judgement or behaviour. I hear someone say even apparently benign things like "only Japan has 4 seasons" or "this or that exist only in Japan/ is traditionally Japanese" (when it's in fact not true and could be a Western import, like New Year's greeting cards) or "can you use chopsticks ?", I expect that this person is among those who look down on non-Japanese and are thouroughly ignorant of other cultures or live on stereotypes.

I think the problem is not about the Japanese people so much as the island or pond mentality. Since I live in a backwater state on the west coast, and have been subjected to discrimination pretty much all of my life in one form or another, and also to reverse discrimination in J-land, at least I can say from my perspective that anybody that isn't from your local town/city/state/nation will get some form of discrimination, and perhaps even a good deal of racism, too...but I believe this is more a product of ignorance, the fear of outsiders, and also the fear of the unknown, which is always attributed towards strangers...pretty much like you state in the later paragraph... :D
J-folks have a weird version of this, since they attribute all people as Gaijin, even when they are the foreigners in a different country.... :p But, as I stated before, no point in arguing with me because I know nothing... :D :D


Yes, Ignorance and lack of experience is very telling, especially from less sophisticated folks that get themselves into the news quite often.... :D
 

momo

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Re: interesting....

Originally posted by den4
J-folks have a weird version of this, since they attribute all people as Gaijin, even when they are the foreigners in a different country.... :p


hehe, that's funny.
I guess you met many people like that, huh?

Let me explain about this.
When Japanese people say "Gaijin" to people while they are in a foreign country, they are usually talking with other Japanese about cultural differences that they experienced there. For them, people living there are all foreigners(Gaijin) who have diffrent cultures. We just don't specify the countries.. like Americans, Canadians..etc. It doesn't matter to them since they are just talking about the difference of the cultures.

Some time I laugh when my Japanese friend is telling about her cultural experiences calling people "Gaijin" even when her husband(American) is with us. I usually say, "No, you are Gaijin !!"
:D

I guess you hear this conversation often because they don't consider you as Gaijin.
Maybe for them you are Japanese, too!
😊
 
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