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Antdog5

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Hey guys, I am a liberal atheist who wants to move to Japan. I currently live in the US, in California. I want to move to Japan but I'm not sure if people will accept me. I am mexican, Italian, and a little Filipino. I'm sick of America and the whole conservative pick up truck, dog, and bible loving extremists. Anyways, just wanted to ask anyone if they knew if I could fit in, because I have a friend who said to me that Japanese people are nice to tourists but when you move there, they're total racists *****s. I love their culture and their technological advances which surpasses most American made products. ☝
 

Ashikaga

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I don't know you personally so I cannot tell you if you would "fit in" but the negative vibe one gets from reading your post might cause problems no matter where you choose to live.
I have a feeling that most Japanese people would not give a rodent's derriere if you're a liberal atheist although it sounds like a big furry deal to you. If your idea of "fitting in" is to live in harmony with others respecting each others' cultures and beliefs, I'm sure you can find your place in Japan or any country. However, if you are looking for an Utopia where you can say whatever that's on your mind that YOU believe to be true and right without any regard for those around you and THEIR beliefs with no consequenses, building a commune and living only with those who share your views might be a better idea.
Sorry about my rant. It is a bad habit of mine to judge people without really knowing them first. I will ask for forgiveness and guidance from Lord when I drive to my worship/bible study group in my pick-up truck with my bandana-wearing golden-lab in the passenger's seat.ツ ツ 
 

Glenski

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Japanese are not TOTAL racists. You WILL find them here, and foreigners will remain so even after naturalization in some cases, but for the most part we are not expected to adapt. Mistakes in Japanese language are totally accepted, for example.

What had you planned on doing here? Might help to know your background, too, just to give us an idea of whether you qualify for a work visa.
 
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Antdog5

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hmmmm

Well I'm going to be an exchange student with a host family. Anyways I'm quiet respectful and very formal here in America. I just am getting bored of seeing a lot of churches. I like the Japanese culture because religion isnt a big deal. I am not a like total Atheist who'll like try to convert people, I'm just tired of the 90% of people here who are religious. Im sorta into anime but I really like video games and stuff. 😌

If they ask me why I was there, Id say, I wanted to get away from American dogmatic religious beliefs. I want to be where people don't care too much about heaven and hell and I hope I can just love science and technology and continue to live my life.
 

Glenski

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Just because you SEE churches doesn't force you to enter them. Ignore what you don't like. You'll find a lot of what you don't like no matter where you go in the world.

And, image plays a huge role in society here, for example. You might not like doing things just for the sake of image.

May I ask what you know of Japanese culture, especially what you like? Your profile says you've never been to Japan, so you might want to visit first just for a taste instead of thinking of setting down roots.
 
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Antdog5

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reply

I really love how Japan doesm't care about religion. Here in America when I say i'm atheist people say whoa and give me a strange look. I also really like the food:p mmmm eel and salmon and tempura. I love to go on Youtube and watch their TV and most of all I love the language. I've heard a lot of different languages and Japanese has got to be the most unique due to it SOV style and it straight forward communication. The Japanese language not only very pleasing to study but also very calm and easy to listen to. Sorry I like to rant on about the sound of it. hmmmmm, Technology and video gaming plays a huge roll in my life, and I love the Playstation 3, my car is Japanese and most of everything I use right down to my guitar. When you say Image do mean like clothes and stuff?☝
 

Goldiegirl

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Why do you say your an atheist. I tell people to mind their own business.😊
 
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Antdog5

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lol

I dont go around and say it, but when it comes up in conversation........
 

Goldiegirl

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How often does that come up? I have never been asked my religion or lack there of. I don't think you have good enough reasons to live in Japan. Want is one thing, actual knowledge and experience is another. Liking sushi or tempura doesn't make Japan the promised land. Move to Wisconsin, we'll leave you alone and not ask you what your religion is...seems like a petty reason to want to move to another country. Just my opinion though......
 
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Antdog5

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hmmmm

I suppose you have a point, I was also thinking about being an English teacher or something. But I'll just see what's there then and make a decision later. I have a lot of time still, who knows maybe I'll hate it, im going this summer so I'll check it out anywho.
 

Ashikaga

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I think you should take Glenski's advice and visit Japan as well as other parts of the USA before you make generalized comments on those countries.

I, too, as I recall, went through a phase in my teens where I got off on "going against the social norms / I don't belong here" fantasies. I think I had a whole list of the things I didn't like about Japan and you know what? It looked a lot like what you're saying about the USA. Did I know what I was talking about? Not really.

Who knows? No matter what others say, you feel the way you do about your surroundings and you may very well have reasons not expressed in your posts or maybe you chose not to. A change of sceneries may do wonders on the outlook you have on things including the feeling you have about the USA and Japan.

Since you already have a plan of coming here as an exchange student, you should just concentrate on having the best time you can. It is beside the point whether I agree with your comment about Japan being a place where people don't care about religion (when I wrote in my previous post that they would not give a donut about your religious beliefs, I meant just that : YOUR religious beliefs. There are many religious people here.) but I need to ask this : When you have a lot of interests in Japanese cultures and technologies, why is the first thing you tell them when they ask you for the reason of your visit to Japan "I wanted to get away from American dogmatic religious beliefs" ? Fitting in requires SOME effort from your end, too.

What I am trying to say is leave the drama behind and just enjoy your stay.
 
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Antdog5

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Thanks

ASHIKAGA thanks for the advice and I'll make sure I keep it in mind while I have my stay. This is something I always wanted to do and see ever since I was about 8. Whenever my father(grew up in Hawaii) and I went to Hawaii he'd say guess what these tickets are? I'd reply Japan? but no it always was Hawaii, But Id be happy because its the closest thing I could get to. I'm just going to see if I like it and we'll take it from there thanks all.
 

Chidoriashi

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If you are hoping to escape Christianity Japan is not the place. There are churches all over here, albeit with a small number of members. Hect I just had some Jehovah`s witnesses knock on my door the other day. And as far as Japanese people not being religious... that could not be further from the truth. The reason you think they dont care is because many may say they are not religious, but the fact is religion is so ingrained into the culture here that nobody makes the connection between the two anymore. In my opinion Japanese people can be very spiritual. Like everyone else said, nobody is going to care you are an atheist here... hect I am surprised they even give a rats *** in Cali ... but I think you may in fact find yourself (if you have no Japanese ablity) hanging out with other westerners here. I guess I dont know what you are really trying to get away from, but if it is from the sight of anything religious or Christian.... you won`t accomplish that here.

I will ask for forgiveness and guidance from Lord when I drive to my worship/bible study group in my pick-up truck with my bandana-wearing golden-lab in the passenger's seat. 

LOL
 
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A

Antdog5

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:( thanks for telling me the truth......I didn't know it was that heavily in grained....I live in a small city where 28,000 people live. There are about 10-15 churches.....Basically if I go down town a Christian church is waiting for me, I go to the industrial park, high school middle school theres a church. I've lived here my whole life and when I was young and naive I loved it, but as I got old I saw that this isn't what I stood for, this isn't what I am, I am not this guy who believes in god who wants a pick up truck who goes hunting with a rifle....I'm a liberal, an atheist. People say well here in America you can be whatever you want to be, and Yes I understand, but when the whole culture revolves around it then its pretty hard to not stick out and look like a wierdo. The US is totally conservative power goes were it wants to go. It'll pick the republican party. The Federal Reserve will take what it needs and pick who it wants. Iran will most probably suffer the fate the fed reserve wants and I dont what to be a part of this......😌........But maybe I do fit in maybe I am just being wierd.....maybe I'll just stay here and live with a bunch of conservatives and like it. Sigh why did I type this much? I going to watch Ninja warrior later
 

Glenski

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If the strange looks you get from your fellow countrymen are enough to grate on you when the topic of atheism/religion pops up, it will be even more so here. In the USA, I never had anyone give me a second glance when it came up with me. Here, Japanese automatically assume most foreigners (and certainly all Americans) are Christians. Tell them otherwise, and you not only disappoint them, but you baffle them and open the door for a plethora of questions. Case by case on who really pursues them, but that's the reality.

Image. I meant DOING things, not how you appear. For example, feeling obligated to go to the company Christmas party because, well, that's what is expected of you. Feeling obligated to come to work dressed properly. BEING obligated to shut up and not complain about many situations you don't like (at work, especially).

Image can also include such things as having things, even the simplest store purchase, wrapped in 3 layers of paper and bags, being shouted at "Irashaimase!" as a greeting whenever you walk into a store (and shouted at as a thank you whenever you pass a store clerk and when you leave), etc. Some things about image are good, some are pointless but still done. Give a present at a wedding (or funeral), and you might be obligated to give far more than you would expect. Being obligated to RETURN a gift with a gift! There are so many things that involve image and not losing face.

Another is the difference between "honne" and "tatemae". Look it up.

I also really like the food mmmm eel and salmon and tempura. I love to go on Youtube and watch their TV and most of all I love the language. I've heard a lot of different languages and Japanese has got to be the most unique due to it SOV style and it straight forward communication. The Japanese language not only very pleasing to study but also very calm and easy to listen to. Sorry I like to rant on about the sound of it. hmmmmm, Technology and video gaming plays a huge roll in my life, and I love the Playstation 3, my car is Japanese and most of everything I use right down to my guitar.
Enjoy your homestay. How old are you? Be very polite with the homestay family, and heed their rules. Manners may prohibit them from telling you that you have broken the house rules, so be on your best behavior and think of the HOSTS before your liberal self.

As for Japanese language being "easy to listen to" and "calm", I suspect you have not heard a lot of high-pitched J girls screaming KAWAII! at cute things, or giggling hysterically even at 20 years of age. Or perhaps not seen real J TV enough to despise the incessant shouting on most programs by hosts and "talento" as a means to be funny. Watch and learn.

As for "straightforward conversation", you really DO have a lot to learn! Japanese conversation is the most indirect form of communication I know. I can't help but repeat myself by advising you to look up honne and tatemae.
 

Mikawa Ossan

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My only comment is that if you hate seeing churches wherever you go in America, all the Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, Christian churches, etc. that are truly EVERYWHERE in Japan will start to grate your nerves rather quickly, I should think.
 
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Antdog5

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I'll be as nice as humanly possible I can assure you, and as far as doing what's expected I do that right now....I know one other atheist and thats it so I basically can do Christmas parties, easter, ect.. I do it anyways =P.......Well of course I'll be respectful and follow the rules, in all my year books my teachers say the same thing, smart and well behaved. As far as the language goes yes I do have a lot to learn, but I love learning its in my blood. I love different cultures I am also fluent in Spanish as well as english. But, thats why I'm there right? to learn...for the TV lmfao when we watch Ninja warrior my friend says why does he yell so much? I don't notice although it wakes up everyone in my house. I didn't know 20 year old women scream lmfao, mmmm maybe Ill get irritated maybe i'll just laugh whatever happens I can handle it. The churches might make me cringe but, I'll deal with it like I do here... , I just hope there's less in one city lol....shinto shrines Buddhists religions isn't really a problem for me, at least they don't go around trying to convert people telling them that they are unworthy and they must be saved. Nope I only have a problem with the Abrahamic religions, I try to ignore them here it works, and I can ignore them there. No big deal to me, I think people should be able to believe whatever they want, I just am around too many people who think the same. I guess I did come on a little strong on the atheism, but thats religion for me. Anyways Ninja warriors on again bye guys and thanks for helping me find out what I need to do.
PS:I'm 17 going into senior year.
 

Chidoriashi

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It seems to me that you are around really conservative Christians, and you are in a small town so that compounds things even more. My guess is if you move to a bigger city in America, you won`t have anymore problems with people telling you how horrible you are, riding your one way ticket to hell etc... It is ironic but talking to you in the way you say they do is actually not very Christian of them.. haha.

I will say though, you seem a little more passionate than rational about all this. Which i would say is not necessarily a good reason for you to want to move to Japan. Come to Japan for practical reasons... not to escape, particularly because you may find a whole slew of things that you want to escape from here that have nothing to do with religion.

But if you are tired of people telling you you are going to hell, then I don't think you will encounter those kind of "Christians" here. But you will see churches... I can count 5 in a 4 mile radius from my house.
 

Mars Man

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Hey guys, . . . I want to move to Japan but I'm not sure if people will accept me. I just wanted to ask anyone if they knew if I could fit in, . . .

With the information I have at the moment, I'm pretty sure you'll fit in, in your own way. No problem.
 

Kirirao

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I like the Japanese culture because religion isnt a big deal. I am not a like total Atheist who'll like try to convert people, I'm just tired of the 90% of people here who are religious.
I get those bible preaching Japanese knocking on my door every week. Giving me magazines and stuff, and forcing and trying to make me read the bible that are written in Japanese or sometime they read it to me trying to explain what it meant bla bla bla bla.

Quite honestly, I really wanna slap them in the head and tell them to go away and stop bothering while I'm trying to watch some TV.

Ah, that reminds me, I was cheated(?) by this obaasan from around the corner into joining this weird buddhist zen ceremony thinggy. Had to sit 正座-style for 3 hours. Seriously, what obaasan! what
I will never believe anyone who ask me to join a gathering when they say "it will help me in my life"人生に役に立つよ~ (I don't know If I translate that correctly or not. English nor Japanese is not my 1st language.) and "I will treat you to something after the gathering ends" <- my downfall. (and she didn't even treat me to anything after it ends)
And here I thought It was some kind of a weekly gathering for old people in the neighborhood, get together BBQing and talk about stuff.

Well, in short, you're not going to escape those religion people no matter where you go. Coming to Japan ain't going to change that too. You could try south pole or something.
 
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Antdog5

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Well, in short, you're not going to escape those religion people no matter where you go. Coming to Japan ain't going to change that too. You could try south pole or something.
I understand that....but when they come to my door I debate them(Not saying ill do that in Japan)....its fun...one time I got one so made they just left.....south pole your funny. hhahahha. I'm not a fan of that much snow...I Like snow but not that much...although I could make a lot of snowmen...hmmmmm the possibilities..
 
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