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racism in Japan

ige

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Why is there so much racism in Japan.
And the govt supports it...
:eek:
This sounds abnormal!!
They do travel too!!!!
 

Maciamo

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Hi Ige, Welcome to the forum. Could you tell us more about yourself or your experience of racism in Japan, so that we could discuss about it.
 

Ami

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Well, theres racism everywhere in the world. But does the govt. really support it in japan?
 

tasuki

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If you mean 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, which gives rise to racial prejudice and/or discrimination, then there is some, but not that much.

I think Japanese are closer to being xenophobic than racists. Yes, at some level they think they are better than foreigners, yes foreigners have more trouble getting apartments, jobs, and so on. But this also applies to Japanese women, so I don't think it's racial. In my opinion, Japanese have always been living a sheltered existance on a island, which means that they have a very homogeneous socitety. If we fall back on biology for an example, any homogeneous body reacts to the introduction of foreign elements. I think it's the same for Japan.

As for the government supporting it... Again, I think that's wrong. I think they just don't know how to deal with it. Either they apply the Japanese rules as is to foreigners and find out they don't work, or they assume that foreigners are not trustworthy and are more severe towards them... But again, that also applies to Japanese women to some extent, so I don't think it's racism...

Not that I don't think that Japanese are not a little racist... We all harbour a seed of racism however small...
 

Ami

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But there are some Japanese that think they're better then the Chinese right? Even if it's Racism or not?
 

tasuki

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And probably Chinese who think they are better than Japanese. There are also Americans who still think that African Americans are inferior, Canadians who think that the natives who live there are worth less than excrement, et cetera, ad nauseam. The point is, it is not a generalized phenomenon, and Japan is no exception.

Despite all you may hear about Japan, Japanese are very ill informed, and know very little about their neighbours, and the world in general. Ignorance breeds mistrust and fear... Always has, always will.
 

kirei_na_me

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Well said, tasuki. That pretty much sums it up, I think.

I have found the Japanese people I have encountered can be just as prejudiced as any American person I've ever encountered--and I have lived in the South all my life. My Japanese friend's grandmother told her when she moved to the US that if she married a white American, it would be okay, but to please not marry a black American, because it would be a disgrace. Also, I have heard things like "Well, the Kanji for China means 'in the center', right? That's how they(Chinese) act." I have heard other foreign wives of Japanese men living in Japan tell stories of other Japanese people on a train or in a store making comments about their mixed children and saying they were ruining the blood of the Japanese. I've heard many other examples, but I won't go into all of them.

My point is that racism/prejudice is not limited to the US or Canada or Australia. It's everywhere. All over the world--including Japan.
 

Elizabeth

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While it may be the case that Japanese are more xenophobic and sexist while Americans practice a more subtle form of racism, in terms of discriminatory behavior the sorts of overt signs and posters detailed in a previous thread warning against bad foreigners as likely bank robbers and purse snatchers, while I can't admit to ever seeing anything like them myself, do tend to make an lasting impression and seem qualitatively different than the types of prejudice most often encountered in the US.

http://forum.japanreference.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=822

http://www.debito.org/TheCommunity/...ri.html#sokuhou)

http://www.cyborg.ne.jp/~julian-w/en/bank.html
 

tasuki

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That's not quite what I meant. As I said yesterday, I think Japanese are xenophobic more than they are racists (homogenous socitety). On the other hand, Americans and Canadians are more racist than xenophobic (cosmopolitan society).

Japan does not sanction racism any more than the American government does. But, through ignorance and fear, it does mishandle foreigners a lot. But it does the same to women, so I don't see this as racism. Women cannot start a business unless they have a male cosigner. Foreigners cannot rent an apartment unless they have a Japanese guarantor. To me, it's all the same.

To address what Elizabeth just said, while I have never seen anything to that effect either, have you ever seen the numbers of African American vs. Caucasian American convictions in the US? While these may not be printed on posters, they make just as lasting an impression on the general population (what with all the "legal" programs on American TV...). But again, I think this is born out of their lack of real knowledge about foreigners... It reminds me a bit about the way Chinese Canadians were treated back in the rush for the west coast...
 

kirei_na_me

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They are prejudiced, though. Discriminating against foreigners, women, whatever is prejudice. Yeah, it's all bunched together as far as I'm concerned, too.

I was just giving examples of what I have heard with my own ears and from other people, and what I've heard is prejudice too, not just plain xenophobia. They are making judgements regarding ethnicity or nationality and I think that is considered prejudice as well. Maybe not so far as to say racism(as it is here), but prejudice.

Maybe it's too late over here(as in time and my sleepiness)? Anyway...I get what you're saying, tasuki, and I agree.
 

ige

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I have really enjoyed all what people have been saying about racism here..its very true..and its everywhere..
But i never taught the mentality of the Japanese society could be like this!!!

I also want t thank 'kirei_na_me' for giving an example below:-

My Japanese friend's grandmother told her when she moved to the US that if she married a white American, it would be okay, but to please not marry a black American, because it would be a disgrace.

I think racism is what people have been made to accept due to ignorancy(History with lies).All Racists have this disease..

pls go to http://www.emeagwali.com
and see how they manipulated history
 

Maciamo

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Wheras it's true that Japanese are more xenophobic than racists nowadays, I think racism was fundamental to the nationalism in the first half of the 20th century. There are lots of racist "nihonjinron" theories that place the Japanese race above all others, in the same way as Nazi Germany (how could these 2 ever managed to be allies ?). Even during the bubble year (70's, 80's), these theories resurfaced. When the Tokyo stock exchange went so high that Japanese could buy anything they wanted in the world and the sq. m in Ginza was worth about 100.000$, lots of Japanese were convinced that it was dued to the superiority of their system, culture and even race. Anyway, both racism and xenophobia come from ignorance. As tasuki pointed out, Japan is racially homogenous, but the misinterpretation is that Japan is thus xenophobic, while I see that in this particular case xenophobia and racism are the same. If you are not Japanese or don't look Japanese or have a name that sounds Japanese, you'll be discriminated. That is not xenophobia but racism. It has happened to Debito (who is Japanese now), and thousands people of non Japanese origin having taken up Japanese nationality or were born and raised in Japan, only speak Japanese, but are still discriminated because of their foreign name or origin. Xenophobia is just the fear and discimination against people from other countries, not those who have always lived there but are of a different race.

But it would be wrong to say that all Japanese are like that. As always, older people have more prejudices, but it's even more true here because they have known and grown in the period of nationalism and were taught that Japanese were superior and meant to dominate Asia or the whole world.
 

carla1

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Try being me in Japan....black and lesbian even though I don't fit any stereotypes. But funny, I seem to do o.k. with finding a few lovers in Japan. Very curious these Japanese girls are. My gosh they can be open to trying things.
 

kirei_na_me

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Very curious these Japanese girls are. My gosh they can be open to trying things.
Hehe...yeah, I've noticed that too.

Anyway, I'd be very interested in hearing more of what you have to say regarding being lesbian and black in Japan. It's something I've often wondered about.
 

Ami

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I don't really know that much about this issue b/t the Japanese and the Chinese. But from what I studied from World War 2, Japan did seem like they were better then the Chinese. -.- But that was then and this is now and I think some people need to realize that not all Japanese dislike or think they're better then the Chinese. Same goes for the Chinese. I think people should just accept what happened and just move on and get over it.
 

kinjo

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rascism disgusts me. i don't even know why it exists. a person is a person.
 

doudesuka

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The bottom line is that Japanese are naive to differences and they choose to be. I believe they are more Xenophobic than racist. It's a Japanese male society and will never change unless one brave Japanese male calls on change with perseverence against the persecution he will face for standing out and being the black sheep of the flock.
One thing that gripes me, people who say the U.S. has racism
still don't want to admit that it has improved dramatically compared to Japan's obvious practices. The U.S. is way ahead of Japan in sensitivities to racial behavior than Japan.
The government in Japan will never change.
 

Ami

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America isn't such a Happy place as everyone imagines it. Sure there's more opportunities and stuff but there's still racism almost everywhere you go. But the racism has improved and everyone is starting to respect eachother I guess. 👍
 
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At least Japanese xenophobia seems to look after the Japanese in a way I guess - the UK has slipped into a state of near-racism against itself now.
The population group with the least rights here in England seems to be young to middle aged white English males. I don't believe foreigners should be discriminated against, but at the same time neither should natives.
 

ige

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To kokishin-no-neko

Can you explain why and how Natives in the U.K are discriminated!!
And why is it you think taking care of ones country is by being a racist?
Pls advice?
 

Dream Time

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Originally posted by kirei_na_me
Also, I have heard things like "Well, the Kanji for China means 'in the center', right? That's how they(Chinese) act

that is wrong
the Chinese name of China means 'Middle Kingdom'
because ancient Chinese people believed the land of China is at the middle of the world,well,just depends on what map you using~~
 

Dream Time

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Originally posted by Ami
I don't really know that much about this issue b/t the Japanese and the Chinese. But from what I studied from World War 2, Japan did seem like they were better then the Chinese. -.- But that was then and this is now and I think some people need to realize that not all Japanese dislike or think they're better then the Chinese. Same goes for the Chinese. I think people should just accept what happened and just move on and get over it.
Japan invaded China twice,once they took control of Taiwan,
and then in 1937 they invaded China,
300,000 Chinese lives were lost during the first six weeks of the Japanese invasion.

for Chinese people it is a thing we must not forget,
Japanese government seems to have no signs of regret of what their country did and keep brainwashing their people.

it is true,sometimes I read articles written by Chinese people saying how much the Japanese hates the Chinese,I think we have to really judge the things by ourselves,don't just believe of everything you read and hear.
I am sure there are some Japanese people wants to be friend with Chinese people.
 

wan pak hin

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well dream time indeed you are right!! as you are chinese i am sure your grandparents have told you many stories about what the japanese did to our people! as a matter a fact their have been many films elaborating how the japanese and chinese people hate each other, their was a really good bruce lee film which elaborated this perfectly!! and a jet li film called: once upon a time in china, that film also elaborates about, the problems china had with foreigners wanting to take over china, and all the problems the foreingners brung to china, and takeing chinese women etc.., hmm.... dream time are you a han chinese or a yue chinese?? because han chinese people look down upon me and my family, as we are not "pure chinese" to them!!, and yep we indeed do call china "MIDDLE KINGDOM" hmm.. let me try and romanise the character, i guess it would be ZUNG GWOK maybe in romanised cantonese hmm.. i am not 100% certain though so if my romanised chinese is no good please tell me??, and indeed my grandparents have not forgot what japanese people did to our race, and even my mother gives me warnings about japanese women, to tell the truth i have not got a problem with japanese people as most of my freinds here are japanese, and my girlfreind is japanese, but if i ever want to get married to my g/f, my mum and grandparents will definetly not approve, and dis own me!!, my fatehr has no problems with japanese people either, it is just my mum's side of family, well.. to tell the truth i agree we should just let it be history but i think an apology from japanese goverment would be nice!! and about taiwan, mainland china does not like taiwan as it is called a "REBEL STATE!" so their is even problems with our own race dream time!
 

Picardo

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Originally posted by kirei_na_me
My point is that racism/prejudice is not limited to the US or Canada or Australia. It's everywhere. All over the world--including Japan.
Oh, to get through this topic was almost a pain, almost to much to read. But anyways ,what kirei_na_me said is true , here in finland we donツエt like for a few exemples : Gipsys and we donツエt like refugees/immigrants from iraq, iran , and neighbouring countrys.
And that is quite common here.
 

kirei_na_me

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Originally posted by Dream Time
that is wrong
the Chinese name of China means 'Middle Kingdom'
because ancient Chinese people believed the land of China is at the middle of the world,well,just depends on what map you using~~
Well, that's not what some of the Japanese people I know say. That might be the true meaning, but they mean it more in a metaphorical sense. In other words, they think China is too arrogant, hence saying that about the center(middle). I have found out in the past years that Chinese people think they are superior to Japanese and the Japanese think they're superior to Chinese. Obviously, there is no right answer. Both are entirely different and I find neither to be any more superior than the other.
 

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