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Will my mixed-race son be bullied in Japan?

Bop

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Like, I assume, many people reading this, I'm a foreign guy living in Japan and married to a Japanese woman. We have two kids, a girl and a boy, and basically, I'm worried that as my son grows up, he may get bullied or teased. Not for being mixed-race (although I assume that may also happen), but more specifically, because he's a mixed-race boy with a small penis. I realise this is a very sensitive topic, and that even if someone else out there does have a son in a similar situation then he's unlikely to have talked to them about it, but anyway, I would be grateful to hear from anyone who has dealt with this issue, and for any advice you may have. I should clarify here that I'm not trying so suggest there's anything inherently wrong with having a small penis, just that I'm worried about the possibility that my son may get bullied because his contemporaries expect a mixed-race boy to have a bigger one, and then tease him because he doesn't live up to those expectations.
 

Mike Cash

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You're worried boys are going to torment him because his pecker isn't bigger than theirs???
 

Bop

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You're worried boys are going to torment him because his pecker isn't bigger than theirs???
When you put it that way I suppose it does sound a little ridiculous, but yes!
 

Mike Cash

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I wouldn't worry about it.

It also makes one wonder how you know so much about the size of little boys' wee-wees in Japan.
 

Bop

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I wouldn't worry about it.

It also makes one wonder how you know so much about the size of little boys' wee-wees in Japan.
Aargh! It's not what it sounds like, honestly! I mean, I don't go around with the express intention of looking for them or anything. It's just that, you know, when you go to the onsen and so on, you can't help but see a few, and while in the old days I might have compared myself to other guys, now I find myself comparing my son to other boys...
 

Lothor

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Aargh! It's not what it sounds like, honestly! I mean, I don't go around with the express intention of looking for them or anything. It's just that, you know, when you go to the onsen and so on, you can't help but see a few, and while in the old days I might have compared myself to other guys, now I find myself comparing my son to other boys...
How old are your children?
Leaving aside the issues of penises (!), my two boys (British dad, Japanese mum) go to a state elementary school in Tokyo and have not had any problems with bullying, Mrs Lothor is an experienced teacher with on average one mixed-race kid in her class each year (usually Japanese dad, Chinese or Philippino mother) and has not come across any race-related bullying.. Neither have I heard of any problems from other foreign parents with a Japanese partner.
 

nice gaijin

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Wow, this thread was not at ALL what I was expecting >___<

Your growing child's self-confidence needs your support, but I would let him sort himself out and just encourage him to be honest with you if anyone is crossing the line. Teach him to be confident no matter what he looks like, and absolutely nothing you are so hung up on will matter.

walks away... shaking head
 

Uncle Frank

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Bought back memories about snide comments. When I went to the onsen , I was very white skinned and super hairy. I couldn't count the times I was compared to a gorilla or monkey by people who thought I couldn't understand Japanese. Sometimes as I left , I would jump around and act like a monkey and usually got a laugh.
 

marley'sghost

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I've got a boy and a girl, my boy is in high school and my girl in junior high, both Japanese public schools. Never reported any bullying because of their race. I'm as 6-foot, lily-white and blue-eyed as they come and the kids take after me. No way they can pass as anything but "halfu". I'm a JHS ALT, and I'll second Mrs. Lothor's observation. There is a foreign-born or mixed race kid (or two) in every class these days. Not really a big deal. I don't see really any race-based bullying. Now kids are kids and there is bullying, but it's like what happened when we went to school. It's the square-peg, the sort of slow kid, that kid that just seems to be a natural victim that is targeted.

I have seen the foreign-born kids who can't speak Japanese as well as their peers have trouble fitting in, and on one occasion get bullied. But as long as your kids speak native Japanese, no reason to believe they will be targets.
 

Bop

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Wow, this thread was not at ALL what I was expecting >___<

Your growing child's self-confidence needs your support, but I would let him sort himself out and just encourage him to be honest with you if anyone is crossing the line. Teach him to be confident no matter what he looks like, and absolutely nothing you are so hung up on will matter.

walks away... shaking head
In my defence, someone at JapanReference has edited / censored the title of the thread without my knowledge (when I first posted, it specified what the reason for the bullying might be), hence your surprise.

But anyway, I very much appreciate your advice, and I also absolutely agree with your assessment that this is what I'm hung up on, rather than what my son is actually feeling - ie. unfounded paranoia as opposed to worry based on real evidence.

I suppose that more than anything else, I was looking for reassurance from anyone else out there who might have the same worries as me. Like you say, though, I need to let him deal with whatever issues come up himself, while at the same time feeling that he can come to me for advice if he needs it.
 

Bop

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I've got a boy and a girl, my boy is in high school and my girl in junior high, both Japanese public schools. Never reported any bullying because of their race. I'm as 6-foot, lily-white and blue-eyed as they come and the kids take after me. No way they can pass as anything but "halfu". I'm a JHS ALT, and I'll second Mrs. Lothor's observation. There is a foreign-born or mixed race kid (or two) in every class these days. Not really a big deal. I don't see really any race-based bullying. Now kids are kids and there is bullying, but it's like what happened when we went to school. It's the square-peg, the sort of slow kid, that kid that just seems to be a natural victim that is targeted.

I have seen the foreign-born kids who can't speak Japanese as well as their peers have trouble fitting in, and on one occasion get bullied. But as long as your kids speak native Japanese, no reason to believe they will be targets.
Many thanks for the advice and for taking the time to comment.

Actually, where we live out here in the sticks, there are hardly any mixed-race kids at all - from teaching in the five junior highs here, I would estimate fewer than ten in a total of about 1500. A British friend here whose son is now in elementary school, though, says that so far there has been no bullying and his son is very happy at school, so I'm confident the same will be the case for my kids when they graduate from nursery to elementary.

As it happens I was a 'natural victim' when I was at school, and bullied for all sorts of reasons - my hairstyle, my height, my accent etc - so I think part of me is just worried that my own kids will inherit the same trait.
 

Bop

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Bought back memories about snide comments. When I went to the onsen , I was very white skinned and super hairy. I couldn't count the times I was compared to a gorilla or monkey by people who thought I couldn't understand Japanese. Sometimes as I left , I would jump around and act like a monkey and usually got a laugh.
I have the opposite problem - ie. not enough hair rather than too much - but in much the same way, I find that it's best to take the Cyrano De Bergerac / Trendy Angel route and be the first one to joke about it.
 

SaikyoJoe

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If having the slightly larger than average penis is your sons only problem, you should consider yourself fortunate.

I've heard about kids stomping out cigarettes at each others' faces. Ripping out hair and stuff. Drowning out at the pool after school and so on...

I guess these kids of today really are pretty tense. Personally I've not had any problems as my daugthers attending an international boarding school. And glad I am for that. I mean some of these japanese folks really have personalities.
 

mdchachi

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You misread his concern.

Where did you hear such stuff?? Sounds like an urban legend.
 
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