I am a Korean-American planning on moving to Japan to teach english. I just heard that the Japanese are quite prejudice against Koreans. I am really interested in teaching in Japan and just wanted to know if there are any Korean-Americans teaching out there now and what there views are on this subject.
2003-05-28, 01:13 AM
Do you have a strong self identity and a strong sense of who you are? If you're the kind of person who constantly needs the approval of others to feel good about yourself, then reconsider.
If not, then come.
2003-07-02, 02:05 PM
i wondered about this too when i came to japan for the first time two years ago as an exchange student. so i can sympathize with how you feel. as my family is very conservative, i received a lot of discouragement about coming to japan. luckily, everyone (including me) was wrong about their judgements about japanese society.
first and foremost you are american. you speak english (im assuming you don`t speak korean well, or cannot speak it as well as english) and you grew up in an american society. sure passerbys on the street will think you are japanese but when they talk to you they think of you as an american.
but of course the topic of korea comes up when you speak about your ethnic background. and to my surprise a lot of japanese are actually very interested in korea. they like going shopping in seoul and eating kimchi. maybe it`s the friends ive made but a lot of them are interested in the language too and have bought a korean language textbook for the korean-language program on nhk to practice.
however, especially at my university, no one really knows the truth about the past. i am not a nationalistic kind of person - my home country first and foremost is america, after all- but it is really shocking, the number of people that really dont know what really happened. the textbooks are definitely to blame, the education system too, the government involved in some way... but those are larger issues that i leave for the korean and japanese governments to battle out.
concerning teaching english, did you already find a job? it may be harder to get a job because you look asian, and they don`t consider you a "full" foreigner. that was a barrier i encountered when i looked for part-time english teaching jobs. i finally settled with teaching private english conversation to other korean-japanese, or native koreans living in japan. but there are opportunities out there, it`s just going to take a little more time.
the best advice is to be open and stay friendly. japan is a highly misunderstood country and i think it`s just best if you come and discover it for yourself!