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  • caucasian minority

    I've recently started reading these forums lately and have seen enough in my 2 years or so that I have begun thinking that caucasians have a difficult, let me rephrase.... have a this-is-my-first-time-and-dunno-how-i-should-feel time adjusting(if ever) to being the minority in Japan. I've overheard some folks saying its so weird being the minority when back home(meaning Britain, America, etc...) they have always been the majority and have never dealt with the issue. I'm a korean-american and have always been a minority where ever I've been, including now even though I look Japanese. Every time I hear some caucasian say something along this issue, I always want to look to their face and say "now you know how it feels".
    I am in no way trying to be racist or anything, just a member of the gaijin community thats tired of seeing/hearing caucasians complaining about the racist things that they encounter in Japan. For those of you that's gonna reply with "just because it happens there and here doesnt make it right".... well.... save it. I don't do that change-the-world crap. My only thing is "stop-yer-whining, it ain't going away just cauz you b|tch!".

    I guess this taps into why Asians are considered the "model minority". We shut up and deal with it, which is basically what I do, unless I know I can beat the sh|t outta him =). I'd love to hear what the caucasians in Japan feel.

    Oh yea, one last thing, I bet you there's gonna be more than one "WHITE POWER!" reply coming. how sad.

  • #2
    Re: caucasian minority

    Sorry and no offense but what exactly is it that you want to hear how 'caucasians' feel about? Being a minority, I assume.

    Some people take advantage of their 'visitor/outsider' (I think these terms are better than minority because I imagine minorities as people who are living long-term/permanently among people to which they are not the majority) status in Japan and others let it get to them. For those who let it get to them, is it culture shock, or perhaps someone who doesn't travel well, or just a born whiner? I can see in most cases it is simply complaining about things that are different or something they can't understand, which is a normal human trait that varies in degree among individuals. Some groups' people are more vocal than others. Some people from distinct cultures are in larger numbers here or in the spot-light more, so when they 'voice opinions' it is assumed practically every member of that group feels the same way. What is wrong with feeling out of place in a different environment? What is wrong with venting one's frustration (I know, I know in some cases it is a bit more than simply letting off steam)? To be honest I see these feeling of being an outsider/different as something natural and no one culture's way of dealing with this can called better than another's. The only thing that one must be consistent is respect for one's hosts ways of doing things especially as long as you are a guest in their country.

    Freedom, I have some questions for you and I hope you answer them.

    You say that you are Korea-American, and later refer to yourself as Asian. Are you referring to race or culture? Do you see yourself as an Asian in Japan and an American in America or the other way around?

    Another question, is do you think our Japanese hosts see themselves as Asian? Geographically or culturally?

    Also, why don't you try and give advice to these lost souls (assuming you haven't already)? You seem like a good candidate to bridge both worlds given your rich ethnic/cultural background. Hearing from an American who happens to understand Asians (or vice versa) that it is simply best to 'shut up and deal with it' may help some of these 'caucasians' deal with these issues.


    • #3
      Re: caucasian minority

      You don't understand the white boy issue at all. First, Korean-Americans don't experience flat-out-in-your-face Job and houseing discrimination in the US. In the US you could sue. In Japan you have no legal rights as a white devil.

      Second, being a white American in Japan is alot of fun. Everybody treats you like your special. Japanese folks think you can't understand them so, you don't have to follow their prissy customs if you don't like them. They won't say anything or they might laugh at your wacky gaijin antics. You can always get a date. You can be loud, swear, belch, and eat on the subway.

      The cry babies you talk about are the ones who think Japanese people would accept them as humans. One must realise that you are considered a monkey and live it up.

      So, eat your kimchi and I'll drink whisky for the land of the free and the home of the brave.


      • #4
        Re: caucasian minority

        As Kentucky Boy said, it's a very nice experience to be a foreigner in Japan.
        But it isn't a reason to do stupid things or to behave badly in front of japanese
        people. SB is totally right. In Japan you're nothing but a guest and should behave
        accordingly to this fact.

        Being in a country where I don't understand all the subtile customs/habits/manners
        that can make your everyday life a nightmare in your own country is the best thing ever.
        When I'm in France, I can feel the anger/sadness inside people just by looking at their
        faces/behaviours, I can understand when people complain, I can hear all the insults
        even when told one hundred metres away... and the list goes on.

        When I'm in Japan, I feel peace and freedom because people don't interfere
        with me too much. I can gain some peace of mind and I can think about plenty of
        things/ideas without being disturbed by some silly guy/girl.
        Also, watching people in their social life is much more enjoyable in Japan
        than in France. You can hardly see agressivity in Japan. again, it's the country
        of peace.

        I don't think I was seen as being a "monkey" either. There is a simple explanation.
        Some japanese aren't used to see white people live outside a TV frame, that's all.
        Most of them are shy and are aware of their inability to speak foreign languages.
        And japanese people don't like to bother others. You may think it's coldness but
        this is only a proof of respect toward others.

        Also, many people think problems come from the color of their skin, but sometimes
        the problems only come from the way they behave.
        Some come in Japan and instantly judge or criticize the way japanese do things.
        This is crazy.

        Have a good day and enjoy being in Japan.


        • #5
          Re: caucasian minority

          Well... sounds to me like Korean-American Boy gets a fair degree of pleasure from seeing "caucasians" squirm as a new "minority". Was yours a serious message or a repressed anger towards other foreigners in Japan?

          Some people whine and complain about Japan... and that is annoying I know... but culture shock and whining are two different things. I love Japan, I've been here nearly 2 years, I speak fluent Japanese... but I often wonder what the hell I am doing here... and why I am not back on the beach in Sydney with more than a square metre of personal space. It's natural.

          Being a foreigner in Japan does not mean that you can ignore all social rules. Fair enough I have broken the no eating on the train rule... but belching? Are you here to see Japan or become the most unattractive person in the world? I'd watch that if I were you! Hehe.

          Korean-American - did you stop and think that you could have offered a little more productive advice based on your own experiences? You attack "caucasians" in Japan but these are not the individuals attacking you... nor does it show that you oppose racism. You are just as immature as those who direct racism towards you. Grow up.

          P.S Monkeys are quite intelligent animals.


          • #6
            Re: caucasian minority

            Korean Boy has a point, however poorly he expresses it.

            I've been frustrated more than once by [white] English teachers expressing concerns about their parents visiting and etc. because, "this is a racist country". Well, perhaps there's a certain amount of racism from some quarters, but it's seldom overt in the way it might be in the UK or the US. For heaven's sake, we don't hear here of "honky-bashing" or of people's being burned out of their homes. Before criticising Japan, they might put their own houses in order. The difference is that they don't see it at home because they're back in the racial majority.

            I think as well that some right-on, middle class, white kids get rather a kick out of perceiving themselves as discriminated against, "I too have suffered". Ooh! yeah! Marus/Simon/Jeremy, you're the new Nelson Mandela!

            You can't have it both ways. It's rich for caucasians who are happy to enjoy (and exploit?) being treated as different when it's cashed out as giggles and blow-jobs, to protest, "aren't we all the same?" when the special treatment isn't what we'd hope for.


            • #7
              Re: caucasian minority

              I'm not caucasian :b


              • #8
                Re: caucasian minority

                whats your point harvey, we know that.

                I am as white as the driven snow. My most embarrasing moment was realizing I had prejudice involving black people. I am aware of it now.

                Kentucky boy says there is no "in-your-face" discrimination in America. really? they would get sued? Ya right, I am sure most people say why bother. Same in Canada. Sure there is in your face jerks. They know it is just too much trouble to make a stink.


                • #9
                  Re: caucasian minority

                  racism is everywhere,no one likes it,everyone moans about it.We are all victims at some point,dont revel in anothers bleeding,coz its sick.
                  kentucky boy-youre a fool.


                  • #10
                    Re: caucasian minority

                    one of the things that apeals most to me is the aspect of experiencing what it is like to be a minority.
                    and yes kentucky boy is a moron


                    • #11
                      Re: caucasian minority

                      Dear Freedom a.k.a Korean American

                      I really like people who start a topic and then watch it without interfering!
                      Oh I got it "BEEN THERE DONE THAT" right, which makes you inclide to criticize others. Haven't you learn anything from your life yet or are you to eager about yourself. So you tough and took it like a man being a minority and you have never _____ about it isn't it. I bet you did like anybody will, don't deny it all of us that have been around the world will never deny it's call culture shock that is how you learn things and elevate yourself from thought of racism and has you so kindly put it WHITE POWER ending. (you must be decived because so much for your Arian talk speculation)
                      What I see now is EGO talks for you freedom, which by the way you should have pick another nick because doesn't fit your state of mind.
                      Complaining whinning it's all part of adapting yourself to the new culture you are living in. I have shared some times with the Korean communities in the states, well they show some strong support among themselves which is great things that many caucassian should learn about, so instead of pointing your finger and laugh at them why don't you show that your life have made you better and teach them.

                      Last but not least A quote form you Freedom
                      "I guess this taps into why Asians are considered the "model minority". We shut up and deal with it, which is basically what I do, unless I know I can beat the sh|t outta him =). I'd love to hear what the caucasians in Japan feel."

                      Who do you think you can fool with this, don't make a whole with the Asian nations because lot's of them won't agree with you. Feeling like you are a minority yourself don't give you the right to speak in the name of all asians, because lot's of them do not shut up and deal quietly with it they'll come straight to your face and deal with you, as you should know being korean, I have rarely seen a korean shuting up and dealing quietly with a matter that bother him or her.

                      Hey just check the news with all that War thing between Japan and Korea, does Korea let it go and deal quietly with it DON'T THINK SO.


                      • #12
                        Re: caucasian minority

                        Damn Freedom you are an ASS
                        As I was ready some other Topics (Foreigners that look Asian) I have found another interesting quote That I'd like to report here because it applies perfectly for what you have said.

                        " If they think I am Japanese, so be it, if not so be it too. It's not to say its been all fun and games with the ignorant Japanese society that tend to look down on Asians from abroad as below their class. What I've done is pop out with some English and when they don't understand it, translate it to Japanese. WIth the ignorants of Japan, 99% of the time, they feel stupid and humiliated that you were able to say it in Japanese. (Am I making any sense?) Anyhow, when they DO find out that you have 3 languages(Korean, English and Japanese in my case) in your bag...... well... lets just say I love watching their ignoramous faces squirm with "I am so stupid" and "What do I say now??" faces."

                        That's it you ARE FULL OF IT. So let me guess you are american for which reason: you were given birth by your parents in the states so you could avoid doing the Army in Korea or one of your parents is american, in any case you are spitting on many privilege given to you by your parents.

                        So now you are in Japan with your Japanese girlfriend you have met in the states and still you _____ about Japanese, get a grip of your ego, You so proudly throw up your words about caucassian being whinny and so, then pop the WHITE POWER too make an emphasis on your stupid point. A simple lesson of the japanese culture, they use the word Gaikokujin for all non japanese national, not refering to the color of their skin, but you use Caucassian and White Power which directly referes to Skin Color. So who is the racist minority as you call it. You speak three languages good for you don't you think that many gaikokujin do speak 3 or more languages unless in your message you only refere to the English speaker should I be more precise to the american especially.
                        So tell you what, since you are so proud of yourself I wonder why you don't try to go to Korea and work there, have a taste of your own culture. Because you talk the talk but can you walk the walk. Or are you feeling too American and don't feel you can belong in Korea because they will straighten your ass up.

                        I even wonder if you ever been there, besides as a tourist.
                        BOY I don't even think you know where you belong, after _____ing being a minority in US, talking @!#$ about Japanese calling them Ignorants and such. Give it a try go to Korea learn the hard way and soon you'll be going back to US and enjoy your life there, I don't think you belong in Japan because the Japanese have an obvious lower intellectual then your, or is it just you that have an EGO so big you can't handle it anymore.


                        • #13
                          Re: caucasian minority

                          wow, you really rock SPK! why are you so angry?

                          were you the guy I stopped from beating on the poor cab driver in Kyoto today? No I guess not, you are in Tokyo. I was walking in Kawaramachishijo and some goof was assaulting a taxi driver. of course there was a big crowd WATCHING. Nobody would interfere. Lots of cabs stopped for the light, but did any of them help? No of course not. My wife tried to hold me back but I had to deal with it, I am not going to be japanese like that. I just got in between them until the police came. Good thing I could not understand the bull____ the idiot was shouting or I may have had to hit him. I am sure he was just trying to fake a crash and extort some cash from the driver.

                          If that had happened in Vancouver or anywhere else but japan all the cabbies in the area would have dealt with the guy in a very brisk fashion, they stick together, not like in Japan.

                          But I do know what the guy was shouting koko nippon, anatawa gaijin go away, look nippons don't care, nippon cab drivers don't care why you care? go away!"
                          over and over again
                          well I was not going away


                          • #14
                            Re: caucasian minority

                            Hello Warbucks.

                            I don't really understood what you wanted to explain, but
                            there is something irritating I found inside your message.
                            But before you think about replying to the following words,
                            please read my comments above in order for you to understand
                            the way I see things and the fact that I'm not trying to start
                            some stupid fight. Thanks.
                            OK now.
                            You wrote "I am not going to be japanese like that."
                            It is possible that my understanding of english is bad, but
                            what I saw is that you generalized about the way Japanese behave.
                            Not all Japanese are passive I think. Furthermore, anywhere in the
                            world people behave the same way under this circumstance.
                            Not interfering in someone else's trouble is something I can easily
                            understand. I doesn't make you a coward if you behave this way.
                            Of course, not helping a women being raped would be silly.
                            But when two guys fight, it's very difficult to know who started the
                            whole thing and who deserves to be punched if things go wrong. :-)
                            Also you may discover that the two guys are both really stupid and you
                            may give away a couple of teeth for nothing thanks to two jerks.

                            In everyday life I'm always surprised to see that people judge others or
                            situations and take decisions without having a global view/understanding
                            of the whole thing. This is the main reason why people go to war. They
                            believe they do it for the good without asking themselves:"is it really for the
                            good? Who is responsible of what happened?". Writing those lines makes me remember
                            the stories I read about the war between USA and Japan and the way people were
                            told so many bull____s about their "enemy". When you read what the emperor said
                            after the war you just understand that too many lives had been taken for simply
                            nothing. Same for the gulf war. People first go to war and then when everything
                            is finished and the blood bath was deep enough they start wondering why they did it.
                            I've seen two men (two adults) fighting for a chair in a park once! That was so
                            ridiculous. I wouldn't have helped any of them. They would die in front of me, I wouldn't
                            feel any relief at all.
                            I am the one who think mass action is dangerous. When you think about it, individualism
                            makes a society safer.

                            I you think I got it all wrong, tell me :-)
                            I needed to write some english today.
                            Have a good day.

                            To the others: can't you write without swearing words and try to explain your point
                            of view clearly in order for others to understand what you want to say?


                            • #15
                              Re: caucasian minority

                              yes Franck I agree that all too often people go to war for the wrong reasons, the examples you cited were excellent.
                              -the pacific war: the US harrassed and goaded Japan into going to war, and left Pearl Harbour exposed to attack.
                              -the Gulf War: US told Iraq it had no policy on Kuwait, when it knew that Iraq's position was that K was the 19th province of I. That would be like telling China that it was not concerned about Taiwan's right to self-determination. How long would it take them to cross the Strait before the next election, or after somebody in Taipei offended Beijing?
                              and off to war we go no-one wondering why . . .
                              but I am not advocating war on the Japanese, just pointing out an incident which my wife agrees illustrates the Japanese way . . .

                              the cab driver was still in his seat, the punk was in the door roughing him up and had already torn buttons off his shirt. he had put his bike in front of the cab so he couldn't just drive away. It was pretty obviously an extortion attempt, which was the most dangerous aspect for me. I am 6'4" (196cm) I never get in fights. many of the guys I worked with in Canada would have punched the attacker immediatly, other would have continued beating him. Some would have bundled him into a cab and taken him out to the country side somewhere . . . not that I am advocating those methods.
                              as for generalizing about the japanese, there was at least a hundred people watching on a busy street Sunday afternoon in downtown Kyoto, no one would help the poor cabbie, not even his fellow cab drivers, at that sucks.
                              remember the Korean students who got killed helping the guy who fell on the subway in Tokyo, they just jumped in and tried to help him.
                              thanks Frank for making me clarify my thoughts. and I don't know if everything has to have a point, it can be food for thought, people can put arguement and anecdotes together to form an opinion. If they have been to Japan for awhile that will go a long way to understanding, which I am just starting to do.