Tag Archives: japanese racism


Why are you Still in Japan?

People routinely ask, “Why are you still in Japan?” and I guess the answer depends upon which phase of Japanese life we’re talking about. Because first there’s 1. Amazement Living in Japan’s like being born again. Everything’s filled with wonder, nothing makes any sense, and you’re insanely pleased by the simplest stuff. Look!—-I’m riding the...
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Renting an Apartment in Japan

I recently moved to a new apartment, my sixth since coming to Japan, and I couldn’t be happier. My first place left a wee bit to be desired, consisting of a dreary, small box with alternating views of a machine shop and a cinder-block wall. Well, at least it had two windows, so that was...
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Making Friends in Japan

People say Japan’s a lonely place. But people say a lot of things, including that America’s the greatest nation on earth. Well, they do have a lot of eagles, cheeseburgers, and guns, so I guess it must be true. Anyway, recently a reader asked if it was hard to make friends in Japan, to which...
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Taking a Japanese Name

Living in Japan long enough will make anyone mental. I’m pretty sure I can convince you of this. But let’s back up, to when I lived in the U.S. There, I dated a Taiwanese gal named Amy. She had long black hair, an incredibly tight body, and loved karaoke. She was quite good at it...
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What’s Japan Like?

This is partly the tale of three Japanese women. Erika Lives in Hokkaido In the winter, she walks to the station past mountains of snow piled higher than her head, but she can usually get a seat on the train, and her apartment’s nice and warm, so she’s happy. Plus, she likes wearing high leather...
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How to Write Japanese

You gotta love Anna. Seriously, because everyone loves Anna. She’s a busty, blonde Swiss-German who grew up playing the piano and speaking Swiss. And German. And English. And now she speaks perfect Japanese. God, I hate her. Nah, just kidding. Anna’s okay. In high school, she “picked up” French, Spanish, and Italian. Well, they’re all...
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Why Your Japanese Sucks

It’s not Romaji That’s Evil—-It’s Hiragana I have a new co-worker, who just so happens to be white. It’s very exciting, finally speaking with a real foreigner. I really gotta practice the English more. I think she’s from some place like Kansas, probably because she reminds me of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, albeit...
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New Nihonjin? App Identifies Japanese Faces

If you’re a Japanese person (that is, real Japanese, not just like some Korean guy born in Japan), then you know how frustrating it is. Every day, you’re surrounded by crowds of people, in stores, elevators, and that small ramen shack behind the station. And everywhere you go, with every person you see, you have...
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Is Speaking English in Japan Unavoidable?

A reader named mintyroll recently commented: The “Japanese People Don’t Want you to Speak Japanese” part is one of those minor things I’ve always been afraid of whenever I think of how my first trip to Japan will be . . . Consequently, it’s made me want to reach at least fluent level of Japanese...
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Why no one Helps you Learn Japanese

I have a lot of great ideas. Really, just a ton. Oh sure, to the untrained eye, I’m kicking it on the balcony drinking Asahi beer and watching sardine trains packed with commuters ride into the sunset, but really, I’m thinking. Hard. Like about my tiny Japanese apartment, and how to make it more livable....
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