Have you ever experienced Racism or sexual harassment / 2 school girls hyperventilate while being shown ISIS documentary

Have you ever experienced racism or sexual harassment? If so, what did you do about it at the time?

Have your say - Japan Today

For me personally, I've experienced some form of racism in almost every country I visited except for Germany, Singapore, Panama and Brazil. not saying it isn't in these countries, I've just never experienced it there. The ones that stand out to me are the following :


- About 2 times, old women get up from beside me then give me a nasty stare from the other side of the train

- Being refused to stay in a hotel because I was a foreigner.


- Being stopped multiple times by immigration personnel, while Whites and Asians pass by freely.


- A random guy just passed by and shouted the N-word, then disappeared in the crowd.

Comments from others: 


I sometimes get long stares, usually from older people.
And, of course the "Gaijin perimeter" on the train.
Many people won't sit next to me even though I'm in business attire,
 and fresh out of the shower. Many times I've watched as people head directly for
the open seat next to me, only to swerve suddenly
away at the last moment when they see me.


I found an inn (Ryokan) where the proprietor peered 
at me through the doorway and listed all the reasons
why I couldn’t stay: we only have futons, we serve raw fish,
we only have chopsticks, and so forth. The innkeeper then
delivered the coup de grace – you don’t speak Japanese.
And what language, I asked, do you think we’ve been speaking?


I walked into a real estate agency once only for the staff member at the desk to insist that absolutely none of their clients are willing to rent to gaijin.

Once when I was a new hire at a school before anyone there even had really met me, at a culture festival-type event the school's English teacher performed with some students a "welcome" skit for my benefit where the teacher performed as a bumbling lunatic foreign English teacher who happened to have the same name as me and who ran around screaming "I can't speak Japanese!"

When I worked at one national eikaiwa chain, a regional manager advised me to date our students despite it being a violation of company policy. At that same school, there was later a student I was uninterested in but who was interested in me. When her pursuit gradually crossed the line into harassment the company reminded me to be delicate with her so that we didn't lose her contract, and then behind my back one of our teachers egged the student on!

But given that I can walk any street in this country at any hour and never fear that the police will over-react to my race and shoot me, I feel pretty good about Japan. There are the occaisional crazy people here who don't understand how to deal with foreigners or don't understand boundaries, but in general I'd give Japan an A- in terms of how people have behaved toward me.


It's not as much of a thing as it used to be, but when I first
came here it was insane how many people asked me "Are you
American?" (I'm not) Japanese people complain so much if
they get mistaken for Koreans or Chinese...the irony is deafening.

Once when in an ambulance on a Sunday, the driver was phoning around for a hospital that would take me and kept saying he is a gaijin, as if that should be a factor, even though I had medical insurance. My guess is that it had to do with fears about language and communication, but it is a form of discrimination if not racism.

A similar example was when looking for an apartment. The real estate agent would ask around about availability by phone and after mentioning I was a gaijin was told several times the owner doesn't rent to foreigners, even when it was explained I have lived here for years and can speak Japanese.

No doubt foreigners in all countries face similar and worse forms of barriers to inclusion, belonging and participation.


The usual:

There's only one elevator and I'm on the bottom floor, but people have said, "No thank you, I'll wait" for the next one, meaning the same elevator but with me not in it.

Again, on the train or in the elevator, the women around me clutch their bags tighter.

Usually the train seat thing, the spot next to me is usually the last one open.

I was at Tokyo Disney with my brother and for whatever reason at our age we decided to get a pic with Mickey. The staff said Mickey was finished, and as we walked away, two Japanese people asked and they said Ok and took the picture.

People, usually old, on the train who talk about you but don't think you understand Japanese and say things like, gaijin have a big nose, (I wasn't wearing a jacket on a cool day:) gaijin don't get cold, they like the cold, there are too many gaijin recently.

And the harsher straight forward comments:

Usually by drunk men, happened twice, once in Osaka and once in a small town near Hakone, a group chanted, "gaijin go home! gaijin go home!"

I went to a job agency to get a part time job during the summer when I was teaching English and the staff assigned to help English speaking foreigners didn't actually even speak English and he sat with me and looked at over 600 available jobs and said I couldn't do any of them, not even dishwasher or the guy who directs people out of a parking lot (and my Japanese isn't native, but it's not bad at all).

When I speak Japanese perfectly fine to a clerk or waitress, etc, and they ignore everything I just said and ask any Japanese person around me the same question is racist to me. That happens almost everywhere I go, even to the same places I have gone to for the past however many years!

I've seen signs: We don't speak English/ NO TPP! Go home America!/ (and the dreaded) Japanese only sign in Osaka and in Tokyo

Every Japanese co-worker seemed to love to chat with me at work at a few companies, then If I ran into them somewhere they didn't talk to me or act like they knew me. Or they never invited me anywhere. Someone asked me if all white people look like me.


My first job out of college, first day meeting the folks, an older black lady said "Oh GREAT! Another white guy!" She was pissed!


You do cop it in the thinly-veiled form from time to time, but the worst was when I was at a fireworks display by the river and some young punks started throwing rocks at me. As I was with my g/f at the time, I let it go. Another time, I had a few glass bottles hurled at me. I'm very fortunate that none made contact. I've also copped a vicious tirade from an elderly woman here in Tokyo. I was on my way to a meeting with a colleague and she literally jumped from her seat at the bus stop and made a good 10m distance between us, going on to scream all sorts of nasties like "GET OUT OF JAPAN YOU DISGUSTING FOREIGNER! YOU STINK!" etc. etc.

And yes, I've also had to deal with real estate agents. Basically, I was able to get an apartment purely due to the fact that 1) I assured the landlord I was getting married with my partner 2) Her mother was the guarantor. Now, things didn't work out between us & we called off the engagement after almost a year. It's a two-year lease usually, right? Well, ghe landlord told me I had to go. He gave me till the end of the month to leave. Not only was I heartbroken beyond descritpion, I now had no where to live.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I eventually convinced him that I was a good tenant & that I would get TWO guarantors (this in itself was an ordeal that is hard to put into words) to help my case. He told me later on that I was the first foreigner to lease from him in FORTY YEARS!

This is a massive hurdle for anyone thinking of coming to Japan. Most foreigners I know can only get sharehouse accommodation because 1) They don't speak Japanese and 2) They don't know anyone in Japan. I can see it from the landlord's perspective (associated risks etc.), but it is seriously discriminatory. If Japan wants mors skilled workers to come here, the government will need to seriously need to look into the real estate industry. It's in dire need of reform.




2 school girls hyperventilate while being shown ISIS documentary

Japan Today

Two second-year high school girls in Kumamoto City hyperventilated during a panic attack while being shown a television documentary on the radical Islamic State group, the board of education said.
According to the board, the documentary, “Tracking ISIS,” was originally shown on NHK on Feb 1. Sports Nippon reported that the teacher, a male in his 40s, decided to show the documentary in his world history class on Feb 20. In one segment, a soldier is depicted shooting a young man to death. Although the gory image had been blurred, the remaining audio and narration upset two girls in the class. Both girls were sent to the school infirmary to rest.
The teacher was quoted as saying he had intended to educate his class about the true severity of radical groups like ISIS and to teach them that most followers of Islam did not share such extreme views.
The board of education reprimanded the teacher, calling his decision to show the documentary poor judgement, Sports Nippon reported.


Not saying this was the best of ideas but Japanese students need to be educated about what is happening on the outside world... and that not everything is kawaii.... Out in the world isn't so kawaii. 

Comments from others:


A result of the cultification of everything - people here are all wrapped up in cotton wool, and unaware of the realities of the world.


The board of education is wrong on this, showing world news is something that should be taught granted it is censored. As much as the government would like it keeping people in this dream land of happy happy kawaii is not education.


Silliness. Reprimanded for showing an NHK documentary to 17 year old students?? A sad example of the school board trying to cover their own butts - at the expense of the teacher (not to mention at the expense of education.)




70 years on, survivors keep memory of Battle of Manila (Philippines) alive

Seventy years have not dulled the memories of survivors of the month long Battle of Manila. The mass killings by Japanese forces, the loved ones lost and the desperation are etched in their minds, as is the elation when American forces finally rescued them in the closing months of World War II.
The U.S. liberated the Philippine capital from the Japanese, but not before Manila was destroyed and more than 100,000 civilians killed. About 16,000 Japanese soldiers and 1,000 U.S. troops also died in the fighting from Feb. 3 to March 3, 1945.
Manila was the second-most devastated city in World War II after Warsaw, Poland, said historian Ricardo Jose of the University of the Philippines. He called the city “one of the worst battlefields in the world.”

When the Japanese invaded the Philippines, then an American colony, in 1941, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, commander of the U.S. forces there, declared Manila an “open city” to spare it from destruction. But when the Americans returned, the Japanese decided to fight to the last man, from building to building, and burned entire city blocks.
Civilians died from malnutrition and American shelling, but mostly, historians agree, at the hands of Japanese troops.
Four survivors shared their stories with The Associated Press:
Roderick Hall was 9 when the Japanese occupied Manila. The British boy and his family lived in a home in the Malate district, though his father was interned with thousands of foreigners at the University of Santo Tomas.
In late January 1945, before American forces closed in on the capital, the Japanese barged into the family home, searched every room and found what the raiders claimed was an illegal radio transmitter. Hall, now a business investor, said it was just a short-wave radio the family listened to for news outside Manila.

All members of the household — including Hall and his brother, his mother, his grandmother, an uncle, and aunt and the family’s helpers — were brought to Manila’s Masonic Temple.
Hall, then 12, and his brother and the house helpers were later released. They were allowed to bring food to their mother and the others for several days. Then the Japanese stopped the visits.
About 200 people were massacred at the temple, but Hall learned only recently from a war document that his mother was listed among dozens executed at Fort Santiago, a centuries-old Spanish garrison used by occupation troops to torture and kill suspected guerrillas.
For a while, Hall had hoped that his mother somehow escaped and was safe with the guerrillas.
“About two years later, I was away in school. My father wrote and said, ‘I am going to marry again.’ And that’s when I started to cry and broke down and had to admit to myself that this hope that my mother was alive somewhere was no longer the case.”
For someone who was 4 when the Japanese began bombing raids on Manila in December 1941, Juan “Johnny” Rocha remembers a lot from the war. Perhaps because, when those first bombs were falling, he was being rushed for an appendectomy — not in the operating room, but to the hospital basement, where it was safer.
Rocha, who later would become the Philippine ambassador to Spain, once saw a man hanging dead from a telephone pole, with a sign that said he was a thief. He remembers his family using huge wads of devalued Japanese wartime currency to buy basic commodities, and privately singing “God Bless America,” and “I Love My Own, My Native Land” at home.
“The most remarkable thing was whenever we passed in front of a Japanese sentry we had to all bow, and if we didn’t bow, he would slap us or kick us or whatever,” he said.
As fighting in Manila intensified, his family decided to flee, but tragedy struck before they could. When a shell landed on a neighbor’s house, shrapnel cut through an adobe wall and sliced off the top of his mother’s head, killing her.

Rocha’s father lost 13 relatives when the Japanese herded them inside the German Club with hundreds of others, then torched them all alive, Rocha said.
Rocha saw Japanese soldiers shoot a man because he didn’t raise his hands, and a woman screaming as she was bayoneted against a tree.
“Christians are taught to forgive, but we are never taught to forget. We cannot forget,” he said. “All we need is that they recognize what they did and apologize.”



World's oldest person turns 117


The world’s oldest person says 117 years doesn’t seem like such a long time. Misao Okawa, the daughter of a kimono maker, made the comment Wednesday, at a celebration a day before her 117th birthday. Appropriately, she was wearing a pink kimono decorated with cherry blossom prints. Okawa, born in Osaka on March 5, 1898, was recognized as the world’s oldest person by Guinness World Records in 2013.

 “It seemed rather short,” she said after Osaka government official Takehiro Ogura, who brought her a big bouquet, asked how she felt about living for 117 years. Okawa, her hair decorated with a pink daisy pin, looked up from her wheelchair and said she was “very happy” to be that age. Asked for the secret of her longevity, she responded nonchalantly, “I wonder about that too.” Japan has the most centenarians in the world, with more than 58,000, according to the government. About 87 percent of them are women. Okawa has slowed down in recent months and is having trouble hearing, but she still eats well and is in good health, according to her Osaka nursing home, where Wednesday’s televised celebration was held. Okawa married her husband, Yukio, in 1919, and they had three children — two daughters and a son. She now has four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Her husband died in 1931. 

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