Treatment of Chinese-looking people Watch

Quixote.
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#21
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(Original post by Wired_1800)
Wow, i think those actions are disgusting? Are you Japanese? I would have assumed that Japan was more open as a society since they are largely more aligned to Western standards.
I'm not Japanese. British white guy living in Japan. These are just things I've experienced, seen or heard from others.

Japan probably is more "western" than the other East Asian countries around it, but there still exists a deeply embedded desire not to stand out, to conform, and a general ignorance of the world outside Japan. In many cases it's quite innocent. The foreign population in Japan is very small, so many people don't come into contact with foreign people, especially outside the cities. Its one of the lowest ranked countries in Asia when it comes to English proficiency/education, and the number of people who choose to study or move abroad is probably much lower than in China and Korea.

It's not always malicious or intentional, but you are constantly reminded in Japan that you're different and not Japanese. Whether it's the staring everywhere you go, silly questions, or the way foreign people are portayed in the media, sometimes negatively (in a "this wouldnt happen in Japan" type way), other times as a sort of source of fascination and entertainment. I hear the word "gaikokujin"(foreigner) pretty much every day without fail, either in person or on TV. The Japanese mindset seems to create this sort of seperation between themselves and the rest of the world. The results of this can manifest in different ways, sometimes unpleasant ways, depending on who you are or where you're from I guess.

When me and my girlfriend first enquired about renting the apartment we currently live in, the company were trying to sell the apartment to us over the phone. Then, when my girlfriend mentioned that I was foreign (as if that matters anyway) they got weirdly hesitant and unsure about it's availability. After a while my girlfriend mentioned that I was British and the person was suddenly super upbeat about the deal again and we arranged a viewing. I think they just presumed that I was Chinese at first and got all weird, but British was okay.

It usually doesn't bother me too much, because I think a lot of people are just curious and innocently ignorant. But the collectivist culture in many Asian countries can lead to a sort of accepted form of racism or mistreatment towards anybody that doesn't conform. Not just foreign people, but certain Japanese people too. Half-Japanese people don't have it easy, even if they've lived in Japan their entire lives. A few years back, the half-Japanese winner of Miss Japan and Miss Universe representative got a lot of hate for not being representative of "real Japanese people". She'd never lived outside of Japan.


(Sorry, bit of a tangent from the thread topic)
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Wired_1800
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#22
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#22
(Original post by Quixote.)
I'm not Japanese. British white guy living in Japan. These are just things I've experienced, seen or heard from others.

Japan probably is more "western" than the other East Asian countries around it, but there still exists a deeply embedded desire not to stand out, to conform, and a general ignorance of the world outside Japan. In many cases it's quite innocent. The foreign population in Japan is very small, so many people don't come into contact with foreign people, especially outside the cities. Its one of the lowest ranked countries in Asia when it comes to English proficiency/education, and the number of people who choose to study or move abroad is probably much lower than in China and Korea.

It's not always malicious or intentional, but you are constantly reminded in Japan that you're different and not Japanese. Whether it's the staring everywhere you go, silly questions, or the way foreign people are portayed in the media, sometimes negatively (in a "this wouldnt happen in Japan" type way), other times as a sort of source of fascination and entertainment. I hear the word "gaikokujin"(foreigner) pretty much every day without fail, either in person or on TV. The Japanese mindset seems to create this sort of seperation between themselves and the rest of the world. The results of this can manifest in different ways, sometimes unpleasant ways, depending on who you are or where you're from I guess.

When me and my girlfriend first enquired about renting the apartment we currently live in, the company were trying to sell the apartment to us over the phone. Then, when my girlfriend mentioned that I was foreign (as if that matters anyway) they got weirdly hesitant and unsure about it's availability. After a while my girlfriend mentioned that I was British and the person was suddenly super upbeat about the deal again and we arranged a viewing. I think they just presumed that I was Chinese at first and got all weird, but British was okay.

It usually doesn't bother me too much, because I think a lot of people are just curious and innocently ignorant. But the collectivist culture in many Asian countries can lead to a sort of accepted form of racism or mistreatment towards anybody that doesn't conform. Not just foreign people, but certain Japanese people too. Half-Japanese people don't have it easy, even if they've lived in Japan their entire lives. A few years back, the half-Japanese winner of Miss Japan and Miss Universe representative got a lot of hate for not being representative of "real Japanese people". She'd never lived outside of Japan.


(Sorry, bit of a tangent from the thread topic)
This was eye-opening. I never knew how deep the issue was in Japan. I had heard about the discrimination against half Japanese people but i did not know it was this different. Is your girlfriend Japanese? Do you think you will live in Japan in the long term? Hopefully this improves.
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karelina
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I have never heard before that Chinese people feel invisible or that non-Chinese don't notice them. At universities where there are many Chinese students they tend to group together in tight-knit groups around campus speaking their own languages (this is their choice, I'm not complaining) and if anything non-Chinese people feel invisible to them. I play piano and Chinese students are often in the music block, I talked to a couple of them about music and they were really friendly which was nice. Also many English guys view south east Asian girls as the most attractive.
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Fullofsurprises
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#24
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(Original post by karelina)
I have never heard before that Chinese people feel invisible or that non-Chinese don't notice them. At universities where there are many Chinese students they tend to group together in tight-knit groups around campus speaking their own languages (this is their choice, I'm not complaining) and if anything non-Chinese people feel invisible to them. I play piano and Chinese students are often in the music block, I talked to a couple of them about music and they were really friendly which was nice. Also many English guys view south east Asian girls as the most attractive.
I do think there's a way in which people who are black, or originate in the Indian subcontinent, are noticed in public, whereas East Asians are not. I'm generalising like hell and I realise there will be many exceptions. I've also repeatedly noticed that on campuses, East Asians tend to hang together and avoid interaction with others - we can speculate as to all the reasons for that. It may be a lack of welcome and also down to language difficulties, perceptions about people on both sides and cultural preconceptions.
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karelina
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
I do think there's a way in which people who are black, or originate in the Indian subcontinent, are noticed in public, whereas East Asians are not. I'm generalising like hell and I realise there will be many exceptions. I've also repeatedly noticed that on campuses, East Asians tend to hang together and avoid interaction with others - we can speculate as to all the reasons for that. It may be a lack of welcome and also down to language difficulties, perceptions about people on both sides and cultural preconceptions.
Yeah I see what you mean, black and Indian looking people create a more "alert" response in white people I think probably due to more obvious skin colour difference and unfortunate bad press, whereas Chinese people have blended in more comfortably and didn't have bad stereotyping attached to them before.
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z-hog
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
Chinese (or Chinese 'looking' people) in the UK are often ignored and on campuses or in the street tend to be 'invisible' - but Coronavirus gives some white people an excuse to bring out the subdued racism that normally tends to be tucked away.

In the UK
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-openly-racist

US cases
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...iscrimination/

https://time.com/5775716/xenophobia-...s-coronavirus/

Elsewhere in the world
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/no...rus-2020-01-29

We should fight back against this new excuse for a wave of racist behaviour.

Look out for it on your campus. Don't be silent if you see examples.

Be friendly to Chinese students. Show you like them.

This will be affecting many students who are not from China but 'look Chinese' - this applies to people from other E. Asian countries, or students brought up in this country.

Read factual information about Coronavirus. Don't reach for easy prejudices and stereotypes and avoid Facebook, which is spreading misinformation on this subject.
Oh great, now we have two of them.
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z-hog
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As for all that talk about racism and all the rest, people see what they want to see and I find it all completely blown out of proportion. All this talk of invisibility and stuff is a figment of imagination, they are quite visible both at a take-away and in the streets. As visible as everybody else in real terms, not the fancy pants racial spivs make it. Spivs like the Guardian, WaPo and all the rest of the leftist media complex dedicated to fomenting divisions and disharmony between every group they can pen people into. It's a way of living for them and many others, including politicians who can't do better.
Last edited by z-hog; 3 weeks ago
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Quixote.
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(Original post by Wired_1800)
This was eye-opening. I never knew how deep the issue was in Japan. I had heard about the discrimination against half Japanese people but i did not know it was this different. Is your girlfriend Japanese? Do you think you will live in Japan in the long term? Hopefully this improves.
Yeah, my girlfriend is Japanese. Her, her family, and friends help me navigate some of the less obvious areas of Japanese culture, haha. But some other people still feel it necessary to have an opinion on our relationship. People who I've never met seem to know who I am when they see me in the supermarket or whatever, since me and my girlfriend seem to be a subject of gossip for many people and I obviously stand out.

I do see myself living here long term. Despite everything I've said, it's a nice country, an interesting culture, with plenty of nice people who are generally just interested to learn where I'm from and how I'm adapting to life in Japan, which I have no problem with people asking even if the questions are a little ignorant sometimes.

To be clear, I'm not saying that Japan is an unpleasant country, or that Japanese people are bad. Not at all. I love Japan. I'm just saying that it's no different to any other country really. Despite the stereotypes, Japanese people aren't more polite, aren't more friendly, they just express themselves in different ways. One of the most important aspects of Japanese culture and social interaction is maintaining harmony, and due to this people refrain from airing their opinions and grievances openly. But they definitely still have them, and they can manifest in various ways.

It can be difficult for foreign people to wrap their heads around. If somebody is nice and polite towards you, if they invite you out even, you might naturally assume that they like you. But that's not always the case in Japan. Once you learn to read between the lines, you start to realise that. They might not really want to hang out, and in this case, you are supposed to tell them that you're busy and then just not get back them. You don't reject them or force them to reject you, and that way everybody saves face. Japanese people say a lot of things that they don't mean or believe in order to maintain harmony, and being able to read the air is an important feature of social interaction in Japan. It's often not malicious, it's just how things are.
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CoolCavy
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Agreed, some of the elderly people around here are tutting and whispering when the chinese students from campus go into town
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