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Post Reply Why Non-Japanese Otakus should NEVER visit Japan
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20 / M / Northampton, MA
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Posted 3/30/13
If you're on Crunchyroll, you probably like anime. You might even like Japanese culture...including all the non-anime-related things. Some of you may want to actually go to Japan someday. I used to be like that. I always told myself that once I got a job I would start saving for a trip to Japan. Now, i'm spending my saved money. Why? Because I have no interest to go there. Why not? That's what I'm here to talk about and hopefully it changes YOUR mind as well about visiting our beloved Japan.

I have a friend who is so into anime and Japanese culture that he's spent literally the last 8 years of his life actually studying it in his free time. I suggested to him that we go to Japan together and he told me no way. I asked why and this is what he told me.

"Japanese people really don't like outsiders," he said. If you have seen the movie The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift you will have heard this word they have for them. It's called "gaijin". In that movie, while DK WAS indeed being a d**k, and most Japanese people wouldn't be in your face about it like DK was, his reaction wasn't un-relatable to one of a real Japanese society. Also, being an otaku adds insult to injury. It's hard to explain, but they view it as offensive for a gaijin to embrace that. My friend also told me, "They also haven't forgotten what the U.S. did to them in World War II, and they are still pretty pissed off about it."The United States killed over 800,000 Japanese citizens with the atomic bombs they dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II. I honestly wouldn't have forgotten this easily as well.

The best way for me to explain this is to relate it to something us Americans have experienced.

I'm sure most Americans havn't forgotten about the tragedy that occured on September 11th, 2001. Most Americans were suspicious of any Muslim they saw on US soil after that. So picture this scenario.

It has been 1 year after the WTC attacks, and it is still fresh in Americans minds. Then, out in public, you spot a Muslim guy dressed in an American flag suit talking to some other Muslims how much he loves The Simpsons, Nicole Kidman and Budweiser.

Wouldn't that upset you a little bit? Of course, it is wrong to label all Muslims as terrorists because they make up a minute minority of the whole Muslim culture. I actually know a Muslim personally and he's actually one of the nicest guys I ever met.

All agenda about Muslims aside, the reaction that Japanese people have to Americans otakus is very similar to the reaction someone in the scenario I described would have. The only difference is they are already iffy about foreigners in the first place, and although its been almost 50 years since we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the time has not healed their wounds. At best, we are tolerated.

This is why I vowed not to go to Japan. My friend and I love and respect Japan so much that we refuse to disgrace their native land by stepping foot onto it. We gladly take the blame of our ancestors that ravished them in the 1940s and we will continue to serve their punishment until we can be forgiven...if such a thing is even possible.

So there you have it. That's why you should not go to Japan, especially if you are an American otaku...to show your true respect for the nation of Japan. If you say you love their culture but then disgrace it by setting foot there, you are really just a hypocrite, whether you realize it or not. If you REALLY love Japan, understand why you can't show your face there and admire them from a distance. If you are NOT from the U.S., it's still iffy to go there, but it probably won't be AS bad...especially if you have Japanese ancestry. This goes for saying if you ARE a U.S. citizen as well. Japanese people believe in blood ties. It won't lighten their feelings toward you significantly, but it probably will help.

So tell me what you guys think about this. Post some responses!
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24 / M / Yuki-shi Japan
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Posted 3/30/13
well Im American and I live in Japan. Now Im not a hard core Otaku like my friends back home but for the most part the people here are cool with me. The moment I say to the kids "Oh I know One Piece." They get excited. The only people in Japan that are kinda against outsiders are the older population which I just read about. I never seen this personally. I don't know Japanese but for the most part people here are pretty nice.
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43 / M / Reno, NV, USA
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Posted 3/30/13 , edited 3/30/13
Wow. Just, wow. I'm going to assume you're sincere as I've no reason to necessarily think otherwise. However, if your posted age is accurate, at 19 years, you deserve some leeway-- when I was 19, I was a university student with no money of my own, and my world was the ivory tower of the campus-- and that was even before the Internet really took off.

I'll keep it short, if I can. You really need to experience life first hand, and not just study it from afar, whether from books or from hearsay, or just pondering about it in your own mind. I'm an American citizen, and I've been to Japan three times. I've visited the usual touristy spots, wandered off the beaten path, and even visited the otaku "Mecca" of Akihabara and went to a maid café and so on. Only on the last trip in 2010 was I even able to manage a few words and sentences in Japanese. Nonetheless, I've never been mistreated, disrespected, stared at, spat at, insulted, told to "go home," or anything even close to that or beyond that-- not even at Hiroshima monuments and museum. When I got lost in the forest near Mt Fuji, locals I met gave me a sandwich, and then interrupted their own hike to guide me back to civilization. We "chatted" as best we could in broken English and Japanese, and it was fine. I paid it forward later by giving my bag of chocolates to a kid and his mom who were struggling up the mountain while I was on my way down with an exchange of weary smiles. I've always felt welcome, and treated with respect-- and it goes both ways too. While I'm sure there are Japanese people who hate Americans (whether for atomic bombs, or otherwise, e.g. tension with the bases in Okinawa-- just as there are some Americans who hate Japanese and Japan still for Pearl Harbor, Bataan and so on), I've frankly not met any of them.

(And if I heard some non-American Muslims talking with other Muslims about the Simpsons and so on, I'd be frankly a bit amused and hope he comes to enjoy better parts of American culture as well. Well-- I like the Simpsons too, actually! And I think a serious practicing Muslim wouldn't be enjoying a Bud!)

(After interruption to eat dinner...) I'll add that unless you're somehow just dead-set against going to Japan, you should consider going to Japan and experiencing it for yourself. Such a trip might do your friend who has been studying it for 8 years some good too, so bring him along too.
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27 / M / ロンドン、カナダ
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Posted 3/31/13
It almost pisses me off that the thread starter actually cites Fast and the Furious as though it has any sort of validity.

While there is indeed a distinction made between 内 (uchi: the inside group) and 外 (soto: the outside group), this is not so much exclusionary, as it is related to different levels of personal interrelationships.

I'm 外国人 (gaikokujin), and yet I have many wonderful Japanese people in my life. My personal sensei from Nagoya, my close friends in Chiba prefecture, my buddies in Okinawa, Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo: none of them have ever made me feel bad about who I am, or where I come from. Rather, they've been nothing but supportive of my studies and my progress with the Japanese language.

I think you have a lot of growing up to do.
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20 / M / Northampton, MA
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Posted 3/31/13
And this is why i like bronies more than otakus.
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M / 七十七 / ミシガン
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Posted 3/31/13 , edited 3/31/13

rukialuvr93 wrote:

This is why I vowed not to go to Japan. My friend and I love and respect Japan so much that we refuse to disgrace their native land by stepping foot onto it. We gladly take the blame of our ancestors that ravished them in the 1940s and we will continue to serve their punishment until we can be forgiven...if such a thing is even possible.



Now what I highlighted in bold above lies the problem. Why do u feel u need to take the blame for something YOU DID NOT DO, nor had any participation in. I mean, was it you that bombed them? No. Was it you that had any say whatsoever in the decision to bomb them? No. Now if there are some older generation of Japanese that still blame Americans or whatever for the bombings (which was like 70 years ago or so!!!), that's kinda their problem, and they need to get over their bitterness and not continue to hold it against a certain people (many of whom had NOTHING to do with it, nor had any say in it). They need to just forgive and forget, especially with how long ago it was. They can't keep hanging this over a certain people's head. It's absurd. I am an American, (though I don't consider myself an Otaku anymore, just a casual anime fan), but I wouldn't hesitate one bit to travel to Japan if I had to on business or for a leisure trip.


It has been 1 year after the WTC attacks, and it is still fresh in Americans minds. Then, out in public, you spot a Muslim guy dressed in an American flag suit talking to some other Muslims how much he loves The Simpsons, Nicole Kidman and Budweiser.

Wouldn't that upset you a little bit?

Nope, not one bit. I actually don't see why I should be upset. But I am glad u realize that not all Muslims are terrorists. I actually live in a place that's close to LOTS and LOTS of Muslims, so much so that many of them are in charge of the businesses around the area. And many of them that live around me actually cheered when Osama Bin Laden was killed! Many of them that live around me didn't support him at all, and actually left their country for the sole purpose of getting away from him so that they can practice their faith in peace, and I honestly don't have a problem with that at all.


Anyway, if I were u, I would try not to live in the past, or at least, in the mistakes that other people have done. IMO, it's just illogical and irrational since you yourself did nothing wrong.
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17 / F / Night Vale
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Posted 3/31/13
Hm, honestly, I would like to visit Japan, but I don't want to live there.
Their culture is quite strict, from what I've been told. All though it is a beautiful place.

But regarding World War II and the atomic bombs, my Japanese teacher said they have learned to forgive, and want peace.
Not continue to be pissed at us.
But I dunno. My Japanese teacher has been living in a America for a while.
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26 / M / United States
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Posted 3/31/13
Don't think there is anything wrong with visiting or living in japan, because the people that still hate foreigners are in the vast minority of the people that live in Japan.

Although I do find it kind of funny the number of an anime fans that want to live over in Japan or Korea, because they think it's some dream world where everything is amazing over there and far superior to where they live now. Which is completely false, no matter where you live there will still be problems you have to deal with and for the most part no country is far superior to another one(assuming they're both first world countries).
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19 / M / CA
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Posted 4/1/13
I'm going to Japan eventualy. And if i ever run into an old timer with beef against my nation, i'll just prove to them through kindness and maturaty that we're not all bad.

And if it dosn't work out i won't worry myself over it. Simple
72438 cr points
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Posted 4/2/13
It's true you know. I pretty much every person on this site because of WW2.
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32 / M / The Netherlands
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Posted 4/2/13 , edited 4/2/13

ExplorerOak wrote:

I'm going to Japan eventualy. And if i ever run into an old timer with beef against my nation, i'll just prove to them through kindness and maturaty that we're not all bad.

And if it dosn't work out i won't worry myself over it. Simple


You needn't worry about that.
The Japanese are polite enough to just ignore you if they don't want to speak with you.
When that happens, just smile, nod and move on.

As long as you don't behave like either a (I'm sorry but I don't have nicer words for it) typical American tourist or a complete otaku you will be fine.


rukialuvr93 wrote:

And this is why i like bronies more than otakus.


If that is your answer to several well formed answers from people that have actually experienced Japan then my reply to you below is more than sufficient.

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28 / F / Bronx New York
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Posted 4/2/13
"Oh no people won't like me so I should never take a trip that I might enjoy because of what other people think" See how stupid that sounds. Most people hate Americans, that's not going to stop me from wanting to travel and see the world. As long as you act like a normal human being, and not one of those people (we all know who I am talking about) you should be fine.
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On your screen.
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Posted 4/2/13 , edited 4/2/13
Agreed, I couldn't of said it better myself.

To me. I feel he is taring them all with the same brush. I honestly think like mimosa_usagi said, people in Japan will be glad your enjoying their culture so much and appreciate it, as long as you act like a normal human being.
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Posted 4/2/13
Generalize much? This is so ridiculous that I can't really believe it's serious.

I'm going to assume it's a joke and move along.
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17 / M / Stoke, England
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Posted 4/2/13
I'm English and not a weeaboo, therefore I'm safe.

But Japan isn't even high on my list of places to visit.
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