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Post Reply Why Non-Japanese Otakus should NEVER visit Japan
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104 / F
Posted 7/2/13
I'm mixed. I do look some what asian. (becuase i am) but im not Japanese. I went to Japan and everyone was super nice. Three elderly talked to me even while wearing a Kuroshitsuji shirt. I went to a book store and found the manga section. There were four male students and two female students standing there. They looked at me shyly and smiled. I could go on about how wonderful it is there. I....I have nothing left to say about this topic...
Sorry for wasting your time~
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22 / M / United States
Posted 7/4/13
This is kind of a silly post... There will be racists and haters of foreigners EVERYWHERE. Lol That's reality. Not everyone will like you. I'm Japanese, and I visit Japan with my American friends pretty often. We never run into any problems or discrimination. In fact, Japanese people are a bit obsessive with white people who have blonde hair. My blonde friends get a kick out of getting amazing service in Japan for their hair. Another thing to note is that each person's experience in a country is vastly different to another's experience. Generalization is not a very good idea. I was born and raised in Japan until the end of middle school. I, myself, hold no hate towards foreigners. None of my friends do either. Though, admittedly, I do have a few friends who are afraid of foreigners because they dread having to speak English Another thing to remember is that you are delving into a culture that is far different from your own. You can't expect to just dive into another country with the same attitude and mannerism you hold in your own country and expect to be accepted and loved by everyone there. I tend to change my attitude, speech habits, and many other things when I travel between America and Japan. It's not to say that you should change who you are completely or anything, but what a lot of foreigners tend to do is to go into another country and act like they are above everyone else that lives there. This attitude tends to lead to negative feedback from the people that they meet.
I just thought I'd throw in my two cents here. I have many foreign friends who have failed to live in Japan and many foreign friends who are still living in Japan and loving it. It's different for everyone. I think it's wrong to try to push your perspective upon other people because one of your friends had a terrible experience.
Posted 7/5/13 , edited 7/5/13
response to @Ryucchi

Japanese people ain't obsessed with White people, and as for Blonde hair? C'MON y'know Japanese people
dye their hair, they ain't giving Gaijin any better treatment. if somebody wants to go to Japan they can, just don't do it alone. do it with a couple of friends and study some Japanese just to be on the safe side. and not all Japanese behave the same, Individualism
vary from person to person. and you cant generalize, that's Nr 1, not all Japanese people are the same.
when you visit Japan though you should be humble, not just in Japan but in like other countries aswell.
don't be forceful or try to impose, just be normal and be yourself. and it's all good.
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26 / F / In my bed!
Posted 7/5/13
I have no words for this... 2 years ago half of the student body went to japan for 2 weeks, had an interactive course woth japanese university students at tokai university... The school brings about 20-30 students twice a year, while the japanese students also come to our school for 2 weeks.. ( i went there 2 years ago) never did i hear anything bad from them, and i might just point out that the people going every semester are all ... Intested in the anime/manga business and the martial arts business, but most of them are hardcore otaku, to the point where they get out of the plain cosplaying some different anime's.. And from what the teachers and students have said, they've only had people welcoming them.. Also most of the people i went there with are studing japanese at the university for the past 2 years.. 2 of the girls went to japan for 6 months... Never were they outcasts or treated as "gaijin", quite the opposite actually.. The japanese people welcomed them witj open arms, when they walked down the streets, sure people turned to look a bit more.. But how often does a natural redhead walk down the streets of japan? Not very often, so she didnt mind. The fact that they spoke japanese surprised the people there but it made them more curious and more talkative.

So im sorry to say that my friends had an amazing trip to japan, never experiencing being outcasts..
And taking "facts" from a purely fictional movie such as fast and the furious tokyo drift ( dont get me wrong, i actually like the movie) is quite rude towards the japanese people, and also quite judgemental :)
Though i mean no harm in what im saying, just sharing what i know ^^
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28 / M / Toronto
Posted 7/7/13

sushipath wrote:

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.

Thank you for this post. This 19 year old kid is relating thoughts through a 3rd party's experiences.

This place is crazy.
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28 / M / America
Posted 7/8/13
im going there in april so when i get back ill tell you how it was.
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18 / M
Posted 7/10/13 , edited 11/26/15
Usually, when I got to San Francisco, I go to Japantown. It is a section in SF comprised almost entirely of Japanese immigrants. Though I cannot fully relate it to if I actually went to Japan, I find the people there to be really kind. I visited a store once and bought a koinobori, and the cashier was eager to tell me the culture of Japan and teach me the history of the koinobori.

We shouldn't judge Japan's values on an AMERICAN film.
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38 / F / Tustin, CA
Posted 8/1/13
Been to Japan twice (although both times, not as an anime fan, sigh) and never once felt disrespected or shunned in any way. In fact, people went out of their way to help us when we were lost and when I couldn't figure out how to activate a motion sensor on a door. Saving up for a return visit in October 2014 and then again in 2016.
Posted 8/1/13 , edited 8/1/13
I think this is a great example of how orientalism found in Western media impacts the way people think. Tokyo Drift, an American movie made set in Japan, influenced two people to never go there despite how much they love Japanese entertainment in fear of being alienated. Yet there are plenty of testimonies, and I have one myself as well, that prove that there's no reason to be afraid of going to Japan and that most likely you'll be accepted with open arms.

Yes, there are foreigners living long term in Japan that do face alienation issues. It's harder to form relationships in Japan and takes time. Especially when you don't have any connections there to begin with. But it's not impossible, and certainly just visiting as a tourist won't have an affect on you in such a way. I've never heard of a random Japanese stranger run up to a foreigner and call them "gaijin" in a derogatory way. Although I've heard of examples of xenophobia in Japan, I've never encountered any of them the four times I've been to Japan.

I really hope the author of this post has changed his mind after reading all of the responses. And I hope he hasn't influenced any other people who like Japanese entertainment to not go to Japan. If anything. after the tsunami and earthquake in Japan, Japan needs tourism. Especially the northern region.
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24 / M / Canada
Posted 8/2/13
So what you're telling me is that as a Canadian I'm in the clear?

To be honest I think I'd melt in Japan, and come winter time I'd be mildly depressed by the lack of intense snow storms and people to make fun of for liking the Toronto Maple Leaves...

Still might be fun to take a trip there though, although given this point of view I might have to slap a few Canadian flags on my ass for good measure; mind you what with the internment camps we don't exactly have the perfect history... but still, it's a bit less rocky I'd say.
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Posted 8/4/13
I just want to say my own opinion since I've lived there for two and a half years. The Japanese people are very kind, forgiving, and they know past is the past and should learn from it. All my Japanese friends are very open minded and talks all the time how they like meeting foreigners. Even when I visited different places through Japan and I barely spoke Japanese they were still very kind and helpful. They even tell me to try their food and ask if I like it. I haven't had any bad experience while I was living there. I would definitely go back there and live.

I know this is very short, but my friends and I can vouch that we love Japan and living there. For anyone who is somewhat not sure about going to Japan, I say go there and see for your self. Reading people's comment cannot describe what you will experience once you go there.
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52 / M
Posted 8/6/13
I think it is like any place I was stationed in Germany and I had a great time with the natives. If you go anywhere you respect their culture and customs and at least try to know the basis of their language they will treat you with respect and kindness
Posted 8/7/13
Errr I was in Japan 3 months ago...best time of my life ever. I'm not only an anime fan but I also love BJDs and the lolita fashion. I went there with my mom and we highly enjoyed it.
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21 / M / Austin Tx
Posted 8/11/13
I am Mexican and I am pretty calm so I guess I won't harm the Japanese people! And if I go to Japan is going to be to visit places and buy stuff I am not going to go and see what the people there think about me!
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23 / F / KitaNagoya-shi, A...
Posted 8/13/13
Yes ,well, I might not be from the U.S but I am American (as in the continent). From Mexico, in fact. And I do get the part in which you state that Japanese people don't like Americans because of the bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki; I understand because I get it ALL the time with U.S Citizens. It's not ALL of them, but the moment I mention me being Mexican, they start acting funny around me and saying that I don't look like it.

I, however, don't agree with you upon saying that Japanese people have a grudge and hate all foreigners. Really, dude, lay off with the stereotypes. Being mexican has never stopped me from going to the U.S or any other part of the World.

I came to Japan two times before moving into the country and both times people were nothing but kind and helpful towards me. They are happy that there is people interested in their culture and once a grandma cried of joy just because I was talking to her on the subway and told her how much I love their culture and history. The madam actually CRIED on me because she thought it wonderful people actually have interest in they "tiny, isolated country".

Now I have moved to Japan and am studying university. I have to tell you, I have met wonderful people and they are all just super kind to me. At first they act all shy around you, for being foreigner and they tend to not talk to you because they are not confident in their english, but once they saw I could speak in Japanese they morphed into normal people who want to befriend you. They have NEVER, EVER treated me badly because of my status as a foreign student and are always happy to teach me anything I don't know.

Truthfully, I don't really care about you not coming to Japan because you are scared to stand out or whatever, it's your life. But you really should stop being such a prick and posting stuff like this, discouraging people from their dream to visit this country. Get yourself together and look for real sources. Tokyo Drift is NOT how Japan is. Just as Anime will not help you much to know the real Japan. If you really want to know how any country really is, you can't just trust the media, you have to visit it and have first hand experience. Then you can talk.

I am sorry if I seem to blunt and even rude, but what you said up there doesn't sit well with me.

And all of you guys who want to go to Japan; it's a beautiful country with its own flaws and marvels, don't be discouraged by this guy.

Love, from a very happy foreigner in Japan.
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