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Ask Me Anything About Living in Japan
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Posted 1/19/14

Tammiey wrote:

Did you have a huge culture shock? I heard japanese are xenophobic and usually discriminate Chinese, finding them lower class than them. I've been to japan a couple of times but I was with a crew working there for a few days. But didn't stay there long enough to actually interact with the local . My question is do they dislike Chinese in general? Haha they smiled when I was working probably because I'm there as a guest, knowing they are polite as part of their culture. I won't be fooled!


After about 3 months, I had terrible culture shock. I got over it because I had some really good friends who helped.

The question about Chinese people is hard to answer. A lot of things in Japanese culture make people feel like Chinese people are just a whole group of strange people who don't need to be treated well. But there are a lot of Chinese people in Japan and most of them have good relationships with the Japanese. I guess every culture does it. When you think about other people as a group, they don't matter. But when you meet a person, they change in your mind. That person becomes a real person, instead of part of that other group. I'm sure all of the people you worked with were true in how they acted around you. Most of the discrimination comes from laws, not from individual people.
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Posted 1/19/14

JonnyTCS wrote:


KurisuSensei wrote:

Without a degree, it's hard. Not a lot will get you sponsored. To work in anything English related, you'll need a degree and to work anywhere else willing to sponsor your visa, you need to speak at least pretty good Japanese and have a really worthwhile skill.


So basically the person that is hiring you sponsors you for your visa and then the government reviews your request for the visa?

And after I graduate high school which is this year, I am taking a gap year (probably not a full year) in Japan and taking a language and culture class so I should have a good grasp on the language :)


If you can get a company to sponsor you, you'll be fine. Just research the companies. Some of them are pretty shady.

A year of study in Japan will really help. Once you've got a degree, apply for JET. You'll probably live in the countryside, but you'll learn a lot more about Japan as a whole and it will encourage you to travel and make friends with locals, instead of sticking to the local gaijin group.
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Posted 1/19/14
I don't know if you saw the last part of my latest reply, but how do visas work with freelance jobs? If you were to work as a translator or interpreter, how would you go about getting a visa? or is it even possible to get a visa that way?
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Posted 1/19/14
Can you stream anime in Japan online like we do over here on crunchyroll, or is it just on tv/dvd/blueray/vcr?
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Posted 1/19/14
have you ever been to cat island
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Posted 1/19/14 , edited 1/19/14
I'm curious about how the japanese stereotype black people, specifically. I know that might be a weird question, but that youtube gimmeabreak guy, who has been a teacher there for a LONG time, was once talking in a video about different stereotypes japanese people had for different races. He mentioned something about black people being stereotyped for being dishonest? Is there more to that you can enlighten me on? Out of foreigners that you interacted with or saw, how many of them were actually african american? I'm guessing that even in comparison to white people in japan, there are very little. You mentioned that if you were a foreigner it was like you were an animal in a zoo. Would you say that's even more so if you're black compared to being white?

Obviously, I'm black. Very curious. I actually messaged gimmeabreak asking him about this topic in detail and he never messaged me back. Maybe you can enlighten me. I'd appreciate it very much.
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Posted 1/19/14

JonnyTCS wrote:

I don't know if you saw the last part of my latest reply, but how do visas work with freelance jobs? If you were to work as a translator or interpreter, how would you go about getting a visa? or is it even possible to get a visa that way?


You can, but you'd have to apply for a skilled visa and you'd need to have qualifications that were internationally recognised. Your Japanese would probably need to be JLPT1 level. To get it, you apply at the consulate or embassy in your area.


spinningtoehold0 wrote:

Can you stream anime in Japan online like we do over here on crunchyroll, or is it just on tv/dvd/blueray/vcr?


There are plenty of places to stream it that work in Japan. Not all of them are legit. DVD prices are unbelievable. They'll break a season of an anime into a 6 dvd set with no extras and charge $60 per DVD. It's disgusting how they treat their fans.



taak123 wrote:

have you ever been to cat island


Unfortunately not. I've been to over half of the prefectures in Japan, but cat island is not on my done list. I wish it were!
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Posted 1/19/14

WitlessMean wrote:

I'm curious about how the japanese stereotype black people, specifically. I know that might be a weird question, but that youtube gimmeabreak guy, who has been a teacher there for a LONG time, was once talking in a video about different stereotypes japanese people had for different races. He mentioned something about black people being stereotyped for being dishonest? Is there more to that you can enlighten me on? Out of foreigners that you interacted with or saw, how many of them were actually african american? I'm guessing that even in comparison to white people in japan, there are very little. You mentioned that if you were a foreigner it was like you were an animal in a zoo. Would you say that's even more so if you're black compared to being white?

Obviously, I'm black. Very curious. I actually messaged gimmeabreak asking him about this topic in detail and he never messaged me back. Maybe you can enlighten me. I'd appreciate it very much.


Kids usually stereotype black people as cool. Japan has a weird and kind of cute naivete about hip hop, rap and the industry surrounding it.

I don't know that guy or his channel, but as far as I can tell, the dishonest stereotype comes from that fact that a lot of nightclubs, bars, tourist traps, clothing shops, etc often have young guys from Africa standing out front trying to get people to go in. When you get paid by how many people come to your bar, you'll say any damn thing to get them in the door.

Afircan American? A few. Black? More than a few. I have a friend or two who are black and British. I knew a few people from Jamaica, a black Canadian, and a guy from Ghana. As far as how many there are, the difference is negligible. Japan is about 95% Japanese. Out of that 5%, most are either Chinese or Korean. The next biggest group is Filipino, then Brazilian. Then everyone else. There aren't many foreigners of any shape or colour and most of them are Asian.

I don't think it's much difference. You become a celebrity just by being different. You might get different people coming up to touch your hair, or poke your belly, or grab your dick, or yell "AI RABU ENGRISHU! AI RABU AMERICA!" at you on a crowded train, but it's all the same, really. You are a strange and novel thing and you will be treated that way. When people are respectful about it, everyone has a good time and it's really fun. When they treat you like a zoo exhibit, it's a bit shit. What type of strange foreign thing you are doesn't really matter. You are strange and foreign.
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Posted 1/19/14 , edited 1/19/14

WitlessMean wrote:

I'm curious about how the japanese stereotype black people, specifically. I know that might be a weird question, but that youtube gimmeabreak guy, who has been a teacher there for a LONG time, was once talking in a video about different stereotypes japanese people had for different races. He mentioned something about black people being stereotyped for being dishonest? Is there more to that you can enlighten me on? Out of foreigners that you interacted with or saw, how many of them were actually african american? I'm guessing that even in comparison to white people in japan, there are very little. You mentioned that if you were a foreigner it was like you were an animal in a zoo. Would you say that's even more so if you're black compared to being white?

Obviously, I'm black. Very curious. I actually messaged gimmeabreak asking him about this topic in detail and he never messaged me back. Maybe you can enlighten me. I'd appreciate it very much.


I lived in Japan for 3 years. I lived in Yokohama and chilled in the Shinjuku, Koenji, and Shibuya area. Most of my friends were punks, tattoo artists, or bar tenders all pretty open minded people. However when I did go out with my American friends it was usually to a club in Shibuya or Roppongi to dance, drink, and pick up girls. Now my group of American friends was pretty diverse the crew was normally a Latino an African American and myself a Caucasian. When we got to a club we were pretty much instantly separated by race Black and Latino with one group of girls looking for "darker" men; myself and any other "lighter" men were herded to another group. Needless to say I found it pretty obnoxious.

The girls who segregate us by color would then only hang in the clique of friends who were searching for that particular color. The "race cliques" would not interact and if you found your self separated from your friend and went to another group you were tolerated but mainly ignored. That was probably the most annoying thing I experienced in Japan.

As for Foreigners I saw and met a lot. We were a minority and black Americans outside of the US military were an even bigger minority.

As for Japanese not trusting Blacks I haven't heard that but it could be attributed to the huge Nigerian population especially in the "red light" districts. I never trusted those guys but they were all over the place trying to get you into bars or selling you drugs. I think this is a very stark contrast to the Yakuza who mainly deal on the out side of mainstream society still in a "traditional" manner and who see drugs, stealing and other petty crime disruptive to the community.


I don't think it's much difference. You become a celebrity just by being different. You might get different people coming up to touch your hair, or poke your belly, or grab your dick, or yell "AI RABU ENGRISHU! AI RABU AMERICA!" at you on a crowded train, but it's all the same, really. You are a strange and novel thing and you will be treated that way. When people are respectful about it, everyone has a good time and it's really fun. When they treat you like a zoo exhibit, it's a bit shit. What type of strange foreign thing you are doesn't really matter. You are strange and foreign.
The dick grabbing was terrifying at first but I guess you get used to it after the third time it happens.
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Posted 1/19/14
Is it possible for foreigners to go to Kyoto or Tokyo University for an exchange program?
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Posted 1/19/14
Wow, thank you for all the helpful information! I've been struggling to find information from reliable sources, but you seem to really know your stuff. Hopefully I can still ask you some questions in the near future if some questions come up
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Posted 1/19/14
I wrote a reply but it seemed to disappear. Second time lucky.


hikikomori4life wrote:

Is it possible for foreigners to go to Kyoto or Tokyo University for an exchange program?


Yes, but it's really, REALLY hard. Those are two of the most prestigious universities in the country. It's like trying to student exchange at Oxford. If you want to live close to Tokyo, I suggest Chiba Uni, Kanda, or the Makuhari campus of Josai. All good, respected universities a short train ride from Tokyo.


JonnyTCS wrote:

Wow, thank you for all the helpful information! I've been struggling to find information from reliable sources, but you seem to really know your stuff. Hopefully I can still ask you some questions in the near future if some questions come up :)


I lived there a while and I worked in government for quite a while as well. I have friends in all sorts of positions around the place and I guess I just picked up a lot along the way. I'm not an expert on any one thing, but I can help you on most things, I think. Anything that comes up, just post away.
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Posted 1/19/14

KurisuSensei wrote:


WitlessMean wrote:

I'm curious about how the japanese stereotype black people, specifically. I know that might be a weird question, but that youtube gimmeabreak guy, who has been a teacher there for a LONG time, was once talking in a video about different stereotypes japanese people had for different races. He mentioned something about black people being stereotyped for being dishonest? Is there more to that you can enlighten me on? Out of foreigners that you interacted with or saw, how many of them were actually african american? I'm guessing that even in comparison to white people in japan, there are very little. You mentioned that if you were a foreigner it was like you were an animal in a zoo. Would you say that's even more so if you're black compared to being white?

Obviously, I'm black. Very curious. I actually messaged gimmeabreak asking him about this topic in detail and he never messaged me back. Maybe you can enlighten me. I'd appreciate it very much.


Kids usually stereotype black people as cool. Japan has a weird and kind of cute naivete about hip hop, rap and the industry surrounding it.

I don't know that guy or his channel, but as far as I can tell, the dishonest stereotype comes from that fact that a lot of nightclubs, bars, tourist traps, clothing shops, etc often have young guys from Africa standing out front trying to get people to go in. When you get paid by how many people come to your bar, you'll say any damn thing to get them in the door.

Afircan American? A few. Black? More than a few. I have a friend or two who are black and British. I knew a few people from Jamaica, a black Canadian, and a guy from Ghana. As far as how many there are, the difference is negligible. Japan is about 95% Japanese. Out of that 5%, most are either Chinese or Korean. The next biggest group is Filipino, then Brazilian. Then everyone else. There aren't many foreigners of any shape or colour and most of them are Asian.

I don't think it's much difference. You become a celebrity just by being different. You might get different people coming up to touch your hair, or poke your belly, or grab your dick, or yell "AI RABU ENGRISHU! AI RABU AMERICA!" at you on a crowded train, but it's all the same, really. You are a strange and novel thing and you will be treated that way. When people are respectful about it, everyone has a good time and it's really fun. When they treat you like a zoo exhibit, it's a bit shit. What type of strange foreign thing you are doesn't really matter. You are strange and foreign.





penguinthrasher wrote:


WitlessMean wrote:

I'm curious about how the japanese stereotype black people, specifically. I know that might be a weird question, but that youtube gimmeabreak guy, who has been a teacher there for a LONG time, was once talking in a video about different stereotypes japanese people had for different races. He mentioned something about black people being stereotyped for being dishonest? Is there more to that you can enlighten me on? Out of foreigners that you interacted with or saw, how many of them were actually african american? I'm guessing that even in comparison to white people in japan, there are very little. You mentioned that if you were a foreigner it was like you were an animal in a zoo. Would you say that's even more so if you're black compared to being white?

Obviously, I'm black. Very curious. I actually messaged gimmeabreak asking him about this topic in detail and he never messaged me back. Maybe you can enlighten me. I'd appreciate it very much.


I lived in Japan for 3 years. I lived in Yokohama and chilled in the Shinjuku, Koenji, and Shibuya area. Most of my friends were punks, tattoo artists, or bar tenders all pretty open minded people. However when I did go out with my American friends it was usually to a club in Shibuya or Roppongi to dance, drink, and pick up girls. Now my group of American friends was pretty diverse the crew was normally a Latino an African American and myself a Caucasian. When we got to a club we were pretty much instantly separated by race Black and Latino with one group of girls looking for "darker" men; myself and any other "lighter" men were herded to another group. Needless to say I found it pretty obnoxious.

The girls who segregate us by color would then only hang in the clique of friends who were searching for that particular color. The "race cliques" would not interact and if you found your self separated from your friend and went to another group you were tolerated but mainly ignored. That was probably the most annoying thing I experienced in Japan.

As for Foreigners I saw and met a lot. We were a minority and black Americans outside of the US military were an even bigger minority.

As for Japanese not trusting Blacks I haven't heard that but it could be attributed to the huge Nigerian population especially in the "red light" districts. I never trusted those guys but they were all over the place trying to get you into bars or selling you drugs. I think this is a very stark contrast to the Yakuza who mainly deal on the out side of mainstream society still in a "traditional" manner and who see drugs, stealing and other petty crime disruptive to the community.


I don't think it's much difference. You become a celebrity just by being different. You might get different people coming up to touch your hair, or poke your belly, or grab your dick, or yell "AI RABU ENGRISHU! AI RABU AMERICA!" at you on a crowded train, but it's all the same, really. You are a strange and novel thing and you will be treated that way. When people are respectful about it, everyone has a good time and it's really fun. When they treat you like a zoo exhibit, it's a bit shit. What type of strange foreign thing you are doesn't really matter. You are strange and foreign.
The dick grabbing was terrifying at first but I guess you get used to it after the third time it happens.




Thank you very much for the thoughtful answers guys.
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Posted 1/19/14
No problem, I don't want to hijack KurisuSensei's thread your question kinda caught my eye and I thought I'd share my experience. If you have any other questions I'd be happy to try and answer them and share my perspective which I feel is probably very different than a lot of other people that have lived in Japan.
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Posted 1/20/14
If someone asks, then go ahead and answer. I started the thread to give information. Feel free to contribute.
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