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Gaijin Part I

Monday, March 02, 2009 / Posted by Zackary /

In previous posts I explained that the Japanese word gaijin means foreigner. It translates more closely to mean a person from outside the country. Japanese children often use the world gaijin to talk about foreigners. There is a sense of discrimination associated with the word gaijin in the minds of many Japanese people. This is a country after all where every so often you will see a restaurant, club or store with a sign saying, "No Gaijin Allowed." (I will explore this issue further in Part II.) Adults generally use the word gaikokujin (which means the same thing) but does not have a sense of discrimination to it.

A general note here to my loyal readers. My explanations come from my personal experiences, talking to other foreigners, and interacting with Japanese people everyday. Whenever possible I refrain from talking about the Japanese having one mindset although they often do. This is a culture that teaches its children that it is the nail that sticks up that gets hammered. On the flip side the Japanese have created some of the most creative and innovative products on the planet. In bars and in classes I have talked with many Japanese people that hold an array of different view points on any number of things. My views reflect the fact that I live in Nagoya and often visit and talk with friends from Tokyo. If I was writing a blog from say Hiroshima, I am sure my views would be different. And finally like everyone else I do make mistakes so feel free to comment or ask about anything.

My lovely friend Tomomi helped with this article.




Anonymous on March 6, 2009 at 12:36 AM

Heyhey prince...
Thx for this interesting blog... Im from swiss and a big asia fan... (More southasia). You give me a very interesting view about crazy japan. Thx alot and greetings from swiss.

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