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Old 2008-03-03, 23:23   Link #557
Obey the Darkly Cute ...
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 61
Kang pretty much answers the discrimination bit and the Korea/Japan bit accurately.... but I know anecdotally that, in general, there's little overt *discrimination*... more often its just wonderment or bewilderment at the novelty they see in front of them.

I've had several friends experience the elderly Japanese who refuses to believe the gaijin in front of them is speaking Japanese And one friend who was turned away from a bar because he was gaijin (his comrades apologized and explained it was more because of bad military personnel behavior in the area than because of racism).

In my case, I could be there 20 years and people who know me would still be surprised I might know a proverb or the roots of a local festival (or be stunned if I managed a pun).... because I'm white. Heck, my wife's family is still shocked if I eat natto and I catch some of them watching me use chopsticks. You just have to chuckle (or mutter in Japanese).

My experience with the Korean/Japan head-butting is more along the lines that it makes my Korean friends crazy when someone assumes they're Japanese. I had one Korean friend in college insist she could tell Chinese from Korean from Japanese even after utterly failing the tests we'd give her (my later-to-be wife is japanese but is routinely mistaken for a variety of Pacific Rim ethnics --- that was the very first "fail" test). Of course, though Korea and Japan work closely on many issues.... there's still hard feelings over that 20th Century imperialist period (especially when the right wing in Japan keeps double-facing on certain historical events---> heck they even piss off Japanese citizens (recent Okinawan history rewrite attempts)).

I guess it boils down to a variety of levels of "fear, amazement, or bewilderment of the unknown". I'm ignoring the ultranationalists because they're raving loonies no matter what country we're talking about

Last edited by Vexx; 2008-03-03 at 23:40.
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