We have already written several articles dealing with the subject of prejudice and racism in Japan, where most of the time I try to make it clear that this is very relative and should not be an obstacle for people living in Japan. In this article we are going to talk specifically about black people in Japan.
If you search for reports of dark and black people who travel the world, you will see that Japan was the least problematic country in this regard. Japan being the most homogeneous country in the world, it is not surprising that the Japanese are looking at a foreigner, in the same way that everyone looks at the simple fact of being something different. Are you going to disagree that a brunette in the middle of a lot of clear-eyed people won’t stand out?
Paula Augot travels the world and comments that few places are as racist as Brazil. She said that in Europe people used to look at her with some insistence, but that in Japan her eyes were shy and rarely made her uncomfortable. She even claimed that her skin color was much less noticeable than in Brazil.
How are blacks treated in Japan?
Color will not make a difference in the treatment that hospitable and polite Japanese people have with their neighbors. In the same way that it will not change the way of thinking of the racist and prejudiced Japanese that exist, not against blacks but against foreigners in general or even against the Japanese themselves who leave the cultural pattern defined by that person.
The Japanese like the different, which is why many blacks claim to be loved in Japan, and believe that the worst home for them was their old life in the USA. I personally believe that a black person can be treated better than any other foreigner, since he stands out among the rest, and the good Japanese try to make a good impression on him.
There are many blacks who have been successful in Japan, even a Brazilian named Roberto Casa Nova was elected as the best karaoke singer in all of Japan among 85,000 people. Another example of a successful black man in Japan is from the Brazilian polyglot Júlio.
There is some discrimination against blacks in Japan
Not all Japanese people will accept the things they consider different with open arms. If it were that perfect, there would be no people complaining about prejudice and discrimination in Japan and on social media. It is worth remembering that more than half of the Japanese population is in old age, they live in the last century and are not used to foreigners in their lands.
A Japanese himself claimed to have been racist in an internet video. He even taught foreigners and noticed that some blacks complained of discrimination in Japan. Some claim that the Japanese are afraid to just look at them. This made Professor Nobita think that some Japanese subconsciously or unconsciously discriminate against blacks in Japan.
Nobita talked to Japanese friends and really said that some are afraid, they think blacks are strange and rude. Unfortunately it is a common mistake, most people tend to judge things by appearances or by examples from others. Aren’t Brazilians constantly taxing the Japanese on strangers and racists?
Don’t think that being black in Japan is going to be a different and totally happy life away from prejudices and embarrassing situations. The Japanese have a totally different way of acting and doing things, which can make many uncomfortable and jump to conclusions. The world doesn’t revolve around you, so don’t worry about anything random confused with prejudice.
There is a website called locoinyokohama that specifically talks about the life of black people in Japan. There you will find different positive and negative reports, tips and advice for getting involved in Japanese society and respecting its cultural aspects, making a good impression. The following video in English also shows reports of blacks living in Japan:
How to react to the Japanese eyes?
I often see Brazilians complaining of discrimination and prejudice in Japan, but I end up considering their attitude as racism itself. Many make no effort to understand how the Japanese mind works, or whether they want to learn the Japanese language or respect their customs. People who strive for these aspects rarely complain about this issue.
I spent my whole life in Brazil suffering prejudice, I went through a lot of bad things, and I consider these precipitations of Japanese eyes on trains a great freshness. Myself, if I find a Japanese (a) in Brazil, I’ll keep an eye on him, trying to talk to the person, but having a certain fear because of my shyness.
One person commented that once there was a Japanese staring at him on a train, he simply smiled at the Japanese, which totally changed the Japanese’s reaction. Sometimes a simple smile may be able to totally change the person’s face!
Have you ever tried to smile when someone looks at you or say good morning? At one time or another you will be ignored and feel uncomfortable, but this always happens in Brazil and I still keep saying good morning or smiling.
Japan did and still does a lot of bad things in history, but we will face difficulties in life, especially if you live with Japanese people in a factory, where most are stressed. I believe that the best way to face these situations is with a positive thought and a smile on your face, regretting and complaining will not change anything!