⭐ Prejudice, xenophobia and racism is something that exists in any place or country in the world. No matter nationality, religion, color, culture, traditions and lifestyle, people will always go through frustrating situations. How do they happen in Japan?
Talking about this is delicate, as the Japanese are known for their politeness, hospitality, as well as being traditional. In this article I will try to address several points regarding prejudice or racism in Japan.
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What is xenophobia, racism and prejudice?
Before we start talking about it, we need to explain the meaning and see the differences of xenophobia, racism and prejudice. Below is a brief description of the subject:
- Prejudice is a hostile feeling, assumed as a result of hasty generalization of a personal experience or imposed by the environment; intolerance. It is a critical opinion, a discriminatory attitude towards people, cultures, places or traditions;
- Racism is a belief and idea based on the hierarchy of races and ethnicities, where people consider themselves superior or pure;
- Xenophobia is distrust, fear or dislike for what is unusual or comes from outside the country;
Unfortunately, people end up confusing the cultural behavior of the Japanese with prejudice. And they also end up generalizing isolated cases and saying that the Japanese are prejudiced.
Japanese ended up gaining this fame, as they are victims of prejudice and jokes here in Brazil. Prejudice exists everywhere, saying that a people is prejudiced is actually like saying: I am prejudiced.
Are the Japanese prejudiced?
There are prejudiced Japanese in the same way that there are prejudiced Brazilians. Even if you end up coming across a prejudiced or racist person, you will end up becoming an attraction, precisely because you are different.
Anyone who really knows Japan knows that it is famous for its hospitality, politeness and respect for others. Being a foreigner in Japan can end up being a more than positive experience.
The big problem is that the Japanese are shy, many will end up staring at you, just take the initiative to talk to them, especially if you know Japanese, you will end up discovering how good friends the Japanese are.
Although Japan is crazy about new and different things. Unfortunately many Japanese are traditional and like the pattern. for some, when something is different they end up avoiding and even excluding it.
This doesn't mean they don't like foreigners, this form of prejudice happens among themselves, some very traditional and closed-minded Japanese end up treating people who didn't have a higher education, unemployed, otakus, people with tattoos, etc.
We can see this through the events of ijime (bully) in schools. Sometimes a person can be without a decent job for the rest of his life just because of a mistake he made. Some companies or people take the things and lifestyle of some seriously.
On the other hand, most Japanese people don't care at all, that's why Japan is a country full of crazy and weird things, because most of them don't care about their way of life. Most Japanese people don't usually get involved in the lives of others and don't let others get involved.
Confusions about prejudice in Japan
Most of these cases can turn out to be envy. Even girls with big breasts end up suffering prejudice from other girls who are flat... In this way, we come to the conclusion that there is no standard to be accepted by certain types of people in society.
The best thing to do is ignore this type of person. If the Japanese themselves end up suffering this kind of prejudice, it is normal to hope that it can happen to us. It is worth remembering that sometimes some insults may even be unintentional.
In the same way that we make silly jokes with other Brazilians and they don't take it seriously, some Japanese can take it seriously and get hurt. The opposite also happens, sometimes you may hear something or be treated in a way that makes you feel hurt.
Another thing that makes people think that Japanese people are racist is the simple fact that Japan is very strict about the entry of foreigners to live. Japan even rejected refugee entries. Japan feels insecure with foreigners, thanks to the numerous incidents that happen.
Some people on trains end up not sitting near foreigners, some are for fear of not being able to communicate. Others often talk to each other and you may end up hearing the word gaijin (short for foreigner).
Personally, I think it's normal, when I see a foreigner here I say, he's a foreigner, without fear or shame of anything. In Japan it is rare but you can find people who hate westerners, for many reasons besides cultural, what happened in the war, nuclear bomb, etc.
On the other hand, you can find several trends that emerged from the west. Japan is still in a long process of westernization. It is noteworthy that foreigners without descent suffer less prejudice than descendants.
The artigo is still half finished, but we recommend opening it to read the following later:
Going beyond the limits of prejudice
Another thing that raises a lot of questions regarding xenophobia is the fact that some places separate or prohibit the entry of foreigners. And some foreigners can't get certain types of services and activities.
Exclusivity in some things can exist in any country, the best thing to do is to turn it around. Some Brazilians did this and were successful in Japan. Many Brazilians abandoned factory services and set up their own businesses.
Several others learn the culture and language and get a job and lifestyle that even the Japanese couldn't afford. Ricardo Cruz is another example, he became the singer of a Japanese band showing that there are no limits to success in Japan.
So run after your dreams and succeed! Don't worry about stupid things like prejudice from some envious. Usually the people I hear complaining about the Japanese aren't flowers you can smell.
Brazilians and the prejudice against Asians
Brazilians end up complaining about prejudice, but in an exaggerated way. Some Brazilians complain that they suffer more prejudice from Brazilians who live in Japan than from Japanese people.
Unfortunately this is understandable, since when committing a crime or crime, Brazilians end up appearing on TV tarnishing the name of all Brazilians.
This ended up generating a bad reputation for Brazilians. Even in some stores, Japanese are alert when they come across foreigners, mainly Brazilians due to the thefts that some commit.
It is even acceptable for some Japanese people to feel distrust, fear or dislike for foreigners who do not follow the same culture or have the same concepts of education and morals.
Before Brazilians talk about prejudice or xenophobia, they should think about whether they are treating Asians who live in Brazil differently. The video below portrays this well, of course it is often unintentional.
Brazil has over 500 years of history, multicultural and with people of all kinds, it still hasn't managed to solve this problem of prejudice, whether religious, racial or social. Now, why complain about a country that is not even 200 years old that has opened up to the world, and that has gone through several difficulties?
Blacks in Japan suffer racism?
Color will make no difference in the treatment that hospitable and polite Japanese have with their fellowmen. Many stated that Japan loves black people, some said they have never been treated so well and have never had a problem with discrimination.
Paulo, a Brazilian said that when walking on the streets of Japan people watched him, not with a look of contempt but with admiration, they smiled, greeted. Paulo even said that Brazil has a lot to learn and grow.
Another example that Blacks can do well in Japan was the Brazilian Roberto Casa Nova. In 2010 he was voted the best karaoke singer in all of Japan out of 85,000 candidates.
Some black people living in japan, said they are afraid of returning to their country of origin due to racism, and said that they feel more comfortable and safe in Japan.
I'm going to cite a case that happened with respect to Japan being racist against black people. A few years ago there was an image of a chocolate pudding called Nigga which is an English slang word for black.
But it was just a montage and the real name of the product was giga. If something like this happened, can you imagine the number of widespread or made-up cases that emerged and spread?
Is Japan more prejudiced than other countries?
Japan is far from being a bigoted and racist country compared to many other countries. Some places like the USA, UK, Russia and even Australia are pointed out as the most racist and prejudiced countries in the world, dominating the ranking.
Bad people exist in any country, I think it's stupid enough for people to define entire countries as racist and prejudiced. Is this just a generalization of people, because of the few the rest pay the frog?
For example, Japan has gained a reputation for having a high suicide rate, so some Brazilians tend to say that people in Japan are unhappy. All this because 16 people commit suicide for every 100,000 inhabitants? And the rest of the 99 thousand?
I spent my entire life in Brazil suffering prejudice and being treated differently due to my lifestyle, appearance, religion and tastes. And the worst, I am treated differently for not liking or not doing things that I consider wrong.
Honestly, whenever I see a Brazilian saying that Japanese is xenophobic, prejudiced or racist, that person is talking about himself. After all, you shouldn't label a nation full of unique people, that's called racism, prejudice and xenophobia!
Prejudice, Racism and Xenophobia in the Japanese Media - Anime and Drama
Prejudice, racism and xenophobia are addressed directly and indirectly in the Japanese media. Most of the time it is addressed in movies, dramas and especially in anime and manga where reality is not valid, so this theme is used discreetly using robots or alien races.
Many anime also show this theme directly through bullying in schools. See the list of some anime that address themes of prejudice, xenophobia and racism:
- Aldnoah.Zero – Shows the hatred and difference between humans and aliens (human appearance);
- Ghost in the Shell – Shows refugee crisis in Japan;
- Code Geass – Shows the prejudice and racism that the Japanese suffer;
- Nagi no Asukara – Approaches the theme of racism well;
- Yamada Taro Monogatari – Dorama that addresses the difference in social class;
The list is very large and extends much further. It is worth remembering that anime and dramas also show that there is no prejudice, thus presenting several characters with a peculiar personality, effeminate men, powerful women, etc.
Many foreigners also appear in these works, even if they sometimes end up exaggerating the foreign accent. Anime also shows impartiality by the numerous colors, sizes and styles of hair, skin, clothing, etc. In addition, many anime and movies end up portraying stories that take place outside Japan, and usually present different cultural elements from other countries.