- It's not nice to be called a foreigner, but that's what Our Man is.
- Real instances of racism in Japan are even less nice, but being called an outsider is not the same as having your face slashed with a Stanley knife.
- Many of the folk who don't like being marked out as foreign ("Ick, I have to have carry a gaijin registration card... Oh, people think I smell/have big feet/no culture") should take a good look at their home countries. Living in Japan is the first experience for many white folk to feel that they are in a minority, that they don't belong. You think immigrants and their children in Britain, the USA or wherever don't have to face prejudice or jump through ridiculous bureaucratic hoops just to lead a normal life? Japan may be a pain in the backside sometimes, but it is no worse than where you come from.
- Oh, and some of Our Man's best friends are gaijin.
Saturday, 27 December 2008
G is for Gaijin
Want a fight? Bring up race and the word used in Japanese for "foreigner" - gaijin (pronounced guy-gin - as in Madonna's ex-, and Our Man's favourite tipple). Our Man's feeling for the Japanese language is about as finely tuned as an Austin Allegro, but for Debito, gaijin is akin to the word "nigger". For a scholarly approach to the linguistic ins and outs of the use of the term, click here. For a, how do you say, better explanation, watch the news report below from Fatblueman. What's Our Man's position on the whole gaijin-word-thing? Ooh, it's bullet time, readers:
Labels: Politics ABC