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Old 12-29-2013, 12:20 PM
 
1,576 posts, read 826,959 times
Reputation: 1661

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I'm black, male, 33. I came here in 2000 at 20. It was an overwhelmingly great experience. I was treated well pretty much everywhere. And I don't mean the dirty pick-up bars. But now I can't go anywhere without seeing super unfriendly gestures like angry stares, stomping feet, storming out of a room. Not the store, not the airport, nowhere. I'm not the sexiest man alive, but I'm skinny, dress well, good hygiene, well mannered. I look about 25 on a good day. I've traveled through different parts of the country, just to check if I was going crazy. It's all the same. Normal treatment catches me off guard now.

I don't have any more Japanese friends like I used to. When my fellow foreign colleagues go out to eat or sightseeing, I avoid them, so I don't deal with bad attitudes from strangers. I don't have any business here besides my job. I did spend a year in the US failing job interviews, but I moved back to Japan and shared rent with my fiancée... until she started treating me like the angry strangers I've run into, and cut me out of her life. It's like I didn't get the memo that I'm not welcome here anymore.

Honestly, everybody has treated me like this for the past few years, not just Japanese, although they're less extreme I suppose. Actually if I think back far enough, my teenage years in the USA were kind of the same-- my teachers didn't want me in their AP classes, store clerks would follow me around, women would audibly lock their cars around me. That's why it was refreshing to be treated with some respect when I first showed up in Japan but that's a memory. I just haven't lived anywhere else for so long. I don't really know if that's just how people in society are like now, and if things would be any different back in the US.

I'm sort of worried about having a boring life in the boring US, until I die of a car crash or armed assault. Even at it's most unfriendly, Japan is a remarkably safe place to live, and I still enjoy the exotic locale whether everyone hates me or not. And most importantly, this is where my job/income comes from. But I wish I knew why this is happening so I can make the right move in my life...

Last edited by nc17; 12-29-2013 at 12:31 PM..
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
9,780 posts, read 13,368,018 times
Reputation: 11309
Weird. Was there any sort of major event in either your life or Japanese society that may have led to such a paradigm shift?
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:43 PM
 
Location: City of Angels
2,935 posts, read 4,770,340 times
Reputation: 2236
It's all in your head.

What sort of job do you have that you were able to move to Japan at 20, btw?
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:31 PM
 
399 posts, read 580,650 times
Reputation: 319
Seems strange that peoples behaviors and attitudes would change so drastically. I think a lot of this could just be you.
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:22 PM
 
1,576 posts, read 826,959 times
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All in my head! That's mind-blowing to actually read. The replies are sincerely appreciated though.
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:35 PM
 
26 posts, read 23,111 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nc17 View Post
All in my head! That's mind-blowing to actually read. The replies are sincerely appreciated though.
Why don´t you look for a job in other countries besides USA? You must have an advanced Japanese and depending on what you work with, this can be very helpful for you to find a job in Asia.

Pehaps someone could give you suggestions about some places in Asia that would be nice to move into.
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:57 PM
 
1,576 posts, read 826,959 times
Reputation: 1661
I have found a blogger who seems to share some of my experiences.
http://www.locoinyokohama.com/about-...et-to-shibuya/

I disagree with him instantly rationalizing his treatment in the Far East as the Western racism he's known all his life, as a lot of black (and other non-white) people get by just fine in the country... but I don't know why it happens to me. I have heard about this happening to other people who lived here back in the 90s, so I'm not unpleasantly surprised, just disappointed.

I also lived in Yokohama with my fiancée, before that ended.

As for myself, try to picture a 6-foot version of Miami Heat's Ray Allen (not really, but close enough) with a full head of hair, minding his own business. Would that seem like a threatening or suspicious character to you?

Last edited by nc17; 12-29-2013 at 05:18 PM..
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Old 12-29-2013, 05:14 PM
 
Location: SGV, CA
816 posts, read 1,557,429 times
Reputation: 1243
What do you do for a living? If you don't want to come back home to the States, lots of expats live in China, Thailand and the Philippines. Maybe you just need a change of scenery.
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Old 12-29-2013, 05:15 PM
 
1,576 posts, read 826,959 times
Reputation: 1661
I first made it here by way of the US military. I left the military, and when I all my job interviews failed in the US, I sponsored myself (yes you can do that. You need to speak in Japanese with immigration, or find someone willing to do it. If you have a hint of a criminal record anywhere, forget it), and was actually in Japan as a resident with no ties to the military. Then I found a job on a military base.

I can understand written Japanese (including kanji) very well and read Japanese websites daily. My speaking ability isn't that great-- it's still tourist-y. My listening ability is pretty good.

I wouldn't mind living in another country. Japan did open my ignorant eyes to the fact that people around the world have a great quality of life. The US is a great country, but not the only great country. I'm not sure where else I should go. I lived in UK before. I thought everyone was incredibly rude and pushy (although I wasn't treated like a suspicious outsider by everyone).

One of my main hobbies are art, and there are a lot of
graphic design studios in Singapore that I'd love to enroll in. I just don't know too much about the immigration conditions over there.
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Old 12-29-2013, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,263,362 times
Reputation: 2833
Interesting, 20 to 33, you must be very integrated into Japanese society or at least the Japanese way of life. Do you mostly hang around other expats? Or local Japanese people? Or a mix of both? There are actually quite a few bogs on foreigners living in Japan, many from the perspective of African Americans, some of which you've no doubt read.

Without knowing anything about you, I suspect there's something personally about you that is causing this. No I'm not saying you're to blame or anything (since I don't know you) but is there anything at all about you which could provoke such extreme reactions? Japanese may be difference, but like people anywhere they won't show such anger for no reason.
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