Black in Japan: Not What You Assume.

Yes, I put a picture of my feet (in Japan) on this blog.

So as I continue on my journey to make an independent short film about a Hikikomori in the US, I find myself also becoming more like one in order to get these blogs out. My entry, “The ‘D’ Word” touched a soft spot but how about some personal accounts?

This video completely blew me away. If I can ever speak 日本語 half as skilled as Kemushichan, I would be a very happy man and so would my wife. (Conversations with the in-laws get frustrating for me real fast.) I’m re-inspired to improve my 日本語.

Ms. Scott’s youtube page is all about helping you learn Japanese and her experiences in Japan. If her series is anything like this video, you’re in for a good time. She’s got great energy and you can tell she’s passionate. For more about her and what she’s really trying to do go to her website.

So after that I had to look up Rhyming Gaijin to see who Kemushichan was talking about. His video (below) wasn’t so much a response but a pitch (similar to ABC’s What would you do?) It should be also noted that both these videos were presented and showcased (in 2011) by Gimmeaflakeman. Victor and Tomoko Sensei do some fun and informative stuff.

I also agree with Victor that there will never be a satisfactory answer. (The question being: How do Japanese view “black” people?) And Rhymin Gaijin’s attempt may fall on deaf ears but that’s the purpose of vlogging. Whoever listens, great. Whoever doesn’t, whatever. I believe Rhymin Gaijin believes (as I do, and my wife) that we should be proud of our culture and heritage BUT we have to look at ourselves as people, first. Not a color. If we continue to allow ourselves to be labeled as a color and not a person, how will we ever get past this whole race issue?

Before I met my in-laws, my wife told me that her family looks at my (American) nationality first, then my personality/intelligence. So far they’re all on board but I had to earn it. Grandma and grandpa took a little longer but for obvious reasons (they come from a different generation of thinking).

I really appreciate Victor’s attempt at going to the source and completely respect his effort in tackling this issue.

I do agree that if you want to know what Rhymin Gaijin’s experiences are like check out his youtube page he put a lot of it there. People who are curious should check it out but you’re not going to know  for yourself until you go.

Everyone’s experiences will be different, just as Victor and Sec1productions say… after Victor’s bad hair day.

Out of the three, this video was my favorite.

For the record, I met and dated my wife in the states. The longest I’ve ever been in Japan (to date) has been a little less than a month. I work in the film / television industry, so Los Angeles is the best choice for me and my wife has chosen to stay with me. Our reasons for not living in Japan have more so to do with an individualistic society vs. a collectivistic society. Not race. As a matter of fact, her treatment as a foreigner by Americans is what inspired our film.

During a visit, when we’ve gone on roadtrips to more rural towns, people look. Some stare. A few try to strike up conversation but overall I haven’t had any problems (as a visitor). What is a problem are the way some US enlisted men and other foreigners decide to commit crimes or a nuisance that gives every foreigner a bad rap. It’s embarrassing as a visitor and insulting as an American when our own can’t behave or are disrespectful.

But that’s another tirade…

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Author: hikikomori78

American Hikikomori is an upcoming short film that explores the emotional struggles of a Japanese teenager named Isamu Fujihara, when he moves to America.

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