How to Live in Multicultural Japan

In Japan, we are rarely exposed to diversity such as cultures and races compared with, for example, America where Whites, Native Americans, Blacks and so on are living. Unlike multicultural countries, including America, Japanese can live without any troubles as long as they can manipulate Japanese; thus Japan can be seen as a monocultural country. In fact, Japan is, however, a multicultural country in which other races such as Zainichi Koreans, Filipinos and Zainichi Chinese are living. If we have opportunities to interact with such minorities without correct knowledge, we might be in trouble as, in the film of Go, the heroine Sakurai said she could not accept his Zainichi Korean boyfriend, because she cannot stop refusing him instinctively. Racial discrimination usually has no clear-cut reasonable basis; for example, no one can prove that difference of muscular ability exists because of difference of races. The cause of discrimination is in our instinct and we need to change it to stop discrimination. How should we change such instinct?

As mentioned above, we have little chance to be exposed to other cultures as long as we live in Japan. Therefore, it is hard to feel other cultures and we tend to see them as something peculiar and different. In order to stop discrimination toward minority in Japan, however, we need to dispose of such tendency of some kind of prejudice. From my viewpoint, the solution is to have a sense of value that we regard other culture as non-peculiar because if we have the sense of value, we do not dare emphasize minorities.

As a way to have such sense of value, I suggest that we should go foreign countries with cultural diversity, to make us adapt diversity. If we go abroad, we can broaden sense of value in which we can accept diversity as something natural instinctively.

Due to globalization, intercultural interaction will be more and more inevitable. Without proper sense of value, it will be difficult to adapt ourselves to the situation. As a way to adapt both to domestic diversity and to international diversity, it is best to go abroad to have broader sense of value.

by Kosuke Matsuura

2 thoughts on “How to Live in Multicultural Japan

  1. -Yukisada, I. & Kudo, K. (2001). GO. Japan: Toei.
    * According to lectures of Eigo Kokusai Kenkyu, there is no evidence to prove that muscular difference is dependent on races.

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