The Stereotype of Black People in Japan

Some Japanese people have stereotypical images of black Americans, gleaned from American television and press accounts. Black people are often described like with black skins, dangerous, funny, strong or lazy. Most of the black TV celebrities we can see on TV act silly and do not speak Japanese well and people make fun of them. Those black talents have to be silly to show up on TV, otherwise we never see them, because people do not want them to speak Japanese well and want them to be just like their stereotype. Bobby Ologon speaks weird Japanese, Bob Sapp eats raw meat. I do not know how they feel about doing the performances, but it is like watching circus show. People look down on them and it is obviously discrimination.

I think that is based on that a lot of Japanese people believe Japan is a homogeneous nation. They sometimes do not accept foreigners. Unless people admit that the concept of homogeneous is myth, people keep looking at black people “You can never be “Japanese”, because you look totally different from us and don’t speak Japanese well. So you have to be at least just like our stereotype, then you will be all right.

On the other hand, There are quite a few young people who love the black culture, like Hip-Hop, dance or clothe. They go to Hiyake salon to burn their skins, because they want to look like black people. Some people are concerned about those young guys, because they think turning their skins into black aggravates the stereotype. However, I do not think it is negative, because those young guys respect the black culture and they are trying to be who they respect.

I think there are many TV programs which implant bad stereotype of other countries or races. I watched a TV program which investigates the most kind country by observing how many people out of 20 pick up the stuff that someone drops and the program investigated Japan, China, The United State, Italy and Ethiopia. Although I forgot the results of The United State, Italy and Ethiopia, the number of China was 1 out of 20 and that of Japan was 20 out of 20. The results means Japan is full of kind people and China is not, but is that really true? There are so many unkind people in Japan and most of my Chinese friends are nice. The same is about black people.there are many different black people in Japan. He might be a professor, cooker or student. However we do not see and talk them very much and the only chance seeing them is when we turn on the TV and they act like silly as usual. However We have to keep it in mind that the black people on the TV act like our stereotype on purpose to live up to us and do not represent all the black people.

by Yuya Kuori


71 thoughts on “The Stereotype of Black People in Japan

  1. Your opinion is very nice. I think that many Japanese people have stereotypical images of black Americans too. I never care about them, Bobby Ologon and Bob Sapp, feeling. I realy ashamed myself. I want to study harder about black Americans.

    • The reason why people dont pick up things in China is because China is rampant in scammers/thieves/thugs;
      If you pick something up from the ground of value, you may find yourself quickly surrounded by a ring of scammers pretending not to know each other but saying that you stole/pickpocketted the item from them, forcing you to pay “compensation” or theyll call the authorities (which they wont, cause they are the scammers, but it is still very dangerous in China.

      OT though:
      Japan dont really care for cultures of other ethnicities and are sort of self centred in that respect. IE. Unless you can pass yourself off as a Japanese person, you can never retain a business or apply for a good job there.

      • I lived in Japan when I was in the United States. I am Black American and I speak Japanese. Yes there are some race issues bnut so is there in any other part of the world. At least China put aside racial differences in the name of business and that is why they have a growing economy. They never said they like other cultures, black asian or whatever but they are willing to conduct full business in the name of profit. Japan should follow that example so they can get their economy oput of the whole faster.

      • I believe japan should open themselves more out to this world. And learn other people stories, for knowledge can be found anywhere else then of one place.
        -Darius Emanuel Walden(Future philosopher and Manga Designer)

      • I wouldn’t advise that. The goal here is inproving race relations between Japanese and what I prefer to say “brown people”, because we really are not the color black. Anyway, the Nation of Islam is saturated with rasist teachings on how most white people are the devil so it wouldn’t be wise to inject more negatinity into an already negative situation. In The Holy Bible Jesus teaches to love everyone as you love yourself; and do good to them; even those who have made themselves your enemies. That’s what we all should be studying.

      • I wouldn’t advise that. The goal here is improving race relations and perpetuating a positive climate between the two races. The Nation of Islam still teaches that white people are the devil and often advocates black superiority. I can’t possibly see how recommending that she study that would help. I don’t think an already negative situation needs to be compounded with more negative philosophy such as Nation of Islam. If you are looking for something positive I would recommend the Holy Bible where Jesus teaches to love everyone as you love yourself, to do good to all even if they have made themselves your enemies, and not render evil for evil but good for evil.

    • That’s good that you would like to research black Americans. You can research the Islam website that Arthur M. provided but only 15-30% of black Americans are Muslim. You would also need to research Christianity because most black Americans claim to be Christian. There is a lot to research about black Americans and our history.

      • I seriously doubt that anywhere close to 30% of African-Americans are Muslim. I’m African-American, and my anecdotal life experience thus far (having known many other African-Americans) would put the number at your 15% low end, or lower.

        Also, the solid majority of African-American Muslims are not in The Nation of Islam, which is not considered true Islam by any mainstream Islamic denomination in America or around the world.

      • Relax LOL. I doubt it, too, and I’m also black. I pulled that stat off of a census site somewhere at like 3 AM so perhaps the site had agenda or some empirical extrapolation. Regardless, my aim was just to make sure Christianity is well-represented when folks do research on black Americans.

      • No you are wrong there. religion isnt history. not inherently anyway. black history should be the searching of history before slavery, because lets face it, that is how we became Christians/muslims

    • Hi! I just wanted to say there is no such thing as black “culture”, and that research is not a smart thing to do. I am a somali american, and research will only give you stereotypes. Like, having hard hair and putting relaxer and wigs to hide it. A lot of black people DO NOT have hard hair, like me. There is also the big nose and big lip stereotype, which is also not true. The fact that this article said “hip-hop” was black culture made me disgusted. No, I don’t like nor do I listen to that rubbish. I’m learning Japanese now in hopes of going to study abroad in Japan one day. I think it is very rude and ignorant to claim that there is such thing as black culture since there is haitian culture, bantu culture, kenyan culture, and I can go on forever. Please don’t do “research”, it really does nothing but feed the stereotypes.

      • Thank you for the comment. The author of the blog post was not claiming the existence of a single culture for all people of African ancestry. He was referring to the cultural practices of African Americans, and the genre of hip hop, like other musical genres, is a reflection of African American culture and history. His language could have been more precise, but just as you’re learning Japanese, he is learning English.

        Why would research feed stereotypes? Even if we just look at the US, what about the thousands of African American scholars across the country who study popular culture, including literature, music, social relations, etc? All of that research should be stopped? Bad research can feed stereotypes, but bad research isn’t really research. Your alternative, not studying the social world around us, denies us the opportunity to challenge stereotypes.

    • I hate it when people think I’m a stereotype. People at my school think that I should listen to disrespectful rap smoke weed, and other stupid things. In reality, I listen to techno, I am an A-B student, and people think I’m an angel. People also think I’m wierd because I only like Asian girls.

    • I support you all the way. But to warn you,their’s nothing funny abount are culture. And their’s a long list of why. So please don’t take in every Black Sterotype as a fact. I’ll be getting to japan myself very soon i hope we meet and talk more.

  2. I think that it’s normal now for people to have some kind of weird stereotype about one race or another. It SUCKS but it’s normal. If you only see that same stereotype played over and over again, people are bound to start thinking thinking that it’s true. Hopefully, the people of Japan will see other types of black people so that they know that we’re not all the same : )

    • I don’t think that is necessarily true. What weird stereotype is there of white people? None. Actually, I think these stereotypes come from early Europeans who first came to Asia and spread this view of blacks. Honestly, I don’t think there are or have ever been so many blacks in japan that japanese could form such stereotypes. What I mean is that they just borrow these stereotypes from other countries that coincidentally have a majority of whites.

      • I agree, I remember when I was a boy how my grandfather told me that when he and other brown people ( I prefer to say brown because we are not the color black ), were over in Asia fighting in the war white men told the Asian women that brown people had tails like monkeys, very sad.

  3. I am a afro-american / german guy , right now at collegue studying engineering and this year i will also start a japanese language course , since i simply love that language, and i am a huge fan of kanji and anime. Whether i will go to USA ( been living in germany since 3 years old ) or japan will lastly be decided by job offers.

    Well , i really like your report. Thanks for clarifying some stereotypes.

    Further more i have to say that germany is not racist at all ( with very few exeptions )

      • I dad lived in Germany in the 60’s at the hight of racial prejudice in the United States. He told me that not once did he experienced racism from Germans, and he’s black. So your completely wrong about German people!!!

  4. Thank you so much for this article. Living in Australia, I am of polynesian descent with somewhat caramel complexion but at first sight one would judge me as “black”.
    I’m going to travel and attend a high school in Japan for 2 weeks and a lot of people tell me that Japan is not so good with foreigners which has gotten me worried.
    This has relieved some of that worry, if you could give me any tips, it would be appreciated (@meowMONSTAR)
    Thank you so much for this again!

    • Get ready to hear the word Gaizin!!!! a million times!!! Just tell them your grandfather built the Enola Gay !!! You’ll be fine!!! lol… don’t mention the Enola Gay!!! just messing w/ ya but you will hear gaizin which translates to “Outside Person” The prefix “gai” means outside and “zin” means “person” and hardcore old-school Japanese say it means non-human!!!!!

  5. Dotty, I would say Japan is no better or worse with foreigners than a lot of places. Most likely, your two weeks here will be a great experience. You may find some students interested in your skin tone, mainly because it’s different from theirs. Your experience will be educational for both you and for the people you meet. Make the most of it.

  6. Actully, The Japanese Have history with Blacks and Latinos. But it’s often ignored. I learning about Richard Aoki, A Japanese American who was In the Black panthers. Yuri Kochiyama who fought alongside and other Asian Americans who allied with Black & Latino civil rights groups. And I’ve heard about the story seventeen syllables. I think its about a Japanese woman in a realationship with a man who is Mexican American. Im still learning though.

    • Thanks for the reply. The examples of Richard Aoki, Yuri Kochiyama, and other Japanese Americans reflect the work of people of Japanese descent in the United States, and not of Japanese people in Japan. The student’s post deals specifically with racial stereotypes in Japan, which is a drastically different racial context than in the US. While some of the stereotypes travel across the globe, they also get re-interpreted to fit in the local context.

    • Moorehead You’re right myself and my friend who is a coworker at my job Mary and her Husband who are interested in Japanese culture. Were Both and Still living in San Antonio, Tx, were still planing to go back to school and hopefully teach not only to Japanese people but also Japanese Americans and also Other Asians from East Asia & Asian Americans about the Japanese Concentration camps, and the hate crimes. The Vincient Chin who is Chinese American who was murdered by two autoworkers and thought Chin was Japanese. And also I’ve learned and read about the Mukgogawa Ft Wright institue sexual assult of I think it was three Japanese College Female students who were studying abroad

  7. I think you’re wrong. The reason why most Japanese hates outsider is more so of their pride. They have an idea of pure-blooded from World War II. This is the reason why citizenship in Japan are through Japanese blood. There are still stigma attached to not being a pure Japanese, though, most new generation do not care, and only hold curiosity on other races as they are not many in Japan (like girls who tan themselves black).

    Also, Japan picks up the stuff people drop because it’s part of Japanese culture to be respectful. On the other hand, China is not well off as Japanese are. Who you know doesn’t define anything nationally. Chinese friends you might have is in America (or Japan), different than Chinese in China. Although China is a economic powerhouse, the standard of living there is extremely low. It has been said that feeble education and poverty correlates with manner and demeanor.

    • Thank you for the reply. First, it’s simply nonsense to say “most Japanese hate outsiders.”

      Your explanation of the negative stereotypes of black people in Japan (Japanese pride and ideas of pure-bloodedness) doesn’t explain why we see more positive depictions of other non-Japanese groups in Japanese mass media. If national pride (however that is defined) and a biological notion of national identity were the key forces shaping Japanese stereotypes of others, then why are whites routinely shown more positively than blacks? And why do portrayals of blacks fit with stereotypes that entered Japan from the US and Europe? How and why would “pride” require other groups to be portrayed negatively? Are Bobby Ologun and Bob Sapp threats to Japanese pride?

      Also, your explanation of different customs in Japan and China is confusing. Yuya insightfully noted that common stereotypes of Japanese as respectful don’t correlate with people’s actual attitudes or behaviors in Japan. Rather, people are merely following a social rule. He also notes that the presence of different customs in other countries doesn’t mean that people in those place are less respectful. It’s not clear how you’re connecting that insight with “feeble education and poverty,” other than to make a thinly veiled swipe at the people of China.

      • Thank you for speaking out. You’ve made a good point, and I agree wholeheartedly that “Kawamura” Jenkin’s rather trollish post was intended to take a swipe at the Chinese.

        However, upon reading it carefully, I realized there was an even greater motivation driving his post, an intention to paint the Japanese as a racist people. His first paragraph is the key, when he unnecessarily mentioned how and why Japanese ‘hated’ outsiders, though he tried covering this up by mentioning what Yuya’s pointed out. Notice the strong language used?IMO extremely disrespectful to the author, Japanese, ‘outsiders’, and the spirit of the site itself.

        In all likelihood, he sounds like somebody who cannot stand Japan for personal reasons and wants people to see them in his eyes. Seeing Yuya speaking out against stereotypes must have been frustrating. The Chinese (he probably isn’t too fond of them either) bit probably aggravated it.

        On to the topic, I feel Europeans/Americans are generally portrayed positively because of the media, the general impression of a white male is professional, intelligent, educated and hailing from an affluent well off country. The relationship between Japanese and Americans/Europeans on a managerial or executive level is more frequent than with blacks. Also, when Japanese see a white foreigner, they most likely would associate him/her with English and thus International.

        As blacks came later than Europeans/Americans, most of the impressions Japanese have of them was initially passed on from Europeans/Americans. That is perhaps the biggest reason why blacks are portrayed in such a way.

        Nowadays, blacks are being portrayed in a much more positive light. They are often associated with the cool culture, and many are successful in winning entertainment based awards. This improvement is thus transferred to the Japanese, there’s even a video somewhere about the “B-style” which was influenced by the hip-hop culture.

        With more interactions and the globalization of the world, stereotypes will most likely become less emphasized and individuality more emphasized. Of course, Japan would still remain a predominantly Japanese country with little immigration inspite of feeling these affects.

  8. I am a cameroonian 18 years old and i will come and study in Japan in April 2013 but in my country my friends are saying that i am mad because japanese dont love black because they believe that they are one of those rappers that they look at TV who are smoking , saying silly things but it can be true because at the TV i have never seen a black in a japanese city may be that it is bacause they dont meet too much black.
    But my real matter is : Will it be very hard to me to stay in a public place? Have you ever been in a train with a black ? in a restaurant ? in a school? How was it? Was everybody looking at him ? Is no one want ed to seat near him ? lI really want to know the TRUTH dont be nice with me i really want to know like that i will know what will happens to me there because i have already taken my decision i will go to JAPAN.

    • d only way to really know is to go but be ready for a few stares and whispers and act neat and respectful some ppl might just ask for a picture i have seen this happen. and don’t assume that they are asian that you can say some things but if confused say your sorry and ask for a better picture of what they are saying and u should probably do some research (reliable) on practices done there. i personally would go my first time with someone i know

    • hey man , never listen to know one its an adventure even in ur own country discrimination is also going on within tribe vs other tribe…be ur self and go where u wanted to go in the whole world not only japan…i have been to japan my experience was k meet lots of kind people i stay 2 months in japan only one i have bad experience but never bother me.

  9. HI Eveyone I just wrote on my blog yesterday about Black people and Japanese. I am Black American and I have been to Japan two times and I go to Hawaii often and I live here in California where there are many Japanese both tourist international students and Japanese Americans. I am aware of the sterotypes.

  10. I’m from the caribbean and i don’t know, well my country just started heavy relations with china and there are now a very high number of their citizens here but they stay seperated and i was in a class with one and he said when asked that he would date a black girl but never marry one because of his mother. there isn’t a lot of people from japan so i cant say for them. but the Chinese they really don’t mingle with us and i thought was the only one who noticed that black people act stupid on tv. i would love to go to china and japan but i really don’t know if they’ll make me feel uncomfortable. another thing was that the Chinese men are really rude by showing sexual signs but then again here anything small is called Chini. eg Chini mango and all chinese men is china man or chini. so we at fault too

  11. I found this to be quite an interesting read. I am black and have been considering moving to Japan, so it’s helped me get an idea of how I can expect to treated/received by the Japanese. I’m curious though as to whether their views alter at all between black men or black women?


    At about 35,000 B.C. a group of these African Chinese; later known to us as the Jomon, took this route and entered Japan, they became the first Humans to inhabit the Japanese Islands. Later, another group; Known to us as the Ainu, followed.

    Although we do not have “Ancient life-like” depictions of the Jomon and Ainu, we do have pictures of members of their former migratory group – their genetic
    cousins, the Andaman Islanders of the Indian Ocean, (Just off the coast of Burma and Thailand). Oddly Indians were Not part of this group. Today, their genes can still be found in 40% of modern Japanese, as well as Mongolians and Tibetans. Genetic testing, specific to Xia, Shang and Olmec, as far as we know, has not yet been done.
    Check this link.It is a picture of them

  13. I am an African American female and I love Japanese pop culture, I am learning the language and although I have not had the opportunity to visit Japan I have always thought of their culture as polite. After reading I feel as though I have been naive about the Japanese lifestyle I thought that many Japanese people would take black people in with open arms because we are so different and from America. I can only hope the world can eradicate its prejudice, because quite frankly it irritating! America and Africa have a problem and instead of it being fixed, people who are in control of the way the world is perceived amplify it and make it seem as though people of African descent are less human than the rest….Do we not cry when we are in pain, Bleed when we are cut, laugh when we are happy?? We are beautiful people but when tainted and beaten by the world is when you make someone ugly and mean.

  14. I am british of black Caribbean decent and just recently come back from a trip to japan. Before I went I didn’t think that Japanese people had a strong stereotype of black people so I went with an open mind. However while there it’s not hard to feel like a complete foreigner as it seems that 98% of the population are Japanese. To be honest I the only time I came across black people was when I went out to Roppongi one night. Most of the club promotors seem to be of African decent.
    In general I felt happy in the country, the service in Japan is always so polite. However there were times when I was conscious of my skin colour, for example when I was at the Hiroshima memorial museum, school children were staring at me. When on the subway in Tokyo I noticed a few glances and occasionally there were times people would prefer not to sit in the empty seat next to me.
    It was a stunning and fascinating place to visit and I would definitely visit again. I’m not sure if I could live there though, I guess it depends in location.

  15. I am sorry to say it but I have to say it….for the most part Japanese people are just plain stupid. If you acknowledge that it’s easy to live here. I have been doing it for four years. How? I acknowledge the fact that they do not have the capacity to think for themselves. I’ve seen simple simple situations where they had to go and consult 100 people. You tell them something and two minutes later they say the same thing to you as if they thought of it on their own.
    I acknowledge that most have never left their country and have only seen Blacks potrayed in a certain light through the media(as thieves/being violent/diseased). They on the other hand, do not possess the reasoning ability to deduce that all Blacks can’t be the same. Then again, they are ‘homogenous’ so blacks and other ethnic groups, no matter where they are from, should be ‘homogenous’ too. It’s all about breaking the mind-set, and trust me it will take decades/centuries.
    I could go on and on, but it is late in the night so I will just end by saying, if you do come to Japan just try to change any negative perceptions of your ethnic group through your behavior, Also, a lot of whites have negative encounters. Most time it’s just the people in the area you are based,

    • Your comment is completely inappropriate. Beyond exploring Japanese stereotypes of blacks, this post has also revealed other people’s stereotypes of the Japanese. Comments like “Japanese people are just plain stupid” who “do not have the capacity to think for themselves” show the degree of prejudice that exists. There’s no point in trying to respond to such trolling, other than to say that if this is how you view the Japanese people, then maybe it’s time to leave Japan.

  16. I am a Black Japanese. My Mother is Japanese. I was born in Hiroshima. Other Japanese don’t even see me as Japanese. They don’t even see me.

  17. Very interesting. Do you think that black men from the US are treated differently than black men who are working in Japan, but from Nigeria or other African countries? Are black women treated differently (better, perhaps?) than black men? Also, other than media portrayal, what are the reasons you think there is different treatment of blacks than other non-100%-Japanese?

  18. I am a black American female and have been to Japan four times and stayed for a total of 6 months. I’ve also spent months in Germany, Spain, Portugal, China, Canada and Mexico and all over the West Indies. Japan is my favorite place to be so far. I have never experienced anything but friendliness in Japan. Once I was lost on the train/metro and a Japanese woman rode past her stop just to show me how to get to my intended stop. A friend of mine lost her passport in a Japanese mall one morning and didn’t discover it until hours later. We retraced her steps all the way back to the mall and it was still sitting in the exact place that she left it. My worst experiences by far were in China (traveled through Shanghai, Dalian, Beijing and Suzhou). I went with a small group of all-female graduate students (3 black, including me, 1 of Middle Eastern descent and 2 white). Sometimes, I got positive reactions like people wanting to take pictures w/ me. But I was also spit at and an old woman got right into my face. They were also VERY mean to an overweight girl in our group. I can’t say that I would go back to China but I love Japan.

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  20. All of us are being prejudiced. Why?
    For we imagine that one idea applies to all Japanese individuals.

    Do individuals of the same artificial group necessarily develop a similar psyche? Our current standardizing civilization tends to influence us that way. But each one of us may ask oneself: “What do I think as an independent individual?” “Am I, in effect, denying the existence of the inherent psychological difference between each and every human being?” Members of the same family develop different psyches from each other. We all have different psyches.

    Is the world in need of standardizing sociological generalities? What would these ultimately cause: satisfaction? or frustration? Aside from the superficial conscious or sub-conscious satisfaction, would not ‘beneficiaries’ of such ‘standards’ actually frustrate themselves from the difference or beautiful diversity that could be derived from ‘targets’ of these prejudices?

  21. Given the negativity and stereotypes that work against us in East Asia, I say that blacks, especially Black men should avoid East Asia. These stereotypes aren’t going to change, especially since Whites take full advantage of them to bolster their privilege and power out there. Black men that travel to Asia will just spend our time sulking and being jealous of whites that are treated like gods, while we are treated like scum, no matter how good-looking, educated, intelligent, thoughtful, romantic, hard-working, etc. that we are. In the eyes of others, we’ll always be ugly, inferior, dangerous, scummy, etc.. Blacks must learn to love ourselves and separate from the other races that hate us. Build and protect for self.

    • I lived in Japan for 5 months and never had any problems as a black person. Matter fact, I encountered the opposite. Most people there were so helpful and friendly to me. I even met a Japanese guy with a shirt on that said “Too Black Too Strong” with a picture of Africa on it. I had to take a photo with him! I’m a woman so who knows if that makes a difference but I loved Japan when I was there. I’ve been three separate times.

    • Terrible idea. My mother is mixed. Nephews and nieces as well. I’M mixed. I cannot separate from myself. This is hate in its purest form. We must learn to ADAPT and EDUCATE. Everyone. Your way of thinking only instigates what the media and ignorant voices within the black community want you to think. We are ALL great people. Black, White, Asian, Latino, Indigenous. We can only advance together. I found my fiancee in Japan and her entire family has shown me nothing but love.

      Terrible comment is terrible.

    • That comment was horrible we must never choose separation or the same stereotypes may live on forever. I don’t care what people say.

  22. I’m actually upset that I didn’t stumble upon this article earlier! After careful consideration of the comments and other’s opinions I came to the conclusion that there is quite a bit of information that is unknown about black people.

    Culturally we are as diverse as any group. As for myself I am of Caribbean descent and white. I lived in Japan for two years and I speak and read Japanese. THIS is my personal culture. Which is what I think gets mixed up in social studies. As people we are a product of our surroundings.

    While in Japan I was surprised by the reception. Many people were quite polite and courteous. Of course there were many that were standoffish, at times rude, but nothing I wouldn’t come to expect from any culture.

    You see, black culture cannot be summed up in one instance, or by what is portrayed on TV. These images of black ignorance are the last of my worries. Mainly because I know that most stereotypes on television are exaggerated. Sure many people might think a way about me because of the color of my skin but I believe this is natural; all I have to do is start speaking and those stereotypes are washed away. I am part of a group of people that believe people are much smarter now about issues of race. Only the media is behind. By continuously perpetuating the issue of race the media bates us into racism or prejudice. We only need to talk and converse with each other to understand more about what’s actually true.

    You can research and find your answers contextually OR you could speak to a black, Asian, white, Latino, etc. about the issues that concern them. Ask them how they feel about being who they are. Too often we rely on the research of others to determine answers but with issues of the social nature sometimes a conversation is all that’s needed. Research is just icing on the cake, or rather, used to solidify your understanding.

  23. I’m African American and I have ALOT of Asian friends and they are NOT racist. I have very dark skin, large eyes and big boobs. Physically, I’m the complete opposite of a lot of Asian women. Lol. But I don’t care. Either your a good person or you are not. I don’t care where you are from or what you look like. Either I like you or I don’t.

  24. I was reading the comments and the black people who think visiting Japan or China would be terrible or that they would get mistreated made me sad. I say don’t let that stop you. My best friend in China is a black man from Alabama. I am a white man from Chicago.

    I hung out with Reggie a lot, and yes, he experienced some things that would be considered racist, but not the kind of racism here. In China and Japan, all of the “racism” I witnessed was a lot more innocent than what I’ve seen in America. The absolute most racist thing that occurred was people asking if Reggie’s dreads were a hat. Not as a joke or anything, but because they were genuinely curious. Most of the other stuff was people saying he didn’t seem like the way black people are portrayed on TV.

    Now, some people may think, “Bullshit! They knew better!” Well, to both me and Reggie, that did not seem to be the case. See, in China or Japan, you could go weeks without seeing a foreigner and even longer not seeing a black foreigner. Yes, lots of people stared at Reggie, but a ton of people also stared at me. They even ask you to take pictures with them or sneak pictures of you like you are a star! Don’t take this as racism either. They aren’t singling out blacks. They stare and take pictures of everyone who doesn’t look like them. It is actually a little fun sometimes unless you are just having one of those days and are feeling antisocial.

    So, go visit Asia! Don’t take things personal, and enjoy being a rock star on the street.

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  26. Moorehead, I’m still in Japan. Is Yuya your pseudonym? Anyway, update time. Whites are the ones who feed negative information about Blacks to the Japanese. In the meanwhile, they take this opportunity to promote themselves. What I have recently noticed is that some Japanese are trying not to fall under this influence. There are still many baka nihonjin, but I’ve seen a little improvement where treatment of Blacks is concerned. Still, I know some whites who were very badly treated….told they are stink etc….you just never know.

  27. My parents been in japan for 14 years I’ve been living in Japan since I was born. There are american and African American celebrities who known only in Japan and don’t have to be like that. They’re mixed children of black and Japanese heritage who don’t have to act like idiots to get there. Plus they is a famous black actor named Dante carver who viewed intelligent and has been on many variety shows.

    Also there’s a new pop singer who becoming a well known singer there. I forgot his name

  28. Thank you everyone for your comments. I am hoping to be teaching English in Japan in about 2-5 years, but my father is terrified that I will be in major culture shock and have a hard time there. I am a Black woman who’s lived a sheltered life, but I have been studying Japanese Culture and talking with many people who have gone over there through the military or teaching/studying programs. I’m trying to convince him that it’s not as bad as he thinks it will be.

  29. I wouldn’t advise that. The goal here is improving race relations and perpetuating a positive climate between the two races. The Nation of Islam still teaches that white people are the devil and often advocates black superiority. I can’t possibly see how recommending that Erina studying ( NOI ) would help. I don’t think an already negative situation needs to be compounded with more negative philosophy such as Nation of Islam. If you are looking for something positive I would recommend the Holy Bible where Jesus teaches to love everyone as you love yourself, to do good to all even if they have made themselves your enemies, and not render evil for evil but good for evil.

  30. Pingback: Bobby Ologun: Nigerian-Japanese MMA Fighter and Comedian – Beyond the Single Story

  31. Pingback: On the subject of Knuckles’s Ethnicity and Portrayal | Conflicting Views

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