Will Latin-Americanization Happen in Japan in the Future?

by Yuriko Otsuka

In the book, Shades of difference; Why skin color matters, edited by Evelyn Nakano Glenn (2009), Eduardo Bonilla-Silva and David R. Dietrich said that the United States has becoming more like Latin America, where there are various mixed people who are said to be as one group. However, while people claim that they are consisted as one group, inequality still exists through their skin color, and people are facing a dilemma. This is called Latin-Americanization, and it is said to be happening in the U.S. now. The change of the immigration law allowed and more and more immigrants and a variety of races could be seen in America. As a result, more mixed children have been born. This is making it harder to categorize one’s skin color. Also, the proportion gap between whites and non-whites in the U.S. became wider, resulting that the number of whites is far more less that maybe in the future white supremacy could disappear or occur harshly than before.

The influence of the mass media has made Japanese more interesting to foreigners. For example, the K-POP, and Korean drama boom has made Japanese, especially girls and women to change their image against Koreans. They shifted their preference to Koreans due to the masculinity they show through TV. My mother and I for instance, like watching Korean dramas and TV’s. We used to have no interest, though one TV drama changed our ideas. In that drama, there was a guy whose face was very beautiful (this is how my mother expressed about him), and hence, she prefers watching Korean dramas now. In addition, the access and ease to go outside the country allowed people to meet many people from outside and give a broad view of how other people are like. Therefore, even though there are less numbers of couples compared to other countries, the trend of international marriage has gradually come into Japan.

However, problems still exist. While people open their mind broadly to overseas, the majority still cares about race. For instance, in Japan people still have some kind of prejudice against Asians; due to the relationship of colonizer and the colonized. In addition, we can tell that the majority of Japanese still distinguish themselves as Japanese or a foreigner, and among the foreigners we can tell that there is some kind of preferences. In conclusion, Japanese are gradually becoming more tolerant against foreigners as we can see from TV’s, while rules, regulations, and social norms still establishes some kind of line to distinguish foreigners and Japanese. Therefore, I think the influence of Latin-Americanization will be gradually happening in the near future, but would take more time compared to the U.S.


Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo, and Amanda E. Lewis. 1999. “The new racism: Toward an analysis of the U.S. racial structure 1960-1990s.” Pp. 55-101 in Race, Nation, and Citizenship, edited by Paul Wong. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo, and Gianpaolo Biaocchi. 2001. “Anything but racism: How sociologists limit the significance of racism.” Race and society (4), 117-131.

Wikipedia, Gaikokujin keno (Dislike to foreigners). Retrieved from: http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%A4%96%E5%9B%BD%E4%BA%BA%E5%AB%8C%E6%82%AA


One thought on “Will Latin-Americanization Happen in Japan in the Future?

  1. Another good article. It will eventully happen. I may or may not be around to see it happen. Since I signed up in the Japan socialogy. And issues and discrimination. I’ve been getting more feedback & emails. And also that both Japanese & Japanese americans have long history with blacks & Latinos often ignored. Thank you

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