Sunday, March 19, 2017

What About Mira?

Mira is a young woman who moved from Canada to Japan - I get the sense that she is either applying for Japanese citizenship, or she is already a citizen.  She has lived in Tokyo for several years.
This video is about dealing with racism in Japan.  I found it very interesting.  I watched a number of this young woman's videos, and I found them all interesting. 

Published on Jan 7, 2017

(日本語字幕あり) How to deal with Racism or discrimination when it happens. How not to deal with it.

- assess the situation, make sure you are not misunderstanding
- take video evidence if necessary
- walk away if violence happens

- become violent
- smash stuff
- start yelling racism back

Many people mistake things like
- not sitting beside on train
- pointing to menu items
- pointing to numbers or giving number gestures
as racist but it’s not. This is normal for everyone.

EXAMPLES of what you can do in common situations.

"Someone randomly hands you the Foreign language menu"
- I say, "Oh sorry this is foreign language menu", and the staff say sorry and give you the normal menu.

"Someone randomly says hello hello! to you in the streets"
- Ignore it. Just keep walking. You don't need to get upset or annoyed, even though it can be annoying. Just pretend they don't exist and carry on your day.

"A random person shouts it’s a gaijin!!".
- I often depending on situation turn to them and say "I am not a gajin" or I turn to my friends and say "there’s no gaijin here". Though it’s clear I don't have citizenship yet, it’s important to teach people this isn't right. It’s not okay to shout to people who can hear you and point it out. This is rude in Japan, so there should be no exceptions to someone visibly different. Gaijin or not, is not the point. The point is its rude to randomly shout this out.

"You got a fork for your sushi".
- Now this would be 100% weird, in Japan we don't eat sushi with a fork, and if needed, it’s more normal to eat with hands. I have never had this happen, but once someone tried to give me a fork for my gyoza, I didn't even realize it was because they thought I couldn't use chopsticks, because the concept of chopsticks is just so normal and discrimination is so rare, I acted as if any other Japanese would "THIS IS GYOZA ! hahahahhaha". Because Gyoza should be eaten with chopsticks. I had thought they mistaken the food I got.

"the people who get all excited when you speak Japanese"
- well, because it truly is confusing, I often just make a confused face and say, what is so exciting? Some people don't even say the words that they are excited you speaking Japanese, they just clap and make weird sounds, like someone on drugs. This happened in Hokkaido once, I just said to my friend, "these people are so excited, I dont know what is so exciting". and blew it off.

"People who sometimes cut into your convo on the train, try to practice English".
- just ignore them. Its rude to talk to strangers suddenly, and very uncomfortable. You don’t owe them your time, if it makes you uncomfortable you need to make that clear.

"People who are drunk and try to grab you in the streets and take a picture".
- ignore them. some people get all yayyyyyy!!! too, and take pics, but it only teaches them its okay. Some people think it’s okay, that white and black ppl just walk around being friends with everyone. My best friend got pulled into a purikura booth and they all tried to pull up her skirt because they thought this is normal to do.

"People who ask where you are from"
- I say Tokyo. Most people stop there, but some people are upset and whine. These people truly don’t wanna get to know me, because if they cared about me, Tokyo is a good answer, instead they wanna hear some foreign city. This is going on my 6th year in Tokyo, I have lived in Tokyo longer than any other city. I don't remember much details and so much has changed about the city I lived in before. I personally find it so insulting that they truly don’t care about me enough to care about my answer. It’s quite rude. Imagine if I was born in Tokyo? Their response would be the same. So my response to them is "oh Tokyo isn’t cool, maybe you like Osaka better".

"people who keep asking about family background"
- strangers, sometimes ask personal questions, families birth place, citizenship. you dont have to give this. Don’t feel that its normal to just start talking about your private life


"you can’t buy this apartment"
- yes, it’s hard for gaijin to rent. And yes. They can discriminate. BUT, some apartment rental shops, WILL NOT even check if that landlord accepts or denies gaijin, they just assume so and tries to sell you shitty shitty places. Just go to another rental shop.

MY NAME IS MIRA. I am a Youtuber from Tokyo Japan.
I make a lot of videos about Japan, so if you are interested, check them out. ミラです。東京からの日本文化紹介チャンネルです。

You also should check out my facebook, twitter and blog :)

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