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Sunday, 26 July 2015

Why does Japan attract weirdos?

One of the biggest disappointments I have found living in Japan is other foreigners living in Japan.

In the time I have been here, I have met and gotten to know quite a lot of different people. Some of them are among the greatest and most interesting I have come across.  However, with the majority of gaijins in Japan, this tends not to be the case. 

It is certainly clear that Japan attracts an abundance of weirdos. Why is it that the geekiest, most socially inept and physically repulsive people choose to come to this country?

I understand that one might point towards the various obscure Japanese sub-cultures like manga, Lolita, robots, cosplay, martial arts, kimonos or whatever else. I'm not condemning any of these,  I think they are all pretty awesome and are part of what makes Japan, well, Japan. But there is so much more to this country than bizarre gimmicks. With cultural differences aside, most Japanese people are totally normal. Seriously, they have normal jobs, normal families, normal homes, a normal sense of humour and so on. I work at a few different senior high schools here, I can see that what constitutes the "cool kids" here adheres to the same criteria as it would elsewhere; its the same sporty, attractive, fashionable, confident kids as you might see in any school, anywhere else. When these kids grow up, they become normal members of Japanese society. They do not wish to hang out with the social rejects of the rest of the world. 

The reason I am writing about this is because it makes me angry. These Japanophile weirdos give the Japanese a totally warped and wrong impression of foreigners. Many Japanese people have never been abroad. Many of them, particularly those living outside of the major cities, might not have ever met a foreigner. This means that their impression of the outside world is dictated by their experiences within Japan: the portrayal of foreign countries and cultures in the media, and whatever contact they might have with foreigners they come across during their daily lives. This is why it makes me angry. So many of the foreigners, representing the outside world, living in Japan, are so disappointing.

Japan is an incredible place. Why is it that only weirdos are able to appreciate it?

3 comments:

  1. This entry is either a cleverly covert bout of self-deprecation, or astoundingly bereft of self-awareness.

    Why is it that the geekiest, most socially inept and physically repulsive people choose to come to this country? That's a good question - and one you yourself can answer. Is it because you were hardly setting the world alight in the UK socially, romantically or professionally and fancied starting fresh somewhere you're not regarded as a pitiful freak?

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    1. Your candour is to be admired. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, but you have a starting point of less than zero to 'recover' to. Not much of a convalescence, really.

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