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April 07, 2006

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Left for the future in mind is zero screen, but you never forget it

KingArthur13th

This website is amazing and I thank you. I'm a 17YO black male with great respect and love for Japan. I've actually came back from Japan a month ago and I felt the exact same way. Since most of the knowledge Japanese natives gets about the Black community is from Hip-Hop and the media which mainly shows the faults of black people I did feel the urge to try and disprove some of the stereotypes they have about black people. Later on, in my trip I did feel that I'm just one person, I can't represent an entire ethic group so eventually I simply just acted like me (which is still a good and respectful person) and didn't care about representing.

T

I'm also from DC and I'm also living and working in Japan. I live in the country-side and honestly any Gaijin will get a stare or two in these neck of the woods. Being an African-American I get the most stares and whispers. Sometimes I feel like I'm representing for Black America, but as time moves forward the more I realize that all Japanese people don't look at you or any black individual as a diplomat for an entire group of ppl. You are correct. We represent our ancestors, not everyone with the same color.

Ebony

This was really a great post and I really enjoyed reading it. I am an African American 23-year-old woman living in the countryside of Japan teaching English. I studied abroad to a different area of Japan from 2009-2010 and I know what the experience is like being African American in Japan. I do feel that Japanese people treat all foreigners the same-- Japanese are Japanese and everyone else are just "gaijin," which I cannot judge because this is how this country wishes to go about things. I will say that I do get stared at a little while longer than my other non-African American "foreign" friends here but it doesn't bother me too much.
In terms of representing all African Americans I sort of feel that I am representing all of us, just becuase I know that I may be the first black woman that Japanese people have ever met. I feel consumed with making a good impression and disproving stereotypes and it can be overwhelming at times. That's why I really enjoyed your post. I'm hoping to little by little just be myself without worrying about representing a whole people.
To be completely honest, I had the same experience at a hip-hop club in Shibuya, Tokyo but I felt like a celebrity and sort of special in that enviornment. I felt that I could be myself completely in the club and I had a blast!
All in all, I am hoping to eventually adopt your mentality and just be myself here all of the time rather than try my hardest to be what I think the Japanese people want me to be. This journey could take a while but I am willing to put my all into it. I love Japan and living here and I would encourage all African Americans to visit Japan, now more than ever.

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No offense, but i suggest admin adding a google+ button for easy share!

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