Q&A: “What do you think about the treatment of black people specifically in Japan?
Hi, I’m also a black agender person from the states. What do you think about the treatment of black people specifically in Japan?
hmm…. i’m finding this question really hard to answer because it’s so…. vague? and open-ended? hmm…
i could respond to this with a really long winded answer, but i’m tired and should be in bed, so i’ll give you an abbreviated one!
while Japan in has internalized antiblackness issues just like anywhere else, i don’t think that Japan (as a whole) treats black people any specific way. there are people who fetishize or idolize black (specifically black American) culture / music / people… these people are really fucking annoying to run into, but for the most part people are respectful and curious in a healthy way.
aside from the aforementioned fetishists, i’d say the most troublesome thing that a black person encounters in Japan that is specific to being black is Japan’s utter ignorance when it comes to anything related to being black. Japan’s awareness and understanding of black people is almost entirely derived from US media, which itself is obviously not free of problems. on top of that, while America’s awareness of racial issues has progressed, Japan’s has not. once problematic things are imported via the media, it takes much longer for Japan to unlearn those things. Japan is still learning that blackface is not okay, for example.
Japan’s a nice place to live overall. you get used to all eyes being on you the second you enter a room, standing out like a sore thumb even among a crowd of foreigners, getting your hair randomly groped by strangers, etc. at least i’m not living in a country where i have to worry about cops murdering me. 🙂
no, but seriously. life in Japan isn’t bad at all. i wouldn’t have come back to Japan after having left if i didn’t like living here.