Tokyo Tidbits

Since it’s the New Year, I thought I would do a bit of housekeeping and I went through all of my photos that were taken in isolation and did not warrant an entire blog post to themselves. I thought this would be a good chance to let them have their day.

Just something I thought about the other day. The Japanese have a habit of calling foreigners ‘Gaijin’, which roughly translates as ‘outsider’ or ‘foreigner’. Over time it seems to have taken on a rather tame acidity, eventually becoming a term that is perfectly acceptable in polite conversation. Some foreigners even propagate the term themselves, no doubt to cover the rather depressing fact for those that are married and have a Japanese residency that this is all they will ever be seen as. Wear your shame as a badge of honour…etc.

The other day I was in a shop with my wife and she forgot her change. As she was leaving the shop, the lady behind the counter shouted – with absolutely no malice: ‘Gaijin-san!’ to get her attention.

I just want you to think about how this situation would seem in Britain or America.

‘Excuse me foreigner! You forgot your change.’

I’ll leave it for you to decide whether it is something cultural, or a lagging behind the times.




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