I think there is still a barrier towards foreigners. They stand out, and have a good figure. Because black people look like that, we Japanese…. think that it would be scary if they came up to us or attacked us. Hey guys it’s Cathy Cat. This time we will hit the streets of Tokyo and ask Japanese girls If they are scared of foreigners and why. So let’s go and ask Japanese girls. I went to the UK before. When I had to speak with foreigners I was nervous after all. I didn’t feel confident about my English, so I was scared to talk. In your case you weren’t scared of the other person, but of your lack of ability? – Yes. How did you overcome your fears? – By trying to talk as much as possible. Just gotta talk! – Exactly. Japanese people don’t think some things they do are racist but… From the eyes of a foreigner, some things we do might come across as racist There are many issues with racism with foreigners right? I think that’s an issue. There are politically incorrect words you are not allowed to use. But Japanese use them without knowing that. What do you get a lot? – We say a lot about people’s body attributes in Japan. In America you can’t do that. You can compliment people on their style but… Nobody is saying things about another person’s body shape and such. These things will stand out when you are in Japan. Things like saying “all people from XY country are like this or that”? – Yes. About foreigners. Well I came up to talk to you and you accepted my interview… When I suddenly came up to you, were you scared? I wasn’t scared but a little… taken aback. We were just wondering what type of shooting you were doing. We were surprised… But the questions you proposed to us were very interesting. Glad to hear that. We’re asking were you ever scared of foreigners? As child or now? Have you ever thought foreigners are scary? We have both studied abroad. We actually wanted to speak with foreigners and make friends. That’s why we decided to study English. We never thought foreigners were scary. Was there anything you were scared of before leaving Japan? I heard when traveling before that there are pickpockets and thieves abroad. I did think that that was quite scary. Maybe scared isn’t the right word. I serve with foreigners at my job sometimes. I can sometimes not tell by their expressions what they are thinking. It confuses me when they don’t show their emotions. Also rules and manners are so different. Some foreigners don’t stack their plates properly after eating. Abroad that might be normal but here in Japan it’s a bit shocking. But saying that, I might get a scary reply. So I can’t say anything. That’s a weird prejudice I have, so I often can’t say that to foreigners. What is the type of foreigner you are scared of like? To be honest, I used to be scared of black people when I was younger. But when I went on an exchange, I had the chance to speak with colored people. They were really kind and taught me a lot. It made me realize I can’t judge people by their appearances. Why did you think they looked scary? Japanese people are like that. If you walk around Harajuku and there is a black person, they will stand out. They are built very strongly too. Because black people look like that, we Japanese…. think that it would be scary if they came up to us or attacked us. I think that’s why I used to think like that. And after speaking with them? I met many kind and fun people of color during my exchange. They were different from my prejudices. Did you go together? – We did.
Where did you go? – Canada. I randomly came up to you, were you scared? Half of our students in my class are from abroad. I’m used to it. I also interact with many foreigners in my job. I have no oppositions against foreigners. Before you entered your school, were you intimidated by foreigners? I am from Aomori prefecture you see. Near our school was a US military base so there were many half Japanese kids and foreigners in my class. I wasn’t feeling any reluctance towards foreigners. I actually like English. I love foreigners. So from a young age you got used to foreigners.
– I love foreigners. I love Michael Jackson most of all. My mum was a fan, and so I listened to him from a young age… and once I realized it I was a fan. I have a large interest in foreign cultures. How about you? Were you scared? I can’t speak any English but I also have no prejudice towards foreigners. Have you never thought “That foreigner looks scary”? Not really. I wanna get along with everyone. Have you ever seen a scary looking foreigner? I am the type that goes like “oooh look at the cool foreigner.” I don’t think they look scary. Is it a stereotype that foreigners are seen as scary? Well but true. Normal Japanese people who don’t have any exposure to foreigners… for these people it might be hard. There is a still a wall for foreigners in Japan. I go every day to Shinjuku to my school. There are a lot of foreigners now, and chances to speak with them. And many are at my school. We also have lectures by foreign teachers, with a interpreter translating for us. That sounds very international. Some people are scared of foreigners, some are not, once you get to meet them. It is a thing because many people don’t have any exposure to foreigners It’s starting to mix up but some people will never meet a foreigner until they go to universtity. Even a person like me, people sometimes think that I am scary. I had a couple of cases when I dress like this, you’ve seen me dress like this and I had like kids looking like “Aww she so pretty” and mothers pulling their kids away. From the scary foreigner apparently, I don’t know why. I sat on the train and an old woman protected her handbag from me and i was like… I am so VISUAL, I am not gonna sneakily steal your handbag. I don’t know why she did that. And I get quite a lot of people when I come up to them and go “Hey can I interview you?” They go like “Uh! You shocked me! Oh so scary” and then they just walk back And I’m like “but…. but…..” I don’t know. There are people like that, but there are also a couple of people who are not like that. It really depends on who you meet. There is sometimes a little bit of a prejudice with foreigners here in Japan That’s either induced by either the LACK of meeting foreigner or by seeing foreigners being represented in the wrong kind of light in the Japanese media. Sometimes in some shows they are made fun of, they are kind of expressed as “wild” or “crazy” That kind of thing. If people never had the chance to compare it to real life foreigners they will get their first opinion shaped by that unfortunately. But as we have seen, quite a lot of people could change their opinions after they met foreigners. So the general tip I would give you guys… and that’s the way I try to live by is Be your best self here, when you come to Japan. Meaning… Listen to the rules, and mind your manners. Try to actually follow those rules and manners when you come here to Japan. So you are not the odd one standing out. If you make yourself look bad, for example you’re littering and similar things like that, people will see you and think all foreigners are like that. So try to be the best version of yourself. Leave a good impression, so people will have more positive opinions about foreigners coming here to Japan. I hope you agree with that. On that note we have done a couple of videos about rules here in Japan that you should maybe have a look at before you come. Also we’ve done a couple of videos about learning Japanese on the Ask Japanese channel as well in case you wanna strike up a conversation with the Japanese locals. So you don’t get ignored by the Japanese ladies. We wanna make friends right? I hope you enjoyed this video. If you found this helpful don’t forget to subscribe and leave a big like on the way out. I catch you soon for more stuff here from Tokyo with Ask Japanese, bye.