A new survey conducted by the Japanese government found that nearly half of female temp workers faced discrimination as a result of being or becoming pregnant while in employment.
“All Asian people look alike” is something that many Westerners are bound to have heard at some point in their lives. While some people argue that such a statement is an example of racial discrimination, one man is out to challenge the view by arguing that not being able to tell people of certain ethnicities apart is not equivalent to being a racist.
British YouTuber GradeAUnderA recently posted a cheeky video titled Racism Test–See How Racist You Really Are!, which has already spread around the world during its short existence. In the video, he attempts to call out people who are hypersensitive to racism by daring his viewers to pass a five-round quiz in which they have to identify the ethnicity, vocation, and so on of certain people based solely on their outer appearances. Many Japanese net users have so far found the quiz to be extremely difficult–how will you fare?
Jason Atsugiri is currently one of the hottest comedians on Japanese television. His “Why Japanese people?!” skit is so popular even kids who have zero English skills have mastered imitating his staged outbursts.
Because of that, when the comic tweeted about a possibly discriminatory remark he received at Tsukiji Fish Market during a shoot, Japanese netizens were surprised to see he didn’t lose his cool. Impressed, the post has been favorited and passed on by many, inspiring a much-welcomed discussion on how not to treat foreigners.
For many young people in Japan, August means summer vacation, festivals and free time. For fourth-year university students however, it means time to start interviewing for jobs. The job-hunting process in Japan is long, grueling and very systematic, culminating in interview after interview for the jobless, soon-to-graduate, young adults.
Interviews can be nerve-wracking for even the most experienced candidates, but Japanese companies don’t always ask the most predictable questions. In fact, some of their questions can be downright weird. Many of these oddball interview questions, however, may not actually be legal.
Back in April we saw legendary Japanese singer Gackt face discrimination while abroad in France. He managed to handle a frustrating situation with class, and his incident sparked a conversation online about racial discrimination.
Emiko Kaminuma, a well-known Japanese media personality, found herself in a similar spot while in France. She faced discrimination in a Paris restaurant, and she has been making a huge deal about it on her TV shows. However, her story seems to be a little different from Gackt’s….
There’s a reason I don’t write for the Washington Post. Actually, there are about a thousand reasons, almost all of which pertain to my own ineptness. Another one these reasons is that I occasionally write some embarrassing joke that gets completely misunderstood and blows up in my face.
So, I can relate on some level to the Washington Post’s writer and Tokyo bureau chief Anna Fifield. Her tweet, which jokingly translated a customer request sign as “Don’t bring your dirty Korean beer in here,” has led to some considerably harsh feedback from Japanese Twitter users.
Singer, musician and occasional actor/author/jack of all trades Gackt has had a long and successful career on the Japanese music scene, and also enjoys considerable popularity abroad. During an overseas trip recently, he encountered an unsettling example of what he claims to be blatant racial discrimination in a Parisian hotel. But just what happened?
In the wake of the protests in the US over the controversial Ferguson decision and subsequently President Obama’s unfortunate choice of words galvanizing anti-immigration sentiments in Japan, the Chinese are facing a racism scandal of their own, but this time by their own people.
A Beijing store recently came under fire when they hung a sign outside of their shop proclaiming: “Chinese not admitted. Staff excluded.” Just so we’re clear, this is in China.
Japan seems to have a worldwide reputation for cute skirted uniforms loved by all ages and genders. However, Taiwan seems to have embraced the style with an unbridled enthusiasm. One only needs to look towards Taiwan’s highly organized school uniform map and subsequent online vote for the cutest uniform in the country.
Now, Taiwanese media outlets are sounding the alarm that the days of uniforms with skirts are numbered. In some cases predictions are being made which say that all uniforms containing skirts may disappear from Taiwan within the next three years.
China’s World Metropolis Center (WMC) has become the center of controversy recently over their decision to lay out 10 parking spaces intended for women only. As a result, what we assume was a well-intentioned gesture by the shopping center has seemed to upset some people online drawing cries of discrimination. On the other hand, visitors to the mall seemed pleased with the initiative.
Many of us have an impression that Japanese girls are slim and petite (which many of them really are), but one of the sad truths behind their stick-thin figures is a rather serious case of discrimination from society. While voluptuous women are popular in certain parts of the world, being even slightly chubby (not obese) is a big no-no in Japan and chubby girls often get called “debu” (fatso) online and sometimes to their face.
But recently, a new nickname for such chubby ladies has started trending among Japanese netizens, which hopefully will change the attitudes people have towards them. Behold, the rise of the “marshmallow girls”!
Much ink has been spilled about the supposed homogeneity of Japan and the dangerous idea of racial purity that goes along with it. Some expats have made entire careers writing — or ranting — about the problems of discrimination in Japan. And yet, the number of foreign residents has more than doubled in the last 20 years and international marriages in the country have been steadily rising, so it can’t be all that hostile either.
So how racist is Japan, really? Here’s my take—admittedly only one perspective—on where things stand.
From women-only seats in libraries to female-only university cafes, it would seem that women get a lot of preferential treatment in Japan. Whether it be a restaurant with “ladies’ courses” on the menu or cinemas offering “ladies’ day” discounts, it is difficult to ignore the abundance of cheap deals or special services on offer to women. On the one hand, it all serves to help the struggling Japanese economy, but a lot of men can’t help but feel that they’re being a little discriminated against.
There are few experiences less fun than going through a job interview. That 30 minute walk across eggshells as someone combs through your life story is an exhausting ordeal for many people. One mistaken gesture or misspoken answer can bring your future plans crashing down around you.
Even if you don’t do anything wrong, who knows what kind of prejudices the interviewer may have. Maybe they don’t like the way you comb your hair or your Mötley Crüe face tattoo.
As unfair as those things are, one student looking for work in China recently came across a more heinous form of workplace discrimination – ant-iPhonetism.