You describe often having an empty seat next to you on the train — no matter how crowded it is — as few people want to sit next to you. It’s even captured in the cover illustration of your first book. Tell us how you deal with that.
Making peace with such behavior requires either a diminishing of the culprit’s inviolable humanity, or your own. Neither is acceptable to me. I’ve written about it extensively, for the empty-seat phenomenon permeates virtually every aspect of the conspicuous non-Japanese person’s life. It manifests itself on trains, buses, cafes, even walking down the street. But mostly I manage my feelings about it by raising awareness of its problematic nature.
There have also been blackface incidents in Japan.
An aging doo-wop group, which claims to pay homage to black people and music by dressing up in old Motown-like get-ups, Afros and blackface, was going to perform a minstrel show on Fuji TV, a national network.
I spearheaded a campaign to get the producers and sponsors to reconsider doing so. Not because it was racist, but because the world is now watching Japanese media in real time and the world will label Japan an ignorant or racist country if this kind of thing continues unchecked. The petition caused the segment to be canceled. But the decision to alter the programming in response to a protest and petition signed by Japanese people was not even mentioned in Japanese papers or newscasts.
Many Japanese aren’t aware of the history of blackface in America, nor the origins of its use in Japan (Japanese learned blackface from racist Americans). They operate under the belief that since Japan does not have the same history of slavery and oppression against black people, that their use of blackface should not be viewed as racist or offensive. In fact, many feel it’s their way of showing respect for black peoples and cultures.
Has Naomi Osaka’s rise to stardom been a turning point for how Japanese view hafus (mixed-race people)?
I don’t think her ascension has had much of an impact on how Japanese view biracial Japanese. I think most see a cute biracial Japanese girl. However, the pushback against the whitewashing or makeover of her image by Nissin, one of the world’s largest instant-noodle companies, has generated public discussion about why such a thing was done. That may lead to discussions of the challenges that face Japan’s growing number of mixed-race couples and their offspring.
出典:What It’s Like to Be a Black Man in Japan
1.Do you have foreign or HAFU friends?
What do you think about them?
2.Would you like to have a HAFU children? Why? Why not?
3.Have you seen blackfaces problem?
What do you think about blackfaces problem?
4.What do you think about the commercial of Nisshin?