Let me say from the start that I support Debito Arudou. Sometimes I feel like he is a blunt instrument, a noisy cavalry charge, but he fights for the side of right with a rare fury. I will continue by saying that complaining is the first step in Democracy. Complaining is valuable. I am not saying that he is in this piece. I am just throwing it out there. I thought that this article was very well stated. I have felt this way about the topic of bullying in Japan. Bullying is now a major issue, so we, as teachers, are not allowed to label anything bullying. Make sense? Most people in Japan will tell you that there is no discrimination in Japan today. There isn't because there are no "colored" restrooms or anything else classified as discrimination. Of course, when I called about a new apartment a few days ago I was asked for my phone number and what country I was from. It would be legal to refuse me of a house over my nationality by the way.
I am glad Arudou points out the bit about being "shy." I really get sick of that garbage. Lots of offensive, unacceptable conduct is written off in Japan as acting "shy" or being "cute." I am over it at this point but I can't coun the amount of times that a kid has yelled "You have blue eyes, I'm scared!" And the adults around giggle at the sweetness. I met Natsuki's grandmother a few months ago and she, being 94, said, "Too bad you guys aren't from the same country." I mentioned it later and was told, "I know, she's so cute." It really doesn't bother me so much, but it some level I feel like it should. It would if my grandmother said it.
Anyway, I am loosing track. Read the article.