Sunday, September 19, 2004

Coco in Tokyo

Just reading this blog by a girl who grew up in Canada, but is Japanese and now living in Tokyo. Her entry describes something who encounter quite a lot here, the notion among many that if you have lived outside of Japan for a time and then come back, you are not quite the real deal anymore:

Being returnee is often considered as plus. Language, perspective or etc. but actually in Japan, returnee is not treated as 100% Japanese. We returnees are called "Gaijin" (means foreigner) often. When I can not read some Kanji, when me and someone Japanese have different opinion, when I tell Japanese I rarely have miso soup or not owning rice cooker, they say "you are returnee/gaijin". However there are many Japanese who can't read Kanji, have different opinion or not like miso soup or steamed white rice, only people who have 100% Japanese parents and born in/grown up in Japanese are treated as Japanese. Many of Japanese people refuse mutual understanding with returnee. It is sad. or is it only happening to me?
On the other hand, the country I was born Canada is not my country either. However I still keep Canadian citizenship, I am a foreigner there. I'm Japanese in overseas, I am not Japanese in Japan. I am foreigner in everywhere. Permanent solitude.

I have been here over three years altogether now, so I am quite used to the feeling of always being a foreigner, always being "visible". But some people hate it a lot more than I do. I suspect those are the people who don't stay here very long. But being from here and feeling like that might be tough.

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