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内容摘要:Are overseas born ethnic Japanese not considered Japanese in Japan?海外出生的日本人在日本不被认为是日本人吗?5 AnswersDon Murray, 10+ Year Expat; 35 Year Japanop...
Are overseas born ethnic Japanese not considered Japanese in Japan?



5 Answers
Don Murray, 10+ Year Expat; 35 Year Japanophile
Answered May 15, 2016
This is actually a big gray zone for Japanese, and behaviors can vary. Legally you may be a Japanese citizen - but that doesn’t mean that you will be treated as such when you return to Japan. You have to speak, act, and think as all the other Japanese do. If you show some streak of independence, or some ability to behave outside of the Groupthink, you could be branded an outsider. Likewise if a number of Japanese think that your English (or other language) ability is “too good”.


This is not limited with people born outside Japan - there are a number of people who have grown up or spent some years outside of Japan due to a parent’s job assignment, etc., then return home to Japan (called kikoku shijo, 帰国子女) and then have to re-assimilate into Japanese culture. For some, being shoehorned into an education system based on rote memorization and little critical analysis, it can be quite stifling and oppressive. Severe bullying is not at all uncommon if you stand out in any way. In Japanese culture you will see a very strong envy complex (urami) and society has been described as everyone sitting at a round table, looking at everyone else and seeing if there is anything “unfair”.

这不只限于在日本以外出生的人,很多人因为父母的工作原因在国外长大或在外面待了很多年也会出现这种情况。他们归国后不得不再花费时间融入日本文化。一些人会被钉在死记硬背的教育体系中,很少能有批判性的分析,这可能是相当令人窒息和压抑的。  如果你以任何方式显现出与众不同的特质都会导致严重的欺凌。你在日本文化中会看到一种非常强烈的嫉妒情结(Urami),在这个社会中每个人都必须完全同步。 布尔,你会时常看着其他人,看是否有什么“不公平”的事情发生。

If you look like a foreigner in Japan, then you are treated like one. It’s that simple. Doesn't matter how well you speak Japanese or know the customs.
If you look like the Japanese enough but don't know the language or customs enough to pass yourself off as one, you will get by only as so far as you don't speak to anyone or by social interactions show that you are not.


If you look Japanese enough and know enough language and customs to pass yourself off as one, you can get by until sooner of later you are found out as not Japanese (employer background checks, etc).

即使你看起来是个十足的日本人,并且懂得足够多的语言和当地风俗习惯好完美的伪装成日本人 ,但总有一天当地的户籍调查也会让你原形毕露,被发现不是真正的日本人(雇主背景调查等等)。

Then it gets more hazy where some more progressive Japanese don't care and treat you as an equal, and the more uptight conservative ones will make it as issue and start treating you differently.


David Sodeyama, Get surprised that I'm not from Japan a lot in Japan
Answered May 14, 2016
I'm assuming we're going past the spoken, written and body language barriers (meaning they wouldn't be able to tell by accent,  etc.) because if you can't do that, you are not going to be considered Japanese.
It depends on how aculterated to the current Japanese culture the person is. There are some parts of the world where there are enough Japanese recent immigrants in the community that it's easy to keep recent with what's going on in Japan.  Especially because of the Internet, this has become easier and easier to


However, if they become more assimilated to the culture of their residency and lose touch, then they are considered "of Japanese descent but not really Japanese."
The ironic thing is that for example, Japanese Americans kept a lot of the cultural practices of the previous generations, to the point when someone wants to learn Japanese practices of the past, they study Japanese Americans and how they behave.


Also, for some Japanese, you can be born, raised and lived in Japan all of your life but because of your past heritage, you still are not Japanese. This is a really stupidly us vs them part of Japanese culture.


Takayuki Karahashi
Answered May 14, 2016
If your parents are Japanese, but you were born in a foreign country and you return to Japan, you are not an immigrant. You’re Japanese.
But if your parents immigrated to Brazil, and you were born in Brazil as a Brazilian citizen, you are Brazilian. You have Japanese ancestry, so you are eligible for a Japanese ancestry visa if your grandparents were Japanese citizens. But you’re Brazilian, and there’s really no conundrum about it.


What you may not know is how competitive Japanese society is. You have to get good grades in school and pass the exams to get into the better and more prestigious school, so you would get the job at the more prestigious—more importantly, higher pay—corporation or qualify for a career track national government job instead of becoming a municipal civil servant. If you grew up in a foreign country and didn’t go through the same competitive rat race as your peers and expect to receive the same treatment in the work force, no you’re not getting that. That’s really the gist of “Are you not considered Japanese if you didn’t grow up in Japan?” It starts off as something as basic as, “Can you write a simple business email in Japanese?”


Alvin Hovasapian, I visit Japan very often and traveled extensively within the country
Answered May 14, 2016
Are overseas born ethnic Japanese not considered Japanese in Japan?
No, “overseas” born Japanese are not considered Japanese in Japan. At least that’s been my overwhelming experience. In fact, most Japanese people I know, including my wife, differentiate between “Japanese” and “Japanese American.”
Also, one doesn’t have to be born “overseas” to no longer be considered Japanese. I’ve heard stories of a Japanese person living in another country and going back to Japan after a prolonged time to find out that they are considered as a foreigner。


This is very different compared to many other nationalities. For example, I’ve known many second or third generation Chinese Americans who consider themselves to be Chinese who just happen to have US passports.
I can see benefits of both styles so I am not making any judgements here.


Johnny Smith, lives in Japan
Answered May 21, 2016
If you don't act like a typical Japanese, they will likely sense it and start treating you differently. Or even if you were very “Japanese”, only mentioning the fact that you were born in a different country will somehow make you different from the more “pure” Japanese who were born and raised in Japan and never left the country, even if there’s no real difference between the two. Not everyone does this, if they are more liberal and progressive then they will not likely care all that much, but many still do.






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