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Monday, July 9, 2018

Asian Boss: Foreigner's Perspective on Japan

Asian Boss is a Youtube channel that talks about topics in Asian cultures, most notably Japan, South Korea, and China. They talk about all kinds of topics, even sensitive ones such as current events. Their recent video talks about how foreigners felt when they are discriminated against when they are in Japan. One part of me is really happy about it because they can describe their events and how they reacted to it. Another part of me is kinda annoyed by the comment section of the video, and how there are those few people that would say Japanese people don't discriminate against white foreigners and things like that.

I watched the video and it was really nice. Foreigners from different parts of the world talk about their stories. The Indian dude was really informative on his stories, and it was really impressive for me that he was super knowledgeable about the culture. After watching the video, I do want to talk about Japanese people and foreigners, and how they should know about each other's perspective when it comes to discrimination.

To the foreigners: Think about it from a Japanese perspective. You've always seen every single person that has the same nationality you had, but seeing someone from a different country, race, ethnicity, and/or skin color is really new and scary. Or, you had a bad incident with a particular country, race, ethnicity, and/or skin color, and you thought everyone with those same requirements would do bad things or something like that. Because of that, many Japanese people are quite scared and super defensive when seeing foreigners. Majority of the times, they're not really racist. They either haven't seen a particular foreigner (or foreigners in general) before or they had a bad experience with one.

For example, one of my Japanese lady friends had a bad experience with an Indian male because he was stalking her online. So, after that incident, she doesn't want to talk to any Indian males. It's not that she's racist, she doesn't want to have that same incident to happen again.

While yes, being a foreigner does has it good props sometimes, but it doesn't mean everything in Japan will be good. There will be some bad in Japan, but it's mainly how for the Japanese people they are either not really used to seeing foreigners or they had bad experiences with foreigners.

To the Japanese: Think about it from a foreigner's perspective. You're going to a foreign country that you always dreamed of going for almost your entire life, but you've been discriminated because of the color of your skin, the nationality,... just anything that is not "normal" in Japan. Sometimes you felt lonely and abandoned because of your nationality and the color of your skin. No matter if you followed the rules, speak Japanese, or even change your home nationality to Japanese,... In Japan's eyes, you're always a foreigner.

It's one of those situations when there's no such thing as who's right or who's wrong. It's all about compromise and coming together. To both Japanese and foreigners, I do wish that the problems dealing with discrimination will end soon.

One more thing I want to say about not the lesson, but the video itself. Africa is a continent, not a country! If you said South Africa, then it'll make more sense. It's the middle of 2018 and people still say that Africa is a country...

Kampai,
Jay Nakamura


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnZv0a-UcfE&t=0s

Monday, July 2, 2018

FIFA World Cup Review of Japan

It was sad for the Japan team to be eliminated in a comeback (being in the bad end). However, it does give not just me, but almost everyone in Japan a large amount of confidence because of their memorable run in the World Cup. From the first goal of the first game by Shinji Kagawa to the amazing knuckle shot from Genki Haraguchi, Japan was mainly one of the most popular underdogs in the World Cup.

While yes, the controversial last game of their style of play in the final 15 minutes and them proceeding to the knockout rounds from "fair-play" rules and regulations as their biggest drawbacks, their memorable run does touch a lot of hearts from around the world. I've watched almost all four of their games to every second (the third game I missed half because of summer school...), and I was completely satisfied with every single second I've watched the team.

But to let the dream run come crashing down by the game-winning goal by Belgium in literally 5 seconds of the game, that was super heartbreaking... When I saw some of the players collapsed into the pitch, it was a more happy moment than a sad one. The reason is they shown a lot of passion and drive to keep going no matter the odds.

Finally, Japan not only shows the world they can compete against the world-class, but Asian countries in general. With Japan memorable run and South Korea's upset victory over Germany, it shows soccer powerhouses that Asian countries might have an opportunity for a bigger surprise in the next World Cup.

Congrats Japan, 
Jay Nakamura

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Yasuke The Black Samurai

When I was learning about Japanese culture (while trying to get my basic Japanese language out of the way), I stumbled upon an article that was somewhat shocking to me. For many people, Japan has a long history as being one of the few countries in the world that is homogeneous with about 95-97 of people in Japan are Japanese. However, this historical fact caught my attention. It was talking about Yasuke, not Sasuke from Naruto anime series.

For people that don't know, Yasuke was a samurai that served alongside Oda Nobunaga for about a year-ish. While you guys were wondering what is really good about him, he's probably an average samurai or something like that. Well, the shocking part is this: Yasuke is actually 100% African. In the 16th century, Portuguese sailors were the first European foreigners to land in Japan, and at that time, slavery was kinda in the norm. One of the slaves was taken to Japan eventually rose into the ranks to become a samurai, and was now known as Yasuke. I honestly don't know what's his actual name was before changing it...

Yasuke The First Black SamuraiLord Oda Nobunaga was interested in learning about different cultures outside of Japan, especially European culture. He became so interested, he built a European church in Kyoto. When Yasuke was presented to Nobunaga, he described him as a tall youthful African male that has "a strength surpassed that of ten men" and has the height of more than six feet (which is taller than most Japanese males at that time). So the stereotype of black guys being athletically strong, a lot longer in history than expected.

Because Japanese people had never seen African people at that timespan, Nobunaga believed that he was a Japanese male that was drenched in black ink. So, Yasuke was ordered to strip his clothes and take a bath to "get the ink out." Despite learning little Japanese, Nobunaga became close to Yasuke. After his time being a samurai, he was awarded a home, a large sum of money, and a katana. He went from being property in Portugal to a member of the Japanese first class.

However, his first class ended prematurely because of Nobunaga successfully execute seppuku (which is using a katana and slicing your stomach to let all of your organs flew out of the body. It's like Feudal Japan's version of committing suicide). After Nobunaga's death, Yasuke dodged death and was sent back to Portugal since he's not Japanese.

Despite his impact in Japanese history at the time, there was actually little information about him. Some historians believed he's from Mozambique before being taken to Japan. At that time, his master was spreading Christianity to Asian culture. If accurate, Yasuke is actually one of the first Africans ever recorded in Japan.

Yasuke: The Black Samurai Who Took Feudal Japan By Storm

Banzai,
Jay Nakamura

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Japan's Upset Victory

I woke up at a little over 6am to watch the game between Japan and Columbia, and might I say it was worth every single second!! From the first second to the final whistle, I watched every single second supporting Japan. For those of you that don't know, Japan won against Columbia (the team they lost badly to in the 2014 World Cup) 2-1 in an amazing fashion. With Kagawa's penalty kick and Osako's winning header, Japan basically shocked the world. Before the win or even the match started, many Japanese people on Hellotalk, Facebook, and any other social media didn't have any confidence in their national team. They would choose anyone else but Japan, and it was really sad and shocking for me to hear that. I had full faith and support for Japan even though a lot of Japanese people didn't, and now look at them. Making one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history, and at a really good time. Because Osaka had suffered a huge earthquake a couple of days ago, and a lot of Japanese people are torn down mentally because of it. 

The happiest moment of this is my best friend from Tokyo just sent me Snapchat videos of her television. On the television, a ton of Japanese people is crowding around the Shibuya crossing celebrating the win, and seeing a ton of smiling faces. It basically shows that this upset victory had raised a lot of confidence for not just the Japanese national team but for the country as a whole. I hope that Japan will keep their miraculous journey!

Banzai,
Jay Nakamura

Friday, June 15, 2018

Excuse My Absence

It has been a while since I had posted something here and I have a really "decent" reason for my long absence. Majority of my reason is academics. I had final exams in May, and I shockingly passed all my classes (despite me failing all of my exams in statistics classes I was surprised that I passed it with a C). Then, I had to prepare for the summer semester with just one class, and I had to get comfortable with the workload. Other than that, I was relaxing from that hectic spring semester and forgot to get back on track for it.

I will get back into posting more sometime today or Monday.

遅延を許してください! (Please excuse my absence!)

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Iniesta Coming to Japan

Iniesta, the genius "eyes-front" dribbler in football right now, is coming to the Land of the Rising Sun. Today, he signed a three-year contract to play with Vissel Kobe. I was really surprised from that because China is mostly known for getting popular (yet almost retired) professional footballers to their Chinese Super League for a large amount of money. So for him to go to Japan was a real surprise.

However, I believed that it'll be a trend for the J. League. The MLS has done the same thing: bringing world-class footballers that are close to retirement to the MLS so they can have exposure to players that had play for the top European leagues for almost all of their careers.

Overall, I wanted to say congrats to Vissel Kobe for getting an extremely good player and I wish Iniesta the best of luck in the J. League.

Let's play soccer,
Jay Nakamura


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Nobita's New (and somewhat Controversial) Video

A couple of days ago, I was watching YouTube about Justin Bieber playing soccer (don't ask why) and I saw a recommended video on the Japanese Youtube channel called Find Your Love In Japan. I was subscribed to it because it had given out some decent information about Japanese society in general with controversial topics. Majority of the controversial topics that Nobita (the Japanese guy in the channel) was dealing with racism in America, Japan, or anywhere in the West, and interracial romance. 

That being said, he released a new video called "The Black People May Be DANGEROUS for Japan". Now, I've seen his videos from time to time and he didn't really mean to make it a huge big deal, but the title... needs to get a little more work... However, in the comments section, the description box, and in the video, he explains that he's not talking about ALL black people in general. He doesn't mind black people coming to Japan, it's mainly the black supremacists, BLM, or blacks that are ignorant about the country won't be allowed in Japan. 

Now, knowing him, I can understand in his perspective. I can understand that there is still racism going on in the world and blacks are still being seen as below the human race (or something like that), but the majority of the time, it's mainly the black people's fault for their problems. The high crime rate, the low academic scores, the constant bickering and disrespect to authority, and the ignorance about the world around them was mainly their biggest reasons that they are not really taken seriously. As a result, the majority of black-on-black crimes happen on a daily basis, black people not graduating from high school or college, constant police interactions that are deemed "unnecessary", and the world just knowing the stereotypical black person as a "thug" or a "criminal".

Plus, fighting back racism and bigotry with racism is an unfair way of saying fighting fire with fire.  Trying to combat racism with systematic racism will not solve any of their problems because it's not making the racism situation a lot worse, it makes the other races lower downs their expectations of black people.

In all honesty, for me, I don't support Black Lives Matter at all! The reason that I don't support them is that the stuff they are protesting that is "racist against black people" are stuff that's basically common sense that the people cannot do. For example, when the Japanese comedian made a "blackface" and pretends to be Eddie Murphy, almost all of them would be offended because "the Japanese people are making fun of black people" while in reality there was nothing offensive about them being Eddie Murphy. I would of literally laugh at it because it was kinda funny when I think about it.

Another example was this: I was in Yokohama at the time and Nobita talked about these two black guys that shockingly lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (30 minutes from my hometown) and they were dancing in the Tokyo streets which is prohibited, grabbing live lobsters (which is prohibited), and even "playfully" kidnapped a small Japanese girl in front of her mother. Now, the people in BLM would mainly say They are young people doing stupid things, so it's OK. Now... I wanna say this: Who in the right mind would let that slide or think that it is funny for doing those types of things in a foreign country, especially when they are kidnapping a Japanese girl? 

Yeah, I can understand that racism is still a big deal, but at the same time, the black community (especially the youth) should actually make a change to their behaviors and try their best to at least solve their problems before actually combating racism of other races. That's just my opinion and my recommendation.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Avicii's Death

I know...I am pretty shocked myself as well...

To hear a news article about a person that made SO much change into the world dies at a young age, it's super depressing, shocking, and just overall sad. So Avicii is one of those young people that made a change in the world that a very little people could do at that age. For people that do not know about him, Avicii (real name is Tim Bergling) was a world-renowned DJ and musician from Sweden that is loved from around the world because of his music. He had received a lot of accomplishments and fame that a very little people his age could do, or even come close to it. Avicii was (to me) known as one of the very first DJs to revolutionize electronic dance music (EDM) and make it into world-stage performances.

Image result for aviciiMillions and even billions of people heard some of his songs and fell in love with his music. I was also was in the hype. I was mainly 17 years old when I first heard of him and the first song that I heard was "Wake Me Up". While I was not a really big fan of the music video (which has about 1.4 billion views now on YouTube) , the actual song I really adore and it made me listen to his other songs such as "Hey Brother," "Waiting for Love," "Levels," and "I Could Be The One". Not only that, Avicii was one of the few DJs and musicians that made me interested in EDM altogether. Now, even though I had not heard much of his songs recently, I still have it in my phone and computer so I can hear it here and there.

Now, today's news told us that our beloved "grandfather of EDM" had died shockingly in Oman. It was about 2 or 3pm at the time I heard about it. I was at work and I was just lazing around and checking on my laptop since I didn't have work and I was about to leave in a hour. When I went to Yahoo!, the first thing I saw was "Avicii dies". Immediately, my jaw dropped onto the floor and I was speechless. At first, I thought "It's gotta be fake news. Yahoo is just playing with us" and stuff like that, so I went to Google and search his name on the search bar. There, I read some Twitter tweets from Zedd, Martin Garrix, Dillon Francis, David Guetta saying how they was sad that he died and gave condolence to his family. Then, I realized "S***, he's actually dead!"

When I got onto HelloTalk, there were a lot of Japanese people that posted moments saying they was shocked and sadden that Avicii died and they still remember some of his hit songs. Now reading those moments made me think that Avicii is one of those handful of people that can make the world united as one. Because of his death, the world had become united and remembered the death of one amazing and successful human being.

Overall, his presence in the world made it a better place for people to be in and it's one of those notable sayings that music can touch people's hearts no matter where they are in the world and can united the human race as one.

RIP Avicii,
Jay Nakamura

Friday, April 13, 2018

Racist Incident

So I honestly didn't want to talk about race in anything. Whether it is racism in Japan, America, UK, or in Mars (for some reason)... The biggest reason that I didn't want to talk about race is that it's one of the most complex controversial topics right now because some people cannot actually sit down and talk about it like normal and mature human beings. It's mostly half and half. Half of people think that racism is really important to take down and need to take seriously but half of people said racism should get some laughter and something like that. So, even thought I don't want to talk about it because there will be people that are going to choose sides, let's begin talking about my incident and racism in general.

It was on April 10th, and I was doing some homework that I didn't finish because I was procrastinating (as a usual college student). While I was taking a break from doing my homework, I was in a LINE group chat with different Japanese users (and yes I was the only foreigner in the group). In all honesty, even though I have been in that group for about a month, I didn't know anyone in the group personally. There are times that I do talk in the group and there are times that I don't. So, one Japanese user was curious about me all of a sudden. He saw a recent picture of me and my best friend (Japanese woman) together when I was in Japan, and asked "Which one is you?" in Japanese. At first, I thought they might be playing an innocent joke on me or something and I was kinda playing along. So I told him that I was on the right! Then a couple of minutes later, he sent the same picture of me and my best friend but he colored her face black and made a face to it. Then, he asked "Which one is you now? LOL" I was really surprised by not only the "blackening my best friend's face" but everyone was laughing at it. I asked myself Why are they painting my friend's face black? So, I just ignored that and brushed it to the side.

Then, 5 minutes later, they was zooming in on my face and called me dirty in Japanese. With comments such as "So dirty LOL" or "use palate cleanser" and stuff like that. I was getting more uncomfortable at that time up to the point that I leaved the group because it was just a weird feeling in my chest. One of the group members invited me back, and I thought Oh, I guess they was trying to apologize. Boy, I was so wrong. So, I got back in the group and they again zoomed into my face and kept saying comments like how dirty I am or something like that. It's like they don't see acne before. Like come on people, it's f***ing normal to have acne.

While they was making comments and just talking among themselves, there was a sentence that I didn't recognize by one of the Japanese users and I translated it in Google Translate. It was おい、奴隷(笑)(Oi, dorei=> hey, slave), and I was pissed and uncomfortable at the same time and I left the group. It was super disturbing for me that I had a first ever racial incident because it never happened to me before.

Now I know what some of you guys are thinking. You guys might say Jay, they might be kidding and they don't mean any harm. They just want to make small jokes. I can totally understand. I really like dark humor and humor dealing with racism because we need to at least laugh at it from time to time, but there's a clear f***ing difference between something that is dark humor and something that is straight-up offensive, and those comments they gave me are straight-up offensive with no humor whatsoever. Plus, I can understand racial jokes and I do laugh at it, but again,... There's a clear f***ing difference between a stranger telling me those comments and my close friends (or semi-close friends) telling me those comments. With my close friends, I know they are joking and didn't mean any harm, but with those users that I don't know at all, it's not funny. It was never funny in the first place because I literally don't know who you are.

Majority of the time, when it comes to racism, the Japanese people are mostly innocent because they are not really used to foreigners being in the country and they're complacent in their own country. So, I just brush that to the side and at least give them the benefit of the doubt. However, this is one of those times I can't brush that to the side and I must be serious about the situation.

And don't say stuff like OMG Jay, don't get too work up about it. They're young! This "young" excuse thing doesn't work anymore because all of them are the same age as me. Knowing that, there was not one person that think Huh! Maybe the stuff we said are messed up! I should stop them! Not one person stopped the laughter, not one person stand up for me, and not one person even apologized to me for their behavior. So, why should I feel sorry for them?

And they even have the nerve to blame me for leaving the group. I'm like Why I want to stay in a group where the people laughed at the racist comments towards me and painted my best friend's face black and made a face to it? My best friend having a "blackface" was the worst part of it all because she was one of the most important people I have in my life, and for those that are making a "blackface" on her is completely unforgivable.

Despite that, I still love Japan and the Japanese people, and I am not going to let that racial incident determine my passion for the country and its people. I am not going to lie! I am going to have more incidents like those when I am in Japan or in any other country, but I do need to know how to react to it positively.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

What's it Like Being Autistic: Romance

Romance is the hardest thing that I can handle as an autistic person because the dating world is gotten harder and harder for me to understand since it's constantly changing and trying to find the one girl that can be my first girlfriend was extremely hard.

Romance was the hardest thing for me ever since I had my very first crush in the third grade. I tried to be someone that I am not and it was a humiliating first rejection. So humiliating that I cried for the entire day. It was still marked one of the worst rejections I'd ever had.

From rejection to rejection, I thought that finding love could be impossible for me to know or understand because I can't successfully find my first girlfriend. Despite that, I learned what was romance like from a different perspective such as television shows, people that I know, and reading books. The one thing that I learned is that there is no perfect girl with no flaws. Girls are human beings and they have flaws but if you can recognize the flaws and still love the person then that is true love.

I started out being "the nice guy" and trying to be nice to girls in order for them to go out with me. So, I was just a robot to them. I learned that niceness cannot get my a girlfriend at all because there are no other traits that I can use to stand out from the rest of the guys. Plus, niceness can become creepy and uncomfortable sometimes. When I became older, I started to mold myself into a human being and getting traits that can help me stand out from the average guy. Learning about the things that I am good at and the things that I need to improve on.

Despite me supporting girls, being on their sides, and giving them honest advice, I kept getting rejected or friend zoned. At first, I was upset because they would choose the other guys rather than me but when I became older I learned that it was their decision and there's nothing I can do to make them change their mind, so I had to suck it up, move on, and at least support their decision.

It had gotten harder when sex was on the table when. In 9th grade, I heard a lot of my peers losing their virginities at that age and I was the only person that didn't know what was being a virgin is. I actually learned a lot about sex from the internet and my peers since my parents are never open about it nor gave me the talk before I transition to being a teenager. It was understandable that it was not really good to learn from my peers, but at least I had to learn about it from somewhere.

When I met Mami Omata, I thought it was the first time that I had fallen in love but turns out it was a mere infatuation. A one-sided love that was not really true love in the first place. I didn't really know about her. It was painful that I found out it was a mere infatuation but after seeing her true colors, it was smart for me to move on from here.

While I had tried to lay low on romance, there was this one girl from Yokohama, Japan that I actually do fall in love with, and she is actually the first woman that I fell in love with. Some of my close friends know about her and her name, and they know how much I really do love and care about her from the bottom of my heart. Despite her flaws and past, she was really an amazing person to me. She made me a better person and liked me for who I am as a person. When she found out that I had autism and never had a girlfriend before, she was touched because she didn't really see me as an autistic person at all. Just a regular young human being. I was forever touched by her words and how she would describe me as a person while I was mainly described as sub-human for almost my entire life.

On that day, I was super grateful and happy that I fell in love with a beautiful woman. I will never forget that woman for the rest of my life because she made my heart ran marathons and I always open my heart and mind to her to show my true feelings and thoughts. She was the very first woman that I could ever do that. No matter the outcome, I will always remember her as my first love of my life.