Thursday, May 18, 2006

Manga intro style:

OMG!!! INSTANT SEIZURES EVERYWHERE!!!
Flashing signs and bright lights! It's sometimes like an ongoing episode of Poke'mon!
Behind the blinking lights, Japan wears a slightly different face!:

When I first arrived in Tokyo I was a little scared and a little at home. I went to Japan years ago in Highschool for my Japanese class trip. That experience was a lot different than my current one. This I believe is in part to time, place, and situation. I visited various areas before hitting up all of the shrines and special places around Kyoto and Tokyo. We did a short homestay as well. Back then, everyone we met was nice to us. Everyone was open and treated us like family. Upon entering Tokyo, I realized that those things I were used to in the Japan I knew were not all present. Now I feel I am viewed as an outsider. A baka gai-jin. In many ways I feel like I am Japanese, and in many more, I am not. Certain things about the Japanese culture concerning things like politeness and willingness to help others when asked were things I either always had, or adopted from the culture. But I found that even with my little skill in the Japanese language and interest in the culture, in Tokyo I am not as easily accepted as I was before. This is simply because.....They don't know me, and don't have time to.

Back at home in America, almost every person I passed I greeted. I either gave a hello, w-sup, or a smile. Even though some Americans viewed this as strange, they still replied in kind mostly. Now in Tokyo, I am luck to get recognition of my existence. I walk by and instinctively want to greet new people that I don't know. But most of them either glare at me like I'm crazy, or don't look at me at all! Sometimes, and that's a big SOMETIMES, I will receive a nice smile, or a verbal reply. The times I am lucky enough to get THAT, it makes my day. Though I have learned that it is best that when in Japan, do as the Japanese, even though I will never be accepted completely, I can still show respect to the culture and people here and abide by their standards of manners. This will make life for me easier, and allow other Japanese people to respect me more.

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