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Pet Sins June 1999

A White American's Frustration with Japan

I was an expatriate teaching English in Japan. Being Caucasian, I would often be approached by people who wanted to make friends with me simply because of my appearance. Sometimes I would be in a social gathering where I would be surrounded by enthusiastically and nervously giggling strangers. Everybody wants the foreigner to be in their clique.

Japanese acquaintances who wanted to visit the US would ask me weird questions like, "Are the blacks dangerous?" They have this idea of "all the blacks are scary." It is frustrating to address these issues with them.

In Japan, I stayed briefly with a European-descent man who married a Japanese lady. I heard him complain about the white wife of another friend (also white). He said she was "such a bitch", "argumentative" and "aggressive". I know this lady he was talking about, and I know she wasn't like this. My host is a nice man and I like his wife, but listening to him, I realized, "You can't handle a regular Western woman who talks back to you. This is why you marry a Japanese woman."

I don't want to generalize about all white guys who marry Japanese women. But I still believe in many cases that these are losers with big noses and tiny Japanese ladies are duped into having babies with illusory `attractive` dudes who are not attractive to any western lassies.

A.