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Americans in Japan 2004/4/9 03:20

I've heard that Japanese people dislike Americans living in Japan. Is this true? If and when I go to Japan, I don't want to be hated..

I'd like to know if this is just a stupid rumor or not.

How do Japanese people treat foreigners?

by Kaitlyn  

no and yes 2004/4/9 10:28
I've heard that Japanese people dislike Americans living in Japan. Is this true?

Yes and no. In any country, including Japan, there are some people who do not like foreigners. However, in Japan, if you behave calmly and politely, it is very rare for foreigners to be treated rudely. To the opposite, you will be treated very friendly and politely by the huge majority of Japanese.

However, if you behave badly, for example by talking with a very loud voice in trains, or bother passing people by stretching your legs while sitting in trains or blocking the door of trains or carrying a backbag in trains (these are just some train related examples), then the probability that somebody will get annoyed with you, is higher, but still low, as most people will just get angry inside without saying anything.
by Uji rate this post as useful

why hated 2004/10/13 11:22
Actually, not many Japanese in Tokyo or surrounding areas do not hate Americans. American culture is very popular. However, its foreign policy is hated not only by Japan but the whole world, and what makes it worse is that Americans don't know why. That bothers us. But mainly J-people like Japan, so don't worry!

Check here for more details:
by japanese rate this post as useful

I guarantee that rumor is false. 2004/10/14 04:41
Hi Kaitlyn,
I am Japanese and living in Japan.
I guarantee that rumor is false.
by Masaki rate this post as useful

American interested in moving? 2006/3/13 23:02
I am an 18 year old american and I would hope that an intellegent enough human being would be able to immerse in the culture and respect the ways and people. i myself wish oneday to live in either japan or remote remote china. i wish that if i ever did i would be taken optimitically by whoever i may live near. i only want to live in a culture that values honor and not stupid theistic principles and capitilism that makes japan look inviting in comparison.
if anyone would be interested in acclamating me with the current culture you may email me at
by Jake Merrow rate this post as useful

..... 2006/3/14 00:23
I have to comment on this post. I am an American living in Japan. We are a military family, if you cant tell by my screen name.

There are alot of military bases here in Japan, so as you can imagine that means alot of young military members who may have just graduated high school and now they find themselves in a foreign country and they don't know how to act. Personally to me this is very embarrassing.

I am always hearing news about an American who has committed a crime here in Japan, from all the branches of the mil. Sure there is crime in Japan, but it seems that when its committed by an American, its even worse. It makes us all look bad.

I think its a shame. I feel very grateful for the opportunity to live in Japan. It is a great experience for me and for my children. No doubt we would never have been able to otherwise.

Some people may disagree, but sometimes I think (some) Americans just do whatever they want and think, "oh well if they don't like it *uck em". Its like a sense of entitlement just because we are American.

For example I hate how a lot of Americans when they go to another country, (Japan or another) they think everyone should speak English, signs should be in English, or whatever. Its ridiculous. We are in "their" country! We should be the one making more of an effort to communicate!

That said, alot of Americans are respectful, courteous and polite, and we are proud of our country. At this time more than ever, we need to really concentrate on how we are portraying ourselves to our neighboring countries.

I would like to think that no one would hate someone just because of where they are from. If you actually know someone and then hate them, thats different.

Anyway I am aware that there are many J-persons who may not want us here, but I hope that they know some of us are grateful to live here and learn about their culture.

Please don't judge us on disillusioned media portrayals or a few bad seeds.

And I apologize if I have offended anyone, that was not my intention. Thanks.
by AFwife rate this post as useful

Never had any trouble... 2006/3/14 01:21
Living in Osaka or anywhere I've travelled. Sure you meet the occasional person who might happen not to like people from [insert country here] but as a whole, I think Japanese are curious and courteous. After I left Japan in 2002 and headed to Europe in the Spring of 2003 I found the general attitude to be more anti-American due to the political climate (think 'freedom fries') and found myself longing for the respectfulness of Japan.

That having been said, there are foreigners here who draw negative attention to themselves but that happens anywhere and at times *I* don't like these people, my own countrymen included. Though I must say the vast majority of the issues in this area come up from the fact that the main times eikaiwa teachers are seen outside the classroom is when they're drunk off their heads at the local bar.
by Cari rate this post as useful

Question 2006/3/14 07:04
I had a question for Uji or anyone else that can help. You said people may get offended if someone is on a train with a backpack. I plan on going to Japan and travelling a lot. I was planning on taking my backpack. Will this be considered rude? If so, what would be a better thing to carry? Thank you!
by traveller rate this post as useful

Traveller 2006/3/14 07:24
I spent a week in Japan a few years and and my brother and I both had back packs, on all the trains we put them in the rack above the seats, no one seemed bother or cared, as if we didn't have any at all.
Perhaps if you took up seating space or floor space with it, it might be annoying.
by Surfbeat rate this post as useful

... 2006/3/14 17:04
No, backpacks themselves are not offending, at all. But blocking other people's way with your backpack is not appreciated. In crowded urban trains, you should put your backpack either onto the luggage rack or on the floor just in front of you or between your legs where it bothers as few other passengers as possible.
by Uji rate this post as useful

... 2006/3/14 18:41
Unlike the typical tough guys in Hollywood movies, some mature Americans whom I met in Japan were very friendly, curious, and respectful to the local cultures. Who on earth can hate such foreigners? Japanese are also the most curious people in Asia. If both sides were open-minded, even the big cultural gaps may work well for the mutual friendships.

by ... rate this post as useful

Hope this helps: 2007/2/8 16:55
I visited Tokyo, Kyoto, Hakone and Nara for a couple weeks last summer. Not only did we get *no* trouble from the Japanese, many people on the street, all total strangers, went out of their way to help us find our destination, be hospitable, or what-have-you. We knew no Japanese but we used the Lonely Planet phrasebook a lot; we used ''sumimasen'' (excuse me) and the several variations of ''arigato'' (thank you) and smiled a lot, and just generally tried not to be jerks, and everyone was really polite back. It was a wonderful time, and I can't wait to return.
by Los Angeleno rate this post as useful

^_^ 2007/2/9 01:48
I live in Tokyo where people are known to be the "rudest" of all Japanese and I find as long as I am being polite and following the rules, people are generally very kind as well. The majority of the people have been extremely helpful.

As far as the trains go, backpacks are not a huge problem, i see japanese with them all the time, just take them off and put them on a rack or on the floor on a crowded train. I see japanese with huge suitcases on the train ocassionally as well. This is also not a big deal as long as the train is not crowded. When I have to take something big on the train, like a big travel sized suitcase, I try to do it durng the slower parts of the day when hardly no one is on the train. Onetime this could not be avoided, and i had to take a huge suitcase on a crowded train, there was nothing i could do about it. It wasnt so bad they were pushing people in but it was pretty bad. I put the suitcase off to a corner as out of the way as I could, and I sat on it. I got some dirty looks but once I started to clearly make an effort to make it take up as little space as possible, people didnt seem to care.

Just be courteous.
by Kris rate this post as useful

... 2007/2/9 09:07
I live in Tokyo where people are known to be the "rudest" of all Japanese

That's new to me! Are you from the Kansai region? Most people around me consider people from Osaka to be the "rudest".
by Uji rate this post as useful

Anyway, 2007/2/9 09:53
I can say "I am American" :)
by Module rate this post as useful

. 2007/2/9 11:17
Excuse me. People in Osaka are rudest?! No, we are loudest!
by A Japanese woman's view rate this post as useful

Do Japanese like Americans 2007/2/22 19:08
I have lived in 3 Countries now and I always wonder if the people like Americans. You respect their Country and try to learn the language of that Country, as an American I am ashamed that some Americans act the way they do when in another Country. We would like others to respect our Country and learn the language so do the same! I am blessed to have been able to live in other Countries. I love America its not perfect but its a great Country, lets help each other and respect one another. Japanese people and Brasilian and South African people I have lived with and loved. We are all people and like and dislike the same things. Treat others the way we would like to be treated, and you'll see we can relate and get along.
by Ginny rate this post as useful

Now, it's not about nationality 2007/2/23 20:00
I'm an American living in Tokyo for 3 years now and I can attest to you that Tokyo does have some of the rudest Japanese people in Japan. But I feel that there are rude people in NY, London, Paris, etc. As long as you are yourself and you carry yourself as a person who acts in a civilized, respectful manner, Japanese people could care less if you were American, Canadian, Aussie, Kiwi, British, so forth. What they see is one are not Japanese. Enjoy the experiences for what you want to do while you are in Japan. I hope this helps!
by Cat in Tokyo rate this post as useful

question 2007/3/2 06:40
I wanted to know. Are there a lot of Americans living in Japan(especially in Tokyo) or very few?
by Bonnie rate this post as useful

. 2007/3/2 07:39
I wanted to know. Are there a lot of Americans living in Japan(especially in Tokyo) or very few?

Compared to what?
How much is a lot?

Of the overall numbers of foreigners living in Japan, excluding the military presense in Japan, the numbers of Americans rank low (a small of a fraction of a small fraction of the Japanese population), many are short term residences, with fewer permanent residences.
by John rate this post as useful

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