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I'm native american from New Mexico 2004/4/15 04:36
I got a friend who keeps chiding me that when I visit Japan that I will be treated differently because I'm Navajo. I think he's just giving me a hard time, the japanese people I have met took a while before they understood what race I was, let alone what tribe. What's the word?
by Josh J  

What's the word for what? 2004/4/16 19:18
I'm sorry I didn't understand the question. What would you like to know?

In any case, you will not be treated differently because you're a Navajo. Most people in Japan don't know what a Navajo is. But you'll be treated differently because you're foreign. And it will hardly be discrimination. In fact, reading other postings by foreign people (I'm a local), I can pretty much assure you that you'll be welcomed by everyone and you'll have a good time.

Btw, while most Japanese have never met a real native American, we tend to think that we look very much like native Americans and feel sympathy. Maybe no one will even notice you're foreign depending on your appearance??
by Uco rate this post as useful

I'm Irish/Navajo-Apache 2005/12/16 01:41
Hi Josh. Sorry to hear about the way your friend treated you. I have been in many Asian countries, never had a problem. I love Asian people and greet them with a big smile, and I care for them. that's the reason I have no problems. Love and care generate magnetism. Good luck.
by Sun of Thunder rate this post as useful

Native American vs. Asian 2005/12/16 05:02
Interesting thread. Too bad it's so old. Uco, while both Japanese and Navaho are extremely handsome, I do not think they resemble each other so closely as to be mistaken for one another. Looking at a Native American from the Western US, you might think this person was Asian but might possibly guess that they were from the Himalayas--Nepal or Bhutan or Tibet.

Perhaps you knew Native Americans in Los Angeles but identified them as Hispanic?
by watagei rate this post as useful

Watagei-san 2005/12/16 11:30
I do agree on what you're trying to say. And yes, I saw a lot of Navajos while living in the U.S. and they don't always look exactly like the Japanese.

But it's no secret that a lot of Japanese expats in the U.S. or Japanese locals living in Japan who see Navajos through the media think that they look Japanese. Not "exactly" Japanese, but we say things like "Look how Japanese they look. You can assume that our ancestors may be the same people" (in which some recent scientists deny, but anyway). It's just like how we say that Himalayans look like us, while native Palaos look quite differently.

In any case, I have a Japanese friend who does have a relatively hispanic nose for being Japanese (plus his hair is long) but looks nothing but Japanese to us local friends who live in Japan. But when he visited the U.S., Native Americans came up to him and asked "which reservation" he belongs to. He explained that he's Japanese and none of the Native Americans believed that he's not one of them.
by Uco rate this post as useful

sometimes similiar 2005/12/16 14:37
I'd have to agree with Uco on this one. Some Japanese and some Navaho do look alike, certainly not all, but enough that sometimes people cannot tell.
by Tilt rate this post as useful

oops 2005/12/17 01:09
Meant to write Navajo, but wasn't paying proper attention, sorry.
by Tilt rate this post as useful

Navajo / Navaho 2005/12/17 02:52
Both spellings acceptable, Tilt.

Navajo also Navaho
n. pl. Navajo or Navajos also Navaho or Navahos
by .. rate this post as useful

Navajo Information 2005/12/19 23:50
The DNA Genetics Scientists have traced the Navajo and other tribes to Main China.
A theory about our common ancestor "Ina" she came to this continent from Main China, and history states: "our descendents came from Canada to New Mexico and to Arizona USA. Found oil and the richest coal mine in the world. They invited other tribes and races to become Navajo citizens." We became very feature diverse. I'm light skin, with almond shape green eyes, and brown hair. My cousins have light brown skin, and brown eyes.

by Green Eyes rate this post as useful

Discrimination is possible 2006/6/1 14:37
I'm half native/ half Korean. I stayed in Japan for several monthes, mainly Osaka. Many Japanese people I met were curious to know what I was but seemed to prefer talking with white English speakers. Japanese have a perception that to be a white foreigner is to be the best and nothing can change that except through your own example.
by Ian Rodriguez rate this post as useful

Really??? 2007/11/11 16:43
"Many Japanese people I met were curious to know what I was but seemed to prefer talking with white English speakers. Japanese have a perception that to be a white foreigner is to be the best and nothing can change that except through your own example."

Is this true generally? I have brown skin and I want to go to Japan, so this kind of worries me.
by Stehlin rate this post as useful

worries 2007/11/14 07:13
Stehlin, the last post is the type of asinine comment that doesn't mean anything. A bit like the comments I got after I moved to North America from Europe many years ago. In a few workplaces some Caucasian North Anerican supervisors told me i nfont of the whole crew that I wasn't a true white person because English wasn't my mother tongue (I do have a pale skin..). The beauty of it is that the co-workers who where from visible minorities accepted me as a "brother" seeing that I experienced the same petty ignorant prejudices as them.
Just go to Japan and enjoy..
by Sensei 2 rate this post as useful

My understanding of are worlds 2009/1/10 15:12
Okay let me start this off by saying forgive me for any miss spellings or grammar errors seeing that english is slowly becoming a second language to himself.

In the pass 3 years since leaving the reservation (Navajo Nation) I've opened myself to new experiences one being my interest in Japanese culture and I've have found that not many Japanese know about us Dine (Navajo) nor are involvement in 1940's. But needless to say they are aware of Native Americans Indians why I say "Indians" is cause that's what the world knows us by. Sadly they tend to think of the sterotypes from the ol' western movies.

I recently befriended a Japanese man from Osaka, Japan. Upon meeting he asked if I knew a famous Indian named "Geronimo" and I replied "yes, your living not far from where he used to live some 120 years ago." to that he replied "He is very famous person in Japan." Along the way he and I devolped a friendship and in the process I've joined him in practice of Nichiren Buddhism and begun my Japanese Language studies with the hopes of one day living in Japan. Throughout these past months I've meet many other Japanese Natives through him. All of whom find my Navajo Ways interesting just as I found a liking to their ways.

So my conclusion is this.... "If your a Dine worried about feeling like an outsider in Japan. Don't worry so much. Your [BS] Dine[BE] in your heart and mind. Every morning you should wake to the rising sun and pray. What better way to start it then in the land of the Rising Sun. We as Dine shouldn't concern are self with what Japanese people think of us but how we represent are selves to them.

"So share your Dine Culture with Japan just they share their culture with you."

Ahe'hee and Sayonara!

Random Facts:
1. Asano Tadanobu is rumored to be part Native American.

2. Kenji Kawano published a book on the Code Talkers.

3. Japanese language is popular among many young Navajo's.

4. And my personal favorite "atsui" and "atsoi".
"astui" being Japanese for expressing it's hot and "atsoi" being Navajo which means maternal granddaughter.
by Bryan85 rate this post as useful

Living in Japan 2009/7/2 00:46
Don't know if this post is still alive but I'm Navajo and living in Japan at the moment. Japanese people don't know much about individual tribes but Native Americans as a whole. They get confused if you say Indian because Japanese tend to think of people from India. I've been approached and told I look Japanese and at other times I've been told I look asian lol. My Japanese friends are continually interested in the Navajo Language and culture. I've even given a lecture to a class at the university I attend about Navajo Culture.
by AZ Navajo (guest) rate this post as useful

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