This post is an aside from my thoughts and accounts of my time at home and when my sisters were in Japan. I saw an article in the New York Times about foreign labor, especially Chinese, working in Japan:
I found it to be an interesting read. It shows how there are Japanese people who are fearful of foreigners working in Japan. Although the article is about a specific village that hired foreigners to farm, there are some excerpts showing the villagers thoughts on foreign labor in all of Japan. I suppose it is possible that there may be just a few villages in Japan that feel the way they do. However, I have read about fears and stereotypes that some Japanese people have of foreigners. I remember before coming to Japan last year, I was wondering how big of a challenge this may pose, especially my ethnicity. I am happy to report that I have encountered no adversity due to ethnicity or nationality. I don’t mean to sound so untrusting, but after reading the article, a thought came to mind. Although people don’t say anything negative to my face, it doesn’t mean they don’t think it or say it behind my back.
I believe that most, if not all, the people whom I have met are genuinely pleasant with no such hatred or fears in their hearts. Sometimes people here say things to me like, “You look so much like Japanese.” I wonder if people really see me and think I am Japanese. Of course, once I start speaking it is clear that I am not Japanese, but I imagine there are people who look at me and wonder where I really am from. I can never fully understand the culture nor fit in, which is fine for me. However, if people are hiding their true thoughts or feelings, what are they? Because of the negative birthrate in Japan, there is an increasing need for outside help. What do Japanese people think of this? How many people have the same view as the village from the article? I guess I may never know, but it is something worth questioning.
Stay tuned next week for another update!
Quand je parle avec mes étudiants, je pose des questions. Si on me demande à parler français ou japonais, je ne peux pas parler. Il y a beaucoup de phrases qu’on peut parler, alors on a besoin de conseils. Des étudiants me veulent parler en japonais, mais ils ne posent pas les questions. Il y avait une étudiant qui pose des questions. Nous avons discuté en japonais pour 10 minutes.
今週の聖書の詩: “Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?”
- James 4:11-12 (NIV)
I think this is a very appropriate passage for this post. There have been too many times when I witnessed people even Christians judging others. I know that passing judgment is something people do naturally, but why do people pass judgment? Is it not only for them to feel better about themselves? Why must people always compare? It’s hard not to fall to judging and comparing, but I think that life stripped of people judging and comparing would be better.
今週の写真: These are pictures with my family at Niagara Falls, Canada. Some days I just wish I could get into a barrel and go over the falls. It seems like it’d be so fun!