Japanese Racial and Ethnic Identity

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Ethnic Identity

I am born and raised in Japan, so I am ethnically defined as Japanese. Ethnic identity is an identity composed of the environment in which you were born and raised, the culture, family structure and customs of the country. Racial identity is determined by innate physical characteristics and skin color. This is an immutable identity that cannot be changed by life. On the other hand, ethnic identity is a change that is composed of one’s own life and the way of life that has been chosen, like the footprints where one has come. I think my ethnic identity reflects the hometown of my family.

Because I have been learning the same Japanese culture and lifestyle as my family since I was born and have lived accordingly. Even if my parents are Japanese, if I haven’t lived in Japan or my parent’s hometown is in another cultural sphere, the lifestyle I have ever lived in will no longer be Japanese. So what is the ethnicity of the Japanese? Japanese always bow when greeting or asking someone to do something. I think this is a unique Japanese culture.

Not only behavior, but language also has its characteristics. In particular, Japanese have much more types of honorifics than English, and they place importance on courtesy in various linguistic expressions, such as ways to lower one’s position and respect one another or directly raise one’s position. At first glance it is a culture to be respected, but of course there are some bad points. This courtesy can hide your true intentions.

I have heard of impressions of Japanese from friends of other ethnicities who are not Japanese, He said that “I don’t understand what Japanese thinking because they are timid and quiet without saying their opinion. I have poor English skills, and I often cannot hear what the other person is saying. I was embarrassed to be aware of what I couldn’t hear and sometimes I pretended to be nod or laughing because I was anxious about being rude. I love Japanese anime, games and books, and I enjoy them as a hobby at home,and I feel that Japanese anime and games are famous worldwide.

I analyze that Japanese people created such works because of their ethnic characteristics. Many Japanese tend to be less good at communicating something directly than other ethnic groups, but they are not less expressive. I think that they communicate by projecting their intentions and imaginations they want to express, rather than directly telling others. An important factor that defines who I am is intercultural exchange. I decided to study abroad because I wanted to pass on the culture and tradition of Japan to other cultures, and at the same time respected the characteristics of other cultures and ethnicities and incorporated them into my own life, so I wasn’t biased toward thinking of the Japanese people and I want to be flexible.

Racial Identity

Race is an invariable identity composed of physical characteristics, skin color, and parental pedigree at the time of birth, unlike the environment and experience of being born and raised. I am a Japanese race and the Japanese are generally defined as Asian races. My racial identity is yellow. United States has a long history of discussing inequality and discrimination between blacks and whites. Blacks were often discussed as victims and whites as perpetrators, but the yellow race was probably neither, we are always neutral. That’s why the fact that I don’t have to filter each other’s opinions and ideas on this issue is considered an advantage for the yellow race. What I like about my race is that there is no racism in my race.

The idea that racism is virtually impossible in Japan is that most people are identified as Japanese. Because racism only occurs in multiracial, multicultural nations like the United States. Whether an act or attitude is considered discriminatory depends on the senses and culture of the society, but I have the suspicion that racial discrimination in Japan has different definitions for different people. In my experience, many people in the United States as well as in Japan believe that racial problems stem primarily from hatred of certain groups. Furthermore, it is a set to think that hatred can only be transmitted by violence.

So if you ask the Japanese, ‘Do you hate foreigners?’ Most people will say NO. But racism is not just a matter of hatred and violence. In fact, they may be a little afraid or just lack understanding. If you ask the same Japanese as above, ‘Is foreign afraid?’ They may say YES with a pure feeling. I have never struggled with my racial identity, but have regrets about not being able to understand the feelings of others struggling deeply. However, there are racial conflict in Japan. It is between Koreans. Because Japan is an island nation, it has many territorial issues, but I felt that there were many issues with South Korea, and that there were many reports that gave the impression that the media had an aversion to each other.

Until I went to study abroad and actually made and talked to Korean friends, I thought that most Koreans hate Japanese. But she was really friendly and kind to Japanese people. The main cause of racism is the manipulation of media and press impressions.Racism is not something that exists in the first place but is created by humans. To reduce racial prejudice, check with your own eyes, not the media or the press, because this is the surest information for me and spreading this experience around is different from the media Influence around. One of the major objectives of my study abroad is to know multiculturalism, to learn multiculturalism, to grow as a human being, and to share my experiences with my colleagues in Japan.

  • I am poem
  • I am Japanese
  • I respect everyone
  • Because my name is Keiichiro which means respect in Japanese
  • I am timid
  • I am timid what I don’t know
  • I have to try to know to reduce timidness
  • I am messenger pigeon
  • I want to share my experience

Works Cited

  1. Dillard, Coshandra, and Cory Collins. “Speaking Up Without Tearing Down.” ​Teaching Tolerance​, www.tolerance.org/magazine/spring-2019/speaking-up-without-tearing-down.
  2. “Seed the Way Home.” ​SEED THE WAY CONSULTING FOR EDUCATIONAL EQUITY​, www.seedtheway.com/.

Cite this paper

Japanese Racial and Ethnic Identity. (2021, Jul 26). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/japanese-racial-and-ethnic-identity/

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