Help! I’m a Black Man Living In Japan

By Donald Ash | Articles

I hate to be the angry, African-American male because it’s so stereotypical, so let’s not say I’m angry, let’s say that I’m frustrated. So my co-worker asked me about my weekend. I told him that I didn’t do so much, and out of common courtesy I asked him “How was your’s?” He proceeded to tell me how he hung out with one of the other non-Japanese teachers. Being that there are only three other non-Japanese teachers, I couldn’t help but feel a little left out. There was a student party early Sunday, that I couldn’t go to (because I’m saving money), and not all of the non-Japanese teachers went either. What bothered me so much is that the teacher who invited everyone wasn’t even at the student party. If he’d been at the party, it wouldn’t have been a big deal, because he would’ve just been inviting the people who were at the party…a natural progression. He invited a former teacher and the new staff member without telling me anything. To be honest, this is like the fifth time it’s happened. “Hey Donald have you tried this ramen restaurant? ________ and I went last weekend.” In my brain I was thinking “No, I didn’t…you guys didn’t f**king tell me about it.” But on the outside I was just like “Hmm, that’s nice.” I’m sure they were just drinking beer and that’s cool, but it would be nice to get invited to things sometimes. But these days I feel like because I’m getting left out of so much, I’m starting to withdraw from my co-workers. It’s like a double-bladed problem.

Another issue. I moved here in January of 2008, and I am currently the senior foreign teacher (fancy way of saying I’ve been there the longest) at my job. I come to work, and do the best I can everyday. We have to do a bit of sales at my job and we form teams to do it. There is a head teacher that oversees the team and helps to plan a sales strategy. I am on a team with two caucasian males. I used to give my input but now I don’t try at all. I can say an idea and my head teacher will completely ignore what I’m saying. But if one of the Caucasian teachers agrees with what I’ve said, then she’ll be like, “Yeah that’s a good idea.” I thought maybe it’s just a group think issue, but any time one of the other teachers gives an idea, she seems to be all ears. I’m sick of that sh*t. I may be African-American, I may different, but my ideas are every bit as good as anyone else’s.

Being here really makes me miss music from back home. At karaoke, it’s not hip-hop and R&B that people are singing, it’s rock-and-roll, it’s the Beatles, it’s the Doors, it’s David Bowie… I didn’t listen to these bands all that much, unless it was some kind of documentary on MTV or something. I miss the soulful singing of Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Musiq Soulchild, the hip-hop lyrics of A Tribe Called Quest, Common, Talib Kweli, and Mos Def. I could mention these people and no would no who I was talking about. I do have to thank my co-worker Marisa, though, because it was here idea to get tickets to the Summer Sonic 2010 concert and she watched A Tribe Called Quest with me (even if she wasn’t interested in the music). I, in turn, watched Big Bang (a Korean boy band) with her. I don’t mind reciprocating, I like doing it. But it gets under my skin when people make no attempt to understand the things I like at all.

One thing I’ve wanted to improve is speaking my mind. I think it’s time say something to these people. I’ll think before I speak, but if I don’t say something, they’re not going to understand why I’m upset.

A bit frustrated,

Donald Ash


About the Author

Donald Ash is an Atlanta, Georgia-born, American expat who has been living in a Japanese time warp for the last eleven years. While in that time warp, he discovered that he absolutely loves writing, blogging, and sharing. Donald is the creator of blog. Wanna know more about this guy? Check out his "What's Your Story" page.

  • V.D. Coleman says:

    This has really helped me… I was thinking of maybe moving to Japan.

    Thank you so much for sharing your transparent views and thoughts.

    God Bless You

    • Donald Ash says:

      Hey Ms. Coleman. Thanks for the positive feedback. I’m really glad to hear it. God Bless you back 🙂

  • Bryson Bennett says:

    Your taste in hip-hop is impeccable.

  • Willie J says:

    I’m also a black guy living in Japan (Kansai area in Shiga). I know how you feel man! When people mention songs from the Beetles and I don’t know them they always respond, “how do you not know the beetles?” Yeah did not grow up listening to that! Earth Wind and Fire, Luther, Shade…all the stuff my parents listened too! I’m an aspiring journalist by the way and I’m def gonna get my dead blog..hehe…up and running after checking out your site Donald! Great work man!

    • Mary says:

      Go back to your niggger land. The Japs should kick you out. Rap is stupid. Jew media pushes it to dumb people done.

    • Baby Shoes says:

      Go swimming in biwako.

    • Dinesh Thangaveloo says:

      I think you should start to listen to other music. You should not be confined with only black music. As for me living in Asia, i listen to all kinda music. i have broad perspective of music. Which also means it’s easier to communicate with someone with similar interest. Yes, broad perspective helped me to get around people and cities all over. Coming from a traditional Indian family, i have allowed myself venture into different things which made me a global citizen. Also i love Billie Holiday, Mos Def, Dälek and many more. Love shoegaze music the most!

    • Thanks, Willie. It’s been years since I’ve posted responses to this post. I’m so busy these days I almost forgot it was here. It’s good to see that someone else had a similar experience to my own. Thanks for sharing,

      • blackdude says:

        Hey i know this is old, but overall, do you feel it was worth it moving to Japan? Im also a black guy, around your age… am currently trying to learn japanese… tired of the states NO JOBS HERE! And i even have a degree…. smh… How is the $$$ for teaching english? Is learning to read and speak japanese a high selling point as an employee?

  • Mark I. says:

    Hey there. I like reading your posts, and I find many of them very insightful and well written. I too am a ‘black guy’ living in Osaka, Japan. I have met incredibly many other black people in my time here in Osaka, surprisingly almost 90% being American. But it seems that were on different pages, so to speak.
    Maybe your co-workers just don’t like your personality (Maybe Not An Attractive Option), but I would say, that it’s a bit quick to blame it on your skin color.
    I actually think, that it would be a stretch calling myself a “Black Guy”, as the term refers to an African American, which I am not. I think it would be rather strange if Japanese were either interested or had any knowledge about Rap music, or R&B. I think that it’s a shame, that you haven’t listened to any of the above mentioned bands or artists, and that you seem not to have even attempted to “Broaden” your musical horizon with Rock & Roll, or other genres for that matter. Well, that’s a bit harsh, but it just sounds like you restrict your likings in music fairly much. I find it quite astonishing how many African Americans I talk to, that only listen to Rap/Hip-Hop or R&B music. When I ask about it, they most often reply “It’s just black music”. I would find it sad, if I let my taste in music be determined by the color of my skin, or my cultural background. There seems to be a fear of including, and very much a tendency of excluding in terms of so called “Black Culture”, i.e. “African American Culture”. Cultural acceptance and understanding goes both ways/all ways. So why expect anyone to either like, or know of the music you like, if your don’t have any interest in music other than your own? I personally enjoy listening to about 4 of the groups you mention, but that’s in a very wide range of music. And I also see a tendency of African Americans to describe themselves a a sort of “Universal Black People”, which I find quite strange. Many seem to forget, that you hail from American Culture, and the percentage of African Americans in the universal number of “Black.People” is clearly very low. When we see African American Rap/Hip-Hop or R&B/Soul being spread all around the world, it’s not “Black Culture”, it’s American culture. American Culture.
    Anyways, I hope that I’m not coming off as a dick, as it’s certainly not my intention. I just spotted a tendency, that I’ve seen on many occasions, and one that I have a hard time agreeing with. However, I understand that this website is both an information center, but in some aspects also your personal blog, where you go to vent.
    So as mentioned, I have to say, that your site is really great, and that I’ll be looking forward to reading more. And if we ever meet someday, I’m sure that we will have very little in common (despite having the same skin color), but still have an interesting and exciting, not to say educational, conversation. (^_^)/

    • thejapanguy says:

      Hey Mark, thanks for the feedback. I appreciate you reading and coming by to post.

      Where to start?

      First, this post was written nearly two years ago, and a time where I was feeling, as the post says, a bit frustrated. At one point I actually thought about erasing this post because I’m in such a different place now. But I’m really glad I didn’t do that. Keeping a post like this shows exactly what I was feeling at a low point here in Japan, and it a shows a sentiment that some other foreigner could potentially experience or empathize with.

      This post wasn’t intended to “blame” anything on my skin color. It wasn’t written as a racial cop out as to why I couldn’t adjust in Japan. It was written as a way to vent…and nothing more. In hindsight, this post shows that a foreigner can feel isolated in Japan, even among other foreigners.

      Even at the time this post was written, to say that I made no attempt to broaden my musical horizons or to attempt to embrace music from other cultures would just be false. That’s a conclusion that can’t be drawn from a two-year-old venting session.

      Growing up as an Army brat meant I met and befriended all kinds of people and was exposed to many different types of music. I remember my little friends and I jamming to all kinds of tunes: Edie Brickell (What I Am), Cyndi Lauper (Time After Time), DJ Rob Base (It Takes Two), Nena (99 Luftballons), Kool Moo Dee (The Wild Wild West), Madonna (Material Girl), and all kinds of other stuff! I remember the girl down the street playing a mean “Turkish March” and that being one of the first classical I wanted to hear over and over again as a kid.

      I remember hearing some pretty amazing musical crossovers like Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson, George Michael and Stevie Wonder, or Aerosmith and Run DMC. I remember watching the VHS tape of Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Mary Wells, and a slew of artists from my parents era singing Foreigner’s (a rock band) “I Wanna Know What Love Is” at the Motown Returns to the Apollo finale (the videos is almost enough to bring tears to your eyes: ). One venting blog doesn’t discount any of those experiences.

      I never once said in the post that rap and hip-hop were the only types
      of music I listened to, but finding somebody out in here in Ibaraki
      that’s really into those styles of music is pretty rare…and that’s

      In the time since I’ve written this post, I have come across both Japanese people and other foreigners (though not as often) who are rap/hip hop fans. I’ve even come across people who are into rap/hip-hop that’s a bit more obscure here in Japan (like T.I., Talib, or J Dilla). I don’t find it “strange” at all, I just think it’s cool.

      As far as my coworkers go (former coworkers in this case), they like my personality just fine and I like theirs. Honestly, the very same people I refer to in this post (every single one of them) are some of my dearest friends on the planet. We talk about our differences, often joke about them, and embrace them.

      No, you don’t come across as a dick…not even in the slightest. Your comments actually comes across as rather thoughtful. Who knows? Maybe we don’t have anything in common, like you said. But I always welcome a good conversation.

    • Me says:

      As an African American that lived in Japan I do find your remarks to his Article rather shallow. Just how you interact with any body you stay gognative of very well known cultural norms. I don’t know your culture or country of origin but historically in America. A person of Africian decent (Africian American) many times finds himself being pre-judged or negative conclusion drawn out by the color of his skin. This is many times demonstrated by exclusion out of fear. Many times that fear is well founded but in this example I don’t think so.The people who he commented about were fellow American’s. Interesting enough the person dismessing his ideals was not! His words in the article ring of this uniquely american experience. Not that someone should let it define oneself. When I was in Japan I knew many Japanese that listen to both Rock n Roll and Hip Hop. But my time was spent in the Greater Tokyo area and that may be the difference. There is a very recent study done of twitter followers & Facebook friends. The study found that most people were only interacting with those of their own race and culture. In America the number was higher than the rest of the world. My life has been enriched by interacting with good people and avoiding those who wish to stay in that box. But I do get what he was ranting about. And most of all why his rant is not a continual thing.

    • Jennifer Musgrove says:

      I would love to know what your country of origin is mark l. And your race. Who calls themself an african american and then say its a “stretch”? That term is for people whose ancestors came from africa and brought to america via slavery. I find your comments not only shallow but offensive. Why should it be strange that ANY one would listen to rap or hip hop? FYI as a young black female i listen to japanese musical groups and there are japanese rappers. The music is called enka. Yeah before you start dispensing advice you need to do your research and get your facts straight. ALL cultures consider themselves universal. Latinos, whites etc. Its not just black people. And furthermore what the heck are you talking about the % of black people is low? Dude ever hear of mixed races? There are white people or should i say europeans who have black people in their ancestry line. Since you are clearly not an african american male you have no idea whats its like
      being at the bottom of the freakin human chain. Its frustrating when every other culture even if they
      share the same skin color is treated better than yours. And furthermore rap and hip hop is not american! IT IS BLACK CULTURE. Yes it comes from within the country but was created by black people! And he did say that music is what he grew up with. Ive met folks who only listen to country music. Guess what mark l? it comes down to ones environment and how they were raised that is what influences people. You need to take a college course in human development. Your post is hypocritical, offensive, and rude. You get on the creator of this site for having a closed mind but YOU clearly need to open yours up!

    • Cuddles says:

      The thing that turns non Americans off about Black Yanks are their passive aggressive characters and attitudes.

      Your people have been conditioned since the 60s to be permanent victims. I lived in Senegal and Benin and people are very poor but never have self pity, maybe your lot should try it sometimes.

      • No says:

        Geez no one cares what a Brit thinks about us “black Yanks”. Who asked you and your opinion? Who are you again? No one important.Oh lovely. Have a nice life

      • Aunesty says:

        Not every black person holds a pity party for themselves, I can’t go a day without someone saying something to me and then go on to immediately say “But not in a offensive way!” as if that was the first thing to pop into their minds when I wasn’t even thinking about it. You’re making us the victim believe it or not. You like to say that those people have no self pity and are poor in those places, instead of bitching about it go do something and give back to them. You can’t compare poverty to racial discrimination jackass.

      • slowestJ'canIndeWorld says:

        Wow!! Are you the reincarnation of PW Botha?!! Maybe Hitler?!! Such in your face racist claptrap!! Wow!!

        • Baby Shoes says:

          That comment indicates you’re a JEWWWWEE!’n

          • Twiztid says:

            Sooo, you hate blacks and Jews? You do know that Nazi-related beliefs is looked down upon, even in Germany, right? AND the main group that have issues with Jews, which are Muslims, don’t even actually hate Jews. So you are seriously delousionally hateful. And GOD himself has said that no man is Godlike, that they were created in God’s image, but are lamb to be led, and impure and tainted. For you to die, and be faced with all the pain and hate you spewed in your lifetime, how would you react? How would you see yourself then? Perhaps, bent over a table as Satan lays one into you, because you have dug yourself a grave in Hell by darkening your heart and soul with blind hatred?
            If you truly believe in any benevolent God, and you actually believe he placed you on this planet to hate and cause pain, you are delusional and pathetic, and your parents seriously failed you. Get help.

  • Mark I. says:

    I’m such a fucking dick sometimes. I had just red a whole blog about a mulatto girl, who kept talking about equality and the unimportance of skin color, whilst constantly referring to “privileged white kids”, and stuff. I was in the red corner by the time I came across your post. Reading my post back, it seems like something I could say when I was drunk – drunk with rage that is. Ranting, and basing presumptions on a short, as you say, venting session. You come back with the nicest comment ever. I should really take my frustrations with racism and close-mindedness (in terms of all skin-colors) out someplace else, and not on a site with a surprisingly clean and intelligent line. Sorry, guy.
    If I ever meet you, we can have a conversation, but I would never tell you my real name, as this was simply too embarrassing for me, who likes to consider himself a relatively intelligent and thoughtful person. I’ve been reading too many blogs, and this was my venting comment, that had been collecting for a couple of weeks now.
    Thanks dude, your controlled and calm response made me realize what I just did, and learn.
    申し訳ありません, and thanks!

  • Mark I. says:

    Hey there. I just saw, that my somewhat apologetic message had been deleted. I’m sorry if it was a bit crass with the, well, a little bit of cussing, but it was sincere. Just wanted to say that.^_^

    • thejapanguy says:

      Hey Mark, I don’t know why that erased, I definitely got that message, and I didn’t delete it. I’ll have to see what went wrong on my end. I appreciate the apology and all…but dude, don’t worry about it!! 🙂
      We’ve all been there are some point or another, it happens…no hard feelings whatsoever…deal?

  • Yomi Jones says:

    All I heard was waaa! waaaaaa! waaaa! You’re a bro in Japan and you’re complaining that the cauci’s don’t like you? Grow a pair – go out and have fun on your own. When you come back with stories of all the girls you smashed over the weekend they will be begging to hang out with you, not the other way around. Seriously bro, stop whining.

    • thejapanguy says:

      As kind, insightful, and helpful as your tough love, “grow a pair and have fun on your own” advice is, three things.

      1. This post was written quite some time ago, years…with an “s.” I’m still here and I’m doing just fine.

      2. Whining about “the cauci’s” not liking me and venting about feeling isolated are two totally different things:

      I really think you missed the point of my post.
      I wasn’t posting to complain about Caucasian people not liking me whatsoever. Why would I? I don’t need to chase down anybody, or beg anybody to be friends with me. I never have and I never will.

      Anyone who doesn’t like me…that’s their problem (regardless of what race they are white, black or other).

      However, the fact remains that people DO go through periods of isolation living abroad, period.

      That’s why this post is still on the site years later, it shows when I was going my isolation period.

      3. If the answer were as simple as grow a pair, smash some girls, go have fun on your own and stop whining, other expats wouldn’t go through isolation issues, but they do.

      Soldiers, and international students living outside their home countries for extended periods of time wouldn’t feel isolated…but they do. It’s quite common.

      I would imagine it’s isolation of the biggest reasons people go back home in the first place.

      Oh, and back to the smashing girls thing…maybe that’s your way of dealing with things, but to each is own. Yes, sex can be a temporary fix, but orgasms don’t magically make isolation magically disappear.

      Thanks truly appreciate your comment, Yomi.

      • Bettsy says:

        Okay, I just have to ask this.
        Every single time I have seen a black guy talk about anything, at some point the subject always comes back to “white racists” even if the subject has nothing to do with white people.

        Why does this always happen? why must the subject always be turned to “damn whitey” whenever a black guy talks about anything?

        • truth says:

          Wow your dumb. Did you even read the thread? What are you talking about?

        • Oddy Chanz says:

          Well if you had been reading the post so far, after he ranted and vented out his frustration, People started insulting him and other’s. You may not know it or see it but there are allot of white racists and often they will kick black people while they’re down for what ever reason. Some people are just simply jerks and other’s are racist. It’s hard to distinguish one form the other sometimes but allot of times black people will label you as a racist even if your not if you attack them. Especially if your white. That’s kinda how it is. For all i know the guy that did insult him was a racist. It’s just popular these days to be racist then again it’s not.
          Allot of people will likely openly act racist if they feel they can get away with it or they do not have to be held accountable for their actions. Kinda sad but true. If they don’t want to be label as such, maybe they should not act as such.

        • Baby Shoes says:

          Because they never were meant to be in polite society and its literally trying to put a silk hat on a pig. They never should have been taken from the West Aftican shores.

          The best solution for all is repatriation to the homeland away from their antagonists.

      • Baby Shoes says:

        You’ll always be a frustrated negro it’s in your nature.

    • Eric says:

      I like that show him where the hangouts at yomi!

  • Oscar A. R. Chow says:

    Donald, are you still in Japan? My roommate and I will arrive Aug 14th. Love your posts man and would be down to hang out!

  • Ivy says:

    I agree with not erasing previous post. To see how a person has grown is reward to all who know and love him. I will be moving to Japan, Sendai, in a month. I hope to grow from your post also. Thank you for sharing.

  • mm says:

    Im japanese female, thats very interesting to know about japan from different view;D
    I hope you enjoy life in japan!

  • SOEJINN says:

    My experience in Japan is that the Japanese worship Whites like sick dogs. It’s actually embarrassing how much too many Japanese will kiss White butt. The whitter, the worse they suck up. Japanese dye their hair brown and blonde (even doing this to children), blue contacts, bleaching their skin… It’s very mentally sick and sad.

    Even worse, if they are not worshipping Whites, they can be extreme ultra-nationalists and xenophobic. So basically hating everybody that isn’t Japanese. Discriminating against all foreigners when it comes to housing, jobs… Even entry to clubs with, “No Foreigners Allowed” signs. Except though, when it comes to talking foreign money, then they FAKE smile in your face. You can’t ever believe what Japanese really feel or think, as they lie and pretend too much (honne and tatemae).

    • Cuddles says:

      It’s their country if you don’t like it leave. I have nothing in common with Blacks, I don’t care for the music and the culture is alien to mine.

      I don’t live in Black areas back home because it’s alien to me and my interests. So the point of this comment is, you’re not home!

      • Aunesty says:

        That is the dumbest comment I’ve ever heard. So you’re saying that if I were to be living in a country that was overrun with racism, I should leave to make the racist happy? The fact that your argument is that “you have nothing in common with blacks” is pretty much your way of saying that the country isn’t in the wrong. How does that make any sense? Black people aren’t some weird alien species. Not all of us have the same exact culture and listen to the same exact music so no matter where you are that doesn’t give anyone the right to treat you as if you are less than them. Bleaching your skin and changing the color of your hair and eyes to look more “white” is disgusting not matter which way you try to spin it.

        • Baby Shoes says:

          They are alien to me and I’ve nothing to do with them. I’m not interested in mingling or associating with them.

          This is called”free will” and my right to gather with people that I like. I don’t like black people, is that clear enough for you to understand?

          Regarding Japan this is a country dominated by 1 culture and race (Yamato people), they like their country the way it always was and don’t want racial aliens like you and I to be citizens.

          Before you start throwing stones go after Mugabe and Zuma who have curb the opportunities and rights of Caucasian Africans who are truly oppressed and are forced to abide by BEE rules and are forbidden from owning land.

        • Baby Shoes says:

          “Black people aren’t some weird alien species”, are you serious about that statement? 300 years without the remotest possibility of integration with TRILLIONS of dollars spent on this parasitic ape.

      • Dear Leader says:

        Fuck off weeaboo. You say that, but then turn around and berate Americans and Europeans for being racist, LOL!

      • slowestJ'canIndeWorld says:

        Well that’s an interesting attitude, ‘I have nothing in common with Blacks..their culture is alien to mine’ You are yourself a racist so of course you would support racist behaviours.

        But I’m afraid boorishness never has a preferred home. If people are being mistreated they should speak up about it.

        That’s what Japanese people in the US who have suffered from racist actions have done. That’s what anyone who suffers from those types of assault should do.

        If I was in the US and someone tried to express their racist attitudes toward me you better believe I’d oppose them and I wouldn’t be quiet about it. The fact that I wasn’t ‘home’, wouldn’t empower anyone to mistreat me. Or anyone else for that matter. You need to revise your thought processes.

      • kris says:

        Black people just want something to whine about.

    • Baby Shoes says:

      No one likes niggers, that’s a fact of life.

      • Ok says:

        Says the one who nuked their country twice.

      • Westlakedeep says:

        Baby shoes..Depends on where you are.people hate ‘niggers’ if they’ve been taught to.i’ve been to places (Borneo) where i met folk who had never seen or heard much about black people.they expressed far more curiousity that hate.i’m currently in tokyo by the way…

    • Baby Shoes says:

      You’d love it if they’d pull their pants down saying “I gotta Axes u something”, would that ease your low self esteem darkie??

    • Baby Shoes says:

      Because we are Gods you dumb ass Steepin Fetchin. Give up on the world Sandford and sons, you’re only giving the world reasons to hate you.

      Swallow rat poison and end your vermin ways.

    • Baby Shoes says:

      They mean no niggers allowed, you know well enough that whites are always welcome. Especially the Dominican Republic where Blacks there bar Black Americans like you.

    • Baby Shoes says:

      Listen go back to Georgia and I’ll call the local klan to take care of your problems.

    • Vey UK says:

      I disagree, if a white person is rude, disrespects japanese people and their culture, then japanese people would hate whites too. I have not seen white people in packs acts like animals in packs , loud and rude to shy small japanese people, selling openly drugs on the high streets, trying to sell girls to tourists with loud that everyone can hear, verbal abuses through to japanese ladies with sex offers in public places that everyone can see. But i have seen black guys did all these almost every day in Tokyo. Come on, after all these open bad behaviours in front of everyone eyes than expect some respect? I bet now you are ready playing the race card and saying we are not all like that. I know you are not all like that, but you mentioned blacks with their problem i did mention the blacks in their issues too.

  • Fran says:

    I can identify with not having my opinion valued because it happened to me. However, in the other cases, it’s understandable that they didn’t invite you. Maybe they got tired of you saying ‘no’ all the time so they figured it would be pointless to invite you. But yeah, when someone chooses to exclude you or disregard you, it is not a nice feeling. Nobody likes feeling invisible. As for the karaoke, trust me, you never know what people like but it doesn’t really matter. If you’re with cool people they won’t care. Do your thing and have fun.

    On a final note, I think being in Japan has allowed me to be more aware of who I am as a black person.

  • Rei says:

    Hey Donald!

    I was thinking of moving to Japan. Could you do a post of how you did it, and the process? It would help a lot!!

  • nikkazgohome says:

    pack ur shid nikka,japanese dont want ur blak azz

  • OsakaBlackGuy says:

    Any of you know where to get a haircut for black men?

    • Hey man! Did you ever find out where to get a good haircut. I’m kinda of lucky because of the bald haircut…I just cut my own (can’t really mess it up, lol). I’m curious, though, because it’s a question I’ve gotten several times.

  • bob says:

    In anime the foreign european exchange student with alot of money is always portrayed as sexy and cool.

  • Ben Garcia says:

    You are a zero in any country. Hara Kiri is your best choice.

    • thejapanguy says:

      Maybe you’re right. Maybe Hara Kiri is the best option…
      After you my friend (Donald passes Ben Garcia a knife with a big a*s grin on his face…).

      • Shan says:

        See you have been schooled in handling fools. Nice comeback. That’s exactly how you treat them. Mental health is becoming a big problem these days. I hope he and Cuddles seek help early.

      • sandor says:

        I’ll go anywhere BUT Japan or China, or any Asian country for that matter. Those people are arrogantly sucking up the role that the Europeans have placed them in, in the game of hierarchy. On top of their attempts to look white, they take on the role of white racists, stigmatizing blacks even more severely, passionately attempting to model themselves after whites. They aren’t as smart as they think they are. As whites do, they mistakenly perceive “progress” as owning a lot of shit, and subjugating others, ignoring the fact that this is what’s destroying the planet. If only blacks would learn to appreciate that we come from a great history where people perceived the planet as mother earth. Ironically, African proverbs are plastered on the walls of these institutions that still attempt to control the environment. In the western world, we pop antidepressants in an attempt to quell that unseen sense of entitlement that continues to make the world sick. In China, there are so many sick and poor people and the environment is disgusting. But the world would rather continue to make Africans and blacks it’s perennial sick and poor, to help us to appear pathetic. I know dumb people of every race, and I’ve met some dumb Chinese people, who still get credit for being “really intelligent” because of the stereotype. For blacks who want to go over there and be subjected to that circus, go ahead — enjoy the filth, arrogance, and foul odors.

  • Cuddles says:

    Maybe he doesn’t consider you a friend and just a work colleague. Shooting the shit nothing more nothing less.

    • no says:

      Why so invested in this Cuddles? Get a hobby
      At least this guy is employed you basement dweller.

    • Shan says:

      Never short of locos on blog sites smh. People should realize by now that behavior like this is reflective of a mental health problem. Pity people like this….don’t curse them.

  • Jamie says:

    Sorry, but you are being weak, I’m also black, well half black (doubt it makes much of a difference), and living in Japan. And despite my long teaching hours, (obviously ei go sensei desu), I love Japan, sure everyone stares at you, like every foreigner, but it’s LOL. Fair enough I’m from England and have an upper middle class accent (but you can put that on if you must) I’ve found that everyone is really welcoming, other teachers, my managers etc (sure my DoS can be moody at times.) but you deal with it. Furthermore I accept that I’m a pawn, like every other teacher who gets a job in japan, (sure I occasionally mope over having different days off to my closest friends, but just appreciate the fact that you’re in Japan.

    For anyone with questions about living in Japan as a foreigner, feel free to contact me on [email protected]. I wish for every potential foreign resident to have an informed view about their potential move to Japan.

    • Hey Jamie,

      Thank you for your very candid comments. This post was written more than five years ago and things are great for me now.

      Honestly, though, I don’t think it was me being weak at all. Nobody’s strong all the time, no matter what they project publicly. People are gonna have low points…that’s being human. At the time I used my blog to help me vent when I needed to. Part of the reason I never deleted this post is because it shows what was going through my mind at low point here in Japan.

      Like most people who come, I too had a VERY warm welcome from everyone I worked with (I wrote about those times on this blog, too).

      If anything, I think this old “rant post” shows that life in Japan, especially life long-term (nearly 8 years and counting me) isn’t always easy. It shows what can happen when the novelty of just enjoying the fact that you’re in Japan wears off.

      While I don’t fully agree with all of what you wrote, I can definitely appreciate a different take on Japan life.

  • Reece Crump says:

    I’m white, so I can’t say I know where your coming from in regards of race, but we all must know what its like to be singled out or insecure. hang in there buddy.

    • This was written quite some time ago. Everything is right as rain these days. I have to say that your response was simple and supportive, though. I appreciate that, Reece!

    • Oddy Chanz says:

      It’s kinda like this, when your black. You have a label slapped on you because of your skin and everyone have a pre-conceived idea of who you are based on data fed to them through the media. And things that they have been taught to by other’s and so on.

      When your black often times you feel like you’re born in a group of people who are just hated and kicked around for what reason ? You’re not sure. Your not invited to the cool club or whatever you just have to stick with other’s like yourself. But if your adventurous and you like to stand out from the crowd and travel and stray away from the stereotype your going to face many adversities. Allot of conflict will arise because how you’ve already been painted as a blood stain through the media and other sources. I’m not a thug but when people look at me they think I am one. I don’t do drugs, drink or smoke but when people look at me they think I do. I do not only listen to hip-hop in fact it’s not even my favorite genre of music but when people look at me they are going to assume that’s what I like most. It’s like walking around with this damn monkey on your back and you can’t get it off LOL! It’s haunting you everywhere you go and people will love you and hate you for it.

  • Moses Ukoh says:

    Why are you in Japan, but angry about white people not wanting to hang out with you. Hang out with Japanese people. That’s why you are there!

    White people will normally exclude people of African decent. Love yourself, they should be scrambling to hang out with you.

  • On behalf of white people, I apologize for the incessant Beatles signing at karaoke. I honestly think we default to them because their songs are pretty easy to sing. Definitely a lot easier than Guns N’ Roses.

  • Clive Gordon says:

    Wow. No matter how thoughtful or well written something on the internet is, the comments sections are always just a complete sh*tstorm of racism and stupidity. Still, interesting post, Donald. (I know it’s years old, but I just saw it.)

    • Donnie says:

      Crazy, right, Clive? I was looking that comments section, shaking my head. There are some really rude people out there. Thanks for checking it out. Thanks even more for taking the time to share your thoughts 😀

  • kris says:

    Black people ruin everything so whites and other non-blacks do not like black people.
    Look at the crime statistics: black.
    Look at the worst cities in America or the world: black.
    Look at all the racist black-on-white crime being ignored by jew-owed media unless the victim is 1. black 2. gay 3. jewish. It’s black-on-white crime, like the “knockout game” or the white girl being set on fire in Mississippi and the media ignored it.
    People don’t like black people because they act like savages.
    Most Japanese and Chinese only like people of their own culture, but they hate black people.
    They are smart to do this because blacks, for the most part, make problems wherever they go.

  • Baby Shoes says:

    You’re just a low life American Bantu, commit suicide and end your misery.

  • Uchida Oginome says:

    I’ve never lived in Japan but I love the culture and have been there several times. My wife is Japanese and we have kids but we live in NYC (my hometown). On my first trip there, long before meeting my wife, I was asked by so many older Japanese people over drinks about music that I didn’t know about, like The Beatles and Cream. Of course I know who they are but my mother didn’t have that blasting on her stereo on Saturday and Sunday afternoons while she cleaned house. It was Marvin, Stevie and Teddy. Patti and Gladys. Whitney and Luther. My white friends in college all used to gush about how brilliant Dylan and The Beatles and Neil Young were and they were but there’s a big cultural divide there. Those people you work with may be interested in Japan and want to date and marry a Japanese person. They may go on to higher degrees in Japanese history or literature and have future careers in some Japanese corporation. But they still have the privilege of being able to remain ignorant of your culture and even your humanity (they’re ignoring the fact that they’re ignoring you!) because they have that luxury. The mainstream, white American culture was exported around the world. I’m in NYC so peoples’ tastes cross over a lot more here than in the middle of the country but I’ve noticed how homogeneous people’s tastes and the media is in the rest of this country. Unless you’re in a place with lots of black, Asians and Jews like Seattle, LA, San Francisco, New York or Chicago, it’s a safe bet that 90% of the people in our age group consider 311 classic music. Now I’m pushing 40 and I’ve noticed that people in Japan segregate themselves tremendously by taste. If you were in Tokyo or Fukuoka, you would find thousands of Japanese people who love hip hop and neo soul but they wouldn’t be at all interested in The Beatles. Here’s the thing: I think most of your American co-workers would have the white privilege of ignoring your existence or asking you about what you’re into. If you were a black man or woman who loved the same things they do, then great, they’d treat you the same but the fact that you’re a black man who likes black things puts them off and I don’t even think they’re doing this to you on purpose. They just don’t know how to approach you on a level playing field because wherever they’re from they’ve probably never had to meet Americans with different tastes halfway. Most of the people around them probably always shared the same tastes.

  • Wendell Boulware says:

    Look man…..many asain people revere euro culture not ours and it moves to everything they do. It’s not you it’s them. Either you can stay and put up with that crazy shit or go where you will be appreciated….try Samoa…Tuvalu…fiji…hawaii…or prince georges county maryland in the USA… We need great black men as instructors…love you man….find your place!

  • VanillaTupacMcShade says:

    The black fetishization of the Japanese is real. LOL

  • Harumichan1 says:

    Donald, I’ve been referring to your site on and off ever since I went to Japan in 2014-2015. I am pretty disgusted by the comments left on here for absolutely no reason except to bring you and other African American people (like myself) down. I really admire your maturity and ability to not feed the trolls on your comments section. I’m not sure if you are still writing posts, but I am planning to apply to JET and AEON at the end of this year and would love to hear more from you about the application process if you have the time.

  • Vey UK says:

    Maybe some blacks should respect the japanese people and their culture then expect their respect from japanese! In 3 months living in Tokyo I have seen sh#t lots of abuses from blacks to japanese women from black guys more than abuses to blacks (in fact I have not seen any abuses to blacks).if you don’t believe me You try to catch last trains before 11pm in tokyo then you will some single black asking almost every single japanese women from late shift work etc for sex loud and clear in public, as a tourist i have stopped so many bloody times on the main busy streets if i want japanese prostitutes or drugs rudely by the blacks, if you try to ignore them then you might be screamed a racist behind you. It s funny that you playing racist cards and posing as victims almost any countries because of your color but when your color crimes mentioned then bring out racist card game again. This does not solve anything, always create problems.

    • HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

      I haven’t jumped into this thread for a very long time (it was written over six years ago). This comment is just such ignorant bollocks that I can’t help myself…

      “The blacks???” You sound like a bad impression of Donald Trump ROFLMAO.

      Don’t go to some seedy part of town (i.e.-Roppongi, Kabukihcho or some other club district) and then make blanket assumptions about black people. You just assumed that after seeing a handful of hustlers with dark skin that “blacks” (which DOES sound racist, by the way) act that way.

      I could assume that if you’re “seeing lots of abuses,” as you so eloquently wrote… that you’re in an around all this stuff. Could I assume you’re one of those late-night creeps who’s out there chasing tail yourself? SURE! I could, but I’m not going: A) because assumptions can be wrong, B) I don’t really care what kind of person you are.

      I often find that the people who preach the most are the people who shouldn’t be.

      It’s quite convenient that you make ZERO mention of the white men who do the same thing. And Newsflash: YES, there are white men (yes even British ones) that do that EXACT same abusive sh%t you mention!

      Does that make every white person, from every America, New Zealand, Australia, the UK, etc. a fu%kng scumbag?!? Hell no it doesn’t!

      But it DOES shows there are dumbasses is every race and in every nationality…even yours.

      I have zero reason to pull any race cards. I’ve lived here in Japan for ten years now.

      Not only have I had the opportunity to see more of this country than most people ever will, I’ve gotten some insanely great opportunities to learn more about Japanese culture and the Japanese language.

      Yes, I sometimes come across people who spout off steaming piles of bullsh%t, much like your comment. I actually giggled when I read it. Why?

      Because this “black” is doing VERY well for himself in all aspects of his life, without having to abuse anybody to do it.

      I’m fortunate and incredibly happy.

      All I can do in this case is smile, raise a middle finger to this dumb, myopic comment, and go on living this amazing life that I’m so grateful for.

      • Vey UK says:

        Well my friend, you bring the subject as the black and I commented on the black. You guys very sensitive, it is obvious that not everyone has to agree with you just because you are black, do we? Why are you so racist against almost everyone but blacks by saying them they are racist. Every nations and people are clearly has some small issues due culture, behaviours, manners etc. I do not call japanese people are racist even they are advertised at the club or bar doors that the foreign people are not allowed, it is their culture and they just want to keep it, I respect that and all white, brown are not taking it personal but the blacks mainly. Look maybe you do have the black issue, not the whole world has the issue. I have seen abusive blacks more than any race in uk, so in my experience that you blacks are racist as much as saudie arabs and you are racist towards to everyone where ever you live more than any race. Give me any country in the world , i prove every country still mainly blacks claiming that they are racist towards blacks. Classic

        • Nope. Not doing this anymore. Talking with you is a total waste of my time and energy. I have better things to do.

          You’re not being helpful or constructive in any way.

          I would absolutely love it if you didn’t come back to make comments.


          • Vey UK says:

            Ignorance, arent we? Lol. Let me tell you something why small cultural issues make others hate you and me. I m now waiting in a dentist clinic waiting room, one black guy with long legs open his legs wide and sitting almost his back bone instead of sitting straight on his arse then taking the space hallway and simply not lettting to others sitting next to him too. He just pretending new comers to welcome to empty seats next to him. Born in this country, lived here, knows the culture very well and still ignores others and be arsehole just because probably he enjoy abusing the small cases for his comfort or something else. Now if this guy tell us others do not respect him because he is black and his culture , well my friend prepare to be heard, keep yourselves and culture to keep in your own original country and you welcome piss off back to your original place as you as a person pissing people off constantly. Thanks

          • Nanami says:

            I wasn’t going to say anything because I thought Donald’s comments were fine, but the problem here isn’t just about your racist comments. You are lumping an entire group of people from different countries, backgrounds, and cultures together on the basis of their skin colour. People are people, it does not matter where they are from. There will be kind and considerate people and there will be rude and ignorant ones. To say “all the blacks” are these stereotypes is hurtful and ignorant of you. I’m sorry that you have had such unpleasant interactions with people of my ethnicity and race, but please do not assume that these individuals represent everyone. I’m sure you consider yourself a smart and understanding person, so these baseless and hurtful comments are really unnecessary. A little more patience and kindness may take you further with your point if you want to be heard. While Donald-kun’s experiences are specific to him, the entire story is a common one of *anyone* of a minority in another country. I’ve experienced it myself when I have been overseas working. There is a good lesson to be learned from his writing, which is that taking time to be inclusive can open up doors for experiences you may never have otherwise. I hope you understand, and I do again apologize for the unpleasant events you have been part of. However, those individuals do not represent an entire people.

          • Vey UK says:

            I m not blaming entire people or judging it. However the human nature will do it time to time. If I ask you about what you think about english people then you might talk about how terrible the english are in the history, slave and colonism trades etc but I dont concern about because automatically i know that you do not mean all english people but just few. I do not take it personally but you do. You take out any sentence and telling me either myself or everyone else must be black hater type of stupid sentences. Do not take it too personal and too sensitive about it. If you are, then dont bring out issues like you do not wanna debase about it. You simply trying to say you are always right. You are not. If you did then there will be no black issues, i am telling me there is not issues, you are just creating issues about the cases like we all have own issues. What i am also saying is if someone hating you there must be a reason too, maybe it is their fault but maybe it is your fault too. I gave you an examples about the black guy in the dentist, no one has issues with him but he creates issues with the people around him so you do not expect everyone to love him just because he is black, do you? If you are in japan then you got to special care of their cultural behaviours, they are sensitive, in uk it is rude spit on the streets but mostly blacks knows that and they still spit on the streets knowingly, such as disgusting behave for englisg citizen of course they will hate the people who spits and whether as you are black who spits on the street or Not, the english people will put you in a same basket too, it s human nature. Unfortunately mostly blacks spits on the streets and you tell me why mainly blacks do that. To be honest i would not want to know why, i just want you stop spitting. Do you know what i am saying , you do have issues here and most countries may hate you or not just because generally what you do, not what you look like. You bringing up the problem with the people against blacks, i say simply that if they have problem with blacks there must be a reason, maybe as much as they might be wrong , maybe you as blacks are wrong too. If you are not then why everyone generally hates u then?

      • Vey UK says:

        You cant change small mind of a black guy because they are so sensitive if someone said anything to them but they love abusing verbally and they dont care about it too lol. A stick with two shit stain on both side that can not be handle.
        I will tell you a trick of chatting skills, a proper british gentleman style, always pretend to be nice and agree to degree so they won’t take a piss from you and do sarcastic jokes on blacks. If you throw a black subject into the basket you get a positive and negative comments on blacks too. Like anything else. If you are small brained to take it personal then you will get abuses too. Cheer up

  • Yuki says:

    Hi, do you hate Japanese anyway?

  • >