Japan's Xenophobia

Vitor

When The Fruit Of Life Corrupts Men
I've kind of been wondering about this for a very long time, probably at least ever since the Gokaiger episode featuring the second appearance of Zealosto

What exactly is the deal with Japan's dislike of anything outside it's own nationality? How did it start?
 

Bolt

boogie woogie feng shui
I don't think Japan's attitude toward other nations can be regarded as anything like aversion or disdain, but Japan has always had a strong nationalistic character and sense of pride in the worth of their citizens and culture, especially since the reparation years following the second World War.
 

kuroihikari

Member
Around the time of the Sengoku period they had pretty normal dealing with foreigners in terms of trading and learning. Then, when foreign influences started disturbing their country (like the introduction of firearms, Christianity, and practices like drugs) they began their mistrust towards foreigners. Firearms particularly caused the alienation of an entire noble class. Christianity also threatened the established spiritual practices in Japan (plus some Japanese Christians were crazy, like Amakusa) These problems slowly piled until around the start of Tokugawa.

So when the Sengoku period ended, and the Tokugawa shogunate began, these problems caused the country to go into isolation in order to preserve its culture. So, those two centuries of people shunning foreign interaction caused the new generations to be generally mistrustful of foreigners. It didn't help that the first foreign interaction was quite rude arrival of Commodore Perry's black ships (which not only were loud and generally dirty, but also deadly). Since then that mistrust has been ingrained into succeeding generations.

Still, that did not prevent them from using foreigners to their advantage. The Japanese navy's quick rise to power in the turn of the 20th century was due to the Japanese sending their naval officers to study in Britain. When the Jews started leaving Europe the Japanese gave them a place to stay in order to learn the technical skills the European Jews were known for. So, to some extent there is this respect for foreigners. It's just that they'd rather not let the relationship go any further than that.
 

lazycoconut

I liked him when he wasn't a god
Another poster could probably explain this better, but there is the whole "nihonjinron" concept whereby some Japanese people think they are a different species from the rest of the human race, and that unless you are 100% ethnically Japanese and have spent all your life in Japan, it is physically impossible for you to understand the Japanese language, do things the "Japanese" way etc. etc. It's associated more with older people, but it still has a presence.
 
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NateRiver

Welcome
For some reason, I think Igadevil may be able to explain this.Maybe Winter as well, because I think his wife may be Japanese.
 
Like others have said, they pretty much shut themselves off to any foreign influence (barring one small Portuguese trading settlement) Until Perry and the Menji restoration forced them to open up again.

The wars with Russian and China, the Conquest of Korea and later WWII likely didin't help Japan's foreign relations any, or her peoples view on foreigners. So i guess you could say the regressed during the Early 20th century around the time they where also Empire building.

But then they where defeated, and as time has rolled on the new generations don't hold the same bias view as their forebears did, and this age is nothing like the Isolated one of yor.
 

ParaParaJMo

Member
Historical reasons included, keep in mind that a majority of the population is Japanese and a good portion of the foreigner population lives in Tokyo. At best estimate, the foreign population is like 2%, and in that 2% nearly 95% of those foreigners are Chinese and Koreans. Americans count for so little of that. Little to no exposure of foreign people, especially in rural areas, is why Japan is amazed and intimidated by foreigners.
 

Bigdog

New Member
Another poster could probably explain this better, but there is the whole "nihonjinron" concept whereby some Japanese people think they are a different species from the rest of the human race, and that unless you are 100% ethnically Japanese and have spent all your life in Japan, it is physically impossible for you to understand the Japanese language, do things the "Japanese" way etc. etc. It's associated more with older people, but it still has a presence.

So basically.....a Japanese Aryan Race? Damn. :O_O:
 

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