Japan: “Black Man = Obama”


A black man reports having  had to endure the heart-rending experience of being called an Obama by a class of Japanese schoolchildren.

The account comes by way of a Japanese journalist:

I met a young American Japanophile on a plane recently. His Japanese was surprisingly good [i.e. he could say his name].

He was dispatched to a Japanese elementary school to teach English this last year. He said he loved Japanese children and was clearly enthusiastic about them, but he had a bitter experience at that school. It was from when Obama was still popular and the subject of something of a boom.

The first day he called at an elementary school in the country, the kids he met pointed at him and said “it’s Obama!” The entire classroom soon broke into an Obama call – “Obama, Obama!”

The entire class was chanting “Obama!” over and over, and even the teacher started grinning and joined in the chant.

He reflected on the experience: “Calling me Obama just because I’m black, isn’t it a racial stereotype? Even the teacher joined in!”

I thought about it.  Certainly, calling a black man an “Obama” is not something you could get away with in America, whether or not you meant anything by it. I can appreciate his discomfort.

But considering it from the perspective of those Japanese kids, maybe they just wanted to greet their new teacher as enthusiastically as possible and so started calling out “Obama, Obama!” Perhaps they had no idea that might be hurtful to some people. The same goes for the teacher as well.

The moral of the story is probably that Japan is so insular that outside of major cities the arrival of a barbarian interloper is still considered worth making a song and dance of (literally in this case), and most will never know any better – although in retrospect being compared to a latter-day Jimmy Carter will probably seem rather more cruel than it does at present.

2ch weighs in:

“Sorry about those yokels…”

“These kind of black jokes are the worst!”

“If I went to the US and got called a ‘samurai’ I’d probably feel the same way.”

“The teacher was an idiot…”

“Why the hell did he join in?”

“He probably wasn’t as black as Obama…”

“How is being called the name of the President discriminatory?”

“How about we call you Hatoyama from now on?”

“I see what bothered that darkie now.”

“If that happened to me I’d be livid.”

“Japanese just get called Bruce Lee when they go to the states though…”

“What’s the big deal? This is just like calling the name of some famous white person when you see another white.”

“Well, it was the country. Those bumpkins can’t be helped.”

“I can forgive them as we’d just be called Chinese in a foreign country anyway.”

“Children can’t be helped, but that scummy teacher needs to resign.”

“This is certainly a very Japanese incident. They can’t understand about the discomfort they cause the person either.”

“Obama doesn’t even look that black – you can find Japanese who look like that.”

“If you look at that McDonald’s ad you’ll see just what kind of little idiots you’re dealing with here.”

“The people who say he is being overly sensitive are themselves being overly dismissive of racial discrimination.”

“If this guy was a Republican it must have been pretty harsh…”

“Blacks are so tedious.”

“It’s just because it was the first real black person they’d ever seen. You never see black or white people out there.”

“This is more like gaijin-sama arriving at a village of the natives and being given presidential treatment.”

“I’m from Kagoshima [almost foreign parts as far as most Tokyo inhabitants are concerned] and when I came to Tokyo they wouldn’t shut up with the funny names based on my origins. It was damn annoying. In fact, as I recall the teacher joined in too…”

“Well, teachers are basically on the same intellectual level as elementary schoolers.”

“If it were me I’d have responded ‘Yes we can!'”

“Where was the change…”

Leave a Comment


  • Anonymous says:

    I am being called a Japanese even in my own country because I can speak Japanese – that’s the only reason. I am not Japanese. People just tend to label you no matter what. And this guy is just overreacting. I don’t mean to be a racist but from my own experience only Afro-Americans are talking about skin colors – hey – in my whole life only Afro-Americans were calling me “whitey”. Isn’t that fucking stupid? And they even blame kids now for that 😮 Just give me a break.
    In Japan when they call you a koku-jin or a haku-jin it doesn’t mean something good or bad – it is just a word. No intentions attached. They just aren’t some fucking hypocrites: when the king is naked they say he’s fucking naked. Did anyone say it is bad to be naked? That’s only your fucking interpretation.
    In fact, it makes YOU a racist for attaching YOUR impure thoughts to their pure words.
    jeez, give me a break…

  • Anonymous says:

    Fuck this! I am being called a Japanese even in my own country because I can speak Japanese – that’s the only reason. I am not Japanese. People just tend to label you no matter what. And this guy is just overreacting. I don’t mean to be a racist but from my own experience only Afro-Americans are talking about skin colors – hey – in my whole life only Afro-Americans were calling me “whitey”. Isn’t that fucking stupid? And they even blame kids now for that 😮 Just give me a break.
    In Japan when they call you a koku-jin or a haku-jin it doesn’t mean something good or bad – it is just a word. No intentions attached. They just aren’t some fucking hypocrites: when the king is naked they say he’s fucking naked. Did anyone say it is bad to be naked? That’s only your fucking interpretation. In fact, it makes YOU a racist for attaching YOUR impure thoughts to their pure words.
    jeez, give me a break…

  • True story: Back when I lived in an all-white redneck town, some kid pointed at my Japanese wife and yelled “Osama Bin Laden!” This was of course when all the media attention was focused on him, but it goes to show, this happens across cultures.

  • Allow me to quote from Rev. James David Manning regarding Obama: “HE IS NOT A BLACK MAN

  • That does not seem wrong to me. So what if kids associate black people with Obama or Will Smith or Michael Jordan or such? Japanese youth very much LIKE to think through stereotypes.

    And these stereotypes are very positive ones – overall a lot more flattering than what stereotypes you might get as chinese or white american or such. Or white women of a degree of attractiveness.

  • There’s only one reason why he joined in. To make a good first impression. It was either that or become unfriendly. Besides, it’s not like everyone here can’t relate.

    American–> Cowboy
    Japanese/Chinese/Korean–> Jackie Chan
    Russian–> Boris
    Native American–> Squanto
    Irish–> Seamus
    African–> Kunta
    French–> Pierre

    You get the idea. And if it doesn’t make you angry, it’ll at least annoy you.

  • Racism, as we know it, has a very specific and very unique origin within American society.

    These stigmas, stereotypes, and issues related to race don’t really exist outside of the States.

    In places around Europe, hip-hop is commonly referred to as ‘Black Music’. Except that…It’s not a derogatory term when they say it. The sensitive racial context that Americans hold such a term in is absent.

    So no, Americans, it’s not the rest of the world that is crazy. Just you.

    • obviously never been to Britain, or Ireland. brown people get called ragheads all the time, hell, plenty of Irish fucking hate the English, and alot of the English really hate the Irish. the racism there runs very deep, as Ireland and Britain have been at each others throats through-out history, the English also committed genocide against the Irish through starvation.

  • He should dress fancy, then bed all of their mothers. I would. Let those idiots think he’s Obama and more importantly, let their mothers think he’s packing some fine Alabama Black Snake. Skewer them all.

  • LOL , okay in best boondocks style, are you dumb Nigger ?
    what’s your fucking problem.

    Okay i was 3 different people in japan and japanese people do that to nearly every foreigner and fuck it, it’s not with malice or any bad intention, the bearded guy’s got invaded by kids all the time they wanted to touch the beard, and african people with curly hair got also invaded by kids as they wanted to touch the curly hair, damn they are kids , and even adult in japan have the mindset of kids and don’t mean any harm when doing that. Get real and play along, japan is not used to foreigners so they try to relate to you by saying a name of someone famous and remotly looks like you.

    Very often they called me Tom Cruise, due the last samurai movie they did know and was apperently famous in japan, but well i played along hummed the mission impossible theme and did take pictures with them or even sometimes when i did give my card i said tom cruise as joke.

    Then i was very often also Jack Bauer they only did know the name of the character from the series 24 but didn’t know that the actors name is kiefer sutherland, again i nailed them with making fun comments by taking my phone , or saying ctu needs me i have to leave , i don’t have time ect. , or need to save the world now sorry the terrorist don’t wait for me.

    I also was Matt Damon sometimes i never did get why exatcly and it was not so often, only one person said it because of ocean’s eleven, but well if would do a dogma reference they wouldn’t get it so i didn’t put an act up when they said that.

    And none of those 3 actors look like me, and still i was cool and it was fun , seems it’s only racist when you did it do someone who is not white or what lol. 🙂

  • Well… I’m from Andorra (European micro-country if any one wonders…) and when I was at Narita airport, the officer at the customs gave me a very suspicious look and told me I was very white for being from Angola…

  • I think it’s kind of adorable that the kids were calling him Obama. (Well, depending on how old they are. If they were older than third grade or so it would be pretty weird.) They were probably just excited to see their first real black man. But the teacher doing it too, wtf.

  • obama isnt even full black, he’s mixed. don’t know why people always call him the first “black” president, possibly because he has some black in him atleast and looks the part. Kinda ignorant of the teacher, but its not like those little kids knew better. Fire the teacher and give the little kids some learnin… yeehaw!

  • Some Japanese teachers can come off as being rather callous and unthinking. The society as a whole seems more entrenched in maintaining the status quo as opposed to change (positive or negative), including racial stereotypes and biases.

    In this situation, it’s totally understandable why the guy was offended. I don’t think they realized they were being offensive, but they were no doubt bigtime ignorant. How would the Japanese teacher or kids like it if they were put in front of a group of people calling them TOJO?

    • Because whites and blacks are actually distinguishable from each of their race groups. I can tell a Japanese from a Chinese a bit, but lets be serious both races are so homogeneous they make it hard themselves not to look alike.

  • My boyfriend is japanese and he still says or does things like this from time to time, he’s been here for almost 5 years! Every black man “looks like Obama”
    to him or is Obama… =(
    I always have to censor what he says or go around saying sorry afterwords~
    He seems to think it’s not as bad as I do or thinks I’m over reacting DX

  • Probably one of the better stereotypes out of Japan. If a bunch of schoolkids called me Obama in my head I’d be like, ‘I’m the goddamned President’.

    Whether or not Obama is the new Jimmy Carter is irrelevant, he will still go down in history as the first Black president.

  • I took a trip to China during college. My room mate was a rather large black man. Probably 6’4″ 300+ pounds and not particularly athletic. He had a Yao Ming NBA jersey he wore, and when he did he could convince the average Chinese he was a professional basketball player. Basically same thing. They just don’t have enough experience to know what’s right and not.

  • I swear, some of these people should be smacked upside their head… >.> I hate it when people say I look like a friend just b/c we’re both big and black. It gets on my nerves. You need to open your eyes, and your mind. And stop being ridiculous. I hope their parents taught them not to do that anymore.

  • they are way sensitive, i mean they could be called some offensive way, and without any offense intended, just out of ignorance of their culture, or because
    they are too alien in some countries.

  • Americunts… they never stop making a fuss about random things like that…

    Yeah, because calling a black american “Obama” or “Eddy Murphy” is worth than calling him a nigger or shooting him with a gun like we civilised white people do.

  • Who fking cares? Just another random subject to bitch about?

    So I was called asian and chinese many times in kindergarten and junior school, even though I am not. So what?
    I don’t really expect anyone to guess my origin or my current place of residence. Blame globalization and migration.
    P.S. I also heard America is planning to ban the “N” word from white people use. Brainless hypocrites… there goes your whole equality and freedom of speech.

  • What I find funny is that the 2ch posters want to sound more educated, but they are still showing how outdated their world views are because they don’t seem to realize that people in America know damn well Japan isn’t all ninja and kimono and samurai now. Calling some random dude a samurai will get you a WTF look in the US regardless of who it is. xD

  • hahahaha “samurai”, samurai is the last thing i would say to a japanese, i would throw them a bag of rice right on the face, thats something i would do, or just calling them 1inch dick would be enough

  • Is anyone actually surprised by the [i]lack[/i] of racism from 2ch this time around?

    I mean yeah, there’s a lot of racism in there. But this is tame for 2ch. Guess they’re feeling a little less hate machine today.

  • Every time I see the word “Foreigner” in any Japanese related text or video I frown.

    Imo the only people excused with using the word “Foreigner” in any language are young children whose minds and knowledge are not developed enough to be expected to properly grasp the vastness and variety of people and cultures in the world

    • There are still different types of foreigners, though, and the Japanese tend to treat you very differently based on where you’re from.

      Be white and have above grade schooler level Japanese and you’ll be surprised how many fixed rules they bend for you if you ask nicely (like baito permits if you’re an exchange student or payment arrangements for you health insurance and so on). Be Chinese, and wow, you’re so incredibly fucked.

      For example, before I went to Japan as an exchange student I had to prove that I had x amount of money – enough to cover living costs and rent for a year. I could provide a statement like that, but because my country is backwards and primitive, I couldn’t get it in English – instead they let me just scribble Japanese translations over the relevant columns et voila. My Chinese colleagues all had to have their shit perfectly in order, with signed and stamped (expensive) official Japanese translations. I had my paperwork done in ten days – some of them needed nearly a year to get their stuff in order.

      Similarly, I had my job permit within a week – for most of the Chinese it took well over a month. Where is that fair?

    • I think it’s easy to throw blanket statements against the West when they have nothing else to blame, but maybe we can have hope that when it comes to actual topics like this, even the 2ch otaku can at least be understanding about the issue. I reserve judgment until the next incident though.

    • Not really. I’ve seen urban, hip Tokyo-ites doing the same behavior. You really don’t just run into a black person or a hispanic person out of the gate in many places. So it is a bit of an event when they do. Especially if your teacher is a type of human you have never seen face to face in your life.

      It’s not a totally malicious form of racism or anything. Just that many Japanese societies (urban or rural) can be very insular.

      • There are malicious cases though. If I ever decide to live there again I’m sticking around the Osaka area. They seemed more laid back than the Tokyo area when it came to different people. I’m sure other people’s experiences might differ though. Kyoto was pretty also but damn, having people stare all the time gets old, and having random people snap your picture… also gets old… and disturbing.

  • In class in Japan the teacher asked the students where they thought I was from. They all responded what translates to “outside country.” Not even a specific country… just “outside country.”

        • “It could have been worse, like putting you in a separate bath all alone. At least they let you in the bathhouse together with the Japanese.”

          True, they could have treated you like a Russian and denied you entry. [Apparently Russians are known for not using the shower before entering the bath.]

        • “having tons of Japanese stare at your private parts when you’re in a bath house”

          It could have been worse, like putting you in a separate bath all alone. At least they let you in the bathhouse together with the Japanese.

        • Well, I disagree that the Japanese are completely without restraints when it comes to foreigners. One of my friends walked past a child and his mother while in Japan. He was black, so the child was clearly intrigued:

          “Mama, ano hito nani?” (Mama, what is that person?)

          Without actually knowing who my friend was, she replied:

          “Eigo no sensei desu.” (He’s an English Teacher.)

          And so, in the context of children, I do not see the shout of “Obama! Obama!” being anything more than the children’s own amusement as seeing a black person, probably for the first time in their lives. It’s just not normal in Japan, so you can’t expect them to know better.
          Which makes sense why that person joined in without thinking much else about it. But I bet there were better things he could have done. Like, if he had actually talked about black people, he could possibly get the attention of the kids and gain their emotional support.
          Then, it’d be up to them what to think in the future, after they’re old enough to understand true history and the roles of blacks (assuming they ever learn about them–the Japanese school system barely talks about them as anything other than a symbol for being a foreigner).

          Of course, having tons of Japanese stare at your private parts when you’re in a bath house is somewhat awkward, if not hurtful… (Yes, I’m blonde…) but you can’t blame them for their curiosity. If they avoid you for it, though, then there might be an issue.

    • I went for a one-day English teaching job for some fifth graders at a primary school a bit back and had to introduce myself with “I come from Germany”. When prompted to guess what that translates out into in Japanese, the very first reply in every of the classrooms I went to was “Jamaica!”

      I’m blindingly white and blond, so that was kind of… yeah.

      Then again, it could be worse – at least no one asked me about beer and sausages or showed me the Hitler greeting. That’s more than I expected.

    • You know, if you’re white, it’s a bit hard to know if you’re from Europe, America, Southern Oceania or South Africa. If you’re black, is a bit hard to know if you’re from Europe, America.. etc. The same goes to indigenous, persian, and even arabs. And as japan ethnic is 99% japanese , when you see a non-japanese, they’ll obviously say you’re outisde the country. Is better than, when in americas or europe, people calls all Asiatics as chinese, when calling them just “Asiatic” would be far more accurate.

  • For a civilized and modern country valuing public decorum and surface politeness Japanese are suprisingly xenophobic and racist.

    2ch’s opinions notwithstanding most Americans would not address a Japanese individual as ‘samurai’ or ‘Bruce Lee’. Given the mix of races in the US most people are familiar with a broad range of racial and cultural characteristics, and therefore feel no urge to chant inane names in chorus.

    There are bigoted and racist Americans without question and would probably address a Japanese as a ‘slant-eyed gook motherfucker’ or a ‘ching-chong Chinaman’.

    It is interesting to read blogs by the JET teachers describing their experiences with the Japanese school system and the students. Japanese sure are quirky and amusing.

    Interestingly, this supposedly sympathetic journalist is a patronizing asshole as well, as evidenced by his statement (assuming it wasn’t mangled in translation) “His Japanese was surprisingly good [i.e. he could say his name].” If that’s what he said, then on behalf of the ‘Obama’ teacher let me say “fuck your samurai ass, Bruce Lee”.

    • I was thinking the same exact thing! i was completely surprised to see a bit of common sense in some of the posts.

      There was a small bit of the average stupidity 2ch is known for but it was outweighed by normal human intelligent thought processes for once

        • Not every 2ch user is a racist extremist with crazy opinions. I’ve seen posts on 2ch that were sensible. It’s a huge message board with loads of boards and topics. The boards and topics that have nothing to do with politics/news etc are generally NOT racist or extreme. I go to the boards talking about foreign music, and I go to specific threads about specific British bands. NO racism or extreme opinions on those threads, despite being a thread on 2ch. Not every person who’s posted on 2ch or commented on those ‘matome blogs’ (blogs that pick up a thread/article on 2ch and summarise the opinions on their, also allowing people to comment on the blog entry has extreme opinions or racist opinions.

  • Oh come on, you can’t seriously call this offensive.

    “Discomfort”ing? Sure. Embarrassing? Probably. You can hardly call it rude – if you want to apply “ignorant” to children it’d be harsh but that’s all you can say.

    Teacher should know better though.

    • More because its a back handed way of saying “You all look the same”, “we cant tell you apart” and “hey, its the black dude from TV!”.
      …Which would be kind of insulting when applied to you racially. All the more shocking when your in a culture that is so picky about its interpersonal relations.

  • I briefly tried teaching English over there.

    I was told by the agency, amongst many other stupid things like “don’t sweat” and “don’t get sick”, to “act like a stereotypical foreigner.” Because it “just makes things easier.” I’m not an actor and I’m not going to pretend I’m something I’m not for 5 days a week, 8 hours a day.

    Kids are going to say things to you, they’re kids that’s just the way they are. But this idea that we shouldn’t make waves or try to educate people on how their behavior affects people is ridiculous.

  • I’ve heard similar tales from other Black travelers to Japan, and other parts of Asia for that matter. I don’t think the kids meant anything by it, but its only proof that Japan is a very homogeneous society, and seeing a Black person within those parts is very rare, especially in the backwoods/country.

    They could’ve thought he was chocolate and licked him, or if brother man had an afro, felt his hair since its curly.

    Japanese nationals seem to raise a huge huff (what nation doesn’t?)when insensitivity, racial discrimination, etc happens to their citizens, but even with their vast technological advances, network connections seem… ignorant of other races, particularly those of African descent.

    Again, not saying Japanese are inherently racist or any of that shit, but these are just things I’ve noticed from excerpts and personal experience when I was over there

    • Black people are actually treated as criminals in Japan, frequently. And even with good lawyers they are convicted of crimes they didn’t commit. This isn’t just black people though. If you’re a foreigner in general you best be on your A-game in Japan.

  • when they started screaming “Obama” at him, he should have said “Nuking Hiroshima was fun” or something more offensive, fuck i would probably strangle every one of the little shitheads. dumb fucking kids piss me off, learn the hard way, with my hands on your throat.

    • because you don’t have any anger control, because you are obviously not mentally prepared to have kids, as you obviously can barely handle daily life. you must have had no correct upbringing, mommy didn’t protect you and didn’t hug, dad beat you, so you can just hide behind that your whole life, excusing you of any wrong doings because your mentally fucked, dumbshit. or if you did, your just a big dumbass, cause guess what, you were once that stupid, someone had to make you smarter, feed you, protect you, give a bed, keep you alive.
      pathetic fuck, you’re not the only one who fucking dealt with shit in his life, but you are the only one who never learned from it.

  • Kids will be kids…I agree with the reporter that the kids may have been trying to be nice and didn’t know any better. But its still kind of sad for the man, specially since he seemed so enthusiastic…I wouldn’t be chipper if I went to Japan and had people call me “Jose”, “Pedro”, or “Mariachi” just because I’m Mexican…>_>

  • Uh, being called a samurai if you’re Japanese is like being called a cowboy if you’re America… I’m pretty that’s not as offensive as if some Americans sang and clapped and “Naoto Kan” (Japanese PM)…

    …Hmm, actually that would be funny. I think it’s just the overall feeling of being ogled and made a spectacle of because of a single defining trait. Blackness is more of a sensitive trait than Americanness (lol, America) or Japaneseness (lol, Japan).

  • It’s a pretty common response to a culture not understood.

    Japanese girls are sometimes called “Oshin” and pointed at in other countries. This was a famous Japanese melodrama about a poor girl that worked and lived in a temple. “Oshin” was the name of the poor little Japanese girl.

    Never mind that American people call the Japanese, “Japs” and “ricers” at times.

    Just live with the fact that it’s not a multicultural society and they do not have education about living in such an environment. The teachers need to have a meeting and come up with a plan to instruct the children about multi-culturalism if they hope for any change. A little at a time is better than none.

    • Bullshit. Utter bullshit.

      Only groups that get any grief here are Mexicans or the French. If you’re asian, people won’t even give you a second glance. They’ll assume you work at the take out place and probably get hungry.

      • Are you stupid? America is racist as hell. And only the incredibly stupid and incredibly ignorant white people in the US don’t acknowledge that or don’t recognize it because they are too busy being privileged and spoiled. America is a very racist country in life, institutions, and in the media. If you don’t get it fine, but don’t ignore it for the sake of the people who do have to deal with it. Most young white people get this and only the stupid minority don’t. How old are you? Seventy?

        • This is one of the most ignorant posts I have ever seen. You fuckwad get facts straight before trashing an entire COUNTRY and the people living in it saying that we are spoiled. My mother works 12 hours a day at the age of 58 doing lifting and as a factory line worker. My father is now unemployed but used to pick strawberries at the nearby farms. Do you know how hard that is? No I bet you don’t you ignorant fuck. Working in agriculture wears on your body, from a combination of long hours and working under the sun for so long. He and I cannot find a job. LITERALLY cannot find a job. He is too old and I can’t work the hours they offer. I’m taking 20 units of classes and investing what little I have in the stock market. Do my father and I bitch about it blaming others? No we Americans dug ourselves a hole I understand that, but at least we don’t blame other people with false information and propaganda. Too long don’t read: Information is power, and you are a weak shit that doesn’t have a clue.

        • @anon 17:12 has never been to America. Really, you shouldn’t pay attention to what happens on your TV or the movies. 99% of us really don’t care about color, we’re too busy fighting off real monsters like debt and unemployment.

          Basement dwellers acting like movies = real life.

        • “white people in the US don’t acknowledge that or don’t recognize it because they are too busy being privileged and spoiled.”
          Yeah, that’s what we sit around doing all day. Tight schedule, but you can’t be too picky in this economy.

  • Yes, this is weird as all heck and it makes the Japanese class look like idiots. But let’s face it: there are WAY WORSE words that can be used to refer to an African-American than “Obama”. I remember reading Azrael’s Japanese schoolteacher stories and him being floored when some schoolgirl casually dropped the N-Bomb on him with zero maliciousness just because she’d been watching too much MTV and was just that ignorant and inexperienced when it came to dealing with black people. :/

    • No, it isn’t. It’s the same when I went to a different country and I get the famous crane kick pose from karate kid and karate chops wannabes just because I’m Chinese.

      Imagine if you went to a totally different country from Asia as an exmaple and random people you meet on the street start to act as robots and also start saying “Hasta la vista, Baby.”. And you know that isn’t English all just because it came from a English movie.

    • no dude, calling a japanese kid chinese is’nt the same thing. its like calling an afican, jamaican. the equivalent would be a class of african kids chanting JACKIE CHAN!! when a japanese or korean teacher was introducced.

    • In Japan you are just labeled a “foreigner.” I always laugh at the news when they talk about crime being committed by “foreigners.”

      Do they ever stop to think about how absurd that is? The criminal could be from anywhere in the world. Never mind that I’m from America and the culprit was someone from the Phillipines, I’m lumped in with the “foreigner” group and vilified.

      All because Japanese people can’t be bothered to say what continent people are from.

      • In Japan, foreign criminals are mostly Chinese or Korean.
        But Japanese media want to hide where foreign criminals are from if they are from China or Korea.
        This is why they use a word “foreigner.”
        They hate Japan and love Korea and China.
        Sorry for my poor English.

      • Calling him Obama’s way better than calling him nigger.

        I dunno; I’m Chinese, but if they call me Kwai Chang Caine in US, I’d be flattered. Lol.

        (Yes I’m aware Carradine’s a whitey.<_<)

        Don't get so personal over everything~ Mattaku~

        • @19:35 Don’t lump Americans with some midwest cultist town, that teaches only hate and religious extremism.

          Nor Americans with some piece of trash, from the ghetto, who’d rather sell drugs, than get an education.

        • Yeaaaaah, you’ve never actually been outside your house have you? If you’ve actually met anyone, from ANYWHERE who can’t tell you where the USA is, then you need to re-examine your circle of friends. Maybe stop believing everything you see on YouTube. Or whatever the hell you’re doing wrong. LOL

      • “I always laugh at the news when they talk about crime being committed by ‘foreigners.'”

        The issue with that is using race to identify a criminal at all, not that yours is getting lumped into the rest. Being more specific doesn’t make it any less racist.

        • From my experience, German news pull similar stupidity – see a crime committed by a teenager, and they very often include the bit “Southern looking”. Which has become code for “Turkish”, even though it used to refer to everybody from a country in the Mediterranean. Never mind that many of these perpetrators hold German citizenship and were born and raised there.

          Same thing can be seen in Holland, France and Italy, though for the later two it tends to be “African” or “Maghrebi” instead.

          And I don’t think I have to mention the treatment Hispanics receive in parts of the USA?

          Every country is racist to some degree, Japan is just more noticeable because of the total ignorance of 99% of their population.

        • Thats what Xenophobia is and by the way things are going, it is kinda fair. I dont know enough about modern Japanese news other than this site, but in the past, the outside penetration usually implies that the outside is trying to convert the inside. In the past, the west had done a decent job job penetrating and converting the Japanese through religious, military might and economic differences and exchange. Im not saying its right because I believe that as time goes on, things change. This isn’t to be so according to these accounts.

        • It does become rather pertinent information if, for example, a certain group is in fact disproportionately involved in a given activity.

          In any case, the original poster is quite right there – in fact it is rather worse, as the Japanese are constantly talking about “kaigai” (“overseas”) as if it were a single place.

        • @HouseLife

          You talk about children in the classic parental dismissive way, you would rather worship children then treat them like the should be, they should be treated like children. What the fuck does a 5 year old child have to say that really fucking matters? Absolutely nothing. They wont be talk about peace treaties or global economic crisis, the most you will hear is how they got a new sticker that they just love, or how someone fated and they laughed. At the age of a child people need to be taught how to conform, listen, be humble and learn respect, ill all cultures. Children are children, but one day they will be adults and that’s what you teach a child. How to be an adult.

        • @ 22:44: You say that, but I’m white and I still can’t tell the difference between British, French, Irish, Spanish, or South-African. German and Italian is a bit easier, but only if they’re the archetype of that race. So, I highly doubt most Japanese can tell if someone is Korean or Chinese, or vice versa.

          In fact, I read something somewhere that said that Korean/Chinese immigrants often simply change their names to Japanese names to avoid detection (to avoid the prejudice that comes with being Korean or Chinese in Japan).

        • Distinguishing people from each other is difficult if you aren’t familiar with their ‘race’ at all.

          Most Westerners can’t properly tell Chinese, Koreans and Japanese apart. While Chinese, Japanese and Koreans -certainly- can. In most cases, anyway.

          It works the other way around as well. To them, the teacher probably really looked sufficiently Obama-like.

        • Well put. It goes along the same lines as how white Americans tend to think of anime characters as white, while of course Japanese (most at least) recognize the anime characters as Japanese. Actually I’ve recently started watching Katanagarari, and I love how the character cannot tell the difference between people due to his upbringing. It’s an exaggeration, but a wonderful commentary on perspective for people who live in a melting pot… which is ironic considering how non-melting-pot Japan is 😀

          In regards to this black guy, I believe it was less about the commentary than it was that he was put in a strange spot and was caught off guard, so he put it in the complaint about race. Children can be forgiven their mistakes. As for the teacher, I can sadly understand his potential thought process. If anyone has ever dealt with children en masse, and have to force them to do things they don’t like to do as an authority figure, you really wish for moments where you can be their friend as well so that they don’t treat you so much like a villain. That doesn’t change that he should have at least acknowledged the guy and escorted him into the situation before joining the chant or something.

          And of course, the black guy should have known the universal Japanese symbol for ‘this is embarrassing’ and put one hand on the back of his head and rubbed.

        • Stereotyping and discrimination are two different things. One can choose discriminate based upon a stereotype or not. They tend to be related. However they are not the same thing at all. I find many stereotypes to be true in some instances but if I let them color how I judge/treat someone then I have, more or less, begun to discriminate against them.

          It’s funny how the idiocy of political correctness has caused small minded people to treat stereotypes and discrimination as the same thing.

        • Well, if you have never encountered a black person before, it can be hard to distinguish some of them.

          The same actually happened to me, something I’m not really proud of (not Obama of course, but I confused two other people). Needless to say that I apologized for it.

          But yeah, it can be hard to distinguish some people from other races if you didn’t have close contact with the before, whether it be asians, caucasians, africans or latinos.

  • Why would calling a black man an “Obama” seems racists? Consider the damage Obama is further doing to the US economy on top of the damage Bush did. Sounds racists to me.

    Obama = to not knowing how to run an economy. Idiot.

    Herman Cain 2012

    • “Obama = to not knowing how to run an economy”

      And now I present you with the general proponents of Obama, retards!

      Honestly, the economic climate when he came into office was so dire that nobody could of possibly just magically made it all better instantly. Seriously, does nobody understand that simple fact?

      • Sure, blame it on the last guy. That’s all the dems got. but when Bush was president, the dem congress messed up everything had Bush as a scapegoat so that retards like you all blame Bush for everything. If Obama’s not able, he should just admit it. Everybody can play the blame game. Heck, I just made a case for Bush using that. The “blaming on others” argument simply doesn’t work. “seriously, does nobody understand THIS simple fact?”

  • Black people crying about racism….and not a single fuck was given on that day

    fuck PC man and fuck foreign assholes talking shit about the American people only you people dont know shit about racial discrimination…fucking babies grow up…why dont you hop in the Dalorean and travel back to 1953 and get hosed down or even worse lynched….yes these events were inhumane and a dark part of American history but we got through it and became stronger we dont let racist shit fly in America anymore the only racism left is from crooked cops and dumbshit red necks and niggers who still blame everything on the white man(lrn2 Chris Rock)

    give the danm japs a break its asia black people are virtually nonexistent outside country capitals they arent as forward thinking as Americans and while the incident was a slightly rude and uncomfortable experience it was a far cry from racism

    • You’re an idiot, and an ignorant one at that. If you think the only racism left is from cops and red necks, you truly are blind and have never even attempted to learn anything about society. If you still use the word nigger, which separates people based on race (regardless of how you stupidly want to convince yourself you’re only talking about the “bad” black people,) then you’re racist, heartless, and worthless.

      And it’s also clear you’ve never been to Japan. There are plenty of black people in Japan. The problem is that racism is so accepted and people aren’t corrected so the overt racism continues. For example, blackface stereotypes on tv, or displays like this one in the school. Educate yourself before you speak.

  • Once again Japan = Ethnocentric and Xenophobic…

    Man, the only reason I put up with these racist fucks is because I love anime and manga…

    Other than that, they’re just as bad as the Chinese.

    • Aren’t you the xenophobic one here? Do you live in Japan? Do you know how people really are in this country?

      Again, someone with prejudice against asians… I bet you’re the kind of one who don’t dare to say anything against blacks and arabs when you see one in the street, because you’re scared shitless. You prefer to criticize asians because they are too nice and that they won’t hit you. In another way, you attack people who don’t attack you and you bow to people who attack you. What a coward.

  • Well, when I was in Kyoto, 2 persons in 2 different occasions (a guy and a girl) thought I was Johnny Depp (it was in the period when pirates of the Caribbean was very popular), and I didn’t complain about that… in fact I liked it. And in one occasion a little kid(I think he was in the 1st grade of elementary) came up to me and said “fuck you”. Did I get mad? of course not. I found it to be amusing because that kid most likely had no idea what he was saying and just picked up a very popular word from american movies.

    Black people are too sensitive…

  • Well, when I was in Kyoto, 2 persons in 2 different occasions (a guy and a girl) thought I was Johnny Depp (it was in the period when pirates of the Caribbean was very popular), and I didn’t complain about that… in fact I liked it.
    And in one occasion a little kid(I think he was in the 1st grade of elementary) came up to me and said “fuck you”. Did I get mad? of course not. I found it to be amusing because that kid most likely had no idea what he was saying and just picked up a very popular word from american movies.

    Black people are too sensitive…