A ‘Gaijin’ Woman’s Challenges in Japan

People stare at me all the time. They make comments on my appearance. On my clothes. On my behaviour. On the food that’s in my bento. About how I hold my chopsticks the Chinese way. ALL DAY LONG, I have to hear how everything about me is not Japanese. Yet – when I open my mouth, people are surprised by my near perfect imitation of the Kanto accent. I AM SO SICK OF HEARING – nihongo wa jyozu des ne. Your Japanese is so good. Can you please ask me a real question?

Barack Obama: America’s first ‘Third Culture Kid’ President

Obama was evidence that the world was becoming more globalized, or that race was being transcended as a construct. For others, he was evidence that the U.S. presidency had been infiltrated by someone who was an “other.”

What I’ve learned from it is how quickly people want to put each other in easily-categorized boxes. Coming to conclusions is a shorthand that everyone uses, and I think some of the conclusions people jumped to regarding Obama showed how far we still have to go as a nation in terms of accepting interracial relationships and religions other than Christianity.