My life, stories and shenanigans from Japan

Meet Steve


There is one thing in Japan that bugs me above all other things.

Foreigners.  Specifically white foreigners.  Not so much tourist doing touristy things, not so much other exchange students, and not so much females, though other white males.

I’m not racist, mind you. I, too, am a white male.

It’s time for me to just get it out with that which drives me absolutely crazy in Japan.  I’ve hinted at it in past posts, but it’s time for me to just make a post about it.

And I know many of you want to disagree with me, and think I’m hypocritical and crazy, though let me just get it out.

So, as many of you know, I have loved Japan for many, many, many years.  I’ve always sort of thought of it as “that thing which defines me”.   In coming to Japan, I thought of myself almost as a sort of trailblazer or vanguard for foreigners in Japan.  I thought that, in Japan, I’d be turning heads as the foreigner in Japan.

Now, imagine (well, don’t imagine. it’s a reality) that “that thing which defines you” is suddenly also that thing which defines hundreds, even thousands of other foreigners across the country.

And, while many of you think that the fact I’m an exchange student would set me apart, though, when you think about it, the average Japanese can’t tell a foreign high schooler from any other foreigner.

Theres this one “guy”, which I’ve put in parenthesis as he is in fact two people.  He’s sort of the same guy because both times he was a bald white man.  Now I have nothing against blind people, mind you, it was just a defining characteristic of him.  I shall name him Steve.  There has been two instances where Steve has annoyed me.  Other foreigners have bugged me, though Steve has particularly bugged me.

First instance.

Otsuka Ai concert a few weeks ago.

Generally, foreigners are attracted to things that aren’t really that prevalent in Japan.  You know, things like Anime and Manga and. um. Ninjutsu? (I’m tired. I can’t think of a good example. I had better examples when i was brainstorming this post on the train, though I, of course, cannot remember them).

Well, getting back to the point, you’d think I’d set myself apart as a foreigner at a concert.

Though no.  Right when I was going into the theater, Steve was right there. Standing in the audience. Wonderful. Just wonderful. 

ai He didn’t actually have coffee, but you get the point.

Instance two.

Happened just now, coming home.

Next to my house, there is a decently large hot springs resort. I just learned about it from my host mom today, so we went into the building coming home and were given a tour.  I love instances where I am just about 100% sure that I’m the only foreigner that is in the vicinity.   Most foreigners stay within the limits of Tokyo, and my home is in Kawasaki so there is very few foreigners.

Though, of course, as I stepped into the changing room to take a look at the bathes, at the first locked to my right was Steve. 

bald-man-onsen Yeah. I should stop with the photoshopping.

You know, I could really go on, but it’s sort of late and I have a school trip these next few days so I should get to bed.

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Comments on: "Meet Steve" (11)

  1. So what exactly bothers you about Steve? (Which, by the way, is the name which my friend and I call all Americans who come to Japan and act like assholes!)

  2. DAM YOU STEVE!!!!! *shakes fist in air*

  3. Anonymoose said:

    I’m sorry Colin but there’s nothing new under the sun. let “your” japan become everyone’s japan and share your happiness.

  4. believe me it’s not that great being the “only” foreigner…
    people point at you, stare at you. It’s fine for a few weeks but it starts to get annoying!
    And no one speaks english!….>.<

    But steve is kind of scary xD

  5. RMilner said:

    It depends where you go.

    I’ve been to places so ‘Inaka’ that the locals were surprised my wife can speak Japanese. (She is Japanese!)

    Go to Hiroo and there are more foreigners than Japanese, because of all the embassies nearby.

  6. so what exactly are you saying about Steve. You want all of Japan for yourself? Sharing is caring!

  7. h

  8. Thomas Skoog said:

    What are you talking about?! You think you’re the first and only American teen who loves Japan and went to go live there with a program?! C’mon buddy!! Also my family got a new flat screen t.v.

  9. Hey Steve, welcome to the world! You finally discovered the world is larger than one!

  10. Actually I really understand what you mean.
    I had the same when I just started my interest for Japan. I thought I was the only Chinese person being really interested in Japan. But later I found out that (of course) I ain’t the only Chinese person having an interest for Japan (doh). Still didn’t liked the fact about that, but as time went on I had to accept this fact of “reality”.
    Btw, it’s fun reading your blog! In some way you posts are very humorous =3

  11. asutori said:

    Haha, those photoshop pictures are really just hilarious XD

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