The way he approached me, he just had all the qualities I was interested in. He was attractive, older than me and seemed serious. Yet he was super-kind and gentle — though some people think he looks scary. But none of it was ever really serious or fruitful. And, I was much more into using Japanese back then.
'Don't sell your soul for a Japanese man' | The Japan Times
Baye McNeil , a journalist based in Japan, has been working to change perceptions there of black people and culture. He appears frequently in the Japanese media to talk about diversity. McNeil visited the newsroom this week and gave us a different perspective on race, one that we want to share with you. This interview, done after the visit over email, has been condensed and edited for clarity.
There are many stereotypes that surround the western experience in Japan. Typically, they tend to be visualised by tall white men looming over crowds and looking lost on overpacked metro carriages. In a new short documentary from Nigerian-American artist Amarachi Nwosu, we get a look into the everyday lives of these expats. The minute film — simply titled Black In Tokyo — follows five subjects as they negotiate the cultural challenges of the Japanese capital, while also trying to balance their personal customs with local traditions. Being outside of your comfort zone can be difficult but it can also be so rewarding.
My name is Nobita, a native Japanese guy. I'm a Web Designer in Japan. You're putting all the pressure on the black person. When I lived in Japan there were a few guys I wanted to date and I asked some guys out and I got rejected.