Dr. ARUDOU, Debito's Home Page

From Debito's doctoral research:

Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination

  • Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination
  • (Lexington Books, Rowman & Littlefield HB 2015, PB 2016)

    Click on book cover for reviews, previews, and 30% discount direct from publisher. Available in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle eBook on

  • Book IN APPROPRIATE: A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan
  • Archive for the ' blog and website biz' Category

    Matters regarding the blog readership and updates to the non-blog website

    Japan Times column Sept. 5, 2016: “JBC marks 100 columns and a million page views”

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 4th September 2016

    JBC: The day I proposed this column to my editors back in 2008, I knew it would be a hard sell. Fortunately, I had a track record. I had been writing Zeit Gist articles (45 of them) every two months or so for the Community Page since 2002, and the JT was looking for new ways to serve the community beyond pages commemorating “Swaziland Independence Day” (which is Tuesday, incidentally). International goodwill and advertising revenue are all very well, but what about offering practical information for non-Japanese (NJ) residents making a better life here, or drawing attention to emerging domestic policies that affect them?

    So my pitch was that the JT needed a regular columnist on human rights and issues of social justice. And I was convinced there was enough material for a monthly. They weren’t as convinced, and they were especially nonplussed at my suggestion for a column title: “Just Be Cause”!? But shortly afterwards JBC got the green light, and on March 4, 2008, the first column was published — on why activism is frowned upon in Japan (because it’s associated with extremism). And off we went.

    Nearly 10 years and 100 columns later, it is clear that, like the archive (started 20 years ago, one of the oldest continuous personal websites on Japan) and daily blog (now 10 years old), JBC is in it for the long haul. In this special anniversary column, let’s look back at what JBC has covered. The themes have been, in order of frequency:
    Rest at

    Posted in Articles & Publications, blog and website biz, Good News, History, Media, NJ legacies, NJ voices ignored, discounted & discredited, Victories | No Comments »

    TIME Magazine and Japan Times on how online trolls (particularly Reddit) are ruining the Internet and media in general

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 30th August 2016

    TIME: This story is not a good idea. Not for society and certainly not for me. Because what trolls feed on is attention. And this little bit–these several thousand words–is like leaving bears a pan of baklava.

    It would be smarter to be cautious, because the Internet’s personality has changed. Once it was a geek with lofty ideals about the free flow of information. Now, if you need help improving your upload speeds the web is eager to help with technical details, but if you tell it you’re struggling with depression it will try to goad you into killing yourself. Psychologists call this the online disinhibition effect, in which factors like anonymity, invisibility, a lack of authority and not communicating in real time strip away the mores society spent millennia building. And it’s seeping from our smartphones into every aspect of our lives.

    The people who relish this online freedom are called trolls, a term that originally came from a fishing method online thieves use to find victims. It quickly morphed to refer to the monsters who hide in darkness and threaten people. Internet trolls have a manifesto of sorts, which states they are doing it for the “lulz,” or laughs. What trolls do for the lulz ranges from clever pranks to harassment to violent threats. There’s also doxxing–publishing personal data, such as Social Security numbers and bank accounts–and swatting, calling in an emergency to a victim’s house so the SWAT team busts in. When victims do not experience lulz, trolls tell them they have no sense of humor. Trolls are turning social media and comment boards into a giant locker room in a teen movie, with towel-snapping racial epithets and misogyny. They’ve been steadily upping their game…

    Japan Times: This sort of behavior is not new. Trolls — individuals who purposely send insulting and threatening messages to comments sections and social media sites — may be an Internet-specific phenomenon, but the impulses that drive them are general and eternal. Some say the difference is less ideological than psychological: serial harassers hide behind masks to express their grievances with the world, regardless of political leanings. But ideology, or at least the presumption of a “position,” is always the delivery device for the grievance. […] Media outlets should prevent intimidation any way they can, but they’re failing their mission if they don’t stand up to it.

    COMMENT: This is dangerous stuff. As the veteran of many years of online death threats myself, Cyberstalking is still stalking, and Japan no longer tolerates it like it used to outside of the Internet. reiterates its stance that something should be done to make these anonyms into real people taking responsibility for their statements. To me, that means registering real names under traceable conditions, as has happened (abortively) in South Korea. Short of that, the trolls will continue to sour and soil the online environment, depriving others of the freedom of speech the trolls themselves allegedly cherish (and use as their excuse for abuse) by remaining anonymous, immune to the same critique and exposure they mete out to others.

    Posted in blog and website biz, Hate Speech and Xenophobia, Human Rights, Media, Tangents | 11 Comments »

    Ten years of’s Blog: June 17, 2006. And counting.

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 17th June 2016

    Today (June 17, 2016) marks the Tenth Anniversary of founding of the Blog (as opposed to the Website, which has been in existence this year for 20 years).

    We’ve done a lot. As of today, has 2605 blog posts, 29,537 read and approved comments from Readers, and probably around a hundred published articles archived with links to sources here. It has been the archive for at least one Ph.D. research, and cited as the source for many more publications by independent scholars, researchers, and journalists.

    The award-winning website remains the online domain of record concerning human rights for Non-Japanese residents and Visible Minorities in Japan, and long may it continue.

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, blog and website biz, Good News, History, NJ legacies | 3 Comments »

    April 15, 1996: Twenty years of And counting.

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 15th April 2016

    As of today (JST), has been in action for twenty years. That means two decades of archiving issues of life and human rights in Japan.

    After starting out as an archive of my writings as Dave Aldwinckle on the Dead Fukuzawa Society, soon expanded into an award-winning website, cited by venerable institutions and publications worldwide, taking on various contentious topics. These have included Academic Apartheid in Japan’s Universities, The Gwen Gallagher Case, The Blacklist (and Greenlist) of Japanese Universities, The Community in Japan, The Otaru Onsens Case, the Activists’ Page and Residents’ Page, book “Japanese Only” in two languages, the Rogues’ Gallery of Exclusionary Establishments (which became the basis of my doctoral fieldwork), racism endemic to the National Police Agency and its official policies encouraging public racial profiling, the “What to Do If…” artery site, our “Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants and Immigrants to Japan” (now in its 3rd Edition), the overpolicing of Japanese society during international events, the reinstitution of fingerprinting of NJ only at the border, the establishment of the Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association (FRANCA), the 3/11 multiple disasters and the media scapegoating of foreign residents (as “flyjin”), the archive of Japan Times articles (2002- ) which blossomed into the regular JUST BE CAUSE column (2008- ), and now the acclaimed academic book, “Embedded Racism: Japan’s Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination” (Lexington Books 2016).

    I just wanted to mark the occasion with a brief post of commemoration. Thank you everyone for reading and contributing to! Long may we continue. Please leave a comment as to which parts of you’ve found helpful!

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, blog and website biz, Good News, History, Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Media, NJ legacies, Victories | 7 Comments »

    Fundraising for 2016 20th Anniversary Campaign for Donations via Paypal

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 11th January 2016

    As celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year in March, I want to thank Readers for all of their support throughout the decades. The research and archiving done here has helped thousands of people and enabled me to create books, including my recent magnum opus, “Embedded Racism: Japan’s Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination” (Lexington Press / Rowman & Littlefield, 2015/2016)

    This year, and I would like to do something unprecedented: Launch a 20th Anniversary Fundraising Drive.

    Naturally, there are costs of hosting and safeguarding against online elements who would sooner see taken down (they succeeded in doing so once). There are also projects I would like to support if possible, and having funds available under the aegis of would be beneficial for supporting this website further. So if over the years you have found the thousands of documents and information sites on helpful, please consider giving something back for all the volunteer work. Donations by Paypal accepted. Please remit to at Paypal, and please indicate in a message there whether or not you would like your gift acknowledged on (and if so, using what moniker). Thank you all again for reading and supporting!

    Posted in blog and website biz | 1 Comment »

    Happy New Year 2016: “Embedded Racism” makes TUJ Prof Jeff Kingston’s “Recommended Readings” for 2015

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 1st January 2016

    Happy New Year 2016 to all Readers and their families. I wish you all health and happiness as we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of this year, and continue onwards to discuss life and human rights in Japan.

    One very pleasant news that happened at the end of last year was Dr. Jeff Kingston, Director of Asian Studies at Temple University Japan, mentioning “Embedded Racism: Japan’s Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination” as one of his “Recommended Readings” in The Japan Times. Thank you.

    That book would not have come about without cataloging events and issues in real time over the decades, and a good chunk of that research was done with the assistance of people reading and writing for Thank you all very much for helping me to write my magnum opus.

    And just to tell you: my publisher has kept me appraised in real time of the sales, and it is selling far better than anticipated (and it’s about to be released in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America). I hope you will ask your library to get a copy.

    Posted in "Embedded Racism", Articles & Publications, blog and website biz, Good News, History | 7 Comments »

    I turn 50 years old on January 13, 2015

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 12th January 2015

    Just a personal entry for today. This sort of thing only happens once, and it’s happening now in Japan (tomorrow in Hawaii), so I’ll enjoy 48 hours of birthday this year. I turn fifty on January 13. This is a personal milestone in many ways…

    Posted in blog and website biz | 13 Comments »

    BLOG BIZ:’s Google Page Rank drops from 4 to Zero overnight. Unsure why

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 5th July 2014 Reader: Debito, I could be in error, but it looks like your Google page rank has been reduced from 4 to 0. I would talk to someone who knows about this stuff and ask them what’s up. If I am correct, you should regard that as a serious issue. It’s a mystery to me: I use a Safari on my mac. There’s a plug-in that gives you page rank, so I always see it when I visit a site:

    I think yours has always been 4 or 5. Perhaps 5, which is *really* good for a site like yours. I don’t recall ever seeing another site’s ranking just suddenly disappear. It could just be a glitch. But I doubled checked this — and your page rank is not showing up anywhere:

    (Screen capture of Google Page Rank according to the above link as of July 5, 2014: still zero)

    My best suggestion would be to check Google’s webmasters toolkit. If you don’t have an account, I would create one, it’s very helpful. Often they will tell you if there is a problem.

    [NB: I have done this. The Google web masters toolkit has indicated after a scan that there is nothing problematic about this site, and thus offer no avenue for query or appeal to Google.]

    Your page rank is an important factor in how well your site ranks in search engines. It’s not the *only* factor — but it’s the one most closely related to your web authority. If this *just* happened — you might not notice an immediate impact, but over time the traffic you receive from Google would begin to decline.

    If you are the *only* person with a webpage about a particular topic, you’ll continue to rank in Google’s search engine. If you and 100 other sites are taking on the same topic, you’ll fall to the bottom of the list. You have a massive archive, so on many topics, *only* you have a page — you’ll get traffic on those pages. But on competitive topics, your traffic will fall off. Does that make sense? Unless this is all a weird glitch. In which case maybe nothing will happen. You could just monitor it for a while … Sincerely, a Reader.

    Posted in blog and website biz | 9 Comments »

    BLOG BIZ: hacked, down for nearly two weeks, now back up

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 11th December 2013

    It’s good to be back after nearly two weeks of being down after being hacked. Just a brief paragraph recap of what happened for those who are interested:

    On November 29, I tried to log in but found that my password wouldn’t work. I got in touch with my provider but they were slow in answering, and after being bounced between a couple of helpful and unhelpful techies, I got signed up for a cleaning-out service. This took some time, as after nearly two decades of service has accumulated around 16 GBs of data. But once that was cleaned out, I still had trouble logging in. So I had to manually update themes and change passwords here and there, only to find out that the only password that would now work to avail me of this dashboard was the old one (I’ve now gotten in and changed it officially via the blog dashboard). So here we are, back, as of this morning, ready to resume discussion.

    Meanwhile, the question remains, who hacked and why? Several techies wrote to me saying that Wordpress is particularly vulnerable to hacks and spiders that implant viruses with delayed infection times. I don’t doubt that, but hours after was taken offline, I got this weird message (see full blog post):

    In response, we’ve signed up for a program offering constant security scans and cleaning, and although that increases maintenance costs, we’ve gotten donations (and lots of free advice, thanks for both!) from very kind people out there. Much obliged.

    If you like what you see and want to keep up and hack-free, please consider contributing a little something by Paypal (click here).

    Posted in blog and website biz | 11 Comments »

    BLOG BIZ: Vacationing for a few weeks for the Summer

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 20th August 2013

    It’s that time of the year again in the Northern Hemisphere, when people are supposed to go out and enjoy the delightful weather (or in any case take a vacation).  I’ll do the same for for a few weeks (excepting the days my next Japan Times JBC column comes out).  I’ll be a little slow on approving comments, so please be patient.  Enjoy the rest of August and into September.

    Posted in blog and website biz | 2 Comments »

    BLOG BIZ: temporarily down but not out, some images now missing

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 24th July 2013

    As people have written to me several times over the past few days (thanks for the concern!), was down for more than a day. This was not due to cyberattack, but rather my server host migrating things over to some new hardware, I’ve been told. While I find this explanation quite unsatisfactory (taking a day of downtime with no warning?), is back up and seems to be running fine.

    That said, it’s running on backup files they created that happen to be about six months old (boy, that’s ludicrous). This means that a lot of images that were evidentiary are now missing (such as the first two book link images above). I have reuploaded successfully those images on the not-blog parts of, but when it comes to the Blog, even after I have reuploaded images from the past six months into the Wordpress folder, they aren’t displaying correctly for reasons unknown.

    Needless to say, I have contacted my server and asked them to fix things. But if you find missing images on pages, please let us know below in the Comments Section with a link and we’ll get the server host on it. Thanks very much for the support, and sorry for the downtime.

    Posted in blog and website biz | 2 Comments »

    For the record: Correction to Asia Times article on cyberbullying in Japan that mentions Debito and by name

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 16th March 2013

    An article came out yesterday in the Asia Times that necessitates a clarification/correction by

    Japan’s cyber-bullies fight comments war
    By Christopher Johnson
    Asia Times, March 15, 2013

    For the record, this section:

    Nicolson has found the time and energy to lead a group of cyber-bullies who hounded US-born rights activist, author and Japan Times columnist Debito Arudou out of Japan.

    is not true. I am in Hawaii for research purposes, working on my PhD. Activities in cyberspace are unconnected to my overseas hiatus.

    Posted in Articles & Publications, blog and website biz, Media, Tangents | 2 Comments »

    Proposal: Establishing a YouTube Channel?

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 29th January 2013

    There has been discussion within a previous blog entry about establishing a YouTube channel that can screen information videos/vlogs/etc. on topics is concerned about. This is not unusual, as many advocacy groups have their own YouTube channels (such as Sakura TV, dedicated to disseminating far-rightist and historically revisionist views).

    My vision for a would be information that NJ in Japan could use for improving their lives in Japan, such as What to do if… a cop stops you for an ID check — filming some Shokumu Shitsumon proceedings as has happened with Japanese citizens here, here, and here (my favorite). In other words, filming these proceedings in action may act as at least a primary information source, at best a deterrent. The threat of accountability stops many a bureaucratic abuse. I personally think it’s a great idea and I’ll do what I can to help.

    Posted in "Pinprick Protests", blog and website biz, Discussions, Education, Human Rights, Media, Practical advice | 27 Comments »

    Wishing everyone a happy holiday season and end-year 2012

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 26th December 2012

    Just a brief note (amongst the time zones — it’s currently first thing in the morning of Christmas here) to wish all Readers, fans, and yes, even opponents, of the happiest Christmas/Boxing Day/End-Year Week imaginable with good tidings from all.

    Although a quarter-century in Japan (where Xmas Eve is perhaps more celebrated than Xmas Day, and both are work days regardless) has gotten me out of the habit of Xmas cards, presents, and the regular consumerist trappings of the day, I for one am looking forward to some turkey roll (sans gravy or potatoes — diet!) cooked in the dormitory oven and some instant ginger snaps (okay, diet phooey!) today. Let us know if you like what today holds (or yesterday held) for you in the Comments Section.

    With best wishes to all, Arudou Debito in Honolulu, where he is not missing snow one whit.

    Posted in Cultural Issue, blog and website biz, Tangents | 4 Comments »

    Vacationing for the rest of the summer

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 11th August 2012

    Everyone needs a break, and I’ll take one for a few weeks and let the batteries recharge. I’ll still check for comments from time to time (max once a day, so please be patient with approvals). Meanwhile, happy rest of the summer in the Northern Hemisphere! And thanks for reading and commenting for all these years, everyone!

    Posted in blog and website biz | 3 Comments »

    Discussion: Reader Eric C writes in with an argument for “giving up on Japan”. What do you think?

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 18th March 2012

    I was going to write on something else today, but I got this letter as a post comment this morning. It’s considered and considerate — usually letters on this topic are nasty flames, criticizing me personally for ever doing what has been doing for (as of next month) fifteen years now. And it’s also a useful exercise to think about why we do the things that we do. I won’t answer it, for now. I’ll open it up for discussion here on and see how other people think.

    Eric C: Thank you on behalf of all NJ who have lived in Japan or are living in Japan. You are doing brilliant work. I agree with almost everything you say and do and I am in awe of your energy, perseverance and spirit.

    However, the more I read your site and columns and learn about your story, the more I find myself wondering why you keep trying. I lived in Japan for years and I did what you did, but on a lesser scale: I fought discrimination, xenophobia and racism as hard as I could. I like to think I gave as good as I got, if not better. I caused a fair bit of hell at my local kuyakusho, at immigration, with the police and with various random racist folks. That’s not to say I went around with a chip on my shoulder: I had a lot of Japanese friends, spoke the language well and really tried to fit in. But, finally, I decided to leave Japan and I don’t regret it. Not for a second. Every day I’m out of there, I give thanks that I had the balls and foresight to leave.

    My question to you is why do you keep trying? I don’t want to be negative, but I think even you have to admit that Japan and the Japanese are not really going to change…

    Posted in Cultural Issue, blog and website biz, Discussions, Immigration & Assimilation, NJ legacies, Tangents | 134 Comments »

    BLOG BIZ: Welcome to the future of blog wars: temporarily felled by DMCA notice against this site’s critique of Lance Braman’s Japan Times Letters to the Editor

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 7th October 2011

    Sorry was offline for about a day and a half. Welcome to the future of cyberwarfare, not through spam guns or DNS attacks, but now through a pseudo-legal apparatus.

    On October 5, Lance Braman (see below), one the small but very vocal members of Tepido, a cyberstalking blog that obsesses over, according to my ISP (i.e., server) filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) infringement claim against this blog (see email from ISP below).

    This was regarding two of Braman’s short Letters to the Editor published at the Japan Times all the way back in 2008. I cited them in full on for critique (as they mentioned me and my actions specifically by name). You can see how those allegedly problematic sites looked via the Wayback Machine, click here and here.


    The issue here is that procedures against making frivolous and nuisance DMCA claims about online materials will have to be tightened up, or else DMCA will be utilized for blog wars and cyber attacks. People who are not necessarily the actual copyright holder of cited works (masquerading as the copyright holder and filing the DMCA claim on their behalf) are claiming violations that aren’t there (because under the Fair Use Doctrine, things may be in fact cited, excerpted, and quoted without permission in many circumstances for the purposes of review, critique, etc.).

    ISPs, however, often get spooked by a simple email DMCA notice and, without further investigation of the veracity of the claims, unilaterally take the material offline. Although a quick-fix measure for the ISPs, this is in fact counterproductive, because it will encourage more frivolous DMCA claims and ultimately make the ISPs work harder (or just encourage further cybercensorship). All evidence for these claims follow below.

    Ironic, that. Cyberstalking site Tepido’s main minions (there are but a dozen or so) complain the most about allegations of “censorship” at, i.e., that they can’t be heard on because I delete their comments (now you can see why; they’re fundamentally unscrupulous people, and they have an odd and unhealthy fixation about this small, insignificant blog). So, in retaliation, the Tepidos themselves hypocritically try to censor — by deleting primary source materials on, or by just trying to interfere with the operations of or take down the site altogether. Unvetted DMCA claims just further encourage and enable those people. It’s not going to stop here, so let’s get thinking about how this Act is being abused and plug the loopholes.

    Posted in Bad Business Practices, blog and website biz, Ironies & Hypocrisies | 31 Comments »

    Vacationing for the summer, my next JT column Aug 2 on “why it’s difficult to make long-term J friends as a NJ resident”

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 20th July 2011

    It’s that time of the year again (perfect Hokkaido summer!), and it’ll soon be time for me to jump on the bike and do the rounds. I’ll be vacationing the blog for a little while (meaning comments will take some time to be approved; please be patient). I will be back from time to time, with JT articles and podcasts, but barring natural disasters like last March’s we won’t be updating daily. It’s just too nice outside and life’s too short.

    Let me just mention that my next Japan Times JUST BE CAUSE column will be a fat one (1400 words) on something we discussed here on some weeks ago — why so many NJ long-termers seem to find it hard to find long term Japanese friends (particularly male ones). That will be out Tuesday August 2, so enjoy!

    Posted in blog and website biz | 4 Comments »

    BLOG BIZ: Warning to Commenters about being cyber-stalked; don’t use your real name as moniker anymore

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 22nd May 2011

    Anonymous Reader: Hi Debito, I just wanted to let you know that last week on ‘tepido naruhodos’ page, I saw a thread that included a large amount of communication between some posters about the posters on They were discussing that of that date they had collectively identified 63 debito posters through e-mail addresses and social media sites.

    I don’t know if you were aware of this, or if it was brought to your attention. The posts on that subject disappeared at some point around the weekend. Quite frankly, I think that they are a strange bunch. I think tepido naruhodo/Ken YN/LB lives in my area, but I can’t identify and confront him on this issue.

    I don’t know if you might want to warn your readers that they might be stalked, or if you have ideas for other action.

    COMMENT: I have been cyberstalked by these creeps (and others; there is even a site devoted to the possibility of my being Jewish merely because I’m an activist) for many years now. And I am sorry that these creeps are now trying to use the same tactics towards other posters on this site. How vicious. And hypocritical. These creeps decry their lack of freedom of speech on this blog (I no longer approve their posts here; one look at the tone and commentary on the Tepido sites will give you an indication why), yet are taking action not only against me, but also against others who express themselves here, just because they don’t agree with Readers or with me personally.

    I’m no certified mental health specialist, but I would say that these anonymous creeps (who remain mostly anonymous, of course, to evade any semblance of responsibility or maturity) have an unhealthy obsession with me personally and the issues on this site. Makes one wonder if they devote any time to having a real life away from the keyboard.

    I suggest that Readers, when you post, from now on avoid using your real name. Choose a unique moniker and stick with it. Protect yourself from the shit I have to deal with on a daily basis.

    Posted in blog and website biz | 69 Comments »

    Post #2000! Special Discussion: Making “friends” in Japan, successfully?

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 15th May 2011

    To commemorate today,’s 2000th blog post since 2006 (yes, it’s been almost five years since went daily as a blog), I would like to devote the next day or two to an important discussion regarding assimilation.

    I got together with some old friends for beers some time ago (we do this whenever I’m in town), who all together have a combined tenure of more than a century of experiences living in Japan. We’re all English-native Caucasian males, for what it’s worth.

    Our conversation suddenly took an interesting turn when one of our group asked a poignant question:

    “How many of us have any Japanese friends with whom we can get together like this and talk as much in depth?”
    There was a long pause, and we all realized, when it came to Japanese males, the answer was zero. Yes, zero.

    We all said we had made Japanese female friends (we are guys, after all), finding J-women more curious and open-minded than their male counterparts (and that included relationships that weren’t all physical).

    But not Japanese men.

    Several theories abounded…

    Posted in Cultural Issue, blog and website biz, Discussions, Immigration & Assimilation | 83 Comments »

    “Japanese Only” bar in Kobe, “Soul Bar”, Nishinomiya Yamanote Doori. Advertises the music of people they would no doubt exclude.

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 10th May 2011

    Hi Debito. On a visit to Kobe for Golden Week, I came across a bar worthy of your Rogues’ Gallery of exclusionary establisments. Ironically, it was a soul music bar called Soul Love, with a sign featuring album covers of soul artists, including prominent Motown acts, who presumably would not be welcome inside the bar.

    〒650-0011 兵庫県神戸市中央区下山手通1丁目3-10 TEL 078-321-6460

    The bar was located on Higashimon Dori, a prominent thoroughfare in Sannomiya, one of Kobe’s major entertainment districts.

    Following are links to photos I took of their sign reading ‘Excuse me Japanese people only,’ as well as the main sign for the business, which includes a phone number…

    Posted in "Pinprick Protests", Bad Business Practices, blog and website biz, Exclusionism, Human Rights, Ironies & Hypocrisies | 40 Comments »

    Going back to vacationing despite this time of crisis; my reasons why

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 20th March 2011

    I’m going back to vacationing Originally, I said that I would be doing so until April. I broke that promise to myself because of the emergency — an unforeseen perfect-storm crisis of earthquake-tsunami-nuclear accident — that has plunged my country into debilitation on many levels. However, I’m going back into hibernation and a much-needed break. It’s been tough blogging about this event. It has brought out the worst in some of the most loyal and supportive Commenters, who have decided to impugn my very character, despite the fact I’m doing what I’ve always done: raised issues that were on my mind and that I thought deserved attention and discussion.

    My fundamental attitude towards the Fukushima Crisis:

    Posted in blog and website biz | 39 Comments »

    For the record, we here at are all present and accounted for

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 12th March 2011

    For the record, we here at are all present and accounted for. I’ve also heard from my friends in Tokyo and Sendai, and no casualties yet. Hope Readers are all safe and away from privation. Our condolences to victims and their families and friends.

    Posted in blog and website biz | 21 Comments » Blog will be on vacation until April. Writing my next book.

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 4th February 2011

    I will be vacationing until April 2011, so that I can concentrate on writing my next book.

    Sorry about this, but the Blog takes about an hour or more out of my day every day and as such is a major time bandit. Same with reading and approving every comment. So let me just say ja shitakke ne for a little while.

    I will of course still put up podcasts and my Japan Times JUST BE CAUSE columns the day after they come out. But comments and the like will take a while to approved, as will answers to emails to me directly.

    Please be patient. As always, thanks for reading and commenting to

    Posted in Articles & Publications, blog and website biz | 11 Comments »

    Wishing Readers a Merry Xmas, if you’re celebrating

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 25th December 2010

    Just wanted to wish all Readers who are celebrating this holiday a Merry Christmas.

    Posted in blog and website biz | 10 Comments »

    Back from Hokkaido travels, quick blog update for now

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 31st August 2010

    I got a call today from a self-described “religious checker of”, who was getting worried about my welfare after so few blog updates recently. Well, as the clock runs down on August 2010, let me just say I just got back minutes ago from travels with a friend in the Hokkaido Outback. Points of interest: Biei, Monbetsu, Saromako, Abashiri, Yanbetsu, Utoro, Shiritoko Goko and Kamuiwakka, Notsuke Hantou, Nemuro, Nosappu Misaki, Kiritappu, Akkeshi, and back. Drove the 550 kms circuitously between Nemuro back to Sapporo today through a gorgeous day, a great way to round off the journey (if not a bit tiring, all at once) that totaled 1700 kms. Back to work, got a JT column due next week and some other writing projects to get on with before trips to Tokyo and Canada in September and October. Sorry to do less updates last month, we’ll try to do better in September. Thanks for reading and caring, Readers.

    Posted in blog and website biz | 1 Comment »

    Summer’s here. blog updated less often.

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 1st August 2010

    Just to let you know, as it’s finally summer in Hokkaido and school grading is all done, I intend to spend less time at the keyboard and more outside (as well as finish up a couple of overdue projects that blogging tends to take attention from). I won’t say that there will be absolutely no updates over the next six weeks or so (after all, I have Japan Times columns to republish here), but I’m going to try not to blog daily. Everyone deserves a break (and has published since 2006 more than once a day on average), so I’m going to take one.

    Enjoy your summer, everyone. We’ve earned it up here in Hokkaido, given how cold or clammy our climate can be. Gonna get outside until I get sick of sunshine and want winter back. Probably not going to happen, but worth a try.

    Posted in blog and website biz | 2 Comments »

    Was offline Friday and Saturday: Speech in Kani-shi, Gifu-ken

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 16th May 2010

    Been on the road the past few days, giving speeches at Daito Bunka Daigaku in Tokyo on Thursday, and on Saturday at a place quite “in the middle of nowhere” called Kani City in Gifu Prefecture, close to an hour north from Nagoya, in a quite spread-out and leafy area of the country.

    I’ll have more details on the speech soon (as soon as I can get to a scanner; I have copious documents) but this is a very, very progressive place regarding the treatment of its high NJ-resident population (it even signed the Hamamatsu Sengen nearly a decade ago), and I was invited to speak on what Japan needs to do as a country to make things better. Good audiences, great fun, more on it later.

    Posted in blog and website biz | 1 Comment »

    On the road from Mar 19, updated less often

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 18th March 2010

    Just to let you know, I’m on the road from early tomorrow morning, with only sporadic email/internet access. I’ll be tooling around Tokyo after Morioka this weekend, so if you want to come see me speak somewhere, here are some venues:

    Posted in blog and website biz | 1 Comment »

    In Canada most of February. updated less often.

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 4th February 2010

    Just to let everyone know, I’m going over to Canada (Calgary and Edmonton) from tomorrow for a spell for most of February. I’ll still be online probably every day, of course, but the blog may be updated and comments approved less frequently. FYI. Thanks everyone for reading

    Posted in blog and website biz | 15 Comments »

    DEBITO.ORG RSS Feed Logo Contest Winner is Jarod Trebas

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 18th November 2009

    Last week I put out a call for anyone to submit a logo for’s upcoming iTunes podcast RSS Feed. Thanks for all the submissions, everyone, especially on such short notice. Here are the best ones:

    Posted in blog and website biz, Podcasts | 17 Comments »

    CONTEST FOR READERS: Submit Blog/RSS logo for

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 11th November 2009

    Although has been purely a solo effort since 1997 (I’ve archived and blogged all the many thousands of articles and posts (even those guest-written by outside contributors), read and approved each of the 10,000-plus comments here, and kept all the records alive on Google for free access for all), I’ve been told that just putting my photo up on iTunes would probably look less appealing (no wonder) than a really smart-looking logo.

    This is where you come in. Those who have a yen for graphic design, would you please consider making a Blog/RSS image, meaning a square logo that captures, in your opinion, the essence of

    The size that is mandatory for iTunes is 300 x 300 pixels (with a second version I have to shrink down to 144 x 144 pixels, which I can do on my iPhoto easily). So it’s pretty small, not much detail. It can include words or not, graphics or not, as you please. Please send as a reproduceable graphics file (not pdf, and jpg is best)

    But I’d like to open this up to anyone who’d like to submit (, email subject line “DEBITO.ORG logo submission”). Due date Tuesday November 17, 10PM JST. Please also include the name you’d like to be called as a submitter. I’ll have the best submissions up here on later on. Thanks.

    Posted in blog and website biz, Podcasts | 2 Comments »

    Admin note: Twitter handle: arudoudebito

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 28th June 2009

    Just let you know: I joined Twitter today ( If you want quick updates in text on your phone and somesuch (how it works, article here, courtesy Rick, who introduced me to the service), join or sign up. It’ll probably be just quick links in real time to what’s been blogged, or announcements of important rallies and such, but we’ll see. Only been a member for a couple of hours now and already have 39 “followers” (odd term, but that’s how it’s rendered). FYI.

    Posted in blog and website biz | 6 Comments » down for a day and a half

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 28th March 2009 went down in the middle of the night close to two days ago. Sysadmin tells me it was a technical problem with the ISP. It also seems to have nuked most emails I’ve gotten in the interim, so apologies to anyone who sent and bounced. Sorry for the delay. One more screening of SOUR STRAWBERRIES, in Kumamoto on Tuesday. Otherwise, I’m thinking about another tour in late August/early September. If you’d like the movie with commentary and an event, please contact me at If you just want a copy of the movie, click on the last gray avatar above. Bests, Debito in Okayama

    Posted in blog and website biz | No Comments »

    On the road: blog updated less often

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 20th March 2009

    Writing you from Tokyo, just a quick post. I’m on the road from now until April 1, stopping in Tokyo, Tsukuba, Nagoya, Shiga Hikone, Osaka, Okayama, and Kumamoto. Showing an hourlong documentary on Japan’s hidden NJ labor force, SOUR STRAWBERRIES, in case you haven’t heard, at venues there. Come and see it if you like. Screening schedule here.

    So in the interim I’m not sure when I’ll be online (every morning provided I have internet access, and probably most evenings after the movie and beers with friends), but I’ll try to approve posts as quickly as possible. I also can’t guarantee a daily update with a new post and commentary, but I’ll try.

    If people have essays they want put up (Mark in Yayoi sent me a doozy today), please pass them by me. And you’ll get another Japan Times article (not a 700-word JUST BE CAUSE column, but a 1500 word ZEIT GIST article) next Tuesday March 24 if you’re feeling lonely.

    Posted in blog and website biz, Speech materials | 1 Comment »

    Tangent: has citations in 37 books, according to Amazon

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 20th March 2009

    I’m going to be on the road from tomorrow showing documentary SOUR STRAWBERRIES across Japan, so indulge me this evening as I talk about something that impressed me today about the power of the Internet.

    It started during a search on this evening, when I found an amazing avenue for researching insides of books for excerpts.

    I realized I could go through and see just how often is being cited as a resource in respectable print publications. I soon found myself busy: 37 books refer in some way to me by name or things archived here. I cite them all below from most recent publication on down.

    Amazing. as a domain has been going strong since 1997, and it’s taken some time to establish a degree of credibility. But judging by the concentration of citations in recent years, the cred seems to be compounding.

    Posted in Articles & Publications, Bad Business Practices, blog and website biz, History, Laszlo, Media, Tangents | 6 Comments »

    Start of Holiday Season: blog becomes less frequent and more festive

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 20th December 2008

    Morning Blog. With the holidays coming up (I bet many people are taking Monday off too and getting ready to travel), I’m sure you have better things to do than read socially-conscious stuff on a blog. Eat, drink, and be merry, and I’ll do the same (in more moderation; I’m already fat). I’ll try not to do daily updates, and will put up more amusing, off-topic, stuff between Xmas and New Years. Enjoy yourselves and we’ll get back to business in January. Happy holidays, everyone! Arudou Debito (stuck in Sapporo; Hokkaido economics don’t help one get out for Xmas)

    Posted in blog and website biz | 3 Comments »

    Rogues’ Gallery of “Japanese Only” Establishments updated: Tokyo Akihabara, Kabukicho, Minami-Azabu, Tsukiji, & Ishikawa added

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 14th October 2008

    The “Rogues’ Gallery”, an archive of “Japanese Only” exclusionary establishments spreading nationwide across Japan, has now been updated for the season.

    Added have been Tokyo Akihabara (shop), Minami-Asabu (ballet school), Kabukichou (nightlife), Tsukiji (seafood restaurant), and Ishikawa (a newspaper subscription outlet for the Hokkoku Shinbun — yes, a Japanese newspaper outlet refusing NJ subscribers).

    This brings the tally to (places and types of establishment):

    Onsens in Otaru (Hokkaido), Bars, baths, karaoke, and restaurant in Monbetsu City (Hokkaido), Public bath and sports store in Wakkanai (Hokkaido), Pachinko parlor, restaurant, and nightlife in Sapporo (Hokkaido), Bars in Misawa (Aomori Pref), Disco in Akita City (Akita Pref), Hotels and Bar in Shinjuku and Kabukicho (Tokyo Shinjuku-ku), Ballet School in Minami-Azabu (Tokyo Minato-ku), Seafood restaurant in Tsukiji (Tokyo Minato-ku), Weapons etc. store in Akihabara (Tokyo Chiyoda-ku), Women’s (i.e for women customers) Relaxation Boutique in Aoyama Doori (Tokyo Minato-ku), Bar in Ogikubo (Tokyo Suginami-ku), Bars in Koshigaya (Saitama Pref), Bar in Toda-Shi(Saitama Pref), Stores and nightclubs in Hamamatsu (Shizuoka Pref), Onsen in Kofu City (Yamanashi Pref), Nightlife in Isesaki City (Gunma Pref), Nightlife in Ota City (Gunma Pref), Bars in Nagoya City (Aichi Pref), Internet Cafe in Okazaki City (Aichi Pref), Hokkoku Shinbun Newspaper in Nonochi, Ishikawa Pref. (yes, you read that right), Onsen Hotel in Kyoto, Eyeglass store in Daitou City (Osaka Pref), Apartments in Fukshima-ku (Osaka City), Bar in Kurashiki (Okayama Pref), Nightclub and Bar in Hiroshima(Hiroshima Pref), Restaurant in Kokura, Kitakyushu City (Fukuoka Pref), Billiards hall in Uruma City Gushikawa (Okinawa Pref), Miscellaneous exclusionary signs (Tokyo Ikebukuro, Kabukicho, Hiroshima).

    Update details as follows:

    Posted in Bad Business Practices, blog and website biz, Exclusionism, Human Rights | 34 Comments »

    BLOG BIZ: Blog becomes’s main page, revamp

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 25th May 2008 has been revamped to make the Blog the main page, make the cover page more readable as summary, and resolve some internet issues. Thanks to everyone for reading!

    Posted in blog and website biz | 5 Comments »

    “HANDBOOK for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants”: info site on how to buy (Paypal OK)

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 11th March 2008

    Hi Blog. Just put up a new website on with information on how you can buy our new book, HANDBOOK for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants, within Japan or internationally. Paypal possible. Please see: More on the book and upcoming national book tour at Arudou Debito in Sapporo

    Posted in Articles & Publications, blog and website biz | No Comments » Updates: First JUST BE CAUSE Japan Times Column, Journal of Int’l Health, NY Int’l Law Review

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 7th March 2008

    Links to three new articles added to’s regular website: My new Japan Times Column JUST BE CAUSE (March 4, 2008), article in the Journal of International Health, and an award-winning article written by Canon Pence on the Otaru Onsens Case etc. in the New York International Law Review.

    Posted in Articles & Publications, blog and website biz | 1 Comment »

    Rogues’ Gallery: Kansai Kensetsu Inc., a “No Foreigners” realtor in Osaka–according to its catalog

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 14th November 2007

    Information from a realtor in Osaka called Kansai Kensetsu, which has a clear system (even a snappy logo) in their housing catalog for refusing “gaijin” renters. Don’t encourage this practice. Take your business elsewhere. Entered onto the Rogues’ Gallery of Exclusionary Establishments.

    Posted in blog and website biz, Exclusionism, Human Rights, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 20 Comments » Update: Addition to “What to do if…” site: Evictions

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 14th October 2007

    Addition to the What to do if… artery site up at, now containing advice from people in the know on what to do if you’re threatened with eviction from your abode (answer: stand your ground–they can’t evict you without a court order in Japan). Plus additional advice courtesy of the Japan Times, September 25, 2007, regarding union support, unpaid wages, Immigration/Visas and employment, redundancies, and unemployment insurance.

    Posted in blog and website biz | No Comments »

    Japan Times on Asashoryu and the National NJ Blame Game (UPDATED)

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 4th September 2007

    Two recent Japan Times Community Page articles (one co-written by friend James Eriksson) discuss how Sumo wrestler Asashoryu might be being scapegoated by the Japan Sumo Association for its own excesses, and how Japan is trying too hard to blame the NJ community for social problems no longer limited to crime: Try military security, education, sports uncompetitiveness, even shipping! Updated to include Doreen Simmons KTO essay on Asa with comment.

    Posted in blog and website biz, Immigration & Assimilation, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 1 Comment »

    Japan Times Aug 14 on Valentine Case, plus new JT column Aug 28

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 24th August 2007

    Japan Times article on the Valentine Case, which came out August 14, 2007: Japan Times column 37: “ABUSE, RACISM, LOST EVIDENCE DENY JUSTICE IN VALENTINE CASE: Nigerian’s ordeal shows that different standards apply for foreigners in court”. Plus news on new JT column 38, coming out next week Tuesday.

    Posted in blog and website biz, Human Rights, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Lawsuits, Problematic Foreign Treatment | No Comments »

    Blacklist: Kansai Gaidai, Shokei Gakuin, Kyushu U; Greenlist: Nagoya, Aichi U of E

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 7th August 2007

    The Blacklist of Japanese Universities gets Kyushu University, Shokei Gakuin U, and Kansai Gaidai, now totalling 105 universities which offers full-time contracted work with no hope of tenure to Non-Japanese academics. Greenlisted 34 get Nagoya University and Aichi University of Education (although they still refrain from a tenure review system, so they also remain on the Blacklist).

    Posted in blog and website biz, Education, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 4 Comments »

    Quick update from Debito in Tokyo: Blacklist, Sanya, JT

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 31st July 2007

    Quick update on what’s going on: Still in Tokyo, extending one more day. Links to last night’s speech Powerpoint (E and J) on the BLACKLIST OF JAPANESE UNIVERSITIES, given before even the Ministry of Education, plus a bit on a visit to Sanya and my next JT article. Yes, I’ll eat some crow over the UH election after I return to Sapporo tomorrow.

    Posted in blog and website biz, Labor issues, Speech materials | 1 Comment »

    University Blacklist adds Hokkai Gakuen and Chugoku Univ, Greenlist gets ICU

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 9th July 2007

    Chugoku Gakuen University and Junior College in Okayama, for refusing to promote NJ faculty solely on the basis of nationality, and Hokkai Gakuen University in Sapporo, for demanding PhDs for terminal term-limited contracts with heavy workloads and low pay (yet require no similar qualification from Japanese applicants to the same department, who even get automatic non-contracted academic “tenure”), get added to the 100 Blacklisted Japanese universities who have discriminatory hiring practices. Meanwhile, International Christian University near Tokyo shows proof positive that they not only tenure people regardless of nationality, but even have a functional tenure review process, and get moved from the Blacklist to the Greenlist for the first time in the Blacklist’s ten-year history.

    Posted in blog and website biz, Education, Labor issues, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 4 Comments »

    Traffic Accident: Good experience with police (UPDATED)

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 15th June 2007

    Got hit by a car while riding my bike, had surprisingly good experience with police. After all the scorn I heap on the NPA, I thought I’d give praise where it’s due.

    Posted in blog and website biz, Japanese police/Foreign crime | 13 Comments » updates: Naturalization, kara kikan, foreign penises, and JT/Japan Focus to conclude GAIJIN HANZAI issue

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 21st March 2007

    Some odds and sods waiting to be webbed: Concluding articles to the GAIJIN HANZAI Case for posterity (Japan Times and Japan Focus), an article on how your overseas work can count towards a J pension (kara kikan), other countries’ attitudes towards citizenship (some deprive it at will, some sell it), and, yes, a handbook cautioning J women about foreign men because of drug use and penis size…

    Posted in blog and website biz, GAIJIN HANZAI mag, Labor issues, Media | 2 Comments »

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