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 ' Laszlo' Category

    A special category devoted to a person who previously hitched his reputation to human rights, although after publication of his wife’s manga “My Darling is a Foreigner” the record indicates otherwise.

    New eBook: “JAPANESE ONLY: The Otaru Onsens Case”, 10th Anniv Edition with new Intro and Postscript, now on Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook $9.99

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 9th April 2013

    I am pleased to announce the eBook release of my book “JAPANESE ONLY: The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japan” Tenth Anniversary Edition, available for immediate download for Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble NOOK.

    The definitive book on one of Japan’s most important public debates and lawsuits on racial discrimination, this new edition has a new Introduction and Postscript that updates the reader on what has happened in the decade since JO’s first publication by Akashi Shoten Inc. A synopsis of the new book is below.

    You can read a sample of the first fifteen or so pages (including the new Introduction), and download the ebook at either link:
    Price: $9.99

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Articles & Publications, Cultural Issue, Exclusionism, Gaiatsu, Good News, Hate Speech and Xenophobia, History, Human Rights, Injustice, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Laszlo, Japanese Government, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Japanese Politics, Labor issues, Media, NJ legacies, NJ voices ignored, discounted & discredited, Otaru Onsen Lawsuit, Practical advice, United Nations, 日本語 | 9 Comments »

    Success, of a sort, as a “Gaijin Mask” maker amends their racist product to “Gaikokujin Masks”. Same racialized marketing, though.

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 23rd September 2012

    Been doing some writing and inserting the definition of “gaijin” in Japan in terms of marketing into my research, and found that the “Gaijin Mask” found at Tokyu Hands in 2009 and featured on has recently been changed to “Gaikokujin Mask”, according to Amazon Japan.

    Note the stereotypical racialized characteristics for both “dokkiri” party goods include large a large nose, blue eyes, cleft chin, blond hair, “Hollywood smile,” and grand gesticulations. The default language for the “foreigner” (as seen by the harō and ha-i!) is English (if not katakana Japanese for the desu copula). However, “gaijin” has been adjusted to “gaikokujin” (as if that makes the commodification of racism all better).

    Note also that even though this apparently has been a recent change (information was received by Amazon Japan only last month), it’s suddenly “Currently unavailable” and “can not be shipped outside Japan”. (I wonder if anyone looking at the product with an IP in Japan is also unable to purchase it.) See screen capture here:

    Same thing with the racialized Little Black Sambo dolls I found on Amazon Japan last night (which have been on sale since shortly after unbook Little Black Sambo was resuscitated in Japan, extending racism into the next generation): It’s also “Currently unavailable.” And not for sale anyway outside of Japan. So methinks the producers are well aware that they could get in trouble if marketed to an overseas audience. But no matter — there’s money to be made here — who cares if the product is racialized when the domestic market from childhood thinks racism of this sort is unproblematic?…

    Posted in "Pinprick Protests", Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Bad Business Practices, Cultural Issue, Good News, Laszlo, Media, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 22 Comments »

    Japan Times: “Darling foreigner” Tony Laszlo is “less passionate today” about discrimination against foreigners

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 17th December 2010

    Japan Times: Apart from writing, Laszlo taught for a few years at Japanese universities, and has also set up an nongovernmental organization, Issho Kikaku, in 1992. Through this NGO, he put on theatrical shows related to multicultural issues, and later, dealt with social issues such as discrimination against foreigners.

    “In those days, personally, I felt a strong desire to avoid a simple dichotomy between Japanese and non-Japanese, male and female, family and friends, handicapped and nonhandicapped,” he said. Today, he said he is less passionate about the issues, and that the group’s activities have become more low-key…

    COMMENT: “Low key”? I’ll say. How about “no-key”, or “delete-key”?…

    Posted in Cultural Issue, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Laszlo, Media | 7 Comments »

    Discussion: Oguri Saori’s “Darling wa Gaikokujin” manga series: Does it help NJ assimilate?

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 23rd September 2010

    We’ve recently had a decent discussion come up in my previous blog entry, and it’s good enough to warrant its own entry.

    The topic was Oguri Saori’s “Daarin Wa Gaikokujin” (My Darling is a Foreigner), a best-selling series of manga depicting the life of a quirky bilingual foreigner by the name of “Tony” who marries a Japanese woman. The manga chronicles the different personalities of the husband and wife as they deal with issues in Japan, create a life and a family together, travel from one place to another, and generally try to get inside “Tony’s mind”. There are several books under Oguri’s authorship (at least one with real-life husband Tony Laszlo’s co-billing — his “Guide to Happiness”), and even a movie earlier this year, not to mention an English translation, subway and train PSAs, and an ANA advertising deal. It’s a very influential economic juggernaut that has spawned imitators (there are other “Darling”-types of books connected with different nationalities), and now with “DWG with baby” on board the epic is anticipated to continue for some years to come.

    The question for Readers: Is the DWG manga series really working in NJs best interests? As in, as far as is concerned, helping NJ to assimilate, be treated as equals and moreover residents of Japan?

    I came out in my last blog entry and said I wasn’t sure it is. Let me give my standpoint and open the floor up for discussion:

    Posted in Bad Social Science, Cultural Issue, Discussions, Laszlo, Media, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 40 Comments »

    Kyodo: NJ crime down once again, but NPA spin says NJ crime gangs “increasingly” targeting Japan, whines about difficulty in statistically measuring NJ crime

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 24th July 2010

    Kyodo reports the semiannual NPA NJ crime propaganda campaign, claiming once again some kind of “increase”. Before, we had decreases in crime depicted as an increase, depending on what crime you looked at or what language the article was in. Now it’s the NPA, in the face of a 40% admitted drop in “NJ criminals rounded up” since 2004, giving the spin of doubting its own statistics. What’s next, saying NJ are more likely to commit crime because of their criminal DNA? (Actually, Tokyo Gov Ishihara beat them to that nearly a decade ago.)

    Here’s the report being referred to in pdf format:

    Note how on the bottom of page two, they give a definition that the “gaikokujin” they’re referring to do not mean those here with PR status, the Zainichi, the US military, or “those with unclear Statuses of Residence” (what, refugees? certainly not visa overstayers). Okay. Pity the media doesn’t mention that. Nor is it mentioned that although this report is supposed to deal with “international crime”, it is just titled “Rainichi Gaikokujin Hanzai no Kenkyo Joukyou” (lit. The Situation of Cases of Crimes by Foreigners Coming to Japan). I guess just talking about garden-variety crime by NJ (back in the day when it was allegedly going up) isn’t convenient anymore. You have to narrow the focus to find the crime and shoot the fish in the proverbial barrel — it gets the headlines that attribute crime to nationality, even somehow allows you to doubt your own statistics. Moreover enables you to claim a budget to “establish a system in which investigators across the nation would be able to work in an integrated manner to counter crimes committed by foreigners” (as opposed to an integrated manner to counter crimes in general).

    Let’s see what the NPA spin is next time. Fascinatingly bad science.

    Posted in Bad Social Science, Laszlo, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Media, Problematic Foreign Treatment, 日本語 | 4 Comments »

    Congratulations to Oguri Saori for her successful opening of “Darling wa Gaikokujin” movie

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 11th April 2010

    Just a word of congratulations on apparently one of the more important intercultural events of the year — the successful movie release of Oguri Saori’s hit manga series “Darling wa Gaikokujin” (My Darling is a Foreigner).

    Officially released yesterday with balloons and girly frills, the movie is feted to make a splash with all the Japanese women jonesing to date foreign men (even though about three-quarters of all J-NJ marriages are J men to NJ women).

    Good for Saori. I’ve known her for years (even stayed at the couple’s apartment for many days back in the ‘Nineties), and know her to be a person of great talent. Here are some photos from the grand opening party for you to feast your eyes upon:

    Posted in Cultural Issue, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Laszlo, Tangents | 9 Comments »


    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 31st December 2009


    ちなみに、メインキャラクターの「トニーラズロ」(Tony Laszlo)の描写と実物のことは色々違いがあるように気をしてならなりません。なので、このマンガはパロディーとして載せさせていただきたいと思います。どうぞ宜しくお願い致します。良いお年を!

    Posted in Humor, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Laszlo, Media, 日本語 | No Comments »

    Oguri’s “Darling wa Gaikokujin” becomes a movie, with parody cartoon about the “Darling Dream” being sold by all this

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 31st December 2009

    I want to offer my congratulations to Oguri Saori, very successful author of the “Darling wa Gaikokujin” series (translated as “My Darling is a Foreigner”, but officially subtitled “My Darling is Ambidextrous”), for the news just out this month that the first book in the series will be made into a live-action movie (starring Inoue Mao and Jonathan Share as Saori and Tonii respectively). The empire built upon the dream being sold to Japanese women for marrying a white foreigner keeps on gathering strength.

    Although portrayed in the movie by the very handsome and disarming Jonathan as a “grass-eating man”, Tonii in real life is not as he is cartooned. Laszlo is a big fan of putting his funds into threatening lawsuits, for one thing. And of deleting internet archives. And more. It just so happens I found a cartoon parodying this phenomenon of the contrasts. As the last post on for this decade, enjoy.

    Posted in Humor, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Laszlo, Lawsuits, Media, 日本語 | 13 Comments »

    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 »

    Tony Laszlo, “Administrator of NGO Issho Kikaku”, in Asahi “Money” Section for his wife’s “Darling wa Gaikokujin” series

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 31st May 2008

    I find it pretty amazing how myths persist. The media helps. Not only do we have “Darling wa Gaikokujin” cartoon character slash “Writer” Tony Laszlo appearing as himself (in one of the most frightening photos I’ve ever seen of him) in the “Money” Section of the Asahi May 17, 2008, he still has the byline of “Administrator of NGO ISSHO Kikaku”.

    Even though there is no ISSHO Kikaku website, or even any NGO registered under that name in Japan.

    And miraculously, the Issho Kikaku website, offline since December 2005, made a reappearance the very same day this blog entry went up, albeit only a cover page, with no further links to all the years of work done by other activists working under the “Issho” banner…

    We won’t mention the threat of lawsuit from him for keeping the record alive… but how very “un-Darling” of him.

    Posted in Ironies & Hypocrisies, Laszlo | 11 Comments »

    Interesting forthcoming book: “Another Japan is Possible”, citing Tony Laszlo of long-defunct “Issho Kikaku”

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

    Hi Blog. Speaking of books… We have another book on Japan’s internationalization coming out. Press release below. It looks to be a serious and interesting study of the forces of minority voices in Japan. Well done Professor Chan. There is one thing I found odd. Chapter 42 below reads: 42. Issho Kikaku Tony Laszlo Ethnic […]

    Posted in Articles & Publications, Bad Social Science, Human Rights, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Laszlo | 15 Comments »

    “NO BORDER” Nov 18 Meeting: Kokusaika & Keidanren laid bare

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 18th November 2007

    Report on Nov 18 2007 meeting with NO BORDER, a group which wishes to promote greater integration of NJ within Japan: A lovely glimpse into Japan’s multicultural future as Japanized NJ children of immigrants reach college age. And an even more informative glimpse into the darkness behind Keidanren’s deliberate visa policies for getting cheap labor with all the trimmings–no labor law protection, and no social safety net. Special non-guest: Tony Laszlo

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Immigration & Assimilation, Laszlo, Japanese Government, Labor issues, Speech materials | 3 Comments »

    “Issho Kikaku Rep” Tony Laszlo in Courrier Japon Oct 2007

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

    Tony Laszlo, hero of the Daarin Wa Gaikokujin books, finally comes out as an American in the October issue of Courrier Japon. His byline also mentions his position as rep of “Issho Kikaku”, even though the website of the group has been offline for nearly two years and the archives have long since disappeared…

    Posted in Ironies & Hypocrisies, Laszlo | 1 Comment »

    SPECIAL REPORT: Issho Kikaku Deletion of the Historical Record

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 23rd December 2006

    Three internet mailing lists under the aegis of Issho Kikaku, administered by Tony Laszlo (the basis of the star character in the bestselling “MY DARLING IS A FOREIGNER” manga series), have winked out of existence and/or public view. This report talks about the possible reasons, the effects, and the hypocrisies involved with this event.

    Posted in blog and website biz, History, Human Rights, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Laszlo, Lawsuits, Media, Newsletters, Otaru Onsen Lawsuit | No Comments »

    Kume Hiroshi reads his decade-old gaffe on, apologizes! And why archives matter (contrast with dead and deleted archives at Tony Laszlo’s ISSHO Kikaku)

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 7th December 2006



    Posted in History, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Laszlo, Lawsuits, Media, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 3 Comments »

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