“Japanese Only” exclusionary Tentake tempura restaurant in Asakusa, Tokyo, allegedly due to NJ “hygiene” issues
Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on April 5th, 2014
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Hi Blog. Another to add to the Rogues’ Gallery of Exclusionary Establishments. This time, a restaurant, as submitter Yoshio Tanaka notified me via email and photographs:
April 5, 2014, Yoshio Tanaka wrote:
Please would you mind helping me? Today I went to a restaurant in Asakusa with my wife and some Japanese friends. They didn’t allow us to enter, because me and my wife are not Japanese. In the entrance there is a paper that says “Japanese only” in English, and other advertisement in Japanese. My Japanese friend, entered to the restaurant and kindly asked the manager if me and my wife could enter, too. The manager said they doesn’t allow foreigners, no matter if they speak Japanese nor have been living in Japan for long.
I hope you can help me, and write some article about this discrimination. I think discrimination is one of the worst problem in our world, so we must stop it immediately. Thank you for your time!!!
(All photos taken April 4, 2014.)
(NB: The Japanese below the JAPANESE ONLY text on the sign reads, “The inside of this restaurant is very small. In order to avoid accidents, we are sorry, but we refuse entry to all children below the age of 5. We ask for our customers understanding and cooperation.”)
住所 〒111-0032 東京都台東区浅草2-4-1
“Ten-take” tempura restaurant, Tokyo-to Taitou-ku Asakusa 2-4-1, Phone 03-3841-5519
Contact details courtesy http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131102/13010522/, last updated January 2014, with no mention of its “Japanese Only” rules. (It does mention the no children under five: 店内が非常に狭いため、事故防止の観点から5歳未満の子連れ不可の張り紙あり」. Interesting how a “no foreigners” rule somehow escapes mention.)
COMMENT: I called Tentake today (April 5) to confirm with the management that yes, they do have a “Japanese Only” restriction. Their reasons given: 1) Hygiene (eiseimen), which were, when asked, issues of “foreigners” not taking off their shoes when entering, 2) NJ causing problems (meiwaku) to other customers, and 3) a language barrier, as in NJ not speaking Japanese. Basic Otaru Onsen exclusionary excuses. When asked if he didn’t think these were prejudicial generalizations about all NJ, he said repeatedly that he couldn’t deal with “foreigners” (tai’ou o shi kirenai). Then he hung up.
That’s as much information as I could get out of the management regarding the reasons for the exclusionism. Readers who feel that this restaurant is behaving inappropriately for a business open to the general public are welcome to phone them at the number above, or drop by and say so directly. Douzo. ARUDOU, Debito
UPDATE APRIL 18, 2014: The sign is down and the shop is open to NJ customers again.