“Japanese Only” nightclubs “W” in Nagoya and newly-opening “CLUB Leopard” in Hiroshima

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Hi Blog.  Two more places to add to the roster of “Japanese Only” Exclusionary Establishments in Japan, and this time, they are places that Japan’s youth frequent:  nightclubs (nothing like catching them when they’re young and possibly more open-minded…)

1) Nightclub “W”
名古屋市中区栄3-10-13 Wビル 6F&7F
TEL 052-242-5705
IDX グループ 株式会社IDXのHP
Official FaceBookページ http://www.facebook.com/nagoya.w
Twitterアカウント @w_052

It’s a pretty big place:
NagoyaWfront
Courtesy http://w-nagoya.com/access

and it has this sign, courtesy of SM and MS, as of October 25, 2014:
BarWNagoyaJapaneseonlyOct252014

Funny, that, because one of the the first images that currently greets you when you go to their webpage (http://w-nagoya.com) is this:
clubwnagoyaanimalnight112814

SM adds: Hello Debito, on MS’s wall you asked for a bit of background re: this photo I had posted on my own wall today. Last night I was in downtown Nagoya (Sakae) and I saw this sign posted at the entrance of a large dance club called “W.” There was a very buff bouncer beside the sign. I approached him and asked if I’d be allowed to go in. He apologized and said no. I asked if it was because of dress code or because I was foreign. (I was in a nice outfit, having gone out for dinner with my husband earlier.) He said it was because I was foreign. I asked why this was a policy. He said it was the rule of management, and he had to enforce it. I took some photos (although he had said no photos allowed.) He didn’t try to stop me from taking the photos, we said good night, and went on our way.

///////////////////////////////////////////

2) CLUB Leopard in Hiroshima (opening December 5)

住所 広島市中区流川町7-6
第五白菱ビルB1F TEL 082-569-7777
It also has a pretty impressive website:
http://clubleopard.jphttps://www.facebook.com/pages/CLUB-Leopard/650751705033353

And an equally impressive set of rules to follow, courtesy of GH:

CLUBLeopardNov2014
Look at the very bottom for the “DO NOT ENTER NON-JAPANESE”.
(Love how they render a “foreigner” in silhouette: That tuft of hair, so “foreign”! Ironic given how much time you see the J-guys who frequent nightclubs spend on THEIR hair…)

Interestingly enough, that set of rules has now been amended, according to their website as of today:
http://clubleopard.jp/rule/
CLUBLeopardrevisedNov2014

That’ll keep out those darn pickpockets!

So will they, or won’t they, let in NJ patrons? Somebody in Hiroshima, go on down and check out DJ Kaori (of American Idol fame) on December 6!  Dr. ARUDOU, Debito

UPDATE NOVEMBER 25, 2014:

As of November 17, the “Japanese Only” restriction is on CLUB Leopard’s advertising trucks, courtesy of GH:

CLUBLeopardtrucksidead111714

What a fun-sounding place.  Advertising yourself so prominently based upon what you can’t do when you’re there!

27 comments on ““Japanese Only” nightclubs “W” in Nagoya and newly-opening “CLUB Leopard” in Hiroshima

  • Andrew in Saitama says:

    “Do not enter gangster”
    That’s OK, I don’t plan on entering gangsters.

    All these Engrish signs are for the benefit of their 100% Japanese patrons, right?

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    At a recent conference last week, I reminded my panel audience “Japanese Only” is not limited to Onsens in the north or a thing of the past. It’s contagious like sexually transmitted disease or Ebola virus. Without appropriate measures, it will re-generate, mutate, and spread across the nation.

  • It might be interesting to check their guest DJ schedule and contact those DJs in advance. I am sure leading DJs from abroad would appreciate being associated with an officially discriminatory nightclub.

  • Amanda Harlow says:

    No Men Dancing Platform – I think that’s aimed at any Saturday Night Fever wannabees…..but joking apart, WTF? Come the Olympics someone should issue a guidebook for No Foreigners Here spots in Japan…..it would be useful.

  • Wow,what a positive advertisement-“No sitting down” “no, forcible pick” (what can that mean? “hello?” Or a “silent stare”?- a la the misdefinition of harrassment we discussed here before) sounds like there isnt much you can do at this club. So why go?

    So repressive it surely will not stay in business for long. Unless of course this is all a front for, e.g. “VIP escort services”.

    They forgot the “No dancing” rule that the police are enforcing. Japan- the “odotte wa ikenai kuni”.

  • It would be interesting to see if more such establishments (night / dance clubs) implement “no foreigner” policies, and if there are any measures being taken by the Japanese authorities against it.
    Surely with basically all of the Japanese nightlife businesses being controlled by organized crime (sorry, no source other than hearsay, but then again who else could do it in Japan), and with the Yakuza being politically firmly on the far-right, it makes sense that they are at the forefront of Abe’s new “rising wind” of nationalist extremism, and are the least inhibited to turn this new inspiration into actual policies.
    Unless Abe shockingly loses the election, there are interesting times ahead for foreigners in Japan.

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    I was just wondering if Club Leopard’s two signs “No Japanese Allowed” and “Forceful Pick-Up Ban” have anything to do with Julien Blanc. He was just banned from entry into Japan last week for his disgusting lecture about lewdness.

    #takedownjulienblanc

  • Their apology [Hiroshima CLUB Leopard]:

    外国人の入場について色々なご意見ありがとうございます。

    代表の砂川です。

    大阪出身で広島には2ヶ月前に来ました。大阪に居るころは、音楽やDJが好きで大阪のクラブで9年間スタッフ、役職をしました。そしてDJもします。広島の人からみれば私も外の人になるかもしれません。

    そのため、少しでも広島の人を知る為、クラブのイメージを必死に聞き取りをし、色々な意見を聞きました。ただクラブイメージは、想像以上に悪かったことを覚えてます。平日中に営業してる店舗はほとんど無く、恐いイメージという意見が多かった事が心に残ります。

    広島の街は私からみて、とても発展していて、大学、企業、ナイトライフも充実しているのになぜクラブはイメージが悪いのか疑問に思います。

    カラオケ、ボウリング、バー、居酒屋に行く様な感覚でクラブに来てもらえる為、皆様のご意見の元で特典やルールを作りました。

    その中で外国の方との言葉の壁でコミュニケーションが取れないのでは無いか?
    と判断した私が間違ってたと深く反省してます。皆様の貴重なご意見を参考になり外国人入場はOKとなりました。

    — Well, good. If they have now switched to an open-door policy, please drop by and give them your business.

  • Mr_Alex123455679 says:

    This is the kind of stuff that embarrasses Japan, have the people there got no shame at all?

  • In related news: It indeed can cut both ways when you don’t have a law making unequal treatment of people illegal. Courtesy of JW:

    China: Beijing store ‘bans Chinese customers’
    BBC NEWS 6 November 2014
    http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-30210781

    A clothes shop in Beijing has caused an outcry after putting up a sign banning Chinese customers, it’s been reported.

    The store is embroiled in a racism row after posting a sign which reads: “Chinese not admitted, except for staff”, the official Beijing Youth Daily reports. By way of explanation, one of the shop’s employees tells the paper some Chinese customers are “too annoying” and that “Chinese women often try lots of clothes but end up buying nothing.” The shop was also forced to pay a foreign customer $5,000 (£3,170) after his wallet was stolen, and surveillance camera footage showed a Chinese customer was responsible, the employee says. But another member of staff suggests the ban is actually to prevent rivals from copying the shop’s clothing designs.

    The sign has caused uproar on Chinese social media sites, with one Weibo user asking: “Is this still China?” The disbelief was shared by others on the site. “Bullying on my own doorstep,” says one person, who wonders why the owners would open a shop in China if they don’t want Chinese customers. “This type of shop should be closed down,” declares another Weibo user. But a legal expert tells the Beijing Youth Daily that while the sign is discriminatory, the shop’s owner hasn’t broken the law because China doesn’t have a legal ban on racial discrimination.
    ENDS

  • irezumi_aniki says:

    Not that it’s breaking my heart, but they’ll probably take a copy of your passport or alien registration card.
    I kinda wish I had a business trip planned for that area to check it out. Just for shit and giggles. Oh well.

    “この度は外国人の方の入場制限につきましてお騒がせして誠に申し訳ございません
    11月18日(火)に公式HPの店内ルールを変更致しております
    また、外国の方には入場時にパスポート、外国人登録証明書の提示になり 場合によってはコピーさせて頂くこともありますので 予め御了承下さい

    CLUB LEOPARD 代表 ”

    **from their FB page**

  • Just to note, I made sure to send Club Leopard’s FB a private message reminding them that they have no right whatsoever to see a person’s foreigner registration card, and that not even the police can look at it whenever they want to – and that it is private information that must be protected somehow.

    For at least a day or so, every comment or review left by a noticably non-Japanese person was responded to with the “We don’t mind foreigners. We will copy your passport and/or foreigner registration card when you enter” comment, copied and pasted.

    I think, for me, that was even more offensive than the initial rule. Like, you’re going to sit there and collect private information on foreigners, and what? Create a little file – a list of all the foreigners who came to your club? And do what with it? Just…leave it there? A stack of copies of people’s passports? Like it’s nothing? “Oh, hey, here is the private information of a few hundred foreigners. Let’s just, uh, jam it in this folder here and leave it where ANYONE CAN LOOK AT IT.”

    To think that they felt, “Oh, we’ll just violate your privacy” was somehow a benevolent, kind and welcoming gesture to foreigners. As if we need to be tagged and filed away like animals.

    Man, fuck Club Leopard and any company that wants to “tag” foreigners like that. Just fuck ’em.

  • I am more annoyed by shops that don’t put out “no foreigner” signs (like a certain gyoza restaurant in Matsuyama City), in which one walks in and sits down, only to be shooed away — while the other patrons look on — by an angry, wildly gesticulating owner.

    — So you’d rather they put signs up? That would make you less angry? Then I think you’re getting angry at the wrong thing.

  • That’s right, we’re not racist.

    We just treat you like a potential criminal, like the cops and most of society.

    But we are not racist. It’s for a safety time, OK?

  • irezumi_aniki says:

    @Chester #17

    They have every right. They’re obliged to verify the age of every patron before allowing them to enter. That means they’re looking at either your registration card or passport. Whether or not they check every Japanese person’s ID is kinda iffy. More than likely they won’t, but it’s hard to say without ever being there. Tokyo’s Vanity (?) had a policy to check everyone’s picture ID to verify age. But yeah. The copying thing is mad questionable.

    Loop holes?

  • They could also check age by NHI card, driver’s license, or even appearance in many cases. They do not need to make a copy of any document.

  • Mark in Yayoi says:

    They have every right. They’re obliged to verify the age of every patron before allowing them to enter.

    Even for people who look as if they might be under 20, there are plenty of other documents that have one’s birthdate on them but do not contain one’s alien registration status or nationality.

  • @Irezumi_Aniki,
    As Paul said, they can look at your driver’s license, the way they would any other customer.

    The problem is that the club representative on Facebook specifically said the club would ask for your passport or foreign registration card – not a general ID. The club promised to treat Japanese and non-Japanese customers with different rules, which is inherently discriminatory. It also demonstrates a certain prejudice on the employee’s part that foreigners wouldn’t have normal, day-to-day ID cards and a special “foreign” one would be necessary.

    Foreign registration is not required at a dance club or bar. The bouncer of a club is in no position whatsoever to judge whether or not I belong in Japan. No private citizen has a right to in any way check my immigration status. I don’t owe every Taro, Ichi and Hari on the street anything. The government has already given me that permission, and I sure as hell am not going to go out of my way to convince every person I meet that I deserve to be here. If they don’t like it, they can go jump in a lake. If they can’t deal with having foreigners among them, they’re welcome to get therapy for their emotional issues any time.

    I would never, and neither should you, produce my foreigner registration card and allow it to be copied for anything other than my employer or a government agent.

  • #23

    “…I would never, and neither should you, produce my foreigner registration card and allow it to be copied for anything other than my employer or a government agent…”

    I wholeheartedly agree with you on this. However, this is Japan. The drones have been instructed by their employers to perform such requests and actions. I have had many heated debates with these ‘drones’ on the front desk of public liaisons and they simply refuge to budge. No card then whatever service you wish to engage in, simply won’t happen..not on their watch. They all have a little Hitler complexes. This is another top-down edict and not from grass roots. Since the average J has no idea about us NJs having to carry such cards. If they were not instructed to ask and copy they would not do so.

  • It might be appropriate to show an ID for identification purposes (such as checking age requirements), however as much as I know in Japan a private entity is supposedly not legally entitled to store private information without formal written agreement (privacy declaration) and a written privacy policy (detailing how and for how long private information is stored, who is the formal contact for reclamations). The requirement to copy ID is illegal, but I have seen it numerous times in various businesses in Japan.

  • But Chester ( No private citizen has a right to in any way check my immigration status. I don’t owe every Taro, Ichi and Hari on the street anything. ) Taro and co think you do. I have experienced this from day one, from that internet snitch site, to the loony colleague/salesman on meltdown telling the Koban my visa was still being processed (they said they didnt deal with that, fortunately), to the little Hitler at the English school saying if you do anything he didnt like he would report you to immigration, there is a significant minority of people who think they can lord it over the guest workers.

    Cuts both ways though- anonymous pre emptive faxes to labor standards can sometimes be the NJ’s fighting fire with fire.

  • Just an update on Club Leopard for y’all.
    Decided to check it out for the first time last night.
    They asked to see my passport, I said I didn’t have one or have to show them. Gaijin card, no to that.
    I’m in my mid-30s so definitely not an age check.
    They threatened to call the police, although I was calm. I said “please do” (all in Japanese). My mistake.
    7-8 cops came, and they had no intention of doing anything but the manager’s bidding. I had to ask the police who they were actually working for.

    If I hadn’t gotten my phone out and started filming (only after asking for their names and badge numbers, and then refusing to do so) did I have to get my camera out. Police tried to grab my camera many times, I was literally being encircled with snatches coming from all directions and vulgar expressions being spat at me. Possible broken finger. All recorded.

    We’re they interested in anything I had to say about my treatment by Club Leopard? Ha! Of course not. They just wanted to see my passport, where I was from and what I did. Oddly, they did not ask for my name or my gaijin card. Not sure what to make of that. Perhaps they knew that I knew they would have to give me their identification first, and knew they were in the wrong?

    I don’t know about other cities, but I’ve been here over 10 years and everyone I know here has had bad experiences with the police, so also say a lot of Japanese here. They have a very bad reputation in this town, whoever you are. An acquaintance of mine, (just a CHIEF INSPECTOR!) admitted as much himself, but he seemed to think it was a bit funny rather than what it really is- scary.

    DO NOT rely on the police here in Hiroshima. Especially if it’s your word vs. a Japanese.

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