Rogues’ Gallery of “Japanese Only” Establishments updated: Tokyo Akihabara, Kabukicho, Minami-Azabu, Tsukiji, & Ishikawa added
Posted by debito on October 14th, 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:
Akihabara (Tokyo Chiyoda-ku)
東京都 千代田区 外神田 ３丁目１６番１５号
電話 東京０３－３２５１－５２４１ FAX: 03 3255 0012
(their website says they will only take phone calls between two and three pm on weekdays)
After the famous stabbings in Akihabara in June 2008 (by a Japanese), a shop which sells weapons and knives in Akihabara had the temerity to maintain a sign up on their shop refusing foreigners entry. Photos received May 24, 2008.
(Click on images to expand in browser)
UPDATE: After calls (June 9 and 16, 2008) and meeting with the owner of the shop (June 17, he was very friendly and cooperative), the store agreed to take down their sign and replace it with a new one written by Rogues’ Gallery monitor Arudou Debito (photo by same taken June 17).
Now while I’m not a fan of making weapons obtainable by anyone, there are more things in the store than just knives etc. The misleading sign has at least been made nondiscriminatory.
FULL REPORT HERE.
Nevertheless, as of October 10, 2008, “MAD”s website still explicitly says their knives are not for sale to foreigners.
Rogues’ Gallery entry at http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html#Akihabara
Mass-produced neighborhood signs for excluding all foreigners. Note how sophisticated the English language level of exclusionism has gotten.
These cellphone staps taken March 16, 2008 by Rogues’ Gallery monitor Arudou Debito at the address above (look down the stairwell to see the sign just to the left of the black stand).
But there are many other businesses now displaying the same sign in Kabukichou. Ironic, given that Kabukichou has the highest concentration of businesses run and staffed by foreigners in Japan. How do they go to work? I guess they’re not “guests”. See what I mean about the increasing sophistication of the exclusionary language?
Full report at http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html#Shinjuku
Minami-Azabu (Tokyo Minato-ku)
東京都港区麻布5丁目5-9 後藤ハウスB1F MGホール
MG International Arts of Ballet, MG Hall, B1F GOTO House 5-5-9
Minami-Azabu Minato-ku, Tokyo
Full report here: http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html#minamiazabu
TSUKIJI SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
Address and phone number unknown (was not able to check for myself from Sapporo), photo taken February 2008, courtesy CG. Sign describes complicated rules, and indicates that even Japanese who cannot follow them will be refused entry. However, the assumption still remains that non-Japanese will be unable to understand the rules of the establishment, so it blanket refuses them.
Full report here.
UPDATE: Exclusionary pign is now down as of February 2008, thanks to others contacting the restaurant and encouraging the management to reconsider.
Nonoichi City (Ishikawa Prefecture)
Dealer for Hokkoku Shinbun
電話： ０７６−２４７－２１２０ (changed to 076-243-1810)
〒920-8588 石川県金沢市香林坊2丁目5番1号 TEL.076-263-2111
As was reported on the Debito.org blog on January 8, 2008, in November 2007 a NJ resident of Ishikawa Prefecture was offered a subscription, by a sales manager of an independent company selling magazine subscriptions, to the Hokkoku Shinbun, a regional Ishikawa Japanese newspaper. Receipts dated November 13, 2007 as follows: (click here to see larger scans and a fuller report):
The subscription was abruptly cancelled the next day, with a postcard from the salesman, a Mr Matsuda, confirming that the company will not sell subscriptions to foreigners (click on images for larger scans and a fuller report). The company’s standpoint as revealed in telephone interviews here. (The Hokkoku Shinbun itself has disavowed any connection with this company.)
This outcome is confounding. As can be seen in other entries on this Rogues’ Gallery, we have managers worried that letting NJ into their facilities might cause, they claim, problems with manners, sanitation, violence, or just plain discomfort to the owners for their own langauge insecurities or xenophobic tendencies. It’s confusing why a newspaper outlet (in these days when print journalism is scrambling for paying customers) would unilaterally void a subscription contract. Are they worried the foreigner might be able to read their paper? UPDATE (February 2008): After investigation by reporters from Kyodo News, the Mainichi Shinbun, and a shuukanshi weekly, reporters on the case told me that their editors said this was a non-story, and no article on this issue appeared in any publication. The Rogues’ Gallery moderator’s interpretation of this outcome is that newspapers are not happy to investigate other newspapers when there are financial interests involved. This is how uncritical our media gets.
Anyway, as newspapers themselves advise, avoid subscription outlets that are not official newspaper sales offices.
See whole Rogues’ Gallery up at http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html