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

    Disclaimer: All polls on are not to meant to be scientifically valid by any stretch of statistics, or indicative of much of anything. Because they can’t be, in all honesty. They’re just meant to be a fun and interesting way to take the pulse of Readers about certain issues. Don’t read too much into them or take them too seriously. Suggestions for topics welcome. Arudou Debito

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    COMMENT: A little surprising were the very number ones supporting discrimination are still a substantial chunk: 17% at this writing, and a full fifth at one point.

    Maybe people are just following the impulses of the “fluid morality” of Internet anonymity. Or maybe people never bought into the liberal-arts historical-lesson training, found in most multicultural, English-literate societies, that says that discrimination is just not a workable system.

    But I wanted to get an inkling of just how deep the problem goes with this poll. It seems that when you combine amoralism with cultural relativity, you create a cocktail for people to say that people needn’t, even shouldn’t, be nice to one another, and that some people deserve an inferior place in a society.

    Perhaps an overthink, given the probably flawed sample size and population (this blog probably attracts radical thinkers on both sides of the spectrum). But I guess one shouldn’t take the advances in the 20th Century regarding racial discrimination for granted even today.

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    Read Japan Times article on Kouno Taro dual nationality proposal here.

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    Read the “Truth Octane” essays before voting here.

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    Quick comment here.

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    COMMENT: Phew, that was a close shave!

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    Brief Comment: I was, frankly, a tad surprised that nineteen respondents actually had people “complaining to their employer etc for looking scary”; I had thought that option was a bit contrived, guess I was wrong. Not to mention the lack of employment promotion (a third of all respondents) and being repeatedly questioned by police (close to a third). Not all that surprised, however, that the majority (more than two thirds) found people keeping their distance from them on public transportation, or that nearly a majority (two fifths) had apartment troubles. A shame, though, isn’t it.

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    Brief Comment: Interesting how the far north and south jockeyed with one another throughout this polling period (with Okinawa just edging out Hokkaido by the end). Poor Hokuriku didn’t get a single vote. A significant number of answers were also from people who had never vacationed in Japan! Give it a try, if you haven’t! Provided you have money and can speak the language (and very often even if not), Japan is a surprisingly easy country to get around!

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    7 Responses to “POLLS”

    1. Mason Waterbury Says:

      Hello Arudou-san,

      I enjoy reading your website and just stumbled upon the poll. I’m American living in Japan for a little over two years now, and yours was one of the first websites I scoured before deciding to move here. I just secured permanent residency so will be here for a while.

      Keep up the excellent work!

      Best regards,

      — Thanks Mason! I hope the the site serves!

    2. Matthew Klaus Says:

      Isn’t it time for a new poll?

      — Sure. Tell me what you’d like polled?

    3. Matthew Klaus Says:

      Who has it worse, visible or invisible minorities living in Japan?

      — Need definitions of the two.

    4. Matthew Klaus Says:

      I would say anyone who does not appear to be Japanese, by Japanese standards, is treated like a visible minority whereas someone who is “possibly” but not Japanese, save their appearance, is an invisible minority. The former would be someone like you or me, other Europeans, Americans, South Asians, and/or Africans living in Japan. Could you use this for a poll?

    5. adamw Says:

      mason did well to get PR in 2 yrs!

    6. Chris B Says:

      Hi Debito,

      What happened to the polls?


      — Frustrating story. I downloaded the latest version of WordPress a few weeks ago (as was advised by WordPress) and it somehow voided all my polling functions. So I deactivated the Polls widget until WordPress actually sends me a new version that fixes that issue. Damn nuisance, as this WP version also has no WYSIWYG functions either. Sorry. Please wait.

    7. Joe Says:

      Just a comment from someone who worked in online market research for two years. Such polls are significantly biased towards the top entries in the list, especially the first one. In all of the online polls we conducted, we had to randomize the order of the listing for each person who took the survey. I’d recommend doing that if it’s possible to easily implement in your polling system.

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