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Black History in Japan: Did You Know?

It is time to bring to light long-ignored Japanese readings of African American history, literature, and struggle and investigate why the story of Japanese interactions with African Americans has been muted rather than celebrated. Keep Reading

Black Tokyo Monogatari: Stereotypical Black Women in Japan

With the latest “look at me, I’m in blackface” misunderstanding” or as I like to call it “Black Ships and Blackface, How Perry Opened Japan to the West,” and yet another prominent columnist praising racial segregation under apartheid as a model for Japanese immigration policy in a leading right-wing Japanese newspaper, the Sankei Shimbun, it… Keep Reading

Blackface in Japan Revisited, Sigh!

Blackface is once again in the news in Japan. The last time I ran a story on Rats & Star, I presented Epic Records Japan’s Gosperats performing in blackface at the Cotton Club in Tokyo. By the way, Epic Records Japan is owned by Sony BMG. Do I need to go down that rabbit hole… Keep Reading


Black Scholars Who Make a Specialty of Asian Studies Revisited

[Originally posted in June 2008. Revisited for Black History Month] I received the following question from a new BT reader this afternoon. He asked: “Why do you find Japan so fascinating?” My quick reply to the question: “I find Japanese history and culture fascinating, the Japanese interesting (from a sociological point-of-view) and life in Japan,… Keep Reading

Loco in Yokohama: Are You African?

Two very interesting posts from Loco in Yokohama that deal with stereotypes and very common perceptions about race and ethnicity in Japan. Feel free to comment on both Black Tokyo and Loco in Yokohama. In Part 1 of the Loco in Yokohama, “Are You African? post: The other day in class, the Japanese English teacher asked me… Keep Reading

Invisible Gaijin: 59 ways to tell if you’re a gaijin, not a gaikokujin

The Invisible Gaijin has a pretty interesting post for those not quite sure if they fall into the gaijin or gaikokujin category. Be sure to recommend a few others that can be added to the list. Here is a partial listing: You call yourself gaijin because you know it pisses off the newbie gaikokujin. You bow repeatedly… Keep Reading

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