Meet the other half

The other day I was doing some winter clothes shopping at the local Uniqlo store when something peculiar happened. For the past couple of weeks I have been living in Dazaifu (Fukuoka prefecture), a small, yet historically relevant village where the 'Asian-other' population (Korean and Chinese) is rather large, while 'Western-looking people' are almost unknown. …

Tora no o wo fumu otoko

Like treading on the tiger's tail, such is the condition of the 'foreign' researcher studying anything related to the Japanese culture. Sure, our non-Japanese opinions are kept in high regard, as the gaze of the 'other' is fundamental in the constitution of identity in every society, and all the more so in the Japanese society. The foreign opinion …