Am I An Alien?
Am I An Alien?
My lovely spouse called me an alien the other day (Anata wa uchijin desu ne!).
Now what she didn’t know when she called me an “alien”, is we “foreigners” used to be categorized as “aliens” on an official Japan government document.
And the word “alien” is exactly what it said on my original residence card, in what used to be known as the “CERTIFICATE OF ALIEN REGISTRATION”.
Frankly, I was kind of disappointed when the government of Japan change the “CERTIFICATE OF ALIEN REGISTRATION” to a more internationally acceptable standard, and this card is now know by a much more mundane name; “RESIDENCE CARD”.
It gets better; back in the day we were also fingerprinted and the index fingerprint also appeared on that card.
This was somewhat of a controversy among some of the restless “aliens” in Japan.
These are also the same “aliens” who further complained about being called a “gaijin”, which means outside person, and make total sense to me.
If one are not originally from these islands (Japan), then would one not consider oneself to be a person from the outside?
They now have chided the Japanese into calling foreigners “gaikokujin”, which basically means the same thing, and is slightly more “”honorific”.
I can not see their point.
I also find it extremely annoying these “aliens” come to Japan and then kicking up a fuss about the way things are here.
These people come from distant lands to be among the Japanese, and have the most absurd notion that they are going to “change Japan”.
I smile to myself, as I know they are in for a very very long, confusing, and difficult time, as they try to impose their view of the world upon the Japanese.
My good friend Jordan and I refer to these types of foreigner as “chalk”. You can hear Jordan’s interview here (Japanese only).
Most of them only last a year or two, and the ones who remain and feel “trapped” have been drained of their life force and are a mere bitter shell of what was once a human.
There is one particular thing I learned very early, which has served me well over three decades of living in the Land Of The Rising Son.
“Go ni itte wa go ni shitage”; when in Rome, do as the Romans.