* First apartment, the landlord says he'll rent to me, but he wants to double the deposit because I'm a foreigner. I turned that down for obvious reasons.
* Second apartment (w the gundam bathroom), I get denied flat out because the landlord says he doesn't want to rent to a foreigner.
Discrimination like that is NOT against the law in Japan. It's a common practice, actually. My options are really limited because I'm a foreigner. It's true, a lot of foreigners have rented apartments before and skipped out on their contracts. What do they care? They're not coming back, and they're leaving the country. So no big deal to them. However, it's bred a lot of prejudice. The landlords don't even have to make an excuse, like they would in America (since discrimination IS against the law there). They can just say, "you're a foreigner, I don't want to rent to a foreigner." End of discussion.
I've heard of bars that still operate that will say outside that no foreigners are allowed. This is especially true supposedly of all-you-can-drink bars. I've never seen them, myself, but I do believe that they're out there. Again, there's good reason for it. I can't count the number of times that I've seen DRUNK off their ass foreigners being loud and obnoxious. These are the kind of people that NOVA employs, stereotypically. I can speak because I worked for NOVA. I rarely drink, but that was ALL that my coworkers did for recreation. It's sad and boring, to me.
Eda, me, and friends HAVE been kicked out of places. Well, one place. I wrote about this a long time ago, but basically, love hotels are very famous in Japan. So we wanted to go as a group to see what it was like. We found a cheap one, went inside to look at the pictures of rooms (no we weren't going to DO anything!!) and the guy at the counter yelled, in japanese, "nihongo wakarimasen dame!" which is very rude for, "if you don't understand japanese get out!" Well, they don't breed 'em smart, obviously, to manage love hotels, and Eda's answer was, "wa.ka.ri.ma.shi.ta. (asshole!)" Which means "I understand." The 'asshole' was silent. Basically, he just didn't want foreigners. My mind still boggles with how we were supposed to understand that sentence if we didn't understand japanese. Of course, it was yelled rather loudly so I'm sure it would get the point across. I think he'd had practice.
There are some customs that I DETEST in Japan. This is probably because, raised in America, I have a different set of values. Many women still look forward to only working until they get married, and then quitting to become a housewife. I've never liked that path, personally. Women here also tend to act (I was told it was just an act by a japanese friend) as if the man is the head of the house. Well, act or not, I ABHOR that sentiment. I asked her why they need to pretend, and she said it's just to get the man. That's so wrong in my world that I couldn't even answer her. In my opinion, a woman should NEVER be subservient to a man. NEVER. And if you need to pretend to be so just to 'get' a man, then that man is not worthy of your attention. Flat out. A marriage should be an equal partnership, and if there is anybody who needs to act, then it is to act that the woman is the head of the house. Stand STRONG, ladies!
You know, I've been asked countless times by my elementary school students, "are you married?" Every day someone says it. And when I invariably reply, "no," or "of course not," they ask why. I'm only 24. It's such a foreign thing to me to be expected to get married by this age. Well, women here are so fixated on marriage as a whole that it IS strange for me not to be. Of course most of my japanese friends are older than me and still not married, but they're the exception. I don't understand.. what is it about being single that somehow qualifies me less than anyone else as a person? That's just wrong. PS- I don't want to get married anytime soon. If at all. I can't even imagine myself trying to be anything less than 100% in charge of my life. No WAY will I ever give that autonomy up. I'd rather just have a 'pet' a la Kimi wa Petto.
I went off the subject. But what I originally wanted to say is that discrimination is alive and thriving in Japan, no matter how they tell you its not. I see it virtually every day that I step outside my house. There's only 4 good things about it that I can see.
1- When japanese people move away from 'the foreigner' on the train, it just gives me more room! (Unfortunately I wish this would happen more often)
2- They won't argue with me because a) they think I won't understand, b) I'm bigger than the average japanese male, c) stereotypically, foreign women are tough and won't just lay down during a fight.
3- I don't have to worry about perverts on the train! Uusally...
4- Because I'm tall, I can breathe even on crowded trains. My face isn't pushed into someone's chest or back or side.
Mmmm, actually there was one time that a SMELLY old japanese man started yelling at me on the train. I don't know what for. I just said I don't understand and ignored him. He shut up really quickly, but if he had kept going I would have started arguing with him Loudly. In english. That would probably have shut him up REAL fast.
So, that's my story..