Ethnocentrism in Japan

Topics: Japan, Foreign-born Japanese, Racism Pages: 2 (465 words) Published: September 5, 2012
Ethnocentrism is the belief of superiority in one’s personal ethnic group. Ethnocentric individuals believe that their group is the better than other individuals based only on their heritage. In this example, we can see how the Japanese use ethnocentrism against David Aldwinkle who is a New Yorker who has recently become a Japenese citizen. Although Aldwinkle believes that Japan is his home, the Japanese still view him as a foreigner. The first example of ethnocentrism I identified is that he had to prove himself to be worthy enough to be a Japanese citizen. He had to prove that he had spotless criminal records – to the extent that a parking ticket was a disqualification. I think that they wouldn’t check criminal records if a Chinese or Korean decided to become a Japanese citizen. But because he looked white, they went out of their way to discriminate him. The second example of ethnocentrism in the story was how they interviewed Aldwinkle’s neighbors, ransacked his house, and did a background check on him. They believed that Japanese had one way of doing everything and they wanted to make sure he followed this practice. They checked his fridge, his children’s toys, and his house interiors. According to me this shows a lot of prejudice because the Japanese believe that their way of doing things is good, right, and superior to other people. They wanted to make sure that he was following their culture even to the minutest of details like what he eats and how he decorates his house. The third observable example of ethnocentrism is the when citizens harassed him with phone calls, and once, with a death threat. They did this because they didn’t approve of his American style of living and didn’t like the fact that he acquired the Japanese citizenship. They went to such an extent of harassing him just because he was not culturally or genetically Japanese. I think that they showed a lot of disrespect and discrimination to him just because he was different from the...
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