Look I realize that us gaijin 外人 (foreigners) tend to be generally better endowed in the nose department than our Japanese counterparts, but its no secret that the Japanese like to draw attention to this fact like there’s to tomorrow.
This was a poster I was up at one of my shougakkou 小学校 (primary school) today for a marathon, notice that a gaijin is featured. Alongside having the blond hair we apparently all sport, his nose is illustrated as no less than 16 times the size of the Japanese runners around him!
Just think for a moment about racist Japanese stereotypes, it would be something along the likes of small eyes, big teeth, flat faces right. Yet could you imagine over pronouncing those physical characteristics, in an advertisement featuring a Japanese person in any western country the exact way it has been done here for our gaijin friend…….. exactly…… because that would be racist! Oh Japan.
Anyhow I don’t have a particularity enormous shnozz but that ain’t stop my students from commenting on it pretty much every time I see them, the most common being the grabbing of the nasal bride between the eyes ours tend to be quite pronounced while I have seen many Japanese that can probably stare themselves in the eyes if they went cross-eyed.
This is a novelty set of gaijin nose and eyes that I have seen at ドン・キホーテ (a popular, variety store) on occasions. Obviously intended for dress up parties, its existence really highlights the cultural tolerance gap here in Japan for me, like think about it could you imagine rocking up to a costume party with your eyes taped back and a pair of fake buck teeth in, when people asked you what you were you’d be like ‘uh obviously I’m Japanese’. Case and point!
Look on a final note, this is an picture introducing the characters that feature in the textbook ‘New Crown’ that we use in teaching English at Chuugakkou 中学校 (Junior high school). Notice the ‘gaijin’ characters, all 3 obviously western ones have blue eyes and blond or red hair, so there hammering in there stereotypes to children from a very young age as to what foreigners apparently look like. Think to yourself, how many blond people do you know, unless your from Scandinavia or Sweden I’m guessing not many. In America it’s around 5% of the white population that sports naturally blond hair. Silly Japan, you have do much to learn 😄