Allophilia.

I’ve heard stories of Japanese being intolerant with foreigners before: not wanting to sit by them on the train, for example, or refusing to talk to them. This hasn’t ever happened to me that I can think of. Sure, people in the customer service industry will always be nice to you, or at least civil, because that’s part of the commercial culture, but with no real exception, regular folks have been pretty good to me overall.

The latest example is from tonight. Akabane has had some sort of festival all weekend, complete with throngs of guys carrying mikoshi, clapping and chanting, and having a good time. After work tonight, I finally asked an older gentleman what kind of festival it was. He not only told me which Shinto deity, but engaged me in a discussion about festivals in Japan and America. He only stopped because his wife (who was very polite) told him they had to go because their bus was about to leave.

It’s odd, because I’ve got a friend who’s had people refuse to sit by him on the bus, while I can’t say that’s ever happened to me. People I meet tend to be friendly and helpful. I consider myself lucky.

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