My best favorite thing about YouTube is the comment section. I really like to hear their opinions. That’s the place I can interact with a lot of different people from all over the world and I can see the difference from Japan.
I’ve been making more than 50 videos for this one year, and one of my favorite is “Being Gay in Japan”.
It’s not just because Tsukasa’s story is useful for foreigners who live in Japan as a minority, but also how he’s feeling as gay in Japan resonated me.
I love Japan and Japanese people. But, living in Japan, there is only one thing to bother me a lot.
The image of gay people that Japanese have is that probably like “feminine”, “girlish”, “heavy makeup”, “aggressive”, “talkative” or something like that. They assume that kind of picture based on the TV show of Japanese gay celebrities. But, not many gay people are actually like that as Tsukasa said in the video. They’re actually like many other normal men, no big difference from us.
In my channel, I’m often saying to viewers like, “We’re all human being! Your color, race or nationality doesn’t matter! Don’t worry, Nobody cares!”
I have a guilty about this statement.
I have to tell you that many Japanese people might judge you a lot just based on what you look like. Living in Japan, you’re going to feel that we have a strong tendency to catch you up in a stereotype.
The worst part is that the whole society tells us what to do just based on your gender, age, social status, etc.
I guess this kind of social pressure always exists in any country more or less. But I think Japan is extreme..
As a very homogeneous nation ethnically, it’s very weird for us when we see someone doing something the majority don’t. The society constantly tries to convince you to act as other people do. Being unique or being different is bad thing and playing safe is the best choice for you always. Trust me on this,
Even though nobody verbally tells you, you can hear the voice a lot. Every single day.
Growing up in Japan, this “You are supposed to be like this!” atmosphere sometimes kills me.
Every time you do something, you always have to look around other people’s faces and make sure if what you’re doing is not something standing out. You can’t express what you truly want to say.
When I was a child, I was always feeling I have to pretend a “normal” person in order to get along with other people.
When I decided to start the YouTube channel in my second language, which is English, so many Japanese people around me smirked.
Fortunately, I could manage to ignore those voices and started it anyway.
But even to this day, I’m still getting that kind of depressing comment or email almost everyday from many people.
I’m not surprised at all, because what I’m saying on the videos is obviously too crazy and far away from the the typical image of Japanese. I understand that sometimes it might offend some people a lot.
Here is one of the examples. When I uploaded a video about Trump yesterday, I lost a lot of subscribers.
A friend of mine texted me today,
“Nobita, why you made that kind of video? You knew this could happen, right? Why don’t you just play more safe? Otherwise, you will keep losing subscribers.“
I just decided to follow my heart no matter what.
Doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to be against all the time, but I will say what I actually want to say and do what I truly what I want to do, even if majority are against me or even pissed off.
Now, Let me tell you the most important part of this article.
When you try to pursue your passion or dream in Japan or anywhere, sometimes the “You are supposed to be like this!” atmosphere gets in the way. In the worst case, it stops you. You’re thinking like, “Well, I guess I’d better follow other people and the society.“
That Is The Last Thing You Want To Do.
Never stop doing what you want to do just because other people disagree or mad at you in Japan. You do NOT need to give up anything, your job, study, education, and of course, dating in Japan.
A lot of people misunderstand about this. Just because you’re in Japan, it doesn’t mean you need to follow whatever other Japanese say and act like a Japanese.
Have you ever heard “I have to be like Japanese” syndrome?
This is very common for foreigners in Japan. They’re always worried and insecure about not being the same as Japanese, like idea, mindset, color, hight, and especially size. (Even to this day, I’m getting a message and email like “I’m too fat in Japan!“, even though I already made a lot of videos to convince them). Because of that, they always hesitate to do things like socializing with native, dating, attending matchmaking events or something like that.
Of course, there is a line. You have to comply with the rule and respect our culture. You definitely cannot violate the law in Japan. Having the mindset “Do as the Romans do in Rome” mentality is actually good sometimes.
But, dude, I’m talking about your passion now. That’s a completely different story. Giving up your passion or dream in Japan is the worst thing you could ever do in life.
If I had to guess, the people who try to convince you to stop probably had a strong passion or dream they wanted to accomplish. But maybe they didn’t have the courage to be against the social pressure and purse the dreams so that just gave up and chose to follow the path they didn’t go.
That’s why you do NOT listen to them.
Please don’t let other people dictate your choice. I’m telling this because I’ve seen so many foreigners who gave up what they wanted to do in Japan. They’re saying to me;
What makes me sad is that those thoughts are not coming from themselves, but from the society.
Think about it. They were not thinking like that before they came to Japan.
I found that the many of them were extremely excited and motivated to achieve their goals in Japan.
But, they just gave up because of the social pressure..
When you tell someone “I’m going to do this” and you feel the person reacts negatively like “Well, maybe you shouldn’t do that.” or “Probably you’re going to fail.”, remember this.
Those are just their self-limiting beliefs that they’re trying to make you think the same way as them.
Agian, living in a different country doesn’t mean you have to follow everything other people say. The core yourself should never change no matter where you live. Your own culture, belief, and identity will NOT change in Japan or anywhere.
I’m sorry if Japanese people around you constantly try to convince you to change in their way and stop you to do something different. But, you gotta keep your head high and make sure you won’t lose your way.
I hate to say this but, basically, they couldn’t follow their passions or dreams and had to follow a traditional path, then they want to drag you to the same path to make sure you can’t either.
You don’t let that happen to you. Don’t let other people’s insecurities stop you from pursuing your passion in Japan, or wherever you live. I want you to do whatever you truly want to do in your life in Japan.
Because the truth is, you can accomplish anything as long as you don’t quit. All you have to do is that keep running until you get out there.
Again, promise me.
Whatever you want to do and accomplish in Japan, do NOT let self-doubting hold you back from pursuing your passion.
Being yourself and doing whatever you truly want to do is literally the only thing that will get you to where you want to be, and more importantly to become happy. I know this is really cliche but I strongly believe this is definitely true.
I’m about to start something new right now. This could change my whole life entirely. It could be ruin my career.
However, since I decided to do whatever I truly want to do, I will promise you that I will never stop this until I get there. I just wanted to write this post to encourage me to push myself harder. Hopefully, you’ve also got encouraged, so that you and I will see success in the near future!
Thank you so much for taking your time to read this post. If you like it, make sure to share to your social media!