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Baye McNeil
For Baye McNeil's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / BLACK EYE
Nov 22, 2015
Bring back that Kobe feeling, 'cause it's gone, gone, gone
From the moment I stepped off the shinkansen at Shin-Kobe Station, I could feel a subtle difference between the Yokohama-Tokyo area and this city.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / BLACK EYE
Oct 18, 2015
Dan teaches us how to be 'the man' in Japan
Every time I turn around, it seems, people are always asking me, "Do you know Dan Smith?" Or, they'll assume I already know him — what with his being black, working in the media and living in Japan for, like, forever and all. Sometimes I nod that I do, sometimes I even front like I know him ("Oh yeah, Dan's the man, no doubt!"). But the truth is, I didn't know the man — nor even of the man — and after the fifth or sixth time I was hit over the head with his name, I figured it was time I did.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / BLACK EYE
Sep 20, 2015
'Don't sell your soul for a Japanese man'
Having overcome isolation and a loss of self-confidence in Japan, one American mother now finds herself doling out advice to women seeking Asian men.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / BLACK EYE
Aug 23, 2015
'Are you serious, God? An Asian dude? Really?'
When I approached Tara Kamiya — a 38-year-old housewife, mother of three biracial kids and self-professed workforce dodger — about being interviewed for this story, explaining to her the goal not only of this series (about black women and their Japanese guys) but of Black Eye as a whole, she was totally on board.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / BLACK EYE
Jul 19, 2015
Women of color bound to Japan by love and family
Part 1 of a series looking at the black women who have taken vows binding their fates — and sometimes that of their children — to Japan, for better or for worse.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / BLACK EYE
Jun 21, 2015
One year in, issues and inspiration are still driving Black Eye
Last week's killings in Charleston show that ignorance and fear over race are still driving people to violent extremes.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / BLACK EYE
May 17, 2015
Black filmmakers 'find their edge' in Japan
This month's green-tinged Black Eye focuses on black filmmakers in Tokyo — a group of brothers forging their dreams into reality, getting it done here in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / BLACK EYE
Apr 19, 2015
Meeting Miss Universe Japan, the 'half' who has it all
Progress occurs when people of substance assume the mantle of leadership, and it appears Ariana Miyamoto is equal to the task.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / BLACK EYE
Mar 18, 2015
From a minstrel no-show to a black beauty queen, in a week
From preventing a blackface TV broadcast to the nation embracing a black face as the embodiment of Japanese beauty, it's been quite a week.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / BLACK EYE
Feb 18, 2015
Time to shut down this modern-day minstrel show
If Fuji TV airs the modern-day minstrel show it has planned for next month, it will shine a national spotlight on Japan's extreme ignorance about issues of race and discrimination.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives
Feb 1, 2015
Bringing a 'cesspool to sushiland' life to the stage
"Coming to Japan was the best decision I've ever made," says Stefhen Bryan, loud and enthusiastically, contrasting with the frown he was making a moment earlier at the miso-flavored ramen he'd ordered and just tasted. "Should've gotten the salt-flavored."
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / BLACK EYE
Jan 14, 2015
African-American community gets a voice in Tokyo
The African American Youth Travel Program NPO, which organized a recent demonstration in Tokyo in response to the Ferguson case, brings black U.S. youths to Japan to broaden their horizons.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / BLACK EYE
Dec 17, 2014
Japan and others gain from Jamaican brain drain
In the last part of this series on Jamaicans in Japan, Baye McNeil speaks to a teacher, author and poet in Yokohama and an attorney in Tokyo.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / BLACK EYE
Nov 28, 2014
A world away from Ferguson but feeling the flames
I went through an entire day in Yokohama without a single person mentioning that my country was on fire. Of course, they knew, but what could they have said, anyway?
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / BLACK EYE
Nov 19, 2014
Jamaican sisters come bearing victuals and vibes
Baye McNeil profiles two Jamaican women who have built thriving careers for themselves in the Land of the Rising Sun, half a planet away from the Land of Wood and Water.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / BLACK EYE
Oct 22, 2014
Another island nation, idolized and imitated: Jamaica and I
Only in my 30s did I learn that I, too, had roots, or at least branches aside from my mother's, which only extended to some cotton plantation south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / BLACK EYE
Sep 17, 2014
Ex-NYC graffitist scratches the surface in Osaka and declares it 'dope'
Father of three Roler Miles, who grew up defacing walls and subways in New York, now runs a thriving spray-paint business, teaches Japanese students art and leads a team of artists at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / BLACK EYE
Aug 20, 2014
A high price to pay for a little peace of mind
Sometimes it's hard to believe the American that emerged, naked and naive, from Narita International Airport back in 2004 and the person writing this column are one and the same. Life in Japan has made me, unmade me and remade me. I've unpacked and sorted through all sorts of koto (generally, things without material form such as ideas and feelings), uncovering things about myself that I likely wouldn't have if I had stayed in the U.S. Some of these changes have been minor, others major, yet each represents "the Creator's hands in molding your character into the wiser, more worldly, man you are now," as my mama once told me.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / BLACK EYE
Jul 16, 2014
Unpacking koto: retain, discard and repeat as necessary
Unpacking koto — the intangible baggage — in Japan has proven to be the challenge of a lifetime, replete with enough drama and trauma to keep me knee deep in "think pieces" till I keel over.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / BLACK EYE
Jun 25, 2014
The naked American at Narita airport
Leaving Narita, stripped of your African accoutrement and any other identifiers that speak to your nationality and sensibilities, you advance through an array of unfamiliar sights and sounds, just as brown and naked as the day you were born.

Longform

Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves