We often hear the use of the word “gaijin” when referring to foreigners. But where does this word come from? It is a broken-down, easier way of saying “gaikokujin” or “gaikoku kara no kata.” In the same sense, “Jap” is an easier way of saying “Japanese,” but I wouldn’t appreciate it if someone referred to me as “Jap” even though they may not have meant it in a bad way.

Therefore the word “gaijin” should be purged. We must stop using it in the media, correct people when they use it, teach our students in the schools that it is a bad word, and simply divorce ourselves from using it. It is derogatory, and no less worse than using words such as Jap, gook, kraut, Yid, etc.

Let us all reject it, and campaign against it the same way that that a Turkish scholar in Japan in the 1980s asked that the word “Turko” be removed from all heterosexual massage parlors (which were ultimately renamed “soaplands”).

hidesato sakakibara

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