Regarding Hidesato Sakakibara’s Feb. 28 letter, “Term ‘gaijin’ has run its course”: Sakakibara’s awareness that the term “gaijin” upsets many foreigners living in Japan is nice to know. It doesn’t bother me, though, because there are too many other important things to deal with. And the habit will never disappear or vanish. None of the discriminating names throughout the world will ever go away because that’s just the way life is. People don’t know any better, and some good jokes can be made.

I ask myself, who is the real “gaijin”? Is it me because I’m Canadian and don’t look like or act like the locals here? Perhaps, but isn’t it strange that in Japanese culture the main religion comes from India, most of the writing comes from China, the suits most salarymen wear were designed in Europe, and the obscenely, unbelievably, overpriced handbags that women carry are not made in Japan?

The list goes on and on, yet I am the gaijin. Japan sure is a great place, though: one of the safest places, if not the safest country in the world. I love it here. So what is one to do about the racist remarks? Make a lot of money, and if you make enough, you can buy an island or a nice piece of land to build your own world and make your own rules. Until then, the name-calling will go on, but it’s not that big of a deal.

dennis karaferis

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