No Blacks in Japan

Yup, that’s right you read the title correctly. There aren’t many Blacks or what my family would say ( black folk) in Japan. This is no surprise to me because I know Japan is for the most part a ‘homogenous’ nation. I put homogenous is quotes because, in reality, a nation can’t be completely homogenous.  Random, I found a fun fact. There is a large population of Brazilians( not sure how they got there) BUT I can save that for another post. Back to Blacks, yes there aren’t many. I remember in my interview for JET,  they asked me how I’d cope with possibly being the only dark-skinned person in my town.  My first thought was,  hmmm, I cope with it every time I’m at Davidson College, so this should be a piece of cake! Anyways, I decided to do a little research on Black culture in Japan and.  as predicted, I didn’t really find much.  From my studies and travels, I’ve learned that even if there aren’t  large numbers of Blacks in a region, people in the country have some type of idea of what ‘Black culture’ is. ( thanks to the internet, music and so on)  So, here is what I’ve found so far on how some Japanese people  perceive African American culture.


Got my placement!

There’s Akita highlighted in green!

I  received my placement a week ago and I was completely confused. The email said Akita-ken, Kazuno-shi. I read the following paragraphs that gave me a quick break down of what my placement meant and I was all sorts of confused. It explained the ken meant the prefecture and shi was a city BUT not really. After reading the email, I had no idea where I was living , just some where up north.After asking questions and doing a little research here is what I have learned about my “city” and prefecture ( a prefecture is equal to a state in the USA).

“Aki” in Japanese means autumn. Akita-ken is known for its beautiful autumn leaves. This is great because I love the fall and living in colorful areas.

Akita  in the Northwestern part of Japan. Kazuno ( my city) is in the Northern part of the prefecture.It’s an extremely cold region and it’s a great place to snow board and ski. I learned that the winters last from January to May (intense!)

Akita is also known for its volcanos and hot springs. Last week, I learned that each prefecture has a mascot. I am sure a few of you automatically thought sports just like I did when I first heard about it, but I was told the mascot is just a tourism thing. They use the mascot to advertise for their city. Here’s my mascot!

Isn’t it precious! Apparently, he’s the Chief PR person (character) for Aktia. There was a ceremony held for him and everything. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to buy a shirt or something with him on it.  I’ve also seen many pictures of festivals in Kazuno. Based on the pictures, I think Kazuno will be POPPIN! I am looking forward to making this my home. It definitely will be a huge change from what I am used to in Houston. All I know is, Northface will be my best friend!