You're probably reading this because of the links on Facebook and Twitter (if not, the introduction/explanation is below, in 'Forbidden Colors'). If you're worried or angry about what 's happening around you, you might think - "Sure, but what can I do about it? I feel so helpless. I live in Japan and if I speak out too much about this, I might lose my job."
Yes, we know that. "Gaijin" in Japan are supposed to behave like friendly, bumbling tourist stereotypes. The Japanese line up the hoops and then expect us to jump though them like good little lapdogs. Well, consider this; you can become fluent in japanese, you can work hard, do your best, cultivate good friendships, but at the end of the day, you will STILL have your job taken away when you have outlived your usefulness, because you are an outsider and you always will be. Don't kid yourself that you have integrated yourself into society, becuase you haven't.
Therefore, if you have want to stop feeling helpless and afraid, Excalibur has three recomendations;
1) If you're a Gaijin resident in Japan, begin your individual campaign of civil disobedience. Refuse to pay your local tax, refuse to pay your electricity bill, refuse to cooperate with police officers or government officials, if necessary refuse to speak the local language. If you can't refuse, try to make as much disruption and inconvenience as you can while engaging with bureaucracy. You might think you have too much to lose by becoming a troublemaker - really, you haven't.
2) If you're a foreign national planning to come to Japan to live, work or study, please reconsider your decision. Perhaps you don't know what you're letting yourself in for. Perhaps you think you know how this country works; you're mistaken.
3) If you're young, Japanese, and reading this, consider studying or working abroad. Start making your arrangements to leave, and start choosing a destination that's right for you. This is not a country for young people.
4) Lastly, please buy a copy of "3/11: The Fallout". The link to Amazon is here. This book offers practical advice on what to do if you find yourself in the middle of a natural disaster, and raises funds for the homeless families in Tohoku (yes, that's right. They're still homeless. This is Japan, and nobody wants to take responsibilty for rehousing them - what else did you expect?)
You can choose to ignore this post, to laugh at it, to leave comments below or not, to buy the book or not. The choice is yours. It always has been.
We are Excalibur. You will hear from us again soon.