Halloween Commercial - Part II

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is a story I posted in my Intercultural Communication class blog. It's an experience I had living in Japan. I hope you like it.

In a previous post, I talked about my embarrassing experience playing the role of a wrestler zombie in a Japanese TV commercial. During that shooting, I had the chance to meet people from different countries and I met a dark-skinned young man out of the ordinary.

The first time I saw him, I noticed that the way he moved didn’t correspond with how he looked. I said to myself “There’s something wrong with this guy.” From a distance, I saw him interact with other people and I thought, “How silly this guy looks! I think it’s OK to imitate the Japanese to some extent. When in Tokyo, do as the Tokyoite do, but this is way too much!”

When I first talked to him, I introduced myself in English and he answered in Japanese. “Who does he think he is?” I thought. However, I started to reflect, “Wait! Maybe he doesn’t speak English and that’s why he uses Japanese.” So, I stopped judging. I heard him speak Japanese and he was incredibly fluent and he sounded like a native to me. I got interested in his situation and asked him “ How come you speak such fluent Japanese? You’ve been here for a long time, haven’t you?”

He answered: “Yeah, 19 years. All my life… I was born in Japan. I’m Japanese.”

“Ok. Now I understand.” I told him. “But, where are your parents from?”

“My mother is Japanese. My father is American, but I don’t know him. My mother got pregnant and he left her, so I have no direct links to the US and I can’t even say Hello in English.”

Our conversation was interrupted as we got to the shooting studio and started to get ready. Everybody assumed that he was a foreigner and could speak English. So, he had to explain his situation on and on, but no matter how many times he did, makeup artists forgot and would talk to him in English again until he reminded them. I then thought that his everyday life must be really hard, revealing everything about his background to everybody all the time.

During the break, I had the opportunity to talk to him again and I commented, “ It must not be easy for you to live in Japan.”
“Yes, it’s not easy. People always assume I’m a foreigner and I always have to repeat the same story every single time, but once people get used to it, things get easier and they start to treat me as a Japanese.” He said.

I’m glad I came across this one-of-a-kind situation. It made me reflect on my attitude. Judging people without even thinking is wrong.
The way one looks can be a reflection of one’s culture or provide us with clues about a person’s background, but it can be misleading at times. So, we must never assume things without finding out their certainty.

Submitted: October 23, 2009

© Copyright 2022 translingual writer 79. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



I agree. Jumping to conclusions without knowing the real facts, is whats wrong with society today. I know I've jumped to a few myself, and was left feeling pretty stupid. Interesting subject. The world would be a better place if we all excepted each other, and loved one another, no matter where we were from...


Fri, October 23rd, 2009 2:29pm


Thanks again for your comments. TW79

Sat, October 24th, 2009 5:53am



Sat, October 24th, 2009 5:57am


Thanks PurpleMood.

Sat, October 24th, 2009 6:18am

Mistress of Word Play

You have a true talent when it comes to telling a story. I really think there is an important lesson here we can all take away from this. I grew up in Germany until I was 12 then we came back to Western Ky. Talk about a wake up call. I was judged to be different because of my way of speech and appearance. Not good. A lot of people missed out on a lot of things because of their look at the outside attitude.
A very memorable write. Thanks for sharing this.
PS I am voting I like it for this one, too.

Sat, October 24th, 2009 1:41pm


Wow! Thank you, Danke, gracias.

Sat, October 24th, 2009 6:44am


This is a good story with an excellent moral. You can never judge a book by its cover. I feel bad for the poor guy. It really MUST be tough for him. =[ Anyway, thanks again for the wonderful read! C:

Sun, October 25th, 2009 2:41am


Thank you so much for your comments!

Sun, October 25th, 2009 1:10am


well done i enjoyed it keep up the good looking foward to reading more :D

Sat, October 31st, 2009 11:32pm


Thank you, Sabrina. I appreciate it. : )

Sun, November 1st, 2009 5:04am


This is a sweet story. I can understand what the man was so sad about, and it's nice that you acknowledged that. Enjoyable writing style, too!
Keep up the good work!

Wed, November 4th, 2009 10:49pm


Thanks for your comments. I'm glad you liked it. Chao!

Thu, November 5th, 2009 3:02am


Why do you hate black people?

Thu, November 5th, 2009 5:40am


I don't! Of all the people who read this, you're the first who gave me such a comment. What made you think so?
Not at all. I don't see that written or implied here. On the contrary, the message I'm trying to convey with this piece of writing is that misjudgments and intolerance happen all the time and are not the right attitude. I also mentioned that I thought he was not Japanese because he didn't look Japanese and that after realizing my mistake, I reflected upon it and learned a lesson. BTW, this guy and I keep in touch and are good friends. I hope this clarifies this issue.

Thu, November 5th, 2009 3:27am

Grim Reaper 123

I really think you are good at writing stories.

Tue, November 17th, 2009 12:08pm

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