A significant number of gaikokujin say koku is an integral part of their identity as a foreigner living in Japan.
Experts say a gaikokujin’s koku can often be the only thing that makes Japan a pleasurable experience.
“In many cases, koku is all they live for,” says Professor Takai Nobuhiro.
A large proportion of gaikokujin in Japan believe it is their fundamental right for koku to be used whenever they are addressed.
“A ‘gai’ should always come with a koku,” explains one foreigner.
“I need a well-pronounced koku to know I’m not being discriminated against.”
It’s common for foreign residents in Japan to suffer from koku neglect, with many saying they need koku to feel self-assured.
“If you don’t give me my koku I feel like I’m being deprived of the true essence of what it really means to be a foreigner in Japan.”