‘Asian-gaijin Day’ was announced this week – scheduled for May 11 – with the aim of fostering awareness for Asian gaijins living in Japan.
Asian gaijins in Japan face the harsh stigma of being regarded as regular citizens.
Organizers of ‘Asian-gaijin Day’ are expecting a large turnout to the inaugural event where participants will gather in a large circle around the Hachiko dog statue in Shibuya and simultaneously shout out, “I’m a gaijin”, in English.
“We will be handing out AG (Asian-gaijin) badges like the ones pregnant women wear to let people know we are special just like the externally verifiable gaijin,” said one AG Day spokesperson.
A recent study found two in five people in Japan are either directly or indirectly affected by the plight of Asian gaijins being indistinguishable to the untrained eye.
Mike Gower who lives in Nagoya is a third generation American with distant Chinese relatives and tackles the daily challenge of not being recognized as a gaijin.
“It’s a constant battle for me – I have to speak loudly in English everyday to make sure people notice I’m full gaijin,” says Gower.
Volunteers will be taking donations for the AG cause from 7 a.m. at the Shibuya scramble crossing on May 11.
“We encourage everyone in the community to dig deep for an AG battler.”