Indecisiveness was blamed for a disastrous gaijin nod exchange in Akihabara this morning.

Friendly-Gaijin was keen to exchange niceties and looked for eye contact early. However, Not-So-Friendly-Gaijin pretended not to notice until looking up at the last second causing a knee-jerk reaction from Friendly-Gaijin who nodded in vain.

“I’d given the nod just as we crossed paths – I didn’t even know if he had acknowledged my foreign exchange or if he had given me the gaijin ghosting,” said Friendly-Gaijin Steven Jones.

Jones is now anxious about future gaijin encounters.

“I’m now really self-conscious about when to look up, how long to look up, and whether to acknowledge the existence of Close-Vicinity-Gaijin.”

Experts have advised all foreigners to remain calm and confident when bumping into other foreigners.

“The key is maintaining a confident posture by keeping your shoulders back and making short sharp bursts of attempted eye-contact to avoid any last second desperate acknowledgements,” says one gaijin expert who has lived in Tokyo two years and already knows everything about Japan.



  1. As an Asian-American non-white gaijin, I’m sad that this gaijin nod exchange is something that I’ll have to work very hard at receiving – if ever.

    • As a Canadian, may I just say that I would happily nod at you even though you’re American, which is probably not your fault anyways. Maybe it’s because I grew up around Asian-Canadians but you guys don’t blend in as well as you might think: you still move liike North Americans (naturally), plus you meet eyes and that, which is a dead giveaway. Anyways, let’s not tell this to the real Charisma Men that balk at the idea of the Foreigner Nod, but chin up and see you in cosplay land someday!

  2. How is this news? Who cares if I see another gaijin in the most gaijin-associated area of Tokyo? And who really cares to see anyone there, much less acknowledge their presence?

  3. I annually go to Japan and cycle around. One thing that stands out is the downright rudeness of expats in Japan. Ok, I don’t know you but good manners dictate that you at least respond to my “hello” or nod.

    • @Bigfella, You act as though other foreigners should just acknowledge you because you’re foreign too. Why? Are we all supposed to be in some club membership? I know some people can be rude, but I don’t know you from any other random Japanese person walking down the street, and I don’t go nodding to all of them. So why should I to you? Just because we might share the same skin color doesn’t mean I feel like talking to you.

      • Exactly – I must be an American thing. I have never felt the need to acknowledge other people. Perhaps they are lonely?

      • You are a strongly rude person to think that way and partly selfish as well.
        Sadly some Gaijin live in remote areas and rarly see a fellow Gaijin. So when one sees a fellow passer by with the same 50 shades of white one must acknowledge there existence.

      • Same…I live in Japan and really don’t understand this. And it’s the same for Japanese that randomly want to have a conversation with me in the train. I’m just living my life and minding my own business – I’m not there to nod to every foreigner I see or talk about how I’m able to use chopsticks to every Japanese I see. So I try to avoid strangers in general, be them foreign or Japanese.

  4. @strong, I agree, I visit Japan yearly and the last thing I want to do is be around Gaijin. I go to hang out with locals and see Japanese friends. If I wanted to exchange nods with Gaijin I can do that all day long in my office :/

    Why do people think that just because you are 2 foreigners in a foreign land, you must be buddies?

  5. I have learnt to deal with this problem by punching the Gaijin in the face first. This way , if I was to be ignored he got what was coming, and if he was going to nod, well screw him for being a weirdo.

    I do find Gaijin ladies stare too much, wich would be nice if they didnt look so fat next to the lovely Japanese girls.

  6. I treat other gaijin exactly the same as a Japanese person that I don’t know… just walk on by avoiding eye contact. I’m Aussie…Unless I know you, or fall in with you due to circumstance, or necessity, like an emergency, or you ask directions, I’m not gonna go out of my way to talk to you – my pet hate is being talked ‘at’ ,(or acknowledged, or nodded at) by someone I don’t know, who is desperately trying to be friendly, for no reason – without knowing if I’m in a hurry, or would prefer being left alone for whatever reason.
    The nod thing is creepy… do I know you? Are you a serial killer picking victims? どうして!?
    It’s so unnecessary…


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