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Showing posts from May, 2016

The Seven Stages of Gaijinhood Redux

Years ago there was a blog called The Westerner's Fear of the Neonsign. It was one of the best blogs ever written about Japan, but it's been taken down. His seminal post was The Seven Stages of Gaijinhood. Here's the graph:


You can read more about it, as well as comments from other old-timers, on gakuran.com, yet another excellent blog that's gone quiet. It happens. You find yourself with nothing new to write about anymore, or perhaps blogs -- well-considered, well-researched, well-written -- have been replaced by easier, faster, transient social media such as Twitter and Instagram.

So, using the lingo of short-form social media, here's my version of the 5 stages. Yup, only 5.

OMG JAPAN!
WTF Japan?
FFS Japan!
Meh ...

Step 5 can go in three directions: "it's not perfect, but it's home, and I've got to make it work" or "I'm going home to my own country, which isn't perfect, but I've got to make it work" or "let's g…