Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2007
Thomasina Larkin asks people whether they think Japan is a tolerant or intolerant society
Japan is tolerant, but unaccepting. On the surface level, people seem to accept things, but on a deeper level there's hidden aggression toward people who don't fit into society.
Keitai designer, 30
Japan is a little bit strict compared to other countries. For example, if you have big tattoos on your body, you can't go to hot springs because people think you're yakuza.
Japanese seem tolerant. But when I see transgender people, I always see people turn and look at them, but I don't know if they're looking like "good for you" or if they're passing judgment.
Studio manager, 33
Japan is very conservative. If I rent an apartment, the real estate agent says I have to take off my body piercings and cover my tattoos. I have to change my appearance to look nice.
I think Japan is a very tolerant country. I heard that a guy that had a gender-change operation became an elected official in Setagaya Ward. That's about as tolerant as can be.
Tourism agent, 32
I'm very open to anything, but there are so many things that Japan is intolerant about. Gay people, for example. But people with more international minds tend to be more accepting.