The quintessential Chink stereotype is so much more offensive over here than it is back in the States. This sign is overtly racist. It is strangely ironic that the Japanese image of Chinese is not too different from the ignorant, malignant image that non-Asian Americans developed of the Japanese right after Pearl Harbor was bombed.
It can be quite jolting to hear remarks and questions about race in Japan. Words that would lead to a fight or at least draw negative attention to the person who said them are considered O.K, and often are a source of amusement.
For example, a Japanese friend asked another friend from the UK "What part of Africa are you from?" merely because she was black. We kind of cringed, and she explained that she was from England, but everyone else who was present (aside from someone who has a good understanding of foreign cultures- he laughed because it was such a ridiculous situation) seemed to think that this was quite a reasonable question.
It's crazy to see the perceptions that Japanese society at large has developed about all things outside of Japan. Being politically correct isn't even an issue over here. Sambo, SAMBO, is still a popular character over here!
But foreigners are guilty of it too. They use racial slurs without realizing it and if you call them on it they are either unapologetic about it or pay lip service that they didn't know that what they're saying is offensive. How many times have I heard the term "Jap" being casually tossed around over here? Sometimes you have to talk like Chris Rock around those who don?t see why it is wrong to say ?Jap?, ?oriental?, or any other slur, and use ?whitey? and ?cracka? for people to get the point. This country just seems to bring out the racism in those who live here.
I have heard the argument that this is a strictly American point of view, but I don?t buy that crap. Just because others are doing something that they don?t think is wrong doesn?t make it right. I?m not going to equate being a Nazi with those who think it?s alright to use racial slurs, but I will go as far as to point out a correlation in this type of flawed logic.