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Thread: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

  1. #1

    Default Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    I saw on site, Debito Arudo, a former US citizen who naturalized to USA. I want to know what you folks think about Debito Arudo.

    www.debito.org

    I am thinking maybe before making gaijin Japanese, many of you Nikkei Hawaiians should be given priority for dual citizenship first. I am astonished they give a gaijinsan Japanese nationality when they haven't allowed Japanese nationality.

    It makes me think, because when I become American, I must give up my Japanese nationality. But to carry around a Gaikokujin Touroku Shomeisho (Gaijin Card in my own homeland, I could not bear. I feel I would rather die a Japanese than ever set foot in Japan as a Gaikokujin. I feel that Japan undestanding about honor, should give Nikkeijin "Nikkeijin Card" rather than a Gaikokujin Card to distinguish us with dignity.

    If Japan does this to me, I would never be able to face going to Japan ever again. I am not very Japanese, and feel very western, and many of you here may agree, but even for a liberal guy I find this to be too much now that I give much thought about it.

    How would you Nikkei Hawaiians feel about this. Are any of you dual nationals? Any who not who had to carry Gaijin Card as being full Nikkei blood? How did it make you feel? I want to know, nissei, and sansei feeling to be different from issei, and how much.
    Last edited by ewatada; March 20th, 2007 at 11:09 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    This is interesting, for sure.

    I have no Japanese ancestory (none that I know of anyway :P ), but in a way I can have some degree of empathy since I am a dual national. Would I go to my other citizenship country and start doing political protests like this guy? HELL NO! I may be a dual national, but I can't regard myself in any other way besides American.

    I studied Japanese for 2-3 years, and I am currently practicing Kendo, so I suppose that anyone who has an affinity for Japanese culture and practices will feel that lure to go, but I could never see myself going to Japan, staying there, and going out of my way to change institutions that I actually went out of my way to impose on myself despite originally living in the USA. USA may have its flaws, but most of us can emphatically agree that we'd rather stay here than try our luck to attain happiness elsewhere.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanguard View Post
    This is interesting, for sure.

    I have no Japanese ancestory (none that I know of anyway :P ), but in a way I can have some degree of empathy since I am a dual national. Would I go to my other citizenship country and start doing political protests like this guy? HELL NO! I may be a dual national, but I can't regard myself in any other way besides American.

    I studied Japanese for 2-3 years, and I am currently practicing Kendo, so I suppose that anyone who has an affinity for Japanese culture and practices will feel that lure to go, but I could never see myself going to Japan, staying there, and going out of my way to change institutions that I actually went out of my way to impose on myself despite originally living in the USA. USA may have its flaws, but most of us can emphatically agree that we'd rather stay here than try our luck to attain happiness elsewhere.
    Yes. I regard him a full Yankee still. I think even unskilled Brazilian nikkeijin should be given full citizenship before this fellow. If he has so much contempt for Japan, why does he even try to naturalize? That is like me coming to USA and say "Oh my god, why are filipinos and chinese treated equally with us Japanese?" How come there are so many "Gaijin" here! How come yankees are not as refined as the British?" This is rediculous. If Debito, who I will insist on calling David wants to act this way, he should have returned to United States. His Japanese is very good. I am amazed, although I find few grammar mistakes here and there, and his expressions of sentence structures are a bit unnatural, it is better than my English. Our languages are very different so it is hard, I can accept that. I have seen some nisseis who can write better than he in Japan, because they have to catch up if they choose to stay unlike white gaijin who we don't care if they never learn kanji.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanguard View Post
    This is interesting, for sure.

    I have no Japanese ancestory (none that I know of anyway :P ), but in a way I can have some degree of empathy since I am a dual national. Would I go to my other citizenship country and start doing political protests like this guy? HELL NO! I may be a dual national, but I can't regard myself in any other way besides American.

    I studied Japanese for 2-3 years, and I am currently practicing Kendo, so I suppose that anyone who has an affinity for Japanese culture and practices will feel that lure to go, but I could never see myself going to Japan, staying there, and going out of my way to change institutions that I actually went out of my way to impose on myself despite originally living in the USA. USA may have its flaws, but most of us can emphatically agree that we'd rather stay here than try our luck to attain happiness elsewhere.
    Yes. I regard him a full Yankee still. I think even unskilled Brazilian nikkeijin should be given full citizenship before this fellow. If he has so much contempt for Japan, why does he even try to naturalize? That is like me coming to USA and say "Oh my god, why are filipinos and chinese treated equally with us Japanese?" How come there are so many "Gaijin" here! How come yankees are not as refined as the British?" This is rediculous. If Debito, who I will insist on calling David wants to act this way, he should have returned to United States. His Japanese is very good. I am amazed, although I find few grammar mistakes here and there, it is better than my English. I have seen some nisseis who can write better than he in Japan, with no university degree as kikokushijos.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    I've known Dave Aldwinckle since his days as a grad student at UC San Diego. Despite his genetics, he's probably culturally more Japanese than many Nikkei in Hawai'i and elsewhere. If the Japanese government deemed it suitable make him a naturalized citizen, then so be it. Overall, Dave views himself as a sort of Japanese "civil rights" pioneer; however, if I were a Japanese government official, I probably would have had him deported years ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by ewatada View Post
    If he has so much contempt for Japan, why does he even try to naturalize?
    Dave's been a naturalized Japanese citizen since 2000 and he's actually quite a "Japanophile." Most likely, he will probably spend the rest of his life in Japan.
    Ā Ē Ī Ō Ū ā ē ī ō ū -- Just a little something to "cut and paste."

  6. #6

    Default Re: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    Interesting perspective, Jonah - thank you for sharing that.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah K View Post
    I've known Dave Aldwinckle since his days as a grad student at UC San Diego. Despite his genetics, he's probably culturally more Japanese than many Nikkei in Hawai'i and elsewhere. If the Japanese government deemed it suitable make him a naturalized citizen, then so be it. Overall, Dave views himself as a sort of Japanese "civil rights" pioneer; however, if I were a Japanese government official, I probably would have had him deported years ago.



    Dave's been a naturalized Japanese citizen since 2000 and he's actually quite a "Japanophile." Most likely, he will probably spend the rest of his life in Japan.
    But I feel that many of you, Nikkei here should be given our passport before he. Why should a full blooded nikkeijin be a gaijin in Japan? Particularly naturalized Americans who are Issei in Japan? If I had to carry a gaijin card after becoming an American, I would rather throw myself in front of the train first.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by ewatada View Post
    But I feel that many of you, Nikkei here should be given our passport before he. Why should a full blooded nikkeijin be a gaijin in Japan? Particularly naturalized Americans who are Issei in Japan? If I had to carry a gaijin card after becoming an American, I would rather throw myself in front of the train first.
    The answer to your questions lie in the fact that the Japanese govt does not permit one to hold dual nationalities. And for many Issei and Nikkei, they rather hold an American nationality.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by ewatada View Post
    I saw on site, Debito Arudo, a former US citizen who naturalized to USA. I want to know what you folks think about Debito Arudo.

    www.debito.org

    I am thinking maybe before making gaijin Japanese, many of you Nikkei Hawaiians should be given priority for dual citizenship first. I am astonished they give a gaijinsan Japanese nationality when they haven't allowed Japanese nationality.

    It makes me think, because when I become American, I must give up my Japanese nationality. But to carry around a Gaikokujin Touroku Shomeisho (Gaijin Card in my own homeland, I could not bear. I feel I would rather die a Japanese than ever set foot in Japan as a Gaikokujin. I feel that Japan undestanding about honor, should give Nikkeijin "Nikkeijin Card" rather than a Gaikokujin Card to distinguish us with dignity.

    If Japan does this to me, I would never be able to face going to Japan ever again. I am not very Japanese, and feel very western, and many of you here may agree, but even for a liberal guy I find this to be too much now that I give much thought about it.

    How would you Nikkei Hawaiians feel about this. Are any of you dual nationals? Any who not who had to carry Gaijin Card as being full Nikkei blood? How did it make you feel? I want to know, nissei, and sansei feeling to be different from issei, and how much.
    Japan has some interesting and disturbing social/cultural trends going on for some time now. The Japanese know they are Japanese, but don't want to be Japanese. They will dance hula, dress European, listen to American hiphop, employ peculiar mannerisms, as if they are living anime. Eventually the pendulum is going to swing back the other way and there will be the rise of the neo-Japanese back in Japan...those kids who want to get in touch with their roots, because their parents, grandparents, etc have forgotten, never learned, or felt such cultural practices were of little consequence.

    pax

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by Pua'i Mana'o View Post
    Japan has some interesting and disturbing social/cultural trends going on for some time now. The Japanese know they are Japanese, but don't want to be Japanese. They will dance hula, dress European, listen to American hiphop, employ peculiar mannerisms, as if they are living anime. Eventually the pendulum is going to swing back the other way and there will be the rise of the neo-Japanese back in Japan...those kids who want to get in touch with their roots, because their parents, grandparents, etc have forgotten, never learned, or felt such cultural practices were of little consequence.
    This is a very odd comment. How can Japanese society not be Japanese? You obviously have not spent much time in Japan, if you think there is no Japanese identity. The examples you gave are all very superficial. Unlike in a multi-cultural country, in Japan you don't have to act "Japanese" to establish identity. You just are Japanese. It's quite different from America.

    As for Debito Arudo, it's one of those cases of right message, wrong messenger. His views on the treatment of foreigners in Japan are valid and important, but he comes off so badly (rather arrogant). He may be a good guy in person, and maybe he needs a better PR team.

    Japan is quite different than the U.S. in terms of ethnicity and citizenship. Unlike the U.S., Japanese citizenship is very closely identified with being Japanese (ethnically). Is that a good thing? Probably not, but I can understand why some people would be reluctant to see that close bond disappear.

    As for the OP, I'm not quite sure what he is getting at. An American who has lived in Japan for many years and speaks the language fluently would seem more entitled to Japanese citizenship than an American of Japanese decent with few ties to Japan. Of course, that conclusion is based on putting more value on life experience rather than ethnicity (in terms of the "right" to citizenship), which differs from the Japanese government's immigration policy. Koreans born and raised in Japan often lack Japanese citizenship; a situation most Americans find perplexing.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    Is this the guy who protested the Japanese-only bathhouses? I remember reading some very interesting articles about that a long time ago including comments from Japanese interviewees about Westerners, their large bodies etc with a couple of Russian sailors thrown in to boot. If you don't mind me asking, why would you have to give up your Japanese citizenship? This is not required by US law except in certain very specific circumstances. I suspect you're referring to a Japanese law but I still wanted to make sure. What you have brought up is a very interesting subject that I think I will steer clear from.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by reineke View Post
    Is this the guy who protested the Japanese-only bathhouses? I remember reading some very interesting articles about that a long time ago including comments from Japanese interviewees about Westerners, their large bodies etc with a couple of Russian sailors thrown in to boot. If you don't mind me asking, why would you have to give up your Japanese citizenship? This is not required by US law except in certain very specific circumstances. I suspect you're referring to a Japanese law but I still wanted to make sure. What you have brought up is a very interesting subject that I think I will steer clear from.
    It is Japanese law that prevents dual citizenship. Either you take up Japanese citizenship or you let it go.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by Pua'i Mana'o View Post
    Japan has some interesting and disturbing social/cultural trends going on for some time now. The Japanese know they are Japanese, but don't want to be Japanese. They will dance hula, dress European, listen to American hiphop, employ peculiar mannerisms, as if they are living anime. Eventually the pendulum is going to swing back the other way and there will be the rise of the neo-Japanese back in Japan...those kids who want to get in touch with their roots, because their parents, grandparents, etc have forgotten, never learned, or felt such cultural practices were of little consequence.
    I think Pua'i is on to something: seems that most cultures go through the same cycles. Just look at what happened in Hawai'i: the kanaka maoli culture almost died out too, until the 1970s. Now everybody (including the non-kanakas) want to learn Hawaiian, how to hula, etc. It takes about 3 generations for things to come full circle. Like Pua'i, I believe Japanese living in Japan will swing back to being "Japanese" again eventually. Today's young people in Japan will have children who will want to revive many of the "old ways" of Japan. The pendulum is already starting to move back to the right as far as the government is concerned. The new Prime Minister who succeeded Koizumi is way more nationalistic than Koizumi was. Koizumi loved everything Western. Because Japan is such a homogeneous culture, I think the exposure to Western culture makes it easy for the younger generations to want to adopt something to make themselves look more like individuals and not one of the masses. In America, we prize individuality; in Japan, they prize homogeneity and one way of thinking.

    Very few people know this, but when the US was at war with Japan, the Japanese government claimed all people of Japanese ancestry living in Hawai'i (including the Nisei) as Japanese citizens. So the Nisei who were part of the 442nd and 100th Battalion were technically, in the eyes of the Japanese government anyway, citizens with dual nationality! I don't know how many families actually knew this and renounced their Japanese citizenship, though.

    Miulang
    "Americans believe in three freedoms. Freedom of speech; freedom of religion; and the freedom to deny the other two to folks they don`t like. --Mark Twain

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by Miulang View Post
    Like Pua'i, I believe Japanese living in Japan will swing back to being "Japanese" again eventually. Today's young people in Japan will have children who will want to revive many of the "old ways" of Japan.
    My point is that "Japanese" is whatever is happening in Japan or involves Japanese people. If you want to say that traditional Japanese culture will increase in popularity amongst young people, then fine, but that's not more Japanese than the youth culture in Japan today. "Japanese" is not static. It evolves.

    Now you may argue that traditional Japanese culture had less outside influence and is therefore more pure. That argument is a misnomer. Japanese society, from ancient times, has been highly influenced by Chinese and Korean culture, and Western culture had a growing impact during the Tokugawa period and a huge impact during the Meiji era. Just because something is old, it is not inherently more authentic.

    As I said in my last post, the notion that true Japanese identity is tied to traditional arts, dress, or whatever is absurd. That is a very superficial interpretation of identity.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
    It is Japanese law that prevents dual citizenship. Either you take up Japanese citizenship or you let it go.

    My friend's son has dual citizenship as his wife is from Japan and she registered the son for Japanese citizenship. The son then must decide which citizenship to claim by his 22nd birthday. It's called Nijyuu Kokuseki.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by na alii View Post
    My friend's son has dual citizenship as his wife is from Japan and she registered the son for Japanese citizenship. The son then must decide which citizenship to claim by his 22nd birthday. It's called Nijyuu Kokuseki.
    That is correct. I do want a American passport but want to keep the Japanese one. But to go to Japan, I must use American passport to exit and enter USA, so how can I without getting caught when I become American?

    I still want to be American one day. I want to go to Hawaii I think. Where Koreans and Chinese and Japanese not hating each other and not prejudice like in Japan. The Zainichi Koreans and Chinese are discriminated still. I heard in USA, everyone is just American and respect in Hawaii.

    My friend once was upset that Japanese Americans sometimes spoke very little Japanese, but I think fluent English makes up for it. I want real english.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by ewatada View Post
    That is correct. I do want a American passport but want to keep the Japanese one. But to go to Japan, I must use American passport to exit and enter USA, so how can I without getting caught when I become American?

    I still want to be American one day. I want to go to Hawaii I think. Where Koreans and Chinese and Japanese not hating each other and not prejudice like in Japan. The Zainichi Koreans and Chinese are discriminated still. I heard in USA, everyone is just American and respect in Hawaii.

    My friend once was upset that Japanese Americans sometimes spoke very little Japanese, but I think fluent English makes up for it. I want real english.
    I myself is a Japanese American but we speak little or no Japanese because we are American citizens and our language is English. Most Japanese Americans are Nisei, Sansei, Yonsei and Gosei. I myself was fortunate enough to learn the Japanese language from my mother as she is originally from Hokkaido, Japan. Some of the Japanese I learned in high school and college. Unless one works in the tour industry like my sister at a hotel in Waikiki we don't speak Japanese. As far as this Debito Arudou goes it seems like he might have been granted a Japanese citizenship from being married to a Japanese citizen like how foreigners get married to U.S. citizens and then have a greencard granted to them. Maybe this message board can help you.

    http://www.japan-guide.com/forum/que...y.html?1+17613
    Last edited by na alii; April 8th, 2007 at 04:41 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by ewatada View Post
    I still want to be American one day. I want to go to Hawaii I think. Where Koreans and Chinese and Japanese not hating each other and not prejudice like in Japan. The Zainichi Koreans and Chinese are discriminated still. I heard in USA, everyone is just American and respect in Hawaii.
    My Kendo class has Japanese, Korean, and Chinese people (i.e. people who spoke their mother languages as a first language) and everyone gets along beautifully. It's very refreshing to see when you have the modern history of Asia in mind.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by na alii View Post
    My friend's son has dual citizenship as his wife is from Japan and she registered the son for Japanese citizenship. The son then must decide which citizenship to claim by his 22nd birthday. It's called Nijyuu Kokuseki.
    So does that mean the son can hold dual citizenships for the rest of this life? What about for those who are naturalized?

  20. #20

    Default Re: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by na alii View Post
    My friend's son has dual citizenship as his wife is from Japan and she registered the son for Japanese citizenship. The son then must decide which citizenship to claim by his 22nd birthday. It's called Nijyuu Kokuseki.
    The son can't have both American and Japanese citizenships? I've been a dual national all my life (Japan not being either one of them), and neither country has asked me to renounce the other.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanguard View Post
    The son can't have both American and Japanese citizenships? I've been a dual national all my life (Japan not being either one of them), and neither country has asked me to renounce the other.
    I misread na alii's post earlier. Yep, the son can't have dual citizenships based on what the Japanese perspective dictates, not the US perspective. Here is an unofficial translation of the Japanese rules by the US Embassy in Japan.

    http://tokyo.usembassy.gov/e/acs/tacs-7118b.html

  22. #22

    Default Re: Debito Arudo: A Naturalized White Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
    So does that mean the son can hold dual citizenships for the rest of this life? What about for those who are naturalized?
    As I posted earlier that Japan does allow dual citizenship up to age 22. By your 22nd birthday one must decide on which citizenship he/she will choose. It's called Nijyuu Kokuseki.


    "Persons holding both foreign citizenship and Japanese citizenship (dual nationals) must, before reaching age 22 (or, if having acquired dual nationality after age 20, within two years of acquisition) choose a single nationality. "

    http://tokyo.usembassy.gov/e/acs/tacs-7118b.html

    I myself plan to apply for a "A child born to a Japanese citizen visa" so I can stay longer than the 90 days tour visa. My mother is originally from Hokkaido, Japan so I can qualify for that visa. One day when I retire I can stay in Japan longer than the 90 day tour visa.
    Last edited by na alii; April 9th, 2007 at 11:22 PM.

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