For two years an anonymous Japanese female kept meticulous blog reports of the ALT(s) living in the apartment above her. Most of them are inflammatory. But whether you think that the blogger's entries are just over-the-top rage explosions (and they are), or that the ALTs she writes about have just made poor choices of action (and they have), this blog is a prime example of the negative image ALTs and foreigners in Japan garner.

Without further ado:

Spring, 2009: That gaijin upstairs must be into dieting. She's so loud all the time, she's pissing me off. She comes home from work in the afternoon, changes into sweats, and goes running. After that she gets back home and exercises in her room. If it was just stretching or something it wouldn't bug me, but from the sound of it she's doing aerobics and jump-roping. She's getting her exercise and pissing off a Japanese person all at once. It must feel like getting two birds with one stone to her.


While she's at it, she's so loud I can't concentrate on work or hear the TV, so I can't do anything. And her gaijin friends must have run out of work contracts and gone home or something, because she's at home stomping around on the weekends, too.


She only works three hours a day and gets to keep 6,000,000 yen of our tax money, which she uses to go play all the time. It's no wonder she's so fat.


...


The Japanese teachers at her school must not know what to do with their ALTs. Judging from the attitude of the one living up stairs, I bet she's the type who goes around making fun of Japan and Japanese to her friends.* I know not every foreigner in Japan is like that, but...


Anyway, villagers here don't want to deal with troublesome people. This place has a dark side to it; anyone who doesn't fit in gets left out of the group.** Probably when this ALT is at school, her coworkers have so much trouble coping with her that they just send her home. They must be content with her just showing up at work every day, even if she never stays for a full 8 hours.


That gaijin isn't showing any signs of making any Japanese friends, either. It's like she doesn't even think Japanese people are human beings. She's probably giving fake smiles at the school she works at, the one that accepted her as an ALT, just to pretend she accepts them, too.


I don't know if it's a diplomatic situation or what, but inviting foreigners as a quick-fix when no preparations are in place on the Japanese side for schools to really use ALTs is just shifting problems around. Those problems are going to end up in someone's lap.


"The Board of Education said so, so we'll take an ALT. But we don't know how to use one, and we don't even have the English ability to get along with them as coworkers." And it must be intolerable for the ALT, being treated like a scab or something all the time. If it were me, I could never put up with being in a job that's totally unnecessary, no matter how much they paid me. So it's not like I don't understand why ALTs develop a hatred for Japanese.


All feeling the same way, a bunch of foreign friends get together and with the help of group psychology it escalates into harassing Japanese people, and soon all the locals are raising their eyebrows and thinking, "This is it. This is the reason gaijin don't fit in Japan." And JET is sick of hearing about it.


"We can't use a tool like this to its potential, but having one makes us look cool, so let's get one." Always worrying about appearances first. How Japanese of us.




*The writer links a thread here of foreigners posting in English about ways they like to piss off Japanese people. (To think, your off-color GaijinPot posts might get read by Japanese people.)

**Translation note: The writer is suggesting that sending the ALT home instead of dealing with her at school is a form of bullying from her coworkers, who don't want to put up with her.

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