Tuesday, August 24, 2004

No Longer Gaijin—or is He?


This is 有道 出人 (Arudou Debito), a Japanese citizen. He was born David Christopher Aldwinkle in the United States, but he is now living in Japan with his Japanese wife and teaching at a Japanese university. He is of particular interest to me because his past and present may very well become my future. His life today is the embodiment of the title I chose for this blog, because although destiny brought him to Japan long ago and fortune ushered him through the formidable maze of Japanese naturalization, he is still a gaijin to the vast majority of people he encounters everyday. Although he carries a Japanese passport, speaks Japanese fluently, buys his cloths at Uniqlo, and obviously gets his hair cut at a Japanese barber, his body marks him as gaijin for life. Most importantly, though, Arudou-sensei is a prolific writer as well as a social activist, and his enormous web of online pages is an invaluable resource for gaijin contemplating life in Japan in the long term. Check out his page to find out more about the Otaru Lawsuit and the growing number of “No Foreigners Admitted” signs in Japan. Or click here to find out about becoming a naturalized Japanese citizen. And special kudos to Jamie of avoidinglife.com who runs an awesome site through which I first became aware of Arudou Debito, the American Japanese.