I excel at procrastination ...
I decided to write Braids, Red Dots, Blasians and Gaijins in hopes that my extremely limited understanding of Japan will be of some use to any Africa-American woman who might get involved with a Japanese man from Japan. Even if your man loves you and wishes to marry you, chances are he'll "assume" that you'll learn how to navigate this society on your own. As he would be male and extremely privileged, he will mostly be likely unsympathetic when you come home crying in frustration every day. Don't worry. This won't mean that his love is insincere. Instead it's a sure bet that he doesn't know what it's like to be a foreigner and a woman in Japan even if he's been a foreigner elsewhere. The experiences will never be parallel.
Let's start simple because I don't know how to make the "cut" in this blog. First, a majority of the 127 million (and declining) people in this nation has never ever laid eyes on a foreigner (gaijin/gaikokujin) of any kind. Bonus. This means they'll notice that you're a foreigner first and black second. Feel secure in this knowledge. For them, a gaijin is a gaijin. In this country, there are only two kinds of people: Japanese and gaijin. There is no in-between. Don't be distressed. This knowledge can save you.
Don't be upset if a handful of people take one look at you and flee. They're usually bumpkins from the countryside. Most though will acknowledge that you exist and move on because they're polite. Unfortunately, there are rude ill-mannered people who deserved to be smacked. Due to a lack of home training they will gawk at you and some will even touch you, especially your hair. Feel free to grab the offending hand and thrust it away from you. No one has a right to touch you without your permission. Blessedly, these people are few and far between. My husband had this same experience in Selma, Alabama. Not too many Japanese wander around there.
At worst, people will talk about you. Ignore them. Chances are, they are only attempting to ascertain that you are indeed a gaijin. If you speak Japanese, answer their questions. Great shock value here. There are two possible outcomes: 1) They'll run away - always a plus if they're twits; or 2) They'll brave it, talk to you and give you a chance to make a buddy (the older the person the better your chances here).
In the next post, I'll explain how both black and Japanese perceptions of one another have been screwed over by Hollywood movies and US News and how you can overcome this... person by person... until you have a group of your own. In Japan, anyone who thinks that he/she is an island is usually a candidate for suicide.