For those who wonder what life in Japan entails for people of color, director Amarachi Nwosu’s Black in Tokyo should prove illuminating. The 10-minute clip sits down with a disparate group of expats who detail their experiences of Tokyo life.
A hairdresser, artist, producer, and more are on hand to discuss what led them to move to Japan and how it feels to live in the island nation’s capital city. Japan has garnered a reputation as an insular — perhaps unwelcoming — country to foreigners, but the personalities in the video indicate the opposite. The documentary posits that Japanese people, especially the youths, are eager to involve themselves in new cultures, but often don’t have any way to obtain a frame of reference. For instance, they refer to rap and hip-hop as ‘black music,’ a term which reads as derogative but is actually innocent and is built around appreciation. One key point to bear in mind is that learning the Japanese language and culture is a tremendous benefit in gaining acceptance and fitting into society.
Take a look at the full video above for the whole story. For more documentaries, check out the latest installment of the Isaiah Thomas-focused Book of Isaiah.