A not so friendly guy on YouTube introduced me (repeatedly in comments over many videos) to the term weeaboo. I’ll admit, I’m not up on my English Internet slang, so I had to look it up. Apparently, I am one.
And my response? I definitely felt a lot more insulted by this than most of the times I’ve been called 外人. It really belittles my 12 years of studying Japanese, my time living there, my respect for the culture and peoples, and generally the entire direction I’ve taken my life.
I also think it is why I spend more time on ニコニコ動画 (NicoNicoDouga) than a lot of the English-speaking Internets. I’m interacting with people who don’t know or care that I’m an outsider. They (seem to) respect the fact that I have taken the time to learn Japanese. There’s even a community cheering R and myself on to make more videos.
Actually, it’s true that a lot of people on YouTube have been very supportive, but a lot of it boils down to, “When are you going back to Japan.” The truth is, I really don’t know if I’m going back to Japan. And even if I did, I might not make videos without my partners, Rahman and DrLuka.
What I’m trying to say here is be respectful. Just remember what しじみ (shijimi) stands for; し（信じる）じ（自分の）み（道）, or “Believe in your own path.” I know how annoying little otaku can be. Hell, I was one 10 years ago. But I’ve grown up, I have a family, I have a job, and I do my little videos here in America now. No, I don’t get punched for what I do. People are generally friendly wherever you go.
And I really would like to believe that about the Internet as well.
Tags: Internet, japan, life, NicoNicoDouga, rant, respect, wapanese, weeaboo, youtube
Posted in rant | 12 Comments »