Mariko Amano van Baaren

“How do you handle the fact that you’re not Japanese in Japan and not Dutch in the Netherlands?”


Please share your answer to Mariko’s question in the comment area below.

About Mariko:

Born inthe Netherlands
Lived inthe Netherlands
Visited Japan+/- 20 x
Lived in Japan6 months
Speaks Japanese⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫
Reading and Writing⚫⚫⚫⚪⚪

  • Facebook User says:

    As I posted previously, I haven’t been back in a long time, so I can’t really say I’d feel there. Growing up around military bases though, I can relate to feeling like an outsider most of the time, but not all. When I got to high school about 50% of my senior class were hafu. So it was pretty nice, actually, being able to hang with others like myself, and not feeling so alone. I supposed the intervening years taught me how to ‘handle’ feeling the way I did with patience and a LOT of trying to ‘fit in’. Not easy being a kid.

  • Clemente21 says:

    Just act like you belong in both places because you do, Mariko! It’s ridiculous that we are overly concerned with nationality in this day and age when the world has become, due to cheaper and faster forms of travel as well as things like the Internet, smaller.

    Of course you are young and haven’t experienced as much as some of us replying to your query. I lived in Tokyo for 20 years and I did not feel out of place much, only when I could not follow conversations when my Nihongo was limited. It got much better but I can still easily get lost, hah hah.

    Gambatte, I think Dutch are pretty open minded people in general. They will embrace you in due course, some of what you’re experiencing in school or society is probably due to immaturity of those around you. Japan is getting better all the time. Younger Japanese have much more experience with foreigners and outside influences than their parents, grandparents and generations before that!

  • Kara Gormally says:

    Well my bachan just passed away and I live in the USA on the east coast in maryland I just took an epic journey to find other japanese people I found known except on girl who lives in my building I went to georgia, new jersey, and Illnois the only place I met some was in a suburb of chicago. But it’s ok I’ve got lots of other friends of other culture and religions so I celebrate Chinese new year and some Muslim and Jewish holidays and I was raised catholic I’m half English irish american so you adapt and develop your own traditions. A buffet you choose from.

  • Ken says:

    I’m Japanese in Japan or in Netherlands, and I’m Dutch in Japan or in Netherlands. This is possible.

  • Facebook User says:

    This is a really deep and meaningful question asked by such a young person. I think many here can relate to it seriously

  • Being an outsider is a way of saying, “I’m different”(;*. Yes, I’m different and I get to apart of many cultures and be lived by many. I see no race, I see people for what they bring(;* I think we Multiracial people and children are the bridges(;* I hope that helps(;* hugs bunches

  • Facebook User says:

    Awwwww, just be yourself and people will eventually gravitate towards you. The Dutch are very open minded people in general.

  • Facebook User says:

    I suppose this is a question for all mixed nationalities but I assume that Japan is indeed very closed to “half strangers”. Something your parents probably underestimated. But I m interested to know how difficult or not it is in the Netherlands (or other). Difficult to find your place ? Proud to be special ?

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