“You gotta shave that beard. In Japan, a beard is the kiss of death.” Grizzled-know-it-all teacher douche.
Yep and then I went on to find a better job and full-fill my dream of being a pro-athlete in this country, with all kinds of facial hair, and I think he was arrested for having an affair with a 14-year-old girl. The lesson here? Beards work? No, the lesson is that Douche bags can be found everywhere. This is a list of some of the worst expat douche you can encounter in Tokyo. Some go above and beyond eventually multi-leveling and combining two, three or even four of these classes into a Voltron-esque collage of failed dreams and bitter angst. If you live in Tokyo, you know who they are…who you…are…
7.The Doucebag Recruiter
You know who you are and so do the rest of us because you never shut up about work and “the office.”
You’re also wearing a suit and tie at the HUB and are lavishly buying everyone a round, during happy hour, and keep texting your “guy with the coke”. You started in this “industry” too late; the bubble popped long ago and for the first year you actually LOST money while literally slaving away doing mind numbing grunt work for the promise of a big payoff someday soon. A pay off which still has yet to come.
You regularly have “huge” nights in Ginza, spent entirely at 300 yen bars, and get so brutally intoxicated you can’t make it to any event that isn’t connected with work.
You’re finally making enough money to support your alcoholism and gambling issues but you’re slowly figuring out that if you take your foot off the gas for a split second this is all going to fall apart and you will have no money to support your fake Wish-I-was-in-Finance lifestyle you’ve locked yourself into. But the thing is you didn’t have the skills, education or experience for finance anyway, so here you are and forever trying to FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT. Problem is, you’re not enough of a sociopath to ever really make it anywhere with this.
But hey, anything to avoid teaching ENGLISH, right? Right???
6. The newbie Eikaiwa/ALT teacher Douche
Conbini beers and Karaoke!
The deterioration happens within months:
“It’s just so gratifying, working with the kids.”
“I just wish the Japanese teacher in the class was more supportive.”
“Jesus God, that one class is full of animals.”
“Fuck these kids and their incompetent useless parents and the teachers can all burn in hell.”
You did it! You got to Japan and now you’re living the dream! Ninja on every corner! In fact you just signed your English teaching contract telling you one of two things, if you’re an Eikaiwa douche, you have learned that you have no Japanese holidays because “Hey, You aren’t Japanese.” And you have none of the holidays which you cherish and look forward to because “Hey, this is Japan, Fan-qui!” If, on the other hand you are an ALT, well good news! You get ALL the holidays, you just don’t get paid for any of them. Great deal. This will leave you plenty of time to be a part-time DJ (for free), work on your modeling career (good luck, fatty), finish your first novel (riiiiight) or simply frequent absolutely every 100yen bar in the city, nightly, till your liver implodes.
When you first got hired you spent the initial six months telling people who used to be you how magical it all was and then the last six months how much you loath everyone and that Tokyo is a horrific place.
You ended up in this category for one of two reasons: You showed up with no plan or the plan you showed up with failed. If you let it break you then you’ll either end up managing other suckers in this indentured servitude or you’ll just throw in the towel and leave. If you can drive through, you might find a life outside of ENGRISH or you might just someday become…
5. The Douchy miserable suburbanite
“Whoa, your rent is how much? I only pay 50,000 yen per month for a 10 bedroom, 20th floor condo in THE MIDDLE OF FUCKING NO WHERE.”
God knows what you were thinking, because I do not. You were 28, employed, decent wage yet you decided to live deep in the forests of Saitama. You decided it was a better idea to live in bustling Ibaraki prefecture. You thought getting a big place with ocean views 3 hours outside Tokyo on the Izu peninsula would be magical. Then winter came.
Let’s face it, if you want to live in Tokyo then LIVE IN TOKYO. That’s what you tell all your people back in Minnesota. That’s what you tell your boys back in Detroit. You tell everyone back in Smallville “Yeah bro, right in Tokyo. It’s crazzzzy.”
The thing is you don’t and you hate where you live. No girl you’ve ever met wants to take the last train to your place from Shibuya at 9:30 PM. Girls, rarely but it happens, ask where you live, you tell them and there is an empty pause and blank look and then she says “Where?” or “Oh yeah my Grandmother lives there.” Then she never sleeps with you.
“Bro can I crash at your place?” You have multiple variations on this one because you NEED to use it regularly if you are actually gonna drink all the way through happy hour.
Sober, you spend a hardy amount of time trying to convince everyone that wherever you live is actually “Really neat.” But after a few drinks you spend large segments of time, yours and ours, bitching openly about how much you hate it and how you haven’t had a guest over in two years.
Eventually, years later you will move into Tokyo and then lament the fact that you spent your prime time single years sequestered on a mountain side someplace all in the name of saving a few thousand yen, which you used on the move anyway.
Welcome to the party. Just be sure you know when to leave…
4. The aging party guy/girl Douche
“Holy Fuck this is Awesome!”
But actually, no it isn’t because you’ve done this over and over for 25 years. It doesn’t matter how many Facebook albums with hundreds of pics of you smiling you post, again. It doesn’t matter how many IG vids of you lost and drunk in the middle of a concert on some island you post, again. It doesn’t matter how many times you pose with younger chicks at the same bars you have been going to for over a decade, again. None of it matters because you never got the memo.
You Sir/Ma’am, are getting OLD.
Maybe you’re 35 and, in that stream of Russian boyfriends, have yet to find your Prince Charming. Maybe you’re 45 and picking up random women and embarrassingly taking them to social gatherings at which they feel wildly uncomfortable is just making you look like a date-rapist. Maybe you’re 50, and living “the Single life” is where it’s at but suddenly you’re 62, living in a shoe box, alone, with nothing but a six-pack and a shit ton of HUB card points to keep you happy when you can’t spend all your money on travel in order to escape reality anymore. Some people are actually supposed to be alone forever, I know one or two, but if you’re reading this and it stings, you are not one of them. It might be time to settle the fuck down and go all in with someone.
45 year olds do not need to go to all night, all you can drink karaoke just to wake up in a pile of their own vomit Sunday morning on a side-walk in Shimokitazawa. The mature thing to do is to wake up on your living room floor, sans vomit, on Sunday and have breakfast with the family hiding your hang over with some Advil and a stiff screw driver because nobody can smell Vodka, right? Get with the program.
In the meantime…
Conbini beers and Karaoke! FOREVER!
3. The Douche who is always about to leave but never does
“I’m outta here. Yep. Just six months left and I am gone.”
And six months later yet here I still find you. Probably at Hobgoblin.
It’s a good plan and you’ve been perfecting it for decades; finally leave Japan and go on to what will surely be your perfect existence in wherever, doing whatever. It’s an incredible plan because you’ve been holding on to it, polishing it and telling everyone about it for myriad years.
The thing is, you’re never really leaving. It’s like the douche who is always talking about starting his own business and never does or the wanna be novelist who never writes a damn thing or the musician who never plays for anyone or the boxing gym warrior who never actually gets in the ring for a real fight.
“No bro, I just spar.”
It’s all douche bullshit and so is your tired old yarn about leaving. Just put your chips in and make a life here. You are ALREADY HERE ANYWAY.
Then again you could always actually leave Tokyo and enjoy grueling hours and shit pay painting farms in the Australian outback. So, there’s that. Shoot for the stars.
2. The Japanophile DOUCHE
Which is, so you know, wildly douche behavior.
You also go to Izakaya and immediately sit in seiza. You take Ikebana classes and tea ceremony classes and Japanese flute classes and taiko classes. You suck at all these activities. You own, at the minimum, one Japanese sword (and nunchakus) and you can talk about how it was made: The sword; the nunchakus you found in the garbage. You know 3 billion kanji. You know more Kanji than your Japanese girlfriend who is the most Japanese looking person the world has ever seen. She’s more Japanese than Yoko Ono. She’s more Japanese than KFC at Christmas and dick festivals just because.
You know how to put on a Kimono. You know how to help women put on kimono. You like natto. You purchase natto.
For you Japan is never wrong and the Ja panese are never at fault. None of US get it but YOU do. We would connect so much more if we read manga, watched Japanese TV, hung out (unwanted) in small bars near Golden Gai and did Judo for three months then quit. Essentially, nobody understands Japan like you do, not even the Japanese and you can prove this by talking about popular Japanese cartoons with six-year olds who don’t want to talk to you anyway.
You are the Japanophile DOUCHE and you are abhorred.
1. The Irrational Hater Douche
“Jesus, why can’t I buy peanut butter here?”
“Why the hell don’t these people just shake hands?”
“Fuck learning Japanese, I’m leaving soon anyway (refer to #3)”
“Japanese girls are all stuck up and fake.” Because they don’t like you.
Meet the bizzaro world doppelgänger for the aforementioned Japanophile: the foreigner who lives and works in Tokyo yet irrationally hates everything about the place and cannot wait to tell everyone, all the time. Japanese train precision? “Hell no, my train was five minutes late!” Japanese women don’t want to listen to your nonsensical uninformed rants about their culture? “Stuck up crazy bitches!” Japanese music? “Shit.” But you can only name 3 bands and all of them are named SMAP. This is the irrational Hatred Douche bag and he/she tops our list.
Japanese Values? “Not mine so they don’t matter!” But tries to bullshit an answer anyway.
The Japanese put a lot of stock in how one looks out and about? “Stuck up materialistic assholes.”
Many of these particular douches are or were douches in other categories and have simply grown into this most coveted breed. Their own self-loathing, ignorance and inability to actualize their dreams/desires manifests itself in a ripe and often burning hatred for basically everything that doesn’t qualify or flatter them. In this case, the sprawling foreign city encompassing them and all it’s people.
“Why the fuck isn’t everything here exactly how it was in the country which I came from?!”
- The super douchey and overly judgmental blogger who has “Seen it all” in Tokyo, been a few of these already and trolls others from afar via his little known and highly under-rated website.
- All foreign models
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This is perfect, now I know what not to do when I go to Tokyo next week 🙂
Yes, I’m finally getting to Tokyo after all these years. -Matt
Well, it’s about damn time, Sir. Keep your head down…Douchebags are everywhere.
What the fuck man, this describes expats in Korea to a T. Just change
“Shibuya” to “Hongdae”. Shit, you even nailed the bitching about expensive peanut butter. I think the Korea lovers (Koreaboos) are bigger douchebags though. Two examples that are pretty much hated by every expat here:
I wonder if these tropes are a common thing with expats all over the world…
Interesting. I know jack about Korea so fresh perspective but I am not surprised.
Aw man you made me feel bad about liking natto. But really, what`s not to like?
I actually worked with one of the Japanophile types, but then he died mysteriously while in police custody.
Damn, good insightful descriptions. I had a cool English teaching friend until he became a recruiter and morphed into exactly what you described. He got out though. But even now he’s not the same.
You had to remind me of peanut butter. Two days ago I found a foreign goods store nearby but they want 500 yen for a small container. I bought the Sancho Panza wine instead for almost the same price. I think it’s cheaper to get your peanut butter fix from reese’s peanut butter cups sold at Seiyu.
Hanamasa and Yamaya have decent Peanut butter now. FYI.
good stuff dude but you left out the tarento, but I dont know if they qual as douches. I judge not as I have become a most anti social type myself, nihon does this to you long term
But aren’t you Japanese yourself?