Kintaro and the Gaijin Advantage
By Kevin R. Burns
I live 90 minutes south of Tokyo in a small town called Minami Ashigara. I often say, "Hello" to Kintaro. He speaks English, and he's good at sumo with bears. I heard he won yesterday. There are few foreigners here. The only time I see a "gaijin" is when I look in the mirror. I am happy because Kintaro never calls me a "gaijin." He calls me Kevin, which is great because I am just a person like you. I may look different, but I am really not that different. I have a heart; I love my children; I work hard and I like to play, too. Are we so different? I don't think so. Kintaro isn't afraid of me, and you needn't be, either.
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