The Chrysanthemum and the Stick E-book

The Chrysanthemum and the Stick

“As a disabled foreigner living in Japan, I have experienced both sides of this paradox. It may seem bleak, but I do not find it so. And yet for myself, a British citizen with cerebral palsy in Japan, it is the liberating power of being a foreigner here that leaves the deepest impression on me. In Britain I always felt like an outsider. Not discriminated against, at least not personally, but always made to feel I was someone for whom allowances had to be made. Others have made apologies for me, often for the crime of tripping or for ‘getting in the way’. Things which would otherwise be dismissed as perhaps the actions of a rude man became actions of a disabled man. Not here in Japan. I am not claiming Japanese people do not make such allowances, but at very least I see nothing in the faces of my hosts that offers pity or sympathy. If anything, curiosity remains the dominant expression.”

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