The island country of Japan was once known as a location where inferior goods were developed and sent abroad. The Japanese fought against America and our allies in World War II, yet today they are a welcomed business partner in the United States and supply some of the most widely accepted automobiles and consumer products available. For all the transformation and success this country has seen there are still those who have a fear of the Japanese. This fear is known as Japanophobia.
This fear may look an awful lot like prejudice, but there may be more behind it than feeling the need to exclude.
What Causes the Fear of the Japanese?
It may be possible that when you were a child you had a parent or grandparent who expressed fear of the Japanese culture because of their role in World War II you came to believe you should be suspicious and perhaps even fearful of the culture at large and the people in general. This modeled behavior is often reveled as a phobia by internalizing the fear.
You may have encountered a person of Japanese descent whose actions may have led you to believe you were in physical danger. In this scenario it can become very easy to believe that everyone within the Japanese culture may wish to do harm to others.
Sadly the fear of Japanese can often morph into a fear of anyone whose features appear Asian.
The Symptoms of Japanophobia
Those who suffer from this fear will be very prone to avoiding anything to do with this culture. They will avoid Japanese festivals, restaurants and specialty shops. This can lead to social anxiety and additional phobias. This phobia can also supply a greater acceptance of conspiracy theories related to the culture and can be the model used by others to accept your fear as the basis for their own mistrust of the Japanese.
Other symptoms may also include…
- Air hunger
- Dry mouth
- Perceived prejudice
- Loss of control
- An urge to flee
It is not uncommon for individuals who have this phobia to believe that the Japanese seek to do them harm, bring them to financial ruin or may want to take over the country. There may not be any proof to the ideas, but the belief remains nonetheless.
How to Overcome Japanophobia
Overcoming this fear starts with a willingness to learn more about this people group. Just like it is unfair to say that every individual in Germany was looking to overtake all of Europe the same is true of the Japanese.
When fear takes control of an individual’s life is becomes more difficult to respond to the fear trigger rationally. This can be a lifelong struggle without the intervention of a professional therapist. These men and women can help locate the originating source of your fear and work with you to untangle the misconceptions you may have about the Japanese and why fearing this people group (or anything else for that matter) is harmful to your own psychological health.
The fear of Japanese is also referred to as:
- Japanese fear