TikToker dragged for filming himself swimming at museum in Tokyo

TikToker dragged for filming himself swimming at museum in TokyoTikToker dragged for filming himself swimming at museum in Tokyo
via @lilmidtok
A TikTok user is facing backlash more than two months after posting a video of himself swimming at TeamLab, a museum in Tokyo known for its artistic lighting displays.
Key points:
  • TikTok user @lilmidtok posted the video to his channel on Feb. 2, writing in the post description, “The ‘Moana’ necklace drew me in.”
  • The clip shows him freestyle swimming in the museum in front of other guests, followed by him being scolded by witness. His video has garnered over 51,000 views since then.
  • Criticizing his video, TikTok user @sandyinjapannn called out @lilmidtok in a Stich post on Saturday. The latest post has garnered over 245,000 views.
The details:
  • In the video, @sandyinjapannn cites some of the measures Japan is taking to prevent the rise of unruly tourists causing problems for locals, one of which was Kyoto’s decision to restrict tourists from entering certain areas in the Gion neighborhood, known for its geishas, such as private alleys.
  • The decision came after several reports stated that some tourists had been harassing the performers and their maiko (teenage apprentices), as well as trespassing on private property to take pictures of them.
  • The TikToker also mentions another measure taken by the resort town of Kawaguchiko in Yamanashi Prefecture. They decided to erect a barrier to obstruct tourists‘ view of Mount Fuji, as they often crowded the sidewalk in front of a Lawson convenience store to take photos of the beautiful mountain.
  • “This is the type of gaijin (a foreigner in Japan) that ruins it for everyone,” @sandyinjapannn says, referring to @lilmidtok’s video. “Sure, not all gaijin, but when there’s one too many and there’s enough of them that it’s more trouble than it’s worth, gaijin will eventually get banned from more things. I think it’s inevitable at this point. Have some respect. This is not your backyard.”
  • Responding to the call out, @lilmidtok commented under @sandyinjapannn’s post, writing, “This place is a tourist attraction, no?? Also I got multiple messages from Japanese people saying this was funny?”
  • Some TikTok users supported @sandyinjapannn’s message in the video, with one user commenting, “Man, everyone’s going to ruin Japan before I get to it. And it’s getting to the point I’m afraid to go as I’ll be immediately pointed out as a gaijin and immediately receive prejudice because of this.”
  • Meanwhile, several users raised concerns over @sandyinjapannn’s use of the word “gaijin,” which they deemed to have a derogatory tone when describing a foreigner in Japan. One user noted, “The entire video is spoken in English except for the erod ‘gaijin.’ Why change for that, why not just say foreigners or tourists. It’s coming off a little racist and derogatory.”
  • Others defended @sandyinjapannn in their comment, with one user writing, “People offended by the word gaijin… [you] guys are the problem, it just literally means foreigner. Just behave! Stop being disrespectful and have some decency…”
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