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Friday, July 4, 2014

Racist Japanese Restaurant In India?

My parents once told me that the people from India can be a very racist bunch, and this is coming from people who were born and raised there!

They certainly were not referring to themselves, as they have instilled in myself and my brother a keen respect for people everywhere regardless of race, color, creed - whatever… we judge you only by how nice you are or how big your tits are. How the hell did that get in there? Stupid Auto-Correct.

People who know me certainly know that while I appreciate women's breasts, there are other parts and features that intrigue me more.

Anyhow… I was just having some fun with you—wholly unlike a hotel in Bangalore, which is NOT a city in Maine, USA, but rather is the third-largest city in India.

See - there's a link.

Anyhow, the boobs over at the Uno-In Hotel offers visitors a taste of Japan—but only for the Japanese—no gaijin (foreigner/outsider) allowed. Though... in India... I'm pretty sure it's the visiting Japanese who are the 'gaijin'.

Now… despite me saying that it was the Indians who are racist—note that the hotel appears to be owned and operated by Nippon Infrastructure Company Private Limited.

Now, you might think as I initially did that what's the big offing deal? How many Japanese people are wanting to go to a Japanese hotel and or eat at the Japanese restaurant there in India's third-largest city?

What could it be - 20 people? Maybe 47?

I was incredibly surprised to learn that Bangalore is actually home to about 200 Japanese companies!

No sh!t.

Apparently some 12,000 Japanese visit Bangalore every year on business.

Those are some impressive numbers… but why create a non-gaijin zone within a gaijin country? Is that legal?

So… the Uno-In Hotel provides Japanese guests a 'home away from home' in India… which is strange because I've been to Japan (obviously) and I'm pretty sure there are plenty of gaijin eating in Japanese restaurants every single day…

… or is this restaurant/hotel set up just for the RACIST Japanese element who are working with the brown-skinned devils in India? If so… would that not further limit your customer base?

How can you afford to survive when you limit your already limited customer base?

According to a report from the local Bangalore Mirror newspaper, when a group of Indian newspaper reporters tried to dine at the hotel's restaurant, they were told that Indians were not allowed.

"This is a dedicated place for Japanese people alone," Nic U Iqbal, managing director of Nippon Infrastructure which runs the hotel told the would-be diners.

"It is really hard to maintain the quality system," he adds, in comments that were recorded by the Bangalore Mirror.

To find out if the hotel was "fair-handed" in its discrimination, the paper sent in two other potential customers, a white Brit and a Black African man, who were both turned away.

So… let me get this straight… the idea behind this restaurant is to provide Japanese people with an oasis where they don't have to deal with the jibber-jabber of foreigners while they sit and relax and enjoy a traditional Japanese meal… cooked and served by gaijin. Gotcha.

Okay… I only assume that… maybe Nippon Infrastructure Company Private Limited has actually imported cooking and servicing staff from Japan… otherwise that would kind of defeat the whole exclusivity purpose, wouldn't? Certainly the photos contained within the hotel's website imply that that there are Japanese workers there.

And… surely the restaurant's managing direct Iqbal is NOT of Japanese extraction… that he is of Indian decent? And he is just there to curry favor. He's like an Uncle Sanjay. Yes, I did go there.

I visited the Uno-In's website (available in English and Japanese)… and I can state that while the hotel itself suggests its services are 'suited for Japanese tastes' it does not state that it is for Japanese only.

However, the same can not be said for the rooftop Uno-Shokudo restaurant—which was what the reporters et al were originally dissuaded from entering.

It says: "Since the UNO-SHOKUDO is used by Japanese, the flavor and seasoning are the same as in Japan."

It does not state 'used by Japanese only', rather 'used by Japanese'… but apparently the implication is there, along with direction from Nippon Infrastructure to its staff.

Note also that (and I continue to quote from the hotel website):
  • You can have your meal while watching Japanese television.
  • There is always Japanese staff on hand so you can place your order in Japanese.
  • The menu is displayed in easy-to-understand Japanese.
  • Smoking is permitted.
Smoking is allowed??!!! That's how you know this place was designed for the Japanese only!

Okay, kidding… sort of… but it offers the menu in Japanese. But why easy-to-understand 'Japanese'? I could make a remark about the brain cells of would-be racists, but I do question whether or not many of the Japanese guests at the hotel and restaurant are aware of its racist philosophy? I'll give the guests the benefit of the doubt.

I'm not going to make an issue of the Japanese staff… I'm sure having someone around who can understand your language is appreciated by the Japanese guest…

If you would glance UP at the topmost image, it shows the special private dining room offered at the rooftop hotel restaurant - there's a regular dining room which seems a bit less tacky.

This ain't no prim and proper Japanese-style restaurant.

While the red and white tables do offer a 'nice' Japanese color scheme representative of its flag (I hope), the yellow curtains do not. But at least it's got air-conditioning, if not that certain déclassé feel to it.

I do also leave you with this thought: perhaps the managing director has misunderstood the instructions form his Japanese overlords, and has mistakenly taken it upon himself to instruct his staff to limit admittance into the restaurant.

To that I say - nope!

Nic U Iqbal... the managing director... sure sounds like a foreigner... but note that the actual president of Nippon Infrastructure Company Private Limited is someone named Uno Iqbal.

Is it the same person? If not, surely a relative... and the president of a Japanese. 

According to the company website, the hotel (and restaurant) was first opened in Bangalore back in December of 2012. It is, according the site: "We have established “UNO-IN”, Japanese style business hotel at Bangalore for Japanese business people and tourists."
Again, it's not saying non-Japanese people aren't allowed, but why then were they not allowed to have a meal at the restaurant?

You can visit the website yourself for a look around:
www.uno-in.in/restaurant/en

Anyhow, I just thought you would all want to be kept abreast of the racism allowed to run rampant in this world—no buts about it, unfortunately.

That's the hotel in the image above… Kindda ugly… like its perceived racist intent.

Food for thought…
Andrew Joseph
PS: Special thanks to Matthew for sharing this with us.
PPS: If you are a Sanjay and an uncle, keep in mind my criticism was not pointed at you... just at the  Uncle Tom Sanjay.
PPPS: To my American friends, note that this blog topic has nothing to do with the U.S. and is NOT a social commentary directed at it. Happy birthday - everybody have a Yank!

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