Arudou Debito

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Arudou Debito

Arudou Debito (有道 出人) is a naturalized Japanese citizen born in the United States as David Christopher Aldwinckle. "Arudou Debito" is the Japanized version of his name. When romanized, Arudou chooses to spell his name using ou rather than the macron ō. In Japanese, he writes his name in kanji which have, according to Arudou, the figurative meaning of "a person who has a road and is going out on it."

Arudou is a teacher, author and activist who is known for fighting for human rights and the rights of foreigners -- residents and visitors alike -- in Japan.

Arudou was born in California in 1965. He first visited Japan as a tourist in the 1980s, and returned later to teach English. In 1989 he married a Japanese woman and moved to Japan, and in 1993 he began working at a private university in Sapporo where he still teaches today.

Arudou became a permanent resident of Japan in 1996, and renounced his American citizenship and was naturalized as a Japanese citizen in 2000, whereupon, as required by Japanese law, he took a Japanized name.

On his website, Arudou states that

to me naturalization is just an obvious extension of what somebody in my position would desire anyway--the right to vote and to LEGALLY participate in society the same as any other citizen.
Moreover, naturalization has . . . benefits that suit a person with my personality. It will enable me to stand on my rights . . . with renewed vigor--because I will indeed HAVE more rights, as well as a firmer ground to demand even more.
In sum, it will empower me to contribute and change society for the better, by demonstrating that it is possible for a Nihonjin [Japanese person] to exist without having a drop of Japanese blood. That Japaneseness is a matter of legal citizenship, not race.


Arudou has written a book about a particular incident of discrimination he faced, in which he, his family and friends went to a hot spring and Arudou and the other foreign nationals, including one of Arudou's daughters, were refused entry on the grounds that they were "not Japanese" (his wife and other daughter were invited in). Arudou and two of his friends, Kenneth Sutherland and Olaf Karthaus, sued the hot spring and won. The book, written in Japanese, is called Japanese Only--The Otaru Onsen Refusals and Racial Discrimination in Japan. The English version of this book was published in 2004.

Arudou has also written several textbooks on business English and debating in addition to many journalistic and academic articles.

See Also

External link

de:Arudou Debito ja:有道出人 zh:有道出人


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