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Are Muslims respected in Japan?

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5 Answers

In Japan, it may depend on the region, cosmopolitan nature of the individual, and your attitude toward your audience.
In large cities, foreigners are common, and more readily embraced.  In smaller communities, outsiders might experience a degree of rejection, but a positive attitude and genuine respect and kindness go a long way.  Japan, being a mostly homogenous country, does have a degree of xenophobia built in: long term residents who have naturalized or offer no indication to moving back (long-term employment, starting a family) are still routinely treated as a guest of the country (How long have you been here, when are you going home?), with the exception of close friends, coworkers and neighbors whom interact with the resident in question.
A person with an interest in foreign cultures will most likely have many questions and be willing to embrace differences, and have a genuine desire to learn about you and your culture.
If you are engaging and respectful, many will return that to you; Japan, being homogenous, does like comparing and contrasting cultural differences in order to promote understanding.
Worse case scenario, you will get a lot of complements on it, but almost everyone will understand that its cultural significance.
Japanese people love anyone and anything foreign and thus welcome diversity. Although they are a collectivistic country, they still try to differentiate themselves from looking just like every one of their peers. They dye their hair so it isn't stark black, perm their hair so it isn't stick straight, and have numerous ways of identifying their individuality through their fashion choices. As a foreigner to them whom has studied abroad with others from America and whom also continues to visit Japan frequently; I have noticed the Japanese embrace change and are so amused and enthusiastic about people from any country different from their own. To them its like a breath of fresh air for their eyes and their minds if they get the opportunity to talk to someone different from them.

I have found that getting and receiving respect is less of a cultural question than one of how do you react and interact with others. First start off with an attitude that you respect them, and you typically will get respect back. Of course there will be some that do not give it back, but that is their problem and loss, not yours.

In my experience, people might find it unusual, but I don't believe they would be disrespectful at all. Depending on the region of Japan you might be in the extreme minority, and might draw attention, since some people might not have seen a woman wearing a headscarf before. However the Japanese people generally respond to the unusual with interest and respect - the worst I would worry about would be them wanting to ask you questions!

Most Japanese do not exclusively identify themselves as adherents of a single religion; rather, they incorporate elements of various religions in a syncretic fashion[3] known as Shinbutsu shugo. Japan enjoys full religious freedom and minority religions such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism are practiced