No Japanese people or American dogs

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From the Twitter / X account of the famous popular science writer and muckraker, Fang Zhouzi / Fang Shimin:

The sign says:

Rìběn rén
Měiguó gǒu
jìnzhǐ rùnèi


"Japanese people
American dogs
Are forbidden from entering"

It seems that Americans are of a lower order than Japanese.  What did we do to deserve that honor?


Selected readings



  1. Benjamin Orsatti said,

    September 1, 2023 @ 8:22 am

    Maybe there's a different interpretation? After all, that would be a fine way to thank the very people who are buying all your cheap plastic crap, wouldn't it? Does "狗" in Chinese have the same non-canine secondary meaning (i.e., sub-human human) that it does in English? It seems that it wouldn't make sense to draw fine distinctions among those whom one is disparaging; in other words, wouldn't it be more plausible, if the intention were to denigrate Americans, to say something like "日本&美国人禁止入内"?

    Maybe they just don't like golden retrievers?

  2. Benjamin Orsatti said,

    September 1, 2023 @ 8:42 am

    Ack, my comment was deleted! I'll try again: How would the sign have read if it were meant to literally prohibit entry of Japanese _people_ and American _dogs_, say, golden retrievers? Would it still use "狗"?

  3. Ronan Maye said,

    September 1, 2023 @ 1:19 pm

    Could this be read as calling 日本人 the 狗 of 美國?
    Also, if this is very recent, I think it might be in response to the Japanese restaurant that went viral for its sign that said "中国人へ当店はすべての食材は福島県産です". This type of toxic escalation seems to be getting worse.

  4. pat flaherty said,

    September 1, 2023 @ 2:11 pm

    Dog here is pretty clearly an insult for Americans and lest one think Japanese are getting off more easily, both are forbidden entry.

    Lots of experience living in, and with, E Asia.

    I mean, when I've lived there, or visited, I mostly ignore these things. That said, I wouldn't enter this particular location. No need to cause unnecessary ruckus – which I thought was part of how one lives outside one's own culture successfully. I hope the Chinese guy in the video (all our ingredients are from Fukushima Prefecture) doesn't actually live in Japan – however he speaks Japanese well so maybe he does. He's not doing much for Sino-Japanese amity, but then I suppose that's part of the point of posting to TikTok. Please his followers in China – besides he can show off how well he speaks Japanese. Sort of complicated, eh?

  5. Benjamin E. Orsatti said,

    September 1, 2023 @ 3:48 pm

    Worse? I'm scratching my head here, wondering why on earth any post-COVID restaurant would discourage _anyone_ from patronizing its establishment — foreigners, dogs, cats, extraterrestrials, AI bots…

  6. Aardvark Cheeselog said,

    September 1, 2023 @ 5:33 pm

    I want to read it as "If you're an American you can't bring a Japanese guest or your dog."

    Other people (except Japanese) can presumably bring their dogs. It's a fair cop. Americans are lousy dog trainers.

  7. Victor Mair said,

    September 1, 2023 @ 7:09 pm

    Be sure to take a look at this article with its mind-blowing graphic:

  8. Doggiepuppy said,

    September 1, 2023 @ 7:49 pm

    There is a deep psychological complex for those people from this amazing country to put this kind of notice in any entrance deemed necessary as they think- you have to trace back this kind of PTSD behavior all the way to the early 1900s, with the dramatic episode enacted by Bruce Lee in one of his classic movies:

  9. Victor Mair said,

    September 1, 2023 @ 9:07 pm

    The alleged historicity of the sign featured in Bruce Lee's dramatization has been debunked in various places. For example, see the references here,


    and here.

  10. Revengemach said,

    September 2, 2023 @ 2:35 am

    Chinese wikipedia has some more information about the sign of "Dogs and Chinese No Admittance":

    In this regard, whenever you see this kind of sign in this amazing country, you should always make sense of it within this context so that you could better understand this obsessive behavior and the psychological revenge mechanism behind for the whole nation is still having a PTSD issue.

  11. Michael Watts said,

    September 2, 2023 @ 8:55 am

    No comments on the commentary from Fang Zhouzi? It preserves the use of 狗 in a context that is not obviously insulting:

    How is it enough to forbid only "Japanese" and "American dogs"? There's also the EU, England, Australia, Canada… what about them?

    It'd be better to just have a whitelist: only North Koreans and Russian dogs are welcome to enter.

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