Muschamp Rd

Of bananas and eggs

October 17th, 2005
Stereotypical Asian image

One interesting bit of jargon I’ve learned while in China is what it means to be a banana or an egg. A banana is yellow on the outside but white on the inside and is a term used by mainland Chinese to describe Chinese who grew up overseas. An egg is white on the outside but yellow on the inside and is a term used by mainland Chinese to describe Westerners that are very much interested in Asia/China.

I had heard the former term used by one of my previous Chinese classmates to describe another visibly Chinese classmate. I’ve learned that Asians can often be harder on/crueler to fellow Asians but there are exceptions.

Of course the Japanese have some interesting terms that they use. Ierô kyabu which is a variation of “Yellow Cab” is applied to a Japanese women who wants to have sexual relations with a Western man. The phrases I was looking for though are amejo and kokujo. These describe Japanese women who want to date Americans and black Americans, particularly the GIs stationed in Okinawa. This subculture has arisen but so has much conflict over the twenty thousand American soldiers stationed in Japan.

2024 Update

Now it is almost twenty years later and while redoing my taxonomy I’ve discovered that all the links I carefully collected years ago no longer work. Worse some of them have been taking over by porn domain squatters. Why they chose a cafe I used to frequent in Beijing I’ll never know. But going back and hand checking every single website I’ve linked to over the years is not something I have time for.

Sculpting in Time Cafe

I still am in favour of linking to other websites, it is supposed to help with your search engine optimization, but I don’t really expect referrals for “bananas” and “eggs” but I’ve gotten stranger referrals. Now Google and the other search engines keep most of that data and my website is much less popular than it was eighteen years ago. So if you’ve read this far and have thoughts on obscure terminology picked up in while living in Asia you can leave a comment below.

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