All Asians Are Alike


(permanent link) added: 2010-05-01 20:54:09 sponsor: KZN02 (last reply: 2010-05-01 20:54:09)

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Non-Asians mistaking that all Asian people are of one ethnicity in particular. Also, they confuse the same with things from Asia (such as Manga, Kung Fu, Karate, etc.).

Related to Did Not Do The Research, Cowboy Bebop at His Computer, and They Just Didn't Care.

Examples:

Comic Books
  • There's a French comic where this is both evoked (a Chinese mook tells his (white) boss he can easily pass for a Korean) and inverted (another mook tells the boss that to Orientals, all whites look the same).

Film
  • Mentioned in Falling Down, when a police officer snarks that he is Japanese, unlike the robbed store owner who is Korean.
  • Quite a few of Chris Tucker's lines throughout the Rush Hour series referred to this.
  • The movie version of Memoirs of a Geisha features Fake Nationality which also falls under this trope.
  • In Brain Smasher... A Love Story, the Chinese assassination team is constantly having to say "We are not Ninjas!" (Ninjas are Japanese.) They are happy the one time someone else says it first. "They're not ninjas. They're Chinese." (So happy that they don't beat any one up there.)

Literature
  • In the James Bond novel Goldfinger, the villain describes Karate as "a branch of judo".

Live-Action TV
  • In a season two episode of M*A*S*H, the Korean liaison officer semi-sarcastically explains the difficulty in finding the father of a half-American baby as, "You all look alike to us." There's also several episodes that deal with or make reference to the difficulty in people being able to tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese and Korean people... made all the worse by the tendency to cast the same actors in different roles, often even as different races.

Other

Puppet Shows
  • Avenue Q - "Tried to work in Korean deli / But I am Japanese". (Or in the Australian performance, "tried to work in Chinese restaurant". And to make things worse, the actress in the Australian performance was Phillipino.)

Western Animation
  • Family Guy: "Oh my God, it's Jackie Chan!"
  • Code Lyoko: the character Yumi Ishiyama often yelled at people that she was Japanese who mistook her for being Chinese.
  • When Hank Hill first met Khan, he asks him "are you Chinese or Japanese?" Even when Khan explains that he's Laotian, Hank still doesn't get it. ("Which ocean?")

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