What is it?
これは何 ?

The Gaijin FAQ Card

The Gaijin FAQ Card is a printable business card you can hand to Japanese people who ask the same questions about their country you have already answered thousands of times.


➀ How long have you been in Japan?
➁ Do you like Japan?
➂ Is Japanese difficult?
➃ Do you like Japanese food?
➄ What about natto!? 

On the card you can also indicate whether you can use chopsticks or not.

How to use

① Print

  • Download print-ready file.
  • Print at home, or use a professional printing service.

② Fill out

Fill out

③ Hand over

  • Once the familiar questions start, hand the card over.
  • Enjoy a meaningful conversation.
Handing over card

Do not use the card to offend or be rude, only to further a pleasant conversation.



Isn't this a little passive aggressive?

Absolutely. Depending on how you present the card, it may be construed as rude as well. But used correctly as an ice-breaker, it can be a funny way to push the conversation into more fruitful territory.


Doesn't everyone ask these types of questions?

Sure. Even us Icelanders have a tendency to ask foreigners how they like our country and if they've tasted skyr. This tendency however is more pronounced in Japan. Elsewhere people tend to explore their commonalities more.


Why did you not include "this question I get routinely asked"?

You're free to make your own version of the card. I'm releasing the Gaijin FAQ Card under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license, so you can edit, remix and share your own version (for non-commercial purposes).

自分らしい外国人よくある質問カードを作ってもいいんです。CC BY-NC 4.0のライセンスで提供しているので(商品として販売しない限り)カードを編集して自分のバージョンを作って他人に共有することが可能です。

Why do you use 外国人 (gaikokujin) and not 外人 (gaijin) in the Japanese translation?

In certain contexts, "gaijin" (foreigner) can have a derogatory meaning in Japan. Naturally as a foreigner to Japan I am not using it negatively. "Gaijin" sounds better in English, while the "gaikokujin" is more appropriate in Japanese.


About Me:

I am a previous cultural studies scholar and artist from Reykjavik, Iceland. I spent just under 10 years in Japan before moving back to Iceland in 2016.

I'm also behind The Staring Book, a fake book cover for the fictional book "Why Do Japanese Stare At Foreigners?" by fictional author Suzuki Masao.

I designed it to alert strangers on public transportation of excessive staring. It went viral in 2011 and was covered by CNN Go, SFGATE, Japanese news site RocketNews24 and countless blogs.

Have a look at my portfolio with other design, photography, DJ mixes and more.