Can a newcomer to an area or a new employee be referred to as a gaijin? They are an outsider initially, when they arrive to a new area or job.


no, the "outsider" terminology used in Japan is entirely about nationality, never about "outside the company". People newly hired to a job or newly part of some group are called 新人, literally "new guy" or "newbie". Another common word used to describe such people is the adjective, 青い, which is used because it is meant to represent that the person is "unripe" or inexperienced. It can be meant pejoratively, or simply protectively, depending on context.

  • The second definition of 外人 on goo.ne.jp is:"2 仲間以外の人。他人。" What do you think about that? – Jirei Jul 19 '18 at 17:20
  • I think that THAT meaning is exactly why the word is used pejoratively to refer to foreigners, and that is why it is considered a rude word. In Japan, you ONLY hear that word in reference to foreigners and it means, in its worst sense "people who don't belong here", "people who are not us (and are therefor bad)" ... on the other hand, many Japanese people and foreigners both use the word without any negative emotions attached, simply because it's "faster", so trying to figure out who is truly racist and who isn't, can be tricky. – ericfromabeno Jul 19 '18 at 22:41
  • 1
    @Jirei That meaning is obsolete today. – user4092 Jul 20 '18 at 5:47

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