This study, involving poststructural ethnographic inquiry, explores faculty involvement in the construction, patrolling, and challenging of “language policies” in one university-level English department in Japan seeking to equip students as guroubarujinzai (global human resources). Within the department, the language policies (formal and informal, overt and covert) perpetuate and reflect essentialized and idealized ideologies of “Japaneseness” and “Otherness” (equated with white, English-speaking Westernness). Language policies in the department thus both shape and are shaped by notions of who teachers (and students) “are”, and “can”, and/or “should” be or become, as English and Japanese users and professionals, and as members of Japanese society. The study documents how teachers affirm, perpetuate, and problematize policies in fluid and (seemingly) conflicting ways. This, the study highlights, serves to essentialize and fluidly privilege-marginalize the identities, knowledge, skills, and lived experiences of teachers (and students), while effectively eliminating space for individuals whose identities do not correspond with the departmental categories of “Japanese” and “native speaker/international/non-Japanese”. The study contends for the apprehension of language policy as sociohistorically and contextually situated in local–global negotiations of identity and community membership in education and the setting in which it takes place.