User Name
Password
AppleNova Forums » AppleOutsider »

Xenophobia on the Rise Again in Japan


Register Members List Calendar Search FAQ Posting Guidelines
Xenophobia on the Rise Again in Japan
Page 1 of 2 [1] 2  Next Thread Tools
Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2005-11-19, 03:53

This is not a good thing at all....


Quote:
from the [New York Times ... sorry]

A young Japanese woman in the comic book "Hating the Korean Wave" exclaims, "It's not an exaggeration to say that Japan built the South Korea of today!" In another passage the book states that "there is nothing at all in Korean culture to be proud of."

In another comic book, "Introduction to China," which portrays the Chinese as a depraved people obsessed with cannibalism, a woman of Japanese origin says: "Take the China of today, its principles, thought, literature, art, science, institutions. There's nothing attractive."

In "Hating the Korean Wave," a young Japanese woman says, "It's not an exaggeration to say that Japan built the South Korea of today!"

The two comic books, portraying Chinese and Koreans as base peoples and advocating confrontation with them, have become runaway best sellers in Japan in the last four months.

In their graphic and unflattering drawings of Japan's fellow Asians and in the unapologetic, often offensive contents of their speech bubbles, the books reveal some of the sentiments underlying Japan's worsening relations with the rest of Asia.

They also point to Japan's longstanding unease with the rest of Asia and its own sense of identity, which is akin to Britain's apartness from the Continent. Much of Japan's history in the last century and a half has been guided by the goal of becoming more like the West and less like Asia. Today, China and South Korea's rise to challenge Japan's position as Asia's economic, diplomatic and cultural leader is inspiring renewed xenophobia against them here.

Kanji Nishio, a scholar of German literature, is honorary chairman of the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, the nationalist organization that has pushed to have references to the country's wartime atrocities eliminated from junior high school textbooks.

Mr. Nishio is blunt about how Japan should deal with its neighbors, saying nothing has changed since 1885, when one of modern Japan's most influential intellectuals, Yukichi Fukuzawa, said Japan should emulate the advanced nations of the West and leave Asia by dissociating itself from its backward neighbors, especially China and Korea.

"I wonder why they haven't grown up at all," Mr. Nishio said. "They don't change. I wonder why China and Korea haven't learned anything."

Mr. Nishio, who wrote a chapter in the comic book about South Korea, said Japan should try to cut itself off from China and South Korea, as Fukuzawa advocated. "Currently we cannot ignore South Korea and China," Mr. Nishio said. "Economically, it's difficult. But in our hearts, psychologically, we should remain composed and keep that attitude."

The reality that South Korea had emerged as a rival hit many Japanese with full force in 2002, when the countries were co-hosts of soccer's World Cup and South Korea advanced further than Japan. At the same time, the so-called Korean Wave - television dramas, movies and music from South Korea - swept Japan and the rest of Asia, often displacing Japanese pop cultural exports.

The wave, though popular among Japanese women, gave rise to a countermovement, especially on the Internet. Sharin Yamano, the young cartoonist behind "Hating the Korean Wave," began his strip on his own Web site then.

"The 'Hate Korea' feelings have spread explosively since the World Cup," said Akihide Tange, an editor at Shinyusha, the publisher of the comic book. Still, the number of sales, 360,000 so far, surprised the book's editors, suggesting that the Hate Korea movement was far larger than they had believed.

"We weren't expecting there'd be so many," said Susumu Yamanaka, another editor at Shinyusha. "But when the lid was actually taken off, we found a tremendous number of people feeling this way."

So far the two books, each running about 300 pages and costing around $10, have drawn little criticism from public officials, intellectuals or the mainstream news media. For example, Japan's most conservative national daily, Sankei Shimbun, said the Korea book described issues between the countries "extremely rationally, without losing its balance."

As nationalists and revisionists have come to dominate the public debate in Japan, figures advocating an honest view of history are being silenced, said Yutaka Yoshida, a historian at Hitotsubashi University here. Mr. Yoshida said the growing movement to deny history, like the Rape of Nanjing, was a sort of "religion" for an increasingly insecure nation.

"Lacking confidence, they need a story of healing," Mr. Yoshida said. "Even if we say that story is different from facts, it doesn't mean anything to them."

Last edited by Moogs : 2005-11-19 at 03:58.
  quote
Wrao
Yarp
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Road Warrior
 
2005-11-19, 05:39

So like... if a case of Xenuphobia begins to rise in japan, will they convert to Shintology?












  quote
Barto
Student extraordinaire
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Canberra, Australia
 
2005-11-19, 06:12

Xenophobia on the rise? Maybe. More likely it's a bunch of racist twats who have decided to make some noise with the recent protests in China and South Korea, and will crawl back into their holes once the controversy again recedes.

The above books and quotes seem WAY outside the mainstream to me. It's no secret that much of Japan's culture was imported from China, and Chinese and Korean culture is still popular in Japan.

The sky was deep black; Jesus still loved me. I started down the alley, wailing in a ragged bass.
  quote
curiousuburb
Antimatter Man
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: that interweb thing
 
2005-11-19, 06:23

Nor is it a secret that the textbook-sanitizing-revisionists still make waves in an otherwise intelligent population.

You'd think they thought they were in Kansas or something.
  quote
AWR
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: State of Flux
 
2005-11-19, 06:37

Quote:
Originally Posted by curiousuburb
Nor is it a secret that the textbook-sanitizing-revisionists still make waves in an otherwise intelligent population.

You'd think they thought they were in Kansas or something.



This kind of crap is also subtly and not so subtly encouraged by the respective governments for national consumption and political posturing. Same story everwhere really, France, USA, Australia...

It's very discouraging to me. I hate fvking politics and politicians, in spite of its inherent importance in our lives.

THAT said, I do think that the Japanese - for reasons of geography, history and culture - are particularly racist as a whole. Call a Japanese an Asian and they think you've shagged their mum and taken pictures.
  quote
Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2005-11-19, 09:59

Exactly.

My point is that the Japanese population has always had xenophobic overtones (more so than here and most other westernized countries IMO). Their history has some ugly chapters written in it, and the chapters are often started when popular leaders in the community begin to accept and promote xenophobic principles. The fact that one of the leading newspapers is not shooting this crap down, and that any of the academics at all are in favor of it, smacks of the old days.

Cleansing the text books of known attrocities that no one would've questioned a few years ago, is also not a good sign. Japanese are notorious group-thinkers. Sometimes it works in their favor (when all the economic ideas and forces are good ones), sometimes not.

Maybe it's nothing; we'll see how these comics and comments continue to sell / grow in number over the next few months. When things go wrong economically and otherwise in Japan, they are not known to be rational people even though they always appear to be very calm and polite people (other than the flamboyant talk show hosts I mean).

...into the light of a dark black night.
  quote
drewprops
Magnificent Basturd™
sagacious-d
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2005-11-19, 10:55

"Group Thinking" is typical among culturally/racially cohesive nations. Those of us from "melting pot" nations are wholly unsuited to see through the eyes of those nations until we tune down to the narrowed viewpoint of our own social subgroups. While there is purpose in the unity of a People of common origin, there is great danger as well. Denying the atrocities their countrymen committed in World War 2 is pure weakness - confronting your misdeeds and tearing down your own falsehoods is the path to strength of character. Let's hope that the Japanese who know that lesson outnumber those who do not.

But I'm not counting on it.
Remember, people be stupid.

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
Captain Drew on Twitter
  quote
intlplby
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
 
2005-11-19, 13:55

it doesn't really matter what country you are from... every country downplays it's atrocities... this isn't isolated to japan only....... the same thing happens in most places..... textbooks and school education plays up the good parts and downplays if not ignores the bad parts.

japanese textbook, chinese textbook, british textbook, american textbook.... it doesn't matter.... the only countries where is is particularly bad is countries like China or North Korea, where it isn't a matter of downplaying, but all out denial elimination from history, to the point that the majority of the population doesn't even know what you are talking about when you mention parts of their own history.

Germany had WWII
America has had Vietnam, Trail of Tears, and now the war in the middle east
Romania has had it's issues with the ethnic roma minority
Many central and south american countries have their own issues
So do many african nations.
blah blah blah blah blah

it would be nice to see some country take the lead and promote the world before their own country for a change....

i don't consider myself a citizen of one particular country, but a citizen of the world (i have three passports)..... more countries need to start supporting such a view

the world is not a "Us vs Them", but a "We".... it's a shame that it takes things like the tsunami in southeast asia for us to behave in such a manner....

I find it particularly amusing when I hear my Chinese students bitch and moan about the Japanese revisionism, yet they haven't a clue about their own revisionism.....

if they had any clue what happened prior to the great march, the cultural revolution and tiananmen square, they wouldn't be as quick to voice such an opinion.

since i have never lived or visited japan, it's hard for me to criticize the validity of such an article, but i have found that many of the articles published in western newspapers have become particularly weak journalistically....

much of it has moved away from if not entirely eliminated investigative journalism and instead become mostly of a collective outlet of public relations releases where they take news from official "spokespeople"

i find that many of the articles i read in western newspapers about china reak of PR spiel given to them by the chinese government.....much of journalism from mainstream sources has become increasely one-sided.
  quote
Banana
is the next Chiquita
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2005-11-19, 15:47

Do you think that Asia is in same political climate as Europe of 1800s and early 1900s?
  quote
Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2005-11-19, 16:01

Well, political climate can mean a lot of things. Obviously the economic frameworks are very different but I wonder if the frame of reference that the individual peoples in each nation use, to view the other nations, hasn't changed much in character. Truthfully I have not kept up on the political maneuverings in those countries of late (the official policy decisions, etc), but in general the article struck me because as much as I've been around the Japanese, I never would've expected things like text book cleansing of WWII atrocities, when they have been so well documented, even in Japan.

I should note that aside from being very group-think oriented, they are also very introspective in a lot of ways, so it's all the more surprising in that respect. I might expect a country that is not known for any sort of philosophical or introspective tendancies to approach their own sordid history in this way, but not necessarily Japan. Turkey is a perfect example, with their wholesale denial of the Armenian Genocide, which took the lives over over a million people and is well documented ... I don't think anyone would claim Turkish society or cultural history shows evidence of a lot of introspective or philosophical tendancies (the way Japan or even China do). My opinion of course, but it's one example.

...into the light of a dark black night.

Last edited by Moogs : 2005-11-19 at 16:07.
  quote
Windswept
On Pacific time
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Moderator's Pub
 
2005-11-19, 16:33

The Japanese travel a lot - at least they do in the US. You'd think that the experience of travel and immersing themselves in other cultures would open their minds (and hearts) in many ways.

BUT... the last time I was up at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, a Japanese tour group was there. Japanese tourists were everywhere - always together in groups, whether small or large. I tried several times to make eye contact and say a friendly 'hello', but they persistently avoided meeting anyone's eyes. It was as if the rest of us at the lodge and on the hiking trails were invisible or nonexistent as far as they were concerned. I found the whole thing a very strange experience, mainly because I am a friendly, outgoing person who generally encounters no difficulty in striking up conversations with strangers.

They didn't converse or have social interaction with anyone but people in their own group. They stayed together exclusively. The bus on which they traveled was operated by a company solely dedicated to transporting Japanese tourists all over the US and Canada, using only Japanese (but of course English-speaking) drivers and tour guides.

It was as if everything possible had been done to *insulate* the Japanese tourists from any contact and interaction with the people living/working in the visited areas, and with other tourists frequenting these places. I found this 'insulation' odd, disturbing, as well as rather scary and even insulting. It was as if contact with ordinary Americans like myself would somehow contaminate and soil these Japanese tourists.

And what's even scarier is the thought that 'these' are the Japanese who are travelling the world and supposedly experiencing other cultures. They may be travelling, but they're doing so in a carefully-wrought glass bubble. Very sad.

I hope that my perception is *not* accurate, but I fear that it may well be. *sigh*
  quote
Kickaha
Likes his boobies blue.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hell
 
2005-11-19, 16:36

Well, Shinto is rather unique, AFAIK, in that xenophobia is built into its fabric starting with the creation myth. According to Shinto, Japan is the *only* real land that exists. Anyone or anything from across the sea is merely an illusion, a dream. They're not really people. And it can't hurt to hate, kill, rape or mangle an *illusion*, right?

It takes the entire dehumanization of one's enemy to a very fundamental level. Anyone not Japanese is not human.

I'm not saying that this is an attitude that is explicitly common, but if it's been a part and parcel of the most ancient religion, it has to have some pretty serious ramifications as undercurrents of the society.

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
#IRC isn't old school.
Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.
  quote
Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2005-11-19, 17:35

That's a good point. I hadn't even thought of it in the Shinto context since xenophobia usually tends to be discussed in a political light rather than a religious one (current disconnects with the Muslim world and western society not withstanding). I think you are correct in your assessment that it may not be outwardly demonstrated all the time, but still the undercurrent is very alive and well probably.

...into the light of a dark black night.
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2005-11-19, 17:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by intlplby
it doesn't really matter what country you are from... every country downplays it's atrocities...

[..]

Germany had WWII
It is a ridiculous claim to say that Germany downplays its nazi past. Not a single topic in school is covered more comprehensively, in almost every possible subject -- Politics and History (duh), German (regarding related literature), English (the British view), French (France's view), Music and Art (how artists were treated / how they tried to handle it), Religion (suppression of Christianity, Judaism and other religions), etc.

Really, if anything, the subject is exaggerated. Downplayed it is not.
  quote
ShadowOfGed
Travels via TARDIS
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Earthsea
 
2005-11-19, 18:08

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker
It is a ridiculous claim to say that Germany downplays its nazi past. Not a single topic in school is covered more comprehensively, in almost every possible subject -- Politics and History (duh), German (regarding related literature), English (the British view), French (France's view), Music and Art (how artists were treated / how they tried to handle it), Religion (suppression of Christianity, Judaism and other religions), etc.

Really, if anything, the subject is exaggerated. Downplayed it is not.
I'll second this one, though chucker obviously has a leg up on me for actually having lived in Germany.

I studied German in high school and from my teacher and other readings it was made pretty apparent that the Germans, in fact, dislike their involvement in WWII more than anyone else.

Of course the grass always looks greener on the other side, but from my perception of Germany, some days I wish we here in the United States would learn a few lessons from them.

That being said, my understanding is that Turkish immigrants in Germany continue to have ... trouble. Is that accurate, chucker, or am I misinformed?

Apparently I call the cops when I see people litter.
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2005-11-19, 18:48

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowOfGed
Of course the grass always looks greener on the other side, but from my perception of Germany, some days I wish we here in the United States would learn a few lessons from them.
It can be taken the wrong way, but I would agree with that assessment. The extreme outcome of nazi Germany teaches everyone, not just Germans (and not just Europeans) a lot of useful lessons in sociology, politics and, of course, ethics.

Quote:
That being said, my understanding is that Turkish immigrants in Germany continue to have ... trouble. Is that accurate, chucker, or am I misinformed?
I wouldn't account immigration problems of Turks (and, to a lesser extent, Germano-Russians for lack of a better term) on xenophobia. Sure, it does play a role. Sure, we do have racist organizations and unfortunately, there has even been a recent "camp"-type development near my hometown (I don't think English Wikipedia has anything on the matter). But that problem isn't specific to Germany, and is actually, from my findings, smaller in Germany than in France (for example), where anti-Arabic xenophobia has become a growing problem.

No, I would rather say that this is a traditional case of clashing cultures. As an example: homeschooling is almost unheard-of in Germany, and private schools are unusual as well, so as a result, almost every child ends up in a public school. In some areas, this causes classes where 50 or more percent of the children aren't German, and possibly hardly even speak any German. How's that possible? Well, a large part of it is (here we go again) terrible parenting. While parents do want their children to "live a better life" in Germany (where standards of living are amongst the highest in the world, quite unlike in Turkey), they don't seem too keen on actually bringing up an effort to make that realistic. They continue to speak Turkish to their children (whether they're babies, preteens, teenagers or adults) and thus also encourage the children to speak Turkish to their peers. I'm not pulling this out of my ass as I have experienced this first-hand over the years. When Turks are with each other, they speak Turkish -- it's just more natural for them. That would be fine if it didn't cause a social left between Germans and Turks. In the end, the Turks complain they are being treated as "outsiders", but that's exactly what they make themselves (again, largely due to their parents): how are German children supposed to "get along" with Turkish children that often hardly speak any German, let alone want to participate (or could) in German culture?

The talk of "making German multicultural" is idealistic and quixotic, as it totally misses the point. It's not about changing religion or anything like that (we do have many mosques). It's about them learning to accept that they are in a different situation now, and that they need to adapt.

Some succeed. Some become famous, successful, rich, etc. But the huge majority doesn't even give themselves a chance at getting to that point. They are crippling their own future.
  quote
Ichiban_jay
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Send a message via AIM to Ichiban_jay  
2005-11-19, 19:05

especially since the Japanese stole a chunk of Chinese as their own. 3-types of writing in Japanese... Insane, who would want such a complex language?

To this day, Japanese history textbooks still do not admit any guilt in the world war. Their textbooks says this: China is an apple, is it wrong to take a fruit off a tree?

Well yeah, when over 10 million are killed for it.

wtf mate? I don't have anything against the Japanese, except when they are racist like that, I seriously don't understand why people would hate others so much based on only their skin and background. Perhaps it's just something genetically encoded in us to naturally want to stir things up, and what else is better to stir things up than race and gender?
  quote
Kit Fisto
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Fairfax, VA
 
2005-11-19, 19:17

One thing, however, appears to be accurate.
"It describes China as a source of disease" --that limited phrase.
I have read that the bird flu potential pandemic and pretty much each year's new flu strain originate in China because people live in too close proximity to their livestock- diseases can jump the species barrier more easily.
Also people spit phlegm right onto the streets all the time. This was thought to be responsible for the spread of SARS. The Chinese government has in past years been launching huge campaigns against public expectorating!
These characteristics are similar to the West up to approximately the year 1650.
It has nothing to do with being inherently inferior, just about development and adopting better practices.
But we better help them attain better practices because our health is at risk!

If anybody actually has credentials in a public health related field feel free to correct me.
  quote
Barto
Student extraordinaire
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Canberra, Australia
 
2005-11-19, 20:03

Of course WWII was terrible and shocking, and the Japanese military commited many horrific war crimes.

But I don't think you should use WWII as an argument for *modern day* Japan being racist (more so than any other nation). Also, if Shinto has influenced society so much, how come Japan is supposedly more racist than America - home of evangelical Christianity.

These racist, fringe views which are given publicity seem very similar to racist, fringe views in my own country and I'm sure your countries. I have yet to see real evidence that ordinary Japanese are "more racist" than other people, or that these views are significantly more mainstream than elsewhere.

The sky was deep black; Jesus still loved me. I started down the alley, wailing in a ragged bass.

Last edited by Barto : 2005-11-19 at 20:10.
  quote
ezkcdude
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2005-11-19, 20:30

What we should be most afraid of is the robots. Japan is secretly building giant robot armies. Sure, they say they are for building cars and playing music, but that's all a front. The robot wars are coming.
  quote
ShadowOfGed
Travels via TARDIS
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Earthsea
 
2005-11-19, 20:34

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker
I wouldn't account immigration problems of Turks (and, to a lesser extent, Germano-Russians for lack of a better term) on xenophobia. Sure, it does play a role.
Naw, I wasn't trying to blame it on xenophobia, just acknowledging that. while Germany seems to have a better handle on a lot of things, nobody is free of problems.

It's actually very interesting to see your description of the problem, because I'd say that's very much the same problem we're having here in the United States with Mexican immigrants; they come looking for a better life, but due to language barriers, it's very hard for them to integrate into our culture. Unfortunately, there is little to no effort on behalf of the immigrants or their children to learn English as their first language. In fact, they would rather sue our school systems and require that we have classes taught in Spanish to cater to them, instead of putting forth the effort to learn English. It pisses me off to no end; you can't walk into another country and automatically expect them to change their language standards to cater to you---you should adapt to the new culture, not expect (and force) the culture to adapt to you.

I've nothing against them as people, I just am very displeased with the fact that lawsuits filed by immigrants are forcing our hard-earned tax dollars to be put to use to have schools specifically taught in Spanish, including "English as a Second Language" (ESL) courses. It seems like a terrible double-standard. I've no problem with them being here, but I don't think we should forcibly change our schools because of them. Everyone should learn English here, our own dealings with ourselves would be much easier. I really don't want us to have to come to "everything must be in both English and Spanish" like Quebec, it just seems like a lot of extra overhead, especially given the size of the United States... but unless we can change the standards that are going right now, that's where we'll end up... I realize my stance isn't very friendly, and would cause some hardship up front, but I think in the long run, it would alleviate some of the problems we have here now.

Alas, "ideal" and "real" are often vastly different things... and now I probably sound racist, but I promise I'm not...

Apparently I call the cops when I see people litter.
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2005-11-19, 21:14

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowOfGed
Naw, I wasn't trying to blame it on xenophobia, just acknowledging that. while Germany seems to have a better handle on a lot of things, nobody is free of problems.
Oh, absolutely! I was just offended by the sweeping generalization that all countries try to shove their past away. I don't think that this can, at present point, be said of Germany. No doubt Germany still has many, many problems, including with immigration/integration.

Quote:
It's actually very interesting to see your description of the problem, because I'd say that's very much the same problem we're having here in the United States with Mexican immigrants;
Yes, from what I hear, the two issues are very comparable. (So is the French issue of North African Arabic immigrations.)

Quote:
they come looking for a better life, but due to language barriers, it's very hard for them to integrate into our culture. Unfortunately, there is little to no effort on behalf of the immigrants or their children to learn English as their first language. In fact, they would rather sue our school systems and require that we have classes taught in Spanish to cater to them, instead of putting forth the effort to learn English. It pisses me off to no end; you can't walk into another country and automatically expect them to change their language standards to cater to you---you should adapt to the new culture, not expect (and force) the culture to adapt to you.
Absolutely.

But try and explain that to them; obviously they (tend to) feel that if they accept American values, they will lose their own; if they learn English, they forget some Spanish, etc. It's a question of identity.

Quote:
I've no problem with them being here, but I don't think we should forcibly change our schools because of them. Everyone should learn English here, our own dealings with ourselves would be much easier. I really don't want us to have to come to "everything must be in both English and Spanish" like Quebec, it just seems like a lot of extra overhead, especially given the size of the United States...
Well, that overhead would only apply to the US Southwest, mostly California. A bilingual community, however, must be the decision of a public vote, and hey, having lived in Qubec for a few months now, I can tell you it doesn't work particularly well.

Quote:
Alas, "ideal" and "real" are often vastly different things... and now I probably sound racist, but I promise I'm not...
Agreed.
  quote
ShadowOfGed
Travels via TARDIS
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Earthsea
 
2005-11-19, 21:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker
It's a question of identity.
That's a very interesting point; I'd forgotten about that aspect. I totally respect any individual's desire to retain a cultural identity in the United States. I don't think, however, that learning English and using it for everyday interactions prevents that. Sure, it takes more time, effort, and knowledge, but... it's been done by a large number of other cultures here. The Chinese, Japanese, and Indian cultures are the best examples I can think of; I know several people who have roots in those cultures. They are all perfectly normal and speak English pretty well (for the most part---there are some exceptions), but they participate in activities in their off time to retain the heritage they brought with them. That's a far cry from what I see out of most of the Mexican immigrants I encounter, and it's a shame, I think. They do have a rich culture, but integrating better with ours would really help things along...

Part of this is because they're often overworked, and don't have the time or resources to commit to learning English or maintaining a cultural identiy through any means other than just the Spanish language. This is another subject, addressed below...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker
Well, that overhead would only apply to the US Southwest, mostly California. A bilingual community, however, must be the decision of a public vote, and hey, having lived in Qubec for a few months now, I can tell you it doesn't work particularly well.
Hmm, I'm from North Carolina. They actually show up a lot of places. They do things like construction work, farm work, and the like around here. I thought I'd heard that we actually have one of the larger immigrant populations in the country, and we're not even remotely close to the border---what we do have is a large farming economy.

It actually bothers me sometimes... I feel like they're exploited for their willingness to work lower-wage jobs. In fact, they're often paid under the table. Sure, prices of various food products would go up if they were officially on payrolls, but I'd be willing to pay that extra price at the grocery store if I knew it meant that all workers involved, from farm to store, were legitimately paid, and paid decently for their work.

Then again, the subject of wage equality is a sore one for me. I think that a lot of people (police, fireman, teachers, construction workers, farm hands, etc) are not paid what their services are worth. I work as a software tester and make more (as a co-op, not even a full employee) than a lot of them will ever earn on an hourly basis. Their jobs are much more important to our economy than mine, even if IBM does make more profit off of their products. That discrepancy gets to me, because I shouldn't be earning more than them. My services just are not as important as theirs, and it's unfortunate that our economy doesn't reflect that the way I feel it should. OK, I'm done.

Apparently I call the cops when I see people litter.
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2005-11-19, 21:34

Since I agree with pretty much every of your points, I have nothing to add.
  quote
ShadowOfGed
Travels via TARDIS
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Earthsea
 
2005-11-19, 21:58

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windswept
And what's even scarier is the thought that 'these' are the Japanese who are travelling the world and supposedly experiencing other cultures. They may be travelling, but they're doing so in a carefully-wrought glass bubble. Very sad.

I hope that my perception is *not* accurate, but I fear that it may well be. *sigh*
OK, so I'm going to actually post an on-topic comment now! Yay!

I have a few friends who are all kinds of obsessed with Japanese culture, but then again, this view may not be one they get to see very often. I of course haven't asked them about their knowledge pertaining to how the Japanese culture sees the rest of the world---it's probably not something that's covered in any kind of depth... most of the material would be about how their culture works so we can understand them, instead of delving further into understanding how they perceive us. Well, that's a pretty useless blurb, so I digress...

My optimism is kicking in here, so bear with me. There is a huge language barrier between people who speak Japanese and those of us who speak English. It is much, much larger than between western (most latin-based) languages. Since their languages requires special symbols for every word and concept, and arbitrarily assigned pronunciations, it is very hard to learn and interact with a language that uses a set number of characters combined in different ways to create words and pronunciations. From a psychological standpoint, the concepts are very different. Most people who speak English and learn Japanese will only ever reach the proficiency of about a 2nd or 3rd grade student in Japan. That's how hard it is for us to learn Japanese, and I expect it to be similarly difficult the other way around... perhaps a little easier, but no telling to what degree.

That being said, I can see why it would be plausible for the Japanese to travel in groups with specialized tour groups just because they can then have everything communicated to them in Japanese, versus requiring that every traveler understand English, which may be beyond the average Japanese citizen---I'm just speculating.

If you went to a country where you couldn't possibly communicate with people due to language barriers, wouldn't you be the least bit ashamed or embarrassed?

I mean, I'm not that good at speaking German, but most Germans can speak fairly decent English if need be, so I'd at least feel a little more comfortable in Germany. To put yourself in their shoes, you'd have to travel to somewhere where almost *nobody* can speak English. English being predominant as it is, it's hard to come up with countries where that'd be true (Africa would be a good example, but there you'll find cultural differences that extend far beyond language barriers), but I hope you can see my point...

I'd like to believe that a type of shyness or shame driven by the language barriers between the tourists and yourself was more the reason that they shied away from you.

Just a thought... and I hope, for many reasons, that it's more accurate than the "xenophobia" theory...

Apparently I call the cops when I see people litter.
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2005-11-19, 22:07

Xenophobia is awful, but we're kidding ourselves if we think it is only relegated to Japan. I told my dad that I was considering heading abroad for college, and he immediately started talking about unsafe the rest of the world was. I was relatively shocked by some of his comments...it was as if he felt any nation in the world besides the U.S. was some third world country. He talked about all the problems the rest of the world had, and he kept on mentioning how unsafe they were. You'd think that the U.S. wouldn't be as "safe" as my dad seems to think it was, considering we're the #1 enemy of, like, every terrorist ever, but my dad kept on talking about how the rest of the world was so threatening. I told him that the rest of the world isn't as unsafe as he seems to think it is, and then he pulled rank as my dad and tells me I'm naive.

I'm not naive - I know that there's problems, wherever you go in the world, but honestly, I'm thinking of England or Canada - not Columbia or Iraq or anything. If anything, my dad strikes me as naive, thinking that the US has this magical homeland security bubble around it that would protect me from all the threats of the unwashed outside world.

How anyone can still think that after 9/11 is beyond me...

/tangent

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2005-11-19, 22:38

For my part I definitely do not mean to imply xenophobia is particular to Japan, only that there is a particularly ugly history of it in Japan, and so it's a little shocking to see what appears to be very little resistance to a new upwelling, even in this day and age.

...into the light of a dark black night.
  quote
intlplby
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
 
2005-11-20, 02:20

geez so much has been said in this topic since yesterday that i don't even know what to say now.....
  quote
Franz Josef
Passing by
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: London, Europe
 
2005-11-20, 07:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker
In the end, the Turks complain they are being treated as "outsiders", but that's exactly what they make themselves (again, largely due to their parents)......Some succeed. Some become famous, successful, rich, etc. But the huge majority doesn't even give themselves a chance at getting to that point. They are crippling their own future.
No doubt the Turkish minority has contributed to some extent to their own isolation, much as minority immgrant populations sometimes do elsewhere (such as say the Pakistani community in the UK and the Arab community in France) Notwithstanding, Germany is very traditional indeed in these matters and, it seems to me, struggles with the problem of ethnicity. I'm not sure I'd be quite so positive that these issues are being addressed.

I lived in Germany for a number of years and the country seems to have dealt very well with the problems of the post war era but hasn't really begun to confront the problems of population movement - be it the previous generation of Turkish Gastarbeiter or Poles and Estonians etc moving around in the newly enlarged European Union. It is relatively rare to see a Turkish face host a news program or other TV, or to participate meaningly in late night discussions / debate / chat shows. And there's little representation in the Bundestag and local government.

Much as France struggles with its Arab minority (there isn't a single arab representative in the Assemblee Nationale except those representing the overseas territories), it seems to me Germany has a cultural leap before it. It will be interesting to see how public opinion reacts when restrictions drop away and lots of Poles (and in future Ukrainians?) come across the border to settle and work. As was ever the case, the country is a bridge between east and west (and hence faces challenges Britain has never had to deal with) - I'm just not sure I'd be as optimistic as some of the comments above that the future is a rosy one.

On Moogs' original point, it's worth just saying that South Korea and China are both economic and political (and military?) competitors to Japan and it's perhaps worth just viewing comments from these countires in that context. Worth just saying too that Japan has an unusual history - for 2 centuries (mid 17th to mid 19th), the country was completely isolated - returning travellers were executed if caught.
  quote
AWR
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: State of Flux
 
2005-11-20, 10:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ichiban_jay
especially since the Japanese stole a chunk of Chinese as their own. 3-types of writing in Japanese... Insane, who would want such a complex language?
FWIW, the Japanese came up with types two and three to make it easier to (1) deal with more subtle grammar and (2) foreign words. With these two additional alphabets, which are very easy to learn, they now only have to use about 1,800 - 2,000 Kanji pictograms.

That said, while it is certainly more complicated than the roman alphabet, it's nothing like Chinese in terms of difficulty.

(But you probably already know this as your name is Number 1 Jay, Nihongo de...)
  quote
Posting Rules Navigation
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Page 1 of 2 [1] 2  Next

Post Reply

Forum Jump
Thread Tools
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Japan music indsutry calls for iPod tax Mac+ General Discussion 3 2005-10-12 09:11
iTMS Japan: 1 million songs in 4 days MCQ General Discussion 15 2005-08-13 02:42
ITMS Japan is open for business Quagmire Apple Products 11 2005-08-08 11:06
Back from Japan, got photos. alcimedes AppleOutsider 17 2004-08-06 10:16


« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:28.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2020, AppleNova