Letter bombs (24): 21st century schizoid man
Posted by ampontan on Saturday, October 6, 2012
SOME opinions expressed by readers have prompted another reader, who uses the name 21st Century Schizoid Man, to send in a comment of his own. He wrote it in Japanese (though his other notes have been in English) and asked someone to translate it. Here it is:
The first thing I want to say is that American Kim is being reasonable without running anybody down. Therefore, what I write in the following about the South Koreans and Chinese whom I dislike does not overlap with AK precisely.
There is no difference, however, when it comes to continually bringing up the past. The Japanese have experienced deadly air raids on Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Tokyo, as well as the land battle in Okinawa, but we seldom bring that up with Americans. Even when we do, we seldom say that the Americans committed atrocities. I think that’s because it’s meaningless to endlessly raise the subject.
But the foreigners who bring this up (other than Americans) dispose of that objection by saying that we are obsequious to Americans, or that the Japanese invasions were the cause of it all and we brought it on ourselves. But then most of the people who died in those attacks weren’t military personnel, either.
The South Koreans and Chinese I dislike are those who give me the sense that they are saying, “You are the son or grandson of thieves,”, even though I myself did nothing. I’m about fed up with that. If they claim that’s not what they’re saying, that might be true as far as it goes. But that’s what it feels like to me.
That also causes me to think those people believe themselves to be spiritually superior. It’s as if they think they naturally have the right, and are superior, because they were the “invaded” people.
If it were only once or twice, I could forget about it. But this has been going on for as long as I can remember during my life, and it has continued until the present.
If I myself were a thief, then I should be the one to repent. But do these people even sense that they’re saying I should repent because my father and grandfather were thieves? Does anyone sincerely say, “I’m sorry because my father and grandfather were thieves”? Quite a few Japanese seem as if they do, but then I might not be a typical Japanese person. Or it might be that the Japanese are inwardly fed up with it all without coming out and saying so.
At any rate, with these experiences, it’s my honest belief that it isn’t possible to associate on an equal basis with Chinese and South Koreans to start with. Therefore, I’m living my life by not unreasonably trying to do something that’s not within reason. I should probably remain satisfied with small things, to the extent that mutual understanding is possible. It isn’t possible to ask for a lot. But that might be how it is for interaction with people from foreign countries, to a greater or lesser degree. To extend that, the differences between people of the same country are essentially not as large.
My opinion: 2 says “my father and grandfather”, but the reality of it is “my grandfather and great-grandfather’s generation”. It is also the reality that the bad faith of the Chinese and South Koreans — and the juvenile petulance of the South Koreans in particular as expressed by their new Time Square billboard — have completely turned off generations of Japanese who weren’t alive when the events that are the subject of the grievances occurred, and continually brought up by people who weren’t alive at the time either.
The responsibility for any ill will in 21st century Northeast Asia lies with them.
The core members of the group are Japanese, I think. I like this version better than the original.