Japan from the inside out

Patriotic education

Posted by ampontan on Monday, September 24, 2012

A Chinese journalist working in Bangkok wrote an article for a local newspaper offering her thoughts on the recent demonstrations in China. A Japanese blogger read it and translated it into Japanese. Here’s most of it as it appeared on the (Japanese) Kinbricks Now site. Keep in mind this is going from Chinese to Japanese to English.

Territorial issues should be negotiated by governments, so the people should leave those issues to government negotiation and not demonstrate. The greatest shock for me, however, was the way in which people expressed their patriotism — by using violence to destroy Japanese shops and restaurants. I was incredulous, ashamed, indignant, and sad.

Then it hit me. We’ve been taught to love our country, but we were not taught any good ways for loving our country at all. I’m not saying that demonstrations themselves are bad. What is bad is misappropriating those demonstrations and using them as a vehicle for bad behavior.

There is no shortage of patriotic education in China. In fact, for those of us born in the 70s and 80s, there was too much of it. In primary school, the only songs we were taught were patriotic songs. They included Ode to the Motherland, There Would Have Been No New China without the Communist Party, and The Sun is Red, and Chairman Mao is the Dearest.

The only movies we saw in school were revolutionary movies. The villains in those movies were always pitiful, stupid, depraved Japanese or landowners. The heroes were the comrades of the Red Army, Communist Party members, peasants, or workers. This sort of self-righteous imprinting continued until university. Marxist-Leninist ideology and political lectures that teach the doctrines and policies of the Communist Party are required courses at college. I often cut those classes.

While we had a lot of this sort of instruction, we had no instruction at all in the rights we could demand and use as citizens. We also weren’t taught how we could obtain value and power through rational, peaceful, and legal means with a forward-looking approach. We weren’t taught how to be patient, to negotiate, or to compromise. We weren’t taught how to respect the interests of other people. All we were taught was: “Strike down the enemy!”

That’s why when demonstrations such as these occur, they contribute nothing at all to disputes over islands. They only give rise to violence that harms our own economy. We become emotional and behave violently, which amplifies the negative emotions and harms the rules and social justice. It ends in something that has nothing to do with patriotism.

The tragedy begins where there is no civic education.

(end translation)

Ode to the Motherland

Without the Communist Party, There Would be No New China, by Brother Hao.

And two versions of The Sun is Red and Chairman Mao is the Dearest. The first has a great chorus line and gets a little funky in the middle.

And the second is the Richard Clayderman treatment, which included a new title. He’s rehearsing it here in Beijing.

2 Responses to “Patriotic education”

  1. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    I read this too, and although she still believes that Senkakus belongs to China, I thought that this lament is a good criticism about CCP.

  2. trapped in brazil said

    She is right, but she forgets that to the CCP, the people are not citizens, entitled to civil rights, they belong to the CCP and have to die for the CCP. That’s why Japan’s secret service (if there is any) should film the CCP’s kids at Canada and at other prime Countries, drowning in the “western barbaric decadent debauchery” while their children (the common folks’) are being feed with contaminated food and take it over the great internet firewall for them to see.

    And for military music, I like gunka, but if I had to choose an western one, I would go with “Panzer rollen in Afrika vor” or “Cisne Branco”

    Oh, and Schizoid, forgot to tell you, but you probably already knows it. Brazilians are much like Chinese in this aspect. Try speaking ill of Brazil (specially if it is true) and you are in for it. (And as a joke between those who knows both countries, China has CCP, Brazil has PCC :D)

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