AMPONTAN

Japan from the inside out

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.

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44 Responses to “Letter bombs (24): 21st century schizoid man”

  1. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    Thank you A. My father was about to be drafted at the end of the war as an university student. So you are closely right.

    Probably I should have done English version myself, but probably by your courtesy and labor, my thought is better communicated.

    An addendum: I can almost see reactions from Chinese and Korean people that I am not reflecting or repenting at all as a Japanese. My reply is that I do not see any reason to do so. I repeat this. IT IS NOTHING BUT UNREASONABLE TO DEMAND YOUNGER GENERATION OF JAPANESE PEOPLE TO REFLECT, REPENT AND APOLOGIZE FOR WHAT THEY ARE NOT RESPONSOBLE AT ALL. IT IS THE SAME AS NATIVE AMERICANS TO DEMAND CURRENT AMERICANS TO REFLECT, REPENT AND APOLOGIZE FOR TAKING LANDS AND CONSTITUTED U.S.A. I can conceive other similar examples but I stop here.

    Thank you for reading this.
    —-
    2: You’re welcome. I was having trouble understanding what you meant about 辟易. I know what the word means, but I’m not exactly sure how you were using it here.

    -A.

  2. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    A: I used 辟易 as being fed up.

  3. Japanese people are very patient but it’s understandable they are at the end of their tether over this. Germans wouldn’t put up with similar treatment from their European neighbours and quite rightly so. Perhaps as an Englishman I should ask Romans to ‘reflect’ on their invasion of my country? But that would be childish..

  4. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    St. John Rylance: Thank you for your comment. I think Koreans and Chinese would assert that Germans (more precisely, their head of the state) knelt down and sought forgiveness for what Nazis did to Jews but Japanese (or their head of the state – probably including, or even desirable, the Emperor) has not done anything. As Ampontan pointed out somewhere, there has been a string of “apologies” from Japanese statesmen and officials including the Prime Minister, but Koreans and Chinese seem to assert that they have the right to take it as apology or not at their discretion, with the right to reverse their discretion even as they wish. That would render Japanese feel that every effort so far is useless. Current Korean president said something inadvertently (or not) touching on his wish for Japanese Emperor to kneel down before the tombstones of Korean rebels. It might be a good idea but even if the Japanese Emperor does, since we feel it is useless we will not support his doing so. And then Koreans and Chinese say Japanese do not reflect at all. It is a loopy loop.

  5. yankdownunder said

    “But this has been going on for as long as I can remember during my life, and it has continued until the present.”

    “The Koreans have been a pain in the neck all along. They have some strange notion that they are the Occupationaires, and really give these Japs a hard time. They go into shops and board street cars with no intention of paying. The poor Jap was scared to do anything about it because he got beat up.”

    The quote above is from a letter sent by Elizabeth Ryan, a court reporter stationed in Kobe from 1947-1948, to her family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This shows that things haven’t changed that much. Koreans don’t get as much of a free ride as they did right after the war. Japanese can speak about Koreans without fear of reprisals.

    But Koreans still think that they should occupy and control Japan.

  6. American Kim said

    First and foremost, 21st Century Schizoid Man, I’m actually kind of flattered that a letter you wrote to Ampontan was used as part of his latest blog entry – and that you mentioned me in it.

    Having said that, I do not know how old you are, and I will also say this: I have never in my life demanded an apology from Japanese people for things your forefathers did. I myself was born after World War II ended, and I’ve had a number of Japanese friends, acquaintances, and I’ve even dated women of Japanese ancestry.

    I will, however, also say that I have experienced Japanese “coldness” which I will interpret as Japanese “racism.” Now before you or Ampontan “attack” this post, allow me to share my experience.

    In my early 20s, I once took a summer job as a waiter at a Japanese restaurant. I think the boss/owner accepted me even though I had absolutely no restaurant experience because I spoke politely, because I knew Japanese food (only sushi, at that time), and because since I was/am Korean, I would have “blended in” sufficiently.

    Overall, it was a fun experience. The boss treated me well, I worked hard, the Japanese waitstaff (old folks – in their 60s) were kind, and they never gave me any discrimination for being Korean (or, for not being Japanese).

    However, at times, I was assigned to wait tables at the smaller restaurant in another part of town. There the staff was nice as well, but one man – an older Japanese man who was the head cook – was rather mean and rude to me. He was also quite rude and harsh with other ethnic Korean waiters.

    At that time, the boss’ younger brother, who managed the smaller restaurant, was engaged to a Korean woman. She had joined the restaurant first as a waitress, became the floor manager, developed a dating relationship with the 2nd boss, and now was his fiancee.

    After one particularly ugly incident where the mean chef was very rude to me and to another Korean waitstaff, the fiancee intervened. The other Korean waitress called the fiancee to complain. The fiancee spoke to her husband-to-be, who spoke to the old man and told him to stop treating us badly. He got very upset, but he somewhat calmed down.

    I spoke to the 2nd boss’ fiancee, the Korean woman, and she told me that when she first joined the restaurant as a waitress, that man was very mean to her as well. When she began to date the 2nd boss, he never treated her rudely again.

    Now as you see in this story, all the Japanese people I interacted with during this time treated me well. It was only one person who was apparently very anti-Korean.

    However, I don’t go around carrying a chip on my shoulder hating every Japanese person I meet because of what that man did.

    If Koreans or Chinese blame you for your forefathers’ crimes, there’s nothing you can do but live your life. There are and always will be Japanese people who hate Koreans and who think my people are evil or what not – but what can I do about it? I can’t change them. I just mind my business and enjoy my life.

    And by the way, I’ve actually been to Japan. It’s unfortunate I have not yet a chance to return. If I hated Japan that much, why would I have gone in the first place? 😉

    ——–
    AK:

    If I hated Japan that much, why would I have gone in the first place?

    Don’t know what your reasons are, but Japan-hating Koreans do come here: for golf, the hot springs, fishing at some place they refer to as Daemado, or, as one English-language report of a few years ago had it, the Tokyo soaplands. Depends on the exchange rate.

    It even extends to international exchange activities. There was a recent report here of a junior high school girl who went to South Korea this year for a short homestay. Her homestay parents took her to visit Granny one day. First words out of Granny’s mouth to a teenage Japanese girl: “Dokdo is our land.”

    International exchange certainly is educational. The girl was boggled. Understanding that someone in Japan would never do anything like that to a guest, even if they thought it, she learned how some South Koreans view the concept of hospitality.

    – A.

  7. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    AK: Thank you for sharing your experience. And I am rather glad to know you had just one person who was apparently hating Koreans during the days you worked for the restaurants. When you had just one person like that among number of Japanese, it seems natural that you do not carry the chip on your shoulder, and I am glad for that, too.

    As you would probably appreciate, I experienced countless discrimination as being Japanese, or Asian, or yellow, during my trips outside Japan (unlucky for me, I made those trips almost only to Americas, I had only 4 short trips to South East Asia, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and Bangkok) and during my stay in New York for about 4 years (here in Sao Paulo, almost none, so far). I won’t list them nor explain any of them in detail, as the degree of unpleasure was usually not so high or not involving physical danger to me or my family even when high – I suppose China is very, very different, as I can see from various news. Anyway, I do not carry the chip on my shoulder that I hate people to which those who showed us discriminating attitudes belong.

    My statements, as you can see, are different from accusing people of the discrimination. It relates to the generalized hate for Japan and its people. In case of Korea and China, that hate movement is constant, for various reasons perhaps. You of course may assert that the opposite is true, but unfortunately the degree of hate movements in two countries are becoming even heavier as time passes or as the issue of territory emerges. Also, we see less reasoned views from Western mass media and so called experts on Japan or Asia. Though some may say that there are reasons, Ampontan and some of readers here think the situation unreasonable and they are talking about it.

    I do not intend to pretend there is no tide of hate for China and Korea in Japan, probably historically Japanese might have been mocking and abusing people from the two countries (and more), but difference exists in that in two countries, the hate has been promoted by governments and through social atmosphere with or without reasons (you would say with reasons, I would say with obsolete reasons). That makes me, really unfortunately, living avoiding those two countries and their people. That makes me, further unfortunately, different from you who say that it is unfortunate for you not having chance to return to Japan.

    Thank you for reading this.

  8. J said

    I’ve been lurking on Ampontan for a while, just reading the posts and enjoying your point of view.
    I just thought I’d throw my 2c worth.

    To be honest, I find Japanese to be one of the most discriminatory group of people I know. I, myself, am Japanese and arguably come from a well-to-do family. While I spent a lot of my time overseas, I often spend most of the year back in Japan these days and I do love it there but I also find a lot of things that sadden me. Going back to the notion of discrimination, I personally think it’s more an issue with the upper classes. While there are those in every society that look down on others and say “you shouldn’t interact with those sort of people” (to some degree or another), I find it even more confronting in Japan when they bring up the black-caste societies. I have to admit some of my own family will probably look at people of a certain profession or from a certain place and will more than likely avoid them if possible but, on the other side of the coin, those same groups would tend to be quite introverted and hostile to outsiders. I largely see it as a catch-22 in that because a lot of the older generations held a lot of significant prejudices against those groups, their societies developed much like the Tokugawa era Japan did: preservation by isolation. They also run a lot of the fundamental civic duties so they’re necessary but they won’t usually let outsiders in either which results in misconceptions and further prejudices.

    The reason why I bring this up is that I think the domestic Korean situation is largely the same. I know a lot of Korean people and a lot of the ones living in Japan had a pretty hard time, particularly those from North Korea. There’s been a problem with bullying at schools with teachers never being held accountable but I’d argue that it’s worse if you’re of Korean descent. Talking to a friend, his son goes to primary school now and often comes back pretty beaten up. Where possible, my friend would be at the entrance to see his kid come home and go, “Did something happen today?”. The kid doesn’t ever answer and because of that, his father doesn’t pry. He knows he’s been in another fight because some other kids picked a fight with him, he knows because it happened to him and his father as well. His thoughts on the matter were: you just have to get stronger. In the end, it tends to make them stronger but also runs the risks of leaving deeply ingrained prejudices (which are probably not unwarranted). From my experience, it’s not an an isolated case and combined with the protectiveness of a minority community, it’s understandable that the Korean gangs exist… which leads back to the Japanese prejudices against them. In all honesty, I think the Koreans I know, who live in Japan, work harder than most Japanese people I know but aren’t given the same opportunities for honest work.

    Then there is the notion of cultural identity as well. I tend to stop and listen when I see a group protesting outside the Korean consulate in Namba, Osaka (which is quite a frequent occurrence). One of the main arguments is: “if you don’t want to be in Japan, then get out”, which is fair enough. However, I think they kind of fail to see the other side. I don’t quite remember the year but I believe it’s still recent enough to say “until recently” but in order to become a Japanese citizen you were required to have a Japanese family name. Personally, I think that is pretty rude. Even before the 80s, there should have been enough room in the social and legal status quo to accept non-Japanese names. Even now, Japan not recognising dual citizenship means you have to choose between your ethnic heritage and the place you live in now and that’s not a really easy choice… and when their entire livelihood and memories are here, it’s kind of hard to go ‘back’.

    When expanding to the international stage, I think a lot of the current situation is due to the incompetence of the Japanese government. On that point, I must say I do love Ampontan’s commentary on the domestic politics of Japan. Back to the point, I really do wish they’d stop pussy-footing around. I also believe that if a cabinet minister has to resign before their retirement, they should be kicked to the curb with no pay, bonuses and no longer allowed to join federal politics. It won’t stop the stupids but it’ll mean we won’t have to watch them make the same mistake twice… and maybe they’ll start thinking about their jobs properly.
    Personally, I think the South Korea/Japan situation is a bit unfair. Taking all things into consideration, I do wish both countries would go before the ICJ to get an international ruling with both sides being prepared to accept the outcome. I think it was said here before, but, in this day and age, should historical prejudices take precedence over international law? Assuming the world doesn’t end before Christmas, we have more time ahead of ourselves than we have recorded to have passed. At the end of the day, we don’t inherit the world from our fathers but, rather, borrow from our children.

    American Kim: I think there are also two factors that affected your experience with that chef. 1) being that he was probably a jerk anyway but 2) he was a chef. Not to disrespect any chefs or anything but I always joke that, in Japan, “a chef’s world is no different to the yakuza” in that they’re pretty brutal when in their kitchens (ahh… fond memories of getting hit on the back of my head with a chopping board). Most Japanese chefs tend to have a lot of pride and are usually hardcore Spartans in their kitchens… combined with being a jerk, it may have been an unpleasant experience.

  9. American Kim said

    J,

    Thanks for your post and one thing comes to mind. You said you have Korean friends, and you also said that some of the Japanese protesting outside Korean consulates say “If you don’t want to be here, get out,” and while you concede this makes sense, you also say, “kind of fail to see the other side.”

    This is one of the ironies in the relations between Korea and Japan. There is a lot of bad blood between the two sides, but there are also many similarities between the two cultures. One of them is cultural/racial homogeneity and the difficulty people from both camps have to empathize with the plights of those who are different. Kristi Yamaguchi went to Japan for the first time as an adult and met some relatives. She doesn’t speak Japanese. She said that some people there said, “you look like us; why can’t you speak like us? (Japanese)

    Koreans do this all the time. Koreans who are born & raised outside Korea get this from native Koreans so often foreign-born Koreans not only get used to it, they get desensitized to it.

    21st Century: I would speculate that the Brazilian people, who are generally friendly and warm, have probably annoyed you because from what I know of them, they automatically assume Asians are Japanese (in America, Asians are assumed to be Chinese). And they often use the word “Japanese!” in referring to any Asian, sometimes racially, sometimes not racially.

    Ampontan: it seems to me that all you want to do now is to throw not-so-pleasant things about Koreans in my face. Are you trying to be offensive, and if so, why? I wrote a rather conciliatory post to 21st Century and he replied in pretty much the same coin. You really couldn’t have said anything positive or pleasant at all?

    一言居士
    – A person who has something to say about everything

    Indeed. 🙂

  10. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    http://zasshi.news.yahoo.co.jp/article?a=20121007-00000017-pseven-soci

    I love this.

  11. James A said

    J,

    I can attest to Japanese chefs being pretty brutal. My friend used to work for a cooking school in Daikanyama, and he told me their attitude is like Gordon Ramsay dialed up to 11. One day one of the chefs decided to shove my friend, then my friend shoved him on his ass in return. They told my friend to either apologize or be fired, so he just quit there on the spot. He’s doing a lot better now, but my friend is definitely done with any professional cooking in Japan. I’m amazed that there aren’t more stories about head chefs being carved up in the kitchen by bullied underlings.

  12. yankdownunder said

    JnJ

    Your both wrong.

    I watch Iron Chef every week and I have never seen any brutal behavior.

    “my friend shoved him on his ass “, “He’s doing a lot better now”

    I am glad your friend is able to control his anger now.

  13. yankdownunder said

    If I hated Japan that much, why would I have gone in the first place?

    Japan-hating Koreans live in Japan so I’m sure some would visit.
    Yes, by word and deed Koreans living in Japan have shown how much they hate Japan and Japanese.

    “They have some strange notion that they are the Occupationaires” said Elizabeth Ryan more than 60 years ago and they still have that notion.

  14. J said

    Regarding the Japanese chefs thing, it’s largely a cultural thing that isn’t restricted to just the culinary industry but it tends to be stricter there and in a few other industries. It comes from the rather strict social structure Japanese tend to enforce in their work places that largely stems from the senpai/kouhai relationship (which later expands into the deshi or buka relationship). Generally speaking, when you want to learn something, you often take up an apprenticeship to learn under someone. It’s somewhat similar in the culinary industry of Japan (as well as other countries). The chef/senpai/master has a responsibility to maintain the establishment’s level or prestige and it’s often a pretty big responsibility. When an establishment has been running for 14-16 generations, you don’t want to be the one to tarnish that reputation (or, in worst case scenarios, close it down). So with that responsibility, most people pick and choose their buka (I suppose the closest word is subordinate or apprentice) quite carefully. Even when I choose who to take on as my kouhai, I’m pretty stringent. When you take someone on, you’re responsible for everything, good and bad, that they do. Most of my colleagues say that I’m really strict with my kouhai and buka but mine have have made more progress and are more productive because of it and it’s without me having to abuse them. My agreement with my kouhai, in particular, is that if they work hard, I’ll make sure they have nothing to worry about outside their personal life.

    Bringing it back to the chef thing, I think one classic example would be the reputable sushi restaurants. When you start off, your geta (wooden clogs) are often quite short. A lot of people think that ‘starting at the bottom’ is spending a year or so learning how to cook rice… not even that. Most places will probably make you continually wash the floor behind the counters. The geta were used because they raised the chefs above the (often times) wet floors. Short geta would usually still get your tabi (socks) wet so the senior chefs would have raised geta and you could usually tell who the senior members were just by their clogs… or how wet their feet were! Now, I suppose it’s not that much of a frequent sight unless you go further south. Most of the metropolitan establishments realised that [a] it was kind of a waste of resources and [b] it wasn’t exactly the cleanest of practices.

    My father was a chef at the Imperial Hotel in Osaka, with much resistance from the rest of the main branch of the family. He is genuinely one of the nicest people I know but when you get into his kitchen, he makes the Soup Nazi from Seinfield look like a childcare teacher. One of his most used phrases was “if you’re going to get in the way, get out” or, when my sister asked if there was anything to help with, “no, you’d just get in the way”.

    There’s also the whole branch of punishment you could consider. Not everyone punishes their subordinates for their wrongs but, if you take the JR brujah from a few years back, it’s pretty prevalent throughout Japanese communities. For those that don’t know, if a train was late, the train conductors responsible were forced to wash the lavatories with their punishment being humiliation. As a direct result, it was found that train conductors would speed in order to catch up to the schedules which resulted in a horrific crash. Again, I’m not saying everyone does this. I’ve never been punished nor have I punished others for their wrong doings.

    Before this post gets too long…. whether this system works or not is largely up to the seniors/senpai etc. With a responsible senpai, I found that I grew more than ever and I’d like to be the same figure to those that come after me. With irresponsible seniors, it can be quite tough…

    @AK: I think one of the ironies of Asia is that there’s really not much difference between South Korea, Japan, China and even North Korea. While I love Japan, I am conflicted by its incompetence and greed as a collective body. While I cannot comment on the other countries, there are a lot of policies and social status quos (I don’t even know if you can pluralise that word) that I believe are restricting growth both as a country and as people.

    @yankdownunder: To be honest, if I was picked bullied on by a collective group, I cannot say that I wouldn’t grow up to generalise and hate everything that has to do with that group. Unfortunately, a lot of these people would likely experience the same hostilities if they returned to Korea as well… (._. )

  15. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    AK: I have not been annoyed by Brazilians mixing up Japanese with other Asians so far. I have no reason to feel annoyed. If Brazilians assume that I am a Japanese it is all correct. Sao Paulo has 1.5 million Japanese immigrants’ descendents. Therefore, I understand that Japanese expats here including myself enjoy the credibility earned by them.

    If Brazilians assume other Asian people than Japanese to be Japanese, probably that other people feel annoyed. In U.S., if they assume that I am a Chinese, I would be feeling somewhat strange but still would not feel annoyed. Or even if I feel annoyed it is not fair to blame the assumers. Can we tell Peruvians from Colombians?

  16. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    AK: I was told by somebody that some Brazilians believe that Hyundai and Kia are made in Japan. If it is true, Koreans should feel annoyed. May be some too proud Japanese feel annoyed, too, but I do not. I bought Samsung cellulars for my familiy because they were the cheapest cellulars equipped with GPS (I thought that my son should have cell w/ GPS, but his school prohibits carrying cells, so my purchase was half in vain). IPhone is too expensive here.

    After all, it is impossible to avoid Korean and Chinese things even if I am too annoyed by their anti-Japan propaganda. It is Samsung TV and monitors everywhere. More than 90% of toys for my son are made in China. And it is impossible for Korean and Chinese to avoid Japanese things even if they are too angry with us.

    Economy and trade is interesting. I said I avoid C & K, but I end up realizing I in fact live with their products despite of all unpeaceful and unfriendly things they throw onto my face. However, I will not travel to these countries at my will for the anti-Japan propaganda. I may miss some great foods there, but I have great foods here in Brazil, too. These people know how the foods should be cooked.

  17. J said

    21st Century Schizoid Man: Yeah, almost all the TVs and monitors in my house are Samsung because and most of my computers are from Taiwan. It’s kind of sad watching Japanese companies just ‘not get it’ and not being able to keep up with the changing times. Like, Sony, Panasonic and Toshiba make some really really nice equipment but just don’t follow through with the content or have the same synergy. I think this flows over to the mobile phones as well.

    However, my old gadgets are all Japanese made because, well, back then they actually made good things that last even to now. I still use an old Yamaha amp with Technics gear. Oh and cameras…

    With regards to racial prejudices, I have noticed two things though. The first being that initially, a fair number of people mistake me for Chinese (I don’t particularly care and it’s not really something you can fault them for) but what’s interesting is that they kind of pull back but when I say I’m Japanese, I get a warmer reception. The second is that when on public transit in a community where Asians are a minority, Asians tend to (probably subconsciously) sit next to Asians. It never ceases to amuse me but say there’s someone sitting in all the seats of a bus with a spare seat next to them. I may be sitting a towards the back of the first half, there’d be a seat available infront and behind me. While I haven’t done any number crunching, I do find that we tend to congregate.
    ———-
    J: I suspect that congregation in those situations is not unique to Asians.

    -A.

  18. Ken said

    >Yes, by word and deed Koreans living in Japan have shown how much they hate Japan and Japanese.

    By these words, I was convinced why so many Chinese and Koreans visit Japan to commit crimes {Half of prisoners in Japan are foreigners and top is the Chinese (mainly thief) followed by Koreans (mainly rapists and burglars)}. They must not be feeling any hesitation to violate.
    On the contrary, the reason why so many Korean prostitutes immigrates in Japan get difficult to understand as they have to make love with their abhorrent Japanese. Korea is exporting a few hundred thousands hookers to advanced countries and the largest group is inhabitant in Japan. What is worse, they are in miserable situation as follows.
    http://gendai.net/articles/view/syakai/138969
    They must be claiming, “We were coerced to become comfort women by Japanese officers.” when they get old.

    Btw, even if one had been the journalist of the leftest newspaper, he seems to think Korea went too far as follows.
    http://www.data-max.co.jp/2012/10/08/post_16448_sm_1.html

  19. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    J: Oh, Yamaha amp, if you mean audio amplifier, I brought mine with the cd player of the same brand, I have been using them for 22 years at least. Turntable, I have not brought it this time, but it is Pioneer and I bought it when I was 16 (and that model was already out of production then). I have been using it for 34 years. I have brought my Roland 76 keys synth which was released in 1994 so I have been using it for 18 years. They have all some little hickups here and there, but still usable. They have not had any substantial servicing or repair. My people used to manufacture damn endurable gadgets.
    ——–
    I was going to link to the post here on the Tenorion, but I re-read it and saw that you had already commented on it.

    -A.

  20. American Kim said

    21st Century: oh well. If you hate Koreans and Chinese so much, then avoid buying products from those countries. And by the way, the Brazilian-born Japanese may be your ethnic brethren, but many of them who have gone to Japan have reported of how discriminated they were by the “real” native Japanese because they didn’t speak Japanese or because they were different. So while you in Brazil may feel a sense of kinship w/ the Japanese people who were born in Brazil, maybe they won’t always see you that way. Just sayin’.
    ——–
    AK: Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read this, and explain in light of that why the reports you read are not exaggerated or deliberately misleading. Or, for that matter, why they are an accurate picture. That mission probably is impossible.

    But since you are capable of writing several hundred words a comment, but incapable of going to your bookshelf and providing a paragraph or two about what Caprio specified as educational “resources”, I won’t be holding my breath.

    -A.

  21. American Kim said

    And also, 21st Century, do the Koreans and Chinese living in Brazil treat you the way the Chinese in China treated Japanese companies, diplomatic offices, etc? Because I have not read one single report that there were violent acts against Japanese companies, restaurants, banks, cultural missions, Buddhist temples, consulates, or embassies by Koreans or Chinese in Brazil. If anything I am absolutely certain that the 3rd and 4th and sometimes even 5th generation Japanese born in Brazil are not even that attuned to East Asian issues and they frankly couldn’t care less – because they see themselves as Brazilian first.

    So I do wonder what Chinese and Koreans are throwing in your face down in Brazil, which is where you say you’ve been living for what? 4 years now?…

  22. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    AK:

    “And also, 21st Century, do the Koreans and Chinese living in Brazil treat you the way the Chinese in China treated Japanese companies, diplomatic offices, etc? Because I have not read one single report that there were violent acts against Japanese companies, restaurants, banks, cultural missions, Buddhist temples, consulates, or embassies by Koreans or Chinese in Brazil.”

    None. But so what? I thought I was talking about continuous and organized anti-Japan propaganda we have been seeing in KOREA AND CHINA. And I said I will not travel to Korea and China at my will for that.

    “So I do wonder what Chinese and Koreans are throwing in your face down in Brazil, which is where you say you’ve been living for what? 4 years now?…”

    No, Chinese and Koreans are throwing their hatred in my face in KOREA AND CHINA. I never said they did it in Brazil. If the phrase “in my face” misled you to think I was ever in the two countries, probably my English ability is questionable. I want A’s comment if my English was misleading.

    “If anything I am absolutely certain that the 3rd and 4th and sometimes even 5th generation Japanese born in Brazil are not even that attuned to East Asian issues and they frankly couldn’t care less – because they see themselves as Brazilian first.”

    I could not understand the above at all. May be due to my limitation of reading. But I would not ask your elaboration.

    You talk about discrimination, I talk about open expression of hatred, resentment and disliking by two countries about Japan socially encouraged and promoted which are amounting to anti-Japan propaganda. I don’t even say that there is no such thing in other countries. I openly admit that there is discrimination in Japan for foreigners, particularly for Koreans and Chinese. That discrimination may sometimes amount to propaganda, but not promoted by government or officials at least. You yourself know it since you know about Kanryuu boom in Japan and you actually saw two Japanese women speaking good Korean language and showing respect to Korean cultures. As you correctly point out, Japanese include surprisingly friendly, respectable people.

    And the fact that there is discrimination by Japanese for foreign people would not render my statements about Korea and China moot or meaningless.

    I repeat that I will not travel to Korea and China at my will for the anti-Japan propaganda. If that makes you feel uncomfortable, my apologies, but have I done any injustice?

    Finally, I am so sad to see what Ken has said in Japanese about you. It ain’t fair perhaps, so somebody should translate his words for your sake. I won’t, for the entirety, but I do, for the following part. In the end Ken said a phrase equivalent to “you will know real AK soon”. Judging from the way you tried to direct my statements to different places, probably in an attempt to dilute the intensity of anti-Japan propaganda in the two countries, I have to agree.

  23. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    また、日本語で書かなきゃいけないのかな。なんだか、本当にがっかりしたよ。

    Ampontanさんには申し訳ないけど、必要があると感じたら、また、日本語で書くことにする。翻訳してくれるかどうか、それはブログ主のAmpontanさんの判断にゆだねる。

    時には、日本語で考えを投稿して、Ampontanさんに訳してもらった方が効果的なのかな、とも思いました。

    出来るだけ英語で書きますけど。感情を抑制し、良く考える訓練にもなりますので。

    I feel like I have to write in Japanese again. I was dissapointed really.

    Sorry for A, but when I feel I need to, I will write in Japanese again. It is up to A if he translates it.

    But this time I found it may be effective if I throw in comment in Japanese to express my thought and have it translated by A.

    Having said so, I will try to do it myself as far as possible. It would be a good exercise to tame my temper and to think properly.

  24. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    AK:

    You said: If you hate Koreans and Chinese so much, then avoid buying products from those countries.

    I already said I found it impossible. Now I say it is meaningless to so avoid. And I say because of this, economy and trade is interesting, and even more, the only hope for breaking icy cold situation (is it an appropriate expression?)

    And it is not me who hates Koreans and Chinese that much, it is Koreans and Chinese who hate us Japanese that much. I do not go to Korea and China because of anti-Japan propaganda. Seems like lot of others still go to China and Korea from Japan, and lot of Chinese and Koreans still travel to Japan, albeit the number is decreasing noticeably. This situation may be restored back to before, but that is not a point for me. I do not go to these countries unless and until I feel that the anti-Japanese propaganda ceases.

    I admit that maintaining traffic of people is very important as well as traffic of goods. But I do not have any obligation to implement personal traffic by myself. I do not know how many Japanese (or Koreans or Chinese) would agree with me for the last sentence, but I guess the number is not so small.

    You, or any reader here, may call me coward or narrow-minded or growth restricted. I am perfectly ok with being so called.

    May I repeat that, I do not go to Korea and China at my will because of the hate for Japanese there, not because I hate Koreans and Chinese. Make no mistake about this.

  25. J said

    21st Century Schizoid Man said:
    Oh, Yamaha amp, if you mean audio amplifier, I brought mine with the cd player of the same brand, I have been using them for 22 years at least. Turntable, I have not brought it this time, but it is Pioneer and I bought it when I was 16 (and that model was already out of production then). I have been using it for 34 years. I have brought my Roland 76 keys synth which was released in 1994 so I have been using it for 18 years. They have all some little hickups here and there, but still usable. They have not had any substantial servicing or repair. My people used to manufacture damn endurable gadgets.
    ———————————————————————————–

    Yeah, even the Made in Japan SONY audio/visual equipment was actually really really good back then. My old CRT tv’s were *all* Sony or Panasonic. To be honest, for something durable and for everyday use, I still prefer Japanese cars. While I don’t actually have any Japanese cars at the moment, I kind of do want one… >_>;

    With regards to the hatred you’ve experienced, my personal view is that I tend to get along with Korean people who have not been brought up solely within Korean communities better than native Koreans. Which brings me to the point where I don’t really blame the people themselves but the system in which Korea governs its society and education in. Chinese people, again I think it’s the same deal but to a greater extent but it’s largely due to a clash of ideologies in regards to manners. I find that my opinions in manners are fundamentally different to theirs and have difficulty with maintaining relationships. The people who have emigrated and aren’t bound to ethnic hamlets (i.e. “China Town” etc) I find the easiest to get along with and this includes Japanese people and, well, basically every ethnic group.

    When it comes to Korea and the education system, from a general point of view, I find it sad and disturbing that primary school children are taught to hate regardless of where that hate is directed at. If people want to bring up the history card, I admit that Japan did a lot of ugly things but, the fact of the matter is: the entire world was enveloped in petty prejudices and hatreds which contributed to the war and its intensity.

    I honestly do not believe that a lot of Japanese hate Koreans (and it’s more than likely that, if they do hate Koreans, their hatred isn’t limited to just Koreans). If there was, there would never have been a Korean boom in the past 5-6 years(?) but I do get the feeling that the feeling isn’t really mutual. When it comes to China, at the risk of sounding snarky/racist, all I can say is: what did you expect?

  26. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    J:

    I do not hate Koreans. They hate Japanese.

    I do not hate Chinese. They hate Japanese.

    Or;

    Koreans and Chinese do not hate Japanese really. They are told to look like hating Japanese and they accept it because it is the safe way to live.

    Or,

    They correctly learned the past atrocities by Japanese and rightfully condemning them. In which case I am not responsible for them to the extent the atrocities actually done.

    Anyway, I believe my safe way to live is not to associate with them too much and more easily, not to go to the two countries.

    I think everyone is entitled to choose to live safely.

    Frankly speaking, I do not know the difference between Koreans and Chinese so much just as I do not know the difference between Peruvians and Colombians so much, since I am not paying much attention to those things. The anti-Japanese propaganda I am worrying about is so obvious that even a moron like me cares. If you say so, someday I will be able to know a Korean or Korean descendent with whom I can get along very well, while it is more difficult to know a Chinese comparable to such Korean.

    SONY brand was sounding great first and stopped working fast. But I bought them until I was fed up and opted for Yamaha (as it is the established musical instruments producer, I thought their audio equipment should be heavyduty. I think I was correct).

  27. American Kim said

    “AK: Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read this, and explain in light of that why the reports you read are not exaggerated or deliberately misleading. Or, for that matter, why they are an accurate picture. That mission probably is impossible.

    But since you are capable of writing several hundred words a comment, but incapable of going to your bookshelf and providing a paragraph or two about what Caprio specified as educational “resources”, I won’t be holding my breath.”

    Your mistaken assumption, Bill, is that you assume I’m relying on “exaggerated or deliberately misleading” reports. You think everybody who has warped views of Japan simply couldn’t know better because they don’t speak Japanese.

    http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/history/faculty/henryyu/Hist597/Takeyuki_Tsuda.pdf

    http://www.discovernikkei.org/en/journal/2012/06/25/diasporic-return-1/

    And by the way, Professor Takeyuki Tsuda speaks and reads and write Portuguese. He is honest enough to say he’s not on the level of a native Brazilian (whereas his Japanese is at the level of a native Japanese), but he’s sufficiently advanced to freely converse with Japanese-Brazilians, which he did as part of his work.

    Apparently your credentials are not equal to (certainly not superior to) Mark Caprio’s, and your sudden turn to a hostile tone towards me illustrates a certain intolerance. Unfortunate.
    —-
    Still no information from Caprio, but changing the subject to talk about credentials instead. Indeed.

    The Brazilian stuff proves…what? You seem to attach undue importance to “blood” and ignore the fact that the Brazilians acted Brazilian and couldn’t speak Japanese. Of course the Japanese factory workers reacted with indifference. But you and the author seem to expect something else. Shared tribalism? A brief for ethnocentrism?

    They aren’t Japanese anything anymore. They’re Brazilian. You’re “American” Kim and you need to be told this? Unskilled workers who go to a foreign country without speaking that country’s language are going to be marginalized everywhere in the world. It ain’t a Japanese thing.

    That opening story in the airport makes a poor excuse for an academic paper, BTW, and demonstrates his intent isn’t academic research. And I’m supposed to feel humbled because he has credentials that I don’t have?

    I’ll be laughing myself to sleep tonight.

    – A.

  28. American Kim said

    21st Century: In Brazil, there are iPhones. There are Apple laptops, iPads. There are other brands of TVs other than Samsungs. There are Brazilian-made cars, there are Japanese cars in Brazil, there are BMWs, there are Mercedes. No one is pointing a gun to your head to buy Korean products. People living in any other country besides Japan who hate Japan and eat sushi, drive Toyota, drink Sapporo Ichiban are not forced to do so.

    “May I repeat that, I do not go to Korea and China at my will because of the hate for Japanese there, not because I hate Koreans and Chinese. Make no mistake about this.”

    Yes, you got that right. Chinese and Koreans in Japan suffer discrimination. That it’s not government-sanctioned doesn’t matter, however (I will say thought that the Chinese demonstrations were too much – there was no reason for that kind of craziness and violence). Discrimination is discrimination. And I doubt those two ladies will stop coming to Korea. I would not blame them if they chose not to go to China. But Korea? They were having a good time and they’ll probably go again.

    You’re totally right that you’re free to go or not to go anywhere, but at the same time (which Ampontan will agree with) there is plenty of cross-cultural relations and exchanges between Korea and Japan. Ampontan has spoken of that many times in his blog. One post that comes to mind was a meeting of Koreans and Japanese who eat whale meat. But oh well. You’re free to do as you wish. It is unfortunate when hate separates people. I always thought that an open mind was the first step in bringing people from different cultures together. I did not let the hate that some Koreans have for Japan stop me from going to Japan, and I have not let the racism and meanness of some Japanese against Koreans (the chef) make me start hating Japanese people. There’s plenty of ignorance and hatred out there, but I would rather not be part of the problem.

    J: you said, “I think one of the ironies of Asia is that there’s really not much difference between South Korea, Japan, China and even North Korea. While I love Japan, I am conflicted by its incompetence and greed as a collective body. While I cannot comment on the other countries, there are a lot of policies and social status quos (I don’t even know if you can pluralise that word) that I believe are restricting growth both as a country and as people.”

    Interesting.

    I don’t know if you were born in Japan and left as a child or born & raised outside Japan. In any case, I just provided two URLs to Ampontan about the trials and obstacles Japanese-Brazilians face in Japan. Takeyuki Tsuda provides great insight: he’s ethnic Japanese, raised in the USA, speaks Japanese like a native and knows the culture thoroughly, and speaks Portuguese well enough to freely speak with Brazilians. So he was able to interview both native Japanese and Japanese-Brazilians for his research. Take a look if you’re interested.

  29. American Kim said

    The more you write the more you show your true colors, Bill.

    Earlier on when I simply spoke well of your blog, you said I was welcome and that you liked my posts. As I became more vocal and voiced my views, you began to mention unflattering things about Koreans at me. Why? To offend me, to hurt me, or to simply put me down?

    And, when I write back mentioning unflattering things about the USA and answer you with facts and arguments, you ignore what I write and simply speak of “appeals to authority.”

    Then again, if you were an actual authority on anything, you’d perhaps understand the value of credentials.
    ———–
    I said I liked the fact that you seemed willing to present factual arguments. I was mistaken (shrug).

    when I write back mentioning unflattering things about the USA

    I was looking for information of substance about Japanese inputs into Korean education vs. Japanese education during the merger period. Starting with simple criteria would have helped. You claim to have it. But instead of that, I get unflattering things about the USA and a professor who thinks data is the plural of anecdote, talks about a car company called “Toyama”, and can’t understand why factory workers don’t have much time to spend on people who can’t speak the only language they know.

    -A.

  30. American Kim said

    And as for Caprio: I can see you’re still hung up on him; I’ve moved on. I’ve actually READ what he’s written – you dismiss it because you think he cherry-picked info for his work. And your blog is what? A comprehensive method for research?

    Laughing here in America…
    ——
    You use a vague statement referencing Caprio to rebut something I say.

    I ask for elucidation. From a guy who writes op-ed length pieces in comment sections. Two or three paragraphs might work. Might even prove me wrong.

    But instead you say he’s credentialed and I’m not.

    I ask for elucidation again.

    You say he’s credentialed and not only that, you’ve read the book, and I haven’t.

    And you expect people to take you seriously?

    -A.

  31. yankdownunder said

    Mark Crapio – romance author.

    He loves Korea and hates evil Japan.

    Sources for his work – fiction, hearsay, “Japan-based Koreans in general”, mostly secondary but a few primary sources.

    from AK’s favorite book(pg 199)
    “Japanese today laud these improvements to combat criticisms over their
    harsh rule in Korea.These claims, however, suggest two suscpicious
    conclusions.Frst, they suggest that Koreans could not have accomplished
    these advancements without Japanese assistance; they requires Japanese
    colonial rule.”

    from JF article(http://www.japanfocus.org/-Mark-Caprio/2962)
    “Among the estimated 2.4 million Koreans in Japan at the end of the war, about one-third (or 700,000) were forced to come to Japan to perform hard labor.”

    His source for the above is
    http://www.japanfocus.org/-William-Underwood/2689
    New Era for Japan-Korea History Issues: Forced Labor Redress Efforts Begin to Bear Fruit
    William Underwood(a faculty member at Kurume Institute of Technology – an English teacher)
    ” were not labor conscripts; the latter category would apply to perhaps two-thirds of the two million or so Koreans in Japan at war’s end”

    one third of 2.4 million is 800,000

    Crapio uses his buddy as a source. What source does Underwood list. None, nothing. He doesn’t need sources. He’s on a mission and he knows the truth.

    If I handed in work like Crapios my teachers would.have made me redo it or just marked it “F”.
    —————
    Underwood actually has a graduate school degree specializing in Korean labor in Japan during that period. However, he did not seem to be interested in Japanese sources that say more than 90% of Koreans came voluntarily. Like many academics, he prefers the sources that told him what he wanted to hear.

    The Caprio reference to Japanese claims that advances in Korea required Japanese colonial rule, and Koreans couldn’t have done that themselves, is the mirror image of Korean claims that they would have done it all themselves anyway, and the Japanese period actually held them back. This is now taught in Korean schools, and was intentionally instituted during the time of Syngman Rhee, by him or people close to him.

    Underwood has a severe ideological and anti-Japanese axe to grind, and went on a mouth-foaming rant for one note he wrote here several years ago. I trashed it, sent him him a private note to tell him to act like an adult, and he rewrote it and toned it down. It might turn up if you use the on-site search engine on the left sidebar. Never used that for comments, because I have a different one for comments on the control panel.

    The last time I saw something in print by him (Japan Times, I think several years ago), I noticed that one passage of his looked very much as if he had quickly rewritten a passage of mine that had appeared a couple of months before. Of course he came to different conclusions (g)

    -A.

  32. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    AK: Thank you for your following statments: I always thought that an open mind was the first step in bringing people from different cultures together. I did not let the hate that some Koreans have for Japan stop me from going to Japan, and I have not let the racism and meanness of some Japanese against Koreans (the chef) make me start hating Japanese people. There’s plenty of ignorance and hatred out there, but I would rather not be part of the problem.

    Don’t be mistaken, I am a part of the problem, too. And needless to say, both of us cannot be a part of the solution. Few can be that.

  33. yuge said

    AK: “If anything I am absolutely certain that the 3rd and 4th and sometimes even 5th generation Japanese born in Brazil are not even that attuned to East Asian issues and they frankly couldn’t care less – because they see themselves as Brazilian first.”

    I am 4th generation, half-japanese born in Brazil. I do care about East Asian studies, I speak Japanese and I am studying Chinese for about 3 years now. And the current Senkaku issue is being discussed here in Brazil among us nikkeis.
    I do not see myself as Brazilian first, nor as Japanese first.

  34. Tony said

    AK: Keep on riffing with Bill. I don’t agree with everything you’ve said, nor do I agree with everything Bill says (and I rarely agree with 21CSM & yankdownunder) but I like to see other views expressed on here. I agree with you that Bill would be better off reading the Caprio’s writings (as I have now since you brought him up) and then decide whether he should dismiss them or not.

    Bill, you mentioned that you have to research your work and support your claims or you will lose credibility with your readers. Not true, as most of your readers already share your bias and that is why they think your credible.

    [[Incorrect (1): Plenty of people read this site for the purpose of running it down on their sites. There are people who still think I’m a paid shill for the Foreign Ministry or nuclear power interests, or both.

    Yes, there are people stupid enough (or in denial enough) to believe it, just as there are people emotionally squalid enough to make up the story to begin with.

    There are also plenty of people who read this site who are more or less neutral, but find it a source of information they would not find elsewhere.]]

    [[Incorrect (2): I have no “bias”. I am ready to change my mind right now when contrary facts are presented. The content and wording of the last piece I did on comfort women should have made that clear to an unbiased observer. (As did the piece on the Korean prediliction for perjury.) In the case of Japanese inputs into Korean and Japanese education, nobody wants to do that.]]

    The rest of us, those who don’t always agree with your opinions, see you as credible only if you read alternative authors and then give your reasons for dismissing their views. However, if you don’t care about your credibility with those of us that bring up alternative authors then there is little reason to talk about “your credibility” in the first place

    [[Incorrect 3: When Reader A says, “You are mistaken because Author B says XXX”, then Reader A bears the responsibility to explain why I am mistaken by providing the germane information from Author B. In this case, Reader A will not.

    He does, however, provide a link to another piece on Brazil that is not worth finishing. Because someone with an advanced social sciences degree got something published somewhere is not grounds that it must be taken seriously. (It’s no longer the case with hard sciences, either.) That some people are not capable of distinguishing between real scholarship and op-eds/new journalism with an academic veneer is not my problem.

    I have neither the time nor the obligation to read something merely because somebody on the Internet says I must. Discussion demands more than Reader A saying, “You’re wrong because Author B said so.”

    I am not interested in “riffing” on this site, and never have been.

    One of the benefits of the Internet age is that we know now that people with advanced academic degrees are just as likely to behave as badly with the truth as a politician or a journalist.

    This should be elementary.]]

    as one group of readers won’t change their thinking about your “credibility” and the others’ is irrelevant to you. But hey, feel free to ridicule me like AK for mentioning this, it’s no skin off my arse.

    AK: I don’t know why you brought up Tsuda’s articles and don’t see how they are relevant to the conversation you were engaging in with Bill. It’s not that I disagree with Tsuda at all, if fact I feel he is right but I just don’t see how they are related to the topic.

    I find it rich to suggest that Japan was all benevolent with Korea during the occupation.

    [[Incorrect 4: I direct your attention to the last paragraph once again of “You Go First, Part One.”

    I find the suggestion that anyone around here is doing that to be rich.]]

    The truth is, it doesn’t much matter to the Koreans why the Japanese were there, it just matters how they felt and now feel about them being there. Something many of the readers of this blog miss. In fact, it is not entirely different from how Bill will probably feel about my suggesting he read someone’s writings before dismissing them. I said it with the best intentions but it comes down to how he feels about what I said.

    In one way I am fortunate in that Bill and I live in the same community occasionally meet up over yaki tori and beer and disagree with each other. While we may have both come to the conclusion that the other is often a biased idiot

    [[Incorrect 5: Speak for yourself. I don’t consider people “biased idiots” for disagreeing with me. Conditioning (in a psychological sense) is an often unrecognized source for the positions held by many people.

    I spend time in self-reflection to examine what effects conditioning might have on my thinking. (The philosophical tenets of Eastern religions are useful for this.) Integrity is one of the demands I place on myself. It is part of an ethical life.

    That other people choose not to place demands or themselves, or to be interested in leading an ethical life, is beyond my control.]]

    in regards to their/our political thinking and ideas of historical accuracy, we almost always agree with each other on none political and historical issues.

  35. yankdownunder said

    A.

    I found one post that includes comments by Underwood.

    https://ampontan.wordpress.com/2007/04/29/eyes-wide-shut-the-media-and-the-abe-bush-press-conference/

    Besides being a doctoral student at Kyushu University (one of Japan’s former imperial universities and thus “Ivy League”) from 2002 until last month, I have also taught full-time at Japanese universities since 1997. In the past month I’ve presented by research findings at major academic conferences in Boston (Asian Studies) and Chicago (Political Science). Publication of my dissertation by a university press appears promising.

    At one point you wrote this

    “BTW, since you’re an Ivy Leaguer, you don’t have to be so humble. Tell us what it is that you teach full time, at which Japanese universities.”

    He never answered. And he seems to be too ashamed to state his title in his JF articles( “a faculty member”). So I guessed he was an English teacher.

  36. Tony said

    AK: I rest my case, I think you can see for yourself.

  37. yankdownunder said

    Tony,

    It’s not that I disagree with Tsuda at all, if fact I feel he is right but I just don’t see how they are related to the topic.

    he is right – about what?

  38. Tony said

    Yankdownunder,
    I think so, yes. Brazilian Japanese seem to be treated and thought of differently than American Japanese by native Japanese here. I would also agree with his assertion that the status of the host country plays a significant role in how they are thought of here, but I don’t see that as being different from any other country in the world. for example, when I lived in Africa, black Americans had a lower status than black Canadians, black Germans, and black French. not because they came from America but rather because the African perception was that they came from Slaves in America. As such, American blacks were unlikely to know their ancestral tribe, which is very important among Africans in determining someone’s status. They (Africans) felt that since the other countries blacks were less likely to be derived from slaves they were more likely aware of their tribal ancestry (probably true). But back to the topic do Tsuda, the contention that the Brazilian Japanese have to wear different clothes than other full time and short term contract workers isn’t surprising as I’ve heard that before and shows they are treated differently.a related example is how attitudes are different to those who are part Japanese from different countries. I know a female professor from Caprio’s university in Okinawa who is Filipino Japanese and she had a really hard time when she first came here because most Japanese assumed her mother had been a woman of the water trade (not an uncommon job many filipino women do here). She spoke Japanese but not fluently and with a strong Filipino accent. However, it was her mother who was Japanese and she only had a Japanese family name because her husband, whom she married in the Philippines before coming here, was Japanese. Her experiences in finding a teaching position were very different and more difficult despite her superior qualifications (Masters and Phd from a famous American university) than her American Japanese coworker (only a distance Masters from an Australian university) who still speaks little Japanese. She is now a full professor while her coworker is still a lecturer but getting her foot in the door was much more challenging because of her background. The fact that she is now fluent and her husband is a Japanese probably helps.

    However, Bill is right when he says some of this “difference” is a result of their inability to speak Japanese. The ability to communicate makes a huge difference anywhere and possibly more in societies that are more homogeneous than others. Even making an earnest attempt to communicate in Japanese goes a long way in changing the way you are treated. This is no different than most other countries I’ve been to with the only clear exception being France.

    Another point not mentioned is “how much” Japanese blood they have? I suspect those that have 100% Japanese ancestry are treated somewhat differently than those who are only 50% (half’s), 25%, or less in terms of their Japanese ancestry. Tsuda implies that all the Brazilians have 100% Japanese ancestry but only a few of the ones I’ve met did. In fact, most had only a Japanese grandfather. Perhaps it has just been the ones I’ve run into but I doubt it.

    I do question some of his statements though, such as all the Brazilian Japanese have university degrees and are middle class in Brazil. That may be true for some but that hasn’t been the case for all the ones I’ve met thus far who are working at factories or construction companies. Perhaps it was just the groups I ran into over the 12 years I lived in Nara and later in Himeji (haven’t met any in Kyushu yet) but none of them had a university education.

    One thing I’ve been told by several Japanese Americans is that in America they largely identify themselves as Japanese Americans but here they think of themselves as only Americans. Also that because they look and speak Japanese they are largely accepted as Japanese. That can be a double edged sword however as for most of them their Japanese is not as fluent as their English and they sometimes make mistakes with the proper way of talking to and responding to their bosses or professors (use of keigo). Whereas if/when I make a mistake It is more likely to be overlooked because I am obviously a foreigner, my friends were judged as a Japanese person making that mistake who should’ve known better. To me, that sounds pretty bloody close to full acceptance if not full acceptance.

    Now this has turned out to be an awfully long answer to your question, but my original point to AK still stands. I don’t see how these articles are really relevant to his point because all they prove is that Japan is not so different than most other countries in this regard. I’m not sure what point he is trying to support in regards to Japan and Korea.

  39. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    Tony: I thought I understood AK. He focused on discrimination and regarded anti-Japan sentiments in Korea and China as a result of discrimination by Japanese addressed to Koreans and Chinese and the same discrimination is addressed to Brazilians with Japanese ancestors. He also probably wanted to say I was too happy-go-lucky to say I was enjoying credibility earned by Brazilians with Japanese ancestors in Brazil because that credibility is earned for themselves, not for me, and at the cost of discrimination suffered by them in Japan. Also, he might have tried to persuade me not to highlight unusualness of anti-Japan sentiments in Korea and China by labelling them as a sort of discrimination.

    Just a guess and I am not very confident, but anyway that is how I interpret it.

  40. Tony said

    21CSM, you may be right and if so, it seems to be a big stretch on AK’s part to connect Korean attitudes towards Japan with Brazalian Japanese discrimination in Japan. Particularly when the kind of discrimination Tsuda points out occurs in all countries. (Therefore Korea should have the same attitude towards all other countries)

    I thought he brought up Tsuda as a response to Bill’s point that he (Bill) can read the original Japanese source material so he doesn’t have to, and largely doesn’t, use English sources which require the reader to first wade through someone else’s bias before discerning the truth. AK said “You think everybody who has warped views of Japan simply couldn’t know better because they don’t speak Japanese.” and then brings up Tsuda as someone who does read Japanese and still comes up with negative conclusions about Japan. So what? Is AK implying that because an American Japanese person who reads Japanese finds fault with Japan in regards to discrimination against Brazilian Japanese, this means Japan is guilty of all things the Koreans and Chinese say it is? I don’t think so. Is he saying that people who can read the original source material can have different opinions and conclusions about issues? Well of course they can, the fact that both Bill and Caprio read Japanese and have probably read a lot of the same material yet still disagree is proof of that. Again, so what? What does Tsuda’s research on discrimination against Brazilian Japanese in Japan have to do with anything related to Korea? I just don’t see the connection.

  41. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    Tony: Thank you for reply. I can only add observation like this: AK said that there’s plenty of ignorance and hatred out there, but he would rather not be part of the problem. By trying not to be the problem he denies any difference among ignorance and hatred out there. So in his mind discrimination against Brazilian Japanese in Japan does connect to discrimination against Koreans in Japan, as well as to the anti-Japan propaganda (in my earlier view) or sentiment (in my later view) in Korea and China and even to so-called “unfriendly” attitude by A against him. May be in his mind every negative feeling of someone against other is (or causes) a discrimination.

    Another version of interpretation is, after all, he wants to imply that we Japanese are faulty, with that Koreans and Chinese people are not that faulty as we Japanese are, because we Japanese (staying in Japan) have not suffered discrimination comparable to other people.

    To simply put: his order of respectability is, in reverse order, Japanese (high faults) → Korean and Chinese (less faults) → AK (trying to stay away from faults or free from any discriminatory mind) Something like this is in AK’s mind.

    I am evenmore unsure as I write.

  42. Tony said

    21CSM, I think I got it now. Long before in this thread Bill provided a link from a blog entry he wrote in 2009 about anti-Japanese sentiment in the media and asked for proof that the material AK was referring to (Caprio) wasn’t misleading. At the same time AK responds to you about your feelings cultural affinity with Brazilian Japanese and he says,

    “And by the way, the Brazilian-born Japanese may be your ethnic brethren, but many of them who have gone to Japan have reported of how discriminated they were by the “real” native Japanese because they didn’t speak Japanese or because they were different. So while you in Brazil may feel a sense of kinship w/ the Japanese people who were born in Brazil, maybe they won’t always see you that way. Just sayin’.”

    He then attempts to do prove two things at the same time. The first is to provide proof to Bill that by reading material written by Tsuada, an American Japanese, he is not just reading anti-Japanese sentiment. Here he is guilty of two assumptions. The first assumption is that this 10 part article somehow proves that Korean and Chinese dislike of Japanese is justified (although not the more violent parts of the demonstrations). That is a spurious claim because the two are not connected. The second is to assume that all Japanese think alike and that Tsuda, an American Japanese thinks like all Japanese. Clearly he is wrong on both accounts.

    The second purpose of Tsuda’s link was to show you that Japanese Brazilians don’t feel the same cultural affinity for Japanese when they live in Japan as you do to them while you are in Brazil by providing material written by an academic. But what he (Tsuda) is saying in his 10 part article is actually to be expected. In Brazil you are and the Japanese Brazilian community are both visible minorities and are likely to feel different from the dominant cultural group and closer to each other because of the shared lineage. That is no different than when I was in Africa and felt a closer affinity to all whites, particularly Germans or Americans who lived in Africa because we were the only white people in our community and we shared a cultural lineage (Germans) and or came from a very similar cultural background (Americans). However, I don’t feel that affinity in Germany nor America when I am in those countries. In fact I feel more Canadian and sense greater differences when I am in those countries. That is no different for the Brazilians in Japan, they are minorities here and feel different from the dominant cultural group because they are.

    It would appear that AK never fulfilled Bill’s “mission” because he made a faulty assumption on both the source and the relationship of Tsuda’s link. Further his reply to you is moot because he is confusing the differences of how minorities feel within a country with that of how the dominant cultural group feels towards the minorities.

  43. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    Tony: Thank you. I needed to read yours two times slowly but I think I got it.

    If he fails or neglects to understand Japanese as minorities in Brazil and Japanese Brazilians as minorities in Brazil, it is very interesting. May be he did not have clear intention, but he ended up in portraying some Japanese as respectable or at least he liked them, but never portraying Japanese as victims of something except when Japanese Brazilians suffers in their mother country Japan.

    Isn’t it similar to CCP’s arrogant attitude in connection with the recent violence there towards anything related to Japan? CCP never utter a word about victims, just saying Japan has responsibility.

  44. Trapped in Brazil said

    How could I let this juicy discussion slip? Also I can’t resist my urges to write something about…. damn you internet!!!!

    I will not argue about the Japan bashing, it is like a drug, nothing you say will convince those addicted to mend their ways. You can present the facts like Ampontan, and leave it there for those who want to be cured of their prejudice against Japan, but aside from that…

    ——-
    About the japanese born in Brazil. You won’t know jack if you don’t live here for a long, loong time and mingle with the colony. Any professors (japanese, american or whatever) who write about us without walking in our shoes are just fooling you and themselves.

    The scenario here was basically this: White = superior, Yellow = monkeys. To be socially successful, you had to be like two characters from The Boondocks: Uncle Ruckus and think that you are white , or be like Tom Dubois and marry a white person (Yeah, it is a cartoon, haha, Trapped in Brazil watches cartoons).

    The result:
    a) Some are ashamed of their ancestry and want to be a gaijin; – Some middle aged, but mostly young ones. Avoid this group
    b) Others said 仕方がない and conformed to all of it; – Generally good ones
    c) 天皇陛下 万歳!!!!! – the minority of the minority of the minority. I say we are in Showa 87.

    Groups “b” and “c” have no problem at all in interacting with native japanese.

    ——-
    About the credentials ruckus, credentials means nothing. The most important thing is a right mindset that pushes the person to study and analyze every bit of information he can about the theme, before saying anything. The Nobel Prize, for example, can be a huge credential, but Barack Obama, the European Union and Henry Kissinger all won the Nobel Peace Prize, while Gandhi was never allowed the honor. Who was Gandhi before he became… Gandhi? He had no credentials, but his name is engraved into History. I’m not saying that Ampontan is like Gandhi (sorry Ampontan ^_^ ), but it serves to illustrate that credentials are not essential for the job.

    While some people say that Ampontan have little or no credentials, I think he has the things most needed for the job: knowledge, the will to search for it and the capacity to use it. As for the readers, Ampontan is not always right, but he presents some information that is very difficult to find outside Japan and in romanji. It is up to each reader to interpret it according to their own basis.

    It is like reading Karl Marx, there are three interpretations: You can became a communist, you can dismiss it as crazy talk, or you can imagine how to became part of the 1%.

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