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NEWS: New York Times on Xenophobic Manga


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pure3nergy



Joined: 10 Oct 2005
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 11:14 am Reply with quote
Wow, i find that offensive on many levels.
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Teapot



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 11:45 am Reply with quote
This is sad. I didn't know relations between asian countries were so bad. I should really keep up with the news more. Razz
But seriously, people need to sit down and think clearly on why they hate so much, because if they did, they'll realize that it accomplishes nothing.
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Cowpunk



Joined: 03 Nov 2004
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Location: Oakland - near the Newtype Lab

PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 11:58 am Reply with quote
One of the Japanese English newspapers covered the Korean volume a few weeks ago. They said the author had to go to about 20 publishers to find one that would handle it.

I rank these as equal in importance to Japanese society as arian rock is to US race relations. Not that big a deal.
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LordRobin



Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Posts: 354
Location: Akron, OH

PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:11 pm Reply with quote
You know what worries me? Some reports peg Japan as being on the verge of total economic collapse, as a country in complete denial about its true economic state. Banks hold obscene amounts of uncollectable debt from what have been called "zombie companies" -- businesses that remain active only because the banks haven't demanded payment. The banks refuse to collect because it's not the Japanese way. Their customers would lose face, and so would the bank, for having been so foolish to give the credit in the first place. So they continue along in a state of denial, pretending that the debtors will all make good some day.

But this can't continue forever. Eventually, one of these banks will collapse. When that happens, others could start falling like dominoes and Japan could be in a depression practically overnight. The Japanese government understands this and has been trying to head off the crisis legislatively -- last I heard, with little success.

The type of xenophobic hate-filled attitude described in the article is the last thing I want to see from a country that may shortly have to make some hard decisions about its future.

------RM
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heyyu



Joined: 15 Dec 2003
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:23 pm Reply with quote
LordRobin wrote:
You know what worries me? Some reports peg Japan as being on the verge of total economic collapse, as a country in complete denial about its true economic state. Banks hold obscene amounts of uncollectable debt from what have been called "zombie companies" -- businesses that remain active only because the banks haven't demanded payment. The banks refuse to collect because it's not the Japanese way. Their customers would lose face, and so would the bank, for having been so foolish to give the credit in the first place. So they continue along in a state of denial, pretending that the debtors will all make good some day.

But this can't continue forever. Eventually, one of these banks will collapse. When that happens, others could start falling like dominoes and Japan could be in a depression practically overnight. The Japanese government understands this and has been trying to head off the crisis legislatively -- last I heard, with little success.

The type of xenophobic hate-filled attitude described in the article is the last thing I want to see from a country that may shortly have to make some hard decisions about its future.

------RM


Interesting, because if you switch out a few words and phrases, you could be saying the same thing about America.


Last edited by heyyu on Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:24 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Vukir



Joined: 23 Mar 2004
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Location: California

PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:23 pm Reply with quote
Cowpunk wrote:
I rank these as equal in importance to Japanese society as arian rock is to US race relations. Not that big a deal.


Granted, rock does not play a role in our relations, popular culture does do a good job at displaying popular opinion. To see an example, look at a lot of rock made during the Vietnam war. (But, just two mangas fall short of being popular culture).

Although, the Japanese are xenophobic, they are getting a lot better. Japan, Korea, and China have not been on very good terms since World War II to begin with. I seem to remember, not to long ago, small scale riots in China over Japans adoption of school text books that down-played the attrocities commited against China in WWII. I tried to find the artical, but I am very bad at navigating MSNBC with the new beta up. But, the riots pretty much damaged Japanese run buisnesses in China.

And as for Japan being on the verge of econimic collapse... I havn't read anything like that. I am sure there are "zombie companies" out there, I just do not think there is such a large volume that would constitute an economic break down. But, I might be wrong. (I just hope I'm not).
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epiloso



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:52 pm Reply with quote
being half korean (south) and half white (more italian and irish), i have dealt with prejudices against both of my sides... white and asian. To see conflict among asian countries is unsettling in many ways. The Japanese writers and followers of the "Hate Koreans" wave's portrayal of themselves being blonde hair and 'wide-eyed' human beings contradicts their own standing. Many can argue that Japan wouldn't be what it is today without aid from the United States and even some European countries. To turn around and say the same thing about neighboring asian countries is both hypocritical and ignorant.

Jealousy on an economic level causes so much hatred in those who are weak minded and willing to follow what is "cool". I feel both afraid and ashamed that my asian heritage would stoop so low as to settle for racists remarks to both sell and corrupt the youth of future generations. I hope that those reading this manga about korea and china will think twice before throwing stones through windows and making "wok" jokes.
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Carl Horn



Joined: 09 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:01 pm Reply with quote
We say "xenophobic," but, to be fair, very few human societies are exactly what you'd call "xenophilic." Disliking, distrusting, and even hating other groups is very common. I think the important thing here is the genuine popularity of the "Korean Wave," not the slurs against Koreans. Because the slurs are nothing new, but the respect is--so it's a hopeful sign. Those manga sales figures cited represent considerably less than one percent of the Japanese public.
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mako



Joined: 14 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:33 pm Reply with quote
Many people call me a dreamer. Every time I read this kind of article, I always wonder why there is no perfect solution to all the problems in the world.

Since I’ve never read those books, I don’t know what they are really about, but I guess the authors and the readers are fed up with the Korea and China’s attitude toward Japan.

My mother was 11 when the WW2 ended. Both my grandmother and mother taught me how evil wars were. They told me how mean Japanese solders were during the war. Yes, war is about killing or harming enemies. It's a nasty thing. But what I was told was not something any civilized people would do. So, I can’t blame those people who still have hateful feelings towards Japan.

However, at the same time, I also feel how long we, Japanese people, have to be blamed for what most of us didn’t do. I don’t know what exactly those people want. I don’t have any numbers with me but Japan has paid quite a bit of money to those countries as compensation (even when there were people in Japan who needed government’s help). Of course, money doesn’t resolve problems, but Japan gave what they wanted as compensation.

One thing Japan can do is that the government can try to get the history straight and be honest. I think everything starts from there. Once this is done, will they forgive Japan? I’m not sure, but forgiveness or no forgiveness, I think we still need to do it.

I sincerely hope that foreign (non-Japanese) people don’t think that everyone in Japan agrees with those books.
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heyyu



Joined: 15 Dec 2003
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:18 pm Reply with quote
mako wrote:
Many people call me a dreamer. Every time I read this kind of article, I always wonder why there is no perfect solution to all the problems in the world.

Since I’ve never read those books, I don’t know what they are really about, but I guess the authors and the readers are fed up with the Korea and China’s attitude toward Japan.

My mother was 11 when the WW2 ended. Both my grandmother and mother taught me how evil wars were. They told me how mean Japanese solders were during the war. Yes, war is about killing or harming enemies. It's a nasty thing. But what I was told was not something any civilized people would do. So, I can’t blame those people who still have hateful feelings towards Japan.

However, at the same time, I also feel how long we, Japanese people, have to be blamed for what most of us didn’t do. I don’t know what exactly those people want. I don’t have any numbers with me but Japan has paid quite a bit of money to those countries as compensation (even when there were people in Japan who needed government’s help). Of course, money doesn’t resolve problems, but Japan gave what they wanted as compensation.

One thing Japan can do is that the government can try to get the history straight and be honest. I think everything starts from there. Once this is done, will they forgive Japan? I’m not sure, but forgiveness or no forgiveness, I think we still need to do it.

I sincerely hope that foreign (non-Japanese) people don’t think that everyone in Japan agrees with those books.


Okay, let me clear up one thing for you. The reason there's so much American interest lately in these matters is more political than anything else.

The American government, pardon the bluntless, doesn't really give a damn about the people of China or Japan or anywhere else for that matter. What they care about are the political implications for America: How Japan and China affects America's power in that region.

In short, it is in America's best interests for there to exist tension between Japan and China and S.Korea, because a more unified East Asia would be harmful to America's power and influence in Asia and the Pacific.

Especially now, with the rise of China (which does scare the US, just like the rise of Japan's economy in the 80's caused a rash of fears in the US). That's why the US is moving towards closer relations with Japan, which is still one of America's strongest allies in that region (and a useful partner in any potential "China" containment strategy in the future). That's why America does NOT want to see closer ties between Japan and China, because that could serve as a potential buffer against American interests.

It reminds me of all those gleeful articles about any European tension within the EU (such as France turning down the EU's treaty), precisely because a strong EU would be harmful to the US position in the world.

I also find the timing of this article by the New York Times somewhat convenient (even though the manga have been out for awhile now), just as Bush is touring Asia (where such topics are concerned, particular to the future of the US).
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minakichan



Joined: 12 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:53 pm Reply with quote
That's...frankly disgusting. And though this attitude CERTAINLY doesn't reflect the opinions of all Japanese, it's this kind of self-superior attitude that MAKES the South Koreans and Chinese hate the Japanese. When the Japanese stereotype South Koreans and Chinese, the South Koreans and Chinese in turn stereotype the Japanese.

We like to point fingers, but I think this kind of hate is really everyone's fault--the West, the Japanese, the Chinese and South Koreans.
And it's sad that as humans we can't learn--the Japanese (and other Asians) originally hated the Americans for the Western self-superiority, yet they adopt this attitude for the South Koreans and Chinese. (Japan itself seems to either neglect or fear the rise of South Korea and China.) The South Koreans and Chinese hate this attitude, yet as rising powers they'll look down on the poorer Asians like Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam etc. And there were times in history that the West felt insulted by China, Korea, and Japan's haughty culture or isolationism.
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dormcat
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 08 Dec 2003
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Location: New Taipei City, Taiwan, ROC

PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 3:32 pm Reply with quote
minakichan wrote:
The South Koreans and Chinese hate this attitude, yet as rising powers they'll look down on the poorer Asians like Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam etc.

(splash)

(wiping saliva off my monitor)

I'd like to make some corrections. Many Taiwanese (Hokkien decents) look down at Mainlander Chinese with despise and distrust. Some of them even advocate this hatred openly, including the current pseudo-president. Remeber that the author of Introduction to China was actually a Taiwanese. More info at my other posts (please use this thread instead of that one).

When talking about anything Chinese: general population, government, economy, culture, etc., two of my colleagues at work describe them as a lower life form, despites that both me, our boss, and ALL THEIR ANCESTORS were of Chinese decents.

If you want to know more about East Asian geopolitics and historical feuds (particularly those across the Taiwan Strait), PM me.
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Yoshball



Joined: 31 Jul 2003
Posts: 99
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 3:34 pm Reply with quote
What China and Japan need to do is to the same thing Germany and France did after WWII: Create a textbook counsel.

A lot of the hate stems from misinformation being passed around on both sides, and that is why Germany and France decided to create a counsel like that. They realized that their relations would never improve if they continued to spread lies about the other, just like what happened after WWI. So Germany reviews France's textbooks and France reviews Germany's textbooks to make sure that the lies do not continue. This has worked wonders for their relations since WWII and now they are strong trading partners.

The same thing could work for Japan and China, as almost all of this hate stems from WWII only. If they were to review each other's textbooks and stop lies or a playing down of events from spreading, I believe it will improve relations, albiet slowly. By doing this, I think the can start to trust each other again.
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dormcat
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Joined: 08 Dec 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 3:44 pm Reply with quote
Yoshball wrote:
What China and Japan need to do is to the same thing Germany and France did after WWII: Create a textbook counsel.

There already is one, created by combined efforts of CJK historians (Taiwan withdrew in the middle; I don't know if this was an intentional and political action, for the current "green" regime is friendly to Japanese right wing extremists): 東亞歷史共同讀本 (Common Textbook of East Asian History) and was published on May 26, 2005. Unfortunately, it will very unlikely be adapted by Japanese schools. More in my old post.
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Pat Payne



Joined: 08 Feb 2004
Posts: 45
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 4:00 pm Reply with quote
Cowpunk wrote:
I rank these as equal in importance to Japanese society as arian rock is to US race relations. Not that big a deal.


I think you mean "aryan" (nitwitspeak for caucasian) as opposed to "Arian" (a early Christian heresy which denied, in part, the divinity of Christ and was vehemently suppressed by the 500s AD, coming from the name of its chief sponsor, the priest Arius). Razz

And, all joking aside, I do find it a big deal. Japan as a nation has not dealt with World War Two in a constructive manner, in my opinion. The LDP government has actively hid from Japan's activities from 1931 (the beginning of the annexation of Manchuria/Manchukuo) through 1945. Much of that is due to the fact that the LDP takes quite a bit of support from the same ultranationalists or their intellectual descendants.

Some examples of this running and hiding from history:

1) Textbooks. Here in the US, we tend to paint a "warts and all" picture of our history (although some might argue emphasizing the warts just a shade too much. Some Japanese textbooks (which sparked controversy in Japan and riots in China) glossed over certain key events in Japan's military campaigns in the pacific. These included the 1938 Nanjing Massacre (about which more below) and the December 1941 attacks on Pearl Harbor, Manila, Singapore, Hong Kong and Wake Island that started WW2 in the Pacific. At the same time, they mention in large detail the firebombing of Tokyo of February 1945 and the atomic bomings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The impression that the LDP wants to give, apparently, is one of a Japan who somehow was in China for a vague reason, minding its own business, until --wham-- on August 6, 1945, the US, unprovoked, drops an atom bomb on Hiroshima.


2. "Kuni ga Moeru" and the Nanjing Controversy. As mentioned on this site, the manga "Kuni ga Moeru" ("The Country Burns") which dealt with Japan's pre-WW2 history, was abruptly cancelled earlier this year due to LDP pressure. The offending (and last, although the publisher [Shueisha] said they will do a final chapter dealing with Pearl Harbor) segment that effectively ended the series was an exploration into the Nanjing Massacre. This event still sparks much in the way of both reasoned debate about its extent as well as naked revisionist history. On or about December 13, 1937, the Chinese capital, Nanjing (then called Nanking) fell to the Imperial Japanese Army. What hapened in the next six weeks was as many eyewitnesses on both sides recalled a bloodbath. Rapes, murders, looting, a gruesome beheading contest between two Japanese lieutenants all occurred. As many as 100,000 citizens of Nanjing may have died. And yet, the LDP and other nationalists claim it never happened, and euphemistically call it an "incident." Can you imagine the outcry here if we declared that Lt. William Calley had not committed the My Lai Massacre in 1971, or stubbornly referred to it as the My Lai "incident?" Yet "Kuni ga Moeru" depicts the madness going on in the city, and LDP-backed protestors cry "libel," "harm to children," "embarrasment to those involved," and other cries to disguise the fact that there is a great amount in the historical record to indicate that this happened.

3. Yasukuni Shrine and the Prime Minister's Visits. The Yasukuni Shrine, for those who may not be aware, is a large Shinto complex in Tokyo that serves as a Shinto temple, a war museum and a mass tomb for the spirits of all 2,466,532 soldiers who had died in Japan's wars at least as far back as the Meiji Restoration. The problem is that among those souls are the 14 "Class-A" war criminals, including Hideki Tojo (Police Prefect in Manchuria till 1940, War minister until 1941, Prime Minister until 1944-45), who had been executed in 1948, and were supposed to be damnatio memoriae. In 1978, in a secret midnight ceremony, the names (and spirits) of the 14 were admitted to the shrine as "martyrs of Showa" (Hirohito), an act which has only fanned the flames of suspicion and anger in neighboring countries. Again, that is as if the Nuremburg criminals' (Goering, et. al) names were suddenly etched into a German war monument. And yet, Prime Minister Koizumi (whom I otherwise like) insists on frequently visiting the shrine, and by extension, paying his respects to Hideki Tojo and the other 13 war criminals.

Given all that, and the apparent healthy sales of these two mangas, I can thouroughly understand why Korea and China are jittery. There's too much bad history between Japan and mainland Asia in those years of 1931 until 1945. (It even stretches back at least as far as 1905 in the case of Korea.) The Japanese have never confronted their history in that area, and if they are not careful (and I would hate to see it, as I am an admirer of many other, more benign and beautiful things in Japanese culture) they will run smack into Santanyana's axiom that those who do not learn from history are apt to repeat it.


Last edited by Pat Payne on Mon Nov 21, 2005 4:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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