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NEWS: Barefoot Gen Translator's Speech Cancelled at Japanese Junior High


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Happiness for Subaru
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Joined: 24 Feb 2011
Posts: 242
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:17 pm Reply with quote
Thanks for the history section. I haven't heard about a lot of what was covered and it really helped illustrate the issue!
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mdo7



Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 6297
Location: Katy, Texas, USA
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:24 pm Reply with quote
That's unfortunate to hear. I hope he can find a chance to give a speech over there at some point.
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EleutheroMaster



Joined: 15 Aug 2011
Posts: 105
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:41 pm Reply with quote
Mr. Gleason, don't give up!
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 15372
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:27 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
"I have not read Barefoot Gen. The students have not studied it, either, so I thought they would not be interested in the lecture.


Horrible logic, buddy.
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TheSeventhSense



Joined: 09 Mar 2013
Posts: 83
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:05 pm Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:
Quote:
"I have not read Barefoot Gen. The students have not studied it, either, so I thought they would not be interested in the lecture.


Horrible logic, buddy.


Considering how many stupid lectures (and don't get me started on pep rallies) junior high students have to sit through, this isn't about interest. This is about the principal being nervous over controversy and pulling the plug because he can.
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MeggieMay



Joined: 08 Jun 2004
Posts: 607
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:47 pm Reply with quote
I find this situation really disturbing. I agree with TheSeventhSense that claiming this isn't about interest is nonsensical. I also makes me wonder is it really about just the Barefoot Gen or if the fact Mr Gleeson doesn't seem to be ethnically Japanese might be a factor as well? There seems to me, at least, to be a growing backlash against non-Japanese and Western ideas and peoples (there was another controversy a year or so ago about some Japanese feeling there is too much English and European languages being used in Japan). It's not that these feelings haven't been there on some level for years but it seems to be getting worse over the last half decade Sad .

I do have a question about this, though. Where is Iogi Junior High School in Suginami Ward located in comparison to Hiroshima and Tokyo? I have a gut feeling that the location of where this is going on, geographically, also plays into what is going on (I may try and look this up on my own but I thought I'd ask, all the same).
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mgosdin



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 1302
Location: Kissimmee, Florida, USA
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:48 pm Reply with quote
TheSeventhSense wrote:
Considering how many stupid lectures (and don't get me started on pep rallies) junior high students have to sit through, this isn't about interest. This is about the principal being nervous over controversy and pulling the plug because he can.


Unfortunately that is likely to be true.

History contains controversial elements, indeed you could say it is nothing but controversy in some form or another.

It is the duty of educators to provide their students with the information and tools to evaluate history. So those students can understand the controversies for themselves and put them in context as they see fit.

Since they can also be used to evaluate conventional wisdom, having those tools and being educated in how to use them is seldom universally popular.

Mark Gosdin
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BonusStage



Joined: 24 Oct 2011
Posts: 307
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:54 pm Reply with quote
Why is some American speaking in Japanese schools to begin with?
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MeggieMay



Joined: 08 Jun 2004
Posts: 607
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:07 pm Reply with quote
BonusStage wrote:
Why is some American speaking in Japanese schools to begin with?


Why not, if he can speak the language? Being a translator and most likely living in Japan, he probably can do both (I'm guessing he lives in Japan because he was invited in the first place). I can remember haven't people from other countries come and speak to school assemblies as a kid. I always liked seeing people from all walks of life come and talk to us at school but YMMV.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 14812
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:13 pm Reply with quote
It'll broaden their horizons.
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Surrender Artist



Joined: 01 May 2011
Posts: 3264
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:22 pm Reply with quote
If the Principal hasn't read it and the students haven't studied it, then it was probably especially necessary for Mr. Gleason to speak so that at least somebody might take an interest in the subject. Principal Akaogi's actions are poor pedagogical practice at the very least.

She's a mealy-mouthed coward at worst.

The given reasons are obviously suspect and a little worrying for a nation under with a hard-right historical revisionist Prime Minister that's grappling with growing racist-nationalist activity. It may be just a nasty anomaly in the nation's history, but that anybody might see fit to indulge those forces is regrettable.

BonusStage wrote:
Why is some American speaking in Japanese schools to begin with?


Because...

Wait. Why the Hell am I trying to reason with a goddamned replicant.

Seriously. What are you? The leader of the gaijin section of the Issuikai?
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Jave



Joined: 08 Aug 2013
Posts: 198
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:43 pm Reply with quote
Surrender Artist wrote:
Because...

Wait. Why the Hell am I trying to reason with a goddamned replicant.

Seriously. What are you? The leader of the gaijin section of the Issuikai?


That seems a bit harsh Laughing I can't imagine only the Issuikai might have a problem with Americans forcing their views on other countries. A lot of people in a lot of countries in the world don't seem to like us for that reason.
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Kenshiroh



Joined: 24 Dec 2012
Posts: 28
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:18 pm Reply with quote
TheSeventhSense wrote:
GATSU wrote:
Quote:
"I have not read Barefoot Gen. The students have not studied it, either, so I thought they would not be interested in the lecture.


Horrible logic, buddy.


Considering how many stupid lectures (and don't get me started on pep rallies) junior high students have to sit through, this isn't about interest. This is about the principal being nervous over controversy and pulling the plug because he can.


"Gleason's speech was replaced by a former elementary school principal who lectured on life using poems instead of the manga."

Yeah, I'm sure the kids were really interested in that(!)
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mewpudding101
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Joined: 07 Apr 2009
Posts: 2209
Location: Tokyo, Japan
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:23 pm Reply with quote
What complete bullsh*t. That principal's answer was Japanese tatemae for "I don't agree with this historical information and issue and don't want my students to agree with it either. Ignorance banzai!"

I think I'm actually going to write a letter to his school. That is absolutely ridiculous, and good for the translator for not getting meek.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 15372
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:55 pm Reply with quote
Seventhsense:
Quote:
This is about the principal being nervous over controversy and pulling the plug because he can.


"Controversy" over a book that's been around for 40 years is about as manufactured as "controversy" over Huck Finn.

MeggieMay: They most likely don't want him to possibly bring up the comfort women thing.
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