Racism

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Childhoodless
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Racism

Post by Childhoodless » Nov 21st, '05, 07:52

nytimes.com

Personally, I got nothing against the Japanese. I have Japenese friends. But this really irks me. And it seems I'm the only person I know who is offended.

Am I alone in this?
Last edited by Childhoodless on Nov 26th, '05, 08:20, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Aegis » Nov 21st, '05, 08:17

You have to understand doode, Japan has a long + black history with those two particular Countries.
its like How The Palastines and the Israel are fighting these days. How some past grudges of the past continue to occur, thus there are still people living today that hold onto those grudges. Just as how there are Americans these days whom hold Grudges against the Vietnamese or even the Japanese. I My self went on a foerign exchange group (were Australian) to Japan awhile ago, The Japanese people there loved us. Its not that Japan is PRO-Racism, its just that the two countries Korea + China has had numerous fights with Japan in the past thus how the reaction is now.

But i agree, ALL racism, in this day and age is ugly.

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Post by KurosakiKaien » Nov 21st, '05, 08:46

Hey there, I just registered a moment or so ago... but I'll have to agree with Aegis, and everything that's been said so far, it is not a nice thing to see. Sadly, as human beings we're all selfish and greedy to some extent, I think this Japanese attitude can generally be summed up as more-so of an Ethnocentric derivation rather than true Racism. If it were simply racism, technically they shouldn't dislike people from Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, or possibly even Hong Kong, but this isn't true. It's like "they would discriminate" against all who aren't themselves Japanese. Of course I would like to think that it's moving in a more positive direction these days as opposd to 50 or so more years ago when Japan (like China) isolated themselves and generally did not associate with other Nations/Ethnicities other than for economic purposes.

Hopefully in the future we can see a better outlook for everyone regardless of Cultural Preference, Ethnicity, or Nationality.. if not.. we can always dream right?

Sorry for the long rant, I just feel that's the only real way to rationalize that kind of thought (event though I'm Canadian and very intrigued by Japanese Culture).

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Post by expo1970 » Nov 21st, '05, 08:51

I personally have read the comic books in question and I didn't find any of what it said false. The fact of the matter is, the Koreans and the Chinese started the hatred towards us and the Japanese have only just finally begun to do what any other peoples would do: get peeved. The books in question continuously repeat that they do not want to raise unfounded hatred against Chinese or Koreans. In fact, they raise academic questions. Especially the kenkanryu book (the korean one), it's a reaction to unquestioning love of Koreans. kenkanryu means hating the korean fad which is monopolizing japanese media. If you look at polls today, Japanese people love Koreans by a huuuuge majority while the Koreans still have unfriendly feelings towards us. And you don't need to do polls to tell that Chinese hate us to a point of insanity.

Japanese people are not the ones who should be taking the heat...
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Post by ironicwave » Nov 21st, '05, 09:12

that was quite an article. :-(

but you know, i'm not really surprised when i read stuff like this. nor obviously is this kind of sentiment only prevalent in japan. i'd be more surprised if there WASN'T any racism in japan. i don't know if racism has become more widespread or more public over the last decades or if i've just become more aware of it in general. not a day goes by though that you aren't confronted with it in one way or another, blatant or subtle, directly or indirectly. the whole concept baffles me anyway.
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Post by zdoon » Nov 21st, '05, 09:14

There's no excuse for this behavior, whatever its context.

Racism, in any of its forms, the stereotypes, the generalzations, the negativity, is one of the worst things about humanity and I personally know what it feels like to be burned by it. That's all I'm going to write.
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Post by yt_toshi » Nov 21st, '05, 09:23

This isn't a new issue that's being presented here. Every country has racist people, whether you want to believe it or not.

So, what else is new about this topic?
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Post by aNToK » Nov 21st, '05, 09:27

It is truly amazing to me how so many of these people seek to change history by burying and denying it. Rather than instilling a new sense of pride or whatever, it simply makes them look like total idiots and crackpots to anyone with half a brain. Reminds me way too much of all the lies and propaganda that were used to sell Communism to Russia, China, and others. Using lies and bullshit that flies in the face of known facts is a pretty pathetic way to try to make yourself feel better.
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Post by |sUiZiD| » Nov 21st, '05, 09:31

It is really sad, but it is true. There is hatred, if you can call it hatred for the countries Korea and China amon the poeple in Japan. and I am not really shure if you can call it racism, maybe, maybe not, but one thing is for shure, most of the people are kinda ignorant and thats the base for all these problems. After WW2 something amont the japanese people broke, their culture come to an end, and remember how many people took their life, when the Teno told them that the war ist lost and they should give up. Japan was a proud and outstanding county, so after loosing the war they lost most of their culture and their proudness. But they xstill had some prod left not to commit fault of all these crimes they have done in the WW2, unlike germany. They still think, and thats what is really sad, that it is true. Since they never commit fault for their crime, they are also hated by Korea and China for this behavior. It is kinda like a cold war....... This is really sad since its now going on for more than 50 years..... and it will still go on for many many years until the history will stay history and people begin to be people, its not easy to change it and not many people actually wanna change it and thats sad........

(I am not a native english speaker, so fogive me for making spelling mistakes, grammer mistakes, or writing something completle not understandable :D)

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Post by |sUiZiD| » Nov 21st, '05, 09:34

yt_toshi wrote:This isn't a new issue that's being presented here. Every country has racist people, whether you want to believe it or not.

So, what else is new about this topic?

yeah right, every land has their racism, but still racism ist not racism, sometimes you have to differentiate.... the japanese people dont hate the korean like the german hated the jews....

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Post by canon05 » Nov 21st, '05, 09:43

*Edited: A little off topic----people never or do little learn their past---take the latest war as an example, after 2 WWs, there are still more wars. You know where they occur. It's only seen from the political perspective. It's the innocent people/citizens who suffer from these troubles caused by the gov't. Peace out.
Last edited by canon05 on Nov 27th, '05, 03:37, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Felguard » Nov 21st, '05, 09:53

It's because of the past. When Japan tried to take over China and Korea.

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Post by aisu_kurimu » Nov 21st, '05, 09:58

expo1970 wrote:The fact of the matter is, the Koreans and the Chinese started the hatred towards us and the Japanese have only just finally begun to do what any other peoples would do: get peeved.
If you're really going to try the "they did it first" tactic, at least make it more subtle.
expo1970 wrote: Especially the kenkanryu book (the korean one), it's a reaction to unquestioning love of Koreans. kenkanryu means hating the korean fad which is monopolizing japanese media. If you look at polls today, Japanese people love Koreans by a huuuuge majority while the Koreans still have unfriendly feelings towards us.


If you're going to base your statistics on your assumptions that all Koreans hate Japanese, and that nearly everyone in Japan loves Korea except for the ones buying up the books and making them bestsellers, I'll say that Japan is known for pretending gobs of history that portrays the Japanese negatively never happened, ie Rape of Nanking (a conspiracy set up by the Chinese gov't? Come on now, there have to be better spin doctors out there somewhere in Japan). The museums and textbooks in Japan all also swear that the US started the World Wars, completely ignoring Pearl Harbor. For the longest time, the Imperial family of Japan have denied their Korean ancestry until only recently (or maybe they're still in denial. Haven't kept up to date on that). The millions of Korean and Chinese women who have been raped by Japanese soldiers during the Japanese reign have also never been compensated, even with the smallest of apologies or an acknowledgement that the military ever did anything to them.

Furthermore, this wasn't just because of the wars. Japan considered Korea second-class and China even further down the food chain even before the wars. I'd go as far as to say that it was probably that initial preconception that sparked the wars. But my primary concern isn't arguing over semantics about if it's racist or not. I'm genuinely worried about the effect this will have on future generations of Japan and Korea. I think relationships are much better between Japan and Korea than they were say, 50 years ago, and racially-targeted books like the ones mentioned in the article is taking a step back.

And I define racism as anything that even insinuates that one race is superior to another, so yes I find them racist, and it's entirely my opinion that the books should no longer be printed.

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Post by tsp_uk » Nov 21st, '05, 19:29

aisu_kurimu,
Could you tell me more about this, "For the longest time, the Imperial family of Japan have denied their Korean ancestry until only recently (or maybe they're still in denial. Haven't kept up to date on that)." What did you mean by the Korean ancestry?

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Post by archaicknite » Nov 21st, '05, 20:12

tsp_uk wrote:aisu_kurimu,
Could you tell me more about this, "For the longest time, the Imperial family of Japan have denied their Korean ancestry until only recently (or maybe they're still in denial. Haven't kept up to date on that)." What did you mean by the Korean ancestry?
I did a quick google search and came up with this article:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/japan/story/0 ... 26,00.html

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Post by sadotsu » Nov 21st, '05, 20:39

expo1970 wrote:And you don't need to do polls to tell that Chinese hate us to a point of insanity.
Uhhh... do you blame us?? I'm not surprised that you think Chinese people are the one at fault for hating you guys, not to say that I feel the same way, but what do they teach you in Japanese schools? We're human, we're smart, we're rational. Chinese people don't hate Japanese people for nothing. I know it may not be fair to hold a grudge for something that happened a long time ago, but it's not fair on us or Japanese people if the truth isn't told.

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Post by pokute » Nov 21st, '05, 20:43

If you think you have to look further than your immediate family to find examples of racism, you need to wake up.

All but a few of the members of my family in my grandparents generation were slaughtered by the the dominant religious group of the countries they lived in (Russia, Latvia, Poland, Germany) and yet one of my uncles was a sergeant in the U.S. army in WWII and he and his squad slaughtered 300 starving Japanese soldiers who were trapped in a small cave on the island of Ie in Okinawa. My uncle and his buddies poured gasoline into the cave and then threw hand grenades in, screaming "DIRTY JAPS! DIRTY JAPS!!" the whole time. And then they were astonished that the remaining Japanese snipers hiding in the tops of palm trees (with bullets but no food) kept on shooting and would not surrender "they were like animals, they would fight until you cut their arms off!".

Granted, this is an extreme example...

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Post by SouSu » Nov 21st, '05, 20:46

I dunno if anyone mentioned this before, but there was an incident in China where Japanese students studying abroad dressed disgustingly as half a man and half a woman. They said that the Chinese were like that.

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Post by Avelyn » Nov 21st, '05, 21:14

Racism isn't going anywhere, I live in the Deep South and it is alive and well, although not the majority viewpoint. Japan and other parts of the world are no different, there will always be racism in some form or another. People shouldn't over-react to the writings of a few radicals who hold the minority view point. We should foster good will and brotherhood as best we can, but always realizing that there will always be a minority whose minds won't be changed. Unless we all fall under totalitarian dictatorship and our future generations are brainwashed and indoctrinated into beliving whatever is fed to them :)

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Post by duckie » Nov 21st, '05, 21:59

expo1970 wrote:I personally have read the comic books in question and I didn't find any of what it said false. The fact of the matter is, the Koreans and the Chinese started the hatred towards us and the Japanese have only just finally begun to do what any other peoples would do: get peeved. The books in question continuously repeat that they do not want to raise unfounded hatred against Chinese or Koreans. In fact, they raise academic questions. Especially the kenkanryu book (the korean one), it's a reaction to unquestioning love of Koreans. kenkanryu means hating the korean fad which is monopolizing japanese media. If you look at polls today, Japanese people love Koreans by a huuuuge majority while the Koreans still have unfriendly feelings towards us. And you don't need to do polls to tell that Chinese hate us to a point of insanity.

Japanese people are not the ones who should be taking the heat...
In Asian History class (usa), my teacher told the whole class that our history textbook includes everything while Japanese history textbooks omit lots of events and only recorded what they think is suitable. So we learn all the good and ugly of all the countries. When I ask my cousins in China what are their history textbooks are like, they told me it's the same like mine.
It is well-known that Japanese society is homogeneous. It may mean a lot to people of older generation and influence the younger generation...
I think Koreans worked very hard to be where they are at today. In some Korean dramas, they incorporated Japanese language/cutlure showing indifference to nationality. I can't say the same about Japanese dramas...

This issue brought Tokyo Wankei to mind...

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Post by teamFun » Nov 21st, '05, 22:31

In many ways I am disgusted at what I just read. I have defended the Japanese many times against the racist Chinese comments and now I intend to defend the Chinese and Koreans against the racist Japanese comments.

A dialogue of understanding needs to be established, it is saddening that people can only turn to lowly stereotypes to justify their motivations of hate towards others. Racism has always been a serious issue in Japan, but the fact that there is little opposition to such blatantly flawed conceptions is close to unacceptable.

Where are the learned Japanese scholars that have a deep enough understanding to try and expose the truth to the Japanese people? Confronting reality is better than running away and crying 'they started it first!' I often see children do that, but for a nation with so rich a culture... this is ridiculous. There is no need to stoop to such levels in order to make one feel better.

The Rape of Nanking happened and so did the Second World War, those are facts that one cannot argue away. It is just as bad as the Neo-Nazis denying the holocaust ever happened. The Confucian philosophies of the country, are they not from the Chinese? The Korean Wave sweeping the country, are they not because the Koreans tell stories that have the power to capture Japanese hearts?

It is important to remember that irrational thoughts can also be put into rational words. Mien Kampf, Hitler's book, was rational but the notions themselves were based on irrational and false premises. Many people draw irrational conclusions from rational processes but the key is that garbage in means garbage out no matter what rational processes are applied to them. In the sciences these result in Type I (false positive) and Type II (false negative) errors.

We must stop racism and this is certainly a huge leap backwards. For a country so advanced and intelligent, I am truly disappointed with the news I hear. I have defended the Japanese from the racist views many times just as I have always challenged anyone with racist views. This is because I believe in humanity and have faith that we can all learn to love one another.

But in order to do that we have to teach and learn to love our fellow humans. Hating them is not the answer, but understanding them is. If all sides seek to be treated fairly but no one concedes that they did anything wrong, then all sides will never stop hating each other. One country must take the bigger role and address all the trash-talking from the others in order for there to be any progress.

Aristotle once said, "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." We don't have to always accept what others say, but we should listen because then we can try to mend their errors if we see any and expand our worldview as well. Also related, Gandhi has noted that, "A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave."

Racism is racism, whether rationally debated or irrationally ranted about. I understand that the country feels that the others dislike them, but instead of fighting fire with fire, perhaps it should try to douse the flames with water.

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Post by pokute » Nov 21st, '05, 22:38

Children everywhere are told that their textbooks are the only ones that print the truth. If you want to know the truth, you need to make an effort to find out what other people believe, and then weigh their beliefs against your own, and collect the most disparate parts, and grind them all up together, and after you have done this you examine the result and see the glittering bits and pieces of truth. D-Addicts is a good place to find out what the Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans think are the most attractive aspects of their societies *today*. We are all able to get a very fresh picture of how these societies want themselves to be seen by viewing the programs available here.

Unfortunately if you want to extend your studies to books, you will always experience bias in favor of Japan, because the Japanese have had the luxury of a long *uninterrupted* literary tradition, whereas the Korean and Chinese literary traditions have suffered repeated mortal shocks. So, right now, short of travelling extensively in these countries, D-Addicts is probably your best source of raw Chinese, Korean, and Japanese cultural matter!

IMHO, "U.S. history" is more aptly called "the collective myth of our society", when historians like Howard Zinn and Gore Vidal are excluded from the popular discourse. Zinn and Vidal are generally first experienced in college courses here, and only then by an infinitesimal minority of persons. I recommend Zinn's "People's History of The United States", and Vidal's "United States, Collected Essays". The second is not a history text per se, but a collection of observations of our popular culture and it's behind-the-scenes actors, from a member of the political elite class that most Americans suppose not to exist.

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Post by teamFun » Nov 21st, '05, 22:45

I will have to read those, thanks for the recommendations pokute. =)

For a very dark and stinking account of what the US have undertaken in the past, "On the Justice of Roosting Chickens" by Ward Churchill makes a fairly good read. This is a heavily biased piece however, so readers beware. It is, however, a pretty eye opening account and a fair nice view into the 'other' side of things. =)

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Post by aisu_kurimu » Nov 21st, '05, 22:53

Avelyn wrote:Racism isn't going anywhere, I live in the Deep South and it is alive and well, although not the majority viewpoint. Japan and other parts of the world are no different, there will always be racism in some form or another. People shouldn't over-react to the writings of a few radicals who hold the minority view point. We should foster good will and brotherhood as best we can, but always realizing that there will always be a minority whose minds won't be changed. Unless we all fall under totalitarian dictatorship and our future generations are brainwashed and indoctrinated into beliving whatever is fed to them :)
I don't think it's an overreaction. I'm not saying to limit anyone's free speech, but the fact that it was published by a respectable company shows how deep the racism lies. It's like propoganda of the worst kind, just fueling anti-Korean and Chinese sentiments.

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Post by pokute » Nov 21st, '05, 22:56

@TeamFun - fortunately the greatest Japanese writers of post-Meiji Japan have made it their business to show the Japanese people where their national mythology fails them. The problem is that the Japanese are even less likely to read great literature, even when it speaks directly to them, than other peoples, because of a strongly inculcated sense that the culture relies on the unity of thought of all of it's members. Sometimes I find myself applauding this characteristic (someone characterised it as being as if all the Japanese people were sitting in a big circle looking at each other, while we look at them from outside the circle), but for purely selfish reasons, because that it is the thing against which the Japanese writers and filmmakers react against with such evident success (in terms of the quality of their product).

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Post by pokute » Nov 21st, '05, 23:02

teamFun wrote:I will have to read those, thanks for the recommendations pokute. =)

For a very dark and stinking account of what the US have undertaken in the past, "On the Justice of Roosting Chickens" by Ward Churchill makes a fairly good read. This is a heavily biased piece however, so readers beware. It is, however, a pretty eye opening account and a fair nice view into the 'other' side of things. =)
Ah, yeah, Ward Churchill is one of our great political philosophers without a voice. A friend of mine was a member of AIM and had talked to WC on a number of occasions - he also used WC as a primary source for a documentary he made called "All Power To The People", which is kinda difficult to get ahold of. There's a video interview with WC in there that he gave after being awake for 48 hours straight. No question Churchill is very biased, he pretty much burned 24/7 with righteous indignation all through the sixties and seventies.

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Post by steam » Nov 21st, '05, 23:22

i'm glad the japanese got bombed during WW2. I'm sorry so many innocent civilians got hurt but that act was required.

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Post by teamFun » Nov 21st, '05, 23:26

Wow pokute, you have friends in high places it seems. I admire Churchill for speaking out in a time when the nation seemed so strongly united into a false conception. Deeply biased, but widely respected nonetheless. I think the US needs a strong voice like his as well as other scholars to move forward and try to redeem its position in the world and with its own people right now.

What you said about great literature is true though, but it seems a problem for not only the Japanese but many people (at the risk of gross overgeneralisation obviously). People tend to be comfortable most within their own constructions of reality and fear it when this sense of security is shaken.

But thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences pokute, I need to do more reading on these topics. =)

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Post by teamFun » Nov 21st, '05, 23:32

Steam... I am not glad that anyone was bombed, murdered and otherwise meaninglessly killed. The loss of lives is massive and the people killed were composed of non-combatants. Total war can never be justified just as terrorism cannot be justified either. I wish people would stop happily thinking about the atom bomb. If your country suffered it, you would understand that the statement is not only unnecessary but also insensitive and cruel. No death ended by human means is ever worth it or required.
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Post by SHD » Nov 21st, '05, 23:32

working at a university there are two things I have not taken advantage of, super fast downloads and walking over one building to hear WC speak about 2-3 months ago.

I did however walk over to hear Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers, etc.) about a month ago. I feel better having heard about surviving and blossoming out of a repressive regime rather than rants against the one we're living in.

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Post by GhstDreamer » Nov 22nd, '05, 00:04

Japanese, Chinese and Korean are racially grouped and labeled under East Asian. So if the Japanese society is racist against the Koreans and the Chinese then does this mean they also have a deep hatred for themselves? :blink Sorry didn't want to get too technical...lol...

Anyways, this ethnocentricism is not just a cultural phenomenon but it's mostly fuelled at the political/economic level. It's reallly about protecting one's own national identity/collectivism. For example, I'm Canadian and depending on which part of Canada you live - there is a certain animosity towards Americans. It's always been there since the American colonies broke away from Britain (and the Canadian colonies were afraid that the Americans would swarm in and take over) - it's not something new that just happened because Canada didn't support Bush and his war on terrorism. It was rather recently (several years ago) when canadian ads featured "dumb" Americans. Canadians embrace American media, American products and American actors but that doesn't mean all Canadians embrace Americans. To me this is similar to the history between Japan, Korea, and China except not as bloody.
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Post by pokute » Nov 22nd, '05, 00:04

@SHD - I was working at UCLA when Tienanmin went down. There were two students in our lab and two "visiting scholars" (professors) from China at the time. The two students were both sons of powerful but liberal members of the Chinese aerospace ministry. Both of their fathers died suddenly from heart attacks, and they both sought political asylum in the U.S. One of the professors turned in the other for attending a church while he was here. The one who ratted was made the chair of his department at Tsinghua University, the one who got ratted on was "re-educated" for 18 months and then given a return visa to the U.S. and told to not return (he had apparently been tolerated as a slightly dangerous dissemintator of "unpopular" beliefs before, but because of his contributions otherwise was still held in some esteem). He died homeless somewhere in the greater Los Angeles area. I am sceptical that there has been a "cultural revolution" in China over the last 20 years. It is in Zhang Yimou's best interest to describe China as tolerant and progressive. As the middle class grows more and more of China will become enlightened in the way that Zhang Yimou describes it, but it will always be necessary for the vast majority of Chinese to remain the benighted rabble that fuels the furnace of modernisation with cheap labor.

@TeamFun - I have friends in *low* places, lots of non-conformist rabble rousers ;^)

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Post by pokute » Nov 22nd, '05, 00:06

@GhstDreamer - um, you ever heard of Yvon of the Yukon? Canada can be a deeply racist place for Canadians.

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Post by Ariadna » Nov 22nd, '05, 00:06

i'm glad the japanese got bombed during WW2. I'm sorry so many innocent civilians got hurt but that act was required.
Ok I'm not english native so this probably won't make much sense but anyway I just read this and thought 'What the?! Required?! GLAD?!' I'm sorry but there is nothing -absolutely nothing- in this world that can justify taking anothe's life (much less thousand's). This kind of thoughts are the ones that leads to nonsenses as widely accepted nowadays as the death penalty.

Honestly, a lot of posts in this threat make me wanna cry...
People tend to be comfortable most within their own constructions of reality and fear it when this sense of security is shaken.
That's SO true.
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Post by Avelyn » Nov 22nd, '05, 00:13

Aisu_kurimu wrote:
I don't think it's an overreaction. I'm not saying to limit anyone's free speech, but the fact that it was published by a respectable company shows how deep the racism lies. It's like propoganda of the worst kind, just fueling anti-Korean and Chinese sentiments.
I don't disagree with you. I think that it is pure trash, and it's sad that companies like that are only concerned with profit. As far as propaganda is concerned though, I think that is an issue equally if not more of an important issue in China than Japan.

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Post by Calcifer » Nov 22nd, '05, 00:48

This is an interesting article to talk about in a forum like this one where people have access to a bit of culture from all three countires mentioned.

I don't think anything is an excuse for racism. This hate trend has no more justification than the earlier Chinese riots had against the Japanese textbooks, because all they do is breed more dislike without solving any problems. Perhaps there is truth behind the words and actions, but when put into contexts like those, what good does it do?

There are better ways to solve issues like old feelings of animosity, but I can see how it's hard. Throughout history, Japan, China and Korea have been interacting, sometimes on good relations, sometimes in the context of war. But I do find it puzzling that Japan feels more wronged than say, Korea. It would seem to me that Korea's suffered the most historically, being geographically located between China and Japan. For instance, both Koreas' joint celebrations rejoicing at their 60th anniversary of freedom from Japanese rule just this year was fully understandable, I think, considering what they went through in WWII.

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Post by SHD » Nov 22nd, '05, 03:09

pokute wrote:It is in Zhang Yimou's best interest to describe China as tolerant and progressive.
yes, you're absolutely right, Zhang (through his translator) treaded carefully around the question about what was going on in China during that period and what's happening now. he is working there afterall.

i meant to say that HE survived which was more positive to hear than getting all worked up over what Churchill had to say. i'm simple minded.

sorry for being off topic.

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Post by teamFun » Nov 22nd, '05, 03:22

I only hope that there will be a day when people can finally stop drawing lines and labelling everyone that they are unfamiliar with. I always hoped that the 2002 World Cup would strengthen Japanese-Korean relations. The funny thing about all of it is that the three aforementioned cultures share so many things in common that it's sad that they themselves fail to recognise. I am a student of Japanese, speak three dialects of Chinese and grew up with my best friends who are Korean. Language, culture and ideologies, they all have things in common, and yet they fail to recognise it and label the other as different. I only wish they would stop emphasising all the negative about one another all the time. But alas, sometimes as rational beings we tend to let our emotions get the better of us and forget about all the good that we owe to others and charge them for all the bad instead.

I hope that in the faraway future we could all learn to stop, but that seems only a dream right now.

I would also like to add that Zhang Yimou has his reasons for speaking the way he does and as insipring as it may be, one should also be aware of what is happening in their own country and in their own times. Churchill is not ranting, he is only explaining what he believes is his truth. If we fail to listen and support commentators that have alternative opinions and merely discard them as rants, we fail to better understand the world we live in. China may seem an oppressive regime, but you cannot argue that the United States does not have its own regime of oppression. The only difference is that the US carrying out this oppression out at the psycho-sociological level whereas China is executing it in a more physical fashion. We may not see it, but when we start to listen, we learn that the truth is on neither extreme but somewhere in the middle.

pokute, it is up to the non-conformists to help make the world a place that is not tolerant but accepting of others. I dont consider myself a conformist, but a certain extent of conformity is necessary in the social world I live in. But for you and your friends, I offer you the words of Martin Luther King Jr. He noted that, "The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood."

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Post by Calcifer » Nov 22nd, '05, 03:46

teamFun wrote:I only hope that there will be a day when people can finally stop drawing lines and labelling everyone that they are unfamiliar with. I always hoped that the 2002 World Cup would strengthen Japanese-Korean relations. The funny thing about all of it is that the three aforementioned cultures share so many things in common that it's sad that they themselves fail to recognise. I am a student of Japanese, speak three dialects of Chinese and grew up with my best friends who are Korean. Language, culture and ideologies, they all have things in common, and yet they fail to recognise it and label the other as different. I only wish they would stop emphasising all the negative about one another all the time. But alas, sometimes as rational beings we tend to let our emotions get the better of us and forget about all the good that we owe to others and charge them for all the bad instead.

I hope that in the faraway future we could all learn to stop, but that seems only a dream right now.

I would also like to add that Zhang Yimou has his reasons for speaking the way he does and as insipring as it may be, one should also be aware of what is happening in their own country and in their own times. Churchill is not ranting, he is only explaining what he believes is his truth. If we fail to listen and support commentators that have alternative opinions and merely discard them as rants, we fail to better understand the world we live in. China may seem an oppressive regime, but you cannot argue that the United States does not have its own regime of oppression. The only difference is that the US carrying out this oppression out at the psycho-sociological level whereas China is executing it in a more physical fashion. We may not see it, but when we start to listen, we learn that the truth is on neither extreme but somewhere in the middle.

pokute, it is up to the non-conformists to help make the world a place that is not tolerant but accepting of others. I dont consider myself a conformist, but a certain extent of conformity is necessary in the social world I live in. But for you and your friends, I offer you the words of Martin Luther King Jr. He noted that, "The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood."
Well said. :thumleft:

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Post by SHD » Nov 22nd, '05, 03:56

teamFun wrote:China may seem an oppressive regime, but you cannot argue that the United States does not have its own regime of oppression. The only difference is that the US carrying out this oppression out at the psycho-sociological level whereas China is executing it in a more physical fashion.
no argument from me. take religion. what p*ssess me off is Bush is over in China the other day telling them to be "more tolerant" of religious freedoms and making that PR stop at a Christian church while here in the U.S. his administration and supporters are doing all they can to surpress any religion other than christianity.

and about Churchill, maybe shouldn't have used "rant" as it seems too loaded--from the litlte i've read about/from him I don't think what he says is without some merit, just never got off my butt to go hear him.

anyway, slightly back on topic, the other day on one of the newscast (pokute, teamfun--either of you in Hawai'i?) there was a short feature on some JA veterans that as soldiers in the U.S. Army during WWII were assigned to canine duty--they thought it meant working with dogs but as they came to find out, the U.S. Army had decided that there was a "Japanese scent" that attack dogs could be trained to detect and attack. so these JA soldiers had to go out and be bait for attack dogs. they were seeking some recognition of this but the Army says there was "no such program".

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Post by pokute » Nov 22nd, '05, 04:09

@SHD - I have no doubt about there being such a program in WWII... my uncle wasn't the only officer in the U.S. army who was a racist prick ;^)

I have had friends who were in the internment camps, and the treatment they described was beyond belief. Their families were moderately successful farm families in central California who had all of their property confiscated and were treated like animals, and the U.S. gov't has been astonishingly stingy with remunerations. My friend Sam Sakamoto was bitter about it until the day he died. Not everyone is bitter, but they are all at least very sad when they think of how their gov't treated them.

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Post by pokute » Nov 22nd, '05, 04:12

Another history book that everyone should read is Carey McWilliams "Factories In The Field", about the history of farm labor in California. McWilliams was the secretary of agriculture in California at one time, if I recall correctly, and a very engaging writer. The book reads like a novel.

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Post by teamFun » Nov 22nd, '05, 04:20

Just like the government to deny almost everything huh, SHD?

You just reminded me, Bush in China was pretty funny, how he tried to make a quick exit but was trapped by locked doors? That was so funny... http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4454738.stm

I really wonder if he is really stupid or he is just acting stupid sometimes... I really dont like his continued religious propaganda as well... I really wish he'd stop but alas, I believe that that was a major part of what got him re-elected, so I guess he just keeps playing that card now in the hope that the country will still support him and his silly administration. Truly, I am worried about the state of affairs here...

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Post by teamFun » Nov 22nd, '05, 04:23

Wow, pokute, you really are increasing my reading list by a bit today!... Noted =)

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Post by sadotsu » Nov 22nd, '05, 04:43

Ummm... since when did this thread turn to US history?

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Post by Hayashi_kun » Nov 22nd, '05, 04:56

Talking about history texts, there is no one book that is totally impartial. (not even the Americans) The historians who wrote them would have added in their perspectives as well. Every country justifies its own actions, and in the case of Japan, it was taken more seriously because it was the aggressor in WW2.

I've personally read China's history texts (in chinese, no translation), and it was all one-sided as well, criticising the Japanese for their acts. It was practically a long history of how the Japanese have annexed China at one time or another.

From alot of young people I encountered from Japan and China, i'd have to say the Chinese still seem to bear a heavy grudge, while the Japanese are always sorry about the past.

The general feeling that Japanese are being haughty and unsorry is created by only a group of nationalists, and that flames the anti-Japanese feelings of alot of Chinese. The Chinese (usu a general crowd) boycott Japanese goods and burn their flag once in a while, but if one crazy Japanese fellow is to do the same, the whole of Japan is going to get it.

I'm not taking sides with anyone, but I hope this thread will be more discussion and not flaming, otherwise it's better to stop the thread.

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Post by teamFun » Nov 22nd, '05, 06:30

I agree, I hope this thread would allow people from both sides to better understand each other. I was in Shanghai during the disquiet over boycotting Japanese goods and all the hoopla over the Japanese history textbook issue. It was blown completely out of proportion, that is why I often find myself having to question my pro-Chinese friends about their beliefs and having to defend the Japanese because I think that we need to understand one another better.

Although it is not good of the Japanese to try and twist the events of history it is also important that both countries maintain their composure. History is dictated to us by a few people who record events the way they want it to be seen, in the same way that sometimes beliefs and ideas are fueled by only a small minority of people powerful enough to influence the thoughts of a nation.

I hope that this thread will help people understand one another and create a dialogue in which we understand that is not the people of the nations that are to blame but rather only a small group of powerful people who have incentives in fanning these flames. It is not the Chinese, Korean, or Japanese population that is to blame for this mess and the events of history, but the actions and words of the elite few. "What luck for rulers that men do not think," were the words of Hitler and he did well to exploit that understanding of humans. Let us not allow that to ever happen again.

Instead, I hope this thread encourages discussion between all of us, allowing us to ask questions and learn about one another so that we can dispel stereotypical myths about the other. Hopefully then we can learn that we are all human in the end, despite our customs and beliefs.

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Post by impression151 » Nov 22nd, '05, 07:05

Wow, nice article. Nothing I have to say hasn't been said in this thread already. I just find it sad that some of the Japanese people feel the need to look more Caucasian and Western to be a "cut" above the rest. Yet Caucasians still look down upon the Japanese. Just look at American media (I'm Chinese American so yeah, I only have experience in this), they don't exactly portray any type of Asian positively. All China really wants from Japan is acknowledgement of the war crimes and an apology. That's it. And I feel them. Why try to write it off as if nothing happened? It would be totally wrong for America to deny what happened in Vietnam to the poor civilians.

2009: Lost Memories. After watching that movie, I've always felt it was a good example of what's going on right now between the three countries. It's about Japan finding a time machine and going back in time to maintain their colonization on Korea and allying themselves with America to conquer China and create their empire.

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Post by teamFun » Nov 22nd, '05, 07:12

You know what I always find funny? That in Western countries people generally want to look tanned and in Oriental countries people usually want to look white... It just seems funny because it seems as if we really believe the grass is greener on the other side.

Just sharing what I always thought was pretty strange... :lol
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Post by impression151 » Nov 22nd, '05, 07:15

it's not strange, its true!

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Post by Hayashi_kun » Nov 22nd, '05, 08:44

regarding Japan's refusal to apologise, again it doesnt reflect the whole population's decision, but a small faction of those nationalists. and it really doesnt help when Japan's younger generation are nonchalant regarding history + pm koizumi keeps visiting the yasukuni shrine (1 that commerates Japan's war dead)
(just stating what my Japanese teachers and friends told me)

there i was telling people to stop, yet im continuing now... sorry!
hope all d-addicts get along well in this forum and enjoy dramas together.

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Post by teamFun » Nov 22nd, '05, 16:32

Thanks for sharing! =)

Although personally speaking, I never saw the big deal with Koizumi visiting the Yasukuni Shrine. I really think that it has been blown way out of proportion. He is merely honouring and paying his respects to the people who have given their lives for the country. Sure there may be some odd war criminals, but to speak the truth which country doesnt have war criminals?

Let us not forget that George Bush Sr., Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, and a slew of others were found guilty by the International War Crimes Tribunal of High Crimes against Humanity and 17 other charges including Crimes against Peace for the Gulf War. Sorry for bringing up the US again, but its just that they are a brilliant example for understanding how things can be twisted with good spin doctors and plentiful resources.

It is merely because Japan lost the war that they are pressured into foresaking all those people who have fought for their nation and frankly, that is unfair. If the Allied forces were to have lost, the situation would be reversed and war crime charges would be brought on them instead. I think that China and Korea have really made a big deal of something which, if their own country was in the same situation, they would do the same thing if they were given the opportunity.

Although it is an act of defiance in some sense, it is also an act of respect. Frankly, I find nothing wrong with that. I am not Japanese, but I find it silly to say that relations are going down the drain over something so small. It's as if they really dont want to get along at all, looking for any excuse to say that 'this is why we cant get along'.

As for the Japanese youth... It is indeed a pity. Many people do not see the importance of history until they begin to understand its relevance to current times. With Japan's scarred history, I can see why people want to just leave it behind, but if they did that, that would be unfair to try and hide the truth. I had hoped we could create some dialogue between all sides of the discussion here.

I am just voicing my understanding and why I think it is understandable why Koizumi does it. I dont intend to make anyone angry, so please dont get upset over what I wrote. =)

I hope we can all get along here too and know that there are a lot of people who share one another's sentiments out there! =)
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Post by pokute » Nov 22nd, '05, 17:29

sadotsu wrote:Ummm... since when did this thread turn to US history?
Simply for the reason that there are scholarly books that treat racism within the context of U.S. history. I have a number of excellent anthropology and sociology textbooks on China and Japan, but they do not deal with racism. If somebody knows of *scholarly* books that deal with the Chinese/Japanese/Korean racialist cultural issues, by all means say so and I for one will read them and report back! But, given what I know about, for example, the scholarship of Japanese linguistic studies within Japan, I would be surprised to hear that there were any well researched studies of racism in Japan (let alone Korea and China).

There was a very well-received Japanese comic strip years ago about a Colombian day laborer in Japan that was AMAZING, it dealt very frankly with Japanese racial attitudes and the treatment of foreign laborers. I can unfortunately not remember the name of the strip, which I have not seen for about 20 years.

I should have mentioned that Factories In The Field has excellent sections on the Chinese Exclusion Acts and the massacre of the Philipino families that reclaimed the Sacramento River Delta.

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Post by SouSu » Nov 22nd, '05, 20:56

Modern generations are too obsessed with occurances that they did not even witness. I believe that people should not "butt" in if they did not experience the injustice themselves because they definitely do not know the whole story.

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Post by pokute » Nov 22nd, '05, 21:17

SouSu wrote:Modern generations are too obsessed with occurances that they did not even witness. I believe that people should not "butt" in if they did not experience the injustice themselves because they definitely do not know the whole story.
SouSu, that's really hard to understand. Who is it that you think should not discuss what? Did you have beer for breakfast today?

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Post by wontonsoupx » Nov 22nd, '05, 21:31

Japan is using other asians as a crutch to boost themselves up from asians. They emulate the west sooh much that they dont think themselves as asians no more. They are in denial

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Post by aNToK » Nov 22nd, '05, 21:31

@ Sousu: To quote Ben Franklin:

"To fail to learn from history is to be doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. "
I am not obsessed. I am just very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very focussed...

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Post by wontonsoupx » Nov 22nd, '05, 21:42

The truth is that the japanese borrow soh much from the chinese (writing,religion, the way they eat chopstick etc etc. yet they have the adasticy to think that they are the superior asian because they have emulated the west well and have lots of money while other asian are staying true to their cutlure and are trying to build up doing it their own way

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Post by pokute » Nov 22nd, '05, 21:47

@Willis: things seem to be conspiring to send this thread down the Andy Gump. Me an Kimberly is outta here!

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Post by teamFun » Nov 22nd, '05, 21:47

Perhaps SouSu is trying to say that Japan and all the other Asian nations are too obsessed with occurrences of the past? I have to agree a little bit with this sentiment, although we should also hail aNToK's warning quote and remember that to some degree we cannot let the past simply disappear, there is also a need to move on from what has happened and foster better relations instead of continuing to hold grudges over past mishaps.

That is how I interpreted SouSu's statement at least, that there is no need to always be so hyped up about what happened in the past and although still remembering it, also try to move on from it as well.

I dont really think that Japan is in denial though, perhaps there is more of a crisis of national identity. Not so much that they do not know what it is to be Japanese but rather they are unsure as to what Japan truly stands for. They are quite clear on what is Japanese but not so clear as to the common goals and aims of their nation. Conflicting messages, political corruption, and perceived injustices continue to malign the thoughts of the nation and perhaps a large number of them are finding solidarity in the creation of an 'enemy'. The creation of enemies is among the best of ways to strengthen national solidarity, it's historically proven and still greatly used in a huge number of countries to this day.

Obviously, without any input from the Japanese community in this thread, my rationale stands unproven and are merely just ideas without a home. =P
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Post by aoi_hana » Nov 22nd, '05, 21:51

This article wasn't that suprising to me, especially since I've been taking a Japanese history class, where they went into the details of the past and why there is such animosity between the three countries. I don't think there is any way that Japan is going to cut off ties with Korea especially, since they're so physically close. I think, while racism is a horrible thing, it doesn't simply disappear because you wish it to. I believe that in order to curve the effect that racism has on people is open discussions about it. And while it may anger people, I think it's the only way to be informed about ignorance. And, like others have said, racism exists everywhere and I believe that most people are not racist, but those who are tend to be more vocal about it.

I do however wish that countries didn't censor textbooks so much, the US is fond of including hundreds of pages of things that white males did, while igoring all other contributions made by others. Japan is no different in omitting details.

Everyone should go watch Tokyo Wankei, it was nice to see a Japanese drama which didn't sugarcoat the fact that Koreans are discriminated & have very little rights in Japan. Or at least in my opinion...
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Post by SouSu » Nov 22nd, '05, 22:14

pokute wrote:
SouSu wrote:Modern generations are too obsessed with occurances that they did not even witness. I believe that people should not "butt" in if they did not experience the injustice themselves because they definitely do not know the whole story.
SouSu, that's really hard to understand. Who is it that you think should not discuss what? Did you have beer for breakfast today?
ahaha ..no too young for beer. Anyways, huh? I don't understand what you're trying to say. I think that people that did not experience the injustice (for example the Chinese that did not suffer in the WWII from the Japanese) shouldn't discriminate. Because these people have no right to feel the hatred they were never involved with. They can still discuss the issue but they shouldn't speak badly against the Chinese/Koreans (like through manga) because they are ignorant.
aNToK wrote:@ Sousu: To quote Ben Franklin:

"To fail to learn from history is to be doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. "
You can still learn the issues but I don't think people shouldn't hate when they don't know what they are hating for.
Last edited by SouSu on Nov 22nd, '05, 23:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by SHD » Nov 22nd, '05, 22:33

SouSu wrote:I think that people that did not experience the injustice (for example the Chinese that did not suffer in the WWII from the Japanese) should discriminate.
@SouSu--I think your heart and mind are in the right place but maybe you meant "shouldN'T"

@aNToK--I think the quote "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." maybe attributed to George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Volume 1, 1905

regardless, the thought is very relevant. i apologize if it seems like i want to correct everybody.

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Post by pokute » Nov 22nd, '05, 22:51

@SHD - I was reading Herodotus history of the Persian Wars recently and there is an argument made in favor of war and at the expense of the Athenians by the Spartans (paraphrasing): "They do not recall how hard their fathers fought to win the freedom that they are about to lose". There is also a great deal made there about the Persians being defeated because they believed their own propaganda about the irresolute nature of the Greeks.

Shakespeare, paraphrasing Robert Burton, who was himself paraphrasing some classical author, wrote: "There is nothing new under the sun".

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Post by aNToK » Nov 22nd, '05, 22:55

Weelll.....

First off, I've always believed you judge a person by who they are, not what they are or where they're from.

That said, the book in question was not designed to "enlighten" anyone. It was designed to promote one fringe element's message to incite hate and a false feeling of superiority by portraying whole countries as basically being sub-human, while categorically denying historical fact. Think about it. Where in the Japanese education system are people taught about the Rape of Nanking, how Japan basically subjegated vast areas of Korea, and untold other atrocities? Rather than apologizing for past sins, they're either spun so much that they look like they were a good thing or denied outright.

You mentioned current generations not having the "right" to hate or "butt in", etc. but that's exactly what this book is trying to do. Reseed all the wounds and hatred in the past for a brand-new generation in a medium that is much more likely to be read and repeated than any history book, even if it bothered to tell the truth.

What these people are doing would be like America trying to deny slavery ages ago or the Japanese internment camps during WWII. Or that the Holocaust never happened. They were all disgraceful, but at the very least, it has been accepted that they actually happened and the victims have been acknowledged as such. The denial regarding Nanking, not to mention the undercurrent that even if it did occur, they're savages anyway, so who cares, they would have deserved it only foster a self-feeding circle of hatred.

For a wound to properly heal, it needs to be cleaned out and given time to do so. How would that same wound fare if you were to drop raw crap in it continually? It would become further infected and swollen until it burst or became gangrene and had to be removed.

So I put it to you that in this case the sins of the father are passed on to the son, or more accurately forced onto the son by a shameful father who puts his pride before the truth and the well-being of future generations.

(and if someone believes that I'm referring to all of Japan as the father in the sentence aboe, I am not. Only to those who wish to make past falsehoods the basis for all of tomorrow's lies...)


Again, "To fail to learn from history is to be doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. "

Though to be given a chance of success, it is required that history be actually taught....
I am not obsessed. I am just very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very focussed...

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Post by pokute » Nov 22nd, '05, 22:58

We are the maggots cleaning the wounds of history!

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Post by aNToK » Nov 22nd, '05, 23:04

but someday we hope to be flies....
I am not obsessed. I am just very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very focussed...

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Post by aNToK » Nov 22nd, '05, 23:06

@SHD: George was probably channeling Ben when he said it..... :P
I am not obsessed. I am just very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very focussed...

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Post by pokute » Nov 22nd, '05, 23:07

Flies buzzing around the Andy Gump of universal peace and brotherhood!

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Post by aNToK » Nov 22nd, '05, 23:09

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
I am not obsessed. I am just very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very focussed...

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Post by TNF » Nov 22nd, '05, 23:22

Racism, aside from physical features, stems mainly from nationalism, that is pride in one's country. Naturally most people will support their own country no matter what., sometimes to a point of denial and ignorance (which is why conservatives tick me off so much). Forget about racism japan, korea, and china, there's even "racism" between the states in the u.s.

i.e. ppl in the south have their stupid lil accents
ppl in the north are rowdy
southern people do everything slower
blah blah blah

racism is just a large form of the cliquey world that we live in. It's stupid, but inevitable.

cliques make people feel good, makes ppl feel superior. think about it, "race" ties whole countries and regions together to a common ground. If race isn't used to justify superiority, what will?
Seriously, people aren't going to all of a sudden be like, wow my country tis the best b/c we have like the BEST music, and the most DELICIOUS food, etc etc.
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Post by pokute » Nov 22nd, '05, 23:25

Well, if we ever discover a culture that has sushi, Korean BBQ, and dim sum all at the same time... I am joining it!!

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Post by SHD » Nov 22nd, '05, 23:27

aNToK wrote:@SHD: George was probably channeling Ben when he said it..... :P
maybe George could not remember that Ben said it in the past and so repeated it :scratch:

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Post by pokute » Nov 22nd, '05, 23:28

... but only if they have katsu curry rice as well.

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Post by aNToK » Nov 22nd, '05, 23:31

pokute wrote:Well, if we ever discover a culture that has sushi, Korean BBQ, and dim sum all at the same time... I am joining it!!
My house once a month or so! No curry rice though. Sorry............
I am not obsessed. I am just very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very focussed...

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