Japanese Racism?

Are you a racist if you simply look down on everybody*?
*blondes excluded, of course.

8 Responses to “Japanese Racism?”

  1. Nightfly says:

    Based just on stuff I’ve seen on the telly (and why not? I’m Gen-X!), there is a deep strain of misgiving about foreigners in the national psyche. It especially comes out about America: the miniseries run of “Read or Die,” to site the extreme example, features a glowing portrayal of the British, but an American President that wets himself in every one of his three big scenes, and all of the casualties are of the American military – mass destruction of several dozen aircraft in one stroke, and the loss of the entire Pacific fleet (yes, ALL OF IT). Even the bad guys come off better. It don’t take no Sigmund Freud to guess that somebody’s got some little-dog resentment issues to work through.
    [Pity, since there’s a terrific lead character, good set pieces, and a first-rate soundtrack.]
    And then, at the same time, there’s the stylized non-oriental faces and body types of the alluring heroines. Lust knows no nationalism, I suppose.

  2. Kathy K says:

    The Japanese (as a group — does not apply to every individual in the group) have been racist for years… they are just noticing?
    But they are polite racists. I can deal with polite racists. Thais are too (see disclaimer above), but they are even more polite about it than the Japanese — they feel sorry for you because you weren’t born Thai (they remind me of Americans sometimes… very patriotic bunch, too).

  3. Kathy K says:

    Oh… in answer to your question. No. Only if you look down on everyone who is not your ethnicity.
    If I look down on Everyone else, I’m just a conceited snob. 😉

  4. Dave J says:

    Tangentially makes me think of this story about both nationality and class in the UK (class rather than race being the British lens for viewing everything). Anecdotally, the aristocratic officer supervising the building of Churchil’s Cabinet War Rooms beneath Downing got upset with the slow progress.
    The working-class Cockney construction workers’ response: “Rome weren’t built in a day, governor.”
    His answer to that? “That is because Rome was built by foreigners.”

  5. Ken Summers says:

    See,Dave? That’s why Americans don’t travel much to other countries. Too many foreigners.

  6. Mr. Bingley says:

    Well, I’m waiting for THS and John to chime in. Based on their many years of living in Japan I’m sure they’ve got lots of insights…or at least juicy stories.
    I wouldn’t say you were conceited for looking down on most folks Kathy; rather you are simply cognizant of the lonely pinnacle that one, such as yourself, possessed of such intellect and beauty inhabits…

  7. Dave J says:

    When in doubt on this subject, quote from MST3K:
    “Scientists labor to discover what exactly is the deal with Japan.”

  8. John says:

    I wasn’t terribly bothered by Japanese racism, despite being subject to it more than a few times. They are fiercely protective of their society, to the point where it is almost impossible to become naturalized. I respect that, because the available migrant populations in their area are not the polite, clean, neat, and generally agreeable people that Japanese are. My FIL, an old school Chinese (born in ’26) prefers Japanese culture. That didn’t prevent him from killing a few of them in ’44 and ’45, though.
    The racism that bothered me was against the Koreans who have lived in Japan for several generations, but who still have “Korean” stamped on their passport. Many of their ancestors did not have a choice in emigrating to Japan. And they are as Japanese as the long-time natives. The racism does have an upside for them, though – native Japanese will back down from a confrontation when they discover that their opponent is a “Chong”.

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