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At Three Monkeys, Soho, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong #lovingthemoment #HK #Soho #sheungwan #hongkong #foodie #food #Japan #like #likeme #instafood #instamood #instacool #instagood #l4l #happyhour #throwbackThursday
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The Non-Financial Cost of Stagnation: “Social Recession” and Japan’s “Lost Generations” (August 9, 2010)
Japan’s stagnating economy and society are still operating on a postwar model which no longer makes sense. In response, its young generations are opting out of workaholic career paths, marriage and having children.
We in America are already getting a taste of the social costs of grinding economic decline. Young people who are graduating from college find a world of greatly diminished opportunities for full-time employment.
Many of the jobs that are available are free-lance/contract or other temp jobs, or part-time positions which pay one-third of what their parents earn.
Lacking sufficient income, young people are moving back home or staying at home because that is the only financially viable option open to them.
The cheerleaders cranking the hype machine shrilly claim that the U.S. economy will soon start growing smartly. But as this weblog and many others have documented over the past five years, that assumption has essentially no foundation in reality.
Much more likely is an “end to (paying) work” of the sort I have described here many times:
What happens to the social fabric of an advanced-economy nation after a decade or more of economic stagnation? For an answer, we can turn to Japan. The second-largest economy in the world has stagnated in just this fashion for almost twenty years, and the consequences for the “lost generations” which have come of age in the “lost decades” have been dire. In many ways, the social conventions of Japan are fraying or unraveling under the relentless pressure of an economy in seemingly permanent decline.
While the world sees Japan as the home of consumer technology juggernauts such as Sony and Toshiba and high-tech “bullet trains” (shinkansen), beneath the bright lights of Tokyo and the evident wealth generated by decades of hard work and the massive global export machine of “Japan, Inc,” lies a different reality: increasing poverty and decreasing opportunity for the nation’s youth.
The gap between extremes of income at the top and bottom of society– measured by the Gini coefficient — has been growing in Japan for years; to the surprise of many outsiders, once-egalitarian Japan is becoming a nation of haves and have-nots.
The media in Japan have popularized the phrase “kakusa shakai,” literally meaning “gap society.” As the elite slice of society prospers and younger workers are increasingly marginalized, the media has focused on the shrinking middle class. For example, a bestselling book offers tips on how to get by on an annual income of less than three million yen ($34,800). Two million yen ($23,000) has become the de-facto poverty line for millions of Japanese, especially outside high-cost Tokyo.
More than one-third of the workforce is part-time as companies have shed the famed Japanese lifetime employment system, nudged along by government legislation which abolished restrictions on flexible hiring a few years ago. Temp agencies have expanded to fill the need for contract jobs, as permanent job opportunities have dwindled.
Many fear that as the generation of salaried Baby Boomers dies out, the country’s economic slide might accelerate. Japan’s share of the global economy has fallen below 10 percent from a peak of 18 percent in 1994. Were this decline to continue, income disparities would widen and threaten to pull this once-stable society apart.
Young Japanese, their expectations permanently downsized, are increasingly opting out of the rigid social systems on which Japan, Inc. was built.
The term “Freeter” is a hybrid word that originated in the late 1980s, just as the Japanese property and stock market bubbles reached their zenith. It combines the English “free” a nd the German “arbeiter,” or worker, and describes a lifestyle which is radically different from the buttoned-down rigidity of the permanent-employment economy: freedom to move between jobs.
This absence of loyalty to a company is totally alien to previous generations of driven Japanese “salarymen” who were expected to uncomplainingly turn in 70-hour work weeks at the same company for decades, all in exchange for lifetime employment.
Many young people have come to mistrust big corporations, having seen their fathers or uncles eased out of “lifetime” jobs in the relentless downsizing of the past twenty years. From the point of view of the younger generations, the loyalty their parents unstintingly offered to companies was wasted.
They have also come to see diminishing value in the grueling study and tortuous examinations required to compete for the elite jobs in academia, industry and government; with opportunities fading, long years of study are perceived as pointless.
In contrast, the “freeter” lifestyle is one of hopping between short-term jobs and devoting energy and time to foreign travel, hobbies or other interests.
As long ago as 2001, The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare estimates that 50 percent of high school graduates and 30 percent of college graduates now quit their jobs within three years of leaving school.
The downside is permanently downsized income and prospects. Many of the four million “freeters” survive on part-time work and either live at home or in a tiny flat with no bath. A typical “freeter” wage is 1,000 yen ($8.60) an hour.
Japan’s slump has lasted so long, a “New Lost Generation” is coming of age, joining Japan’s first “Lost Generation” which graduated into the bleak job market of the 1990s.
These trends have led to an ironic moniker for the Freeter lifestyle: Dame-Ren (No Good People). The Dame-Ren get by on odd jobs, low-cost living and drastically diminished expectations.
The decline of permanent employment has led to the unraveling of social mores and conventions. Many young men now reject the macho work ethic and related values of their fathers. These “herbivores” reject the traditonal Samurai ideal of masculinity.
Derisively called “herbivores” or “Grass-eaters,” these young men are uncompetitive and uncommitted to work, evidence of their deep disillusionment with Japan’s troubled economy.
A bestselling book titled The Herbivorous Ladylike Men Who Are Changing Japan by Megumi Ushikubo, president of Tokyo marketing firm Infinity, claims that about two-thirds of all Japanese men aged 20-34 are now partial or total grass-eaters. “People who grew up in the bubble era (of the 1980s) really feel like they were let down. They worked so hard and it all came to nothing,” says Ms Ushikubo. “So the men who came after them have changed.”
This has spawned a disconnect between genders so pervasive that Japan is experiencing a “social recession” in marriage, births, and even sex, all of which are declining.
With a wealth and income divide widening along generational lines, many young Japanese are attaching themselves to their parents, the generation that accumulated home and savings during the boom years of the 1970′s and 1980′s. Surveys indicate that roughly two-thirds of freeters live at home.
Freeters “who have no children, no dreams, hope or job skills could become a major burden on society, as they contribute to the decline in the birthrate and in social insurance contributions,” Masahiro Yamada, a sociology professor wrote in a magazine essay titled, Parasite Singles Feed on Family System.
This trend of never leaving home has sparked an almost tragicomical countertrend ofJapanese parents who actively seek mates to marry off their “parasite single” offspring as the only way to get them out of the house.
An even more extreme social disorder is Hikikomori, or “acute social withdrawal,” a condition in which the young live-at-home person will virtually wall themselves off from the world by never leaving their room.
Though acute social withdrawal in Japan affect both genders, impossibly high expectations of males from middle and upper middle class families has led many sons, typically the eldest, to refuse to leave the home. The trigger for this complete withdrawal from social interaction is often one or more traumatic episodes of social or academic failure: that is, the inability to meet standards of conduct and success that can no longer be met in diminished-opportunity Japan.
The unraveling of Japan’s social fabric as a result of eroding economic conditions for young people offers Americans a troubling glimpse of the high costs of long-term economic stagnation.
There is even a darker side to this disintegration of the social fabric and convention: child abuse is on the rise as well. Sadly, people under long-term stress often take out their multiple frustrations on the weakest, most marginalized people–including children:
Both Japan and the U.S. alike desperately need a peaceful revolution in expectations, financial justice (i.e. the absence of fraud, collusion, looting, gaming the system and parasitic leeching by financial and political Elites) and in the social definitions of wealth, security, community, “growth” as a measure of well-being and prosperity, and ultimately, what constitutes meaningful “work.”
In effect, postwar Japan grafted a mercantilist export economy based on insane work-hours onto a traditional patriarchal society in which women were expected to sacrifice their autonomy and ambitions for the good of their children, husband and the husband’s parents.
The male “salaryman” was expected to sacrifice his life up to retirement to his employer, via 60-70 hour work-weeks and killing commutes. Children were expected to sacrifice their childhood and teen years to study, in order to pass hellishly demanding exams on which their future livelihood, career and income depended.
These extremes of sacrifice might have made sense or seemed necessary to rebuild the nation after World War II. But now, 65 years and three generations after the war, these sacrifices make no sense and are destroying the social fabric of Japan.
Men who work 70 hours a week have no real role in their children’s lives, nor are they able to be husbands and fathers in any meaningful day-to-day sense. Understandably, many young Japanese men are opting out of that life of absurd, fundamentally meaningless sacrifice to corporations or the government.
For their part, young women are opting out of the burdens of being in effect a single parent who carries the immense responsibility of guaranteeing the academic success of her son(s) and the marriageability of her daughter(s). Further, as in standard traditional societies, she essentially leaves her own family and throws in her lot with her husband’s family, as she is expected to care for his aging parents as a daughter-in-law.
Given these burdens, it’s no wonder a third of Japanese young women have not married and have no plans to marry. According to one female author quoted in one of the above articles, Japanese men sometimes propose to women with lines like: “I want you to cook miso soup for me the rest of my life.” Quelle surprise that Japan’s increasingly educated and well-traveled young women are not impressed with this offer of lifetime menial servitude.
Japan’s youth are opting out of its stagnating economy and traditionalist society for good reason: the sacrifices demanded are inhuman and no longer make sense.What Japan needs is 35-hour work-weeks and shared jobs, not 70-hour work-weeks for some and dead-end jobs for half its youth.
If Japan wants to encourage families and women to have children, then it needs to recognize that the sacrifices demanded of young men and women no longer make sense in today’s world.
Xhibit Explains the ongoing Diaoyutai-Senkaku Islands dispute among China/Hong Kong SAR/Taiwan vs Japan.
“Pauperization,” the word, became infamous when three executives of huge consumer products companies voiced it as the new challenge in Europe.
To market their products successfully, they changed their commercial strategies and applied what worked in poor countries [The “Pauperization of Europe”].
In Japan, a similar process has hounded the economy, but for much longer. And nothing shows this better than the plight of the ubiquitous but hapless “salaryman.”
He is a cultural phenomenon. He enters the formidable corporate hierarchy upon graduation and struggles within it till retirement. Most of the time, the career trajectory flattens sooner or later. Often enough the aging salaryman is shuffled aside to a “window job” where he might not even have the tools to work, such as a phone.
His life is defined by commutes in packed trains and long hours at work. After work, at restaurants and bars, the informal part of work begins with clients or coworkers to hash out inter-office issues, price differences, design problems, or product failures under the influence of alcohol—the official excuse to be direct in a culture that prizes vagueness.
In return for his labors, the salaryman hands his paycheck to his wife. She manages the household budget, pays the bills, buys what is needed, and makes investment decisions. Stories abound of the Japanese housewife who blew the couple’s lifesavings on leveraged investments that no one understood. And she’s known for her impeccably wrong timing [The Japanese Are Dumping Their Gold].
She also gives her husband a monthly allowance, kozukai, to buy lunch, dinner, drinks, etc., though regular visits to “soapland,” due to their higher costs, would have to be covered by special company cash bonuses. Now a lot of these structures are loosening up, and lifetime employment is no longer the ground rule, nor is marriage, but for those who end up married, especially if the wife stays at home, the allowance still applies.
In 1979, Shinsei Bank started one of the most insightful polls into consumer spending habits, or rather into male consumer spending ability—the Salaryman Pocket Money Survey. Back then, the average salaryman’s allowance was ¥47,175 ($590) per month. By 1990, the peak of the bubble when money grew on trees, wives indulged their husbands with an allowance of ¥77,725 ($971) per month. Then it crashed. By 2004, it landed on the ¥40,000 mark.
This year? ¥39,756.
And those with kids receive ¥15,000 less than those without kids.
The bursting of the Japanese bubble, now in its third decade, has ravaged salaries, bonuses, household budgets, and thus allowances—and spending. The zero-interest-rate policy that the Bank of Japan has perfected, extensive quantitative easing, and two decades of stimulus budgets that have left Japan saddled with the worst debt-to-GDP ratio in the world … all conspired against the hapless salaryman. He works harder and longer than ever before, for less pay, and even his lunch money is getting cut.
In 1992, the average salaryman spent ¥746 ($9.32) on lunch; this year, ¥510 ($6.38). Back then, when everybody was still assuming that this was just a temporary lull in the excitement, the average salaryman took an almost leisurely 27.6 minutes to eat lunch; this year, he inhaled it in 19.6 minutes. After-work drinking took the biggest hit: in 2001, the average salaryman forked over ¥6,160 ($77) when he went out to drink. That’s a serious amount of beer. Hence the image of a midnight train stuffed with drunken and barfing guys. This year, he spent only ¥2,860 ($35) per drinking excursion.
The beer industry caught the brunt of it. Beer shipments, a closely watched index based on data from the five major brewers, dropped by 3.7% in 2011, the seventh straight year of declines. Only 442.39 million cases were shipped, the lowest EVER in recorded Japanese beer history. But this August, a miracle occurred. For the first time in years, there was an uptick in beer shipments for the month of 2.8%.Where there is beer, there is hope.
Or maybe not. Eating out got slammed. Again. In 2010, 22.6% of the salarymen said they didn’t eat out at all; in 2011, 35.8% weren’t eating out; and this year, 37.9%. If this trend keeps going, it will destroy the core of Japanese social life. (But those are the lucky ones. The number of welfare recipients set a new record: 2.115 million individuals and 1.543 million households, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare.)
This has got to be the icing on the Japanese cake. The website of the Japanese Ministry of Finance, more specifically the FAQ page on government bonds, has been catapulted to stardom on Facebook and Twitter. It posted the question: “In case Japan becomes insolvent, what will happen to government bonds?” Incredibly, it answers with a terse action plan for when the Big S hits the fan. Read…. Japanese Ministry of Finance To Japanese Bondholders: You’re Screwed!
This is what Japanophiles really believe.
Asian Diversity on South Park
Japanophiles may claim to be learned in all things Japan, but the sad truth is many Japanophiles hardly know anything beyond the superficial aspects of their beloved country and culture, much less about any other country.
Japanophile — They believe that everything in Japan is good and everything anywhere else is bad. They don’t see the truths before their eyes and refuse to see them.
Those who cosplay, dress in Japanese fashion, watch anime, etc. aren’t considered Japanophiles until the unhealthy obsession is present.” –UrbanDictionary.com
My favorites are the occasional ones who refuse to admit they don’t know everything about anything Japanese-related, even when directly refuted by, I dunno, a Japanese major who lived there. It’s kind of amusing.
I find it funny how Japanophiles would only hang around in sticker booth shops, and get blown away at sushi instead of immersing themselves on every aspect of Japan from the good, the bad and the ugly.
Learning about feudal history but avoiding 20th century Japanese history or just focusing on manga, outdated Japanese pop music or sushi is really not the way to go. There are even Japanese majors who act in this manner.
Below are several examples of how Japanophiles apply their superior knowledge of Japan when dealing with regular people:
Example 1: “Abe Shinzo is an asshole for making those remarks about comfort women.”
Japanophile: “You’re a racist! JUST MOVE ON!”
Example 2: “Japanese girls are people. They are overrated.”
Japanophile: “You’re a racist! You’re just delusional and saying groundless things!”
Example 3: “Japan’s not all anime and jpop. It’s also perverts and pachinko.”
Japanophile: “You’re a racist!”
Example 4: “Japan’s police is worse than the LAPD. Look at what happened to Lucie Blackman and Lindsay Hawker.”
Japanophile: “You’re a racist!”
Example 5: “Ya know American animation in general has much more variety and originality between series than Anime. I just prefer it.”
Japanophile: “You’re a racist!”
Example 6: Japan doesn’t need to abolish Article 9 when their neighbours are still uneasy and Japan’s military is a lot stronger than you think because they get much of their weapons and technology from the USA since the Cold War.
Japanophile: You’re a racist! Japan is a weak country that needs protection from those evil North Koreans!
Example 7: Harajuku girls? More like whore-ajuku girls.
Japanophile: You’re a racist! They’re not whores! They’re cool!
Example 8: you know, japan produces and approves more pornographic films than the united states, and i certainly must question their moral integrity for doing that.
Japanophile: you’re a racist!
Example 9: The Japanese are still a very gender biased society. Look at their divorce laws which prevent women from remarrying 6 months after the divorce yet men have no similar ruling.
Japanophile: You’re a baka racist!!
Example 10: it was fair that the Americans obeyed the Geneva accords and placed incendiary bombs on major cities in order to deplete resources and make japan surrender.
Japanophile: you’re a freaking racist!
Example 11: Japan actually has its share of human rights violations over their treatment of Ainu, Zainichi Koreans/Chinese, and illegal immigrants. Not to mention their reluctance to grant citizenship to multi-generational Zainichis who are fully Japanised in all but the right to naturalisation.
Japanophile: SHUT UP! You’re a racist! Japan is the freest country in all of Asia!
Example 12: We like to make fun of weeaboos because they are so annoying to Asians, Japanese, and real scholars of Asian culture.
Japanophile: You’re all racists! Stop the hateful fascism against us people with feelings!!!!!
Example 13: Here are some pictures showing vending machines that serve fresh vegetables and another serving fresh porn without parental controls. Isn’t this interesting?
Japanophile: You’re a racist!
Example 14: It is awful how the Japanese government is now denying their Army ever forced their Okinawan citizens to kill themselves to prevent capture by the Americans
Japanophile: You don’t know anything about Japan! You’re wrong!!! See some Okinawans say it never happened!!! You RACIST!!!
Example 15: Isn’t the cost of living high in Kyoto?
Japanophile: All places have high costs of living! You’re anti-Japanese!
Example 16: I think L’Arc en Ciel is overrated. X Japan was much better in their heyday even in their glam rock phase.
Japanophile: You’re a racist!!! L’Arc en Ciel is the greatest! Did you hear their latest song from Gundam 00?
Example 17: This is awful. Some Japanese guy killed his family and then himself and got only 1 minute coverage on the Japanese news while an American raping a girl got a whole day’s news.
Japanophile: YOU’RE A RACIST!
Example 18: The Pillows haven’t been popular in Japan since the 90s ended.
Japanophile: YOU’RE A RACIST! GO LISTEN TO YOUR STUPID AMERICAN MUSIC BAKA!
Example 19: you know, it’s rather commonplace that Japanese politicians use brute force via the yakuza to handle any existing impediment. yakuza are also used to handle financial situations or sweeping things under the rug. how do you like them Japanese apples?
Japanophile: screw you! you’re just another one of those Japanese culture haters! i hate them! they tried to ruin our anime club meeting today! i hate them! i hate you!
Example 20: It’s clear that those who are simply not familiar with the issues will simple side with Japan or anything remotely related to Japan due to their abnormal affinities towards Japan. We call these people Japanophiles or Wapanese if we wanted to insult them.
Japanophile: You’re a racist! Anata wa baka desu! You are anti-Japanese! Japan is much better than China with their pollution, rapes, and diseases
Example 21: Did you hear that an English teacher was killed not that long ago, and buried in a bathtub full of sand?
Japanophile: she probably deserved it.
Example 22: Did you hear how the Japanese police are a complete joke? They still haven’t caught Lindsay Hawker’s killer a month after he killed her and left them with an orgy of evidence. Even all the UK expats are doing their own detective work now.
Japanophile: You’re a racist and she should have been more careful. Just MOVE ON! Everyone else did.
Example 23: Do you realize they drive around with big black vans preaching how foreigners should leave the country?
Japanophile: They don’t hate white people. Just Venezuelans and they don’t hate Koreans (just the dirty Zainichis) and they don’t hate Chinese people… They just don’t like any Chinese that is not from Hong Kong or Taiwan.
Example 24: People that spend thousands on imported manga/anime/electronics for the sake of owning them with no practical uses are clearly Japanophiles on crack. These kids don’t buy any Japanese materials other than this pop culture crap.
Japanophile: I take offence to those remarks! Surely purchasing large quantities of anime and manga without studying the language, local culture, the entire history, and businesses are not Wapanese! You’re a racist!
Example 25: I think Japanese cartoons are pretty cool.
Japanophile: “Ok A. It’s anime. and B. Cool doesn’t even begin to describe how sugoi it is!”
Example 26: J-rock reminds me of rock music from the 80s.
Japanophile: You’re a racist! Are you implying something about J-Rock? I don’t know the issues, but whatever music was made, the Japanese perfected just like they did with Chinese culture and Taiwanese people.
Example 27: It’s funny how Japanese subway has a drink machine not behind the counter, yet you have to pay to get refills. It’s cause Japanese want to Americanize their society.
Japanophile: You’re a baka idiot! Japanese has a rich culture that they’re very proud of. I know cause I watch Inuyasha.
Example 28: An anime on kamikaze isn’t cool.
Japanophile: You’re so racist and bigoted you don’t understand what the kamikaze went through.
Example 29: I am learning Japanese to improve my opportunities in life.
Japanophile: Your obsession with Japan is out of hand and invalid. You do not truly understand Japan and you are being narrow-minded by not pursuing the standard interests. You are, to say plainly, a poseur.
Example 30: Have you been to Japan?
Japanophile: No! But it’s so sugoi desune!
Example 31: Ever been to Japan or lived in Japan?
Japanophile: Why should I live in it, when I watch anime…they are accurate…
Example 32: I hate it when Japanophiles always think it’s the other side’s fault when there is some dispute with Japanese or Japan in general
Japanophile: You’re a racist!
Example 33: You know, cost of living in Japan is really high.
Japanophile: But manga costs $5 dollars there, and it’s $10 here!
Example 34: Many aspects of Japanese culture are derived from the Chinese during the Tang dynasty.
Japanophile: No they’re not.
Example 35: Even though I can’t totally agree with Korea’s claim on Dokdo, Japan’s claim on Dokdo is even worse, as it is first claimed by Japan in an era in which Korea was controlled by Japan and had no means of protest.
Japanophile: Fuck you, you Korean nationalist! You’re racist against Japanese!
Example 36: The history between Korea and Japan is so strong, that it is entirely possible that the Jomon people are the ancestors of the Ainu, and the Yayoi people had origins mostly from the Korean peninsula and were the ancestors of modern Koreans and Japanese.
Japanophile: Fuck you, you Korean nationalist! Everyone knows that Koreans came from Japan, not the other way around!
Japanophile: I like Japanese/Asian girls
Japanophile: Because they are more submissive, exotic, and they like it when a gaijin like me speaks their language. Besides, guys like you and me would never be able to get hot women like this back in the states!
Me: Speak for yourself man…
[Situation… at a teacher meeting for all JETs in Saitama prefecture, the Saitama board of education opened the floor up for concerns that JETs might be having]
Japanophile: I don’t know how you people expect me or anyone else to teach all these classes, especially when most of us haven’t even had any kind of formal teacher training.
Me: You fucking applied to be a fucking teacher, asshole, stop complaining!
Example 39: Why is it that you guys took the trouble to come to Japan for a year or more, yet all of your friends are white expats?
Japanophile: Shut up you racist! Why are you so elitist?
Example 40: Kabuki is boring
Japanophile: You are racist!
Example 41: Dude, why are you taking so many pictures of that Japanese mailbox?
Japanophile: It’s so zen, the way that this mailbox is set up. The distance from the curb, the opening facing the east where the sun rises, the feng shui of this mailbox is perfect! The Japanese are brilliant in everything they do!
Me: I think they just wanted the opening to face away from the street
Japanophile: Exactly! They planned it that way from the very beginning!
Me: Well what about the other mailbox on the other side of the street then?
Japanophile: Well, that one’s just a mailbox, but the 7-11 in front of which it stands is also a fine specimen of Japanese aesthetics!
Japanophile: Damn Americans! Why can’t they spell Japanese things they way they should be spelled! It’s Supaa Mario Burazaasu! It’s Seiraa Muun! It’s Poketto Monsutaazu!
Me: You’re a fucking idiot
Japanophile: Damn Koreans, why do they constantly re-edit the wikipedia page about the Tekken character Hwoarang? The character is Japanese in origin so his name should only be pronounced Faran, since that’s how it’s rendered in katakana. Why do they keep adding hangul to the page?
Me: Hwoarang is Korean.
Japanophile: Shut up with your Korean fantasy lies! You’re anti-Japanese!
Japanophile in Korea: Why doesn’t anyone understand me when I speak Japanese here?
Me: Because you’re in Korea.
Japanophile: They were once part of Japan. Why do they hate being Japanese?
Japanophile: How come if I am born in Japan or marry a Japanese woman I don’t automatically become Japanese? It’s an unfair double-standard!
Me: Because that’s how the Japanese nationality law works.
Japanophile: You lie!
Example 46: Wow, Hamasaki Ayumi certainly had a lot of plastic surgery
Japanophile: Not anymore than the average Korean woman, you racist!
Example 47: Utada Hikaru’s English album sucked, especially the single from it, “Easy Breezy” I especially detest the lyric “You’re easy breezy and I’m Japanesey” In the video as well she appears to have this unhealthy envy of the white girls who are currently with her white ex boyfriend.
Japanophile: You don’t understand the brilliance of the lyric! Japanese people live in such a rigid society that they can’t wait to be rescued by marrying a white guy!
[situation: A white British expat that I have met for the first time has revealed that his Japanese wife is pregnant, and I’m 1/2 Korean.]
Japanophile: I’m conducting a biological experiment.
Me: I’m not an experiment you asshole. I certainly hope you never let your child know that you refered to him like that before he was born.
Japanophile: No, what I meant was that it’d be interesting to see what Japanese features he’ll have and what normal one’s he’ll get from me.
Example 49: Many prominent Japanese in showbiz are infact Zainichi.
Japanophile: You racist Korean nationalist, stop trying to steal Japanese brilliance.
Example 50: Pac-Man was quite a fun game in its day
Japanophile: It’s Puck-Man you idiot! You’ll believe anything Midway tells you!
Example 51: I like Spider-Man but that Japanese series from the 70s where he had a Spider-Mech was terrible.
Japanophile: It was brilliant and much better than any American Spider-Man story you racist!
Example 52: Gee (Astro Boy, Voltron, Speed Racer, Robotech) looked like a pretty good cartoon back in the day.
Japanophile: You idiot it’s (ATOMU, Go-Lion/DairuggaXV, Maha GO GO, Macross/Southern Cross/Invid)! And it’s no mere cartoon! It’s ANIME! Don’t you know anything?
Example 53: Isn’t it strange that in the Dragon Ball movie that all the main characters are White?
Japanophile: No they aren’t. Piccolo is Green!
Example 54: Ichiro is a great hitter as a leadoff guy given his speed. It’s a shame that much of his career the Mariners had no viable cleanup hitter to drive him in once he got on base.
Japanophile: Yes, the Mariners should have signed the entire roster of the Orix Blue Wave. (Except the Korean ones).
[Situation: Cibo Matto was formed by 2 Japanese women when they lived in NY and their music was mostly in English for an American audience and they have no real following in Japan. In essence they are an American act. At a Cibo Matto concert in 1999 in DC, after every song they finish….. ]
Japanophile in hello kitty shirt: Miho Kawaiiiiiiiiiii!
Me: You idiot, she speaks English!
Miho Hattori in a later interview (not quoted exactly): It bothered me that these people only liked us because we were Japanese, not because they liked our music. They group us in the same vein as Pizzicato 5 and Shonen Knife, even though our musical styles are nothing alike.
Example 56: My you Japanophiles seem to have a very stereotypical view of Japan and of Japanese people, yet you are all so quick to accuse other people of racism.
Japanophile: It’s not stereotypical and I can’t be racist, because I have Japanese friends!
I know this can be hilarious yet this is how they respond to people in real life. They love to use the word “racist” as if there was no tomorrow with the assumption it makes their responses undeniably credible.
One would expect that studying Japanese as a major or interest would entail some cultural learnings for make benefit glorious nation of wherever, but maybe that’s just me being optimistic. And people wonder why I view Japanophiles with such disdain…
Its interesting to see some Japanese majors not take jobs in Japanese companies such as Dentsu, Nomura Group or Mitsubishi, but rather spend a few years in JET or a reject program (should they not qualify for JET) before returning to grad school for similar studies.