Friday, February 09, 2007

Korean comic book denounced.

It seems Famima expressed the formal apology and the policy not to let this kind of book on the shelf. Good! I am expecting other stores to follow the suit.
I guess this kind of democratic protest will help Japanese society for the better.
Sudden and furious demonstrations, or the sudden pressure from abroad might draw attentions effectively but it will also accompany the repulsions from people who otherwise would support the project.

Eichi Shuppan, which published Gaijin ura hanzai file , says that they are no longer selling the magazine, and would be recalling it from stores. (
Well it was good. Family Mart was really stupid. At least it could have declared to the public that it will make effort to help to stop spreading such racist copies in the fututer. That would have given the Famima a good name, but since it didn't it has only gotten infamous worldwide as the corporation that sold the racist magazine. Well, it seems some Japanese have to learn it hard way.
Marmot has an story about the comic book by a Korean professor being denounced by Wiesenthal Center.

I have covered the story of the racist magazine at Family Mart in Japan.
There are a lot of differences between the two cases, but the fundamental stance should be the same. Marmot put it nicely ,"It should not be banned, but it should be condemned."

I am glad Japanese commented on the blog negatively on the racist magazine and most supported for the project.
To be sure, as I argued, Japanese needs to pay much more attention to this kind of issue.
Some comments from expats are ironically racist against Japanese;I don't care--- that was predictable and understandable, since the expats are having a lot of frustration living in a different culture and they want to let off some steam.
Others are showing understanding toward Japanese society.
And there are some comments that are thought provoking.

So what is the point in compiling figures for crimes committed by non-Japanese at all? I just find the very idea of it, if not repugnant, then at least sinister. The idea’s just culturally ‘foreign’ to me.Of all the countries I’ve lived in, Japan likes to draw a distinction between natives and non-natives more than any other.,,,,Overoften

I’m tired of being treated like some kind of sub-human day in, day out. It’s terrible for one’s soul. I can no longer handle being a total outsider. Ponta (thanks very much for your efforts on this BTW Ponta) mentioned that Japanese people are also outsiders in many situations and that it is all relative. True. However as a gaijin here I am ALWAYS an outsider in EVERY situation. That is a big difference........It’s not all bad though. I’ve learnt a lot from my time here. Even the unpleasant situation of being an outsider and targeted by racism has it’s benefits. As a white 30 year old Australian male, I am very much of the majority in my home country. Living as a minority has really allowed me to empathise with immigrants in Australia. This has motivated me to do as much as possible to help fight against racism and bigotry in Australia and assist minorities when I return.

I’m outta here!Heading Out

Probably for both persons living as a member of minority was the first experience. For the minority all over the world, their existence, idea, subtle prejudice about them, discriminations etc are never a foreign idea to them . Reading AA's complaints on Internet, justified or not, will confirms that the issue is not foreign idea. It is just that the majority has a strong tendency to be indifferent, does not bother to pay attention to it, or just ignore it as a small matters.

I don't think I was treated kind of sub-human while I lived in the US long time ago, but I might have felt that way at the time. I decided to go back to my country because I thought I was totally different from "them". I just couldn't feel being myself speaking English, I felt I was another person speaking "alien" language, using "alien" bodily expression,etc.. But looking back, maybe I was wrong. there
are a lot of Japanese out there assimilating well in the society, living as they are. I could have developed an unified self harmonizing different cultures.

Anyway, probably the experience living as a minority made it easier for me to identify the issue. The problem is how to draw attention from the majority who has never played the role of the minority. people might say,"Oh I would ignore such a racist book, so what's the big issue?" "Oh I don't discriminate them, such racists are minority, why do I have to bother?" People might not pay attention until there are incidents like Mississippi burning or assassination of the minority leaders. Before such tragedy happen, there should be
a good way to let the minority's voice heard among the majority.

Mailing complaints to the media, and demonstration on the street might be good ways.Education also helps, but is that all? Do you have any good idea?


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