Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Ugly Images of Asian Rivals Become Best Sellers in Japan

East Asia is a region full of love, isn't it? China wants to invade Taiwan, North Korea wants to nuke pretty much everybody, Japanese don't like Chinese or South Koreans, South Koreans hate Japanese, Chinese hate South Koreans, Vietnamese, Vietnamese don't like Chinese. Everyone hates the Japanese. And second to the West, this is the most important economic region on the planet. Who knows, with their economic rivalries and their fierce nationalism, which remind me of Europe pre-WW1, maybe they can manage to stage a major war entirely without the help of Muslims? If so, will they destroy each other, the way Europeans did?

Ugly Images of Asian Rivals Become Best Sellers in Japan

A young Japanese woman in the comic book "Hating the Korean Wave" exclaims, "It's not an exaggeration to say that Japan built the South Korea of today!" In another passage the book states that "there is nothing at all in Korean culture to be proud of." In another comic book, "Introduction to China," which portrays the Chinese as a depraved people obsessed with cannibalism, a woman of Japanese origin says: "Take the China of today, its principles, thought, literature, art, science, institutions. There's nothing attractive." The two comic books, portraying Chinese and Koreans as base peoples and advocating confrontation with them, have become runaway best sellers in Japan in the last four months. In their graphic and unflattering drawings of Japan's fellow Asians and in the unapologetic, often offensive contents of their speech bubbles, the books reveal some of the sentiments underlying Japan's worsening relations with the rest of Asia. Today, China and South Korea's rise to challenge Japan's position as Asia's economic, diplomatic and cultural leader is inspiring renewed xenophobia against them here. The comic book, perhaps inadvertently, also betrays Japan's conflicted identity, its longstanding feelings of superiority toward Asia and of inferiority toward the West. The Japanese characters in the book are drawn with big eyes, blond hair and Caucasian features; the Koreans are drawn with black hair, narrow eyes and very Asian features. That peculiar aesthetic, so entrenched in pop culture that most Japanese are unaware of it, has its roots in the Meiji Restoration of the late 19th century, when Japanese leaders decided that the best way to stop Western imperialists from reaching here was to emulate them.


At November 23, 2005 2:52 PM, Blogger Matthew said...

As the only person on the planet to actually review in English one of the comic books in question, I feel qualified to say that the NYT article is a beat up and fabrication. Havent they learnt anything from the Jason Blair scandal?

At November 23, 2005 2:59 PM, Blogger Fjordman said...

Matthew: Is this another "fake, but accurate" from the msm?

At November 28, 2005 2:05 PM, Blogger Matthew said...

Its just a distorted beat up. The only true thing about the whole story is that such a book exists - in fact, they even mistranslated the title (the title is supposed to mean 'the hate Korea wave', not 'hating the Korean wave', which is explained in the book, and which the writer of the article would know if he actually read it).


Post a Comment

<< Home