Monday, December 19, 2005

Nihonjinron--the Myth of Japanese Uniqueness

Here is a link to an interesting article on this nonsense. http://www.debito.org/PALE/ (See Nihonjinron: Identity, Misconception and Controversy
by Brent Poole.)

Especially interesting is what happened to the author to stimulate his interest in the subject which he discusses at the end of the article. Good for him that he did not prostitute himself to play henna gaijin (weirdo outsider) on TV for a few bucks like many do here. (I have to admit guilt, because to some extent, that is what an English teacher does in Japan. Most especially the eikaiwa entertainers.)

Granted, most foreigners are aware of this myth. Unfortunately, many believe them to be true. Look at the success of the absurdly nonsensical Last Samurai movie. Whenever a Japanese (or baka gaijin) starts a sentence with, "Japan is the only country..." or "The Japanese are the only people who...," you can usually consider what follows to be pure horse manure.

For a good example of nihonronjin and its absurdity (with rebuttal) look at : On Language and Japanese Rational Thought Processes Guest Forum: Where there's no 'will' there's no way By Shin-ichi Terashima, University of the Ryukyus at :
http://www.debito.org/PALE/PALEautumn99.html#tomei

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