Friday, August 18, 2006

Edwin O. Reishauer, an anti-Japanese Racist?

While most people remember Edwin as sugarcoating most every thing about Japan, this guy, TANAKA Tomoyuki, claims Reischauer was an anti-Japanese racist who could not speak Japanese "fluently." The latter would come as a huge shock to most, but since I guess it was not perfect enough to make some Japanese uneasy---as often happens when they encounter a foreigner who does speak at native level---Tomoyuki refuses to call it fluent. There is some question, however, on whether or not Tomoyuki can speak Japanese himself. I guess Tomoyuki is not Japanese, which could explain some of his comments.

He has (had?) a newsgroup set up, although it is primitive and looks to be 10 years old here.
The page is titled Reischauer dedicated his life to promoting anti-Japanese racism.

He quotes Reischauer:

"Nowhere is [racial prejudice] greater than in Japan and other lands of East Asia. Because the Japanese have merged their feelings about race, culture, and nation together, they have probably made their attitudes toward race all the stronger. It is as if they regarded themselves as a different species from the rest of humanity."

and implies that this statement was made because Reischauer was an anti-Japanese racist. This was a very common response (and still is) to any criticism of Japan. The critic is attacked as racist by those Japanapologists. When I read the above statement, I couldn't say how true it is---"Nowhere" may be a bit strong, but the rest of the statement would be hard to disagree with. The only surprise to me is that Edwin Oldfather actually wrote that. I read most of his books in college and don't remember that. Perhaps I need to read a few of them again, if I can keep from throwing up from some of the nonsense he wrote.

Anyway, the page is a hilarious---I want to find the rest of his stuff. His address was Your tax dollars at work?

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