Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Victory declared in getting a racist magazine

off the market. However, it was done mostly by non-Japanese. Strangely, although many claim that there is no racism in Japan (HAHAHA a joke?), it seems the Japanese media doesn't give a gave a damn.

There is some indication that the Japanese police may have been closely connected with the article. It seems to fit their policy/beliefs as it pertains to non-Japanese.

Japan Focus has an excellent article on this story describing in some detail about the racism in that magazine, the racist view toward non-Japanese, the Japanese media's reluctance to cover anything smacking of Japanese racism (Japanese are not racist because there is no racism in Japan---except the racism of non-Japanese who criticize anything about Japan), and how the mostly non-Japanese worldwide used the internet to embarrass the dealers (except Amazon Japan which viewed the sale of the magazine as a free speech issue) into removing the magazines.

The boycott and removal of the magazine from shelves of course, is not much of a victory. The ideas, beliefs, bigotry and racism that allows this kind of stuff to be published openly and freely is the problem. That most here do not recognize---or can't admit---that there is widespread racism---or at least racist beliefs among the public---and openly racist politicians and government officials is THE main problem. It's good that there was a small victory. However, since the Japanese-language press ignored the issue, there will be no debate, no reflection, no nothing by the Japanese public.
You've seen the 3 monkeys at the Tokugawa Ieyasu shrine in Nikko? Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil? We might say that is still very much alive in Japan.

The rather clueless editor of the bigot rag responded to all the criticism:

Shigeki Saka refused to apologize, claiming that he had become a victim of a campaign of harassment, censorship, emotional overreaction, and distortion by an "army of bloggers". He claimed that these puroshimin ("professional citizens", best translated as "do-gooders") had unfairly targeted him even though the only intention was to open a frank discussion on the "taboo" subject of foreign crime. He claimed, "This is not a racist book, because it is based upon established fact," with "no lies, distortion or racist sentiments."

He added that translating nigaa as "nigger" was "unfair", as the term is merely Japanese street slang, with "none of the emotive power in Japanese that the N-word does in English". Moreover, Japanese have also been victims of racial slurs in the past (citing epithets as far back as World War II), so what was the problem?

Hmmm. The "N word" has none of the emotive power in Japanese that it does in English? Probably not to the Japanese. Might be to others who hear it and don't understand that there is no racism in Japan.

A good rebuttal of Saka's absurd defense is at

Wanna see the whole book? A scan of it is available here for free.

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