Saturday, June 09, 2007

Fujiwara, Masahiko

AKA Ol' barcode head (barcode is what Japanese call those guys who are bald on top but let their hair grow long on the side then comb it over the top in the belief that nobody will know) has had his intellectual masterpiece (AHAHAHAHAHA) translated into English. I just got a copy, and frankly I have given him too much credit in the past based on some partial translations of it. I am actually stunned that anyone could take it seriously. A third grade kid would know better I would assume.

I haven't read it all, but the first few chapters are spent with a unbelievably weak, shallow attempt to refute ration, reason, and logic. One way he attempts to do this is to set up a straw man argument that logic can explain everything and solve all problems, and then attacking it. The first question one would ask is "Who said this was true? Who believes this?" He doesn't say, but he implies that this is what the West believes. (From what I have read so far, it appears he truly believes this.) We are all like Mr. Spock.

In the forward, he humorously states that these are his beliefs, and he believes he is right and everyone else is wrong. OK, no problem there, at least he admits what the rest of us deny. The question I have is why did this book become so popular in Japan when in later sections he opposes any rights/freedoms at all except for the right to criticize leaders and rejects democracy in favor of a dictatorship of the elite. (Yes, dictatorship. If they make all decisions and tell everyone what to do, no matter how benevolent, is it not a dictatorship?)

He believes the elite---I have only skimmed the later chapters so far and haven't a clear definition of who he means by elite---should govern. And naturally, as before when he said something about saving the world through bushido, he believes that he has something here that the world can learn from.

I plan to read this over the next few days and check some of his facts, many of which are very, very questionable, if not obviously wrong on first glance.( There are no footnotes/references for his assertions/facts anywhere in this book which should tell us something, although this is not unusual in these types of books written in Japanese for Japanese.)

Please forgive any spelling or grammar errors. As Fujiwara said, Americans can't write English because in English classes we only learn typing. (I never knew that. My English teachers were all radical nuts who taught English grammar, spelling, composition and that kind of stuff. But this is Japan. If it is written in a book by a guy with a PhD in any subject, it has to be true. Cannot doubt nor debate it. Especially if he has a barcode on his bald head.)

We must once again be "Japan the proud, Japan the different," Masahiko Fujiwara.
Has it ever not been? Has it ever truly been "Japan the humble, the same as others"? In action and core beliefs as well as in tatemae (window dressing) words?


  1. Anonymous5:32 PM

    He does have some good points which are elaborated in this blog post:

    At least he has a real job. Not some loser who works for a nonprofit. And one of your favorite movies is Sen to Chiharu ni Kami Kakuchi. You meant Kakushi, right? Do you even know how to read Japanese. I highly doubt it. Because most Westerners who end up in Japan are outcasts who were losers in their original society. And most of them suck at speaking, reading, and writing Japanese anyway.

  2. What happened to 神 in 神隠し?千と千尋のの神隠し:


    Obviously my Japanese as well as Wikipedia Japan and more is deficient.