Thursday, March 01, 2007

Japan discriminates against Japanese too

Adachi Ward, Tokyo, has granted a residence certificate to a newborn as an exceptional case but refuses to accept her birth registration due to an archaic law that acknowledges paternity by the mother's ex-husband instead of her current spouse, the baby's biological father.

The ward said it could not accept the birth registration because Article 772 of the Civil Code, which took effect in 1898, considers a baby born within 300 days of a divorce to be the child of the ex-husband.

so I guess as a non-Japanese, I don't have to feel so bad. I remember a book I read over 20 years ago university, Shadows of the Rising Sun, by Jared Taylor. I guess it is out of print now, but it was a book that really drove home the fact that Japan was not really the wonderland that many believe. It was recommended to me by my Japanese Politics professor, as was Japanese Society, by Chie Nakane. He suggested the first because Taylor had grown up in Japan and had gone through the Japanese school system and offered a unique perspective on Japan. One of the original "revisionists, " I suppose. (He suggested the Nakane book by saying if I understood that, I would understand Japan. He was Japanese. The idea that any non-Japanese could understand Japan would really anger some of the mystery of the orient crowd.)

Anyway, after showing how Japan was not the never-never land of Western fantasy---such as the fantasyland promoted by Edwin Reischauer---he wrote at the end of the book that no matter how non-Japanese were treated in Japan, the Japanese treated one another worse.

I'd recommend that book should anyone find a copy. Some of the material---trade, perhaps politics---are out-of-date, but most of the rest should at least be informative. Of course Chie Nakane's book is still good. The Enigma of Japanese Power is also a bit out-of-date, but despite pissing off an awful lot of Japanapologists, was one of the early revisionist books of Japan which certainly seems accurate in many, many ways and well worth reading...but I am getting off-topic here.

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