Arudou, Kamei, and Godwin

Two connected stories for the price of one tonight. First, Just Be Cause should be out soon, but looking at the preview on Mr Arudou’s site, I count one :facepalm: error, a second probable error, and one misreading of the political cards, plus his article is now out of date, as we’ll see in story number two. First, the preview:

He suggested political alliances with other conservative reactionaries and xenophobes, including Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and Tachiagare Nippon (Sunrise Party of Japan) chief Takeo Hiranuma (Just Be Cause, Feb. 2, 2010).

Well, it’s true he suggested them (I’ve not seen evidence that Hashimoto is a xenophobe, though), but last week it was pretty obvious that the chances of linking up with Hashimoto (and Your Party, which doesn’t get a mention) were low, and as one of the founders of the Sunrise Party, it’s hardly a shock that Ishihara is is talking to Hiranuma.

And all before a Lower House election that must be held within two months.

This is Revision 12, and neither you nor your editor have noticed anything wrong here?

He is in fact a hate-mongering racist bigot. This is the man, remember, who began his governorship by calling for foreigners to be rounded up on sight in the event of a natural disaster — for they might (unprecedentedly) riot!

Looking at the New York Times report, he didn’t say anything about rounding up or riots. His comments were, of course, objectionable, but misquoting him is not good form.

However, I seem to have found a more accurate report of his words, from a link off Wikipedia:


We get riots there, but no round-up.

Now, to the second part of the story, Ishihara’s quest for friends. He and Hashimoto had a rather unproductive meeting on Sunday in Kyoto, and on a news analysis corner this morning, Ishihara said something condescending like "Next time I’ll talk to his mother" (I didn’t quite catch the exact quote), but even more fun, Kamei, ex-People’s New Party, told Ishihara to FOAD, or in Japanese, 「一人で死ね」. That article also invokes Godwin’s Law, with this other quote:


I tentatively translate that as "There’s no Hitler in Japan right now, but if we carry on this way, Ishihara will become President Hindenburg."

Oh, and as a bonus, the Japan Times also prints responses to last month’s article.

Leave a comment ?


  1. The Chrysanthemyum Sniffer

    In the letters section, this–

    >Would you lecture a family on how they should behave in their own home? What you do here is much the same.

    –was a bit harsh, I think. But then we get this in a later letter:

    >How would you feel if the U.S. leadership refused to even acknowledge the atomic bombing of Hiroshima?

    I’m not sure if that isn’t the same but backwards. Besides, I’m not sure if many of Japan’s leaders quite acknowledge the bombing of Hiroshima in the way that a lot of Japanese would like them to.

    Anyway, if we are going to play that game, when is Debito going to start writing about the guilt he feels now living among a majority population that has essentially marginalized its indigenous peoples and militarized their native lands?

  2. They got the URL wrong:

    It’ll probably be fixed later.

    UPDATE: I’ve read it now, and on the positive side, at least he doesn’t mention radiation this month. :roll: The article can basically be summed up as “Why doesn’t everyone else hate Ishihara as much as I do?”

  3. The Chrysanthemum Sniffer

    >By abdicating his otherwise permanent job, Ishihara is making one last gamble…. And he’s doing it out of the hubris and addiction to power seen in other old men…, who have spent too long in self-affirming sound chambers surrounded by sycophants.

    Doesn’t this sound like someone we know?

  4. beneaththewheel

    I’m doing a Masters right now, and way back in my first week of classes, in my first presentation on my thesis, the entire class laughed at me saying “you can’t just equate liberal immigration policy to ‘good’, what do you think this is?”

    Invaluable experience.

  5. @Ken Y-N:

    Q:“Why doesn’t everyone else hate Ishihara as much as I do?”

    A: Because they can speak Japanese?

    :lol: Thanks! I’ll be here all week. Tip your waitresses!

    You’d think someone who complains about being “misquoted” (re: his ideas about intermarriage) would refrain from the practice himself. Ah, I forget debito’s first law..any stand debito takes is very likely hypocritical.

    Anyway, nice alternate title to the article..add it to my list from a while back.

    And how can you deny that Hashimoto and Hiranuma are “xenophobes”? Debito cited a rock solid source on that! Himself! :facepalm:

  6. @beneaththewheel:

    I hope laughing with you, not at you.

  7. @Level3:

    re: “Because they can speak Japanese?”
    True, the grievances he cites are the standard English language laundry list that anyone can find on Wikipedia. No indication anywhere that any of his information comes from a first-hand source.

  8. I’ve just noticed that in the column Mr Arudou notes:

    He also no longer has Japan’s most centralized police force (keishichō) at his disposal — one which, as Edward Seidensticker noted, can convert Tokyo into “a police city” whenever necessary (Zeit Gist, Apr. 22, 2008). Ishihara can no longer target people he dislikes with the same degree of public authority.

    So, Mr Arudou describes how Ishihara as governer had the MPD under his control. Now, I did something radical and actually followed the link (yes, self-referential :roll: ) and I see that what Mr Seidensticker noted (in this book) was (my emphasis):

    “The chief of the Tokyo Prefectural Police is appointed by a National Police Agency with the approval of the prime minister and upon the advice of a Prefectural Police Commission, which is ineffectual. None of these agencies is under the control of governor and council. Tokyo becomes a police city when it is thought necessary to guard against the embarrassment of having someone shoot at a president or a queen or a pope.”

    The complete and utter opposite of what Mr Arudou claims! :facepalm: :headdesk:

  9. The Chrysanthemum Sniffer

    I felt this rant rather over-egged the pudding:

    This bit was fun:

    “Especially when we’re talking about somebody (with an actual record borne out in the subsequent decade of behavior you yourself just called “racist”) in a position of enormous power vs. little old me, a columnist and blogger, merely speaking truth to power?”

    First, Ishihara arguably sees himself as an outsider who is challenging the system. In his own eyes, despite his (former) position as governor, he’s the one speaking truth to power. So, if Debito were speaking truth to Ishihara, he would be speaking truth to the guy who thinks he’s speaking truth to power. Second, Debito is speaking to a bunch of English teachers. If Ishihara represented “power” and Debito were speaking “truth” to him, wouldn’t he be saying it in Japanese?

    “You claim you’re not a reviser of history. Okay. You’re a troll. Bye.”

    :shock: :roll:

    Oh well, it doesn’t matter, because after speaking truth to power, Debito is now taking on the pernicious “hegemonic discourse” that arises when people make small talk about blood types.


    Discourse analysis is obviously driving his recent research. However, somebody needs to tell him that hegemonic discourse does not simply mean that people talk about something quite a lot.

  10. or how about this one:

    apparently you are all members of an apologist sleeper cell under the auspices of the evil mastermind Mr Ken.

  11. @iLikeDolphins: Heh, last month you were all my lapdog minions – is this a promotion for you lot? :???: Fight Back is my favourite poster on! :lol:

  12. The Chrysanthemum Sniffer

    Well the people commenting on seem to be the same old usual suspects. The Tepido twelve vs. the Debito dozen, perhaps?

  13. You have to wonder if it’s really worth it — I mean, could you tumble much further down the rabbit hole than with this weekend’s bunch of non-sequiturds wrapped up in a strawman?

    Maybe he hasn’t noticed the 8,000 Horoscope and Astrology books on

    Or perhaps the way religion (for God’s sake!) influences the political agenda in the “most powerful” nation on Earth…?


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