Monthly Archives: April 2014

Woo-hoo, the apologists are doing rather well!

As pointed out by the too-difficult-to-spell-flower sniffer, Mr Arudou featured in a recent Asahi article. A few things caught my eye:

The owner, who received a phone call saying the sign was inappropriate, showed a new sign that will be displayed at the entrance. It says, “Japanese Language Only.”

Or indeed “In Appropriate”, and the casual reader might come to think that it was the person who did the phoning that was responsible for the changed sign, but Gimmieaflakeman knows better.

Arudou said he found more than 50 examples from around Japan of signs saying “Japanese Only” or “Foreigners are not allowed.”

[…]

 Half of the owners refused his request to take down their signs.

So, there are more than 25 “active” signs (that he is aware of), or on average less than one per prefecture, and this is what he is basing his dissertation on. On the other hand, 40 neo-Nazi scumbags from just the Kanto area (I presume) congregated in Ikebukuro to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Hitler’s birth and he laughed them off, basically. When’s the last time a “Japanese Only” sign threatened to kick your head in? Seems like mixed up priorities to me.

A bar in Kobe displayed a sign that said “Japanese People Only,” but removed it after receiving advice from a stranger.

“A very kind individual told me that the sign was not appropriate,” said the 51-year-old owner.

Chalk that one up to the apologists too, this time Sora.

I saved the most problematic point for last:

Arudou, who wrote his doctoral dissertation about discrimination in Japan at the University of Hawaii

As far as I am aware, he wrote it while attending the East-West Center which is indeed located at the University of Hawaii, but the casual reader would assume that he was actually enrolled at the University of Hawaii. I’m sure it is just the journalist being a bit confused, as Mr Arudou has previously taken Mike Guest to task for “misrepresent[ing] his own academic credentials”, so I eagerly await Mr Arudou publishing a correction on his own web site at the very least.

Oops, it seems I was wrong on the above point. Sorry about that, folks.

We’re all apologists now

Forbes today posted quite a rant by Eamonn Fingleton with the click-bait title of “What’s Japan’s Guiltiest Secret?: (Hint) It’s Not The Comfort Women” and contents that wouldn’t look out of place on Japan Focus, in which he says:

As a practical matter, Tokyo wields a panoply of carrots and sticks in controlling what Japan-based foreigners say to the outside world and most long-term foreign residents are overt or covert agents for Japan’s public relations agenda.

Where’s my carrot? If there’s money or privilege to be had, I’ll turn my Japologising up to eleven, no questions asked. Used notes in brown paper bags will suffice, thank you very much.

There’s also a line that cuts quite close to the bone:

What is clear is that as most American and British correspondents in Tokyo don’t read Japanese, the Japan Times is the unstated source of many of their reports.

Did he also get an article rejected by the paper? There must be a juicy back-story to this rant!

Entertaining tweets from Eido

Eido tweeted here and here:

I’m tired of unethical journalism practice of allowing former/current writers to use pseudonyms if personal.

Won’t out them, but yes, “Richard Cory”, “Goldie Schwartz”, etc all have articles in under their real names.

Thanks for the tip! BTW folks, in keeping with Eido’s wishes, no outing, please!

My comment got binned again!

Just Be Cause is out again, but my comment on this:

non-Japanese residents are required to carry ID 24/7 in the form of wallet-size “gaijin cards,” nowadays known as zairyū kādo (resident cards).

where I complained that Mr Arudou is abusing the ‘g’-word again and making me feel micro-aggressed, but without being as pedantic as I was last time I complained, was not accepted by the moderator. Oh well.

However, if I wanted to be pedantic (and you all know I want to!), I could mention that if the gaijin cards are nowadays known as zairyu kado, why does he not use the new term? Why does he choose to mention “gaijin card” but neither ARC nor gaikokujin toroku shomei blahblahwaitwhileigoogleit?

On the other hand, as the article is competent and to the point – that is, it doesn’t read like an Arudou article – there’s little to complain about, and even his Japanese translations seem correct, if a little stilted. If someone has his Handbook, I wonder if they could check how much of a cut’n’paste there is?