Japan Times subeditor having a sly dig?

I’ll probably write more this evening, but for now, I noticed the subheading on this month’s JBC reads:

Intellectual snobbery and an inability to work together are perennial problems


And now this evening’s input:

And we are seeing outdoor protest after protest, with ranks swelling to numbers not seen in decades.

Make that three years: 75,000 marching against nuclear power; organisers said 170,000, police reported 75,000, versus the recent protest managing 120,000 (organisers) versus 30,000 (police). (Incidentally, the Japan Times chose to cast doubt on these numbers with this badly- and weasely-worded paragraph: “Meanwhile, NHK, quoting unnamed police sources, reported the Metropolitan Police Department estimated that only 30,000 protesters gathered around the Diet. A police spokesman declined to comment when contacted by The Japan Times.”

Japan is a land that craves precedent

What? Where did that come from?

few dare display communist sympathies

Oh really? So why were the JCP the only party that made significant progress in the last election?

“Hey, the system worked for our ancestors in the past, right?”

Collective self-defence is a whole new ball-game with no precedent in Japan.

Whenever Japan harks to the past, an element of ancestor worship seeps in.


You see that even with WWII war criminals enshrined as heroes at public worship sites

You spelt “war-linked shrine” wrongly! :facepalm:

Then there’s the leftist ideological distaste for measuring everything in terms of money.

Where does that statement come from? Or is this a reference to Hatoyama’s (incidentally, the richest Diet Member when he was in the House) fantasy budget about how he was going to find zillions of yen in savings?

But the biggest disadvantage I see in Japan’s left is an intellectual snobbery.

Now, this is an area that I must admit Doctor Arudou PhD is an expert in.

Rightists intuitively understand that if something is to be a talking point, you have to put it in manga or anime form. Then you’ll reach even the most disaffected shut-in (who will then go online to terrorize a newfound foe). In comparison, leftists look more like doctrinaire fossils, sniffing at all this anti-intellectualism: “Who needs to tell lowbrow stories when we have abstract principles to adhere to?”

:roll: Furthermore, I recall the Western press going gaga over the JCP’s cute mascots at the last election.

But the right knows it needs as many people as possible parroting its talking points — for a fundamental maxim of propaganda is that if enough people say something, it becomes true.

So, how does leftist Diet Members repeating “War Bill” all the time fit into this analysis?

As a bonus, Toolonggone comments on the article:

It’s just so sad and mind-boggling to see these activists made a horrible choice to engage in killing sprees within their factions in course of challenging the state regime.

Maybe it’s just badly-phrased, but that seems to suggest that the horrible choice was to kill fellow activists instead of members of the state regime.

No doubt they gave Marxism a really bad name.


Leave a comment ?


  1. Dr Dabido-kun radio interview http://www.abc.net.au/newsradio/content/s4338971.htm Begins @06:14

  2. @VK: Coughing is racism.


    “I cough in your general direction, you son of a milk drinker!” for some reason, sprang to mind.

    I wonder what these people attributed rudeness to, when it happened to them back home?

  3. Dr. Aruzo Debeso

    Just heard that radio program now, briefly… he’s representing himself as being from “the university of Hawaii”, wtf.. seriously? They don’t have him listed as staff there…

  4. Ken on another phone

    @Dr. Aruzo Debeso: I looked at that a while ago, and it is not unethical to refer to yourself as from a university if you are not faculty. If you want to Google it, you can find him copyediting for an unrelated school on campus.

    BTW, his claim about GDP per capita is wrong – Google that and you get a nice interactive graph to see 2011 GDP is greater than 1995, and of course post-2011 figures are available despite his claims.

  5. Dr. Aruzo Debeso

    @Ken on another phone: oh, maybe someone should update his wikipedia CV to include that :lol:

  6. @Ken on another phone: Interestingly enough, the paper he’s published in a peer review journal on copywriting/editing is far superior to anything else he’s done.

  7. Ken on another phone

    @Lack of Research (at work): I suspect that might be due to the differences between peers reviewing hard sciences and the politically-motivated soft science of Japanology.

  8. Dr. Aruzo Debeso

    You can hire your own, personal Debito for the low, low price of $22 an hour, it seems. I wonder if he does children’s parties as well?


  9. Ken on another phone

    @Dr. Aruzo Debeso: Interesting find, but that URL… :facepalm:

  10. Well I, for one, can definitely relate to the comments section in the JT. In fact, I stand with Brother Steve and can add 5 embedded racism indicators of my own:

    1. Sometimes Japanese people offer to help me with things. The ulterior motivation is clearly to demonstrate that the Gaijin can’t do it by him/herself and needs the ‘superior’ assistance of ‘We Japanese’.

    2. Japanese people say ‘O tsukare’ to me at work. They assume that I must be tired because they are sure Gaijin can’t possibly ‘gaman’ like the Japanese do. And the law does nothing to protect us as victims!

    3. Japanese restaurants have menus that cater more towards Japanese people, often including items that are not very popular among foreigners. This is as obvious an exclusionary measure as a ‘No foreigners allowed’ sign in my eyes.

    4. When I drive downtown I notice that the Japanese traffic becomes more dense and slower the closer I get to my destination. After my decades here in Japan I can clearly recognize this as an insular, xenophobic way of keeping pesky foreigners out of the center of Japanese things.

    5. Have you ever noticed that when you throw a drink in a Japanese person’s face they get all butthurt emotional and start whining ‘Why did you do you that?’ without even considering for a moment all the racism they throw in your face every day.

  11. Your Friendly Nigerian Tout

    Love the body language on this pic. it is as if he’s complaining at his audience about Microaggressions or something. https://imgur.com/1LCTN48 (Begs for Caption)

  12. @The Apologist: All of which can be summarised by the clear cognitive dissonance/mental illness of this crowd:

    “Fuck Japan, man, you’ll never be Japanese, you’ll never assimilate, you’ll never be accepted, get over it…”

    followed, ten seconds later by:

    “Man, this is bullshit. Why do they treat me like a tourist? I’ve lived here for years! Of course I can use chopsticks! My Japanese isn’t good, I understand more than I speak, man, Japanese are so hard to make friends with…”

    Justification circle jerk.

  13. Ken on another phone

    @KT88 (bleary): I noticed that the top comment was on being coughed at, etc, as microaggressions, yet over on Debito.org, JDG (who else?) dismissed a black American’s view that not having to worry about being shot every day was a major plus in Japan, and not a dissenting word was heard.

  14. Ken on another phone

    @Dr. Aruzo Debeso: Now you mention it, that would be interesting to see what happens. His wiki entry does need his current employment details.

  15. @KT88

    Yeah. Cog diss is an issue.

    I often go up to random Japanese on the street and ask them, ‘Why are you sooo concerned about hygiene in your sento and yet you emboss your towels only on one side?’. They can’t answer and look at me like I’m crazy.

    Where’s critical thinking??

  16. Speaking of critical thinking (with which we Western-educated, humanities-absorbing Gaijin are allegedly so well endowed)…

    I was looking at the JT’s Brian Victoria scrap-the-Olympics-because-of-Fukushima thread responses.

    I’m glad that three respondents have patiently and decisively pointed out the flaws and shortcomings in the article, even though I’m a fence sitter on the whole nuclear business.

    I don’t know jack squat about radiation but when I read articles of the Brian Victoria type immediate and fatal critical thinking flaws jump into the forefront. Sam Gilman puts his finger on many of them…

    Lookit. If there is a sudden spike of radioactive element X in Takasaki Gunma, or a temporary hotspot of particle Y at a very specific location in a Tokyo suburb, or if a Shinkansen passenger comes down with fallout symptoms after the doors open for a minute in Fukukshima city…if any of this WAS due to continuing fallout or increased activity at Fukushima Daiichi then there would be, and you can take out your red pens and highlight this, a regular, consistent geographical and chronological pattern emanating incrementally according to distance and direction from the plant, NOT some weird temporary anomaly.

    (Or, more concretely, as Sam Gilman pointed out, if a brief door-opening exposure on a train lead to an immediate medical deterioration of someone’s condition, then by logic, the people who actually live there would already be deader than dead. Twice over)

    Anomalies are, by nature, immediately suspect, and the cause of the anomaly should be established (as Sam Gilman did regarding the Takasaki data). Jumping to the “It must be because of Fukushima!” conclusion is a slap to the face of critical thinking.

    And while I’m at the keyboard on the Victoria article…

    This “It’s NOT under control!” line…
    What does that really mean? So, is the situation out-of-control, chaotic, apocalyptic? No. OK, does ‘It’s under control’ mean everything is in perfect order? No. Sure, the situation is not ‘good’. And it’s dangerous. And things are still not operating perfectly smoothly. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not ‘under control’.

    And the “The Japanese government has been criminally negligent in dealing with the environment before” line…

    Yeah, but that was a different government. The only common denominator is that they were Japanese. Is the trustworthiness of Japaneseness the issue here? The Belgian government has, I’m sure at some time in the past, been criminally negligent regarding, say, colonial policy. It doesn’t in any way mean or imply that therefore the current Belgian authorities must be negligent on any given current hot potato issue.

    Critical thinking, mates.

  17. Out of the blue….


    and the evidence it links to is … gone! :shock:

    All someone had to do was ask nicely?? :?:

  18. Trigger warnings on my Safe-space

    1st reply[1] (especially #3,4) brought to my mind this old “letteradegree’s” message[2] on JP regarding Dr’s credentials, sadly for him, he’s slipping into irrelevance even on mundane stuff like his travel guides for Hokkaido.

    [1]: http://www.debito.org/?p=13660#comment-1101999
    [2]: http://www.japanprobe.com/2011/11/22/has-arudou-debito-left-japan/#comment-373433041

  19. Ken on another phone

    @Trigger warnings on my Safe-space: If only he were as disposed to acknowledging his errors in his other articles!

  20. Dr. Aruzo Debeso

    Hmmm… No “just be cause” this month? Maybe Japan Times finally got sick of him, or maybe he’s run out of shit to say?

  21. Your Friendly Nigerian Tout

    @Dr. Aruzo Debeso:

    No such luck! He wrote that lots of ppl send him this “Saitama official dog remark” article so i get this month’s semi-official JBC under the “Staff Report” moniker was him. Don’t fret, He’s just “busy” celebrating his new book plus it’s holiday season.

  22. Ken on another phone

    @Your Friendly Nigerian Tout: I like to imagine that the conversation went “Review my book or I quit!” “OK, bye then”

    However, like a bad penny I suspect he might turn up again. Perhaps he will join Amy Chavez at Japan Today?

    BTW, I can’t be the only one to have noticed that on Japan Times, disqus_vBerk is Jim Di Griz.

  23. Dr. Aruzo Debeso

    I’m not convinced that this “Jim Di Griz” character is anything other than a (really, really good) troll.

  24. Maybe he started as a troll but he now devotes so much time to ‘furthering the cause’ online under multiple names and to such an extent that I’d wager it effects his professional and personal life adversely I think it’s now full blown mental illness.

    Matter of time before he cracks offline. Hopefully he doesn’t hurt anyone doing so.

  25. 50 shades of Di Griz

    Man, you all a bunch of stalkers. :headdesk:

  26. Your Friendly Nigerian Tout

    oh fuck me sideways, on top of all the other shit i have to deal on my miserably office life, viz Twitter lists, Subreddits, Stackexchange communities, MeFi, rss feeds, Somethingawful, all of a sudden I’ve been told that already started to stalk a self-righteous man-child https://i.imgur.com/JUbW3EB.png along with his 3-4 neurotic ‘mini-me’ impersonates…just shoot me.

  27. Your Friendly Nigerian Tout

    Dayum, missed my fev -Hacker News-

    right,back to the lil ol Debbie now

  28. @Your Friendly Nigerian Tout: @Ken on another phone:

    >>However, like a bad penny I suspect he might turn up again. Perhaps he will join Amy Chavez at Japan Today?

    I think not,,,


  29. Surprised he’s banging on about the gaijin rugby players. Aren’t a few of them big noses who naturalized and went on to lead successful lives in Japan, something he would claim is impossible.

  30. But, his fans are happy to tell him that the press are ignoring whitey, but I think it’s more that Goromaru had a better agent. Leitch Michael has not been short of TV appearances, though.

  31. I can’t be arsed to go read Arusoru-san, but I gather from your comments that he is annoyed that Goromaru’s post-World Cup media career has eclipsed those of his gaijin brothers?

    Perhaps Debimbecile missed all the countless TV shows about the gaijin players and how they had naturalised and their motivations for playing for Japan, or the newspaper editorials lauding the rule that allowed them to play. And perhaps he hasn’t noticed that Goromaru’s post-World World Cup *rugby* career has also eclipsed those of his gaijin brothers.

    Maybe there is just something more interesting about the guy who was, without a doubt, Japan’s star player and main points scorer at the World Cup than the guys who weren’t the star player.

    God Aldwinckle is such an irritating prick.

  32. But it’s so difficult to get any Japanese media in Hawaii! It’s not like he’s got a fully-stocked library at his disposal.

  33. John (Yokohama) Says:
    December 20th, 2015 at 10:49 pm
    Little kids in Japan do that pose all the time right before they giggle and poke you in the butt.

    Found the “Genki Kids” English monkey.



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