Ugg, sore head

First, I wrote an article about Gregory Clark’s denial of the Nanking Tiananmen Square Massacre – it was all a British plot, and the protesters started it, and it wasn’t in Tiananmen Square anyway, but then my browser crashed and the article disappeared.

Next, Just Be Cause is out, but I’m baffled. Is 者 really an honorific? Why does only one gloss of 移民 have a (sensitive) tag in Jim Breen’s dictionary? This PDF says there were about 100,000 people on trainee visas in 2008. Dr Arudou states that there are “dozens of deaths per year” amongst trainees, but this table gives, if we assume the trainees are 50:50 male and female in their twenties, an annual death rate of 0.5 in 1,000, or about four dozen people. One could argue about them having harsher working conditions so an increased death rate versus having less opportunity to get in accidents due to drinking and/or driving, but I think we’d remain in the same order of magnitude for these figures.

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  1. Damn… you guys really seem to suffer from an outrage-deficit in real life. So you have to go and look for obscure blogs on the internet for your daily dose of outrage….

    Too bad the big boss here wasn’t able to post his Gregory Clarke post, that promised to be interesting. From the short version: Really fascinating how somehow pointing out sloppy, bad inaccurate reporting by western new organization about an Asian country is bad… .when it’s about China. And in the end this is what Clarke is doing here. The gunning down hundreds of peaceful and defenceless students in Tiananmen Square simply is a myth. It was shooting into aggressive, but pretty much defenceless crowds in the approach to Tiananmen Square. It’s not a huge difference, doesn’t change the important facts, Chinese citizens killed by the PLA with the approval (to use force) of Deng Xiapoing, but it’s still a difference worth pointing out. (Maybe not every year, as Clarke seems to do by rewriting the same article.) And why not demand accuracy in the news? What’s do be gained by defending obviously wrong accounts? Nothing. But how dare Clarke demand accuracy for the wrong country…

    IMO he’s off a bit on other stuff though… tank man, don’t think anybody ever thought that was before or during the massacre… was always clear that was after… or the influence of the Cultural Revolution and Mao’s time, very little to none in the demonstrations, pretty big in the massacre (which it was, just not on the square)And more details… but he’s correct on the main point: There was no massacre on the Square itself. And parts of the media still state or imply that there was.

  2. KT88 (and then this guy came into the room, said his name was...))

    @Kenico: Ever get the feeling you’re the guy at a party who joined a conversation but was missing the point and proceeded to type a response to a blog on his smartphone in between making “intellegent” and “insightful” interjections and ejaculations in said conversation?

    No, he didn’t either. Rage on dude.

  3. @James Annan:

    Very interesting. So proof Blogger’s ccTLD system works.

    For those that don’t know, Google switched it’s blogspot system to one where it uses ccTLDs (country-code top level domains): i.e. .com for us, .uk for United Kingdom, .ca for Canada. They did this intentionally to defeat the type of shenanigans that this person who claims to be a reporter that exposes the truth from pulling.

    This prevents somebody from doing a global censorship of content by filing a complaint with a pro-censorship regime. You can’t get the about content in Canada *, where The Reporter filed, but you CAN get the content from everywhere else in the world. If he wants to stop the content in Japan, Korea, and elsewhere, well, he’s gonna have to file in all those countries.

    I should warn the certain intrepid reporter that Canada’s libel and defamation laws work both ways: He is just as vulnerable to their very strict* laws as everybody else… and I see some content of his own that would not pass muster under Canada’s laws. And now that he’s a returnee resident of The Great White North, it makes it all-the-more-easy to Serve Him. Not that I’m implying I will. But somebody else might.


    * Canada has the strictest “anti-libel and defamation” laws in the “English speaking world”… even worse than the United Kingdom.

    ** The United States passed special laws under Obama to protect itself from “libel tourist”… that is, people that try to use foreign courts to censor U.S. based freedom of expression.

    If this reporter wants to stop the content from being displayed in the U.S., he’s going to have to file in the U.S. Good luck with that. America ain’t Canada.

    Of, and by the way, “Mr. Journalist”, your name will now be registered in *** and will show up in searches. So when a potential employer does a web search on you, they will see that you’re not only a supporter of the suppression of inconvenient speech, they will also see that although you claim to be a photojournalist, you had over FIFTY instances of using copyrighted (by me — no, using fifty photographs without permission is not “fair use”) photographs in one article, lined up and plastered much like how a psycho killer covers the wall of his bedroom with photos of his intended victim.

    *** And you’ll never be able to get rid of that. That’s now part of your permanent record; an employer will search for you, see you in ChillingEffects, and simply do a web search for your name in a country that doesn’t censor its content. For more information on this, read up on “The Streisand Effect”.

    Vive free speech.

  4. Why does it not surprise me that Shari Custer was a NOVA teacher?

  5. Thanks for the permission, oh great KT88!!

  6. I told you these people all had the same mental disease. They can’t speak Japanese. They live all up in their minds with no-one to tell them they’re too far gone.

    Shari and Baye. Sharbay.

    “I lived in Japan for 23 years, and had a lot of experiences during that time. You might think that I saw and lived it all, but there is very little overlap between Baye’s life there and mine. In terms of the types of people he has met, the relationships he has had with them, the places he has been, and the things that he has done, we have little in common aside from our sensitivity, astute observational skills, and desire to analyze and understand and to grow from our experiences.”

  7. BTW “saw and lived it all” in this context apparently means teaching at the same English School for 12 years and playing on your computer at home while being a mean-spirited, petty, bloody-minded bitch with a lovingly hairy husband.

  8. iLikedolphins

    Sha: hi, I noticed you from across the room because you’re not a weak Asian man like all the others.

    Bay: I’m a writer, an author, an educator, tadpole lover and a well known blogger.

    Sha: really? You get a lot of comments?

    Bay: ha! I like your style of communicating directly with your mouth. It’s like you don’t care what society thinks and you have forged your own path as have all Western People, as have I, as have I. (kisses the air)

    Sha: I have a husband. He’s also Western and can communicate effectively like you. I’m loving your effective communicating style, so un-Asian. Can I read your book?

    Bay: of course! I want people to read my book. It’s what I keep telling them. Seriously, read my book.

    Sha: again with the powerfully effective communication! I’m just not getting that from the Asians here. I can’t understand what they are saying.

    Bay: I know, but if you observe carefully you’ll know their deepest darkest innermost desires and be able to read them as an open book, as I do. (exhales cigar smoke).

    Sha: oh! Don’t worry I can do that already. Could do it as soon as I got here, I mean c’mon, they’re people, but you know what I mean right?

    Bay: exactly! ( clink of glasses )

    Sha: you know these people eat a lot of mayonnaise right?

    Bay: I know, I know. I’m actually writing a book about it. Its called Tadpoles something something Reverse Discrimination …..I write books, lots of them, like one a week.

    Sha: I just blog but I blog hard. I hate Adrian Havill.

    Bay: Me too, and I don’t even know why!

    ( awkward guffaws and half-cocked eye contact ensue for roughly 70 seconds)

    Sha: Japan, huh?

    Bay/Sha: been there! Done it all!

  9. KT88 (don't call it a comeback, I been here for years)

    @iLikedolphins: iLD, that’s your best yet. Nail, head, sticking out, conformity, us, them, hammers by implication… dude, when you’re on – unbeatable, unforgettable, oiled up and ultimate. Cheers for the lol. Excellent.

    Best line? “I hate Adrian Havill.” Still chortling as I write.

    Can we we get Deb and Chris in on this lovefest. Keep it fluid. Sharbay. Love it.

  10. Ay up, someone’s replaced Dolphins’s batteries.

  11. I gotta admit, t@iLikedolphins:

    I gotta admit, that’s pretty funny. :cool:

  12. You stuttering now Adrian?

  13. Dedicated Whale Researcher

    teaching at the same English School for 12 years
    I think the more important fact than that (working at a place longer than I’ve ever worked or lived anywhere, ever) is the fact that it was a demonstrably shitty environment, completely controller by a pawa-ha abusive self-important nepotistic twat of a CEO, who was quite obviously sexist and exploitative, at what likely was a true Black Company. I read her accounts, and man, I feel for her, honestly do.

    …right up to the point where she says she was there for not 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years, but **12 fucking years**.

    What? I mean, even if it takes months, or even a year or two, to realize how bad things are… It was the fucking Bubble/Post-Bubble! Eikaiwas grew on trees! I got offered teaching jobs at private schools and colleges *by accident* after chatting with dudes in pubs or sento. You couldn’t swing a loose sock without hitting a slightly better ship to sail with.

    The anger and frustration with oneself for taking that kind of a life, day after day, rather than taking your life into your own hands and improving your station… What does that even *do* to a person? …Oh, yeah, This I guess.

    Well, it’s always easier to blog and find sympathy at gaijin bars than it is to crack the books. Hell I’m writing this because I’m too lazy to crack back into the N1 vocab book I bought the other day. Maybe I should give up the N1 altogether, and start a blog about how there’s no “real job/career opportunities” for people in Japan who cannot speak, read or comprehend Japanaese.

  14. Dedicated Whale Researcher

    I must admit, I am a fan of Loco’s writing: He’s really got a way with words (I really, Really liked his “I am a Racist” book, especially his accounts of growing up. I laughed! I cried! I admit it!).

    Some of his observations resonated with me, so I keep giving him a pass, despite being disappointed with him at times (most recently when someone suggested he learn Japanese at an actual school after his encounter with someone who didn’t understand him asking where the toilet was: To which he replied he’s done with learning Japanese, because the Japanese are all racist therefore don’t deserve to hear him speak to them in their native tongue… … …yeah, that pretty much bomb-drained the pool of credibility and respect, but still)…

    …but that was incredible.

    If for nothing else, that you could pretty much substitute any name in the self-loathing bloggers who monetize fear/hate without attempting to learn the language, and it rings true each time. It’s like there’s a Platonic Form of Resentful Illiterate Blogger…

  15. Very nice Dolphin Boy! :lol:

    In other news, that well-versed Association Soccer fan Mr Arudou makes an irony-free complaint about ESPN insulting the nation of Japan. :facepalm: Perhaps he’s worried about someone stealing his job?

  16. Hey Whale Researcher,

    I wish you hadn’t brought that up because i feel really bad about it. I mean, that guy ringing out Loco for his accent was me, the guy supporting him against the arsehole he encountered on Metropolis was me, and the arsehole on Metropolis was well, me. It got seriously fucked up to the point where the only comments on that site were me just being mean to the guy for shits and giggles and I’m sorry about that.

    I feel like one of those guys who make russian child rape videos where they hug the kid inbetween scenes and then rape him again. And that’s not cool.

  17. @Ken Y-N: O-M-G! :headdesk: :headdesk: :headdesk:

    Against better judgement, I went to the site to figure out what you were on about. The irony meter in his comment is off the charts! Why am I not surprised that he is accusing the police of going after foreigners when the Occam’s razor explanation is that they are being deployed to keep a lid on the overzealous JAPANESE soccer fans.

    Sooo…. once again we see the bad precedents established […].

    The paranoia, bunker mentalities, even outright falsification of data [….] are reaching ever more ludicrous degrees. How immature this all is.

    :headdesk: :headdesk: :headdesk:

  18. @Ken Y-N:

    Is he criticising ESPN for their technique?

  19. Dedicated Whale Researcher

    ILD: Wait, are you Incepting Loco???

    Despite the disappointing culturally imperialst stuff he says sometimes (again, that “I’m not learning Japanese because of Them” really was a gut blow), I still can’t help giving him a pass and not thinking of him as “the black Debito” as I’ve seen slung around. There’s lots of times where he recognizes and even owns (impossible for most of that crowd, certainly Orchid and Debito) his own BS, racism and predilections.

    Also, maybe it’s stereotyping, but I’ll give an ear to non-white people talking about racism in Japan a little more than whites. As soon as a white guy complains about some racist thing that happened (“They wouldn’t speak to me in English!” etc) my mind tends to shut off from the Entitlement being forced into my ears.

    So I like to hear about the experiences of others: Black, Middle-Eastern, South American, SE Asian, etc. Because some of them are the same BS, but some of the stories are clearly something unique that happened to them, that doesn’t/won’t happen to other “typical white self-entitled gaijin”.

    Showing my age, but I still remember some episodes of “Koko ga hen da yo Nihonjin” where it showed a dude from Kenya I think (NOT Zomahoun, one of the other guys from Africa with pretty solid Japanese) going in for job interviews (IIRC for some reception position at a bank or something), they actually had a cameraman right outside one of the interview rooms with the mic to the door: Dude walks in, the hiring guy (sounded like an old dude 60+) was like, “Oh, sorry, I thought you were white. Sorry, this job is in front of clients and we can’t surprise them.” Definitely wasn’t yarase.

    There was a great episode of Odoru Sanma Goten on 3/25 (can be DLed at , highly rec it even though it’s goofy), part of a 3 hour special, one hour called “Ha-fu ha tsurai yo!”. They had a panel of a lot of half-whtie, half-black etc performers, minor celebs, etc. Hearing the experiences of people born, raised, getting jobs in Japan being half-white vs half-black… (all with little sketches, vignettes, laughing-instead-of-crying etc) yeah, you can see some real, Real casual racism behind the experiences of the wide-eyed light-skinned models who kept getting asked out in high school, vs the darker-skinned comedians who couldn’t get any job with a face-attached rirekisho (read: most of them, even baito headhunters).

    Experiences comparing white vs black vs Japanese people of the same background and linguistic skill, spelled out free of western entitlement. It’s like a perfect sociological laboratory to see what’s really under the hood: It’s not a living Hell, but it’s certainly not any kind of pretty.

    Anyway, that’s the reason why I’ll always give folks like Baye an ear before dismissing them. Though these days I have to carefully strain their experiences through filters (“He can’t speak the langauge well”, “He’s more bitter than he was before, thus might see natural shit as All About Him”, etc).

    But fuck, at least Loco’s stuff is at least far more refreshing than the stories from white folks slinging English for a year, complaining at the gaijin bar or blog of how Japan is racist because “I said ‘sennCHINnn waaaa? doKOooh dess kaAA?’ and they said they didn’t understand me!”, “They assumed I couldn’t read a Japanese menu, so they gave me an English one! I mean, I CAN’T, but they didn’t have to be racist and ASSUME it!”, “No one comes over to me in English to attempt to make friends with me!” etc etc.

    He may have foibles (he does), but at least they’re different foibles from the 90% of crap out there. :-)

  20. Dedicated Whale Researcher

    (BTW, that Odoru Sanma Gyoten from 3/25 magnet link for torrent is over thisaway, it’s the third segment of the 3-hour show, and while it has goofy moments I’ts loaded with some real “WTF”. It shook my empathy tree)

  21. iLikedolphins

    oh my god. oh my god! I totally watched that show! That poor African man trying to get a job. That was a classic. Trash TV. Miss that show.

    I guess those half-talents playing up all the shitty racist things that happened to them for laughs are House Negroes? Half-Negroes?

    I would be careful about assuming Loco knows anything at all regarding the African Experience in Japan just because he’s black. I mean, you’re talking about a Nova teacher/ALT who plays with his iPod and sips lattes in Starbucks and goes to YouTube/Twitter meet-ups. He’s pretty fucking white. First World problems.

  22. KT88 (inured, denatured)

    @iLikedolphins: So, he’s an “Oreo” then?

    Soz @ the whale researcher – can’t abide by your lovefest of Baye… what is it that he “gets right”? Cos I’ve yet to see anything…

  23. Regarding my previous comment, Chris Johnson’s letter to google is now available:

    Needless to say, his claim that I “never allowed [him] the chance to reply to deny the false and defamatory accusations” is completely untrue. According to my records, I have received two emails from Johnson, neither of which attempts to reply to the accusations, and he did not make any comment on the blog. I’ll let others judge whether what I wrote is permitted under Canada’s laws, which I am not well versed in.

  24. @James Annan:

    Apparently he’s still an avid reader of Japologism, as he apparently read my comment above:

    @hikosaemon has paid @Bloomberg @TheEconomist @japansubculture for right to use their images, text to hype Japologist site? @BC_Kowalski

    Apparently the Journalism/Photojournalist War Veteran of 25 years is still a little weak in his knowledge of how the internet and copyright and using materials works: he doesn’t understand the difference between copying and self-hosting/distributing (which is what he did) and linking/embeding, leaving the original host site in control of the material (which is what Hiko does).

  25. Dedicated Whale Researcher

    Since we’re running wild here on this forum-cum-comments, anyone see the post today from Debito? I almost choked on my coffee.

    He praises the commitment to a baseball player in the US attempting to study English (basically as a way to set up and take down the barbarians Nomo and Ichiro who haven’t gone out of their way to speak in English in public).

    The irony of saying this in front of a membership almost entirely made up of people who live and work in Japan who have never seriously attempted to learn the language (and are resentful to anyone of any cultural background who tries) makes my head-meat hurt.

    Keep that mirror shined and pointed at Japan, hands strong on the grip lest it be turned around to face you…

    Quoth South Park, “If Irony were Strawberries, we’d all be drinking Daiquiris”

  26. Andrew in Ezo

    Indeed. It’s always admirable for anyone (regardless of job, from Eikaiwa hack to professional athlete) to make earnest efforts to learn the language of the host country, but honestly, Japanese ballers in the MLB are there to win games for their teams, as well as draw millions in revenues from Japanese media and fans- doing locker room interviews in English would be great, but it does nothing for the bottom line, which is what the owners paying the salaries are looking at the end of the season. Better they concentrate on keeping themselves in peak physical condition in their off hours than diving into a Side by Side textbook. BTW I haven’t seen any American players in the JPB holding a decent conversation in Japanese during the “hero interview”, beyond the stock “gumBARImasu” and “arrygatougozaimasheeta”. The Latin and Caribbean players seem to make more of an effort at genuine communication, perhaps it’s being a product of a more syncretic culture.

  27. @Andrew in Ezo:

    Bobby Valentine, former manager of Chiba Lotte Marines, may have become one of the best true non-Japanese (meaning he didn’t go to high school in Japan, didn’t have a Japanese spouse, etc.) Japanese speakers in Japanese baseball, and this may have contributed to his success.

    Managers are in a different position than players, however. Still, it’s nice to see someone who doesn’t “need” Japanese put in the time and effort. Compare Alberto Zaccheroni of the national soccer/football team.

  28. Andrew in Ezo

    As you said,Bobby was a manager, so he likely needed to have some communication skills to make quick instructions to players in-game, rather than always making sure a translator was around. Not to mention administration tasks, etc. I think Japanese soccer players abroad need to have better communication skills in their host country language(s), since the game requires constant verbal communication between players due to the dynamic nature of the game. So, unlike baseball, a practical knowledge (if specifically focused) of the primary workplace language is a component of being a successful professional.

  29. @Andrew in Ezo: I seem to recall that Tuffy Rhodes (formerly of Kintetsu and the team that must not be named) was fairly decent in the local patois. Not 100% comfortable in everything of course but could certainly hold his own. I recall him making an appearance on とんねるずのみなさんのおかげでした for their 食わず嫌い segment.

    Bobby Valentine put the effort into it but I don’t recall him being a stellar speaker. His translator, however, was awesome in his quick turn around and smooth translations.

  30. @Dedicated Whale Researcher:

    Baseball superstar Ichiro “didn’t connect all that much” with his local community.
    Well, one person, anyway…

  31. Dedicated Whale Researcher

    @Sixth Sense , @Andrew
    Stop bringing in facts into the picture! :-)

    Or, better yet:

    *Puffs on pipe*

    *Takes out pipe, waves it at that awesome fan resposne letter*

    “This is CLEARLY written by a native speaker, perhaps his manager or something, in order to pull one over on us: There’s no way he speaks God’s Tongue that well, because I remember that he didn’t speak in public once about 15 years ago.”

    *contemplates for a second*

    “In fact, by writing in English to foreigners, he’s microagressing everyone in the US and imgur. Remember, these are a people who are genetically predisposed to this kind of discrimination.”

    *nods sagely to self*

    “Also, I am a doctor.”

  32. Ichiro speaks fine English, he just doesn’t use it much in public. He’s rather famous for his sense of humor in English conversation in private.

    Tuffy spoke quite well, if I recall. He used to be on TV now and then.

    Bobby was not only a decent speaker but could read pretty well also. He encouraged foreigners to improve their Japanese skills and even went so far as to recommend learning materials. Good man.

  33. Ichiro speaks excellent English. I should know, I had a number of conversations with him and Yumiko over the years we lived down the street from each other. He is also very connected with the local Issaquah/Seattle area, it wasn’t unusual for him to drop by and watch little league games and such when he was in town and not busy. Just because he uses his translator to shield himself from the press doesn’t mean he’s not connected, it just means he’s a private person.

  34. Ichiro speaks phenomenal English, and I can attest to that fact personally. He supervised my doctoral dissertation on “Finnegan’s Wake”. I never would have graduated without his guidance.

  35. Ichiro speaks spectacular English. I can vouch for that given that he was my speaking coach when I was growing up with a debilitating stutter. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the award-winning film “The King’s Speech”? They were originally going to base that on Ichiro, but he was unavailable what with being so busy teaching young children who were recovering from cleft-palate surgery how to pronounce “sassafras” correctly.

  36. This is crazy! What a coincidence. I know Ichiro speaks impeccable English because I was in a Starbucks in.. ready? Issaquah! I was visiting my half first nations relatives and desperately trying to decipher, ready? Ulysses! He walked up to me and said “Oh, you’re reading James Joyce” I’m siting there literally with my head on the table. He began, “The starting point is to treat Joyce with deep suspicion: what is he up to? If there’s an egregious word in a sentence, you know there’s something going on.” He gives as an example the adjective ‘gorescarred’, applied to a history book: ‘gore’ can mean not only ‘blood’ but also ‘a triangular shape’ and ‘to stab deeply with a sharp weapon’. Four sentences later, Joyce refers to a general leaning on his spear—that is, a sharp weapon with a triangular head. “‘Ulysses’ is a puzzle,” says Ichiro, which is one of the things that has kept it relative after all these years” He then walked away and I said to myself.. “That was Ichiro!” And I didn’t even get an autograph. Upon exit I handed the book to a barista with a ring in his nose who I assumed had a degree in modernist American literature and was better qualified to read such a book.

  37. @Greg: Opps, Irish.

  38. @Greg:

    Ichiro? Ichiro, whose name means “The One”, communes with all life in the known universe, and shares the thoughts, feelings and spirit of all things, living and unliving. Only he can overcome the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle to know the exact location AND momentum of any particle he chooses to focus on, and only he can know whether Schrodinger’s cat is alive or dead, and what it had for breakfast.
    and he also designed the Lexus !-)

  39. @Dedicated Whale Researcher:
    I am continually amazed/shocked/disappointed to see that this entire site is dedicated to hating on a poor geek. He does his thing, albeit in an often oddball way. But that you guys have nothing better or more positive to do with your time/energy is just sad.


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