Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Open Discussions

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-28-2009, 08:37 PM   #26
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,058
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Mary, I am confused with your posts. It seems like you are talking to someone else about something else and addressing it to me.
No, I'm talking to you, and I'm talking about what you're saying, and at least one other person reading this thread doesn't seem to have any problems understanding what I'm saying. I accept, however, that it is apparently impossible for you to understand. That being the case (and without any judgment as to why that is the case), I'm done here.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2009, 09:14 PM   #27
C. David Henderson
Location: Santa Fe New Mexico
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 606
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Mary, I am confused with your posts.
She is saying, I believe, that you are talking about a very large group of people as though a particular concept -- Nihonjiron -- was a concept that they all shared. She is trying, I perceive, to point out that you should question the idea that you can characterize in a meaningful way this very large group of people in terms of this stereotype.

I also question some of your statements. For example, you suggest that "because" of this concept/attitude, the "Japanese" have been successful in a number of areas as a society. What basis do you have for this opinion?

What basis, for that matter, is there to say that this concept/attitude is different than, say, the stereotype of the acerbic New Yorker or the arrogant Parisian?

Why is the concept of Japanese 'exceptionalism' different than the concept of American 'exceptionalism?'

In ancient Greece, anyone from outside was a barbarian. The word "Xenophobia" is both a Greek derivative and reflection of this (stereotypical) concept/attitude.

A number of people have responded to your OP with the observation that "Nihonjiron" isn't all that different from ideas and attitudes that have existed in most if not all cultures.

When you talk about "Nihonjiron" as a concept/attitude of Japanese people collectively, you seem to be adopting a couple of the premises of "Nihonjiron" -- (a) that it characterizes everyone, and (b) that it is uniquely "Japanese."

Do you believe (a) and (b) to be true?

regards,

cdh
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2009, 10:25 PM   #28
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Mary, I know you're frustrated. This isn't an easy topic, it is very complex. It is easy to get confused and frustrated, throwing your hands up in the air and walking away emotionally taxed. Especially as such things of this complex and foreign nature are hard to digest the meaning. They can seem so unclear to you. But let me try again and help you understand.

What I am saying is I am divorcing myself from any idea that I am supporting or rejecting Nihonjinron, and I am looking at it objectively, and just not negatively. And I gave reasons why. I don't judge the Japanese for their views of themselves. I am fine with how they see themselves because I have no reason to judge them in accordance with the idea of Nihonjinron. I am not affected by any thing that results from Nihonjinron in my personal or Aikido life.

I find that Gregory criticizing the Japanese's idea of Nihonjinron in his blog to be more of a personal shaded view of the Japanese. Gregory may have a personal justification for his views of the Japanese, though his error lies in him sounding exactly like what he is criticizing. He seems to be venting in his blog. It can then be said he too is guilt of a superiority complex that he points to the Japanese having.

So it made me think, hmmm... what are then the positive things that came about from Nihonjinron? Because as westerners, when we talk about Nihonjinron it often carries a bad overtone. Being fair and not one-sided, I posted some speculation on how Nihonjinron may have helped the Japanese and Japan, in say national identity for example.

Mary, I think the difficulty you have with me and this thread is misplaced coming from your presumptions. I offer these links and excerpt below to help you understand better this complex idea of Nihonjinron, and this thread.

FWIW. I don't judge or condemn these views, or make any criticisms toward them, nor do I support them. They are what they are and don't effect me. My purpose is to making them available.

http://junana.com/CDP/corpus/GLOSSARY18.html

and

http://junana.com/CDP/corpus/COMMENT2.html#1002297
Excerpts:

Japan's Sister: the Girl:
"She astonishes us, the modern young girl who is our Sister. Breathing the air of democracy, she wants to be ‘more equal' than anyone. Fiercely, she pursues university studies, or starts a career in offices, department stores, factories, and the professions. Her earning career usually begins earlier than those of young men, so her whims have great power over manufacturers. But the old virtues live in her; she is also tender, warm, accomplished in the graceful arts. Youth in its golden fling sometimes worries us. Yet we know our Sister is growing into the sensible wife and devoted mother who is the virtue of our Japan."
(Here is Japan, 1964)

This nationalization of lifestyle contributes greatly to the lack of available individual lifestyle imagination. To fit into this national imagination—this second skin of nationality—not only requires assuming the epic history of the nation as that of one's own past, but also, subscribing to a lifetime of practices, from cram schools and national exams, to drinks and sex out with office mates, or classes in ikebana (flower arranging) with "the girls."

Japan's Mr. Average:
the White-Collar Man:
We understand him, and love him, our representative White-Collar Man. The visitor might find him baffling: well-educated, even sophisticated, open to new ideas and new ways, yet suddenly curiously naive and sentimental. He aspires, through a company career, to the full life in the modern sense. For this, he will endure the wearying crush of the over-burdened commuter trains twice a day. Dutiful husband—he often defers to his wife—good father, hardworking, he still has extra vitality for active leisure.
(Here is Japan 1964, n.p.)

Daily practices thus acquire a (curiously) patriotic cachet, and so commuting for three hours a day with half a million others is not just a personal circumstance, but a collective—national—duty. To refuse, to complain, to allow the shadow of dissatisfaction1 to cross one's face, is to also step outside of the national circle.

Japan's Mother: the Housewife:
The Housewife is the heart of our world. As bride, mother, and wise grandmother she is the warm link between many generations. Her ways changed with equality in modern Japan. The voice of the Housewife today is an economic force, influencing consumer prices. Desire for privacy with her own husband and children accelerates the trend toward living in apartments. As new appliances free her from pre-war drudgery, the Housewife, too, influences leisure patterns. Fashionable, intelligent, in formed, she is even more vital in the lives of husband, children, and grandchildren amid today's changing Japan.
Here is JAPAN 1964, n.p.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2009, 10:52 PM   #29
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,212
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Every time, I step into the dojo and bow to the picture of O'Sensei, every time, I call the person teaching me "Sensei" and stuff, I am saying the I will uphold and keep that culture alive over mine.
I don't look at it this way. I've practiced Aikido in a Shinto shrine and I don't feel like I'm placing Japanese culture "over" mine, despite adopting some uniquely Japanese behaviors. I look at it more like this: when I go to someone's house, I speak their language and abide by their customs as much as possible. It has nothing to do with superiority. Beyond that I do adopt affectations which resonate with my personal taste. Maybe it's because I'm the classic American mutt and grew up identifying with several cultures at once.

Quote:
That includes following and upholding O'Sensei's message to the world of peace and love, how ever I translate that to be. By default, when I put that gi on and don that belt, I am to a degree (everyone has a different degree) supporting the idea of Nihonjinron.
Do you mean to include the idea of cultural superiority here? Perpetuating bunka, the traditional culture-based behaviors, sure; but not any innate superiority. Besides! Everyone knows the Irish-Norwegian-Danish-Crow-English-French-Japanese-American culture (my son's lineage) is the best! Seconded only by the Irish-Norwegian-Danish-Crow-English-French-American culture!

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2009, 11:02 PM   #30
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Quote:
David Henderson wrote: View Post

A number of people have responded to your OP with the observation that "Nihonjiron" isn't all that different from ideas and attitudes that have existed in most if not all cultures.

When you talk about "Nihonjiron" as a concept/attitude of Japanese people collectively, you seem to be adopting a couple of the premises of "Nihonjiron" -- (a) that it characterizes everyone, and (b) that it is uniquely "Japanese."

Do you believe (a) and (b) to be true?

regards,

cdh
Dave, to address your comments.

Per your first comment: I think I was the first to say that in this thread.

Per your second comment. I am pointing yes, it is unique because each culture is unique. If the Japanese say they are unique, who am I to say different? What right do I have to say they aren't? I feel I should respect their view. I mean the Founders of this country framed a unique nation and hence a people called Americans. We feel unique. Differently then the Japanese and similarly too.

The purpose of all this was to show my neutrality, that I am neither a supporter or detractor of the Japanese idea of Nihonjinron. It is their thing, not mine. It doesn't effect my life. I am not going to criticize it because I am uncomfortable with Nihonjinron or because I have become jaded by it. I have no reason to support or reject Nihonjinron. I feel I am just observing, a neutral view that allows me to look at both sides of the coin without making judgements.

With that said, I feel it goes with out saying that Nihonjinron can't characterize everyone of course that premise as you put it isn't reasonable. Rather Nihonjinron isn't a concept that doesn't share some similar properties with other such concepts of other people. We are all human right, and the word unique really is difficult to apply in the true sense of the word. But, I am not Japanese and there is no other place on earth called Japan other then Japan. I think a parallel universe exists some where though. But until that is discovered I think we can say the Japanese are unique. They may different in their definition and connotation of unique, and see them selves in a unique way, and who I am to disagree. That is my point. And I feel this view provides me with the opportunity to see the idea of Nihonjinron and the role it plays in a greater scope. By not being judgemental I can see both sides, the good and the bad. And am able to see everything in between. All because I am not judging the Japanese and respecting thir view of themselves what ever those views are. Therefore, I am able to talk about Nihonjinron in an unbias and unpolluted sense.

I am not taking sides against the idea of Nihonjinron and the Japanese in how they feel about it. I have no reason too. In much of what I read like Gregory there is a tone of unpleasantness and he is against the idea of Nihonjinron. Gregory's bloc unfavorable toward , Nihonjinron, reflects allot of what I have read on Nihonjinron by many westerners. I am not like that, I have no reason to be. It is that simple. Even if I did, I think I would be respectful of that part of Nihonjinron.

That is it my friend. It ain't about me, but rather what I am not about.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2009, 11:34 PM   #31
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I don't look at it this way. I've practiced Aikido in a Shinto shrine and I don't feel like I'm placing Japanese culture "over" mine, despite adopting some uniquely Japanese behaviors. I look at it more like this: when I go to someone's house, I speak their language and abide by their customs as much as possible. It has nothing to do with superiority. Beyond that I do adopt affectations which resonate with my personal taste. Maybe it's because I'm the classic American mutt and grew up identifying with several cultures at once.
Yea, that works too. My point was because we agree to follow the customs and protocals of the Japanese instead of insisting on our own customs and protocals over the Japanese. Or, we follow and support the philosopy of O'Sensei thereby surrendering or compromising our own religious leaders, other leaders or our hero's etc. philosophies. We look to a Japanese to show us peace and happiness above anyone in our own culture. Which all is a way of saying their are superior. We support Aikido and its culture, we call the palace we train a dojo, we bow, we where Japanese clothes, we follow many of the customs. For most of us we perfer Japanese instruction over non-Japanese instruction, i.e O'sensei's students and their students etc. And because of that can we really should complain or criticize Nihonjinron and the effects of it- like Gregory did in his blog. As Aikidoka's which is our life-style and not musican's have to deal with Japanese musican's like Gregory, we are more involved then musican's in the Japanese culture, therefore, Nihonjinron is something we ought to deal with better than a disgrutled musican tried of having to suffer from the effect of Nihonjinron. A musican doesn't sign on to Japanese customs etc. but we as Aikidoka's do sign on. And should realize it comes with the territory and deal with it ( Nihonjinron ) and other things that make us uncomfortable. That is what I was getting at.

Quote:
Do you mean to include the idea of cultural superiority here? Perpetuating bunka, the traditional culture-based behaviors, sure; but not any innate superiority. Besides! Everyone knows the Irish-Norwegian-Danish-Crow-English-French-Japanese-American culture (my son's lineage) is the best! Seconded only by the Irish-Norwegian-Danish-Crow-English-French-American culture!
Man what a family reunion that is! I would hate to be the relative who did the family tree.

Last edited by Buck : 06-28-2009 at 11:36 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2009, 12:56 AM   #32
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,212
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Or, we follow and support the philosopy of O'Sensei thereby surrendering or compromising our own religious leaders, other leaders or our hero's etc. philosophies. We look to a Japanese to show us peace and happiness above anyone in our own culture. Which all is a way of saying their are superior.
I don't look to O Sensei and other Japanese spiritual leaders because they are Japanese though. I think anyone who would do so would be foolish (i.e. doing a "right" thing for a wrong reason)...which is, I guess, part of the criticism against nihonjinron: which culture a person is born in is arbitrary when it comes to virtue. I look to a Japanese person to show me something about peace because of what that person seems to have expressed...for all intents and purposes those people could have been Irish or from Saskatchawan...or even hippies! In other words: the Japanese cultural affectations are circumstantial and their importance lies along the periphery; they're merely a vehicle for something more central to the human condition.

Quote:
A musican doesn't sign on to Japanese customs etc. but we as Aikidoka's do sign on. And should realize it comes with the territory and deal with it ( Nihonjinron ) and other things that make us uncomfortable. That is what I was getting at.
A musician will learn Japanese cultural affectations if they learn it from a traditional Japanese teacher. When a Japanese artist learns from a German artist, chances are good the Japanese person will perform the art with the German cultural affectations. Formal learning of any kind tends to resemble the form of its parent culture.

Quote:
Man what a family reunion that is! I would hate to be the relative who did the family tree.
The funny thing is that most of that was easy to track down: I learned about it simply from asking my grandparents and parents. It was the French-American history itself, which spans about 400 years, that took the most amount of work...but we Ganos have always liked our history!

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2009, 07:12 AM   #33
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,058
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Mary, I know you're frustrated. This isn't an easy topic, it is very complex. It is easy to get confused and frustrated, throwing your hands up in the air and walking away emotionally taxed. Especially as such things of this complex and foreign nature are hard to digest the meaning. They can seem so unclear to you. But let me try again and help you understand.
I understand just fine. I just don't agree with you.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2009, 09:26 AM   #34
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I don't look to O Sensei and other Japanese spiritual leaders because they are Japanese though. I think anyone who would do so would be foolish (i.e. doing a "right" thing for a wrong reason)...which is, I guess, part of the criticism against nihonjinron: which culture a person is born in is arbitrary when it comes to virtue. I look to a Japanese person to show me something about peace because of what that person seems to have expressed...for all intents and purposes those people could have been Irish or from Saskatchawan...or even hippies! In other words: the Japanese cultural affectations are circumstantial and their importance lies along the periphery; they're merely a vehicle for something more central to the human condition.

A musician will learn Japanese cultural affectations if they learn it from a traditional Japanese teacher. When a Japanese artist learns from a German artist, chances are good the Japanese person will perform the art with the German cultural affectations. Formal learning of any kind tends to resemble the form of its parent culture.

The funny thing is that most of that was easy to track down: I learned about it simply from asking my grandparents and parents. It was the French-American history itself, which spans about 400 years, that took the most amount of work...but we Ganos have always liked our history!
Matt,

I would agree with that too. I think your right, and I would say that human recognition of the existence of an abstract such as virtue is something that all human cultures share in a sense- regardless of how it is define or who claims they are the most. Therefore, your comments are useful, I think, in seeing another thing about Nihonjinron and the criticisms toward it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2009, 09:36 AM   #35
Rennis Buchner
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 62
Japan
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Nihonjinron isn't something "Japanese" subscribe to, believe, follow. It is something SOME Japanese buy into to varying degrees. I have no issue with pride in your country, culture, etc, but the brand of Nihonjinron most people have issues with goes beyond normal healthy pride and basically pushes the idea of "the Japanese" as a homogeneous race and culture (it isn't, especially the later) that is utterly unique in the world and understanding it is completely beyond comprehension of outsiders, usually with a heavy dose of major historical revisionism, superiority and pure fantasy thrown in and is often favored among the more extreme ultra-right wingers here. There is often a large element of cultural naiveness involved in the more innocent variations of it.

On the naive and relatively harmless end of things:

"One of Japan's unique features is that it has 4 distinct seasons"
I have taught a number of students over the years (at least 4 or 5) who were utterly shocked to find out that Japan isn't the only country in the world with 4 seasons. These people were all educated adults, but simply grew up never questioning some of the basic things they heard endlessly in their childhood, including this one. When confronted with the information that the 4 seasons are a universal thing, a couple of them were like "how could I have been so stupid" and a couple very vigorously tried to defend this belief explaining that in Japan the four seasons are very distinct, unlike in other countries. It took them awhile to realize that I have indeed lived here for the majority of the last decade and have actually experienced all the seasons Japan has to offer and that said seasons where no different than the ones back home. A couple of the other Japanese students who had travelled abroad had to come in and back me up on this one before the believed me.

or the endless discussions I've had with students over the years... "Japan has one culture and the Japanese are all the same.... well, expect those people in Kansai, they are pretty different. And Kyushu, they are in a land of their own. Not to mention those Tohoku people, they don't even speak Japanese... hmm, actually I guess we aren't all that much the same..."

On the more extreme end:

This one has been discussed online before but it is worth repeating here as a classic example. On NHK several years ago a scientist came on a program and presented a definitive study proving once and for all that the Japanese digestive system, in particular intestines, was different from foreigners and that the Japanese were incapable of digesting rice grown abroad because the Japanese had evolved to digest the kind of rice grown in Japan.

Or pick any number of Ishihara's "Japan Superior" comments made over the years...

If we want to relate it back to martial arts, another personal example was a couple of years back right after I got my first teaching license. I was with one of the other guys in the dojo (my senior in age, but very much my junior in the art) and a friend of his from another dojo and we were discussing my sensei and the future of the art. This guy from another dojo is pretty heavy in the "Japanese are different/better" sort of thing and commented right in front of me that my sensei "obviously" wants my dojo-mate to improve and get a teaching license because the idea of a Westerner getting it is completely and utterly unthinkable, he could never understand the art deep enough (he didn't know I had already gotten one). To his credit he did suddenly realize I was sitting right next to him and turned to me "Ah.... sorry" and then continued in the discussion like nothing happened, but that cat was already out of the bag so to speak.

Or the recent trend among certain "popular" kobujutsu guys (who happen to also sale a lot of books) who teach that historically Japanese did not walk as they do today and instead all walked the Namba-aruki style at all times in all situations and that was the NATURAL way Japanese did and should walk. Namba-aruki is a common method of movement in many traditonal arts where one moves the right hand and right leg (or left hand left leg) forward together with each step. These guys claim that the right foot forward, left arm swings forward method of walking everyone in Japan (and everywhere else) does today is a result of the introdution of Western footware and that this method of movement is not natural to the Japanese.

There are a lot of shades of grey in what is Nihonjinron, some more unconcious and innocent, some downright full of it. In any case, it is not something that all, or perhaps even most, Japanese buy into. I'm sure a could of verbal (or digital) diaherra will follow, but that is all I have to add to the issue.

Rennis Buchner

Last edited by Rennis Buchner : 06-30-2009 at 09:39 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2009, 02:05 PM   #36
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,212
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Quote:
Rennis Buchner wrote: View Post
Nihonjinron isn't something "Japanese" subscribe to, believe, follow. It is something SOME Japanese buy into to varying degrees. I have no issue with pride in your country, culture, etc, but the brand of Nihonjinron most people have issues with goes beyond normal healthy pride and basically pushes the idea of "the Japanese" as a homogeneous race and culture (it isn't, especially the later) that is utterly unique in the world and understanding it is completely beyond comprehension of outsiders...
A good case in point might be my own teacher: I have heard of several folks suggesting that he, as a gaijin, cannot truly understand Shinto. Of course, Sendai Guji (who was 96th generation Guji) of Tsubaki O Kami Yashiro thought differently enough to accept him as a disciple and to award him the position of kannushi (assuming I'm understanding the formal phrasing properly); current Guji seems to agree with Sendai Guji. Kannushi-san's insight into taisai and norito seems to go well beyond that of your average nihonjin...and my meager sense is that he has a deep understanding. I recall making a visit to Ise and going past the first gate to offer gratitude with our Tsubaki group and many of the Japanese watching were quite surprised!
This kind of bias always reminds me of how I was growing up in my little trailer park: I've always been pretty accepting of others into whatever group I'm in, but any time I saw someone who wasn't from around there (and it was clear who lived there and who didn't), I had the sense that they were outsiders, essentially unable to be a part of my little group. I think part of this comes from that personal sense of home or family in which you're pretty much born into it, and if you're not, well you're not a part of it.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 06-30-2009 at 02:11 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2009, 03:17 PM   #37
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Quote:
Japane is a modern nation affording its people human rights, and stuff like that.
Oh really??

Quote:
Japanese society of Yamato people is linguistically homogeneous with small populations of Koreans (0.6 million), Chinese/Taiwanese (0.5 million), Brazilians (300, 000, many of whom are ethnically Japanese), and Filipino (245, 518 some being Japanese Filipino; children of Japanese and Filipino parentage).[3] Japan has indigenous minority groups such as the Ainu and Ryukyuans and social minority groups like the burakumin.
From Wikipedia, not a great source, but good enough to get someone interested started.

Quote:
Because of Nihonjinron.
Wow, now that is a leap. Because of Nihonjinron as defined below:
Quote:
Books on nihonjinron typically contain the following five premises:

Uniqueness: Japan, its people, culture, ways of thinking, social behaviour, language, etc., are unique
This uniqueness of the Japanese is rooted in the distinctive characteristics of the Japanese race or ethnos
Ahistorical essentialism: The peculiarities of the Japanese remain unaltered essentially throughout history, and indeed, it is often asserted, are derived from a prehistorical world
Homogeneity: The Japanese are homogeneous as a people, race, or ethnic community
Language: The Japanese language contains words and phrases that cannot be adequately translated into other languages, demonstrating the uniqueness of the Japanese race.
Quote:
Japan[e] is a modern nation affording its people human rights
???

Somehow I just don't see how that follows. Why don't you ask someone who is Ainu if they agree?

Best,
Ron

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 06-30-2009 at 03:20 PM.

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2009, 11:38 PM   #38
Josh Reyer
 
Josh Reyer's Avatar
Location: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 644
Japan
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Ron, God knows I rarely agree with Buck on such issues, but are you actually arguing that Japan does not afford its citizens human rights? And by this I mean to a degree unusual for a first world country? Is it your position that the Ainu currently do not have human rights in Japan?

To be sure, Japan's human rights are not thanks to Nihonjinron, nor is Japan's history of mistreatment and oppression of minority groups any less spotty than other developed nations. But it seems like you're taken a rather extreme view here.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2009, 07:29 AM   #39
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Hi Josh, no, I certainly don't mean to be extreme. But if you look how Japan *does* treat it's minorities, in areas of health care, job opportunities, residence opportunities, etc...are you telling me that even today they don't have issues? Sure, of course there are basic protections in place as a matter of law...but what about the practice? If there are not issues, why do the Ainu and burakumin try to hide their backgrounds? Why do they have advocacy groups lobbying on their behalf? And that is without even touching how they treat their guest workers. To be clear, I am certainly NOT saying this from the perspective that the US or other Western nations have great records even now. I would really be hard pressed to volunteer in this country right now to be a practicing member of the Islamic faith. It too many cases, that can make you a target these days. Even if found innocent in a court of law. http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/06/29/...edo/index.html

And of course, my main point is the linkage to Nihonjinron. That is the part that really blows my mind.

Best,
Ron (you live in Japan, all my information is second hand. So if you'd like to start a thread on that feel free. There are a few threads on e-budo that also address this, I believe.)

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 07-01-2009 at 07:34 AM.

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2009, 09:03 AM   #40
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
I would really be hard pressed to volunteer in this country right now to be a practicing member of the Islamic faith. It too many cases, that can make you a target these days. Even if found innocent in a court of law. http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/06/29/...edo/index.html
I dunno, Ron. Do you ride around with terrorists wanting to blow stuff up? There was a case to be made that both *could* have been involved in transporting explosives. In the end, it was proven that one of them was definitely involved. Lots of hassle in the legal system for Youssef Megahed, but in the end, justice was served in this particular case. He was acquitted of the crimes. His "friend" in the car, Ahmed Mohamed, confessed and was found guilty.

Now, it seems that there is more "evidence" against Youssef Megahed, only this time involving being a terrorist. I don't know what it is or how detailed. One source states this:

Quote:
The evidence, from a search of the computer at his family's home, includes "numerous videos, documents and an Internet search history that supports Islamic extremism, jihad against the United States...," ICE alleged in court documents.
http://delawarelibertarian.blogspot....ice-state.html

What's really happening? I guess we'll probably not know the truth of the matter. What do we really know? Youssef was traveling on a road trip with a terrorist. As a nation, we should investigate that kind of situation. A jury acquitted Youssef "of charges of possessing and transporting explosives". However, that was one portion of a larger question. Is Youssef a terrorist? That question is now being asked by Immigrations.

When I was sent overseas in 90-91, I worked alongside many members of the Islamic faith. I watched them set down the prayer rugs and pray at the appropriate times. I watched them guard us at specific places. We never thought twice about their ideals, their religion, or their devotion to keeping us safe.

There are many practicing members of the Islamic faith in the U.S. And many of them are not "hassled" at all. There's anywhere from 2-10 million Muslims in the U.S. How many can you count that have been "targeted" like Youssef? Bottom line for anyone, not just a practicing Muslim, is that if you're going to hang around with someone and take road trips with someone, it's best to know just what kind of person he, or she, is and what he/she is transporting or carrying with them.

IMO, anyway.

Sorry for the off topic post,
Mark
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2009, 09:40 AM   #41
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Hi Mark, the other person in the car WAS NOT CONVICTED OF BEING A TERRORIST.

This is exactly my problem.

The main person under discussion was found NOT GUILTY. And now the government is ignoring double jeapardy, and trying again.

There are plenty of people who have detailed the persecutions going on now in this country.

You and I will probably always disagree on this one. No biggie.

Best,
Ron (yeah, I've prayed in Mosques overseas...I keep wondering when I might hear the knock on the door)

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 07-01-2009 at 09:43 AM.

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2009, 10:27 AM   #42
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Hi Mark, the other person in the car WAS NOT CONVICTED OF BEING A TERRORIST.

This is exactly my problem.
Hi Ron,
According to reports, "Mohamed pleaded guilty to providing material support to terrorists and is serving a 15-year prison sentence."

And "The plea agreement describes the 12-minute YouTube video in detail, and says Mohamed told investigators his intention in making and distributing the recording was to support attempts by terrorists to murder employees of the United States, including members of the military engaged in their official duties."

Mohamed was found guilty of being a terrorist.

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
The main person under discussion was found NOT GUILTY. And now the government is ignoring double jeapardy, and trying again.

There are plenty of people who have detailed the persecutions going on now in this country.

You and I will probably always disagree on this one. No biggie.

Best,
Ron (yeah, I've prayed in Mosques overseas...I keep wondering when I might hear the knock on the door)
Well, Youssef was found not guilty of federal explosives charges. IF (and that's a big IF) law enforcement has evidence showing Youssef has terrorist connections, then that is a very separate battle.

Remember, Youssef Megahed did not face terrorism-related charges. It was only federal explosives charges. However, Mohamed *did* face terrorist charges and plead guilty to them. Two very distinct things.

So, double jeopardy? No.

And what's life if we can't disagree sometimes. At least I know I can have a very civil, intelligent conversation with you in our disagreement.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2009, 11:09 AM   #43
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Ah, you are correct about the other person.

There are plenty of better examples out there however.

Best,
Ron (well, we can at least *try* to remain civil )

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2009, 11:29 AM   #44
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Ah, you are correct about the other person.

There are plenty of better examples out there however.

Best,
Ron (well, we can at least *try* to remain civil )
Agreed that there are better examples out there. And knowing the gov't, I wouldn't put it past them to try some legal fine-line wrangling to get what they want. I just think that in this example, it's a bit more complicated.

And you not being civil? I don't think anyone here at Aikiweb would believe that you'd be uncivil. Maybe a pain in the butt.

Hope you're looking forward to a great 4th!
Mark
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2009, 02:41 PM   #45
C. David Henderson
Location: Santa Fe New Mexico
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 606
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

It's not double jepoardy in any event, since deportation is not a criminal proceeding. That's why the burden of proof is lower.

It's clearly legitimate and even important for the government to investigate the underlying facts; however, the remarks of the jury foreman suggest someone along the way didn't do a very good job of objectively assessing the strength of the criminal case, for reasons we'll probably never know.

I hope there is a more objectively sound case to take to a deportation hearing.

regards,

cdh
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2009, 05:56 PM   #46
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Ron,

Since I rarely agree with what you say on many things you reply to me. You must understand, all I am saying is....Nihonjinron is something I am merely looking at. It doesn't have any effect on my training or my life. I don't experience it, and I don't think the Japanese are superior ( but only in reasonable limited sort of way with certain things they demonstrate superior stuff, i.e. recognizing Toyota is superior to Ford. Now, Mary disagrees with that. And it seems so do you. Fine. My opinion has really nothing to do with Nihonjinron, expect if I lived in Japan, or if I was Japanese. I do think the Japanese are unique, just as the rest of the other cultures on earth. Being unique like a finger print, doesn't mean they are not human, or that they can't have similarities to other cultures, or influences from other countries. I don't think it is an issue for me if they disagree with that. That is their right.

FWIW.

Last edited by Buck : 07-01-2009 at 05:58 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2009, 06:12 PM   #47
oisin bourke
 
oisin bourke's Avatar
Dojo: Muden Juku, Ireland
Location: Kilkenny
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 333
Ireland
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Ron,

My opinion has really nothing to do with Nihonjinron, expect if I lived in Japan, or if I was Japanese. I do think the Japanese are unique, just as the rest of the other cultures on earth. Being unique like a finger print, doesn't mean they are not human, or that they can't have similarities to other cultures, or influences from other countries. I don't think it is an issue for me if they disagree with that. That is their right.

FWIW.
Philip, not all Japanese believe they are a unique species. I wish you'd stop writing as if they do. It comes across as offensive towards a lot of people.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2009, 07:51 PM   #48
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,058
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Nihonjinron is something I am merely looking at. It doesn't have any effect on my training or my life. I don't experience it, and I don't think the Japanese are superior ( but only in reasonable limited sort of way with certain things they demonstrate superior stuff, i.e. recognizing Toyota is superior to Ford. Now, Mary disagrees with that.
I didn't say that or anything like that. Feel free to tell the world that you don't understand what I said, but stop saying that I said something I didn't.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2009, 08:45 PM   #49
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I didn't say that or anything like that. Feel free to tell the world that you don't understand what I said, but stop saying that I said something I didn't.
But you said....I was simply reinterating what you said
Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
06-29-2009, 05:12 AM: I just don't agree with you.
Mary, what do you think of Nihonjinron?

Last edited by Buck : 07-01-2009 at 08:47 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2009, 09:13 PM   #50
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,058
United_States
Offline
Re: Nihonjinron

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
But you said....I was simply reinterating what you said
I'm sorry, Buck, but you were not. You said:

Quote:
Nihonjinron is something I am merely looking at. It doesn't have any effect on my training or my life. I don't experience it, and I don't think the Japanese are superior ( but only in reasonable limited sort of way with certain things they demonstrate superior stuff, i.e. recognizing Toyota is superior to Ford. Now, Mary disagrees with that.
Your "that" has no clear antecedent; it could refer to any of several things. According to you, I either believe:
  • That you are NOT "merely looking at" nihonjinron
  • That nihonjinron DOES have any effect on your training or your life
  • That you DO experience nihonjinron
  • That you DO think the Japanese are superior, or
  • That the Japanese ARE superior
...or perhaps some combination of the above. In fact, I have not made any statement that could be construed as any of these.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Aikido and Bushido aikishrine General 127 06-02-2009 08:04 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:53 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2016 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2016 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate