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32 Hiroshi Nakamura: comments on various points (American misconceptions about Japan)




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This article is from the American misconceptions about Japan FAQ, by Tanaka Tomoyuki ez074520@dilbert.ucdavis.edu with numerous contributions by others.

32 Hiroshi Nakamura: comments on various points (American misconceptions about Japan)

Newsgroups: soc.culture.japan
Date: 23 Sep 94 11:02:40 GMT
From: Hiroshi Nakamura < ynakamur@sfu.ca>
Subject: Re: American images of Japan

[...]
> > --- the Japanese as rich people
>
> This is "negative and malicious"?

I don't know if I would go as far as "malicious" but at times,
yes, I agree with Mr Tanaka. Pretty much everything, I believe,
can be conveyed to the readers or listeners in a positive or in
a negative way depending on HOW it is being said and in what
CONTEXT it's in. I think what Mr Tanaka was trying to say is
that media tries to say it ("rich") in a negative way. For
example, I don't think people would think highly of a rich
person who makes his/her money by tricking and taking advantages
(unfair trade practices) of other people (fellow Americans).

> > --- the Japanese as hardworking people
>
> This is "negative and malicious"?

I agree with you. Hard and diligent workers are USUALLY admired
and are used as role models. HOWEVER, workers who only work for
money and have no social life are NOT. Mr Tanaka, I think, was
referring to the latter type.

> > --- the Japanese as invaders

I think the point that Mr Tanaka was referring to is Japan
taking over Corporate America and America itself. In the past
decade many Japanese firms have bought a lot of assets in the
U.S. such as Universal Studios, Columbia Recording Studio,
Rockefeller Building, and has also improved its status (esp.
economic): These takeovers are sometimes viewed as Japan's
second attempt to take over the U.S.

[...] how some US companies try to use the nationalism (and
hatred toward Japan) that existed during the war to compete with
the Japanese companies.
e.g., "Buy American-made cars." NOT "Buy the best cars"

> --- sexually perverted

I agree with Mr Tanaka. Stereotypes toward Japanese have
changed recently in North America.
--- Before, it was Samurai, Geisha, and Ninja (Samurai related movies).
--- Then, it was hardworking (in a bad sense) and stubborn
workers as seen in Gung Ho.
--- Finally, Hollywood has decided to portray Japanese as sly,
perverted, and impossible-to-understand human beings.

There is, however, one consistency in all of these stereotypes
listed above: they are all negative. The most recent type of
stereotypes can be seen in movies like: Black Rain, Rising Sun,
and Mr. Baseball.

 

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