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World Heritage temple in Nara vandalized by visiting foreign teen

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*An eighth-century Japanese temple and UNESCO World Heritage site in Nara Prefecture, Toshodaiji Temple, had a building vandalized by a Canadian teen tourist who carved letters into a wooden pillar, local police said.*

Personally I'm not one to fawn over japanese anything, but vandalization really is too much. That's a no-no.

Additionally, it literally stuns me that canadians get away with the goodie-two-shoes image around the world when in fact I have personally witnessed on too many occasions where canadians have either been acting socially inappropriate to the point of making others feel uncomfortable or physically fighting, or vandalizing. It really is a shame they get away with the good boy image. An image which doesn't fit the real character.

10 ( +41 / -31 )

“Julian the Jerk”

22 ( +25 / -3 )

Where was the security? Museums have people that watch you like a hawk.

-23 ( +4 / -27 )

Sounds like he must have been let go with a stern telling off instead of held in custody.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

He is suspected of having carved letters with his fingernail on the pillar

How long are his Friggin nails??? Is his name Freddy kruger?

29 ( +33 / -4 )

I think his dad is in the rock band Nine Inch Nails.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Additionally, it literally stuns me that canadians get away with the goodie-two-shoes image around the world when in fact I have personally witnessed on too many occasions where canadians have either been acting socially inappropriate to the point of making others feel uncomfortable or physically fighting, or vandalizing. It really is a shame they get away with the good boy image. An image which doesn't fit the real character.

Very true.

-11 ( +15 / -26 )

When you have sampled more than a few thousand more Cananadians behaviour come back to us with your assessment if their charcater traits will you? A subjective observation of ahandful of Candadian aint' going to convine me of a national character trait.

Yes, and you can make that comment about any Nationality.

-6 ( +14 / -20 )

Click bait. This story cannot be found in the national news media and rightly so. If it had been a Japanese child nothing would have been reported anywhere (yes, Japanese heritage sites are vandalised usually unintentianally to varying degrees by locals all the time).

You can found it

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/lnews/nara/20230707/2050013994.html

12 ( +17 / -5 )

They should carve Nara on his face as a souvenir, then deport him.

14 ( +25 / -11 )

It sounds like the parents let him do it. Every time I go to a temple I can find carvings on the building walls.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Additionally, it literally stuns me that canadians get away with the goodie-two-shoes image around the world when in fact I have personally witnessed on too many occasions where canadians have either been acting socially inappropriate to the point of making others feel uncomfortable or physically fighting, or vandalizing. It really is a shame they get away with the good boy image. An image which doesn't fit the real character.

There are a$$holes in every culture.

Canada has surprisingly few. It's a very polite and friendly culture.

Remember, the type of people who live in other countries are generally not indicative of the people of the country; very, very few people of any culture leave it to live somewhere else. People who leave are a specific subset.

I've lived in a number of countries, and Canada is an easy one to be in, as the people here are very easy going.

-5 ( +20 / -25 )

Control access to protected buildings is the answer

0 ( +7 / -7 )

When you have sampled more than a few thousand more Cananadians behaviour come back to us with your assessment if their charcater traits will you?

You act as if tens of thousands of people of hundreds of nationalities haven't met tens of thousands of Canadians and come to that conclusion.

There's a reason Canadians have the reputation they do.

-14 ( +13 / -27 )

Stupid kid, but he's a kid.

-22 ( +10 / -32 )

There are a$holes in every culture.

Canada has surprisingly few. It's a very polite and friendly culture.

There's a reason Canadians have the reputation they do.

I agree with this statement. Every time I go there, I am amazed at how friendly and easygoing they are.

1 ( +15 / -14 )

Stupid kid, but he's a kid.

Exactly. And that is what we should keep in mind.

How many of us engaged in ridiculously moronic behavior as teens? That’s generally what teens do; they often behave poorly.

Answer: Education, mentoring, coaching

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Strangerland

Canadians don’t have an amazing reputation worldwide as you seem or desire to believe. Maybe in the US, but the world is much bigger than that continent you see. Those of us that have travelled extensively and explored culture and diversity know that is a myth.

1 ( +18 / -17 )

Canadians don’t have an amazing reputation worldwide as you seem or desire to believe.

And yet, there are people in here arguing Canadians aren't polite.

What would be the point if everyone didn't think they were polite in the first place.

Sorry, did you want me to not point proof showing how you're plain wrong? My bad.

-10 ( +7 / -17 )

You have to wonder, if this was a Japanese child would it even have been reported?

Of course. Did you not see what happened when the kid licked the shoyu at the sushi shop recently?

-9 ( +10 / -19 )

The Canadian kid is lucky he did it in Japan. In Singapore, he would have been arrested, indicted, and, if found guilty, whipped several times as punishment.

27 ( +28 / -1 )

Vandalized by FOREIGN!!! teen.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

one_consciousness

Today 06:37 am JST

A subjective observation of ahandful of Candadian aint' going to convine me of a national character trait.

I agree but Canada has changed!

Today children in Canada have no discipline, they are basically taught anything they want they get, the schools can rarely discipline, parents cannot do it say much as the state will " investigate" if you are reported for even yelling at your child.

Consequences are a non thing, just look at the news, a 13 year old drug over dose a stabbing on Toronto transit, etc...

These are not isolated incidents but now common place,

Not long ago Toronto public transit moved 1.5 million people daily, today it is less than 800,000 and dropping due to violence and fear.

I don't know this person but, I can imagine the type, he has never been told "No" he has probably never had to actually suffer any serious consequences for anything he has done apart from at most been told to "sit quietly and contemplate his actions".

3 ( +14 / -11 )

one_consciousness

Today 08:04 am JST

You have to wonder, if this was a Japanese child would it even have been reported?

> There have been a few extreme cases of Japanese people damaging heritage sites over th years but this is a rleatibl;y minor inciodent getting pushed into the news because it fits the narrative (i.e. foriegners damage heritage sites and make a mess - BTW they don't)

Yes it very possibly would have and has been, including reporting on Japanese that have done similar things while traveling abroad and causing damage or vandalism.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Today children in Canada have no discipline, they are basically taught anything they want they get, the schools can rarely discipline, parents cannot do it say much as the state will " investigate" if you are reported for even yelling at your child.

An old person talking about how kids have changed and are a problem these days. This is new, why has that never happened throughout history before?

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

What an idiot!

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Unfortunately, not an isolated incident.

Tourist who carved names into Colosseum wall unmasked https://metro.co.uk/2023/06/29/tourist-who-vandalised-rome-colosseum-revealed-19041287/

A percentage of any group of people are idiots. If caught, fine them and deport them.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Strangerland

Today 09:05 am JST

Today children in Canada have no discipline, they are basically taught anything they want they get, the schools can rarely discipline, parents cannot do it say much as the state will " investigate" if you are reported for even yelling at your child.

> An old person talking about how kids have changed and are a problem these days. This is new, why has that never happened throughout history before

This is what my cousin's children say in Canada, they are young parents and have no say anymore, the children are not at fault, the big brother state the nanny state is the problem, my sister quit as a teacher, so did others I know, because they are not even permitted to send a child out of class, my sister was punched on several occasions and they couldn't even charge the student or suspended him, she was the one told to "be understanding" and offered counseling.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

This is what my cousin's children say in Canada, they are young parents and have no say anymore, the children are not at fault, the big brother state the nanny state is the problem, my sister quit as a teacher, so did others I know, because they are not even permitted to send a child out of class, my sister was punched on several occasions and they couldn't even charge the student or suspended him, she was the one told to "be understanding" and offered counseling.

Yeah! But as I said, I can't tell you how astounded I am to hear of old people complaining about the youth of today. It's just so... unexpected, new, and different!

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

Stupid and Ignorant, a regrettable act, but anyone who falls in these categories could have done it.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

StrangerlandToday  07:41 am JST

Stupid kid, but he's a kid.

He's old enough to know better. He should be arrested, prosecuted and fined and forced to make a very public apology and have his tourist visa cancelled thus forcing him out of the country tout suite. This will cause great inconvenience and expense to his parents who can then reflect on the way they brought him up.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

On the other hand, what are created or built things useful for, if then humans aren’t allowed to use it? While you in majority see a UNESCO temple , only for watching or praying, he’s seeing it more or also as a message board. It’s a matter of interpretation, isn’t it? You call that vandalism, but he could also call it vandalism, putting a temple on area where formerly was a rice field for example. Different focus, different results. lol

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

No nation can judged by a single citizen. Recently the Colosseum was defaced by a British tourist who the Italian police are now seeking. Previously, a Chinese tourist defaced a shrine in Nagano.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

The older generation complaining about the younger ones is a fact throughout history.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

While not condoning the act - pretty duh - a fingernail scratching a pillar hardly seems to be at the top of the table re vandalism.

Mt Fuji - the spiritual icon of Japan, a World Heritage site gets "vandalized" and disrespected every year by 100,000s of climbers, mostly Japanese, traipsing all over, dumping garbage and not paying heed to guidelines.

Focussing on the real problems re environment, culture and heritage would be better.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Canadians don’t have an amazing reputation worldwide as you seem or desire to believe. Maybe in the US, but the world is much bigger than that continent you see.

I certainly can’t compete with your knowledge of Canada, but where do Canadians have the kind of reputation you are talking about?

I was in Canada a few months back. Fantastic people.

The types moaning about ‘kids of today’ or making generalizations based on one idiot aren’t making much sense here.

They never do.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

The last vandalization was in 2015. It is now 2023. Once in eight years is not bad. Playing the victim gets them free press in English news outlets, which will actually help their tourism numbers. Kinkakuji makes enough money to handle something as petty as this.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Canadians are copping a flogging here today. Why is this kid suddenly representative of an entire nation. Kind of bigoted.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

A simple fine and a five-year ban.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

make him buy a sanding block and teach him how to fix it. Educational holiday...everyone happy. If you want to dish out some punishment too, make him wear t-shirt depicting 'I am responsible for my mistake'.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

While not condoning the act - pretty duh - a fingernail scratching a pillar hardly seems to be at the top of the table re vandalism.

Houses of worship deserve greater consideration. I can not imagine carving my name in the Vatican or a mosque in Mecca.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Kid should be lucky he isn’t in Singapore he would of ended up caned! Shameful behavior for sure, I wonder if they will give him a ban from entering Japan again?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Easy enough to repair. Just move on. To be expected with an Increase in tourists of the lowest common dominator.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I figured the boy is traveling with his parents. And they don't teach him manners. I've seen a young girl put up her feet with shoes on a chair that other customers will be using too. Parents were sitting next to her and said nothing!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Randy JohnsonToday  06:32 am JST

Additionally, it literally stuns me that canadians get away with the goodie-two-shoes image around the world when in fact I have personally witnessed on too many occasions where canadians have either been acting socially inappropriate to the point of making others feel uncomfortable or physically fighting, or vandalizing. It really is a shame they get away with the good boy image. An image which doesn't fit the real character.

Nationality has nothing to do with it.

I can tell that you're childish, not very smart, and have some dumb resentment of Canadians and I don't even need to know your nationality.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I think his name was scratched not carved. Don't think you can do a lot of carving with your finger nails. Still no excuse for bad Manners. But really arrested!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

TaiwanIsNotChina

Where was the security? Museums have people that watch you like a hawk.

Sadly, Japan is not used to this level of social disintegration yet.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Where is the security ? If a Canadian did bad thing it's YOUR fault for not stopping him.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

ZaphodToday 03:36 pm JST

Sadly, Japan is not used to this level of social disintegration yet.

The keyword there being "yet" but it is also common sense to protect things that are priceless.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

My thanks to all for your pro- and anti- Canadian comments. Nothing like a good laugh to start the day for this Canadian.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

What an absolutely nuttsack of a human being. This fella needs a Lt. Aldo Raine special or a good bamboo rod caning by a priest to get his mind right.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Like almost everyone else, I too am disgusted by this behavior.

However, and I do not say this to excuse what was done, I sometimes reflect on some of the ridiculous and terrible things I did as a teenager. I am just glad that I did not get caught, and that no one was killed. I wish my older and wiser self could do something to stop my foolish younger self.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Generalizing and labeling people is wrong.

Canadian are known for their niceness and public courtesy.

not every one of course.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Pillars and walls at temples are literally filled with name carvings etc, I wonder why this one hit the news hmm...

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

People who do this are like dogs that urinate on everything to mark that they were there. In other words, degenerates!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Kick him out of the Country. Never allowed entry again.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

As a Canadian I was to express outrage and shame for the behaviour of this punk. Deepest apologies to Japan and the Japanese people. Some of these structures in Nara are older than any man-made structure in Canada. I do not understand getting on an airplane to be tourist in another culture and rather than enjoying that experience - you shamefully bring the worst of your culture with you. Go carve your name in blazing trees in Canada next time - Japan should ban this punk for life

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Quite mortified that it was a Canadian kid. You have to be a special kind of dumbass to do this if you're from my country. Usually we have an outward view of the world and respect things. Something went wrong here

3 ( +4 / -1 )

wallaceToday  10:33 am JST

No nation can judged by a single citizen. Recently the Colosseum was defaced by a British tourist who the Italian police are now seeking.

That particular tourist is not British, he is called Ivan Dimitrov, a Bulgarian with a British passport.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Harry_Gatto

   wallace

   No nation can judged by a single citizen. Recently the Colosseum was defaced by a British tourist who the Italian police are now seeking.

> That particular tourist is not British, he is called Ivan Dimitrov, a Bulgarian with a British passport.

If he has a British passport then he's as British as you or I.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

That particular tourist is not British, he is called Ivan Dimitrov, a Bulgarian with a British passport.

...so he's British.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Whenever I see a headline this my hope is it wasn’t an American. Dodged tweet his one and quite a few similar stories. We’re better behaved than our reputation indicates!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Regrettable, but at least it is something that can be fixed relatively easy and the teen needs to be properly educated on respecting foreign cultures. I suspect this teen would have done the same at any historical site in the world.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

oldman_13Today 04:12 am JST

Regrettable, but at least it is something that can be fixed relatively easy and the teen needs to be properly educated on respecting foreign cultures. I suspect this teen would have done the same at any historical site in the world.

How would it be fixed? It's a 1300 year old structure, not something that is rebuilt every 20 years like the Ise Grand Shrine. Unless it is in danger of collapse they will probably never remove the column and rightly so.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Despicable behaviour.

The vandal should have been fined ¥1 million, and forced - for the rest of his holiday - to clean the entire shrine precinct. On top of a 10 year ban from entering Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Not sure why people are making excuses for this person. At his age you know full well what is right and wrong, so hopefully they punish him properly and appropriately.

I recall a fair while ago now that the son of a high ranking foreigner in Singapore was caught vandalising or graffitiing something when he knew the punishment was lashes with the Rattan cane. His family tried to get him out of it, but the Singaporeans went ahead with the lesson and caned him anyway.

Perhaps they can lend Japan the cane for this one.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Not sure why people are making excuses for this person. At his age you know full well what is right and wrong, so hopefully they punish him properly and appropriately.

It's not a binary black/white, good/evil situation. As in real life, there are always nuances. As you stated, this kid knows right and wrong at this age. But he's also not a fully developed adult. The brain at this age still has not fully developed the capacity to see the long-term consequences to one's actions. The logic centers of the brain do not fully develop until around 25 years old.

This kid knew or should have known what he was doing was wrong. But it's not surprising that he's stupid enough to do it anyways, as he probably didn't realize, consider, or even consider the existence of, long-term consequences.

So yeah, punish him appropriately, which means taking into account the fact that he's a kid. That's not making excuses, it's dealing with reality on realities terms, rather than some hard-line absolutist attitude that doesn't care about the realities of the real world.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

imagine carving my name in the Vatican or a mosque in Mecca.

Muslims have an easy preventive measure for this—no non-Muslims are allowed in Mecca.

Of course, were you to somehow slip in and deface anything, especially if it were uncovered that you weren’t a Muslim, you could expect to be beaten to death by a mob on the spot.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

His penalty / punishment was only to be questioned ?

You’ve obviously never been questioned by police in Japan. It’s far more threatening and unnerving than you might think. The kid is probably still wetting his bed nightly from the experience.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

NorthernlifeJuly 8  01:39 pm JST

Give me a Canadian tourist over an American one any day but that is just my personal opinion..I've seen more Americans being douches than I have Canadians.

Of course you have. There are 331.9 million Americans and only 38.25million Canadians. lol

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm still having a hard time believing that this idiot carved his whole name with a fingernail.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm still having a hard time believing that this idiot carved his whole name with a fingernail.

As his fingernails are probably worn down, it’ll be harder for the police to pull them out.

Such vandalism is nothing new. Greek tourists carved their names in Egyptian temples in BCE. They became part of the history.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Come on everyone he scratched a little paint off with his fingernail. I really don't understand why this is even a news story.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

So yeah, punish him appropriately, which means taking into account the fact that he's a kid. That's not making excuses, it's dealing with reality on realities terms, rather than some hard-line absolutist attitude that doesn't care about the realities of the real world.

If he were 7 or 8 he would be a kid, but he's not is he - he's 17 and will be legally considered an adult in most countries within the year, including in Canada, where he's from. Unless he's intellectually limited in some way, the reality is he's just being a fully cognisant and wanton cultural vandal, in a country where the reality of attitudes to this kind of behaviour are potentially considerably different to his own.

The rest is just making excuses.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Additionally, it literally stuns me that canadians get away with the goodie-two-shoes image around the world when in fact I have personally witnessed on too many occasions where canadians have either been acting socially inappropriate to the point of making others feel uncomfortable or physically fighting, or vandalizing. It really is a shame they get away with the good boy image. An image which doesn't fit the real character.

Fact. They have gotten ruder as the years have gone by. I don't even visit anymore.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Fact. They have gotten ruder as the years have gone by.

As someone who lives in Canada, I can point out the real fact: the above comment is delusional. They are a very easy-going people, and their reputation is well deserved.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As a fellow Canadian, he is a disgrace. Send him to a Japanese jail for a month. He can't speak English in jail and visiting family members can't speak English with him either then deport and abolish him from the country.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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