Photo: Twitter/@hanenohaetashra
lifestyle

'I’m glad I’m Japanese' posters in Kyoto spark outrage among Japanese Twitter users

150 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Every city in Japan, is, of course, Japanese, but there are few that feel more so than Kyoto. Though it hasn’t been the nation’s political capital for almost 150 years, Kyoto remains the cultural capital for many traditional art forms and disciplines.

That exalted status makes Kyoto one of the most visited cities in Japan, with both domestic and international travelers coming to experience a touch of classical Japanese elegance. But while Kyoto’s “Japanese-ness” is a point of pride among local residents, some Twitter users feel that posters spotted in the city take the boasting too far.

Japanese Twitter user @hanenohaetashra recently shared the above snapshot. The poster’s text, in its entirety, translates to: “I’m glad I’m Japanese. Raise the Hinomaru [Japanese flag] with pride in your heart.”

“I’ve seen this poster here and there in Kyoto,” tweeted @hanenohaetashra. “It’s frightening.”

No indication is made of who produced or has been putting up the posters, though popular speculation is that they are made by a political or Shinto group with strong nationalistic leanings. Following @hanenohaetashra’s tweet, several others chimed in with their agreement that the message is a tone-deaf one to display in a city that not only prides itself on its hospitality, but has also become one of Japan’s major contact points with the rest of the global community.

“I’m a Kyotoite. For a town that’s such a sightseeing destination, this is pathetic, and embarrassing.”

“I live in Kyoto. Yeah, I’ve seen these posters around. Speaking as a Kyotoite, they’re completely pathetic. If you could, please let me know where you saw them in town.”

“Creepy. Do they think putting these posters up will help Kyoto’s image? They’re screwing up the good reputation the city has built.”

Again, it should be reiterated that these posters bear no identifying marks, and do not appear to be the work of the municipal government or any official tourism organization. Twitter users have offered their theories into the psyches of the posters’ anonymous creators, however.

“In any case, you can tell that the people who made this have no confidence in themselves that stems from being Japanese.”

“Nothing makes you look more like an ass than beating your chest because of your own identity.”

It’s worth noting that Japan’s near-homogenous ethnic makeup makes it difficult to distinguish between societal and racial pride. Still, multiple online commenters felt that the posters are insensitive towards people of non-Japanese ancestry.

“This kind of thinking [exhibited on the poster] is dangerous unless you also have an understanding of and respect for other cultures as well. I hope whoever made these posters has those.”

“What a weird poster. When foreign residents of Kyoto or the city’s many overseas visitors see this, I wonder if it’ll make them feel like this country doesn’t accept their presence. It’s a very disturbing message that the posters are transmitting.”

Though the posters have been spotted in Kyoto, those who take issue with the possible implications discussed here will be happy to know that they’re not everywhere in the city, and at least one Kyoto resident, while troubled by them, said to have not noticed them before seeing @hanenohaetashra’s tweet. Still, for those who want Kyoto to retain its image as a symbol of Japanese society’s welcoming politeness, even a few such posters likely feels like too many.

Source: Togetter via Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

150 Comments
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Just last week there was a video of Kyoto people in a ramen shop abusing a Korean tourist. They insult the very people they rely on for revenue.

8 ( +19 / -11 )

Those comments are spot-on. You'd have to be really insecure to do something like this.

I don't understand why the people responsible are such a mystery: just ask the businesses and others that agreed to post the posters. Indeed the fact that so many businesses and organizations in Kyoto did agree to display the poster shows that this "pathetic and embarrassing" attitude is quite widespread in Japan's old capital.

11 ( +22 / -11 )

nothing wrong with saying you are proud of your nationality, but what is the purpose? If your message is valid why not say where the message is from? If you are that proud to be Japanese shouldn't you identify yourself?

12 ( +18 / -6 )

Been in kyoto and honestly I felt alienated many times while there.

6 ( +16 / -10 )

Though I love to visit Kyoto, no doubt many residents come off as smug. But there are a lot snobs in big cities everywhere. That said, I agree with the speculation that this is a right-wing Shinto group. I took visiting family to Higashiyama last month and saw at least two of these posters at smaller shrines. Of course, most foreigners don't know what they say but enough do and it seems odd to say the least. All these vulgar foreigners trampling on our sacred spots, oh thank heavens I'm a pure Nihonjin.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

Pretty much anything can 'spark outrage' amongst Twitter users. Not say this campaign doesn't deserve it tho.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I speak (and write) the Japanese language better than some Japanese I know; yet I have no Japanese lineage (that I'm aware of).

I do get looked down on some times only to prove them wrong afterwards. This country needs to improve on it's social sensitivity to the international community, if she's really keen on opening up to the world.

P.S. My country welcomes hundreds to thousands of Japanese citizens yearly with warmth, by the way.

13 ( +20 / -7 )

"...this is pathetic, and embarrassing"

Yep, that sums it up. But I imagine that will go over the tiny heads of the people who created this sign.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

I'm sorry I completely fail to see where anything offensive or wrong has been done.

If I went back to NYC and saw a poster of a dude and it said "I am a proud American! Raise the Stars and Stripes high!" would this be a controversial thing to say?

What is so controversial about that? It doesn't say anything negative about others.

Well I am a Japanese and I am not proud of everything that happens here, but I'll raise the flag if the situation calls for it.

-6 ( +21 / -27 )

"If I went back to NYC and saw a poster of a dude and it said 'I am a proud American! Raise the Stars and Stripes high!' would this be a controversial thing to say?"

Controversial, hardly. Annoying, and freedom-fry jingoistic, deeply.

18 ( +24 / -6 )

MAGA-level jingoistic! Wouldn't it be a hoot if those red hats and these IGIJ posters were being cranked out in the exact same place?

3 ( +9 / -6 )

If I couldn't relate to nor begin to understand the outside world I would be proud to be Japanese as well. This is all part of the recent wave of Japan worship and glorification taken right out of a 1930s handbook. You can feel it in the variety shows and talk shows of lates too. It must feel so special to be born to such a privileged and superior race, and having to state it all the time speaks volumes. Good to hear many Japanese people calling it out for what it is. Embarrassing. Mind you, we have the whole Aussie pride thing going on back home too. Racism 101.

3 ( +14 / -11 )

“In any case, you can tell that the people who made this have no confidence in themselves that stems from being Japanese.”

Bang on! And I'm glad it's another Kyoto person saying this. The people thinking up, printing, and putting up these posters are indeed pathetic and insecure individuals who most certainly are ruining the reputation of the city and the nation as a whole. I have no doubt they climb into black trucks with tinted windows and blare deafening crap from the 30s, then turn it off, hide their trucks in a garage, and enter their small and messy apartments with a sigh, unable to look in the mirror. Anyone who has to tell themselves, "I'm glad I'm (nationality)" is not glad about anything at all.

Pathetic.

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

Nothing wrong with pride in ones country.

7 ( +19 / -12 )

Well, if there were no foreign tourists the city wouldn't collapse since there are also so many Japanese tourists but the city and the country would be poorer without the foreign incomes.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Really smithinjapan? Well I'll have you know that I'm glad to be Japanese American. You think I'm pathetic and not glad about anything at all?

You can't lump all patriotism together with racism. That's being just as ignorant as the right wing people you ar trying to bash.

-2 ( +14 / -16 )

If I went back to NYC and saw a poster of a dude and it said "I am a proud American! Raise the Stars and Stripes high!" would this be a controversial thing to say?

One difference is that anybody can become an American, while immigrants to Japan, no matter how well they assimilate, will never be accepted as Japanese. So it is more of a racial and ethnic statement than "proud to be American" would be. And, as more non-Japanese are struggling to get by in Japanese society, it sends a very exclusionary message in a society that already lags behind most of the world in terms of globalization.

Aside from all that, it's rather silly to be proud of something one's nationality. Everybody is born somewhere, and their nation of birth doesn't make them a better or worse person than they make themselves.

19 ( +28 / -9 )

If I went back to NYC and saw a poster of a dude and it said "I am a proud American! Raise the Stars and Stripes high!" would this be a controversial thing to say?

Controversial...ehhh, definitely lame, actually absolutely cringe worthy!!

Since the group that is putting these up in Kyoto  didn't identify themselves, they are clearly embarrassed to do so! My ca$h is on right wingers who blindly follow the ldp!

8 ( +13 / -5 )

"Well I'll have you know that I'm glad to be Japanese American"

I'm proud of my German & Irish roots too but that doesn't mean I go around like a condescending chauvinist saying thank god I was born an American. Even if that's how I felt, declaring it is repulsive. You may be extremely intelligent or incredibly beautiful but when you tell people you are, what effect does that have?

"You can't lump all patriotism together with racism"

Not all but the people who are most vocal about their patriotism tend to be more aptly described as nationalists. It's like religious faith. Holy rollers who can't help but brag about their godly character are the ones I don't trust for a second.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

Comanteer

Interesting point, I can relate to what you are saying.

But your statement can still hold true in any country almost (albeit Japan lags behind many western countries in being an accepting society).

I just don't think it's across the board wrong to be patriotic and I don't like it when people who are real liberal insult you by saying you are racist or nationalist just because you show national pride. Anyways this isn't gunna be something everyone agrees on.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Jcapan

Maybe half the problem is all the negativity you see in a statement.

If anyone from any country says or displays pride in their nation, I don't have a problem with that. Declaring it is repulsive?

Ok well that's where you and I differ. I think it's fine and if there's a Somalian saying he's proud to be Somali, and a Turk proud to be Turkish...I'm cool with that and even happy for him as long as he isn't insulting anyone else. You are repulsed...alright then.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Nothing wrong with pride in ones country.

Indeed.

I think those who are bothered by these posters have issues to resolve.

4 ( +15 / -11 )

thisperson...

On a recent thread I think you mentioned being a native but mixed? Correct me if I'm wrong. So, I'm curious. Say these posters were generated by a right-wing group, as seems likely. Even if you feel the statement on the poster is innocuous, don't you think the intent might be a bit more loaded than that? Do you think the "patriots" who make up such groups are welcoming to Japanese of mixed heritage, to resident foreigners?

Anyway, back to article, there seem to be plenty of native Japanese equally offended by the poster. Negativity abounds.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I see no problem with being proud of your country(I am) both good and things that happened made us into the country and culture we are now.

Ditto patriotism is ok but when it turns into jingoism ....

9 ( +10 / -1 )

“Nothing makes you look more like an ass than beating your chest because of your own identity.”

Yep. I'd add people have the right to make themselves look like 'asses' but it makes some others uneasy.

I've always been confused when I see people proud of something they did nothing to earn.

I had no say in where I was born. Nothing to be proud nor ashamed of as far as I can see.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

JeffLee Today 07:24 am JST

I don't understand why the people responsible are such a mystery: just ask the businesses and others that agreed to post the posters.

I agree. A journalist should do a little research of his own to find out who posted them.

http://en.rocketnews24.com/author/casey-baseel/

**Source: Togetter via Hachima Kiko

https://twitter.com/hanenohaetashra/status/857606205216141312/photo/1

The source is a personal twitter account. It is OK to write about conspiracy theory or speculation in a personal account. But a journalist should avoid such speculation by due diligence. Also, it is not recommended to write an article based solely on one personal twitter account.

For bonus. "The model in the poster was not a Japanese."

https://togetter.com/li/1108641

11 ( +13 / -2 )

What makes me uneasy when mine and other countries have to pay around $500 per eurofighter flight/sortie to an overseas company to activate the IFF system.

Yes, we got foreign nationals stationed on our airbases just to unlock the system and collect the fees.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In itself it is celebration of natural feminine beauty.

“I’m glad I’m Japanese. Raise the Hinomaru with pride in your heart.”

The accompanying statement vitiates the aesthetic quality. Provocative and intimidating. It has all the cynical overtones of a cosmetics marketing ploy.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

私良い人でよかった。This would have been a better poster.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

But without the Hinomaru part.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Jcapan

Yes I am a Japanese citizen, was born here but lived all over.

If this were the work of an openly racist group then yes, by association it would tarnish it in my opinion I suppose. Such as in the USA if the KKK made a "Proud to be American" poster it would be different than say a Democratic Party poster with an identical slogan.

Not all groups here that celebrate Japan or embrace things like Shintoism.

I have 3 kinds of blood running through my veins and a pure Japanese name. Whether or not these patriots are racist...well as long as they are just saying they are proud to be Japanese that's fine by me.

Last weekend at a BBQ some guy told me I wasn't pure Japanese as I had so much mixed blood, but he insisted that he was super ethnically pure and he proceeded to tell me about his vaunted blood line from this little town.

I told him blood that pure needs to take care it doesn't get inbred, cause those guys have funny faces and little feet....he shut up.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

I've always been confused when I see people proud of something they did nothing to earn. 

I was born in the States, I didn't choose it, it just happened and I'm extremely proud of that and won't hesitate for a second to acknowledge that and there is nothing wrong with having pride in one's country, culture, and heritage. I think you should.

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

Proud to be an AMERICAN!

Rock on,,,

0 ( +8 / -8 )

"I told him blood that pure needs to take care it doesn't get inbred"

What would really be fun is if someone would force him into taking a DNA ancestry test. Imagine a deluded tool like that discovering several strains of impure blood coursing through his veins.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I was born in the States, I didn't choose it, it just happened and I'm extremely proud of that

That flew straight over my head. You were born in the US, something you didn't choose, and yet you are 'proud' of that fact.

I can understand the feeling of luck. I was born in a country which allowed me to have an education, health care and a safe environment to live.

I don't get where the pride comes in. It's like saying you are proud that you were born in a hospital.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Jcapan

I often get small slights or micro aggressions in many forms since I returned here.

But if someone is that straight up rude or ignorant , its aight, I'll discuss with them in great detail how I actually prefer my blood, my internationalism, my language(s), hell even looks and options and girls and being able to go anywhere and do anything.

I have yet to find a racist who has something to teach or offer me.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

That flew straight over my head. You were born in the US, something you didn't choose, and yet you are 'proud' of that fact. 

Yes, sir, extremely.

I can understand the feeling of luck. I was born in a country which allowed me to have an education, health care and a safe environment to live. 

Same here.

I don't get where the pride comes in. It's like saying you are proud that you were born in a hospital.

Not even close to the same, of course, I didn't choose to be born in my country, but as an American, I feel proud and count my blessings and lucky.

Everyone has the right to feel whatever they feel about their country, I think it's a great thing.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Everyone has a right to throw word-salad all over the innertubes too. It makes me proud.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It's like saying you are proud that you were born in a hospital.

I've actually heard someone say they were proud to have been born at home (i.e. not in a hospital). He didn't become a rocket scientist you'll be pleased to know.

I can understand someone being proud of their country when it's in relation to a specific achievement. (e.g. first moon landing) You might feel associated in some way like a parent being proud of their child's achievement. But in that case, there are probably times when you should feel ashamed too.

As for the poster, perhaps it implies different things to different people. "I'm glad I'm Japanese and therefore I'm glad I'm not Icelandic, " or "I'm glad I'm Japanese, but I'd be glad too if I were Icelandic."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

personiamnow: "I have 3 kinds of blood running through my veins and a pure Japanese name."

If there's another natural disaster and blood donors are needed, if I were you, I'd run like heck! "3 kinds"? The perfect donor!

Apart from that, I agree with everything all the commenters have said.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I hate this kind of drip, drip, drip propaganda here. Japan is a such a wonderful place, has such great food, etc etc. I much prefer the critical finger Europeans/Americans/whoever seem to be able to point at themselves while being proud of their country.

It's the reason Japan is in decline. They are all so proud of their wonderful culture/country and sweep the problems under the tatami or look back at the "good old days" of the 1930s.

Be happy to be Japanese all you like, I am sure the dodo was proud to be a dodo too.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Get this, the model isn't even Japanese! It's a stock photo of a Chinese model!

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Like I always say "Inside every Japanese person, there's a Chinese just waiting to escape!"

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Patriotism; what's it all about? Personally; I've never got that whole "proud to be (insert nationality) here" thing. There's idiots in every country; this lot behind the posters are probably just the latest in a long line. Unless it's some kind of misfiring ad campaign..

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Some people get it, some don't.

This is about blood not what country you call home. Being proud to be an American or proud to be an Aussie is totally different from being proud to be a Japanese PERSON.

I can immigrate to Australia and apply for citizenship and become a proud Aussie. But no matter what I can never truly be a nihonjin can I?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Bill Murphy

LOL! I dunno about that man, I'm sure 51% of people (males) here would object to my impurities going anywhere near them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Get this, the model isn't even Japanese! It's a stock photo of a Chinese model!

I wonder if the poster was made by a Japanese...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No problem.

Chinese are proud of being Chinese. So are Vietnamese. People talk about black pride. I don't mind Americans being proud of being born in the USA or getting their citizenship yesterday or tracing their roots to the Mayflower.

As long as you live and let live. I don't mind anyone being proud of their country or race.

Okay to be proud of being Italian-American part Cherokee too.

I'm actually glad I was born in an English speaking country and didn't have to learn this crazy language.

Let everyone be proud of who they are and lets all live in peace.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

私日本人でよかった means *I'm glad to be Japanese, not I'm proud to be Japanese. In other words, I'm glad to have cherry blossoms and four seasons and Mt Fuji and haiku and sumo and sushi and natsu-matsuri and all that stuff.*

At least that's what it would mean if it wasn't for the nonsense at the bottom about raising a bit of cloth with pride.

There's a world of difference between being glad about something and being proud of it. I'm glad I was born in the UK, but I personally did nothing to determine where I would be born, so I have no reason to be proud of it.

Someone mentioned being born in a hospital. As it happens I was born with a life-threatening condition and if I hadn't been born in a modern hospital in an age when my condition was treatable (the treatment was state-of-the-art at the time, run-of-the-mill if not out of date these days) I wouldn't be here now pontificating on JT. So I am very, very glad I was born in a hospital, and grateful for the treatment I received. But why would I be proud of it? I think I cost the health service an awful lot of money....

The form submitted did not originate from the expected site (How do I get to this 'expected site' to post first time?)

The form submitted did not originate from the expected site

9 ( +12 / -3 )

I'm glad I'm American and I have an American flag hanging in front of my house. I was in the airport and I saw a Canadian guy who was glad he's Canadian with a Canadian flag patch sewn onto his backpack. Why aren't Japanese allowed to be proud of their country?

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Ok well that's where you and I differ. I think it's fine and if there's a Somalian saying he's proud to be Somali, and a Turk proud to be Turkish...I'm cool with that and even happy for him as long as he isn't insulting anyone else. You are repulsed...alright then.

TheP,

Yeah no problem there, but if they start putting up little posters or handing put leaflets.....then cringe worthy!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I'm glad I'm American and I have an American flag hanging in front of my house. I was in the airport and I saw a Canadian guy who was glad he's Canadian with a Canadian flag patch sewn onto his backpack. Why aren't Japanese allowed to be proud of their country?

While I find hanging bits of cloth or sewing flags onto your bag very silly, there are very different views of these kinds of displays in different countries. Flying the Union Jack in the neighbourhood I grew up in would probably make the neighbours think a racist, rightist headbanger lived there. Ostentatious displays of the Hinomaru ( perhaps with the exception of public holidays ) can make some uneasy.

I can remember the hammer and sickle design being very popular on t-shirts among hipsters at my university - a Union Jack would have had people whispering about the NF. I sometimes had a reflexive shudder in Japan when I saw Union Jack adorned bags and clothes when they were popular.

That said, I suppose there are historical and cultural reasons for this and it's not the fault of the 'patriot' that his or her flag has certain connotations.

The best thing would be to discourage this kind of showy chest-thumping in the first place.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

According to the Asssociation of Shinto Shrines they made this poster back in 2011 and distributed 60,000 of them to shrines around the country. Mystery over, it was the Yasukuni-lickers that done it! What a shame they used a photograph taken in Beijing of a ( probably ) Chinese woman. Lol, as the kids say.

http://www.huffingtonpost.jp/2017/05/09/proud-of-japan_n_16501310.html?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004

6 ( +10 / -4 )

While I find hanging bits of cloth or sewing flags onto your bag very silly, there are very different views of these kinds of displays in different countries. Flying the Union Jack in the neighbourhood I grew up in would probably make the neighbours think a racist, rightist headbanger lived there. Ostentatious displays of the Hinomaru ( perhaps with the exception of public holidays ) can make some uneasy. 

Well, in the US, we don't have that problem.

I can remember the hammer and sickle design being very popular on t-shirts among hipsters at my university - a Union Jack would have had people whispering about the NF. I sometimes had a reflexive shudder in Japan when I saw Union Jack adorned bags and clothes when they were popular. 

Yeah, I've seen more of Che than I really wanted to in my life.

That said, I suppose there are historical and cultural reasons for this and it's not the fault of the 'patriot' that his or her flag has certain connotations. 

The best thing would be to discourage this kind of showy chest-thumping in the first place.

I disagree, if you are proud of your country and heritage and you have the need or desire to express it, by all means, do so, you have the absolute right to do so.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I can understand the poster as taking pride in one's country, but I can also see it being racist as well. Perhaps if they had featured a group of people from multiple backgrounds, Japanese Japanese, Japanese Filipino, Japanese Brazilian, biracial Japanese, etc. then it would not come across as racist.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

thepersoniamnow: "Really smithinjapan? Well I'll have you know that I'm glad to be Japanese American. You think I'm pathetic and not glad about anything at all?"

Well, that depends; do you print posters saying "Thank god I'm pure Japanese-American!" and then don't leave your name or any indication that it was you, and make sure you only post them at night, in locations where people who have similar thoughts will see?

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Pride should come from accomplishments, not from something a person had no control over. Getting teary-eyed over colored cloth has been a root of enormous evil and human massacres for centuries.

Maybe I'll print up some posters saying, "I'm proud to be a human."

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Glad, proud, its all okay.

Lots of people are proud of their famous father or grandfather.

No big deal.

Lots of English love waving their flag at certain times.

Not a problem unless you're bashing people up.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

私日本人でよかった means I'm glad to be Japanese, not I'm proud to be Japanese. ...*

There's a world of difference between being glad about something and being proud of it. I'm glad I was born in the UK, but I personally did nothing to determine where I would be born, so I have no reason to be proud of it.

Exactly, Cleo!

Let people be happy for their circumstances! Geez, people!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Well, in the US, we don't have that problem.

Lovely. Do you have anything relevant to share?

I'm talking about the Hinomaru and posssible similarities with how the Union Jack is viewed. I'm also about to look at the work of some non-partisan historians who may be able to explain why certain flags have certain connotations. Do you know any?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It's only telling that the city that basically ripped off the Chinese Tang Dynasty's Chang'an (Xian) the most feels they're the most "Japanese" in the land.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I am an earthling, the earth is my home -- wherever I may be. I have no use for "countries" -- they are no more than organizational units, and soon will become obsolete.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

I am proud to be an American. Raise Old Glory high.

If we can say it (and feel it), why shouldn't Japanese be allowed to?

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Twitter is the premiere safe space for thin skinned sociopaths that are always after the next big offense. Grievance is the currency of twitter users. Everything about the twitter culture is the antithesis of what it is to be Japanese!

That said even I am surprised someone managed to be offended by this. Such displays are everyday occurrences in America. Of course the twits are mortally offended every day in America. So maybe it makes sense.

As for people complaining about the residents of Kyoto, I found the same advice I received when going to Paris to work just as well in Japan. It may be your vacation but it is these people's home! Your "special" day is what they call "Another Monday".

Learn to say Please, Thank You, and Excuse Me IN THEIR LANGUAGE!!! Then use your inside voice and the manners your mother should have taught you. Japan is one of (if not the) most civilized countries on the planet. The general population reacts quite negatively to savages rampaging through their home.

PS: THIS is why I believe the Olympics will turn the Japanese very negative on tourism for years to come. The Olympics, to be kind, does not attract the best and brightest humanity has to offer. The people that flood Tokyo will do great harm to the general perception of foreigners.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Make Japan Great Again!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I am proud to be an American. Raise Old Glory high.

If we can say it (and feel it), why shouldn't Japanese be allowed to?

You're aware of the impression that gives non-Americans? Pretty much as cringe-worthy as this.

I have even had one Japanese lady burst into tears

Well that was nice of you.....

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Oh god, talk about being thin skinned. Let the imagination run wild with these people.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

You're aware of the impression that gives non-Americans? Pretty much as cringe-worthy as this.

I think it is usually expected for people to be proud of who they are. I have no problem with anyone of any nationality being proud of their country. Those that do not have an affection for their country - like many American's on the political Left - either feel that their country is a horrible place or are arrogant and smug elitists who see local affections are unsophisticated and uncouth. These folks insist that all nations and cultures are equal when they are so obviously not. I would much rather live in Japan than in an a place with an inferior political system such as North Korea, Saudi Arabia, or Cuba.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

This is outrageous ! The nationlists will never prevail again ! The only posters allowed in Japan should be about the great US of A, past glories of Britania or Pinoy pride! How dare the Japanese be proud of being Japanese ?

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Tried going to an onsen (a small hidden spot) in Kyoto during Golden Week. The lady saw me, reached behind the little counter and proudly brandished a painted wooden sign "No Gaijins! Please look other place!" Other people looked at the sign then looked at me like "Tough break, son!" as I stood there in shock! I live here and have been here for 3+ years, so I can speak Japanese and know the customs here. The smug smile she had on her face as she put that sign there.............burned into my memory.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I think it is usually expected for people to be proud of who they are.

There's a huge difference between 'proud' and being 'glad' or 'grateful'.

an affection for their country 

Something different again.

I would much rather live in Japan than in an a place with an inferior political system such as North Korea, Saudi Arabia, or Cuba.

And what does that have to do with being over-the-top proud of whatever your nationality is? Unless your naturalised, you didn't choose it, and you did nothing to earn it. Be glad, not proud.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Sir Bentley

You should've pulled out ur phone, asked her to pose for the camera and do the smug smile again. Click....FB, Twitter

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Smithinjapan

Again, you get it mixed up.

It does not say "Thank god I am Japanese!" So equating that to me and what I said is not correct.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Sir Bentley, sorry but you'll have to name names for me to buy that. I know about the infamous cases in Otaru related to Debito but find it hard to believe that would happen 20 years later in Kyoto of all places.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I am not sure if I would have been glad to be a Japanese citizen back to 2011 considering how Japan was handling everything that happened within this year, so... I can see the motivation behind the posters, seems similar to the AC JAPAN advertisement playing on a loop on TV during the 3/11 Nuclear Disaster :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dY6gmT1dU64

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"No Gaijin" wouldn't that read No Foreigners?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

In Japan everyone is taught from an early age to divide the whole world, whatever the field of discussion, into Japan and not-Japan. This dichotomy is the pervading framework underlying the vast majority of Japanese thought and discussion on all matters social, cultural and historical. If you deny this, you have either never lived in Japan, or lived in Japan with your eyes wide shut.

Nihonjin de yokatta (I'm glad I'm Japanese) heavily implies Nihonjin de umarete yokatta, which means 'I'm glad I was born a Japanese'.

We can draw this implication because while taking Japanese nationality later in life legally makes you a Nihonjin, in common conversation it does not, it makes you simply someone-with-Japanese-citizenship, which while legally the same, is quite different in terms of who it is understood by regular people. A 'nihonjin' is, in common parlance, exclusively someone who was had Japanese citizenship since birth.

People also do say 'I'm glad I was born a Japanese' frequently. I would wager that if you showed this poster to members of the public, gave it one month, then came back to them and asked them what it said, a sizeable percentage would misremember the text as "Nihonjin de umarete yokatta". This is an experiment I would love to do.

So what does all this mean? It means the clear meaning of this poster is 'I'm glad I was not born a foreigner'.

You can perform all sorts of mental gymnastics to make it mean 'I'm glad I was born a Japanese but if had had been born a foreigner I would be glad too', but then there is really no purpose in making the statement.

I don't think 'I'm glad I was not born a foreigner' is a twisted misinterpretation; I think it is exactly the core meaning at the heart of the phrase.

If you don't think being a foreigner carries a stigma in Japanese society, then you don't understand enough Japanese.

There are other phrases such as Sasuga Nihonjin (roughly: isn't that just how a Japanese person would do it?) and 'Yappari Nihonjin da na' (roughly: At times like these I feel so Japanese). These are all exclusionary phrases that are frequently used in Japan and based on the Japan/not-Japan dichotomy and they are all used to elevate Japanese culture above everywhere else, which is perceived as inferior.

Even though there are a growing number of Japanese people who can rise above the education they were given at school to call out this way of thinking, as you can see from some of the negative online reaction, the poster, and what it is implying, still needs to be seen in the above context.

Japan is such a beautiful country, it's so sad some of its people are still pedaling myths of racial superiority.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Perhaps they could replace the non-Japanese woman with a picture of some homeless Japanese camped out by the river on these posters.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

jpn_guy, great post. Nihonjinron 101.

"To what degree are these meditations ... on Japanese uniqueness innocent reflections of a popular search for identity, and in what measure, if any, do they pick up from the instrumental ideology of Japaneseness developed by government and nationalists in the prewar period to harness the energies of the nation towards industrialization and global imperium?"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nihonjinron

0 ( +1 / -1 )

She is Chinese, and the posters are made in China.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Just to repeat Alfie and CH3CHO's posts, the posters were created by the Association of Shinto Shrines, I didn't know that they distributed them in the past and nationally (so why have they turned up now and in Kyoto?), and the photo of the female model was taken in Beijing, leading to speculation that the lady is probably not Japanese.

http://www.gettyimages.co.jp/detail/%E5%86%99%E7%9C%9F/beauty-shot-of-a-young-woman-%E3%83%AD%E3%82%A4%E3%83%A4%E3%83%AA%E3%83%86%E3%82%A3%E3%83%95%E3%83%AA%E3%83%BC%E3%82%A4%E3%83%A1%E3%83%BC%E3%82%B8/99307084

The Association of Shinto Shrines is well known for lobbying to get the flag and national anthems into schools and to have politicians visit Yasukuni, which certainly and knowingly offends lots of non-Japanese, even if their interpretation of the Japanese expression on this poster (mine is a passive aggressive "Thank Christ I'm Japanese! (and not one of them Koreans or Chinese)" does not.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

cleo

There's a huge difference between 'proud' and being 'glad' or 'grateful'.

There is? What is so nefarious about pride? Is it wrong to be proud of one's spouse, or child, or school? Is pride of country a different concept altogether? Please enlighten.

Unless your naturalised, you didn't choose it, and you did nothing to earn it. Be glad, not proud.

What are you talking about? So what if you did or did not chose to live in the nation you reside? That's a non sequitur. I didn't chose my mother does that preclude me from being proud of her. I guess I should just be "glad" she is my parent. I chose my wife and I am glad I did - I am also proud. Your distinction between pride and gratefulness is non-existent. Any why take a positive thing like pride in one's country and turn it into a negative. Pride in one's country provides unity. A lack of pride in ones place of residence results in decay and social destabilization. Hmm... sounds a lot like America in the post-Obama years...

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Mostly homogenous Japanese have a tendency to make this type of self-congratulatory blanket statement. "日本料理が一番おいしい Japanese food is the best!" or "日本人は謙虚だから〜 Japanese are modest". These comments are directed strictly to Japanese-speaking domestic audiences. The speaker doesn't mean to say anything offensive but if it's overheard by a non-Japanese person who can understand Japanese, it can be offensive or strike as arrogant.

Whether it comes out of jingoism depends on where it comes from. If it's from some kind of nationalist organization, that's alarming. If it's not, it's just a case of cultural insensitivity coming from ignorance, in which case the statement is pretty innocuous. But judging from the fact that they took trouble to express it on a poster, I suspect the former is more likely. Insecurity and exaltation of national pride go hand in hand.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

gabrial888 Today 11:47 am JST

Mostly homogenous Japanese have a tendency to make this type of self-congratulatory blanket statement. "日本料理が一番おいしい Japanese food is the best!"

They're not wrong, though. It's pretty hard to top!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

non issue i reckon, if you are happy being Japanese - be happy!

Easy to counter-strike too, just put on a sticker saying "under American control" with some stripes/stars ...

the posters will be gone overnight ;-)

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

For us Japanese national pride is very important. The poster simply outlines what many of us Japanese like to feel. However unfortunately the poster also lacks humility. We always like to compare ourselves to other nations and seek reassurance that we can be accepted. The 2020 Olymics will be very important for us Japanese to show the world that we are capable.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

@tiger_tanaka; why is national pride so important? I'm genuinely curious, why compare and seek reassurance? It's not a competition... well, apart from the upcoming Olympics...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Considering that much of the world is constantly bombarded with western media promoting Euro-centrism idealizing European culture and standards of beauty, this poster is rather benign.

It's funny how the commentors expressing furor over this plainly reveal themselves as gaijin projecting their own insecurities, biases, and shortcomings.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

tinawatanabeToday  10:44 am JST

She is Chinese, and the posters are made in China.

Darn. I was about to say the model was quite pretty. So, even if she is Chinese, am I allowed to say so?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Tiger Tanaka

I agree that national pride is important here, but I think that one thing about Japan is that it can be so insulated from the rest of the world that I think it makes a lot of us uneasy about the rest of the world and how we are seen and understood.

Japanese are also told they are special, odd, and even lacking. Many kidz would tell me when I was young that Japanese people are weaker, smaller, can't pronounce words etc, compared to other nations.

I think the confusion and fear comes from lack of knowledge, so the good news is, the more time goes by, the better I think we will all understand and get along.

Japan was way rougher for on foreigners when I was a kid compared to now.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Bill Murphy

Darn. I was about to say the model was quite pretty. So, even if she is Chinese, am I allowed to say so?

You feel easier to say she is pretty because you now know she is Chinese, right?

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

What's the problem here? Why would like be racist? What's wrong with having national pride?? If you're not proud of your own country then you can always leave and immigrate somewhere else. No one is stopping you from doing so.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

I don't see how this is any different from how Americans have a flag on the front of their house or how major retailers hoist a flag inside the building where EVERYONE can see it. Costco, Wallmart, Lowes, Home Depot just to name a few do this. In Canada, you be had pressed to see even 2% of the population do this at home or work. It's a pride thing. Some where it loud and proud. If it bothers you, perhaps you should ask yourself why it does. Maybe the problem is not where you think it is.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

if you're not proud of your own country then you can always leave and immigrate somewhere else.

because pride is where it's at, right? I mean; that's all that matters, isn't it?

ye gods; what is it with this "proud to be..." lark?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

What is so nefarious about pride?

Nothing, in the right place.

Is it wrong to be proud of one's spouse, or child, or school?

Not at all. Those are all things you have put some kind of personal effort into.

Is pride of country a different concept altogether?

Yes it is.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Anything can look racist to people who harbor racist feelings covertly, overtly or even subconsciously. Even things that have no such intent.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Why are people so sensitive to this. What is the matter with being proud of your nationality or race. I am white and I am quite proud to be a white man. Is that racist? I mean no disregard for others and I hope others are proud of their own race or heritage as well.

There are alot worse things going on in the world today than this.

People should give it a rest sometimes.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

The model is almost certainly Chinese. The photograph is said to date from 2009. The poster was issued in 2011. There may still be some around but it is not current.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The wife's from Kyoto. Her take:

"Ironic, 'cause most people from Kyoto are glad to be from Kyoto and not other parts of Japan."

7 ( +7 / -0 )

OssanAmerica Today 04:29 am JST

Anything can look racist to people who harbor racist feelings covertly, overtly or even subconsciously. Even things that have no such intent.

Elaborate, please. Otherwise you're just speaking for yourself.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The message really says: "Thank goodness I'm Japanese and not some lower class, barbaric culture. Now pass me that scrumptious whale and dolphin meat, as I slave until 12 midnight."

By the way - Kyoto, overrated. Seen one temple, seen 'em all. Save your money and go to Yosemite.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I think jpn_guy hits the nail on the head.

I typically hear/see similar phrases when people are making inherently negative comparisons between Japan and 'elsewhere'. e.g. if someone loses their wallet but then has it returned... 'Nihon de umarete yokatta'. In other words, 'anywhere else and my wallet would've been stolen so I'm glad I'm in Japan'.

Personally, I don't agree with taking 'pride' in things you have no control over, but in any case, the phrasing of the poster goes beyond simple pride. Even an American shouting 'USA #1' at the top of their lungs every day isn't necessarily stating anything negative about other countries, just that (they think) the USA is the best.

The poster's phrase in Japanese really is implying that Japanese people are superior to everyone else. There's a reason why some (more progressively-minded) Japanese people posted this up to Twitter in the first place. If it was just an innocent 'You can be proud of Japan' message, it wouldn't have gotten that attention from those Japanese people (us Japan Today posters would complain about anything though).

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Half of this thread is full of people who probably celebrate their own nation and their own creed, yet can't handle it when another nation does it.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

He who only knows the side of his own case knows little of that. - John Stuart Mill.

He who knows only his own country knows no countries, including his own.

The problem, is that these kinds of posters, the American ones too, is that they betray a certain ignorance. In this specific case, most Japanese have never been abroad, talked to or gotten to know any non-Japanese; most have only eaten Japanese food, watched Japanese tv, read Japanese newspapers, and listened to Japanese music their entire lives. Therefore, it's impossible for them to fully appreciate their Japanese ness; they've had nothing to compare it too. That means these types of posters and sentiments originate from a position of insecurity, self-consciousness, and a lack of confidence--they're crutches. Only people who've been abroad for a length of time, had genuine interactions with other world citizens, had time to reflect upon themselves, their own country and culture, and have done so away from their own country, only those people can truly form a positive opinion about their nationality, culture, country.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@tiger_tanaka; why is national pride so important? I'm genuinely curious, why compare and seek reassurance? It's not a competition... well, apart from the upcoming Olympics...

It is no secret that if the gaikokujin asks a Japanese if they Chinese or Korean, the Japanese will show discomfort and quickly reply to affirm his Japaneseness and nothing else. If however on the other hand a Japanese were to ask a Frenchman if he is German, the Frenchman will simply state that he is French without much bother. 

You see every since I was a young boy I have been to taught to think this way, whether it is right or wrong is another matter. We do not wish to be confused with other nationalities. We like our island country to remain unique and different from others. This is our national pride. If we did not have national pride we would not strive to better ourselves or work harder.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Tiger Tanaka

You have a point, and even though people will say it's not ideal or perfect, I think it would be quite hypocritical for a lot of people to assume otherwise.

French people DO NOT alike being confused for another, and certainly not a German. I think that's kinda Japanese of you to assume they wouldn't mind.

Try telling a British or a Canadian person he seems American...most of them would do a backflip.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Tiger Tanaka

You paint, in my opinion, a very sad picture. Walking around all day comparing yourself to others, wanting acceptance. To me, this is a sad way to live. I was born as a product of nature; I have nothing to prove, no reason to spend precious time comparing myself to others; and I especially don't need acceptance when no one can create me--only nature. It doesn't get any more unique than that. And to tell the truth, this is the source of many of Japan's problems. It's like a previous poster said: Japanese divide everything into two halves, Japanese and not Japanese. That equals black and white, no vibrant colors. This is why it's frustrating, for me, to talk to Japanese, and why Japanese are uncomfortable talking to foreigners. They can't get their head past the dichotomy. And if it's truly as you said, being taught this dichotomy at an early age, then I have to say: gaijin de yokatta. It's such a rigid way to think, a mental prison.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

So what is wrong with being proud of who you are? Do you hear Americans chanting USA at every game when it's USA vs another country. It's a way to show pride of where you are from. When I see Americans stepping on an American flag, I flip and go crazy because I am proud of being a naturalized American.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

tinawatanabeMay 10 09:36 pm JST

Bill Murphy

Darn. I was about to say the model was quite pretty. So, even if she is Chinese, am I allowed to say so?

You feel easier to say she is pretty because you now know she is Chinese, right?

To tinawatanabe: As Manuel of "Faulty Towers" often said: "¿ Qué?"

To Jimizo: "While I find hanging bits of cloth or sewing flags on your bag rather silly..."

There's a practical side. In Oz many, many years ago I stood by the side of a road for quite a while without being able to thumb down a ride. Then I remembered I had put a small Canadian flag in my pack for just such an emergency (I'm an American upper mid-westerner). Within 15 minutes I was in the back seat of a car driven by an Aussie and talking to his Canadian-born wife. For a while we upper mid-westerners can "pass" with lots of "Eh"s but sooner or later a true Canuck will catch on. Thankfully I had had the foresight to pack a Tim Hortons donut in its original bag. Stale it might have been, but on showing it I established my "bona fides". Did that mean I was a "commerce raider"?

So, nationalists of every flavor, do as Tina did and think that "prettiness" depends on nationality. And Canadians, beware the Tim Hortons ruse.

And Jimizo: Carry a bit of cloth with you. You never know when you'll need it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They picked up this story this morning on the morning news talk show. The whether it had connotations of racism or elitism however was not the discussion nor on the radar, they were all shocked that it was actually a Chinese girl in the poster. Scandalous! Hehe. Been a great thread with some good points being made. A healthy debate! Have to say most people here actually love Japan and even though we make some criticisms sometimes it doesn't mean that we are Japan bashers. (a rather vulgar term thrown out when people refuse to accept different opinions and conflicting points of view). We see the potential of this wonderful country and hate to see it losing out on chances to realize this potential.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As others have already pointed out, the model in the poster is a Chinese model. I just read this on BBC. It said that the "poster" issue is having a second round of discussions among people due to this fact. Lmao, my initial comment I posted here is even less out of context now.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

1 ( +1 / -0 )

tiger_tanaka: "If however on the other hand a Japanese were to ask a Frenchman if he is a German, the Frenchman will simply state that he is French without much bother."

Yes, that might happen, but you still won't know what the Frenchman was thinking. In Germany I was often mistaken for an Englishman and in England (and Japan) as a German. As my general opinion of the people of Germany and England is more positive than negative - never having actually met more than a few dozen keep in mind), I was not offended nor ever felt it necessary to correct them especially if it was to my advantage not to do so.

I would not be offended if someone mistook me for a Chinese or Korean, but I would direct him to an eye doctor. What I simply don't understand is why some people get bent out of shape when they are mistaken for someone else (an entire population for example) and people of their tribe are mistaken for people of another tribe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So this story is now in the western media.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

jh808 May 11 07:43 pm JST So what is wrong with being proud of who you are? Do you hear Americans chanting USA at every game when it's USA vs another country. It's a way to show pride of where you are from. When I see Americans stepping on an American flag, I flip and go crazy because I am proud of being a naturalized American.

It's just a flag, dude. It's a meaningless piece of cloth, as most flags are.

I hear Americans chanting USA too often. Mindlessly, in fact. It's not dissimilar to watching endless shots of applauding DPRK officials whenever Kim speaks. Indoctrination and all that.

The most distasteful incident was the aftermath of the Boston bombing. "USA! USA! USA!" What does that kind of reaction even mean?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Being a foreigner to Japan and had I seen this it really would not of bothered me, even if I could read the message in full. Americans and most probably every country have those proud of being who they are and where they come from.

But I do not believe in blind patriotism. You should know of your countries past, for the better or for the worse.

However I do find it odd and quite comical that they chose to use a Chinese girl, although perhaps at the time they had not realised it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why is this news? Celebrities are always saying this kind of stuff on TV. There are entire programs dedicated to the theme of "Japan is awesome," full of these kinds of "I'm glad I was born Japanese" phrases. How come the Twitter people were upset? Perhaps a poster is seen as more tangible than what happens on TV so it's getting more attention?

This is really common stuff all over Japanese variety TV shows. Nothing new to see here, except the rumor the model is actually Chinese is laughable.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Being patriotic and proud about your country is good, but there is a fine line when you be come smug and its almost like rubbing someone face in it, may be this poster set of with good intentions, but then stepped over that line. And now some people have took it the wrong way.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The irony of using a model with a western dental structure is not lost on many

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

this is also why we don't like it when the gaikokujin makes any criticism of our country.

A healthy country should be able to take a bit of criticism. And I know plenty of Japanese who criticise Japan on occasion on certain issues. Nothing wrong with that. Doesn't mean anyone is being anti-Japan. Healthy criticism of one's country is possibly one of the more patriotic things one can do. It means that one cares. IMHO, natch.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

precious little over sensitive jerks wringing their hands over absolutely nothing as usual. This generation of weak over sensitive idiots is what is pathetic.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Makkun70 - So they should use models with buckteeth rather than straight teeth? Theres no irony here. Just a guy who thinks he can identify Japanese due to their "dental structure"

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

What would you do with them, Rick?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I dunno mate. Make them read George Orwell?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

A healthy country should be able to take a bit of criticism. And I know plenty of Japanese who criticise Japan on occasion on certain issues. Nothing wrong with that. Doesn't mean anyone is being anti-Japan. Healthy criticism of one's country is possibly one of the more patriotic things one can do. It means that one cares. IMHO, natch.

But of course the people of Japan criticize Japan on many issues. I believe that it is when the criticism comes from the gaikokujin that there is a discomfort among the Japanese.

Many years ago, before leaving Japan to attend university in the UK I used to attend an eikawa school. The teacher would always smile and give me praise despite my poor English. He spoke very positively about Japan, its culture, economy and history. This made me feel good about myself, my identity and what it meant to be Japanese to me. My teacher was American and praise from an American meant a lot to me as a Japanese.

However, when I arrived in the UK for study I was shocked when I realized the indifference the gaikokujin had towards me. They did not give me praise, neither did they criticize me. They did not hate me and neither did they like me. This is when I realized that I had grown up in a sheltered culture that seeks acceptance from the gaikokujin which goes back to the saying on the poster, "watashi nihonjin de yokatta" which is really a message that seeks acceptance.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Here's the kicker folks; turns out the model is Chinese!!!

It's a Getty image from Beijing shot in 2009. One of its hashtags is: ethnically Chinese. Here it is:

http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/license/99307084

The irony is truly worth savouring.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Ricky Kaminski

Heh. I meant Rick Ruin... but hey, a little Orwell never hurt anyone!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If anyone is still reading, the BBC apparently contacted the photo agency who confirmed that the model is Chinese.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Old news.

The poster been around since 2011 and was ordered by a shinto shrine.

The picture was shot a few years earlier(stock foto).

Similar confusion in 2011.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When someone mentions they are proud of their country, I translate this into meaning they are proud of the policies of the country has created and become. How would one describe Japanese society today.....? Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory puts Japan at the top of the scale for "adversity to risk". I would tend to agree, but does the population even consider this observation from outside Japan?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bill Murphy

 nationalists of every flavor, do as Tina did and think that "prettiness" depends on nationality.

I did not say that.  I said you can say she (Chinese) is pretty because if she were Japanese you would be criticized for saying anything nice about Japanese.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

tinawatanabe originally wrote: "You (Bill Murphy) feel easier to say she is pretty because now you know she is Chinese, right?"

My first inclination is to repeat my earlier response, i.e. "¿Qué?"

However, let me clarify my understanding of your statement which may be different from your understanding of your statement.

There are two parts: (1) your assertion, which is that I feel it is easier to say that she is pretty because now I know she is Chinese, and (2) your request for confirmation that your assertion regarding the reason for my conclusion that the girl is "pretty" is correct (by adding "right?").

By "Chinese" I mean nationality, not race. I don't put much stock in classifying people by race as it usually comes down to placing excessive importance on relatively few manifestations of one's complex genetic heritage. That usually means skin pigmentation.

I still think she is pretty regardless of her nationality and, if some want to hear it, okay, her race. If she were Japanese, I'd still think she was pretty.

And... if I were to learn she were transgender, I'd probably still say it. (I'm not a SJW.)

And Tina - if I may so address you - do you sincerely believe that I would be criticized for saying something nice about a Japanese? And if I were criticized, so what? Why should I care and why should you care? Really?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What a load of PC nonsense. What the hell is wrong with saying your Japanese and proud.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I still think she is pretty regardless of her nationality

but you said it after you learned her nationality.

do you sincerely believe that I would be criticized for saying something nice about a Japanese?

You are not new, so I thought you knew.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

For Japanese , poster is ok.. issue is .. the model is not a Japanese( considering the message is "being proud as Japanese"). For me, I think they should have used famous athletes , Nobel prize winners ,.. it may make sense..

For foreigners ( tourists ).. since it is in Kanji .. it may be appealing to them and appreciate how Japan is promoting tourism using this poster.

For foreigners living in Japan.. it will be a mixed reaction like everybody is discussing in this post.

For me .. Gaijin de Yokatta... : )

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What a load of PC nonsense. What the hell is wrong with saying your Japanese and proud.

But why would you want to put up a stupid poster to state this? You can be "proud" of being Japanese (whatever the hell that means), but quite why you would want to print posters to state this is beyond me.

I also do not really get all this huge amount of pride that people have in the country that they just happen to be born in. It does not make you better than anyone else and every country has good stuff and bad stuff about it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Why do vehicles in the US put "Proud to be an American," "Land of the Free because of the Brave," or "My Kid is an Honor Roll Student" bumper stickers on their car. Why is the Union Jack everywhere in Britain? Why do fans wave their nation's flag at Football matches; even if its not a game with the national team playing. They have pride in being where they are from and pride in their nation, most people invest a lot of their time and interest in where they are from. There is absolutely nothing wrong with openly displaying patriotism and favoritism for your homeland. Every should do it and be allowed to do it without internet trolls scorning them

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The problem is what could be considered patriotism for us is nationalism for them, not-so-deep within. And then there is a question how does the line between the two concepts look like.

Take a look from a logical standing. If you express words "I have PRIDE in being [nationality]". There is a concept of PRIDE, which means something great. Then, if you feel the need to express that you or anything is great, then, by the default, you presume the existence of the opposite, less great or worse. You (the fictional you) assume that there is something in your nation(ality) that allows you to consider yourself greater than someone or everyone you have in mind when comparing them and proclaming that there be PRIDE in yours. It could be patriotism, it could be nationalism. Language implies it is the latter.

"I am GLAD I am Japanese" is pure nationalism crap and such people deny Nanking and who knows what. When the same thing happened on Japanese level, where a minister said "I am GLAD it was (not Tokyo) Fukushima" in regards to a nuclear disaster everyone lost their mind. There someone is protecting this national-level kind of proclamation. Hypocrisy 101.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

To Naumov Danila:

I'm GLAD I'm me. Implication?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's funny isn't it. Japan still has all of this lingering suspicion hanging over it Post WW2.

Anything that even remotely whiffs of Nationalistic Pride has the hawks gnashing their teeth, and wringing their hands at the prospective resurgence of a sense of National pride in Japan.

Yet, for example, Americans are allowed to bleat 'U.S.A!' 'U.S.A!', and get elected to office on a slogan of 'Making America Great again', whilst their country shows more aggression and hegemony in the last 70 than any nation in the world by an absolute country mile, and the rampant, self-righteous nationalism at play in such rubbish goes by with nary a comment.

I know a lot of Japanese. They are honestly just about the least nationalistic people I have ever come across. I find them quietly proud of who they are, but I never, ever hear blatant, bombastic expressions of anything resembling nationalistic sentiments. In fact, I almost think the opposite is true. I find my friends to be very understated about anything of that nature.

This conservative Shinto organisation may have other designs, and their motives should be questioned, but I think it is well out of keeping with the people I know and hang out with.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

tiger_tanaka wrote: "This is when I realized that I had grown up in a sheltered culture that seeks acceptance from the gaikokujin..."

Good point. Tiger, you don't need my acceptance.

This is one article with comments which seems to have been very productive.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

fwiw, I wouldn't have much of a problem with this poster if it simply said "日本はいい国だ”.

That's what most people actually mean when they say the expression on the poster. They usually say it on eating some good Japanese food or seeing some nice scenery or sakura or autumn leaves. Yes, there are great things in Japan. It's only the nationalists/racists who want to push this into a nationality/race issue. Anyone in Japan can enjoy Japanese food and sakura. In fact, Bill Gates with his massive house in Karuizawa and huge fortune can afford to eat more high-class Japanese food than a full 100% of 日本人で生まれた people. He and the rest of us get to enjoy the fruits of Japan without being Japanese.

It shouldn't need saying, but there would also be nothing abnormal about the Chinese woman on the poster thinking that Japan is an いい国. Since she is not Japanese, the statement on the poster is apt for ridicule.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"I'm glad "I'm Japanese". Japanese citizen OR of Japanese race? There IS a difference!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Just like the others, I don't find anything wrong in the poster. I just think those who give negative meaning to it speak more about themselves. If the model is really Chinese with acquired Jcitizenship, then just like some with Chinese roots who own real properties here in Japan understand what is it like to live in a non communist country. I just find it weird that most people who give negative meaning to the poster are foreigners who mostly are having it good in Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just like the others, I don't find anything wrong in the poster. I just think those who give negative meaning to it speak more about themselves. If the model is really Chinese with acquired Jcitizenship, then just like some with Chinese roots who own real properties here in Japan understand what is it like to live in a non communist country. I just find it weird that most people who give negative meaning to the poster are foreigners who mostly are having it good in Japan.

And you don't have anything wrong with Moritomo Gakuin or Nippon Kaigi or Yasukuni Shrine or the APA hotel owner who publishes absolute rot or the fact that this poster was created by a right-wing Shintoist group with shadowy ties to all of the above, not to mention the sitting government, forces that are bound and determined to return this nation to its pre-war glory days.

Most of us know jingoism is not widely embraced in Japan, that most want no more to do with this type of nonsense than resident foreigners do. Thus the condemnation by so many Japanese online to begin with, conveniently left out of most comments by foreigners who seem to think the arguably innocent message should be taken at face value when pedaled by noxious right-wing forces. If my wife or her father or friends or colleagues say they're proud to be Japanese, of course that's fine and dandy. If an organized religion that actively collaborated with fascists for a few decades leading to irreparable harms at home and abroad is putting forth the same message, we should be a little more critical, particularly since most of us are descendants of people who faced off against these cretins no so long ago.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I thought I'd seen this slogan before somewhere and I was right. Back in 2007 LDP candidate Tamayo Marukawa used it as her campaign slogan.

https://matome.naver.jp/odai/2137432635637061001/2137435699145926403

It caused a bit of a stir at the time.

Marukawa won and is now Minister in charge of the Olympics. Last summer she was straight down to Yasukuni on August 15th.

And notorious far-right winger Yoshiko Sakurai also used a similar slogan. The Shinto shrines, Sakurai and Marukawa; birds of a feather flocking together.

http://yuruneto.com/marukawa-poster/

Interestingly, Sakurai gives it the 'Nihonjin ni umarete yokatta', thus differentiating those who are born Japanese and those who aquire Japanese citizenship. Why are so many Japanese women prominent in the far-right when they are so under-represented in the rest of society?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I see nothing wrong in showing national pride in ones own country. Something i think many of the left wing people in the USA could learn from. I really love living in Japan in past and hopefully can move back. Take pride in you're country and it's people and culture. I know many people who are not Japanese love Japan because of it's people and culture. I say celebrate it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Most times I've been to Kyoto station, there's been nationalist protesters outside. That sort of protest would get you locked up in the UK, and this is not something that reflects well on the UK.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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