johnnygogogo comments

Posted in: Commodore Perry & the legacy of American imperialism See in context

I think what's going on under this story is Landsberg is presenting the Japanese view of history which is based on ages and their significance. Meiji represents the opening to the West. Trade existed with the Dutch, Portugese and others long before, but Meiji was about absorption of Western ideas not merely the opening of trade.) Meiji was viewed as an enlightenment in which Japanese scholars were encouraged to learn English, study abroad and European academic ideas were adapted, including a Prussian influenced legal system. The Samurai were against these ideas. The Meiji reformers were for them. The arrival of the black ships set this in motion and Meiji/taisho era Japan are viewed by most Japanese as the birth of modern Japan. Landsberg's narrative is VERY Japanese. If you've ever heard of Keio or Todai, it's also part of the story of those schools.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Commodore Perry & the legacy of American imperialism See in context

(Sorry, the quote function is goofy above...)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Commodore Perry & the legacy of American imperialism See in context

@frungy OMG... First, he says, "according to he US naval museum" -- then explains that most historians disagree and argues that Perry's "deed" destabilized the entire country and lead to civil war (which is a fact) and also lead the country to develop a military and turn outward (fact).

Then way down, he mentions the positive light many Japanese may see Perry, but then lists the horrible results of it. He then says,

Perry’s intervention led to the birth of modern Japan, which today is one of the most affluent and prosperous countries on Earth. There’s no doubt that most Japanese are aware of that, and have a sense of stoic gratitude.

On the other hand, in the wake, Japan was briefly turned in to an awakened beast. It led to a brutal civil war, interventions that included genocide in other Asian countries, upon America with the bombing of Pearl Harbor and upon itself with the firebombings of Tokyo and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some 3 million Japanese died in WWII alone, a half a million Americans – 10-20 million Chinese and about 400,000 Koreans.

He then spends half the article accusing the US of engaging in IMPERIALISTIC activities, and even implying that the US still engages in such activities but calls it something else and asks. I don't know where you're from, but Americans do NOT like being called imperialists... its very strong language.

Then he says,

Today, the legacy of “manifest destiny” is argued to live on via the doctrine of “American Exceptionalism” which is often used to justify American military actions that fall outside the norms of the international community.

The question arises: when are such actions justified? How is the line between state-sponsored piracy in the name of nation and God distinguished between national security within international norms of rule of law?

He then points out the frivolous reason that Japan forced Japan open, and pretty much asks if America is repeating such behavior in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and soon possibly Libya?

If you think the article is written in praise of Perry, you missed the entire point of the author. The piece is a condemnation of American interventionism.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Commodore Perry & the legacy of American imperialism See in context

(correction 1884 Anexation of Korea... substract 100 years please...)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Commodore Perry & the legacy of American imperialism See in context

I think a lot of posters are missing the point. The Meiji Restoration was about Japan learning from many different foreign countries that's a given... the issue is what lead to it and what were the results. All of the social institutions that are being named above occurred in that era. The question is what lead to that era?

Here's the timeline... Commodore Perry Arrival --> 1854 Order To Expel the Barbarians --> 1863 Boshin War --> 1868 MEIJI RESTORATION --> absorption of ideas from West... 1868~ Birth of Japanese Imperial Army --> 1871 Taiwan Expedition --> 1874 First Sino Japanese War --> 1894 Boxer Rebellion --> 1899 Russo-Japanese War --> 1904 WWI --> 1994 Annexation of Korea --> 1910

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Commodore Perry & the legacy of American imperialism See in context

@jackslater

Japan emulated the West mainly Britain from the end of the 19th century. In fact they learnt their naval skills from them.

Isn't that funny that the writer is from America and lives in Japan and writes from the perspective of an American living in Japan in an article that's about American military interventions and its effect on Japan??? It must be some kind of crazy conspiracy.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Posted in: Commodore Perry & the legacy of American imperialism See in context

@frungy My reading is that the author basically calls Perry a reckless pirate in very polite words. The article seems to be a condemnation of American interventionalism, and is arguing that American Exceptionalism is just as bad as American Imperialism. If I'm reading that correctly, I doubt he personally views him as a hero.

It is a fact, though, that Japanese school children are taught that Perry was the man who opened Japan to the West, but in sort of a whitewashed way. If you live in Japan, ask around what people think of him. There are several statues of him in Japan and a museum. I don't think he's viewed as a bad guy.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Commodore Perry & the legacy of American imperialism See in context

@sasoriza However, when Japan annexed Korea and pushed out the Qing dynasty, the terms of the "treaty" were almost identical to those of the treaty Japan was forced to sign with the US -- and that was the birth of Japanese imperialism. Prior to Meiji/Taisho Japan was a country turned INWARD... during MEIJI/TAISHO, Japan turned outward -- the question is what lead to the sudden change... and I'd argue that it was because the Western world proved that it was a threat from outside. In addition, it is a fact that the Meiji era represented an intentional absorption of Western Ideas... and those were the Western Ideas of the time. To say "Japan is unique and has always been unique," is true is some ways, but MEIJI era Japan was Japan's attempt to become more Westernized. That's a historical fact.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Commodore Perry & the legacy of American imperialism See in context

@tkoind2

Wait, an unfair trade agreement was signed, it lead the Samurai, who were the heart of the society to rebel demanding the treaty be gotten rid of and the foreigners expelled. It lead to a civil war in which Japan briefly split into two countries, and was one of its bloodiest in history, and upon its resolution resulted in an army that turned OUTWARD not inward and forced a trade agreement on Korea that almost EXACTLY mirrored that of Perry's on Japan... and also Japan's decision to rapidly absorb as much Western thought and technology as possible (hence the Meiji Enlightenment) out of awareness that the West was so far ahead of Japan all they had to do was show up with a gun boat without even firing it...Today almost all Japanese school children know who Perry and Black Ships were - and you're trying to tell me that this guy's intervention did not have a serious impact on the course of Japanese history???

We are talking about the same Perry here... not the 90210 guy, right???

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Commodore Perry & the legacy of American imperialism See in context

@frungy

In short, Mr. Landsberg, your argument is fatally flawed. To attempt to reduce the entirety of Japan's interactions with foreign countries to Perry's single act (I don't deny it was important, but I think you overstate its long-term consequences), and then to leap-frog from there to the assumption that all of Japan's progress is a result of U.S. imperialism is both arrogant and ill-considered.

It looks like you missed the entire point of the article. Where does it say that all of Japan's progress is the result of US imperialism therefore its a good thing. The article says that it triggered off a series of events that lead to both good and bad things... mentions the enormous human toll, then ends on a skeptical point. The facts in the article about Perry's intervention leading to the Samurai uprising, which lead to the ultimate downfall of the Shogunate and rise of the Imperial army is mainstream fact as taught in most Japanese history books. The Boshin War was a turning point in Japanese history and a lot of it had to do with "Sonno Joi" -- a direct reference to the impact of the unequal treaty. The article argues that Japan modernized on its own to protect itself from the West, but in doing so also emulated certain bad behaviors of it as well and paid a cost. The story seems balanced to me as it points out that the course set in effect led to both good and bad. I'd argue that the question closes with to me seems to imply that the author is cynical about American interventionism, not a supporter of it!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Why Japanese values and morality confound us so See in context

@Flippy

Stupid and insolent comment, Mr. Landsberg

I hope you don't think that's the opinion of the author, otherwise you missed the whole point of the story.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Cleaning up Minami-Soma See in context

@YongYang Exactly, and there is radon and UV light in Japan too... Visit Ofuna....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's coffee culture See in context

Great article!

I get annoyed when people assume that because I'm a foreigner I want coffee not tea.

Overall, in Japan, you get what you pay for, and you WILL pay for it if you're a connoisseur (as compared to McDonald's in the morning lover.)

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Cleaning up Minami-Soma See in context

@squidbert As the sentence in the paragraph begins "One panelist pointed out..." is it possible that it may not necessarily be his own opinion, but something he heard on the panel? The panelist said "50mSv occurs around the world," -- The next sentence is unclear whether its his opinion or the panelist's, but then says a significantly lower amount is normal (If its HIS opinion, its a fact check, as that is true, if its the panelist's opinion its not his), but the CONCLUSION of the paragraph is that what really manners is the opinion of the community, which the author states was one of the themes of the conference, so I don't see how he's trying to be an expert in nuclear energy. He concludes the article in a tone which to me is skeptical saying that he'd like to hear what the locals actually feel.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Cleaning up Minami-Soma See in context

YongYang -- You are aware that about half of all radiation exposure in the US comes from man made sources in particular medical waste (but people are willing to accept it), and furthermore there's a thing called skin block which people are advised to wear for a reason? In addition, radon occurs naturally in the soil in many places and is sometimes referred to as a silent killer... its a Class A Carcinogen. Radon causes about 100 times more deaths that carbon monoxide poisoning and its most definitely not man made!!! According to the EPA, 20,000 people will die this year from inhaling it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Cleaning up Minami-Soma See in context

PappWillPreach I think he's referring to agreement of standards between community and officials. How much is safe vs. How much is ideal vs. How much is possible to clean up. There were protests in the 1980s over nuclear clean-ups in the US and the agencies finally got together with the residents and negotiated clean-up standards. I think that's what is being referred to.

I think there's a strong point. The people in a position to demand a plant be shut down are members of the local community, not people half way across the world. The people in a position to stop construction of local plants are also local residents. The plants are usually built after deals are cut with local politicians.

Moderator: 50Sv is probably a type-o. I'd add m.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Cleaning up Minami-Soma See in context

JapanGal, do you really think they would let residents lurk around a bunch of foreign delegates and express their opinions? I'm surprised he got on the tour. Either he has friends in high places or Japan Today has hit really hit the big league.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Why Japanese values and morality confound us so See in context

@reckless The author says that Westerners get confused because Japanese have many conflicting beliefs, yet despite that there is order in their society, then explains that the values aren't from the conflicting religions, but Confucian values, but the real question is, who's supposed to teach them and how are they to be adopted in modern society.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Kyushu Electric execs under fire for not resigning over fake email scandal See in context

Public manipulation backfires so bad in the longterm... Won't these guys ever learn?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan’s mental health policy: Disaster or reform? See in context

@johninnaha The author doesn't seem to be expressing his own opinion. He's citing facts then interviews an expert. The first part of the story is him wondering about the issue and stating facts about the American side -- then he provides statistics then he interviews the doctor then asks the reader to decide. I don't see what's so controversial about that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Radiation likely came from radium in bottles beneath floor of empty house See in context

A Todai professor speculated is was radium earlier in the day... Anybody know any practical use for stuff with radium? Cleaning up nasty stains, bad tummy aches... practical jokes? Years ago, did any medications or products like paint (etc.) contain radium?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: The definitive Japanese bar code of conduct See in context

Agree 600% with Japan-gal... I'll take a mediocre Izakaya anytime to a snobby bar.

Japanese bars come in many different varieties so not sure what the meaning of "bar" is in this article. Even in the case of Western style bars there are many types. The thing I like about Japanese "bars" is that many of the smaller ones are highly individualistic, have themes and reflect the personality of the master, but then there are more formal bars, like the type you'd find at hotels... and the type I avoid.

Don't get drunk??? He means too drunk I suppose... That's the idea of going to a bar. The more you drink the more the bar makes. Just don't get disruptive. In general, the bar wants you to get a little drunk, but not to the point that you're loud and disruptive.

In general, I find that there are two types of professionally run bars in Japan -- once where the bartender is a type of raconteur and his job is to entertain the customers. The other is where the bartender is more standoff and just makes the drinks, but takes a lot of pride in his knowledge and skills. Also you have to consider the atmosphere and the type of customers and fit your behavior to the situation.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Fukushima starts thyroid tests for children See in context

@reinaert albrecht Unless the source of the information is cited it is hardly academically or journalistically credible. It is just a rumor. Believing "anonymous sources" is just as foolish as blindly believing "official sources". If you cited the story in a paper at university and it was the basis of your thesis, the professor would have to fail you. Sources have to be verifiable or independently verifiable. That's something that's learned in every essay or science course you'll ever take. I have some doubts as to the authenticity of the "translation" as the source of the data is not included.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Demand for Japanese language instruction in U.S. skyrocketing See in context

@gonemad I was with this one fellow who was able to translate documents and stuff, but I had to translate for him when he wanted to talk to the boss. I have the opposite problem. I guess its all about balance.

I'm assuming the headline is referring to 1975 vs. the present and JLPT enrollments. Otherwise I'd say, "is growing modestly". Chinese is supposed to pass it, but still, when I was a kid the idea of Chinese or Japanese being up there with the European languages was unimaginable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Fukushima starts thyroid tests for children See in context

@reinaert albrecht Wait... a blog that cites an "independent journalist" who's information you have to pay to access.. and who's translation does not include the source of the information or the location... and you find that a credible source???

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Fukushima starts thyroid tests for children See in context

@zichi What's the source of this??? <<The iodine-137 in children's thyroids dropped by more than 50% once they had left the prefecture.

@thepro @nicky washida Most likely the ministry is requesting that parents take the children to the doctors for the blood tests. The blood tests are taken sent to a lab. If there are abnormalities the doctors report it to the health department and the doctors would refer the children to an endocrinologist.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Demand for Japanese language instruction in U.S. skyrocketing See in context

steve@cpfc o.k. you're an expert on Japan, we all believe you. Whatever you say is true... no need to provide links or citations to back up your facts... roger, Buddy... Got your point...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Demand for Japanese language instruction in U.S. skyrocketing See in context

@steve@CPFC ...o.k. I'm still waiting for you to send me a link to some statistics to back up assertion. Where is it?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Demand for Japanese language instruction in U.S. skyrocketing See in context

@steve@cpfc rrrrright... and the link to the statistics to back up what you're saying...??? Can you give me a link to back up any of your assertions... or are these "facts" privy to you and you alone?

Annual Total Visitors to Japan 2003: 5,211,725 2004: 6,137,905 2005: 6,727,926 2006: 7,334,077 2007: 8,346,969 2008: 8,350,835 2009: 6,789,658 2010: 8,611,175 (source *JNTO)

Of course, currently down in wake of 3/11 disaster.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Woman arrested over death of partner in Mie See in context

Are accidental deaths by genkan common in Japan?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites


©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.