Interesting that the author neglected to mention the LONG history of blackface in Japan. which began almost around the same time. Oversight?
The history of blackface minstrelsy in Japan is almost as long as that in the U.S. Blackface was introduced to Japan in 1854 by Commodore Matthew Perry, who treated Japanese delegates to an “Ethiopian entertainment” performed by white members of the crew of his flagship, the USS Powhatan, to celebrate the conclusion of a trade treaty with Japan that reopened the country to the outside world.
A decade later, Japanese themselves were blackening up and strutting in morning coats and top hats across Japanese stages. By the 1920s and 1930s, comedians Kenichi Enomoto, Yozo Hayashi and Teiichi Futamura were performing in blackface jazz revues in Tokyo’s Asakusa district, while actors such as Shigeru Ogura appeared in blackface on the silver screen.
When not embodied on stage and screen, minstrel and other black stereotypes were reproduced in toys, cartoons, animated shorts, adventure books and product trademarks. They also took the form of knickknacks, some of which, under the “Made in Occupied Japan” label, were produced with the approval of U.S. authorities for export to America. In the 1970s and 1980s, doo-wop groups such as the Chanels (later Rats & Star), and Gosperats (an amalgam of Rats & Star and the Gospellers) carried on the Japanese blackface tradition in their bid to channel Motown soul.
Just last year, Masatoshi Hamada was goofing around in blackface on Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!! So, yes, Japan has a very long and consistent history of blackface as well, and it has not been disinfected of the viral and racist source of it, American blackface.
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The Thing The Exorcist and there was this tv movie with Karen Black and a little tribal doll that came to life...I think it was called "Trilogy of Terror" or something like that. Used to scare the mess outta me.
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So many scathing and disparaging comments about African nations. disheartening. Smh
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Clearly none of those 26000 people ever lived in Japan or I suspect it would have a much lower rating. I guess if you just visit here, it's worthy of number 4 though.
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@irodriguezsosa Ummm...at the risk of overstating the obvious, and though you've indicated you've read the book (half of which deals with racism in THE US, as in NOT in Japan), it's clear you either didn't read it, didn't get it, or didn't want to get it. And I agree that everything encountered here and elsewhere that smells like racism isn't necessarily racism, but that doesn't necessarily make it excusable, unintentional or inoffensive...does it? I mean, are you suggesting that widespread race-based "social prejudice" and "stupidity" (not only in Japan but elsewhere in the world) must be tolerated and accepted? That this is basic human behavior, and will never change? That it's grafted into our DNA by fear and ancient tribalism...and syougannai? I guess we're gonna have to agree to disagree on this point. I mean, I've seen people progress beyond that, and I, myself, have done so. So I know for a fact it's possible. Even if it hadn't been done before I would never surrender to that notion, cause we, like all creatures and lifeforms on this planet, can adapt and can change, and have done so many times when it was in the best interest of the species. All we need is the proper incentive and motivation to do so. I have it. Do you?
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@tokyonice Is there a difference between racism and behaving irrationally fearful in someone's presence based on their skin color and the ignorant notions you have in your head that you associate with that skin color?
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Posted in: Many Kurdish children experience bullying here in some form. If they don't understand Japanese and therefore can't convey their thoughts clearly, it's easy for bullying to develop. Lack of knowledge regarding customs, culture and community life here can lead to misunderstandings and prejudice.