WickedUncle comments

Posted in: Norway killer's manifesto praises Japan for not adopting multiculturalism See in context

Sometimes the only way to combat extreme negativity is by saying something positive. I will try.

I have only been living in Japan since last October, so I do not consider myself qualified to comment yet on its described monoculture, nor its progress towards multiculturalism.

However, in response to fears that right-wingers are regaining ground in our world, I would say to everyone please take heart and look to the future.

Rather than support that sentiment with political logic, allow me to share something from a very personal perspective.

I am a British man who is very proud to be married to his adorable, clever, modern and witty Japanese wife. It is my wife that has helped me rediscover my patriotism for Britain. She expresses her love for Britain almost daily, even though we now live in Japan, even though she was not born British.

Naturally, since our arrival I have been going through the typical blue phases that one experiences whilst trying to cope as a newcomer. Of course, this has been in the midst of Japan undergoing a very testing time. I can honestly tell you that the Japanese I have met so far have been particularly amiable and warm towards me, also patient with my inability to say more than a few words in their national language ... and this during a period when the stresses of a threefold crisis would make a little impatience perfectly excusable.

Furthermore, I have entered a country where English in Romaji characters can be found written pretty much everywhere it seems, despite the popularity of Katakana among natives; where you can press a button on your TV remote to call up the dialogue of a drama, film or news excerpt in the original language (unless the broadcast defaults to use of subtitles anyway). When visiting Fukuoka, I was verging on guilt pangs in Canal City, for there was a distinct absence of Japanese text on display. And for old fashioned foreign drivers who would rather not rely 100% on their sat-nav, the above mentioned frequency of Romaji applies to road signs too. I cannot see life being made all that difficult for even the linguistically laziest of us new residents (mea culpa, that's me).

The point I am making? Is Japan really a defensive monoculture? Maybe it is, but being new here I have only had enough time to see indications of the opposite.

If one evil maniac in Norway has praised Japan for embracing the same evil, the praise is misplaced. Thus far, I have not suffered much in the way of anything that could be described as a racist attitude towards me here. Regretfully, my wife was an occasional victim to a softly racist attitude still present in The UK, which is disheartening considering Britain is meant to be a leading nation in multiculturalism. Luckily, for the most part, I think I can say Britain actually is at the forefront of global liberalism and that such instances are only echoes of a less enlightened past. As far as I can tell, Britain and Japan are mostly harmonious in this regard, sharing broadly the same humanitarian and egalitarian values. Let us celebrate that. My late father fought in Burma during WWII against imperial Japanese forces. Nowadays there is a high frequency of Japanese-British marriages. Forgive me for sounding too much like an old hippy, but has LOVE not won through more successfully than even the best of political intentions? These days FAMILY is not constrained by nationality, indeed, the ever so traditional concept of FAMILY has embraced the planet, has crossed ethnic divides, has forced us to rebrand our patriotism, making it open, inclusive.

We should all express to the Norwegian members of our planetary family how much we love them, how much we believe in their ability to overcome this dreadful event and how confident we are that they will stand tall and united against the abhorrent mindset held by Breivik and others that think like him. We must stand with them in this.

And we should hold on to our hopes for the future too, because the coming generations from our current bloodlines and matrimonies will not so easily be confined by ethnic, national and religious categorisation, let alone anything as superficial as skin colour. This is bound to be as true in Japan as it is in Britain and America, many children being born here are mixed lineage, meaning it will shortly be impossible to maintain the artifice of a monoculture any longer. For all of us who are 'Gaijin' with Japanese spouses, or Japanese with 'Gaijin' spouses, we must surely be excited about what our children and grandchildren will achieve anywhere they go in the world. How does it feel to be the parents of the new world order? Still waiting to become a dad myself, but I bet a lot of you reading this will say fantastic! Friends, brothers, sisters, family, the fascists lost, we won, BE OPTIMISTIC, a great number of people around the world have died or been imprisoned to earn you that right.

Once again, to Norway, best wishes, recover; remember those that have been taken from you fondly. We all will.

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