Wednesday, August 1, 2012

`You Will Never Be One of Us` A Japanese Native Finally Admits It. The Merger of Nationalism and Race in Japan.

Howdy! I have not touched on this topic in a while because there are bigger things going on here on the island. Yet I`ll be damned if someone does not say something which forces it back on topic. If you have lived in Japan long enough, you will notice something about native Japanese. Many, but not all, feel they are special simply because they are Japanese. They do not feel they are special because they have a unique personality, are highly educated, have gain a certain level of success in life or anything like that at all. They feel they are special because they were born Japanese and the rest of the world was not. This type of mindset can also be found in the United States; yet it is a little different. In the states this type of nationalism is not so connected to race and ethnic background as it is in Japan. You will find many Americans who feel that simply because they were born in the United States of America they are special and just a little better than people from other nations. 

Let me make it very clear that nationalism is not a bad thing. Nationalism, when it comes organically(often referred to as patriotism) from the people, is an attempt by the people to protect their own nation is ensure their own collective survival. Although, when nationalism is promoted by `the state` it often produces hatred and elitism among the population toward those who are not a citizen of said nation. As we all know, a nation fully ran and controlled by the people is hard to create and even harder to maintain. While Americans have gone to great lengths to smash racism from their nation and now struggle to take back their own government, many people in Japan refuse to deal with racism and have never really had full control over their government. Such differences is exactly why the opinion which the person in the video below expresses is common in Japan.

As you watched in the video, he clearly says `You will never be Japanese.` His reasoning for this is not shocking for me due to the strong sense of tribalism in Japan which can be a pure bitch to deal with at times. Now, to give this person credit, he is trying to be polite. He does try to hide his own racism by mixing it with nationalism. He takes the position that because he was born in Japan(nationalism) and has Japanese blood(racism) that he is Japanese and someone who was not born in Japan and does not have Japanese blood can never be Japanese. Even if you master the language, pay taxes, maintain a job be a part of society and gain citizenship you can never be Japanese according to this person`s mindset. Of course, such a mindset is very silly when you consider the nature of human society. Human society has no choice but to change and evolve over time. For any human society to survive it must become more diverse and have fresh ideas injected into it. Japan is a society which is thousands of years old. It has been evolving for a long time into what we see today. Does anyone really think that Japan has survived this long without immigration? Koreans and Chinese have been immigrating to Japan for almost as long as there has been a Japan.  I know from my own experience that the average person in Japan feels a hard sting when ever you mention Korean or Chinese immigration. They hate to admit that Koreans and Chinese people have been influencing Japanese society for a very long time.  Bring up how they have treated Koreans and Chinese over the years and they feel the sting even deeper.

It seems to be that many people in Japan want to feel special simply because they have so-called Japanese blood and are born in Japan. Well, if they are so special then why has Japanese society depended on immigration so much over the years to inject fresh ideas into the society, increase the overall population, create a larger labor force and even provide for a larger military? It seems to be that this idea that native born Japanese are somehow special and unique started during the empire days of Japanese history. It was during the days of empire that Japanese society started to regard themselves as being better than other Asians and felt that it was their right to have dominance over them. Even today Japanese history refers to WW2 as `The War of Asian Liberation` as to somehow suggest that it was Japan which was protecting the `lower` Asians from the evil westerners. When in fact it was the Japanese empire which was exploiting other Asian cultures and using force to gain the advantages of mingling with other cultures.

In my opinion, post WW2 Japan only made the situation worse. For the first time, being exploited was on the other shoe for Japan; and it keeps going on even to this day. After being exploited by westerners powers for about 64 years the idea that Japanese are special are unique seems to be a way native born Japanese blind themselves to their own exploitation.  You know, `We are special so we get special treatment from America. We are not being exploited.` Many westerners come to Japan and exploit the hell out of this island. In order to deal with that it seens to me many Japanese say that, `We are special and unique which is why so many gaijin want to come and live here.` In reality, many westerners come to Japan because they can make a decent amount of money, behave with total disregard for what is happening around them, not have to get involved in any aspect of Japanese society and cherry pick the parts of Japan they like and create their own image of Japan to brag to their friends about. So, you can see how a lot of Japanese would create an elitist attitude about being native born in Japan even if it carries no real weight in the big picture. Their racism does them no favors but to give them piece of mind that they are `special.`

It would make far better sense, at least to me, to give up on nationalist racism and focus more on trying to find allies who understand their situation and frustration over what Japan has become. Maybe then they could start to break the chains which the post-war era and modern globalism agenda has placed on their society. Yet, to simply think that `We are Japanese and we are special` without the ass to cash the checks their mouths are writing, will put them in an even deeper hole than they already are.