145: Konnichi wa, Nihon!

Apr 14, 2008
5
0
0
Japanese is worth learning for the literature alone. Wicked video games and the occasional decent anime series (let's be honest - most of it is awful) are just nice bonuses.
 

Akatsuki_slave

New member
Apr 7, 2008
26
0
0
Anime has little to nothing to do with Japanese culture. That's as silly as saying American culture is summed up in Ducktales.
Umm, I think Ducktales has a lot to do with American culture. As anime relates strongly to Japanese culture. How exactly do you separate art from culture? What do you know about Japanese culture to make such a statement to begin with? Have you ever even watched anime? Or any American cartoons? Maybe they don't seem like it on the surface (um, they kinda do, but I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here), but how else would art turn out the way it does without any cultural references? What do they eat in American cartoons? How do they act? It's a reflection of American culture. How about what they eat in anime? How they act? It's all extraordinarily Japanese. So, saying cartoons/anime have nothing to do with the cultures that create them is not just silly but flat out wrong.
 

General Ma Chao

New member
Jan 2, 2008
210
0
0
Akatsuki_slave said:
Anime has little to nothing to do with Japanese culture. That's as silly as saying American culture is summed up in Ducktales.
Umm, I think Ducktales has a lot to do with American culture. As anime relates strongly to Japanese culture. How exactly do you separate art from culture? What do you know about Japanese culture to make such a statement to begin with? Have you ever even watched anime? Or any American cartoons? Maybe they don't seem like it on the surface (um, they kinda do, but I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here), but how else would art turn out the way it does without any cultural references? What do they eat in American cartoons? How do they act? It's a reflection of American culture. How about what they eat in anime? How they act? It's all extraordinarily Japanese. So, saying cartoons/anime have nothing to do with the cultures that create them is not just silly but flat out wrong.
All forms of art and entertainment may give you no more than a brief glance into their culture. Others may try to delve deeper. You have to analyze it all if you want to get a picture of the culture it came from.
 

CWheezy

New member
Apr 16, 2008
3
0
0
General Ma Chao said:
That's part of its allure. It makes it look mysterious.
That's even stranger. I mean, you're saying that they like it more because the japanese don't like them very much, or are prejudiced against them.
 

stompy

New member
Jan 21, 2008
2,951
0
0
CWheezy said:
General Ma Chao said:
That's part of its allure. It makes it look mysterious.
That's even stranger. I mean, you're saying that they like it more because the japanese don't like them very much, or are prejudiced against them.
Yep, that's pretty much it. It's human nature to want what you can't have; to lust after the unattainable. Even if the destination sucks, it's all about the journey, so to speak.

Anyhoo, I like some things that come out of Japan; they've got some good anime/manga, and some very interesting games. But, that's where it ends. Those guys who obsess 'bout Japan, kinda freak me out.

One last thing: What does 'nihon' mean? I've heard it, but I really can't remember.

- A procrastinator
 

Therumancer

Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
9,909
0
0
(Blinks Again)

Okay I'm a fan of all forms of nerd-media including Anime and Video Games. I am however not a Japanaphille. I simply am too well grounded in reality for that. Simply put Japan falls under the catagory of a nation crawling out of "Neo-Barbarism". The Neo bit coming from science fiction and having to do with the fact that civilization is determined in degrees by the most enlightened and progressive nation on the planet. When you fall far enough below that level in so many ways your a Barbarian. However it's important to distinguish because many people tend to always assume that Barbarism means little or no civilization or technology. One of the things that makes the modern world such a pain to deal with, especially morally, is that the modern equivilents of the Huns and Mongels and such might have guns, schools, electricity, planes, boars, and all the other trappings that represents "civilization" until you start looking at it in degrees.

Despite that lead in, I'm not entirely going to hate on Japan here. For all the problems with the USA, though consider that this is still a nation grounded in racism (ethnic/national purity), and which less than 100 years ago were trying to conquer the world, loading their brainwashed children into flying bombs, and launching them into ships. They were only deconditioned enough to survive by using weapons of mass destruction to demonstrate that there would be no heroic last stand if they didn't surrender in a losing war, there would just be ignoble death.

Given that people can live 75-80 years understand that this didn't even occur 2 full societal generations ago. For a society to really change it takes at least 4-10 societal generations. Usually everyone has to be dead who even knew someone that was part of the original culture, and for those teachings to die out.

I point this out because for every cool thing you see coming from Japan, there is something really twisted and messed up it seems. Not to mention a large degree of militant nationalism, racism, resistance to progress, and other factors. All of which can apply to a lesser extent to other nations like the US, but in a differant situation.

It should be noted that a lot of their science fiction and fantasy (through anime, video games, etc...) basically came from the USA. It's just produced initially with less watchdog groups and hoops to jump through (at the moment) than American productions. This is one of the big reasons why there is a cross-cultural appeal to a lot of this. It's our own stuff.

It should also be noted that both Samurai and Ninjas as the exist in Japanese pop culture are pretty much American creations through RPGs and such. Ninjas for example were kind of disliked in Japan for historical reasons, however Americans got a hold of the idea of these Shadow Warriors, changed it around beyond recognition, and developed this sort of anti-hero motif. Japan for example then took the idea and figured "oh it's kind of cool like that" so instead of being an unpopular idea, you have all these Ninja-girls and everything jumping all over the place. Again it appeals to Americans because we sort of created the pop culture version, and then they took it and used it. The same can be applied to say Samurai to a lesser extent. The Samurai aristocricy was overthrown, but then we sort of re-envisioned it along the lines of European Knights from times past, and they kind of retroactively ran with it.

Now some people are probably freaking out here because what I'm saying doesn't go with the vibe a lot of Japanaphilles. The bottom line I'm making here is don't confuse the pop culture with the people themselves, and also don't misunderstand where a lot of it comes from. Anime, JRPGs, etc... and their Western counterparts are heavily inbred.

Also understand that for every decent sci-fi story, you've got one that can't resist putting in some dude who took a Katana to his own eyes because he couldn't stand to see
post-war Japan or something, with an overall message of resisting change and bashing American and such. Not the kind of statement, or method of expression, one expects from a fully civilized country in Japan's position (and yes, I'm talking about Gasaraki).

Things like "Lodoss Wars" were heavily influanced by DND, and games like the original "Wizardry" and such heavily influanced the direction Japanese gaming took.

Also, understand that it appears a lot of the stuff Japan makes doesn't make it to the US because of US Bashing. For example it seemed to be a big deal that us "round eyes" didn't get "Final Fantasy X: Final Mission" and thus the story of that game was not completed. Keeping a lot of stuff as "Japan Only" is a big deal down there, and I've run accross a few referances to fans down there feeling that an American release cheapens a product.

I guess I'm rambling borderline incoherantly about Japan, because the point of this article seems to be "At first I wasn't a Japanaphille, but now I am one and it rocks".

The bottom line is Japan is a nation that hates you for a bunch of reasons, including racial ones. While they produce some good Sci-Fi and Fantasy products, they tend to be jerks about it, and it isn't half as innovative or even as "Japanese" as they pretend.

So basically while I like a lot of Japanese Video games and Anime, at the same time I've been poisoned somewhat against their culture. Anyone who wants to move there is insane (even though this paticular article didn't go there specifically, other similar ones have). It's not some great, and magical wonderland for nerds. It's a defeated island nation that needs to grow up... a lot.

>>>----Therumancer--->
 

Spinwhiz

New member
Oct 8, 2007
2,871
0
0
Well written story. I would love to learn Japanese, but I think I'll stick with Chinese. Just a hunch I'll be needing it someday.
 

SatansBestBuddy

New member
Sep 7, 2007
189
0
0
Therumancer said:
(Blinks Again)

Okay I'm a fan of all forms of nerd-media including Anime and Video Games...
>>>----Therumancer--->
Yes, I read it all, and I have to say, you raise a good point that's pretty much ignorable.

Japan, by and large, is still pretty xenophobic and racist, which is something you can only really get if you actually talk to them.

But that's really something you can't call everyone in an entire country.

And it doesn't really matter that much, anyway.

As much as Japan tries to stop us from getting the newest everything (take a good look at how long it takes from an anime getting it's TV premeir there vs here), we still get it anyway, cause we want it, and when we want stuff, we usually find a way to get it.
 

Dorian Cornelius Jasper

Space Robot From Outer Space
Apr 8, 2008
396
0
0
>> Therumancer

You've just summed up the first half of my feelings on Japan.

>> SatansBestBuddy

And *you've* summed up the rest.

I can't help but laugh at the poor Banned-fellow's post. Well, Japan. It's there. Wave to Japan. It's still there.
 

Carbon016

New member
Nov 13, 2007
35
0
0
Umm, I think Ducktales has a lot to do with American culture. As anime relates strongly to Japanese culture.
It may be a reflection of it but it is not it. The sum of Japanese culture is not anime. In fact, while manga is relatively common, anime is very confined to the otaku population in Japan.

How exactly do you separate art from culture?
Irrelevant to the point I was making.

What do you know about Japanese culture to make such a statement to begin with?
Four years and a bachelor's degree.

Have you ever even watched anime? Or any American cartoons? Maybe they don't seem like it on the surface (um, they kinda do, but I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here), but how else would art turn out the way it does without any cultural references? What do they eat in American cartoons? How do they act? It's a reflection of American culture. How about what they eat in anime? How they act? It's all extraordinarily Japanese. So, saying cartoons/anime have nothing to do with the cultures that create them is not just silly but flat out wrong.
That's a straw-man. What I said was that people who say they like "Japanese culture" when all they do is watch anime all day are both minimizing the breadth of culture (which is a shame) and misrepresenting anime as some sort of reflection of all of Japanese society. It's not. Something set in Japan is going to reflect cultural norms, but that's a given.

Therumancer, you make some good points but I don't agree with the final premise. Japan is xenophobic to a degree. That sort of thing happens when you've shut out the world for hundreds of years. What happens though is that people like Debito Arudou subsist on the JAPAN IS RACIST OH MY GOD myth and perpetuate it so much that it tends to be overblown. I think on the whole you'll find Japan's attitude toward foreigners quite neutral, just like most other countries. You might get some weird stares in the countryside, but in general I don't think claiming it's one extreme or the other is accurate. We should also note that in places like the U.S., gay people and atheists are still pretty OK to be discriminated against, and you can smear a presidential candidate by calling him a Muslim. It's not all that different in Europe and putting the rest of the world on a pedestal does not lend itself to fair comparisons..

As much as Japan tries to stop us from getting the newest everything (take a good look at how long it takes from an anime getting it's TV premeir there vs here), we still get it anyway, cause we want it, and when we want stuff, we usually find a way to get it.
Did you seriously just try to explain localization delays as some sort of institutionalized game developer racism? Mind blown.
 

General Ma Chao

New member
Jan 2, 2008
210
0
0
Many of these guys are looking at Japan through rose-tinted glasses. Most of them are teens and young 20 somethings. It was my own research into Japan that made me stop being a Japanophile. I realized that they have their own sets of problems just like us Americans. I still like stuff that comes from there, but it's tempered with the knowledge that they're just people too.
 

GloatingSwine

New member
Nov 10, 2007
4,544
0
0
stompy said:
One last thing: What does 'nihon' mean? I've heard it, but I really can't remember.
Japan. In Japanese.

Also, understand that it appears a lot of the stuff Japan makes doesn't make it to the US because of US Bashing. For example it seemed to be a big deal that us "round eyes" didn't get "Final Fantasy X: Final Mission" and thus the story of that game was not completed. Keeping a lot of stuff as "Japan Only" is a big deal down there, and I've run accross a few referances to fans down there feeling that an American release cheapens a product.
A happy little theory, but almost complete bullshit. Most Japanese products aren't released in the west because they simply wouldn't sell very well. Things like Final Mission and KH: Final Mix would appeal to an even more niche audience in the west than they do in Japan, and it simply wouldn't be profitable to localise and release them, with all the new advertising, publishing costs, and everything that entails.

(take a good look at how long it takes from an anime getting it's TV premeir there vs here)
TV premiere maybe, but Gonzo are making subtitled versions of Tower of Druaga and Blassreiter available on Youtube, BOST, and Crunchyroll smultaneous with their Japanese TV airing. It's a trend that may continue, if it's popular and cuts into the fansub market.
 

ZenMonkey47

New member
Jan 10, 2008
396
0
0
GloatingSwine said:
stompy said:
One last thing: What does 'nihon' mean? I've heard it, but I really can't remember.
Japan. In Japanese.
It always amazed me how Portuguese ears made the switch from "Nippon" (Nippon and Nihon are synonymous, it's a trick you can do with Japanese letter pronunciation) to Japan and now it's so ingrained in our minds that I, as an ES English teacher in Japan, have to tell my students "Yes, I know the real name of your country is Nihon, but the rest of the world calls it Japan so you're just going to have to get used to it."

But yeah, Japan has its own problems (just like every other country in the world) but there are aspects of their culture that I wish I could incorporate back to my home country (and vice versa)

oh, and Anime is great for picking up natural intonation and new vocabulary. Although admittedly it depends on what kind of genre you watch. For example, alot of shonen anime doesn't give you as many words to use in polite conversation...
 

BizRodian

New member
Nov 10, 2007
16
0
0
It's hard for me to discuss a foreign movie/tv show with someone who is watching the dubbed version of it. Simply because it's often like they're watching a different show, since you're watching something with a changed script and different actors (totally different if we're talking about something animated).

I understand french rather well, and it's funny to turn on the English dubtitles on a french film. So much is changed. Turning on the regular subtitles produces a much closer translation, which even then isn't perfect. But at least I'm getting the original actor's performance to go along with it.

I know this is different then the type of elitist nerds talked about in your article, but thought I'd expand on it a bit. It's interesting that you found some common ground with them. I like some anime (have a few full series in my DVD library even), but I just don't understand those who live and breath the stuff. I guess I don't care for the majority of it that I see. A lot of the time, I think these crazy funs just like certain series just because they are anime. Which is fine, I guess... I guess I just like the series I like for reasons beyond only the medium.
 

CWheezy

New member
Apr 16, 2008
3
0
0
Therumancer, you make some good points but I don't agree with the final premise. Japan is xenophobic to a degree. That sort of thing happens when you've shut out the world for hundreds of years. What happens though is that people like Debito Arudou subsist on the JAPAN IS RACIST OH MY GOD myth and perpetuate it so much that it tends to be overblown. I think on the whole you'll find Japan's attitude toward foreigners quite neutral, just like most other countries. You might get some weird stares in the countryside, but in general I don't think claiming it's one extreme or the other is accurate. We should also note that in places like the U.S., gay people and atheists are still pretty OK to be discriminated against, and you can smear a presidential candidate by calling him a Muslim. It's not all that different in Europe and putting the rest of the world on a pedestal does not lend itself to fair comparisons..
Well, according to this UN report, found here: http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G06/103/96/PDF/G0610396.pdf?OpenElement

Japan seems to still be fairly racist. Although, too be fair, that report is from 2005, so unless sweeping changes have occurred in the past 3 years, it still applies.
 

Sinharvest

New member
Nov 9, 2007
33
0
0
Iv been told stories from "gaijin" on how condescending the japanese can be. I didnt really know first hand until i started playing FF11 online when it first came out in the states. Some japanese can really be A holes.

Good anime; creaazy porn; phenominal food; great hospitality to visitors; dont live there.

Or so i hear.
 
Apr 14, 2008
5
0
0
*Article*

This is an anime expert. He is made of fail and even more fail. For every 1 person genuinely interested in Japanese culture, history and entertainment, there are at least 10 of these waiting for the newest season of Haruhi to get their rocks off.
 

Zyrell

New member
May 5, 2008
3
0
0
wow im gonna see a lot of TL:DR but whatever.

-Rant on-

I think the misunderstanding with this article is the use of the word Otaku and how its meaning in Japan and its meaning in North America are totally different. Otaku is almost a term of endearment now in North American anime circles to be an otaku is something to be proud of, where as in Japan it is a title you really could do without.

If you are honestly taking a course in Japanese just to watch animu you seriously have to get your priorities straight. If animu is your general intrest in Japan then you have really missed the point in learning Japanese. You learn a language to you know, converse with people in said spoken language not so you can watch some spiky haired guy talk to you all day. If you "love" (and i use this term loosely here) Japan you should really learn about the culture. I personally find the culture in itself and customs infinitely more interesting than a television show. Now dont get me wrong i have seen Bleach and Naruto (naruto of which i had no intrest to watch because of the above post *see picture*) but i bet very few of said people in that class have actually seen anything before 1990, Original Gundam anybody? Macross? Astro boy? i could go on but the point is moot. Still its almost like learning Dutch because you like wooden shoes or Italian because you like cars and pizza, its impractical.

As far as Japan being Xenophobic i was there recently within the past two weeks. I was only there for a week but in that time i came to realise that dispite how racist you may say Japan is about keeping a pure Japan, were just as racist. Sure you could argue its not for the exact (when in reality honestly is) same reasons but how many times have i seen someone of ethnic decent that is not "North American" or "White" for that matter being racially slurred and/or beat or killed. It happens everywhere and if you dont think that then really your only lying to yourself. In my personal opinion i found japan to be fairly "western" in relation to what people think. The ammountof how many American and Europeon clothing outlets and food chains i saw there was actually mind boggling. Maybe its because i foreign but as somebody in the thread already said they are fairly if almost completely neutral and as a visitor i found thier attention to detail and over all hospitality quite refreshing compared to where i hail from even McDonalds there was made better, its still a sloppy fall apart Big Mac but for a moment i forgot i was in McDonalds.

This is getting a litte bit long so ill sum it up. Japan has problems just like any other country in the world bad stuff happens everywhere and an ignorance is bliss policy is what most people seem to adopt when faced with issues until media blows thins rediculous proportions and assumptions are made. As well there are many misconceptions you can make about another country without knowing why things are the way they are.


-Rant off-
 

Wankytwaddle

New member
Mar 4, 2008
3
0
0
Carbon016 said:
doubt i ever will be able to understand Japanese culture or why so many western people are obsessed by it.
Anime has little to nothing to do with Japanese culture. That's as silly as saying American culture is summed up in Ducktales.
isnt american culture summed up by duck tales? it has money worship, a wannabe super hero and delinquant kids