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  1. #11
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    hmmm i thought black face was illegal? i dont know if this is rascist....something popular in japan is gyaru they try to be white because they think its beautiful. so maybe its like that?

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    Blackface has been in Japan for a very long time. I'm pretty sure it was the book "Little Black Sambo" which introduce it to Japan. While very offensive to us, we need to remember that Japan does not have the history of black racism that the United States has. The idea that Japan would see little Sambo as offensive to blacks is highly unlikely. In fact, it has been use as an image for black people. You will see dolls, books, merchandise, etc, depicting the "Little Sambo" look in Japan.

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    Um just because this bullisht is common in Japan doesn't make it inoffensive or non-racist. I bet if America started mass producing a doll with "squinty" eyes they'd be able to figure out exactly how offensive it is and why we should know better regardless of our supposed lack of knowledge.
    There's nothing positive about "Sambo" and any citizen of the modern world with half a brain knows that that negativity and idiocy is connected to real live black people. "Black" is a fad in many Asian countries. Something to be mocked and caricatured..

    These folks aren't stupid. But they sure will capitalize on your projected sense of naivety if you let them.
    Last edited by Princess Pamplemousse; 12-05-2011 at 01:32 AM.
    the artist formerly known as Electra


  4. #14
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    ^^ Exactly.

    Also, RE: The Bubble Sisters, they are a South Korean band, not Japanese. I visited South Korea this past summer and as a whole (of course there are exceptions) they are very much like the Japanese...homogeneous, intolerant of their own dark skin counterparts, and xenophobic. They take pride in their ways, and claim "ignorance/naivety" when convenient. They were under Japan's rule for some time, so I think of their relationship like that of Great Britain and the USA. So they're like Japan in many ways (even if they have a love/hate relationship with Japan, just as the US has a love/hate relationship with England).

    I noticed a huge difference in the way they treated white people (like saints, ready to serve them hand and foot) and black people (they look right through you, as if you're not even there). I will say that the younger generation seemed to be friendlier, but in general the racism is pretty bad over there.

    There were about 5 black folks traveling with us, along with 15 white folks, and a couple of Hispanic/Latin people, and a handful of "other" Asians" like Chinese, a guy from Taiwan, and a girl from India. I even had a conversation with some of the "other" Asians, who also felt out of place because they weren't light-skinned like the majority/richer class of Koreans, and were looked down upon because they were not Korean, let alone being darker-skinned Asians.

    My roommate was a bi-racial Japanese and European girl (who I had a few classes with in undergrad) and the first thing she says when we're getting ready in the morning to have our first meal, "Do you want to use some sunscreen? The Koreans look down upon dark-skinned people." I told her I'm brown, and sunscreen lotion wasn't going to magically make me lighter, and if they're going to treat me differently because of my skin color, then that says a lot about their culture. She must have forgot I was black (uh...right), because she goes, "I'm so sorry, things just slip out of my mouth sometimes, that was stupid of me." This girl is a huge Japan/Korea enthusiast (and has Japanese blood), so her comment was really all I needed to confirm what I had already suspected just from my bus ride from the airport to our hotel the night before.

    I felt very unwelcome for my entire trip, and though I tried to make the best of it, it's not a place I'm in a hurry to go back to. Don't get me started on trying to find vegetarian food there, it was damn near impossible.
    Last edited by etifaim; 12-05-2011 at 04:00 AM.
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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Princess Pamplemousse View Post
    Um just because this bullisht is common in Japan doesn't make it inoffensive or non-racist. I bet if America started mass producing a doll with "squinty" eyes they'd be able to figure out exactly how offensive it is and why we should know better regardless of our supposed lack of knowledge.
    There's nothing positive about "Sambo" and any citizen of the modern world with half a brain knows that that negativity and idiocy is connected to real live black people. "Black" is a fad in many Asian countries. Something to be mocked and caricatured..

    These folks aren't stupid. But they sure will capitalize on your projected sense of naivety if you let them.
    Who said it wasn't offensive? What you aren't understanding is that in Japan, Little Sambo was never viewed as a negative image of the black people, rather it was seen as a very cute character. Back in the days when the Little Sambo book was introduce in Japan, you have to keep in mind that black people weren't walking the streets. The idea that the Japanese would see this character and think " Oh, gee, what a offensive imagery of black people" is utterly insane. They saw a cute, pitch-black character who then became popular, hince why you will see blackface on merchandise today. Blackface in America was purposely used as a derogatory image with the Sambo character being used to protray every black stereotype. The context is different. Blackface is not seen as offensive to blacks because blackface, IN Japan, was never used in such a way. Anyone who knows a thing about Japanese popular culture, knows that blackface is used in their cartoons, dramas, and everyday merchandise. Don't get me wrong, blackface has been used to imitate black people in a very stereotypical matter, but to the Japanese, it is just humour. In the United States, that would be extremely offensive due to the historical context of the matter. In many countries it wouldn't be because the historical context isn't there. That is the point I'm trying to make.

    Squinty eyes IS used in Japan, by the way. An example of a squinty eye character is Brock from Pokemon. Very popular character.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by etifaim View Post
    ^^ Exactly.

    Also, the Bubble Sisters are a South Korean band, not Japanese. I visited South Korea this past summer and as a whole (of course there are exceptions) they are very much like the Japanese...homogeneous, intolerant of their own dark skin counterparts, and xenophobic. They take pride in their ways, and claim "ignorance/naivety" when convenient. They were under Japan's rule for some time, so I think of their relationship like that of Great Britain and the USA. So they're like Japan in many ways (even if they have a love/hate relationship with Japan, just as the US has a love/hate relationship with England).

    I noticed a huge difference in the way they treated white people (like saints, ready to serve them hand and foot) and black people (they look right through you, as if you're not there). I felt very unwelcome for my entire trip, and I was born and raised (and currently live) in COLORADO. I'm quite used to racism, whether blatant or subtle.

    Every person has different experiences. I've read many black american expat blogs who moved to Japan and Korea and overwhemlingly the experiences have been very positive. In fact, many have said that these countries were no more racist and even less than the United States. Ask yourself, why did you felt unwelcome? Was it really the people? As a person who went to school for over a year in Houston Texas where most times I was the only black butt in the class, I find that if I go looking for the racial tension, I will find it. Not because it was all around me, but because in my head the littlest things I see which hinted at it I jumped to that conclusion.

    Many black americans find employment as english teachers in these countries, not having to know much of the language, because they need english teachers very badly. Here is a video of horrified korean students being terrified of their black teacher.


    Another video


    http://officialtaiwo.blogspot.com/
    *wrong blog*

    Also, about the dark skin comment. Yes, in many asian cultures, light skin is highly perferred. Back in the day in many parts of asia, many poor people work in the sun so their skin was darker. Dark connected with being poor, while light skin was connected with being rich. Today, it is still that way, with western media making it even worse. Even in many dark skin countries, example being India, light skin is perferred. In fact, in most countries, you will see a perference for light skin, much of that due to the wide spread western media.

    Though just because light skin is perferred doesn't mean the people will treat you like crap.
    Last edited by Kaichi; 12-05-2011 at 05:04 AM.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaichi View Post
    Who said it wasn't offensive? What you aren't understanding is that in Japan, Little Sambo was never viewed as a negative image of the black people, rather it was seen as a very cute character. Back in the days when the Little Sambo book was introduce in Japan, you have to keep in mind that black people weren't walking the streets. The idea that the Japanese would see this character and think " Oh, gee, what a offensive imagery of black people" is utterly insane. They saw a cute, pitch-black character who then became popular, hince why you will see blackface on merchandise today. Blackface in America was purposely used as a derogatory image with the Sambo character being used to protray every black stereotype. The context is different. Blackface is not seen as offensive to blacks because blackface, IN Japan, was never used in such a way. Anyone who knows a thing about Japanese popular culture, knows that blackface is used in their cartoons, dramas, and everyday merchandise. Don't get me wrong, blackface has been used to imitate black people in a very stereotypical matter, but to the Japanese, it is just humour. In the United States, that would be extremely offensive due to the historical context of the matter. In many countries it wouldn't be because the historical context isn't there. That is the point I'm trying to make.

    Squinty eyes IS used in Japan, by the way. An example of a squinty eye character is Brock from Pokemon. Very popular character.
    *Sigh*. No. Please don't presume to tell me what I don't understand in your post. I "heard" what you had to say loud and clear, I also noticed that you seem determined to view this travesty through rose-colored glasses. Your bias is showing. Objectively speaking, this thread is an instance of Japanese people "noveltizing" blackness...treating it as an object of fascination, a fad...there's nothing positive about that.

    You can name as many Asian-created cartoons that you want, by the way. None of them fit the scenario I painted--an AMERICAN show (or music group) where the characters decorate their eyes such that they appear "squinty" like a Japanese person's. That wouldn't fly. They'd be super offended no matter how much the Americans cried "it's just humor". In fact, that might offend them more. One example I can think of off the top of my head is Joe Jonas from the Jonas Brothers (yes the Jonas Brothers ) making squinty eyes in a photo. Folks were in an uproar. You can be damn sure that he didn't say "I was just messin' around!" He apologized. Period. Regardless of the fact that, most Americans don't know the "history" of the Japanese' struggle to accept their eyes (and you can't tell me it's not a struggle considering all the surgeries folks have to change them).

    It slays me how some black people are willing to make excuses for folks de*****ting them when other peoples would start a damn riot over this stuff.

    And I don't need to watch your videos to tell you that all they prove is that ALL Japanese people aren't racist a*holes. And I'm sure everybody already knew that. The point's irrelevant to this thread and doesn't prove that this music group didn't know they were offending people of another race.
    the artist formerly known as Electra


  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Princess Pamplemousse View Post
    *Sigh*. No. Please don't presume to tell me what I don't understand in your post. I "heard" what you had to say loud and clear, I also noticed that you seem determined to view this travesty through rose-colored glasses. Your bias is showing. Objectively speaking, this thread is an instance of Japanese people "noveltizing" blackness...treating it as an object of fascination, a fad...there's nothing positive about that.

    You can name as many Asian-created cartoons that you want, by the way. None of them fit the scenario I painted--an AMERICAN show (or music group) where the characters decorate their eyes such that they appear "squinty" like a Japanese person's. That wouldn't fly. They'd be super offended no matter how much the Americans cried "it's just humor". In fact, that might offend them more. One example I can think of off the top of my head is Joe Jonas from the Jonas Brothers (yes the Jonas Brothers ) making squinty eyes in a photo. Folks were in an uproar. You can be damn sure that he didn't say "I was just messin' around!" He apologized. Period. Regardless of the fact that, most Americans don't know the "history" of the Japanese' struggle to accept their eyes (and you can't tell me it's not a struggle considering all the surgeries folks have to change them).

    It slays me how some black people are willing to make excuses for folks de*****ting them when other peoples would start a damn riot over this stuff.

    And I don't need to watch your videos to tell you that all they prove is that ALL Japanese people aren't racist a*holes. And I'm sure everybody already knew that. The point's irrelevant to this thread and doesn't prove that this music group didn't know they were offending people of another race.
    Can I ask you exactly what makes Sambo offensive to blacks? Is it because of his pink lips? Is it because of his pitch black skin? Or is it because of what this character represents? What is so offensive about painting your face brown to protray a black person? Is it really because it is wrong to look like a dark skin person of color, or is it because historically, it was used to make fun of black americans? Why does a country who had nothing to do with Afro-American history understand the serious nature of Sambo?

    How exactly does one know when you offend someone else culture? Not because they should know already, it is due to the backlash! Did Rosie Ol Donald know that saying "chang, choing, chong" was offensive to the Chinese? No, she had no idea, along with a lot of people who had no idea. America has a large Chinese population who made their voices heard. What about jumping up and down and imitating the Indian War cry. I use to do that plenty. It wasn't until a part Indian informed me that that was actually offensive did I know the truth. The United States is a multicultural country where being culturally sensitive is a must, unless you want to offend somebody. Many countries in Asia is not. Japan is 99% Japanese and most of their foreigners are asian. What backlash is there? None at all, so how in the world would they see it as offensive? The truth is, people are more likely to know what offends them, culturally, than what offends another culture.

    As a person who plans to travel to other countries, I know that having an open mind is a must. You can't just look to your black american perspective. You must look at ALL perspective. And no, the video wasn't there to prove that all asians aren't racist. Only that experience is what you make of it, nor was it address to you.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaichi View Post
    Can I ask you exactly what makes Sambo offensive to blacks? Is it because of his pink lips? Is it because of his pitch black skin? Or is it because of what this character represents? ?
    Little black Sambo is a caricature of what an Indian/Tamil child looks like. Never met an Indian/black child or person that looked liked him anyway, plus the stories are also offensive, reinforcing negative racial stereotypes. It was written in age where it was acceptable to disrespect dark skinned people even more openly than it is today. After all they were considered inferior so why give the culture, appearance or way of life any respect?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sto...le_Black_Sambo


    Quote Originally Posted by Kaichi View Post
    What is so offensive about painting your face brown to protray a black person? Is it really because it is wrong to look like a dark skin person of color, or is it because historically, it was used to make fun of black americans? Why does a country who had nothing to do with Afro-American history understand the serious nature of Sambo?
    Are they protraying a black person or what they think a black person looks like? Why not be a tribute to black culture band without the blackface, it's supposed to be about the music is it not? Do black people need to paint their faces white to play/sing Beethoven, Mozart or go to the Opera?
    In the past the country may not know about Afro American history but most places have universal free education, this is the digital information age, they can read and research, Google is their friend.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaichi View Post
    How exactly does one know when you offend someone else culture? Not because they should know already, it is due to the backlash! Did Rosie Ol Donald know that saying "chang, choing, chong" was offensive to the Chinese? No, she had no idea, along with a lot of people who had no idea. America has a large Chinese population who made their voices heard. What about jumping up and down and imitating the Indian War cry. I use to do that plenty. It wasn't until a part Indian informed me that that was actually offensive did I know the truth. The United States is a multicultural country where being culturally sensitive is a must, unless you want to offend somebody.?
    Rosie was ignorant, was she actually speaking Japanese/Chinese? I doubt it. If a white person went around saying 'bulla bulla bulla' and said they are speaking 'African' we would consider them an idiot and rightly so.
    If people want to take the mickey out of a culture it won't kill them to ask someone from that culture whether what they have to say or do is considered culturally offensive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaichi View Post
    Many countries in Asia is not. Japan is 99% Japanese and most of their foreigners are asian. What backlash is there? None at all, so how in the world would they see it as offensive? The truth is, people are more likely to know what offends them, culturally, than what offends another culture..
    If this was 20-30 years ago I would give them a pass, its now 2011, information is easily available about American culture if people are not too lazy to look it up.
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  10. #20
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    Alright Kaichi. iCan't with you. You're just being willfully ignorant now.
    the artist formerly known as Electra


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