I no longer live in Japan.
I am a Canadian living in Toronto, born in London, England from parents born in India. I know next to nothing of India, have never been there, don't speak the language and have only recently started eating the food in the past 12 years because my wife who is of Swiss-German ancestry likes it.
Canada, in case you were wondering, is considered a multi-ethnic country. People from all over the world come here because we have a high standard of living, excellent health coverage, excellent schools and are generally quite the safe country that doesn't go out of its way to try and rule the world with its ideologies. We also welcome people from other countries, and don't expect them to conform. At least nowadays. When I was a kid, it was expected... and really... I have always wanted to fit in and be liked by everyone, so no problem in being more Canadian than the Canadians for me!
Japan... Japan is a homogeneous society. There are a lot of people from Japan living there... and slowly but surely, it is gaining a bit of multi-ethnicity. India is probably the same way, but honestly... I've never been there, so I can't say for sure.
England has long been a bastion of multi-ethnic personality, but judging by the racist taunts still to this day being screamed out at soccer matches, sometimes you have to wonder.
Canada, by the way, is not without its racism. It's just usually there without it bubbling to the surface as often as it does in other so-called civilized countries. Though recently some hockey players have been severely chastised for making racists comments to other non-white players.
No place is perfect.
When I began writing my Japan - It's A Wonderful Rife blog, it was done so to show how naive I was about Japan... to poke fun at Japan while also poking fun at myself. This was in 1990... and I stopped in 1995 when the English magazine in Japan couldn't afford to pay me anymore.
Nowadays, thanks to this blog, I still get to poke fun at myself and Japan, but I also get a forum to show off some creative work of my own and of a few other writers I respect. I also try to provide some current events with a bit of a personal viewpoint, and also offer my perspective on the wild and wacky ways of Japan.
I also like to write about history.
As a child I would pore over books about WWII and learn as much as could about the dark side of human nature - like the Nazis and the Japanese during this bloody war.
But... as young as I was (I first began reading up on this topic as an eight-year-old), I never hated anyone for their part in the past. I may have been horrified, but hate? No.
I guess my parents raised me well. And I listened.
Which brings me to my point.
I recently wrote a blog entry about Unit 731, a nasty Japanese medical unit that experimented on human beings. The people who did so were, in my opinion, less than human themselves, and will, if there is a God, have to answer to a higher being one day.
However, I wrote the piece not to vilify Japan or the Japanese people, but rather to inform my readers about a part of Japanese history that is not very well documented let alone discussed. Japan is indeed ashamed, but would rather it just go away from the media so no one has to talk or think about it again.
I think I did a pretty good bit of work on it. I took weeks to create the blog, trying to ensure I got the facts correct in order to bring whomever that reads it the correct facts, without me preaching to anyone.
And yet - a couple of days a go, I received a disturbing LOC (letter of comment) from a reader.
I read everyone's comments. Part of being an ego-maniac writer, I suppose. I'm not a great writer (or apparently a great ego maniac), but I enjoy telling a story and I think tell a story well.
Any way... the comment writer simply yells that—and I'm paraphrasing here—that the Japs are all dumb evil fugs and they should all die, and that I (me) am probably also a dumb Jap and that I should go and fug myself and die.
Okay... mister brave anonymous writer... but did you like the piece?
I know that many people write in as an anonymous person and that's cool.
But if you are going to make such inflammatory, racist comments, at least have the guts to tell us your real name.
What's the matter? Afraid people won't like you for your opinion? Dude (and you are obviously male), your opinion is your own, and is always correct - even if you aren't.
You are welcome to your opinion, ignorant though it may be to me, and I don't have to like it.
You are also entitled to not like what I wrote. But all I did was write about a point in time in history. In fact, if anything, I put the Japanese down.
Mister Anonymous writer... you are an ignorant little man.
Grow up, stop raping your sister and move out of your parent's basement.
That's what I would like to say, as I am thinking about your poor sister here.
How is it that in the year 2012 we still have such hatred for one another? Poor parenting? Retardation of social skills? Ignorance of what year it is?
Dude... maybe you should also hate America? Didn't it steal land from the natives living there? Smallpox in blankets? Trail of Tears? There's plenty of examples. What about the interning of American and Canadian citizens in the US and Canada during WWII just because they happened to be of Japanese descent? They were citizens of their respective countries! Except for the Natives and Aboriginals, all Canadians and Americans ultimately came from somewhere else! And, if we go back even farther in history, the Natives and Aboriginals are also from somewhere else!
What about the whole independence from under the British rule - you know, the US declaration of Independence? Were not all of the men and women for it traitors? Was it not treason? Doesn't the US hang people like that?
Dude... it's history.
Learn from it and make sure it doesn't happen again. You can hate the people involved in Unit 731, but don't condemn millions of Japanese people 80 years later for the ignorance and stupidity of others.
But really... you never said if you liked my article on Unit 731 or not.
Ahhhhh, it doesn't really matter, though.
If I was to judge you by your past history of opinions, it would be obvious that your opinion isn't even worth a wad of spit.
Somewhere on his
PS: And Mike... I'm taking your advice - it begins here and with my last comment on the Japanese Teenaged Prostitution blog entry, currently ranked number one with a bullet as my most popular blog again this month.
PPS: Why are the haters coming out this week? I'm on nicotine withdrawl for two weeks and am not very pleased with the world right now. Seems like a good time to let my real effing voice out.