Vinnie didn’t mean for me to go and comment on it, because I don’t join chats... while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, everyone who is proffering their own opinion seems to forget that everyone else has rights, as well.
I'll get to the complaining letter in a moment, meanwhile I'll provide some reasons as to why I am evening writing about it... because we all know I want to know why... as I am unsure even as I type these words. That's the problem with writing via stream of consciousness... ya never know what's gonna happen next. It's how I amuse myself. It's also why I never re-read my own material (to edit, even), as the thrill of seeing it the first time defuses any joy I might get from the story... really...
Why did this person even feel the need to write out his complaints about Japan? Could he not have simply expressed his concerns to a friend... why bother to post them on a public internet forum?
Why are people writing in to add their two cents (in Canada, we don’t have cent coins anymore… so it’ll have to be five-cents worth… I can’t call it a nickel because there’s more than copper (75%) than nickel in a nickel.. and this is in the US).
Anyhow… since I’m already here questioning why anyone would want to post their innermost thoughts and feelings on a public forum, allow me to give you my take on the whole thing.
It’s not irony, if you aren’t aware it's irony. Else wise, it’s comedy. ;)-
Now, I’m not going to be comedic here in my reaction to the mysterious complainer.
First… let’s take a look at what he has to say… keeping in mind that even though I have a vocabulary filthier than an aircraft carrier full of seamen about to go on leave for the fist time in three years, I try to avoid the use of major swear words in this blog. As such, I am editing the naughty words. If you don’t like it, you can go F$^^$ your $#@@%^ and then #%%$^ your ##$$$$^ with a #XX@ that was just stuck up the #%@#) of a ?!^) that has a diseased %%%>>/ for years of %&($. Roughly. If you know what I mean.
After living here for not even a year, I just hate too much about living in Japan to want to study the language anymore. It's not that I hate Japanese history and culture. But modern Japanese work culture can go fug itself. I'm sick of seeing old people disapprove of everything. I'm sick of seeing young men ponce about with egos the size of fugging mountains because they've been taught that they can do no wrong and that their "honor" would be insulted if you criticized them. And I'm sick of seeing young women take all the blame for affairs, sexual misconduct from perverse Japanese men, and more.
Just fug it all. Being here makes you hate it here. This is a country that never takes outside input and a place where arguments about what is the most effective solution to any problem just involves people pulling age and rank and repeating themselves. English education here is a joke and no matter how much the international community comments on it, they're not going to listen.
So as a result of my falling out of love with Japan I've lost the will to study the language.
The only motivation left for studying Japanese is to try to learn to flirt and talk with cute Japanese girls but the few I've dated here have basically made a move for marriage from the first date. Not my style.
Wow… that’s his opinion, and one’s opinion is never wrong. The key is “opinion” .
The first thing we should ask ourselves (as I mentioned before... so maybe this is the second or third thing we should ask ourselves), is WHY the rant at all? Why rant about it in a public forum in front of strangers? Why not just rant to your friends? Point overly made.
And who the fug cares if you hate the country so much that you no longer want to study the language anymore?
When are you leaving?
I’m not saying he should leave… but if he hates Japan’s social structure so much, why not leave?
Not once did he say he wanted to leave Japan. Not. One. Time.
His method of showing his distaste is to give-up studying the Japanese language.
Wow… waydda take a stand.
Look… I applaud him for not leaving (for not stating that he was going to leave)…. but by protesting by not learning the language… that’s just selfishness.
How about you try and change things?
I used to say fug social convention. It’s why I ate natto when told by the Japanese that gaijin don’t like to eat it. Bring it on… I’ll eat more than anyone.
You think the Japanese can drink? I’ll show you… I’ll out drink anyone. I know judo, I like kyudo, I like kendo… heck… I’ll learn enough about sumo so that you’ll wonder which of the two of us is the real gaijin.
Heck... you think the Japanese women are treated poorly in Japan - yeah… they are… so maybe the next time the women hover around the tea pot serving o-cha, go and help them serve. I did it. What are the Japanese men going to do about it? Grab me and order me to sit and be served? They. Are. Going. To. Grab. Me?
Not bloody likely.
They will sit and be embarrassed as I serve them.
The women will look on with wonderment… and maybe they will see that not all men are dinks, and maybe it will lead one of them to sit and await her time to be served o-cha by a man.
When I did that for the female teachers at one of the schools I taught at, every woman was shocked and confused... at first... and then they thought it pleasant that I would do such dirty work by serving THEM.
In the hierarchy of things, at least at the schools, it was Japanese Men, Gaijin Men, Gaijin Women, Japanese Women. Students. Yes, age (IE rank) was also in effect, and still it traveled in the order mentioned in the previous sentence.
Me serving tea to the women. I didn't think it was a big deal at the time. I didn't know about these gender customs... and even when I did learn, I didn't give a crap.
My role on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme was NOT merely to be a human tape recorder and say "repeat after me"... no... it was to educate... educate internationally... via internationalization... to teach, or perhaps even just to inform Japan that maybe, just maybe, men and women should be treated with the same amount of respect and not be waited upon by one or the other.
The complainer has a wonderful point... but his manner of dealing with it, is less than combative, or even passive aggressive... it's capitulation followed by self-pity and the non-ostritch burrowing of the head in the sand.
Ostriches do NOT bury their head in the sand when frightened. Can we at least agree that that old nugget was more myth than fact?
I served the men and women... the teachers in a school, o-cha... bih whoop... to me it’s a small thing… but it’s at least a thing that is a damn side better than giving up learning the language.
It presents doubt in the mind of the oppressed. Doubt that it needs to be that way.
Dude… I gave up studying Japanese after I learned 500 kanji in a few months, but realized that I really didn’t care if I learned Japanese or not. And I survived, and thrived over three years there. It was my choice, but not one brought on by any negative influence. It was my decision alone.
Languages aren't my thing. Weird thing for a writer to state, huh? I prefer telling stories rather than writing. I like to tell stories that can be read.
Anyhow... I learned enough of the Japanese language to survive three years… and more importantly, I surrounded myself with others who could speak Japanese better than me… gaijin or Japanese.In Japan, I didn't mind being looked after.
But… the strangest thing I found in that guy's entire diatribe is his assertion that Japanese women were kind of pushing the whole marriage thing on him after one date.
Either this guy is even better then me in the sack (I’m thinking me in Japan, and a few years after that - and not current me), or…
… the global media is wrong, and Japanese women really do want to get married!!!!
Japan has, according to national government data and media, a negative birthrate… but apparently the Japanese women in our complainer's part of the country are willing to do their damnedest to quell that nasty numerical downslide.
Or maybe the media has it wrong… it’s not that the Japanese women don’t want to have sex and get married and have kids… maybe they just want to do it with gaijin, and not the chauvinistic stuck up… what were the terms this guy used… too lazy to go read it again... let's just say Japanese men.
I do not believe that every Japanese man is stuck on his maleness, but the vast majority are. Hell... I talk a good game here and now, but maybe that's not how I come off in real life. But since I have a lot of female friends at work, I can assume I don't appear to be a dink. At least in that environment.
According to the plethora of gaijin men who are in Japan now or were there recently that I have chatted with, they find or have found it extremely difficult to find willing female Japanese partners to do the fandango with.
Look… it’s not like our complainer isn’t correct in most of his statements about Japan and its Japaneseness… but seriously… he’s turning down action with Japanese women because they are talking about getting married?
Is he the only guy on the planet that isn’t using that for more sex? I guess he’s not a player, AT ALL. Most guys would know they don’t have to put a ring on it after the first date… and not even for the first week, month or year.
Gods, you can if you want to… but those of us from a western society want to enjoy the ride a while longer.
If the Japanese woman is put off by your refusal to get married when she is constantly chattering at you about marriage, She. Will. Break. Up. With. You.
Why the fug are you breaking up with anyone after the first date?
What’s the real issue here?
Why are you dating? I mean really? Is it for sex? Is it for companionship? Is it for marriage? Even if you are correct and marriage pops up during the first date, at least you know where the Japanese woman stands. She hardly expects you to get hitched at that point in time.
Why not ride it out? What do you want? Friendship? In Japan, friendship is usually a lifetime commitment.
These people still call the kids they went to Grade 1 in 50 years ago - their friend. Are you, the gaijin going to be around? They want a relationship, you want companionship. Maybe you just haven't met the right woman yet.
If you want more than companionship, then what is it... physicality in a sexual way? Then you are messing up already, and if I was a sex therapist, I'd help you, only I', not but I have played one in another blog. Yes he has.
Dude… if you aren’t having sex, or dating, or learning the Japanese language because the whole social hierarchy of the country depresses you… just what the hell are you doing when you aren’t “teaching” or “tending bar”? (He didn’t say which of the two possible gaijin jobs they actually had.)
Hopefully something constructive... while there's nothing wrong with doing something constructive for yourself, maybe you could think about how you could help rectify the situation you so despise and despair of in Japan.
Fight the power.
Somewhere %^$^%$%^ with a $%%^$^%$ and then ><(*#… you know what I mean, he says nodding and smiling,
PS: Image at top is from 1933, and shows a member of the Nazi party throwing confiscated books into a bonfire during the public burning of "un-German" books on the Opernplatz in Berlin.
PPS: Today's blog is brought to you by Public Enemy, and their hit 1990 song Fight The Power from their album Fear Of A Black Planet... and don't even get me started on the Japanese...