Author Topic: Social decolonization  (Read 1935 times)


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Re: Social decolonization
« Reply #30 on: October 07, 2022, 10:16:45 pm »
Western bigots being annoying without even trying:

So without further ado, here are a bunch of questions I have for Japan.

1.Why don't you ever break the rules?

Because they are rules? Duh!

I'll never forget the reaction I got when I crossed the street before the green man appeared on the crosswalk sign. That's because even when there isn't a car in sight, people in Japan wait to cross the street until they are officially signaled to do so.

You should have been arrested. You weren't because most Japanese are Eurocentrists. Which brings us onto:

2.And do you ever get exhausted dealing with loud, clueless gaijin like me?

The Eurocentrists don't.

Generally speaking, people in Japan are very polite and law-abiding. So you'd probably think that visiting gaijin (outsiders), with their tendencies to talk loudly and break the rules (ahem, me), would be treated with distain. Yet, I was never yelled at or treated poorly. In fact, everyone I met seemed to have endless patience and understanding for foreigners.

You weren't treated poorly despite your bad behaviour because you are "white". "Non-white" foreigners in Japan (even those who behave well) have a very different experience from yours.

3.As a culture with so many social ~rules~, why is it still okay to loudly slurp noodles?

Why would it not be?

6.Why can you still smoke in some restaurants and bars, but you can't light up on the street?

Because there are people on the street who don't want to breathe others' secondhand smoke?

while you can still smoke inside some restaurants and bars or light up in your office's smoking room (seriously), if you want to smoke outside, you'll often have to go to a designated, outdoor smoking area.

Confusing. Right? I'd love some answers.

If a restaurant/bar allows smoking, non-smokers will know to avoid it and go to some another restaurant/bar instead. Non-smokers will also avoid the office smoking room. But how can non-smokers be obliged to avoid smokers on the street? Therefore outdoor smokers should be restricted to designated outdoor smoking areas. No, it is not confusing at all. It is elementary ethics. You find it confusing only because you are a Westerner.

7.Does it ever feel funny bowing to people?

**** you.

8.Does it ever annoy you you to constantly take your shoes off and on?

You annoy me.

9.Do the recycling protocols ever confuse you?

Japan takes recycling to the next level. In the US, we throw the entire plastic water bottle in the recycling bin. In Japan, however, you remove the cap and drop it in the designated cap bin, peel off the plastic sleeve and place it in a second bin, and finally, put the plastic bottle itself in a third bin.

That means the government doesn't hire workers to sort the stuff, which needs to be done sooner or later anyway. Either way is fine.

10.For a country that's so conscious about recycling, why are fruits with a peel still wrapped in plastic? And why do you use so many plastic bags?

This is a valid criticism. (But Japan used zero plastic prior to contact with Western civilization.)

14.Are things like maid cafes and girl bands with a troupe of adult male fans really ok?

Maid cafes are a manifestation of Eurocentrism (note the outfits), so from this perspective they are not OK. But stigma against MAPs (see previous post) is a Western attitude.

I went to see a young, all-female J-pop group perform in Tokyo and was shocked to find that the audience that knew every word and sported the band's gear was mainly comprised of men in their 40s.

Is it all okay? Or is there something a bit weird about it?

I fail to see a problem.

16.How come finding a vegetarian meal is so tricky?

This is a valid criticism. (But vegetarian food was easier to find prior to the Meiji Restoration which adopted Western ideas about nutrition.)