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Japanese Identity and The Group.

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Japanese Identity and The Group.

Postby Ezrach » Fri 09.22.2006 10:22 pm

From your own experience, how far do you think most Japanese are willing to segregate themselves from The Groups*? Which of The Groups do you think is the most important for the average Japanese? (Family, school/work, local society, nation) At what point would the average Japanese person alienate themselves from society because of society's morals or actions not meeting the individual's own beliefs?

This is by no means limited to Japan, but it seems to be the beginning of the case that George Orwell proposed so eloquently: That if the Japanese government were to proclaim that 2 + 2 = 5, there would not be much rejection, and in fact there would be wide acceptance. (This is, of course, a metaphor not to be taken literally, as I'm sure no one actually believes that 2 + 2 = 5)

But how far off are the Japanese from experiencing double-think - where society has them saying and believing one thing, while they personally believe in something else, maybe even the exact opposite of what society would have them believe?

Do you think Japan is returning to an existence under the rule of an emperor, or an imperial-like figure?


Notes:
*The Groups being a generic application to several levels of belonging - the family, school/work, local society, the nation.
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RE: Japanese Identity and The Group.

Postby AJBryant » Fri 09.22.2006 11:04 pm

Huh?


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RE: Japanese Identity and The Group.

Postby keatonatron » Sat 09.23.2006 1:00 am

Groups are very important in Japan, but that doesn't mean people don't think for themselves. The public gets angry with the government and opposes those in charge (Koizumi) just like any other country.
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RE: Japanese Identity and The Group.

Postby mamba » Sat 09.23.2006 1:58 am

Pretty old news but i believe the japanese government tried to ban all electronic devices before 1980. The japanese people werent too happy, look around for pictures, they were protesting everywhere - so i dont know what ur post is about. Aside from Japan, in a day like this, everyone can make their own decisions, especially with the infinite amount of information they can obtain through the internet.
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RE: Japanese Identity and The Group.

Postby Ezrach » Sat 09.23.2006 6:18 am

I suppose the altitude was a bit high. I'll try and break it down a bit more.

Debates are next to non-extistent in Japan when you compare a Western country. How far do you think an individual in The Group (see previous post) could say nothing about a morally objectionable topic before they spoke out about it?

Of The Groups, which do you think is the most important to the individual in Japan? The family, work/school, local society, or the nation as a whole? (Example: China leans more towards the fam, but Korea leans more towards local society and nation)

At what point, after having objected openly to an inappropriate social norm, would the Japanese individual be alienated from his own society? (It seems like this is the scariest thing to a Japanese person, even more than death)

Having thought about these questions, I find that Japan (among other countries who exhibit similar characteristics, including the one where I was born) has certain traits coming close to the Oceania of George Orwell's 1984. (refer to the last post's '2 + 2 = 5' and 'double-think' comments)

Finally, after having thought about all of this information and posting your own thoughts on the subject, do you think that Japan is heading back to being a nation under the emperor? (Which would be like Oceania's Big Brother)

It helps if you've actually read 1984, but it's not a requirement. I hope that clears everything up, and I'd like to hear what you have to think about it all.
Last edited by Ezrach on Sat 09.23.2006 7:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Japanese Identity and The Group.

Postby Shibakoen » Sat 09.23.2006 10:33 am

True debate is next to non-existant here in the States. It seems the "debate" which our leaders have are just trading barbs and sound-bites in the press.

btw, I have read 1984 and I want to point out another paper that he wrote, but I can't remember the name...They talked about it on NPR last night. I'll see if I can find it.
Last edited by Shibakoen on Sat 09.23.2006 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Japanese Identity and The Group.

Postby AJBryant » Sat 09.23.2006 12:21 pm

Dude, what's with the pole up your backside about Japan? Really?


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RE: Japanese Identity and The Group.

Postby crowfeather » Sat 09.23.2006 12:49 pm

If you are talking about the country most like "Oceania'" and Big Brother it is the USA. Surveillance and double speak is everywhere.

As for individuals thinking one thing and saying another in the group, that happens everyday here by people in their jobs. If you want to remain employed you don't say anything that doesn't agree with company policy or opinion
The people taking part in Public protests are also "closely" watched.

I don't think we have anything to fear as far as Japan is concerned

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RE: Japanese Identity and The Group.

Postby paul_b » Sat 09.23.2006 12:55 pm

AJBryant wrote:
Dude, what's with the pole up your backside about Japan? Really?

I particularly liked the "I suppose the altitude was a bit high. I'll try and break it down a bit more." bit. Condescend much?
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RE: Japanese Identity and The Group.

Postby coco » Sat 09.23.2006 1:01 pm

(It seems like this is the scariest thing to a Japanese person, even more than death)

?
あまり平均的な日本人とおつきあいがないのでは?
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RE: Japanese Identity and The Group.

Postby Ezrach » Sat 09.23.2006 3:02 pm

AJBryant wrote:
Dude, what's with the pole up your backside about Japan? Really?


Tony


I explicitly stated that it wasn't only Japan that I have this opinion about, but I thought it was more relevant to limit it to that for this post. Would it have been more relevant to talk about China, instead? I thought this was a Japan forum.

I love Japan. It's my favorite country that I have had the chance to visit. It's what I've considered a home since 2003. I just don't subscribe to the idea that the country is perfect, and I'm willing to openly discuss it. If it makes you feel any better, I left the States FOR Japan.

paul_b wrote:
I particularly liked the "I suppose the altitude was a bit high. I'll try and break it down a bit more." bit. Condescend much?


"The altitude was a bit high." - It was over his head. I was in the clouds. It was too abstract.

It was over his head, noted with the simple "huh?" remark. If it was over his head, it was probably over most others' heads as well. I admitted that it was too abstract when I wrote it, and I tried to put it into a more intelligible string of text so that I could get a conversation going on the topic. How can you mistake humility for elitism? Is your sarcastic tone not what's really condescending here? I have no high horse to have ever been on. Is it because I didn't put a smiley face in the post that it confused you? I refuse to use smiley faces.

Shibakoen: I'd like to read the paper if you can find it. I'm a huge Orwell fan, although I've only ever had the chance to read 1984 and Animal Farm. I think, though, America has a much deeper debate system, even at the high school level, than anything in Japan. Debate in politics, though, is just a bunch of mud slinging, especially at election time. It's sickening, and I usually just ignore it, like I ignore those blaring vans in Japan around election time as well.

crowfeather: I do agree that the States is more of an Oceania than Japan is, especially since we refer to our own gov't as Big Brother. That doesn't mean, though, that Japan does not have some of the traits as well. It's an especially stressful time throughout Asia when Japan openly discusses the idea of remilitarizing, and Japanese national opinion of its neighbors is not all peaches and roses at the moment, and vice versa.

coco wrote:
(It seems like this is the scariest thing to a Japanese person, even more than death)

?
あまり平均的な日本人とおつきあいがないのでは?


Evidence seems to show it as such, with the suicide rate so high in Japan. That, coupled with the unrelated but overwhelming tendency for Japanese tourists to call people "foreigners" even when the Japanese tourists themselves are in a different country. Or, the reaction one might get from a foreigner in Japan calling a Japanese person "outsider" - it's a big issue.
Last edited by Ezrach on Sat 09.23.2006 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Japanese Identity and The Group.

Postby paul_b » Sat 09.23.2006 3:21 pm

Ezrach wrote:
"The altitude was a bit high." - It was over his head. I was in the clouds. It was too abstract.

Well, duh. You can explain how one plus one equals two next if you want to.

People aren't reponding brightly to your stimulating intellectual topic not because it's too high a level for their feeble brains to grasp but because it's long winded, confusing and tedious.
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RE: Japanese Identity and The Group.

Postby becks23 » Sat 09.23.2006 3:25 pm

Remilitarization?? I thought they were preparing to usher in a new PM in Shinzo Abe. I doubt the people of Japan would allow remilitarization, too much conflict involved especially when they are trying to patch up relations with China and Korea.

My understanding of the groups is a sense of security. You know everyone in your group and they know you. To not belong is to be isolated from society. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Shibakoen: are you refering to Animal Farm??
"Beckham has done it again at Old Trafford!!"
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RE: Japanese Identity and The Group.

Postby AJBryant » Sat 09.23.2006 3:26 pm

That too, but the "huh" was more like:

What the f*ck are you on about, what the f*ck is your problem, and why the f*ck are you so negative? (remember that hullaballo about the princess being a 'brood sow'?)

I thought "huh" footed the bill nicely for "WTF."

Seriously, man. Lighten the HELL up.


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RE: Japanese Identity and The Group.

Postby Tessen » Sat 09.23.2006 3:59 pm

tip: any sort of generalization is bound to lead to problems.
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