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20 February 2016

Disney's film "Song of the South" Not as racist as thought to be

The film's portrayal of the 19th century South was unrealistic. Although the story took place after the Civil War, portrayal of Blacks was not bad.

Until civil rights era, the old South was wrongly portrayed as if Black people were happy serving white people.

In that film that was the way they were portrayed. Funny thing was they had friendly relationship with their white family. In the first scene, a Black servant woman sat right next to a white boy facing his parents in a carriage. That woman was played by the same actress who played Mammy in the film "Gone with the wind." However, that thing never happened in the old South. Blacks were supposed to sit in the back of a carriage. "Gone with the wind" has the same portrayal as well. Mammy was like mother to white family's daughter.

Maybe that was the problem. The film depiction of the old South was wrongly better than real history.

Great thing about the film was combination of real scene and animation. It is as good as modern time computer graphic technique.

The story of rabbit gives us lesson of how to handle troubles. Even you get away from some troubled place, you never can get away from troubles in life, so you have to deal with it and be smart.

I think that was the core message in the film.

23:44 Posted in Film, Media, Society | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: afro-american, racism

24 August 2015

German film "John Rabe" Never been shown in Japanese theatres

I bought a DVD of it. It was released in Germany and China, 2009. Until now it was never released in Japanese theatres. Only shown at one-time meeting by peace activist meeting or symposium. DVD version was released, which individuals purchase on internet.

The drama is based on real events and people involved in Nanjing, China, capital of Republic of China, December 1937.

John Rabe, a German businessman who worked for Siemens decided to be a leader of foreign nationals' committee that managed Refugee Safety Zone in Nanjing, that was about to be occupied by Japanese imperial army.

Because he was German, it was a better choice. In those days, Japan and Germany were allies.

Together with Rabe, some American men and women were in the comittee. They were eager to save Chinese people.

After Japanese army occupied Nanjing, its soldiers did terrible things to Chinese citizens such as theft, arson, rape and even murders.

They tried to help Chinese as barricades to keep soldiers out of Safety Zone. Because they were western civilians from countries neutral from China-Japan war, Japanese soldiers could not hurt them.

Rabe took notes of the events in his diary. The film was mailny based on his diary.  

 

What Rabe and his comittee people experienced is what is known as "Rape of Nanjing." It is estimated 100000 to 300000 people were mass-murdered by Japanese army. As the film depicts, Japanese army had a policy of no alive enemy soldiers.

In Japan, the scale of the massacre has been controversial. Mainly because it is politically sensitive. Just like other nations in the world, such historical facts are considered "masohistic."

I became very interested in this massacre since US invasion of Iraq, 2003. How Japanese army proceeded to Nanjing from the coast was pretty-much like how US army proceeded to Baghdad. What happened to the citizens there was very similar.

I went to Nanjing 11 years ago and met survivors of the massacre. Some of them witnessed Japanese soldiers killed their parents in front of them.

2 years after Rape of Nanjing, Rabe's homeland, Nazi-Germany attacked Poland and occupied surrounding nations. Mass-murdered so many innocent citizens, known as "Holocaust."

By changing position, people could be hero or evil. That is human-history. That is human-nature as well.

Good lesson for all the people of the world.

15 April 2013

My comment on NBC News article on Okinawa issue

I posted the below comment on the NBC news article,  

In Okinawa, the war isn't over: Protests aimed at new US base

As a Japanese citizen living in Tokyo, in response to the above comments, I would like to make the below comments.

1. Japan including Okinawa surrendered to the Allied force unconditionally, therefore Japan and Okinawa should endure current situation?

Japan regained independence 61 years ago, both nations signed the treaty to recognize each other's sovereignty. That means the U.S. should treat Japan as independent nation. Who lost or won was officially resolved by that treaty. Of course emotional issues are other things.

Yes, we did the wrong things. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and started the stupid war. Even before Pearl Harbor Japan invaded China and mass-murdered innocent civilians there. That is the history just like US overthrew Hawaiian kingdom in 19th century, almost half a century before Pearl Harbor attack. What did native Hawaiians think when Asians attacked white dominated empire's military bases? Interestingly enough, Okinawa used to be independent kingdom which was overthrown by Japan in the same period.

2. Without US military presence, Japan and Okinawa can never defend themselves from China or North Korea?

Japan might not be ready for its own defense. But the problem is the US military no longer functions as defense force. Yes, US-Japan defense treaty is still effective but what would US actually do when some disputes occure is different matters. Can US fight against China over Japan's sovereignty? The US is heavily dependent on China economically. China owns more US treasury bonds than Japan does. China produces many US goods such as iphone and toysrs toys as much as China consumes many US goods such as Boeing and Motorolla.

As for North Korea, their only effective weapons are nuclear missiles. Once they launch missiles, it would reach to Japan within minutes. No way to stop it. Only few of them may be blocked by pac or easis. NK is like suicidal nation. No nuclear deterrence works since they are never afraid of retaliation.

Besides above two issues, the construction of new marine runway in Henoko, near Camp Schwab involves huge environmental issue. The expected construction site is where endangered marine mammals, dugons inhabit. As I remember, US is accusing Japan of whaling in Antarctica.

Plus, more of Japanese learn US is exploiting Japan's tax money and causing troubles although US is no longer reliable force for the defense. We are learning US is spending too much money on military expense while impoverishing its own people. Gap betwen the rich and the poor among Americans is widening. A lot of us say US is no longer role model for us, rather they have become model for "Dont be like them."

I graduated from the university in San Francisco 15 years ago. I have good memories there and still have good image of your people. So I would advise your goverment and military to reconsider what to do about this issue for the benefit of both nations.

If you would like to know more about what is happening in Okinawa, I recommend my blog articles relating to this issue. I visited Okinawa several times since this problem erupted.

 
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Reply#99 - Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:46 AM EDT

 

11 December 2012

Sociological Novel: How to maintain a plutonomy, Chapter 1

A plutonomy means a form of capitalism that is designed to make the rich control a nation's government, its economy and its society.

At a certain place in a certain country, the wealthy have gathered and are having a meeting.

economy,

They are the elite of the country.  Although few in number, they control the majority of the country's wealth. This is why they can do anything.  They have the power to manipulate society to suit themselves.  They have the economy, of course, politics, and even the media which forms public opinions in the palms of their hands.

 

 As they all gather under the chandelier, one of the wealthy breaks the ice while drinking his champagne.

 

"Hey, the global economy is on a bit of a downturn recently. I feel that our wealth has also been on a decreasing trend. Shouldn't we come up with some kind of countermeasure to this?"

 

"You're so right. Taxes are still just too high! We should really bring down things like the income tax rate."

"-and let's privatize the public enterprises. And relax the regulations. Let's pressure the government to get rid of regulations which are an obstacle to business. And to reduce labor costs, make them allow more temporary workers. The politicians and government officials all got where they are now through our donations and pay-offs; they'll do whatever we ask."

 

"But the government's budget will shrink by the amount the taxes we pay goes down, won't it? How do we make up for the deficit?"

 

"That's easy. We just reduce the education and social welfare budgets which have been used for the public up to now. The expensive taxes that we've been paying have been diverted to those that barely pay any tax. That's why we just need to keep raising consumption tax, insurance and pension payments, which they have to pay an equal amount of."

 

"But surely the public won't allow it. If we do that, public services will be degraded, the burden on individuals will increase, and they'll be critical that the rich get preferential tax treatment, and that workers are treated as disposable. We have to be conscious of the fact that this country is a democracy. Even if we have all of the wealth, regardless of one's assets, when it comes to votes it's one person, one vote after all."

 

"Which is why we'll use the media. We are also their major stockholders and advertisers; well feed them this information. We'll tell them that freeing the economy will lead to the development of the public and government as a whole, that they should consider the principles of capitalism, and that a large variety of cheaper, high quality goods and services will become available to consumers thanks to this freeing up. We'll tell them that if enterprise profits, workers will also receive benefits through the trickle-down phenomenon. If we run a campaign like this using some kept scholars, nobody will oppose us!"


 

The proposals decided upon at the meeting were executed by the government, and went unopposed by society thanks to the media's guidance of public opinion. Now then, on to the second meeting ten years later.

 

 

To be continued to Chapter 2

 


 

The story is an interesting and cynical perspective of the past few generations of society, specifically focusing on the disparity in wealth between the wealthy and the average member of the public. The story shows the wealthy conspiring to widen the gap between themselves and the workers of society.

 

It may be interesting to read this story along with a song. "Mercedes Benz". 

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