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  • Hitler’s 125th birthday march in Tokyo Ikebukuro video: It’s only a few illogical dullards who can but question the nationality (thus loyalty) of dissenters

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on April 27th, 2014

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    Hi Blog. On Sunday, April 20, there was a march in Tokyo Ikebukuro to celebrate the 125th birthday of Hitler. Yes, you read that right.  And an article came out about it in Japan Today’s Kuchikomi column.  Have a read and then I’ll comment:

    ////////////////////////////////////////

    Marchers in Ikebukuro fete Hitler’s 125th birthday anniversary
    JAPAN TODAY KUCHIKOMI APR. 25, 2014, courtesy of BS

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/kuchikomi/view/marchers-in-ikebukuro-fete-hitlers-125th-birthday-anniversary

    A group of demonstrators paraded through Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district last Sunday, criticizing China and South Korea while advocating the restoration of the “Great East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere” proposed by Japan in the 1940s. The procession this time was different from those organized by other groups seen marching on Tokyo’s streets, as, in addition to the 16-ray rising sun flag of Japan, the participants spearheading the march openly waved the Nazi flag—an act that’s illegal in Germany.

    hitlerbdaysalutes042014

    (And gave Nazi salutes…)

    The demonstration, including the flags, can be viewed in the YouTube video below.

    According to J-Cast News (April 23), Sunday’s demonstration was organized by an organization that calls itself the “Gokoku Shishi no Kai” (Group of Warriors Protecting the Nation). They assembled in a small park in East Ikebukuro, the location of the gallows in the former Sugamo Prison, where former Prime Minister Hideki Tojo and six other Class A war criminals were executed by hanging in December 1948.

    “To keep the achievements of our illustrious predecessors from going to waste, we advocate the restoration of the Great East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere, minus participation by China and the two Koreas,” one of the organizers told the assembled demonstrators. Referring to the date as coinciding with the 125th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s birthday, he also noted that “The empire of Japan and Nazi Germany have been portrayed as villains, and in Germany glorifying the Nazis will get a person jailed. We would like to re-investigate the 1993 Kono Statement and Nazi Germany as well, to rehabilitate their good acts and restore their honor.”

    When asked to name the Nazis’ good acts, the speaker was able to come up with the autobahn, but not much else.

    Approximately 40 marchers, who also carried the flags of Tibet and the Taiwan Independence Party, chanted slogans such as “Let’s tie up with Asia, excepting ‘Shina’ (China) and ‘Chosen’ (Koreans),” “Japan should learn from the Nazis’ good points” and “Long live the Chancellor (Hitler)!”

    A smaller group of counter-demonstrators also showed up and the two sides exchanged taunts, but did not exchange blows.

    As the demonstration broke up, the organizer was quoted as saying that the police had requested they delay the march due to President Obama’s impending visit to Tokyo.

    “But I told them, “It can only be this day (Hitler’s birthday), and kept pushing for a permit. We should all tell the police how much we appreciate their consideration.”
    ENDS

    ////////////////////////////////////////

    Here’s the video from Youtube:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2jKx_J5TUw#t=615

    COMMENT: I’m glad this was filmed (Leni Riefenstahl did a much better service portraying her Nazis!), because it reveals two things:

    1) The banality of evil. “Warriors Protecting the Nation”?  All we really see are a small group of dorks playing at hate speech, trying to attract attention to themselves by saying things that they know will inflame historical passions of irrationality and prejudice.  It’s kinda like high-schoolers listening to heavy metal music (or, okay, I’m dating myself:  gangsta rap) really, really loud to annoy their parents.  But who’s listening on, on either side?  There are far more cops there keeping the peace than there are demonstrators waving their flags.  Considering how much bigger their last demonstration was (which also included Nazi flags), is this all they could muster for Hitler’s momentous 125th?

    (Compare with their previous: )

    TokyoEdogawaSwastika032314

    2) Their inability to make a cogent argument. At minute 2:55 in the video, they face a dissenter, and the group’s counterattack is swift and hive-minded. Instead of engaging in any form of logical debate, all they do is swarm in at their critic and say over and over again, “Anta nani-jin? Nani-jin? Anta nihonjin? Chuugokujin? Kankokujin?” (What are you? Japanese? Chinese? Korean?) As if a true Japanese couldn’t possibly be dissenting. By minute 5:20, they aver that it musta been a Shina-jin (the historically-unflattering word for Chinese), as if that settles their hash.

    And if you watch to the end, it all just breaks down into a group of dullards who go out for a beer afterwards. Herr ringleader is not of the mettle to lead a beer hall putsch.  Clearly these dwebes have nothing better to do with their weekend. Dr. ARUDOU Debito

    28 Responses to “Hitler’s 125th birthday march in Tokyo Ikebukuro video: It’s only a few illogical dullards who can but question the nationality (thus loyalty) of dissenters”

    1. Samie Says:

      Clowns!

    2. B Says:

      There were some people in Harajuku dressed in cosplay this weekend, one with swastika bands on their arms. Was with a friend from Germany, so this was a bit of a shock. I am “hoping” (in the oddest sense) that this was unconnected and just the typical weird cosplay you see there, and just ignorance. Although, that is not a good situation either.

    3. Jim Di Griz Says:

      I wish I could brush it all of with a cynical comment (such as ‘Nazi cosplay because their own education system doesn’t drive home how evil the defeated ideologies were’, or some such), but I can’t because this is serious.

      Sure, the apologists will still say ‘Oh, but it’s a handful of people only! They don’t represent the majority of Japanese’, but the apologists have said that at every step. When will the apologists realize their folly? When it’s 10,000 J-nazis marching? 100,000? 1,000,000? It’ll be too late then. The marchers march because the social values engendered from Abe, Aso, Hashimoto, and all their friends that they’ve appointed to public office clearly tell them that they are safe to do so. No anti-hate-speech law. No public back-lash. No anti-protest.

      Sure, these marchers are relatively few in number, but they represent the visible tip of a monolithic iceberg that is lurking unseen, whether apologists chose to look beneath the surface or not.

      No freedom of speech for those who think freedom of speech should be used to call for genocide.

    4. Markus Says:

      It is very telling that these Neo Nazi extremists’ ideas of foreign policy are exactly what the LDP government is actively doing already – trying to create tighter bonds with Asian countries, just not with China and Korea. Abe’s been really busy traveling to South East Asia, dishing out bribes, to form an alliance against Japan’s alleged enemies. It is also interesting to look at the actual purpose and role of JICA, a “development aid” organisation on the front, but one has to wonder if altruism really played any part in its formation. It seems like just another typically Japanese organisation helping to “bring back Japan’s glory” – harmless on the front, but serving purely nationalist interests behind the facade, much like infamous “Nippon Foundation” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryoichi_Sasakawa)

      As for these videos, I will try to find a way to inform German authorities and media. Who knows, maybe one of these subjects is going to visit Germany to worship the Autobahn ;-) in the future, and the least I can do is try to get him into as much trouble as possible.

    5. Michael J Says:

      “Was with a friend from Germany, so this was a bit of a shock.”

      Your German friend haven’t told you about NPD – Die Volksunion in Germany? It’s much bigger problem than few protestants in Harajuku. Look at pictures from their marches and them gaining some real political power in eastern Germany lands while you have probably the same amount of those who are charmed with Hitler’s ideas in the last 40 years.

    6. Dean Says:

      @Jim,

      I think its a stretch to say these poor fellas represent mainstream. Look at hate groups abroad, you will find losers etc who have found a cause and friendships in groups. You can look as some neonazi types and feel sorry for them. Japan is no exception. Most Japanese feel distant from these types and wouldnt be seen associated with them. Japan is an island country, and sometimes has misguided interpretations of history, which cannot be excused, however, I feel many Japanese dont identify with Hitler or facism.

      I believe the recent upswing in facist demos is because of the ultra nationalist government, and these types feel its their calling or now is the time to come out and play.

    7. Loverilakkuma Says:

      I bet this ‘Japan f@#k yeah!’ moment could be augmented tomorrow (the 29th), which is the day of Restoration of National Sovereignty(kokka-shuken-kaifuku-no hi). Many of us still remember conservative lawmakers making Banzai chanting to the imperial family (after their departure) last year. Let’s see if the Abe Cabinet would do the same, and how international community (especially China and South Korea) would respond to an outmoded imperial worship seen in the pre-war era.

    8. Jim di Griz Says:

      @ Dean #6

      Well, I’m glad you agree with me about the relationship between the current government and the demos;

      ‘I believe the recent upswing in facist demos is because of the ultra nationalist government, and these types feel its their calling or now is the time to come out and play.’

      But then you go all apologist on me and talk about Japan being an ‘island nation’ by way of attempting to explain it. It’s not ‘explaining’, it’s ‘apologizing’! The UK is also an island nation, yet the international community would go crazy if the UK government spoke the way Abe, Aso, Ishihara, and Hashimoto did! The international community would go crazy if UK citizens called publicaly for the ‘massacre of foreign cockroaches’, and had a Hitler’s Birthday Parade!

      Don’t make excuses for them!

      And while I’m en riposte, where were ‘the vast majority of Japanese’ who ‘aren’t represented by these fringe demonstrators’ during the protest? I’ll tell you where; they were in exactly the same place as they were when Hashimoto made his stupid comments, when Aso talked about the Weinar constitution, when the NHK Directors were denying Nanking ever happened and that giving your life for the emperor made you a god, and the same place as when Abe was giving a thumbs up photo shoot in a 731 numbered jet; NOWHERE!
      The ‘silent opposition’? They don’t exist! The silent majority are endorsing the rightists with their failure to counter or speak out in the slightest, so I must conclude that they are in agreement with ‘the fringe’.

    9. Al Says:

      @Dean

      Right on. I also don’t think this group is as dangerous as they look. What’s more dangerous is the Japanese that act as if they wouldn’t hurt a fly, and then go on to discriminate “innocently”, like the share house owner in one of the earlier articles. You’ll find weird neo-Nazi groups in any country, even countries that are good at upholding human rights. I’d rather have the country as a whole respect human rights, even if neo-Nazi groups exist. I don’t think many Japanese would support these neo-Nazi groups; but they’ll violate your rights nonetheless, which is even more dangerous.

    10. Blackrat Says:

      I hope @Jim # 8 is wrong, but I find it hard to refute what he said.
      I live near the park in Ikebukuro and have seen this group more than once. One of them was near Ikebukuro Station heavily disguised in surgical mask, baseball hat and sunglasses. I paused long enough to hear his opening speech “Do you like to hear Chinese mispronounce Japanese – ga gi gu ge go. It sounds horrible, doesn’t it?” I lost interest at that point, then later remembered something I read a while back. Shortly after the Great Kanto Earthquake in September 1923, rumors were abroad that the Koreans had poisoned wells in Tokyo and were planning to riot. Apparently, gangs of thugs went around forcing anyone they suspected was Korean or Chinese to pronounce various vowel sounds such as these and if their accent was off, they were murdered! It was said that even a few Japanese with strong regional accents were unintentionally killed as well. Estimates of how many people were butchered range up to 6,000 or more. I suppose these idiots would also deny these killings went on, well of course they would given they refuse to believe Nanking happened either.

    11. Jim di Griz Says:

      @ Blackrat #10,

      So true sir!
      After all, only a few years back, when he has still the popular and re-elected Mayor of Tokyo, Ishihara used his visit to a SDF base to give a speech to the soldiers, during which he told them that it would be their duty to protect people when the next big earthquake hits Tokyo, because the NJ would riot.

      Fringe minority with no power my ass. People holding these ‘fringe beliefs’ ARE the establishment!

      – FYI, that was already fourteen years ago. 2000. Time flies.

    12. Jim di Griz Says:

      @ Debito #11

      Already 14 years? Wow! Time flies when you’re having fun!

    13. Jim Di Griz Says:

      A minority you say?
      Who don’t represent the majority, you say?
      China and Korea are Japan bashing, you say?

      Err, take a look at this:

      https://mobile.twitter.com/aitaiima/status/460026385629585409

      Doing the rounds on Twitter is a photo of a man dressed as Tojo giving a salute whilst standing on top of an official LDP campaign bus!
      Japan; continuing to be it’s own worst enemy.

      Will anyone get fired? Will there be any back-lash?
      Where are all the apologists right now? I could use a laugh!

    14. James Says:

      Debito, where does the law draw the line in terms of assault on clowns like this? suppose someone were to spray them with water, does that constitute assault? What if the flag was taken off them and thrown in the dirt? (i.e. not stolen)

      – I’ll tell you what will happen. You will get harassed (if not throttled) and the police will turf you out (if not threaten to arrest you). Some examples:

      From documentary “Yasukuni” (2007) (watch from minute 7):
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AazBmgbeeB8

      (Part 10 of the movie, where we see the bloodied demonstrator having to deal with unsympathetic police, I can’t seem to find.)

      http://vimeo.com/22154578

      A Canadian Shoved by Japanese Crowd at Yasukuni Shrine from Leah0101 on Vimeo.

      This is why the rightists in Japan feel so empowered. Dissenters get harassed. It’s not a fair fight.

    15. Jim Di Griz Says:

      @ James #14,

      I see where you’re coming from, but I think that the best thing you could do *sarcasm* would be to get Eido Inu, Gomiflakeman, or Ken ‘Sora’ Tanaka to get down there and….Interview them about how terrible it is for them being victimized by Debito, and just about anyone else who thinks that they shouldn’t be subjected to racial genocide. I’m sure that that will straighten everything out just fine.

    16. Dean Says:

      @James,

      Dont even bother with it. As a fellow gaijin, let me tell you, its not worth it. Its easy to get worked up about these things, and its exactly what those Japanese want, to pull you into a trap. As you can see, they follow the guy around. I had this happen to me before, it aint worth it. Its like dealing with a child like mentality. I disagree with Jim and others; the reason Japanese wont interfere with this is because of the culture, once you touch it, its exactly what they want. The culture is different here, and as Westerners, we tend to react. Japanese say “no touch” in such a situation. Its annoying and apathetic, but as you can see, they bullied this poor guy all the way to the elevator. The police expect you to understand the culture here, so actually this guy did violate some cultural norm of interupting their ridiculous interview. You can see in the top video where violence is being used on one “interupter” and nobody is arresting him. You cant change Japan, you can only expose or leave. I think leave is the best option, but for foriengers who live here, you have to understand this isnt a free place.

    17. Dean Says:

      one more thing to add: Debito, by posting these 2 video, has clearly shown a case of situational ethics being practiced in Japan. In the top video, the protestor has not done anything to deserve the excessive force or boroku that is being done to him, however nobody is yelling “boroku” or “keisatsu” ! Instead they are polietly asking the offender, the person chokeholding the protester, to take it easy on him, clearly enjoying the violence. The offender is even on video, committing a crime, using violence to subdue a protester.
      In the nest video, the protester is not commiting any crime or using violence, but is asked by several bystanders to be arrested. The police are all over him, as are the thugs, and the thugs are an inch away from doing him bodily harm. The protester is the “offender” in this case.
      Its why I said, dont even bother with it. Disturbing the “wa” and being gaijin are crimes, while restoring the “wa” with violence isnt.

    18. Dean Says:

      last (I promise) on this. I should of thought it through before I posted in 3 different post, sorry about that.

      Never go to these places alone. These types of Japanese love to bully the lone gaijin. Ive witnessed this many times in Japan, and its been done to me. Its amazing how they will change if your with a group. If your alone, as the Canadian was, you see it took 10 – 15 people to get him away, this harmless unarmed dude. They swarmed all over him. In these instances, you dont stand a chance. My advice is just to stay away from it; its ripe for violence, as you can see in the dweeb gathering of nazis, they were incoherent until the “protestor” arrived on scene. Then they swarmed with the “nani jin” crap and found a cause for their voice. You can see this in video after video with these people.

    19. Baudrillard Says:

      “A Canadian Shoved by Japanese Crowd”- an impoortant, excellent video. He is a brave, brave man who is not afraid to stand up to a mob. He spoke good Japanese, was very polite, and handled the police and the mob well- “please don’t touch me”. A model democrat and citizen. He just asked a question they didn’t want to hear. Because they have no answers.
      Also, how disappointing that a question is still considered “rude”. Are we in Imperial times? Are they the Emperor? (I rather think they consider themselves as his representatives.).

      Also ironic that the rightists recently took up his argument,(benkyou ni narimashita deshou ka) i.e. if they were in Germany they would be arrested! But hey, This is Japan!

      The rightists trying to take his bag should have been arrested which just means the police are gutless, sympathetic to the rightists, basically anti gaijin and just trying to avoid trouble and keep the “WA” rather than stand up for justice and individual rights.

      i.e. its easier to just escort one gaijin away than do what is right. Just love the extreme police paranoia overreaction. Maybe 20 police to deal with just one man! No wonder they need to deputize oyaji’s to stand on every street corner around the gaijin houses during the G8 summits!

      NOTE at 8.37 the rightist is almost giving a speech or orders to the police standing to attention about “WARE WARE” etc. This probably wasn’t what was happening but the suited beefy rightist is playing to an audience to try to make it look like he is in control, its all about FACE (where there is none). I have seen this countless times in Japan, trying to take credit by play acting to make it look like they are in charge, respected, etc.

      I was quivering with rage when I saw it, also felt fear of living in Japan again. Also disgusted and disappointed by all the usual, tiresome, never changing clichés.

      Thus I disagree with Jim and Debito that “time Flies”- in Japan, time absolutely crawls and nothing changes for a long time, if ever. Ten years is nothing to the this Dictatorship of the GERONTOCRACY (Japan surprisingly isn’t mentioned in the Wikipedia entry although Italy and the Soviet Union-arguably similar politics, are)

      This vital video needs to go viral.

    20. Jim Di Griz Says:

      Dean is right.

      You can’t change these people.
      the police won’t protect your rights.
      Expose the truth. Leave. In that order.

      Welcome to 2020 Olympics! O-mo-te-na-shi! (this is VERY important Japanese, ha!).

    21. Baudrillard Says:

      This vimeo video is perfectly following postmodernist theory of how to disrupt the rightist, (default majority consensus in Japan) narrative:
      Debord encouraged the use of détournement, “which involves using spectacular images and language to disrupt the flow of the spectacle.”

      Can we repost it on youtube and elsewhere?

    22. Markus Says:

      @James, I would warn anybody to pick a fight (even verbally) with Japanese right-wingers. It’s a known fact that they share many members with the thuggish arm of the Yakuza and therefore you could be seriously harmed or even killed. As there is no “rule of law” in Japan, at least not as we understand it, you will have zero protection. The “police” in Japan is just there for show, they will stand back as soon as the actual police enters the scene. Why do you think the left-wing in Japan is so silent and seemingly scared? Japan is still a dangerous country for people who believe the “democracy” myth.
      A good option would be to leave and protest in front of Japanese businesses or organisations in your home country.

    23. Jim di Griz Says:

      @ Baudrillard #19

      I agree with everything you wrote in your post absolutely.
      ‘Time flies’ comment of mine was sarcasm, since Japan has only one speed: reverse!

      Yes, I was angry upon watching the video of the Canadian guy. He asked a question, and then had his rights (oh, but of course, ‘he’s only a gaijin’) infringed by the racists, but also the police seemed to be treating him as a criminal, ignoring the threats coming from the racists! Way to ‘uphold the law’!

      Gee, I mean the cops didn’t even exercise their authority to maintain public order by asking the racists to shut up for a minute and ask anybody what was happening. Instant assumption of NJ wrong-doing caught on film!

      Of course, we know the honne of Japan, so we know that the cops aren’t interested in upholding the law, because that would mean rocking the ‘wa’ boat by doing the unthinkable; busting the racist mob and protecting the rights of (gasp!) a gaijin!

      Well, they can’t do that, can they? It would destroy the myth that Japan is a modern democratic country of law that neither even has hate speech and discrimination, nor has a secret widespread and popular belief that Japanese Imperialism was ok!

    24. Al Says:

      The most upsetting thing about the neo-Nazi video is that the police didn’t even have the sense to clear the park of kids and their families before letting the neo-Nazi group take over. Even if the neo-Nazis have the right to demonstrate, the police should know that these kinds of demonstrations can turn violent, and should have cleared the park first. As you see in the video, kids and their families were there first eating ice-creams, and then this neo-Nazi group comes storming in.

    25. GS Says:

      An interesting little group. Some historical perspective for those who like that.

      There is a serious debate among historians if Hitler was suffering from the latter stages of syphilis contracted when he was on the streets in Vienna. This can not be proved, but the historians believing so do make a strong case. Syphilis in this stage causes the brain to deteriorate. To be precise, braincells start dying. This group might be following a half-braindead person who should have been in the hospital rather than the Reichschancellary.

      And I can only laugh about the pretences of this group that they represent either Japan or the Emperor.

      As far as Japan goes, one can wonder precisely why they would have needed a Kempetai in the first place.

      With regards to the Emperor, just a few stings:

      – In 1936, a coup was launched by the ‘Imperial Way’ faction, with the purpose of embarking on conquest. The Emperor ordered the members of the coup to stop what they were doing and return to their barracks in person.
      – In June 1940, when ‘negotiating’ military occupation of Indochina, a group of hotheads caused an incident in the hope of provoking a military conquest. Again the Emperor intervened and ordered them to stop.
      – In September 1941, realising that the military was bent on war, the Emperor did the unthinkable. He addressed the heads in person and urged for peace.
      – In August 1945, he was asked to make a decision in person on the terms of surrender. He chastised the military and the nationalists, made it clear that the responsibility for the situation was entirely on their heads and ordered them to surrender.
      – Ever since the conservatives came up with the idea of putting the war criminals up on the notorious Yasukuni shrine, there’s one prominent group you will never find there. That’s right, the Imperial Family. They prefer the monument for the Unknown Soldier. Incidentally, they share that preference with despised left-wing Japan.
      – In 2002, the Emperor spoke out openly, in a press conference, that he has a Korean Ancestor and that he feels emotionally tied to the Korean people, tearing a massive hole in the ‘pure blood’ myth.

      You can find the right-wing conservatives shouting “Tenno Banzai” at every corner of the street and claiming their loyalty, but at least their Nazi partners in crime could be found doing what their führer told them. Not this group. Doesn’t that morally constitute high treason?

    26. James Says:

      Actually, my question was where does the law draw the line on what assault is… If a group were to throw eggs at them, what could they be charged with? What if it was water? etc? What if their “protests” where drowned out with even louder speakers by counter protesters? Where does the law draw the line?

      I would say that the “Battle of Cable Street” in London was, in many ways, one of the most important events in combating fascism in Europe. 100,000 people turned out to push back Mosley and a group of 3,000 or so fascists. It forced law makers to recognize a problem, and damaged the ‘prestige’ of Mosley and his followers.

      Fighting back scum like these guys and the Zaitokukai is the only viable solution.

    27. Markus Says:

      I just looked at the various jersey designs for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil, and the Japanese one caught my eye:
      See here: http://imgur.com/CLqvcvL

      They managed to integrate the Rising Sun Flag (Kyokujitsuki) into the design (the sunbeams coming from the JFA emblem). Granted, it’s very subtle, but Japan is the only participating nation that uses such undeniably nationalist and dubious symbology on their jerseys.

      Given the way how Japanese society always co-opts sports events and athletes for nationalist means (“show Japan’s pride to the world”), I find this disturbing and quite primitive.

      If we look at the “slogans” of each world cup team (http://blogs.wsj.com/scene/2014/05/14/does-japan-have-the-best-world-cup-slogan/), Japan’s choice of

      “Samurai, the time has come to fight!”

      is remarkable. It is the only team using the word “fight” in its slogan, and semantically, the slogan must be understood as a military order, barked by a “leader” to the soldiers. Compared South Korea’s “South Korea – Enjoy it, Reds!” slogan, Japan’s stands out as unnecessarily menacing and nationalistic.

      Some might say I’m hearing the grass grow, but I actually do think that these are deliberate choices in a rigid society like Japans, and are an indicator of the evil spirits Abe has summoned.

    28. Jim Di Griz Says:

      @ Markus #27

      Hobsbawm and Ranger in The Invention of Tradition (IIRC) have an excellent chapter about the deliberate use of local soccer clubs to socialize aggression in the UK during the late 1800’s, early 1900’s. Very interesting read re: soccer as a form of social control (all other chapters in this book are also excellent, check out the role of cricket in controlling India as part of the British Empire).

      Anyway, I would say that at it’s inception as a mass sport, the function of soccer was to give the masses an outlet for their adolescent aggression, lest it turn against the social powers that be. On an international level, soccer functions in much the same way: it unites the ‘nation’ around perceived shared common values, against ‘the other’, as an outlet for aggressive tendencies, but in a manner that does not impact on policy makers international relations. Very useful, isn’t it?

      I would argue that in Europe and N. America, globalization and general economic dependancy have greatly reduced any serious animosity that most nations feel towards each other (if you remember the hooliganism of UK soccer fans both at home and abroad in the 80’s, you will agree that these aggressive sentiments have largely disappeared from soccer, and hence from the societies in question (although there is a case to make for these anti-social aggressive urges to be expressed in different ways)).

      By way of example, England’s national soccer team can play Germany’s national team, and with rare exception, any reference to WWII animosity will be framed in terms of ‘2 world wars, and one world cup!’ (a reference to England’s only world cup win in 1966), which is an expression of self-depreciating UK humor (however coarse, or base we may find it), rather than an expression of anti-German hate.

      On the other hand, with the Falklands War being in living memory of a larger percentage of England fan’s, and economic ties between the UK and Argentina being far less significant than those between the UK and the EU nations, including Germany (not to mention recent provocative speeches from the Argentine President), genuine animosity still exists, and a UK V’s Argentina match would be bound to include some incidence of inter-group violence at some level.

      But, all of the above is to say that with the exception of playing soccer against a nation who was a military enemy within recent living memory, soccer’s nationalistic over-tones are largely confined to reflecting on the things in which a nation takes it’s pride.

      Except, it appears, in Japan….

      As Markus points out, the Japanese are still defining themselves not by the things in which they take pride, but rather in terms of the thing that they are not= the ‘others’.
      Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Japan is indeed doing just as every other society does, and Japan is indeed defining itself by the thing in which it takes pride, except that Japanese national identity is so insecure and weak that the only thing it can find regarding it’s national identity, the only thing which is shared in the Japanese common consciousness, is the fact that they are not ‘the others’.

      And it goes without saying that the Japanese have a long history of abusing/mis-using English, so incredibly poor translations of their original Japanese language concepts don’t even get run by a native speaker first, but the use of the word ‘fight’ does indeed suggest that Japan still frames itself in a ‘win/lose’ struggle agaisnt the world, rather than the kind of ‘win/win’ relationship that defines the EU (for example. For another example, see the selfish mess that Japan is making of TPP negotiations).

      I am sure that if challenged about the use of ‘fight’, the Japanese will claim that they simply mean ‘endure’, and that we NJ have misunderstood their unique culture, please understand, regretfully, etc.

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