Dr. ARUDOU, Debito's Home Page

From Debito's doctoral research:

Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination

  • Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination
  • (Lexington Books, Rowman & Littlefield HB 2015, PB 2016)

    Click on book cover for reviews, previews, and 30% discount direct from publisher. Available in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle eBook on

  • Book IN APPROPRIATE: A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan
  • Tokyo Gov Ishihara calls the tsunami “divine punishment” to wipe out the “egoism” of Japan. Need more evidence of his senility? Yet he’s running for election again.

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on March 16th, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to JapanForeign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in JapansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumbUPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
    DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free

    Hi Blog.  If you needed further evidence of already preternaturally-bigoted Tokyo Governor Ishihara’s creeping senility, get a load of this:


    The Japan Times Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    Ishihara sorry for quake gaffe

    Kyodo News

    Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara apologized Tuesday for his remark that the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami last week represented “divine punishment” of the Japanese people who have been tainted with egoism.

    “I will take back (the remark) and offer a deep apology,” Ishihara said, adding that he should have thought about the feelings of the victims.

    Miyagi Gov. Yoshihiro Murai showed displeasure with Ishihara, telling reporters he hopes the Tokyo governor will consider the people affected by the disaster.

    “Japanese politics is tainted with egoism and populism. We need to use tsunami to wipe out egoism, which has rusted onto the mentality of Japanese over a long period of time,” Ishihara, who is seeking re-election for a fourth term on April 10, told reporters Monday. “I think (the disaster) is ‘tembatsu’ (divine punishment), although I feel sorry for disaster victims.”






    (2011年3月15日06時18分  読売新聞)


    COMMENT: This from a man who claimed in public a decade ago that foreigners in Japan would riot in the event of a natural disaster (er, such as this one?) and that the SDF should be deployed to round them up — and also questioned the kokutai loyalties of citizens who have foreign roots.  It seems this time, by issuing an unusual retraction (you think he’ll ever retract the foreigner riots claim now that it hasn’t happened?), he realized that this particular Senior Moment was going too far.

    But this old fool has long lost the mental software governing prudence befitting a person in high office.  For a milder (but concrete) example, check out this video, where Ishihara gets all snitty because he was trying to make another speech about how the world was not going the way he wants it (when asked to offer a few seconds of encouragement to runners in this year’s Tokyo Marathon on February 27). Watch to the very end where you hear him characteristically grumbling about being cut off mid-rant:


    (click on the link above to open video, courtesy Dave Spector)

    Yet, as you read above, this 78-year-old is running once again for the Tokyo Governorship!

    Some societies have a built-in conservative bent, but if the Tokyo electorate puts this decrepit bigoted coot back in office for yet another term, I will fear for the sanity of the Tokyo public.  We have mandatory retirement ages for Japanese bureaucrats.  We’ve even enforced them on some politicians (cf. former PMs Miyazawa and Nakasone, who were eliminated in 2003 despite re-election thanks to the LDP introducing an age limit of 73).  I think we should have them enforced in this case as well.  We need people who not only do not live in the past, but also live on this plane of existence.  Arudou Debito

    8 Responses to “Tokyo Gov Ishihara calls the tsunami “divine punishment” to wipe out the “egoism” of Japan. Need more evidence of his senility? Yet he’s running for election again.”

    1. AJ Says:

      If there’s evidence of divine punishment being inflicted on the Japanese, it is Ishihara.

    2. Tony D Says:

      Isn’t it customary for politicians to resign because of this sort of stupid remark? Damn you Ishihara, follow the example set before you!

      Though is it true that people in Tokyo are getting annoyed with a lack of information? Can we hope some of that anger is directed at Ishihara, or will he be (fairly or not) hailed a hero like Giuliani was after September 11th?

    3. jonholmes Says:

      at least he didnt blame the gaijin. Yet.

    4. Andrew Smallacombe Says:

      The worst part yet is that he’s likely to come out of this smelling like a rose.
      While the opposition was getting in Kan’s way at every turn, Ishihara was able to mobilise the huge volume of relief supplies at his disposal – he didn’t have to try to talk it through the lower house.

    5. Jay Says:

      It is a small consolation to know that Tokyo voters are just as ignorant and closed minded as voters in my home country.

    6. Andrew Smallacombe Says:

      I had a nasty feeling that Blinky would win again. Lucky timing. No time for coverage of the other candidates, while he manages to get his face on TV for his part in the disaster relief.
      The guy does know how to play the media – every time he does something positive, it’s on the 6 o’clock news while his less savory deeds get brushed over.

    7. Jon Says:

      Citizens of Tokyo must be the most stupid people on earth to reelect this clown. Now he wants to bring the Olympic games to Tokyo in 2020…think that money could be more usefully spent somewhere else?!?!

    8. mike Says:

      Nah they aint stupid, just naive. Its the same ole same ole, nothing here never changes. They want stability and fear change. Ishi represents both. He delivered on many of his projects with some positive results, but some came at the expense of us NJ. This is where the foriegn media etc miss the mark about Japan. Japanese arent interested in globalzation or openenss. They want what they think is safe. Change means risk, and risk means fear.

    Leave a Reply

    404 Not Found

    The requested URL /sites/debito.txt was not found on this server.

    404 Not Found404 Not Found

    The requested URL /sites/debito.txt was not found on this server.

    404 Not Found