Japan Election 2014: “Why taboo?” Grotesque foreigner-bashing cartoon by Hiranuma’s Jisedai Party, features “Taboo Pig” sliced in half over NJ welfare recipients “issue”

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Hi Blog.  As everyone in Japan probably knows (as they cover their ears due to the noise), it’s election time again, and time for the sound trucks and stump speeches to come out in force until December 14. (BTW, a magnificent take on Japan’s elections by Colin Jones at the JT is here.)  And with that, sadly, comes the requisite foreigner bashing so prevalent in recent years in Japan’s election and policy campaigns (see for example here, herehere, here, here, here, and here).

Here’s 2014’s version, from “The Party for Future Generations” (Jisedai no Tou; frontman:  racist xenophobe Dietmember from Okayama 3-ku Hiranuma Takeo), courtesy Debito.org Reader XY:

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

Dec. 8, 2014
Hello Debito, Thanks again for taking a look at the P&G video before.

Today I ran across this election campaign video that isn’t as bad as the usual CM fare, but seems to suggest that 8 times as many foreigners as native Japanese are receiving welfare hand-outs. Here’s the lyrics (from the video’s own description):

②生活保護タブーを斬る!篇

なぜだブー!なぜタブー?
日本の生活保護なのに日本国民なぜ少ない
僕らの税金つかうのに外国人なぜ8倍
なぜだブー!なぜタブー?

Here’s a link to the video that skips to the offending verse 30 seconds in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7ilGGkne-I&feature=youtu.be&t=30s

This can’t be accurate, surely? Am I missing something in translation? I’d be very grateful if you’d let me know.

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

COMMENT:  Well, that IS what they’re saying.  Here are some screen captures:

nazetaboojisedainotou1

COMMENT:  “We will slice taboos,” says Jisedai’s slogan.  Now check out the “Taboo Buta“(Taboo Pig) dancing around mockingly:

nazetaboojsedainotou20142

COMMENT: In their song and dance (text below), they’re offsetting foreigners with “Japanese citizens”, and asking why “our taxes” (bokura no zeikin) are being used more for foreigners by a factor of eight:

nazetaboojisedainotou20143

And then the coup de grace:

nazetaboojiseidanotou20144

Ouch.  I guess these people are inured to grotesque images involving swordplay, but I’m not.  Ick… Moving on:

Hiranuma’s people claim this is a “taboo topic” to cut through (as if to tempt the voters with a “forbidden fruit” discussion), but people have been talking about this issue plenty — even making some mean-spirited policy proposals in recent months).  For this ilk, labeling any discussion that they are on the losing end of as “taboo” is a frequent trope, so as to claim victimization through alleged suppression of their free speech.  And it’s hardly ever true.  It isn’t in this case.

Below, they’re also slicing pigs in half about limited 1) discussions in general, 3) working mothers, and 4) the Comfort Women Wartime Sexual Slaves (teleplay text courtesy of their above mentioned YouTube site):

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

Published on Dec 3, 2014
「タブーブタのウタ♪」 20万回再生突破→第2弾作っちゃいました!
第2弾 「タブーブタ第2」 → http://youtu.be/i2RsUaOCb9M

①タブーを斬る!篇

なぜだブー!なぜタブー?
ホントのことでも言わない
なぜかみんな知らぬふり
クサイものにはフタをして
都合わるいと見ないふり
なぜだブー!なぜタブー?

②生活保護タブーを斬る!篇

なぜだブー!なぜタブー?
日本の生活保護なのに
日本国民なぜ少ない
僕らの税金つかうのに
外国人なぜ8倍
なぜだブー!なぜタブー?

③女性の社会進出タブーを斬る!篇

なぜだブー!なぜタブー?
子育て犠牲にしてまで
なぜ働けと言うの?
子育てがんばるママさんも
輝く女性のはずなのに
なぜだブー!なぜタブー?

④慰安婦問題のタブーを斬る!篇

なぜだブー!なぜタブー?
慰安婦問題でっちあげ
なぜだもっと怒らない?
真相わかった今だから
そこは世界に言わないと
なぜだブー!なぜタブー?

タブーを斬る!
次世代の党
http://jisedai.jp

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

Now then, Jisedai doesn’t look to fare well in this election, so probably some Debito.org Readers will relax and say this is just how fringe politics works in democracies.  However, Debito.org is concerned about this normalization of NJ bashing — to the point of believing that blaming foreigners for just about anything gains you political capital.   Look how this alleged “NJ welfare cheats” issue has become one of Jisedai’s four (well, three, actually, since the first issue mentioned is a grumble instead of a substantive claim) planks in their platform.  Even though, as we have discussed here earlier, this is a non-issue.

There’s more rotten to say about this upcoming election, of course (again, read Colin Jones’ take and then take a shower), but how it affects NJ in Japan is Debito.org’s focus, so there you go.  Here’s hoping Japan’s electorate will slice through the bullshit politics on offer, but I doubt it.  Dr. ARUDOU, Debito

11 comments on “Japan Election 2014: “Why taboo?” Grotesque foreigner-bashing cartoon by Hiranuma’s Jisedai Party, features “Taboo Pig” sliced in half over NJ welfare recipients “issue”

  • As you mention, Zainichi and foreigners’ issues are commonly referred to as taboo in the right-wing and tabloid press in Japan, when in fact they are not. I don’t know exact vintage of the trope, but it has to be decades old. I think It’s sort of equivalent of “I’m not racist but…” or “liberals shout racism to end debate” which seeks to dodge responsibility and assign the speaker’s repulsiveness to some outside factor.

    Reply
  • Edward J. Cunningham says:

    Am I right in assuming that the different colors of the pigs are supposed to represent different races and ethnicities?

    — No. Not all videos are about NJ.

    Reply
  • I thought that Colin Jones wrote a great article about the election! Captures the facts perfectly! here (just for reference) is a link to an NJ bloggers view of the election, that couches the whole thing in terms of ‘Ore, ore, sagi’. Very amusing!

    http://fightstart.blogspot.jp/2014/12/its-me-its-me.html

    As for the ‘Party for Future Generations’ video above, well, wouldn’t depicting foreigners as pigs, in itself, be racist discrimination in the civilized world? Oh! Of course! This is Japan’s ‘unique’ culture at work again; the play on words of ‘Taboo’, and ‘Buta’. For the record, in his book Nemesis, Max Hastings talks about how the Japanese propensity for this type of wordplay was (still is, apparently) taken as ‘proof’ and ‘evidence’ of their racial superiority. As always, it seems that Japan has come a long way (not).

    The facts regarding NJ welfare recipients are just plain wrong, as you have stated, but no one except (tax paying!) NJ will pick them up on it, and NJ don’t have a voice in Japan (or maybe they do, now that Greg Clark has had his bubble burst?), whereas the old racists at the Party for Future Generations are Japanese. In fact, they are Japanese AND ‘erai hito’, so it goes without saying that the sheeple will swallow the video’s ‘facts’ as true, without any critical thinking.

    The election is relevant to NJ. One apologist on the JT is slamming Colin Jones for daring to have an opinion about the election, but let’s think back to 2012. Debito.org readers were ridiculed by apologists for the fears they held about an Abe win, and those fears have been realized, and then some, as Abe created a nasty little fascist police state with his secrets act and endorsement of the right wing with all his political appointments, and cabinet members dodgy associations.

    NJ shouldn’t be worried about Abe’s upcoming win, they should be frightened. Abe doesn’t care what the Japanese people think about the secrets act, or the reinterpretation of the constitution to allow the SDF to fight abroad (and the vast majority of the Japanese public are against both of those), so what do NJ imagine will happen when he returns with a super-majority? When he starts abusing, and encouraging and protecting the abusers of NJ’s human rights, you’ll be on your own because Japanese public opinion isn’t even sympathetic to NJ, so Abe won’t even have to worry about the public opposing him- they’ll agree with him that NJ are the root of all evil as Abenomics leads to Abegeddon.

    Debito’s JBC was bang on this month. If you don’t have a solid plan to pack a bag and leave in 24 hours in case of a reactor melt-down, you should now make a plan to pack a bag and leave for when Abe’s brown-shirts start rounding up NJ for ‘special registration’ at the Koban.

    — For the record, that wasn’t what my column was about.

    Also, regarding the link above, it’s a pity the writer chose to include an image of a DPJ sound truck (not an LDP one).

    Reply
  • @ Dr. Debito, re#3

    I should have spelled out that final thought a little clearer;

    Debito’s JBC was bang on this month; if you’re after anything more than being the office clown, anything more than a stream of meaningless sexual encounters, if you want a rewarding career, or a life with a future, then you’re out of luck. This is because Japan Inc. doesn’t want you. This country will use you up and spit you out, and tell you that you should be grateful for the experience. If you hadn’t realized that before reading Debito’s article, then it should have served as a wake-up call. The future for NJ in Japan isn’t getting any brighter, it’s getting darker in the worst way. If you didn’t have a solid plan to pack a bag and leave in 24 hours in case of a reactor melt-down, you should now make a plan to pack a bag and leave for when Abe’s brown-shirts start rounding up NJ for ‘special registration’ at the Koban.

    Reply
  • Loverilakkuma says:

    >”なぜだブー!なぜタブー?”

    Geez, who the heck came up with this idea?

    Hope pork cutting scene won’t offend people keeping hogs in Arkansas. Oh well.

    Reply
  • In fairness, I think English speakers should be aware of two aspects of the Japanese phrase “taboo o kiru” that are being represented graphically: 1) In Japanese, a pig says “boo” (ブー), which sounds the same as the second syllable in “taboo” (hence, the use of the pig); 2) “Kiru” (cut) is frequently used to mean “criticize sharply” or “lay bare” (斬る 欠点をあばいて攻撃する。糾弾する。Source: Dictionary that came with my Mac).

    Having said that, I think the “8 times” claim is indicative of the intellectually dishonest foreigner bashing many on the right engage in. The claim refers to the rate, not the number, of claims. Here’s a Japanese article in which the basis of the claim is called into question:

    http://yukan-news.ameba.jp/20141207-90/

    The article points out that, while Hiranuma seems to have greatly exaggerated the difference, it may indeed be true that the rate is higher for Zainichi. I would like to know more about what is behind the rate difference. One possibility that occurs to me is a different percentage of elderly in the Zainichi population. Many younger Zainichi are becoming Japanese citizens so it wouldn’t surprise me if the population is disproportionately elderly (I have yet to check this possibility out — if anyone has the information, I’d love to know). Another possibility is that increased poverty among zainichi, a result of discrimination, is a factor in the higher rate. It’s a bit like poking a guy’s eyes out and then criticizing him as a moocher when asks for a cane so that he can get around.

    Finally, note that the term “foreigner” (外国人) is used consistently when they are really talking about Zainichi. This linguistic sleight of hand conveniently takes attention away from the historical antecedents that led to the current situation.

    =====================

    次世代の党 「外国人生活保護は8倍」説に疑問が出る
    2014年12月07日 17時36分
    提供:アメーバニュース/政治・社会

     次世代の党は、衆議院選挙のプロモーションビデオ「タブーブタ」を公開したが、その中に「誤りでは……」とツッコミが入っている。タブーブタは、タブーに切り込む同党を表しており、軽快な音楽とともに、豚が躍り出し、「なぜだブー! なぜタブー?」と問題提起をするもの。すると途中で豚がバッサリと斬られてしまう。

     その中の「生活保護タブー斬る!編」では、以下のような歌詞となった。

    < なぜだブー!なぜタブー? 日本の生活保護なのに 日本国民なぜ少ない 僕らの税金つかうのに 外国人なぜ8倍 なぜだブー!なぜタブー? なぜだブー!なぜタブー?>

     これは、日本在住の外国人に対する生活保護費が膨大なことになっていることが「タブー」になっており、誰も切り込まないことを批判。次世代の党はここにも切り込んでいる旨をPRしている。この「8倍」の根拠についてツッコミが入っているのである。これは、togetterにて「次世代の党の外国人生活保護についての妄言を斬る!」としてまとめられている。

     社会学者の北田暁大氏が、「うーん、今のところわたしが当たってみた公式統計では「8倍」という数字は、実数、比率のいずれでも出てこない。ソースを示していただきたく」とツイート。

     そこに「ぐるぐる(青バンダナ)」氏は、THE PAGEに掲載された平沼赳夫党首の12月2日の街頭演説がソースになっていると指摘した。以下、THE PAGEに掲載された平沼氏の生活保護に関連した部分。

    < 例えば、外国人に生活保護費が非常に多くいっています。日本の役所は統計を出しておりませんけれども、われわれが調べてみると、1,260億円も外国人に生活保護費がいっています。外国人、日本に生活している外国人では1,000人あたり147人にその生活保護費がいっています。じゃあ、日本人にはどのぐらいの比率かというと、日本人の場合には1000人の中でたった17人しかいっていない>

     さらには、平沼氏は最高裁判決で、生活保護支給が日本国民に限るという文章があったとしているが、ぐるぐる氏はそんな判決文はないと否定した。

     そして、NPO法人POSSE事務局長の川村遼平氏は平沼氏の「14.7%」を否定。総務相の統計で5.34%であることを示した。同氏は高齢化のため保護率が上昇している韓国・朝鮮籍の「世帯」での保護率が2010年に6.38%だと指摘。日本の比保護世帯の3.23%と比べて「8倍」にならないと指摘した。

     生活保護の受給率が高い件については「外国人が安易に貰えるシステムがある」という意見が常に出て、それに対して「それだけ貧困で困っている人が多い状況にあるのだ」という反体意見が出る。

     とはいっても、「14.7%」「8倍」という次世代の党の言い分については、根拠不明と指摘されている。

    Reply
  • Eric Cartman says:

    なぜだブー!なぜタブー?”- very lame oyaji dajarei. And the slicing in half made me have an Iris Chang Rape of Nanjing flashback.
    Oh the irony.

    Reply
  • Loverilakkuma says:

    @Kirk Masden, #6

    I know, I know. I am a native speaker of Japanese. The Japanese word “ブー” indicates the uttering sound of pig, which is equivalent to an English word “oink.” It is derived from a Japanese word “ブタ” by using a vowel sound “う” to make it sound like pig oink to the ears of Japanese people. It sounds almost exactly the same as English word “boo” which is an onomatopoeia that means scaring someone for fun.

    @Eric Cartman , #7

    Quite. I have never heard of a word like “タブータ.” What kind of Japanese is that? It is beyond my comprehension. Maybe some silly kids might want to imitate to mock a chubby classmate in school.

    Reply
  • Wow, pretty horrendous. The level of ignorance is really shocking. I hope someone comes up with a clever viral reply to this nonsense. The last thing a group like this wants is to be mocked for spewing such garbage.

    Reply
  • Loverilakkuma says:

    Correction: Re #8

    >”The Japanese word “ブー” indicates the uttering sound of pig,”

    People use word “ブー” as a reference to oink sound since it is difficult to describe pig’s distinctive sound in Japanese letter.

    Reply

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