The “Franco-American Flophouse” blog entry on “Debito”


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Hi Blog. It’s the busy season for me now, so in lieu of saying something more elaborate, I think I’ll just put up this link and let people comment:

The blog, “The Franco-American Flophouse”, is a thoughtful one by Victoria Ferauge, who advertises herself and interests as:

“Born in Seattle, USA. Generation Xer. Lived on 3 continents (North America, Asia and Europe). Country agnostic. Mother of two Frenchlings. Cancer survivor (so far). Passionate about culture, language, international migration, citizenship law.”

I recommend a browse around. Dr. Debito Arudou


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12 comments on “The “Franco-American Flophouse” blog entry on “Debito”

  • Interesting read.
    She was doing ok until this;
    ‘No moral judgment here about either group, just an observation’.
    I got enough moral judgment for her and me both; the ‘Go along to get along’ crowd are a spineless bunch of ‘me-firsters’ selfishly putting their immediate interests above the long-term interests of even their own children. They deserve to be tried by a U.N. court for being complicit in human rights abuses.
    Weak people who want to pretend that reality isn’t happening and get angry with for constantly interrupting their delusions.

    • Loverilakkuma says:

      I hear you. I actually see that weak, whacky mentality in people(both men and women) who are getting hysterical with Shiori Ito over an allegation of sexual assault and deliberate cover-up by NPA. And a bunch of clueless people who lash out Hakuho for not following “Japanese way” in every single moment he presents while keeping silent on Takanohana for keeping silent on Harumafuji’s aggravated assault.

      • Couldn’t agree with you more.
        Shiori Ito’s rapist is Abe’s close friend, so the NPA dropped te case. So much for ‘creating a society where every woman can shine’. Wonder why Ivanka Trump didn’t call Abe out on the cover-up of his buddies sex-attack when she can to spout hot-air at Abe’s WOW meeting last month.
        Haramafuji, yeah, there’s WAY more to that story than a simple drunken brawl. The sumo governing body and stables are dominated by former Yokozuna. I reckon they are using this as an excuse to force Haramafuji out, since they can’t tolerate the concept of their ‘sport’ (which actually has claimed it’s roots are in Shinto- and we know how Shinto is obsessed with restoring its imperial era social ‘importance’) being governed 20 years down the line by Yokozuna of Mongolian (NJ) birth.
        Meh, corrupt, bullying, racist, fake-heritage pantomime of sumo deserves to die. It’s only the Mongolian born wrestlers who are any good at it anyway.

      • On NJs and “the Japanese way” (as they see it), check out this Australian run company in Tokyo using racist style hiring practices, ie. clients pick a singer based on race:

        A reliable source informs me they also trot out the “its not the Japanese way (to query a paycheck)” when one has a question or query about not getting paid for various gigs, to cover up their ineptitude as they also dont have written contracts because…you guessed it, thats not “the Japanese way” either!

        So let me get this straight, Aussie musicians without an accountant are poor at payroll/HR but good at Cross Cultural Awareness; so much so they can “Japan’splain” it to other gaijin lower in the “hierarchy”- though I note that a certain Greg is on their site and he is an oldtimer and expert of traditional Japanese songs, but I digress.

  • Jim, “angry with for constantly interrupting their delusions.” The prime reason, the attraction to come to Japan for most (first world) people is to live an illusion. Or at least to escape from their mundane western existence, as they see it.
    Then, as the reality differs from the PR image they were sold by Gaijin Handlers, they delude themselves as a coping mechanism.

    I did this too. Lets say you come to Japan for the anime/geek culture, but don’t like the warcrimes of the Aso family. So when you see a big Pro Taro Aso sign in Akihabara, you just try not to think about “politics”- just like a lot of people in Japan who do not vote. Lots of NJ in Japan trying to ignore anything vaguely negative in Japan, which they say is “being polite” but in fact benefits their Dreamy Day illusion.

    The final irony is that said “individuals” are in fact Sheeple, or become so, and are in fact following a Matrix-like fake tradition of “Japan as exotic escapist alternate reality” (and yet right wing beliefs are as boorish and staid as your (great) grandfather used to trot out, what you wanted to get away from and prove him wrong in Japan- only for him to be proved right.)

    Oscar Wilde declared “Japan? There is no such country!” Meaning that the Japan imagined by westerners did not exist. He was right.

    • Yeah, spot-on.
      People came here coz they were sold a lie. By the time they realized that, they had made too much of an investment of time and effort that they have to keep telling themselves that the lies are true. And yeah, they hate us for interrupting their ‘charisma-man’ fantasy with reality.
      Oh, that Wilde quote is solid gold, isn’t it? As relevant today as it was when ‘Japonisme’ and The Mikado misrepresented Japan.

    • Hello. I wanted to ask you if you believe in the concept of inalienable human rights?
      If you do, would you not agree that those who make excuses for Japanese cultural racism and criticize Dr. Debito deserve universal condemnation? After all, they are advocating giving up the defense of your inalienable human rights too.

  • realitycheck says:

    Dear Debito, I just read a post on the Japan Policy Forum website by Emeritus Professor Miyajima Takashi regarding the increase in tourism by foreigners.

    Could you take time out of your busy schedule in the fairly near future to have a look at it and critique it? Professor Miyajima’s heart seems to be in the right place in some respects, but he makes some questionable observations such as his opening one where he says the big influx of foreign tourists into Japan reminds him of WW2 when American military occupied the country.
    Hmm, imagine if Australians, for example, had compared the relatively large influx of Japanese tourists in the 1990s with the Japanese military in WW2 occupying countries in Asia. And it is now 2017 and a respected Professor is quite unabashedly using military occupation images to draw parallels with contemporary tourism.
    The Professor also repeats the same old discredited by common observance myths that Japanese hospitality exists and white people benefit from it while Asians do not.
    As somebody who personally witnessed ordinary Japanese people waving signs telling us to “Go To Hell” and “Go Back Home” as well as the usual Uyoku Racist grab bags threatening foreigners because some mostly white foreigners rode aboard the Yamanote line for Halloween some years back, I encourage Professor Miyajima to do a little research.
    The odl kind and hospitable Japanese self-perpetuated stereotype has not existed in my experience since about 25 or more years ago, and even then it was never that true – it was part of projecting an image so that foreigners would say good things about Japan.
    I for one have never been fooled by that myth – it is mostly a delusion that too many Japanese have, and if you actually live here and understand Japanese, you will hear plenty of nasty guchi from Japanese people on public transportation about us regardless of whether we live and work here, holiday here and have great manners.
    I could go on but you get the point. Too bad the Japan Policy Forum webpage doesn’t seem to have a contact email whereby I can send them a polite and factually correct rebuttal of some of Professor Miyake’s points.
    I am hoping you can do that, Debito, through this website or hopefully the Japan Times or other such media.
    Having said that, there are some good articles on the Japan Policy Forum website that realistically assess Japan’s future such as the grim one of demographics unless action is taken.
    Thanks for your consideration.

    — Or you could do a line-by-line rebuttal and put it up here on under your pseudonym. Would you be game for that?

      • Jim Di Griz says:

        If it’s this article;
        Then I think it’s quite good. Yes, clearly the U.S. occupation had an effect on him as a kid, but he makes the point that he saw both negative AND positive actions of the U.S. army and occupation.
        And the rest of the article seems pretty spot on to me. For a Japanese guy to put himself out there and criticize Japan’s shortfalls (along with some good suggestions), deserves some support from me.

  • realitycheck says:

    I agree that there is some positivity to the article but the comparison of a military occupation and contemporary tourism is an inappropriate one. Regardless of anything reasonable there such as the US soldiers and the good side of their American ways such as getting people to stand for the weak on the train.

    It is similar to if a westerner wrote a piece about the surge in Japanese tourism in western countries from the 1990s onwards. Try getting away with writing this –
    “Seeing all the Japanese tourists with their lack of understanding of our western cultures – for example the way they demand Japanese-only speaking services, called the locals ‘gaijin’ which means outsider, and snap away taking photos of private residences or other things that catch their fancy – I am reminded of how the Japanese military invaded various countries before and during World War 2 and brought their harsh sense of superiority to other Asian countries. Yet there were positives such as a greater sense of organisation and an emphasis on discipline.”

    Note, too, how the Professor manages to use a favorite them of Japanese society – if the face is white then it’s not really discrimination or racism of any kind because Asian people and others who are not white do experience the ‘real’ discrimination.

    So he is making the right noises but skirting the real issues of ‘half’ children in Japan and their parents. Having a white parent or being a white parent in Japan does not open any magic door to acceptance apart from the privileged embassy sets and corporate high fliers. And even then their privilege insulates them from the realities of discrimination in Japan.

    I could write a lot more but I am hoping Debito has the time to read the article and even just simply comment here. Personally I think calling somebody a ‘Shironbo’ which for those of you who do not know derogatory and racist Japanese words means something along the lines of ‘White bastard’ points to Japanese society’s problem with all foreign people of different skin tones. But points only – there is so much more to say.

    —- Then say it. I’ve already extended an invitation.


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