The International Writers Magazine: Comment


In the U.S.A. people are all prejudice which in itself is quite normal.   I suspect we can all agree upon that.   However, racism is more deliberate and more direct and to the point.  There is no room for sarcasm.   We have learnt to live together.  We have learnt to accept our differences to a degree where we can work together.

I think western countries have centuries of experience in dealing with various races whereas eastern countries have not.   But yet, western countries have the longest and most brutal history of mistreatment of people of non-European background.  Emil Nolde, German impressionist painter, who himself was a Natzi even stated that " the white man has brought the whole world under his oppression, changing all of mankind [sic]." He wrote that while traveling through China during the Arrow Affair period.  I have always been astonished at how unified racist elements can be and at the same time how backwards and stupid they are at the same time.

Let me explain: Foujita Tsuguharu, Japanese painter, known for his amazing and ground breaking art work.
Here is a man who arguably changed French painting forever !

His techniques at drawing white skinned naked women on a canvas background was unheard of in the art world.  When he finally returned to Japan which was during WW2 he tried to help out with the troops moral by drawing nationalistic pictures to help inspire them to continue the fight.  After Japan lost the war, Foujita was branded a radical by his own peers and was expelled from society.

Foujita returned to France to live out the remainder of his life in peace and never returned to his native land again.  He was even buried in France during a time when racism had still existed. The Japanese turned their back on a man who was a nationalist national treasure.

Emil Nolde himself was branded an outcast by Hitler because he didn't believe in art which he felt was a corruption of the soul.  Many of Emil's paintings depicted suffering Jews that glorified Natzi oppression.
Today, in Japan, we see the same hypocrisy.  We see a new form of racism beginning to emerge in this country.  What's interesting however,  is that the Japanese have no first hand knowledge regarding other races in terms of real experience, but yet they are prejudice and borderline racist all at the same time.  They draw faulty conclusions based on pure ignorance. 
So for the sake of argument, let's say that all Japanese people are racist to the core, and let's say that all Japanese have first hand experience dealing with non-Japanese from which they can draw their racist conclusions from.  Tomorrow, Shinzo Abe makes an announcement that every Japanese will digress back to the old ways. 
There is only one problem.  Pacifism and racist don't mix very well.

It's like saying that "war is wrong, but racism is okay."  That's like Hitler saying " it's okay to hate the Jew and kill the Jew, but war is wrong." For the Japanese it's okay to be racist, but nationalism is bad because it shows we love our country and our unique Japaneseness.

I can hate the big bad black man, but I am too damn cowardly to wave the Hinomaru !  I can't sing the Kimigayo because it reflects on my racist past too much and I am ashamed at what my country men did to others, but black is bad…black is bad.  Japanese don't like Blacks because they did nothing to us.  We did nothing to them. 
Tenno Heika Banzai


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