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Dear Guzman,
KuzuDate: Friday, 26/February/2010, 2:50:56 PM | Message # 1
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in response to ur question, "how do u feel the japanese view foreigners, or americans in particular?"

its very simple and very complicated.

the japanese feel that anything western, or more specifically, anything from the U.S. is superior.
most of these assumptions are based purely on superficiality; most likely due to an extremely low level of self/national pride, resulting in envy.
example:

assumptions or declaration that all white westerners are attractive
assumptions or declaration that all mixed race children are cute
white mannequins in 90% of shopping malls
white models in 50%+ of commercials
english signs in 50-75%+ of all public buildings
english as a required subject in Jr/Sr High
90% of music includes some form of english
a whole alphabet was created to replicate foreign letters/pronunciation (katakana)

yet while there is an utter and complete fascination with westerners (looks) and the english language, the japanese purposely distance themselves from anyone else. this is where i feel japanese are completely ethnocentric. while on the outside they may profess to be so infatuated with the west, in reality they dont want to get to know it. they dont want to actually learn anything about other cultures, they just want to be in awe of it and say "Wow, that is so cool because its foreign." japan is one of, if not THE most closed off countries in the world. i checked the stats, japan is 99% japanese. that 1% consists of foreigners, but of those foreigners, a good 80% are chinese or korean. and IN FACT, many of those "chinese or koreans" very well may have been born in japan to 2nd or 3rd generation japanese-resident parents. the japanese are so racist that they will not give them citizenship. (my wifes good friend is korean; born in japan yet she uses a japanese first/last name to save "face".) yes, its that sad. i read that western foreigners account to about 50,000 in japan. seriously, think about that.

what do i mean? no matter how many documentaries are on tv, no matter how many books ppl read, no matter how easy it is to access the internet and do some research, no matter what they learn from "going abroad", the japanese just love to be ignorant. they dont want to actually take the time to learn something useful about a different culture. again, they love to be in awe of something different, without understanding WHY its that way.

100% of western foreigners in japan will get told "Wow, u can use chopsticks so well!"
this in itself is rude, condescending and ignorant. it would be the equivalent of saying to a japanese "Wow, u can use a fork so well!" even AFTER i tell ppl im from california, one of the most diverse places in the world, and even after i tell them that california has ~7million asian-americans, they just dont get it.. how in the world could i have learned to use chopsticks after being in japan for 11 years? FFS! i learned to use chopsticks when i was in elementary school.

to add to this, a "foreigner" will always be an outsider, no matter HOW GOD DAMN HARD U TRY to fit in. u will never fit in. japanese are ethnocentric. they believe that japan is the center of the earth. everything in the world should revolve around it. japanese on one hand, only believe in following japanese protocol, but on the other hand, are so fascinated with western culture. its weird to see how much nationalism and patriotic fervor they possess, while at the same time feeling so inferior.


 
KuzuDate: Friday, 26/February/2010, 2:51:15 PM | Message # 2
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(continued)

im rambling now, arent i?
oh yah, back to language.
despite japanese taking english starting in Jr high for 3 years, followed by another 3 years in HS (and many elementary schools are now offering english from 1st grade or earlier), japan ranks DEAD LAST among asian countries in terms of english proficiency. how can they be that dumb? how do countries like vietnam, india, thailand still manage to pull out much higher scores? doesnt japan have the resources? (THEY DO). so why cant they speak english? because they make no effort in LEARNING it. they have tons of books. tons of english conversation schools across the land. every song has english in it. every train station has signs in english. every kid has 10 t-shirts with slogans (improperly written) in english. and everyone has piss-poor pronunciation. not because they arent exposed to english, but because they dont want to make the effort to learn it properly. Katakana is one culprit. it was made to "mimic" english sounds, without actually having to understand the nuances or differences.
i mean, FUCK, SERIOUSLY. i never studied these languages, but i can determine if someones speaking spanish, french, german, tagalog, portugese, russian, vietnamese, chinese, italian, etc. i ask my wife to identify languages sometimes and she has no clue.

(random stupid katakana moment:
1. do u know how to pronounce *City Hall*, as its officially written in EVERY city, in Katakana?
answer= Shitty Hole
if ur ever in japan, and want to go to the city hall, pls ask "SHITTY HOLE wa doko desu ka?")

so whats the verdict, kuzu?
in the short term, ANYTHING western will be drooled over, fascinated about, lusted over and jizzed on.
in the long term, NOTHING western will ever be accepted as anything other than alien and unsuitable.

i could write a thesis on this topic, since ive really come around a full circle since living here for 11 years. i was myself fascinated with japan; the reason i came here to start off. but have since seen japans true colors, and i dont like what i see. sure, every country has its good/bad points. its just that i personally dont see the positives outweighing the negatives. this needs more elaborating on, so i apologize for the generalizations, but its 5am. i would love to discuss this more, maybe it would be better to Skype me or talk thru PSN.


 
GuzmanDate: Saturday, 27/February/2010, 9:24:11 AM | Message # 3
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First of all, thanks for answering Kuzu. Especially for being so extensive. I need a bit to "organize my thoughts", then I will update this post. Nabbing links from around the net, trying to dig up other, more specific questions, etc. (This topic has popped up in my head numerous times, dunno why I waited till now to ask.)

& anyone else who wishes to add their experiences/thoughts (Like red) or even things like "I heard in Japan they____" or w/e, That would be cool/appreciated.

Message edited by Guzman - Saturday, 27/February/2010, 9:41:26 AM
 
KuzuDate: Saturday, 27/February/2010, 7:22:26 PM | Message # 4
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i realize that this is a simplified, and negative, view of a nation. i dont intend to belittle anyone or claim that one country is better than another. but i do feel that my views are accurate.

my articulation is poor, that i know. but my intention was to convey the main points.


 
GuzmanDate: Tuesday, 02/March/2010, 12:14:50 PM | Message # 5
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Quote (Kuzu)
i realize that this is a simplified, and negative, view of a nation. i dont intend to belittle anyone or claim that one country is better than another. but i do feel that my views are accurate.

While it is negative, I don't know that you didn't mean any harm by it. Some of the points you made seem a bit petty, but I haven't lived there for 11 years. Another thing is I think alot of the points made go for everyone, not just the Japanese. These Traits can be annoying, but its not like the Japanese are the only ones who do it. & you don't need to worry about articulation. mine's gonna be pretty weak too. In some cases I might sound like the devil's advocate, but I'm honestly just throwing out my opinion on how I see it. Also more "specific" questions will be asked.

First off, I feel I've got a decent base of understanding; many of the things you mentioned I have heard of. Other things I was aware of (Japanese learning english) but taking 6 years of it I wasn't aware of. I know lots of celebrities take part in Japanese commercials. (Keanu Reeves is the only one that comes to mind ATM.) & Yeah, Every J-song I've heard does you some English at some point or another.

Regarding the Chinese/Korean/Japanese tension & past conflicts, I'm not gonna go there. I've read a small bit of info about it & it sounds to me like the worst thing that I've heard of about Japan. Supposedly the new generation of Koreans & Japanese don't share this hate, so hopefully it will eventually die out. IDK. Others like to constantly fight & dislike, It's human nature I guess. Anyway, I'm not Japanese or Korean, So I'm not involved, but yeah, I can definitely see where you're coming from on that one.

Having signs in English seems like a necessity to me; everything else could be due to western fascination. But It sounds to me that the Japanese want to stay Japanese. That they don't want other cultures "tainting" their own. While they may find westerners attractive, they are unsuitable due to the fact that they don't follow typical Japanese "protocol" as you put it. Japanese women are supposed to be submissive right? They are supposed to cover their mouth when they laugh? Western women aren't & don't do these things. So while a white women might be incredibly attractive to a Japanese man, she isn't suitable as a "tangible" wife/partner/whatever. So like you say, western things are considered alien in a way. They don't want to completely adopt western language & culture, which in turn leads to "disinterest" in learning much about it? I mean, cause cultures are so strange & so different. I just get the feeling that Japanese have their way, they like it, it works, & they'd like to keep it that way.

So while they like all things western it's better to relegate it to uh, some passing fancy? rather than indulging themselves? (< These sentences suck ass. I tried to word it better, but it just wouldnt come to me.)

Though maybe there is some amount of jealousy? (I do remember seeing a survey of some sort regarding national pride, & I remember being surprised at Japan's relatively low placement. 15th-20th I think it was. I spent some time the last couple of days trying to find it so I could re-read it, but to no avail. I can't remember for the life of me what it said.)

Katakana makes it easier to read foreign words using sounds they are already familiar with. *shrug*
The thing is, if they have no desire to learn or know about something, that's their call. I could care less either way. America is ethnically diverse, Japan isn't. So being able to distinguish languages like you say, for us, seems typical, & you should be able to do it. Japan is comprised of all Japanese, so they can't. I trust everything you have said, & it appears that your enjoyment of Japan could weight on these facts. After living there for 11 years, I can see how it could come to bother you. especially after living in A place like California. (IDK if I've said this, but I used to live in San Diego.)

Anyway, I'm ignorant myself, so please don't hesitate to correct me or anything. Alot of this crap is conjecture on my part, so please treat it as such, & there are probably many errors around. & If I had lived there as long as you, I'm sure many of the things you mentioned would bother me to an extent as well.

Message edited by Guzman - Tuesday, 02/March/2010, 2:16:33 PM
 
KuzuDate: Tuesday, 02/March/2010, 7:06:24 PM | Message # 6
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will respond later. time restraints.
yah some of the things i mentioned were trivial. lol.
just stuff that came to the top of my head.

the katakana thing is one that i really have a strong opinion on, seeing as how ive been an english instructor for 10yrs.
katakana brings about the death of english.


 
GuzmanDate: Wednesday, 03/March/2010, 9:36:25 PM | Message # 7
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Oh, Yeah, NP. Im not the most speedy at responding anyway.
 
KuzuDate: Sunday, 07/March/2010, 10:57:02 PM | Message # 8
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Quote (Guzman)
While it is negative, I don't know that you didn't mean any harm by it.

i have gone thru many japanese phases. currently, im in my "despise" phase, so i have some biases.
Quote (Guzman)
you don't need to worry about articulation

i honestly feel like a moron. i felt i could speak english well enough when i lived in the US. however i feel that ive lost quite a bit of vocabulary since living here. its quite embarrassing. i forget words. i KNOW what i want to say sometimes but i totally forget the vocab.
Quote (Guzman)
(Japanese learning english) but taking 6 years of it I wasn't aware of

thats MINIMUM. as i said, many schools now offer english in elementary schools. furthermore, i would guess a huge amount of kids (25-50%) also take outside english lessons or "preparatory lessons" in the form of cram schools, english conversations schools, and the like. there was a huge boom in this kind of industry during the 80's (bubble economy) and the tradition/pressure of sending kids to these schools is still present.

this is how dumb things have become, or how clueless some parents are (in terms of expectations). at my last place of employment, a private elem school, the parents of the 6th grade class asked and received permission from the school to TAKE THEIR KIDS OUT OF SCHOOL for the last month or so, in order to study for upcoming examinations, go to cram schools, and preparation for middle schools. so, instead of sending their kids to school (private school, at that) and receiving a normal education, they are given permission to miss school in order to attend outside private schooling... just wow. this wasnt a few days mind u. it was several weeks, if not 1-2 months. thats putting a lot of faith in the japanese education system, eh.

Quote (Guzman)
Supposedly the new generation of Koreans & Japanese don't share this hate

well, it seems like most of the younger generation have no outright animosity. or maybe they just dont care. while they may be neutral, anyone older (and japan has a huge elderly population) definitely have ill-will against koreans/chinese. ppl go through great lengths to hide their identity. racism is very much present. of course we have all the same facets of hate in our country. but japanese even hate their closest neighbors, who share a very similar genetic background. sad.


 
KuzuDate: Sunday, 07/March/2010, 10:58:27 PM | Message # 9
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Quote (Guzman)
they don't want other cultures "tainting" their own

good way of putting it. its kinda like the "look but dont touch" philosophy. they love to admire western things, as long as they dont have to understand it.
Quote (Guzman)
I just get the feeling that Japanese have their way, they like it, it works, & they'd like to keep it that way.

agree & disagree. they definitely have their own ways of doing things. i wouldnt go so far as to say they like how it works; they are too closed-minded or ignorant to change, though they may realize it is in fact much more beneficial for them to do so. things in japan are changing. but its no joke when i say, things change at a snails pace. it wasnt until japanese implemented (a US forced) constitution after WWII that women were even given equal rights. and its not like this country has anything near "Equality" of the sexes. pure sexism is thriving in japan.
sexism trivia: what was created in order to combat the groping of women on trains?
answer: every train has 3-4 cars designated as "women only" sections, so that women can travel without having men rubbing their cocks on their body and squeezing their ass on the trains.
Quote (Guzman)
So while they like all things western it's better to relegate it to uh, some passing fancy?

exactly.
Quote (Guzman)
Though maybe there is some amount of jealousy?

very much so. take a look at all the mannequins in shopping malls. a huge amount of models in magazines/tv/billboards/anything are white westerners. when im constantly told my face is small, my nose is big, and my skin is so white, those are all compliments. (though i dont like being told the last 2.. i digress). fascination. jealousy. envy. lack of self-esteem. this is all linked to the constant bombardment of western images upon the japanese.


 
KuzuDate: Sunday, 07/March/2010, 10:59:11 PM | Message # 10
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Quote (Guzman)
Katakana makes it easier to read foreign words using sounds they are already familiar with. *shrug*

no. its not that simple or benign. katakana is a tumor, which needs rooting out. it is a disease; namely one that destroys ANY/ALL foreign languages. when we learn a foreign language, we try to mimic the sounds and pronounce things as ppl from that country would. japanese do not. they dont want to put effort into it, and instead rely on japanese-familiar sounds. (there might be someplace but) name another country that created a whole new alphabet (their 3rd set) for the sole purpose of "pronouncing" foreign words? its just stupid, is what it is. its lazy. its ignorant. its disrespectful to the original language. its a horrible alternative to the natural sounds of a foreign language. it is NOT a substitute, nor the equivalent, to the languages which it butchers.
lame example: for some stupid rednecks or those making fun of spanish-speakers, ppl will say words with an "O" at the end of every word. "Good morning-O Guzman, my friend-O. Where-O is the door-O?" ok, that was retarded, i know. but its making fun of a language without making any effort to understand it. its using only the small sterotypes u have, and applying it to the language. while not the same as the katakana example, its somewhat similar, in that they dont want to understand, apply and respect the other language, they just want the easy way out.
Quote (Guzman)
I could care less either way.

i care, as a former teacher. i care, since the whole nation has SO MANY GOD DAMN ENGLISH RESOURCES yet they make no effort to learn/understand it.

i went shopping yesterday for my bro/dad. was looking at t-shirts with stupid ass english phrases that make no sense. i was laughing so hard at the dumbology of the shirts. my wife liked "Glittering God Grace First". i personally liked "Armada Understanding Precious Steady Army EAR!" something like that. i mean, what. the. fuck.

Quote (Guzman)
So being able to distinguish languages like you say, for us, seems typical,

its hard for me to articulate what i want/wanted to say on this issue. i dont personally know ppl who go around speaking italian, dutch, portugese whatever when im in Cali. but since i have experience in trying to understand diff cultures and ppl, i can make a very accurate guess as to where ppl come from. japanese cant do this because they lack understanding of diff cultures. they use katakana as the "be-all, end-all" answer to ANYTHING that is foreign. if they opened up their minds, they might learn a thing or two. its not about diversity, its about cultural understanding, interest in others, and knowledge of the world. japanese are so one-dimensional.

Quote (Guzman)
I used to live in San Diego.

nice dood. why would u leave? haha jk


 
DoOrDie86Date: Wednesday, 10/March/2010, 10:14:13 AM | Message # 11
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surprised I usually do not Post (not much time these days but,) WOW !!!! wacko Kuz this was awsome you should write a peice for some culture mag this is deep stuff, Love, every bit of it... wink
 
KuzuDate: Tuesday, 01/June/2010, 11:03:23 PM | Message # 12
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i want to introduce the type of thinking of some of my co-workers. a brief conversation follows the explanation.

background:
(A) i work at a very progressive company. more than 50% are women. normally no ties. ppl always joke around and seem to get along. but since so many ppl within the company work overtime, and since our section manager has pointed out that many just fuck around, gossip, and do whatever in order to get overtime pay, the company has designated manadatory "no overtime days" where ppl cannot, without special permission, stay overtime. this is to limit ppl from abusing overtime pay rewards and to instill in them that, yes indeedy, its possible to get ur fucking work done in the normal hours provided. the fact that the company HAS TO TELL PPL TO GO HOME ON TIME is just mind-blowing.

(B) main character: the attention craving bitch in question is the same one who constantly brags (ive heard it 5 times) how she lives more than 2 hours from the office, spends all her time at home making dinner for her husband who gets home at 12pm (and who she has said she doesnt even love, but he adoooores her), makes lunches for the next day, gets the bath ready, irons clothes, and otherwise is the "perfect housewife". on top of that, she states that she gets no more than 4 hours sleep daily. wow! want a cookie?

bitch: we havent had a "no-overtime day" in a while, eh?
others: yah, i guess not.
bitch: i wonder if its ok if i go home early today. (where "early" means "on time".)
me: wow, fucking noob.


 
GuzmanDate: Thursday, 03/June/2010, 8:25:11 PM | Message # 13
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I Don't Think This Was Your Intent, But Obnoxious People Like That Aren't Exclusive To Japan, I Think..

Though, I Know Exactly What You Mean. I Don't Understand Her Mindset, Or Why It Warrants Attention, (Esp. The Lack Of Sleep. It Really Bothers Me When People "Brag" About Health Probs.)
Or Why She Would Think So.

 
KuzuDate: Saturday, 20/November/2010, 2:09:17 PM | Message # 14
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Dear Guzman,
I was wondering if you could enlighten me as to why the audio in my videos as of late are completely crackled and crappy?
I havent touched any settings on any equipment.
The audio was great *I use optical cable from PS3 to PVR, and PVR to surround system* for months.

I think the first time I noticed this was on "Rambo 5", u can really tell toward the end when airstrikes get called in.
and all of my recent vids seem to be getting worse.

sound card? but its pretty new. got it when i got the PVR.
computer RAM or memory or something?
dust in PVR or PS3 or computer?

thx buddy.


 
redhamuSLADate: Saturday, 20/November/2010, 4:20:24 PM | Message # 15
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Yo. When you are recording, turn down the in-game sounds from the options menu. I'm pretty sure that's the problem. The same thing happened to me when I tried to record. 'Free For All' said by the announcer was all crazy and shit until I did this.

 
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