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HOW do Japanese know more about the USA than I ???

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  • HOW do Japanese know more about the USA than I ???

    For the life of me I cannot figure out HOW the HELL do Japanese know more about the USA than I ???

    They know about Americas problems more than I do ===== They think they do.
    They can tell me what the work environment is like ======= They think they do.
    They know better than I all the dangerous places ======== They think they do.
    They understand that most Americans believe in UFO's === They think they do.

    Amazing.

    It seems everything they know is based upon some documentary, statistic or some story and they are willing to swear up and down that it is true.

    One of these days,,, I am going to POW one of these pseudo America-aficionados right in the kisser!!!!!!

  • #2
    [QUOTE=westsan]For the life of me I cannot figure out HOW the HELL do Japanese know more about the USA than I ???


    Probably in the same way that you mouth off about Japan without knowing what you're talking about. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black...

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    • #3
      Good point, but untrue.

      It would only be true if I didnt know Japan!

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      • #4
        [size=2]Ignoring the idiot post by Noutoeeeyeahrookneejerk...[/size]

        Isn't there some Japanese type thingy about defining things from the big picture and then concentrating on the details? Like writing addresses with the country first, followed by the prefecture etc.
        Maybe Japanese define identity like this too. They define their national identity as Japanese (Mt. Fuji, Samurai (weird how all Japanese decended from Samurai when only 10% of the population were actually samurai in feudal times), sushi, hyohjungo etc.). Next comes the regional identity (hohgen, regional delicacies, festivals, dress, sense of humour, music (I've been told that Kyoto is the Blues capital of Japan) etc.). This keeps going till you get to the individual.
        Even though the US is massive and nothing like as homogeneous as Japan they still try to define the US in the same way. So if they see a documentary about someting "American" they try to apply this to the entire country, because they expect there to be heaps of universal characteristics.
        I've often thought that Japanese people have an obsession with trivia and an obsession with identity. I'd never thought about the connection but maybe this is it. In conclusion, they are just trying to define you and your country the way they define themselves. For them this is natural, for you it's annoying.

        Or maybe it's just your annoyance about their correctness in asserting that you are all "over-sexed, over-paid and over-here", right wing, red neck, ignorant, uneducated, homicidal, war mongering, environment destroying, beer swilling, burger king munching seppos who we'd all be much better off without.
        Last edited by Nanbanjin; 2005-01-29, 06:55 PM.

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        • #5
          Exceptions to the rule

          Nanbanjin's last rant has some truth to it:
          except for the Good Ones: Westsan; many many others here; of course, Notoieru is the prime example of what Nanban Boy is ranting about

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          • #6
            [size=2]Is ブーブーと言えるブタ American?[/size]

            I don't like to say bad things about Americans because I don't really think they are all that bad and because they all have guns and nuclear weapons (and believe in UFOs - and God, heaven forbid).

            I take it you thought my first rant was a load of old dog's bollocks?
            Last edited by Nanbanjin; 2005-01-29, 09:52 PM.

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            • #7
              Oh No, My friend

              On the contrary, I thought your analysis of why They insist on defining Us according to three or four stereotypical points was right on. It drives me Googoo.

              For some reason, I am feeling "Westsan is nice" today, and he is very American, so I guess I thought I would throw in a word of support for the good ones. I know very well that fairness is one of your cardinal virtues, so no worries there!

              I try to keep my knee jerk anti-American attitudes under wraps too, but some days I just can't help it. The problem is, a lot of what we are ranting about is right on the money, for a lot of them, at least.

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              • #8
                Yes -- anti-Americanism is boring.
                But still, if you are top dog on the block, you have to be prepared to accept that all the other dogs on the block are going to talk about you. Sometimes not in the most flattering of ways. And many of them will be trying to knock you off as the top dog, since it is dog nature to become the top dog. It is a dog-eat-dog world that we live in.

                And let's put it into perspective -- the USA is the only country in the world now that can invade another country and get away with it. Imagine if Canada decided to invade Mongolia to teach the Mongolians a lesson about democracy (and steal huge quantities of premium Mongolian wool and goat-cheese in the meantime.) Canada would get its behind kicked if it tried this kind of exercise, and people around the world would be bad-mouthing Canada as an evil and fascist nation. The same thing has happened since the USA decided to invade Iraq in order to teach it a lesson about democracy. The USA is the only power now that invades other countries at will. So it is only fair that they get a bit of "ijime" for exercising such great power -- it is one way to bring the USA back down to size, by criticising it and making fun of it.
                Last edited by Code Rot; 2005-02-06, 01:01 AM.

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                • #9
                  Just some thoughts in no particular order:

                  I do find a lot of Japanese people who make assumptions about the US/parts of the US. I.e. New York City is somehow the dangerous city for example. And yet probably most other cities that they can name (Washington, Chicago, and LA, for example), have much higher crime rates, and others (Seattle, Portland, Boston) have higher crime too.

                  I met a Japanese girl who had gone to live in America for a year, and chose to live in South Carolina, because that was the 'real' America. Personally, I think that as a nation founded on the priniciples of immigration, you'll more likely see the 'real' American in the major cities (Especially coastal ones, New York, LA, Boston, Portland) where you have lots of immigrants. Of course, anywhere you go is 'real' American, it's just the type of person you meet. In SC you can bet you'll meet plenty of zealously religious individuals.

                  About the US as the only country that can invade: Not for long, on both ends of the spectrum. After Iraq it'll be much more difficult, and let's face it, China is a growing world power, and before long would probably be able to get away with invading a country, like North Korea, in the name of global security with only limited noise from the rest of the world. Let's face it, the world would be happy to be rid of Kim.

                  Lots of gaijin pretend to know about Japan, when they really don't for some reason. Preconceived notions come from all ends.

                  And lastly, our friend notoierunihon may have had a point if he worded it intelligently, but as usual his knee-jerk posts just make him look like a troll.

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                  • #10
                    madmax,

                    Good point about major coastal cities representing the immigration that built the nation, and you also point to the trickiness of defining 'real' America, but you get the SC Japanese girl's point, right? She got to experience a part of America that is rarely, if ever, seen by tourists/int'l students or broadcast to the outside world by the media, but whose religious zealotry, conservatism and/or traditions obviously represent a good portion of American people, as indicated (unfortunately) by recent election results and public polls on social issues (like gay marriage, the 'one nation under God" thing or, ironically, immigration policy). Having grown up in the South (NC) but managing to escape when I could, I think that region, and probably the Midwest as well, as influential as they are, are little understood by others within the US, much less abroad...

                    BTW, I knew an older Chinese man -- a school principal -- who visited the US for a week, flew cross-country and toured all the major cities, but later had to ask where exactly America grew its crops.

                    Also, I take it you're being completely hypothetical on the China-N. Korea scenario, since the Chinese would have absolutely no use whatsoever for taking over the poverty-plagued piece of frozen soil that is Kim's N. Korea. Maybe Taiwan is a more concrete example.

                    Not meant to nit-pick, just my 2 cents...
                    Last edited by Masuosan; 2005-02-06, 04:12 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Masuosan
                      Also, I take it you're being completely hypothetical on the China-N. Korea scenario, since the Chinese would have absolutely no use whatsoever for taking over the poverty-plagued piece of frozen soil that is Kim's N. Korea. Maybe Taiwan is a more concrete example.
                      Yeah, hypothetical. China would much rather take Taiwan, but would also, internationally, have a much harder time about it. Whereas if they did, for some reason, want to invade N. Korea they could in a heartbeat. I know that they really have no interest in N. Korea. Well, maybe they have interest in it as a country that makes them look progressive on humanitarian issues.

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                      • #12
                        Much as I hate to say it, I think "Le Japon qui peut dire 'non'" has a point. I would have put it a little differently, though.

                        Yes, there are a lot of Japanese out there who watch a few semi-informed documentaries and proceed to lecture Americans about the sobering realities of their mad, bad and dangerous homeland. On the other hand, there are scores of foreigners (not necessarily American) who read a couple of books by Karel Van Wolferen and Alex Kerr and then proceed to hector their Japanese colleagues about how badly run their country is. True, the latter group is generally better informed, but the effect is still much the same - and it is exactly that sort of hubris that gets the Ishihara Shintaros of this world hopping mad.

                        I think every country finds itself on the receiving end of lectures about what it is and what it should be. The USA simply receives an amount of it proportional to its size, wealth and influence. And in defense of my portly southern neighbours, I would have to say that compared to most nationalities, Americans generally take it remarkably well. Generally.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nanbanjin
                          [size=2]Ignoring the idiot post by Noutoeeeyeahrookneejerk...[/size]

                          Isn't there some Japanese type thingy about defining things from the big picture and then concentrating on the details?
                          Yup. Toudaimotokurashi.

                          "You can't see the wood for the trees"
                          Last edited by Nonbe; 2005-02-17, 01:13 AM.

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