Author Topic: I am speaking Japanese  (Read 217 times)

ergophobe

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I am speaking Japanese
« on: September 02, 2018, 03:37:05 PM »
We've talked a lot about immigration and how Japan is going to struggle in a world where it needs immigration.

There was a big controversy recently when Miss Japan was a "halfie," so some people made this video
https://youtu.be/oLt5qSm9U80

Which is funny. But then when you see three young Japanese struggle to understand it, you realize how bad it is. Notice that not only do the fail to get the message until told by the interviewer. Even after viewing the video, the keep referring to the Caucasian and Black Japanese as "foreigners"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPymgScDRiI

Halfies...
https://catapult.co/stories/column-mistranslate-hafu-on-the-fetishization-and-mistranslation-of-a-biracial-identity

ergophobe

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Re: I am speaking Japanese
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2018, 03:38:41 PM »
BTW... it reminds me of when a Swiss friend asked me whether or not Theresa's parents were upset that she was marrying an American. I responded: "But Theresa's parents are Americans."

It was such a hard concept for him. And from an American perspective, it was such a bizarre question.

littleman

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Re: I am speaking Japanese
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2018, 04:17:48 AM »
Honestly, I don't really believe there is a single "American perspective" -- we're all over the place when it comes to these topics.  I was a bit shocked though by how those relatively young people just couldn't process the concepts in the video.  Maybe Bill will way in?

>marrying an American

My 18.y.o. daughter was out with a friend (she swears it was not a date).  The friend grew up in the US, but was born in China.  My daughter learned Mandarin in high-school and has gotten pretty good at it.  He asked if her mom taught her Chinese.  She then explained how her grandparents do know some Cantonese but they didn't pass it down.  After that, he said "So, your mom is basically white then?".  Anyway, if that was actually a date before that moment, it probably stopped being one after that.

ergophobe

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Re: I am speaking Japanese
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2018, 06:08:03 PM »
Honestly, I don't really believe there is a single "American perspective"

No, I don't think there is either and didn't mean to imply that. The debates on immigration illustrate that amply.

However, I think that broadly speaking there are differences that are generally true. I have Japanese friends who are open to foreign cultures (one even married a foreigner, albeit from Taiwan, not the US). And of course there are Americans who are not.

But as a general rule, the mythology of America is that we are a land of immigrants and even for people who are anti-immigration, that mythology brings with it a certain outlook that is different than what I encountered in Switzerland, even though the actual number of foreign-born people in the country was not that different.

For example, someone once told me she was not Swiss, she was Italian. I asked if she had an Italian passport. No. Born in Italy? No. Parents from Italy? No. Grandparents were born in Italy.

Sure, Americans will often say, "I'm Italian," meaning of ethnically Italian, but I do not know a third-generation American of any ethnicity who would say "I'm not American." Most of us are third-generation American on at least on branch of the family. At least I'm 3rd generation on my paternal grandmother's side and part native American on my paternal grandfather's side.

Of course, I've led a sheltered life.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 06:09:42 PM by ergophobe »

bill

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Re: I am speaking Japanese
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2018, 06:22:45 AM »
Japan is an island nation, and they're relatively homogeneous, so this sort of reaction is fairly common. The idea of Japanese who are not ethnically Japanese is still quite new.  The whole concept of what it is to be Japanese is based on a centuries old mindset, and you really can't get most people to think otherwise. I gave up on that long ago.

Brad

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Re: I am speaking Japanese
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2018, 10:52:25 AM »
There are two notions about citizenship/nationality:

1. Of the land (soil). Means if you were born within the territory you have the right to citizenship.

2. Of the blood.  Meaning if you are of the same ethnic heritage you have a claim to citizenship. 

There is not a clear line between these two, and some countries have different mixtures of the two traditions.

Israel is a variant.  More about "of the faith"   with their right of return law but with some Of the Land mixed in.

littleman

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Re: I am speaking Japanese
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2018, 07:46:33 PM »
>The whole concept of what it is to be Japanese is based on a centuries old mindset, and you really can't get most people to think otherwise.

Yet, it has painted itself into a corner with birth rates and immigration.  I feel like something is going to have to change in the next few decades.

>Land & Blood

Good points.  I guess ideology could bind people together into nations as well in theory -- like they attempted to do in the Soviet Union.

aaron

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Re: I am speaking Japanese
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2018, 07:54:23 AM »
Yet, it has painted itself into a corner with birth rates and immigration.  I feel like something is going to have to change in the next few decades.
I think the horrors of the Japanese economy stories are told more to justify the horrors of other economies than because they represent actual horrors.

If you could choose between the following 2, which is better?
  • declining population, shrinking economy, increasing lifespan, falling to flat asset prices, little to no inflation, roughly equivalent standard of living over time, stable wages, stable politics (Japan)
  • rising population, growing economy but with asset prices which increase far faster than wages, a healthcare system that is ultimately an asset stripping scheme, and declining lifespan due to a loss of hope driving an opioid epidemic, increasing political radicalism (United States)
On an individual level for the creditor or financer maybe the second allows for more asset stripping and more extractive economic policies to boost profits on capital, but from an ordinary citizen perspective the first is a better deal.

There may be a lower ceiling in the first, but there is also a higher floor. Only a small fraction of people end up with significantly better than roughly average outcomes.

Not suggesting the rewards for successful outcomes should be done away with, but at some point societal cohesion breaks down.
https://twitter.com/Halsrethink/status/1038205879886270464
Quote
"In a society characterized with extreme, growing wealth disparity, officially published "improvements" in average hourly earnings or rise in any other averages are deceptive. MSM embraces deception each time avg hrly earnings rise are said to be signs of improving economy"

Good points.  I guess ideology could bind people together into nations as well in theory -- like they attempted to do in the Soviet Union.
Russia also has a declining population.

The US has only recovered less than half the loss in employment rate of the population from the last recession in a decade
https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS12300000

The big demographic issue is not total population size but the ratio of people in the workforce relative to those who are retired or outside the formal workforce.

Almost all first world economies are moving into Japan-styled demographics where not only is fertility below replacement, but the ratio of retired people to working people keeps going up.
https://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/number-workers-retiree-declines-worldwide
Mass immigration ultimately doesn't work to fix the problem unless the immigration is merit-based, because as people get left behind economically it is very easy to blame others who are consuming resources, which only makes politics that much more radical.

https://twitter.com/Halsrethink/status/1036625061611008001
"In coming months several EU member state will defy Brussels, ECB, ECJ on immigration, budgets, debt relief, Euro, etc. Expect power & authority of EU Commission & ECJ to come into question. Deep divisions will appear. Germany will be divided. Inopportune moment to settle Brexit"


Japan is attempting a bit of a merit-based, err money-based, form of allowing immigration:
https://twitter.com/Halsrethink/status/1034077840067555329
"Months ago I said Chinese families entering Japan in growing numbers, some buy 2nd résidences in Tokyo, more recently in Okinawa, Hokkaido,etc.,large numbers staying beyond visitor visas High Govt official told me "We are not monitoring. They bring big money to areas in need""
https://twitter.com/Halsrethink/status/1034079415339081728
"A big Japanese real estate investors told me he heard many Chinese visitors refer  to Okinawa as "China's Florida", near for family vacations, also short flight for wealthy families if there should be need to run"
https://twitter.com/Halsrethink/status/1034087969764782081
"Not reading, talking directly to wealthy Japanese real estate investors & high govt officials & politicians I have known for years. Doubt there is much or even any public news about this. Followers know If I read something I usually provide link"
https://twitter.com/Halsrethink/status/1034211268972896257
"You did not read carefully. I did not refer to a "buddy". I said high level source said "we are not monitoring" if you have done homework & aware I am not known for idle speculation you would have recognized I was suggesting this was uannounced"policy". Think what you wish."

If you are going to take a big wave of people into a country to make up for financial issues it is probably better to have wealthy people spending money into the economy than getting a bunch of people who are a resource drain, because the wealth flowing into the economy should improve domestic economics and spill over to fund internal social programs, whereas if people are coming in explicitly to use the social programs then the former middle class people who can't afford to have children have to work that much harder to not be able to afford to have kids. Very easy to see how people can be highly resentful of that sort of sequence & become more radical as they get squeezed.

The wealthy foreigners could of course create real estate bubbles and have other adverse impacts, but foreign real estate ownership can be taxed at different rates to help compensate for that impact.

bill

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Re: I am speaking Japanese
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2018, 10:59:16 PM »
Not suggesting the rewards for successful outcomes should be done away with, but at some point societal cohesion breaks down.
I don't know if this is unique to Japan, but typically the board of directors, including CEOs and presidents will cut their own salaries and benefits during times of economic downturns (or scandals). They take responsibility for the performance of the companies and generally don't reap rewards far in excess of the average workers. The disproportionate wage gap seen in the West isn't a phenomenon I have witnessed in Japan, and this seems to have prevented a lot of general resentment between the have's and the have-not's.

grnidone

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Re: I am speaking Japanese
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2018, 08:45:17 PM »
>My 18.y.o. daughter

WHOA WHOA WHOA!  Damn it's been a long time since I've talked to you.  She was 12 the last I recall....

>She then explained how her grandparents do know some Cantonese but they didn't pass it down.
After that, he said "So, your mom is basically white then?".  Anyway, if that was actually a date before that moment, it probably stopped being one after that.

I hope she punched him.  (Did you have to bail her out?  Be honest.) 

littleman

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Re: I am speaking Japanese
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2018, 09:37:52 PM »
>Did you have to bail her out?

She could handle herself, this is the one that regularly goes to the gym with me -- she's stronger than most men.  Also, if you talked to her you would swear she is 35+ by her demeanor.

My girls are currently 20, 18, 13 & 6.