Cool Images of Black People

Although the history of black people is complicated and there are many negative images of them in the world, in Japan, people usually think that as the past thing. In the past, they were controlled by the Western countries as slaves. People in the U.S., mainly, strongly care about those history of discrimination, and some people who is called racist do not think good about them.

Black people are famous in many fields these days. I think one of the broadest place for them is music. The music which created with black people such as Jazz, Blues, and Hip-hop is called Black Music, and it is spread all over the world to listen and play. The Blues music is known as the roots of Jazz and Rock ‘n Roll. In late of 19 century, this music was created from spiritual music. Those facts are enough for those music to be known as black music.

For my situation, sometimes I was studying the history of black people at school, and have seen what was going on in the past. Actually, most of those were negative images. On the other hand, those images we see on entertainment contents are positive images of black people. Especially, I love listening to or play the music with instruments. Many Japanese try to play instruments like black people do, because they are so good at it usually. This is positive image of black people, and that could be said in sports. All of people who is in those fields are kind of trying to be like black people. I am one of those, to be a really good player. So, the important thing is black people are seen with cool images in Japan, and it means that we are respecting black people.

As we learned in the class lecture, some of images of black people are sometimes likely to images that racists think of. The movie we saw in the class that is “ufu and mufu” would be counted into it. We do not have strong images that black people are living in a forest and playing with animals all day long, but it is actually in the product.

I think that Japanese people are seeing black people with a mixed image. One is to see black people with images that we see on TV or the internet, which is positive images. Another one is to see them with the knowledge that we learned at school as history and which is not that negative, and it is for the basis. Just for the foundation, Japanese people know how black people lived in the past days. However, of course, we do know how they are living these days, too. I think that those became the materials to mix and create the new image of black people.

As the conclusion, I do not think Japanese people are not racists. People do not look them down, and even they respect black people as a longing. Japanese people think that the history is the history, and for now, they have their identity.

 

Source: History of Black Music ( http://www3.ocn.ne.jp/~zip2000/bs-history.htm)

 

by Junsuke Fujino

Role of Community in Society

Any of us cannot live only by ourselves. People need somebody’s support to live. Being a member of community, people are able to have a feeling that they’re not alone. Therefore, people can be strong whenever they belong to some kind of community.

Remember the days of elementary school ages, many of us may have hung out with group of your friends. If you were not in the any group, you may have felt isolated from others. Same thing can be said in society. For example, immigrants in other countries tend to join in the community of their homeland people. If there is no community, people create some kind of community for their relief. As I mentioned, whenever people are in the community, they feel comfortable and they can be their selves, thus they can act as who they are. When I was in the US, I went to Japanese School in every Saturday. On weekdays, I went to local public school, so Japanese school was a place where I can be myself. For me, being a part of Japanese student community made me comfortable. Not only in other countries, but also in their homeland people tend to be a member of community in daily lives.

Moreover, I believe the type of community people belong to is related to people’s identity. What I mean that whenever people are in the community,people can recognize their identity. So community is a place where people feel comfortable and it also helps people to recognize their identity. For instance, if a person is in Otaku community, other people can recognize that person is Otaku, and also he or she itself can recognize he or she is Otaku. Therefore community has a role of identity recognition.

Some people may think they don’t want to belong to any community, and want to be alone. However, they are related or belong to some kind of community in various ways. “Not belonging to any kind of community” is an identity itself for that person. Whatever that means, being a member of some kind of community shows that person’s identity and that person can recognize themselves. Therefore, community in our society makes people comfortable and helps people’s recognize identity.

by Ayako Kofuji

Philippines brought to Japan

In the Philippine, human trafficking is often carried out. A lot of people come from the Philippine to Japan throughout human trafficking although this is illegal. Let me show what the slave trade is.

First, the means of human traffic are various. A group of gangsters threatens Philippine women, commits fraud on them, does kidnapping, and forces them to obey a gangster.

Second, there are three kinds of organizations which are recruiting Philippine females, transporting them from the Philippine to Japan, and mediating them for working in Japan. At that time, a feeling of Philippine woman herself is neglected.

Third, Philippine females are compelled to have a visa. To gain the visa, Philippine women are forced to pretend to be an entertainer or get married to Japanese man in disguise.

Fourth, there are a lot of sorts of labors Philippine females are made to do; for example, the sex industry, domestic chores, begging, a farm and fishery, labor on the mine, manufacturing of clothes and stationaries, an adopted child, and transplantation of the liver or the cornea. Especially, I’ll talk about prostitution in detail in the next paragraph.

Fifth, in the case of Philippine women who were sold to a Japanese company of selling sex, the owner in the company make the women pay the bills for buying the women, by pressing the amount billed on her as their debt to the company. The women have to keep working until they finish up cleaning off all their large amount of debts. However, their net incomes are very few because of strict fines and exploitation by the company. Then, it takes a long time to pay all their debts.

Sixth, nowadays, the regulation for the slave trade got reinforced relatively. Strange companies are examined, but insufficient evidences make arresting the criminals more difficult. There are a few occasions of arresting them actually. Also, further issue is that the aim is not to rescue the victims but to catch the criminals.

For these processes, the severe incidents are still occurring in Japan though they have been decreasing recently. I suppose that such a human trafficking won’t completely be gone because doing such a slave trade can make the people do this rich at the very high probability. I feel sorry for the victims, and simultaneously, I feel ashamed of this Japanese act of cruelty very much.

by Akimi Yano

The fact of teaching the Dowa problem

I’m going to explain about the facts of Dowa problem. A lot of schools teach about the Dowa problem in Japan, but there are big differences between the prefectures. Some people learn it from the elementary school, but some people have never been taught at school. The people who didn’t learn Dowa problems at school think that is the problem happened long time ago and they don’t know those people are still suffering from the discrimination. The government and the prefectures that include Dowa area want the school to teach that issue to the students because it is serious problem there. Although they are trying hard to teach the students about the issue, many parents who live near Dowa area try to put their children into private elementary school because they don’t want their children to go to the same school as Buraku people. Moreover, the price of the land near Dowa area is very low even it is located near a big station because people don’t want to buy the houses there.

The problem of the Dowa education is that the teachers never teach the students where the Buraku people live and how they are living. Teachers just teach us that they are discriminated and they are suffering so we shouldn’t do that. I’ve learned about Dowa problem when I was in the elementary school and the middle school, but I didn’t know that there is a Dowa area in my city and I found it out later hearing outside of the school. It is said that a large amount of money is used for the Dowa area every year, but nobody knows for real because the government is hiding the truth. Some people say that the government builds the houses in the Dowa area for free from our tax. The people who know a little about it tell other people and it is getting like a rumor. As a result, the people living outside of the Dowa area complain about them and it makes the discrimination more serious.

The things that are taught at school is so unclear that it is making the situation worse. The government should make the decision that they will tell the truth or they won’t teach anything. Otherwise, teaching the Dowa problem would be meaningless.

by Misaki Fukada

Dowa Problem in Japanese School

In Japanese Society class, we learn about Dowa problem. As we confirm in the class, almost all Japanese students learned about Dowa problem in elementary school and junior high school. We Japanese learn about Dowa problem in moral education class. Moral education class is a class about moral, citizenship, and behavior pattern. In that class, students learn about right and wrong from a moral point of view. Japanese elementary and junior high school have moral education class. The moral education textbook usually have several stories that make students think about better citizen. The stories are typically heartwarming stories. The stories stimulate students to act kindly. However, it might be a problem that students learn about Dowa problem in such class. Because it is not a moral issue but social issue. Not only Dowa issue, but when we learn about discrimination issue, we tend to think it is not “our issue” but it is “their issue”. We learn about discrimination and tend to think some kind of people (not me) is discriminated and other kind of people (not me) discriminate them. However, all of us can be discriminated and can discriminate others. The solution of discrimination is not to change individual’s mind, but discrimination is human rights abuse. When Japanese students learn about Dowa problem in a moral education class, they would think “discrimination is bad thing! ‘They’ (people who discriminate others) have to change their mind!” Because Dowa issue is social problem, it should be taught as a human rights problem not as a moral problem in school.

by Nana Uno

The reasons of Zainichi Koreans’ hostility toward Japan

I watched the movies “Pacchigi” and “Go” both of which are stories about Zainichi Koreans through the class. In both movies, Zainichi Koreans usually have a hostile against Japanese. I was shocked to see that. I like Koreans and have a lot of Korean friends, so this fact made me sad. I think I am a good friend with my Korean friends. Then, I have been considering why the most of the Zainichi Koreans dislike Japanese. I came up with four reasons for this.

First, there is an unchangeable fact that Japan annexed to Korea in the past. At that time, Japanese people integrated Korea cruelly Japanese forced Koreans to assimilate Japanese culture, language, and name. They also treated with Koreans severely. Then, Koreans have an image that all Japanese people are spiteful.

Second, Japanese people actually discriminated against Zainichi Koreans just because they are different from Japanese. Japanese despised, teased, and did something spiteful to Zainichi Koreans. Some Japanese are so mean to Zainichi Koreans that a lot of Koreans living in Japan have an image that all Japanese people are ill-natured.

Third, even though any Japanese isn’t hard on Zainichi Koreans, Zainichi Koreans have some stresses because Zainichi Koreans are often disliked by Koreans living in Korea. It’s because Zainichi Koreans don’t have duty of military service in spite of their nationalities as Koreans, Zainichi Koreans had right to come back to Korea, but they didn’t, and during The Korean War, Zainichi Koreans didn’t fight and fled to Japan. Then, Zainichi Koreans take it out on Japanese just because Zainichi Koreans feels some stresses

Fourth, it’s just because Zainichi Koreans envy Japanese people’s wealthy by comparing with themselves or their own country Korea. Japan is a well developed country and has a lot of good points. For example, Japan is the safest country of all countries and there’re a lot of splendid cultures in Japan. Thus, Korean people usually envy Japanese.

For four reasons, Zainichi Korean have animosity toward Japanese people, I suppose. Even though there is such a Korean who doesn’t like Japanese, I like Korean people very much.

by Akimi Yano

English Conversation Schools in U.S. Military Bases

There are 135 U.S. military bases in this small country, Japan. Topics about U.S. military bases are recognized widely especially relating to Futenma base camp in Okinawa and the discussion is still going on. For the most part, issues related to U.S. military bases in Japan are spoken with negative implications. For example, some Okinawan people argue about the noises combat planes make, or about some serious crimes committed by U.S. soldiers. However, in this post, I would like to put my focus on positive impacts that U.S. military bases give to Japanese society, mentioning an example of English conversation schools inside the base.

How many of the readers of this blog know about English conversation schools in the U.S. military base? In fact, I did not know much until I began researching about it in writing this post. Though there aren’t many, there are some U.S. military bases that preserve English conversation schools. I would like to mention about Mommies’ English School in Sumouhara base as an example.

Mommies’ English School is located in the American Town within Sumouhara base where 2000 Americans live. It serves comfortable time to have natural conversation with native English speakers and it is possible to change your instructor if he/she was compatible to you. By learning at this school, it is possible to acquire not only English skills, but also able to become conscious of ‘real’ culture and customs. English conversation schools in U.S. military bases enable you to feel as if you are studying abroad without stirring to other countries.
It is always important to look at both positive and negative points. Here, I touched some positive aspects on U.S.  military bases especially those to Japanese society, since negative aspects are taken up only. Just arguing does not necessary lead to the solution of issues. It is sometimes important to look at the good effects U.S. military bases give to Japanese society.

by Minami Hosokawa