Wednesday 23 May 2012

Come on Japan, let's get with it!

The mayor of Osaka not only forces teachers to stand and face the flag while singing the national anthem. He wants to fire any public worker who has a tattoo.

Usually this would mildly annoy me. However, half my income, ie. Ryota's income depends on this issue, what with him being a public worker with tattoos and all.

Toru Fuckface Hashimoto's father and uncle who are both dead have been said to have been associated with the yakuza and Hashimoto himself was raised in a poor area and probably labelled "burakku." So now he has a hard on for anyone working in the public sector who is mobbed up. Fair enough, Daddy issues, I get it. But firing anyone with a tattoo?? Come on now, this is 2012 where tattoos are clearly gaining popularity for cosmetic reasons, even in Japan. Pop singers have them, surely that means something in this damn country!? Maybe if AKB48 all get matching tatts then wankers like Hashimoto may change their minds...?

A postman in Osaka was fired for having a beard. Is it only me that sees this as a problem...? Luckily he fought the system, won, and got compensation and his job back. Of course he will probably be scrubbing post office floors for the rest of his life, but it's the principle that counts.
 Kids at school will be held down kicking and screaming while make-up is scrubbed off their face and their hair is sprayed black if they've dyed it... I've seen this being done, and that girl was literally clawing and screeching to keep her individuality as it was erased so she could fall into line among the other faceless, indistinguishable black-haired girls. I hated watching it, but I live in Japan so I have to follow the rules to a certain extent and kept my mouth shut.

Is the lack of individuality the reason why Japanese society functions?? What would happen if we were to scrap the rules about looking/acting the same?? Would everyone's brains explode??

Ryota sometimes say to me when we have a difference of opinions (which is often!), "We're not a good team, we don't have the same thinking!" But I want to scream at him, "If I had the same thinking as you all the time, I would die of boredom." I like arguing. I like people who are different. I like individuality! Not to say Ryota is a lemming, there are times where I'm more Japanese than Ryota, but just some issues where he is totally into conformity. He has his bi-annual health check this week, and once again we shall put tape over his tattoos and he will tell the doctor he strained a muscle... in his back, and err... arm, yup, same as every other check Doc!
I really want him to not cover them and see what happens but I fear we're not far enough yet, we need more bearded posties and less Hashimotos before that will ever happen.


  1. "Maybe if AKB48 all get matching tatts"... I had to reread that sentence to get it right.

    As you know, you don't go to Japanese school to learn, except to learn how to be Japanese.

    Laughed at a Japanese friend in a rotenburo for having a tatt' on his shoulder, which once he looked sheepish for the next fifteen minutes I realized I will never do again. Only reason I never got one on my pasty Canadian skin is I like onsen too much.

    1. 日本に来る外人様って立派な人ばっかりなんだよな。

    2. I'm suspecting this is trolling, because a troll would be cowardly enough to hide behind another language, and 'Anonymous'.

      In any case, it is poor form to go on a blog in one language, and comment in another. It might be fine with apologies if you have never studied the language, but all Japanese study English for six years, or more, right? 'Shoe on the other foot', as an Anglo-Canadian I would comment on a French blog in French, as I have studied it as long as Japanese study English.

    3. 英仏語と日本語と全然違うがな(W

      それと、まー、僕の場合、英語の授業なんていつもサボって居眠りしてたもんだから(W。 無理だよ、無理。読んで理解するだけで精一杯だよ。

    4. should be working25 May 2012 at 13:24

      If you hate foreigners so much, why are you taking up your time to "read" (cos I ain't convinced you understand a word of it, seeing as your comment refers to absolutely nothing Corinne said) this blog and write rambling long, dull responses to it? You sad eejit, get a hobby.

    5. ?????


  2. 外人がどう思おうが、日本じゃどうしても刺青=ヤクザってことになっちゃうんだな。橋下の父親もそうだけど、外人に人気の元首相・小泉純一郎のうちもそうだよ。小泉組って横須賀一のヤクザだった(W。
    おもしろいことに、小泉も橋下もアメ(Washington/Wall Street)のPawnなんだよな。取り巻きが全く同じ。

  3. The Mob is tearing up Kitakyushu right now....can they spare some troops to break the Mayors thumbs?

  4. Saw that lark on the news. I can understand it to an extent but not that he says. Tats all over your arms and neck or something, while you are dealing with little old ladies who are probably checking to see if your little finger is missing too - I get that. And I really wonder if he could actually get away with firing a person for a small tattoo that you couldn't see. Hub and I have the health check in a few weeks. I'm trying to think back 6 years to my last one. I know I've covered my small tat up before but I can't remember if I did for that. Oh well, after breastfeeding three kids hopefully my boobs just hang over the side now and cover it :) awesome.

  5. I know what you mean about Japanese people...err...or should I say sheeple. I remember going to work the morning after Labor Day in September while working in Kobe and looking around at everyone else's clothes, thinking I guess I didn't get the memo. Who knew that old saying about wearing white after Labor Day really applied in Japan! Too 5'11" I couldn't just go out and buy a new black wardrobe even if I wanted to...never mind finding a size 9 pair of shoes!

  6. Wish people would comment in english, I'm just so damn nosy! ;-)

    "Maybe if AKB48 all get matching tatts"
    That's a great idea really!! It would change people's view on tatoos a lot. Send this idea to their fanpage ... :-D

    "Kids at school will be held down kicking and screaming"
    Oh. My. God. I'm digusted. We had some wannabe models in school and I hate when school turns into a runway. But this is too much. Just send the kid home, if it's against some rules... such rules exist is britain, too and in Germany (even though just a little bit). But this brutality... *shudder*

    I hope everything goes alright with Ryota's health check. Hopefully the doctor won't be too persistent... :-/

  7. you know what irritates me? that (and i confess, i may be wrong, but) yakuza tattoos are far different in composition (and beauty) than most 'fashion' tattoos. what i mean is, you can tell just by looking at a tattoo whether it is 'gangster' or not. generally speaking. so, having foreigners (and many japanese) turned away from onsen or swimming pools for having tattoos is just ridiculous. definitely a less-than-desirable trait of the japanese.

  8. As someone with tattoos (many) and someone moving to Japan (really soon) stuff like this really freaks me out. I clearly don't have Yakuza tattoos and as a small (5'4) American girl with all her digits I also don't understand why this stigma for tattoos still exists in modern Japan.

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  10. I read about that too. What a waste of energy. I can understand that maybe keeping them covered at work might be appropriate (depending on the job), but even then I'm not sure if it could be enforced legally. It just doesn't seem like a foolproof way of identifying yakuza, if that's really the main point.

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    1. っつーか、あなた日本人が日本人同士でごく普通に話してる内容を
      理解できるわけ? 率直に言って僕らも仲間内で話してる時に外人がいたりすると、よっぽど日本語が達者な人でないと、普通に話せないし結構大変なんだよ(W。んで、そういう人はほとんどいない。 ゆっくり、ゆっくり赤ちゃんに話すみたいな会話になっちゃって面白くなくなる。わかるかな?

    2. Wakatta yo.

  12. This is the same Hashimoto who claimed to have sent out civil servants to check whether teachers' mouths were moving during the national anthem. Your tax yen hard at work, Ladies and Gentlemen. It hardly matters whether he actually did it or not, but the fact he thought such an insultingly petty use of public resources would play well politically tells you a lot. Not much of it good.

    Oh, and thanks for the link, Ant.
    The good news is that the unions had no compunction in telling him to shove his questionnaire up his arse when he tried to make city employees declare their political activities. Ryota might want to make sure his dues are fully paid-up...

    1. " well politically..."

      そんなもん人気取りに役立つわけないがな(笑。 橋下も含めて誰もそんなこと考えとらんよ(笑
      んじゃ、なぜ、橋下一派がそういう極めて奇妙で極端な政治パーフォーマンスをやるのか? そりゃ、多分、橋下一派がアメ(Washinton/Wall Street)や在日コリアン(パチンコ、サラ金業界等々)と極めて関係が深いっていう実態から目をそらし誤魔化す目的でやってるんじゃないかなー、って言う人もいる。それまで靖国にいったことのない小泉が突然靖国にいってみせたのも同じだよ(W。

    2. ????
      んで、"by the way, Washington has a g in it, and you spelt インターネット wrong in japanese, o Wise One" 何おっしゃりたいわけ?(笑

      and, why should I go to 4chan's Japanese counsin 2chan, whose servers seem to be located in the US, and whose message boards appear to be occupied by brainwashed teenage punks ( on a lark?)extolling the likes of Hashimoto and Koizumi ? なにか勘違いしていらっしゃいませんか? おわかり?

  13. I deleted my comment cos it was kanty and sweeping.

  14. Whoops I posted under the mail address I use for work```
    Yeah, my Ex Boyfriend got a tattoo in the Gold Coast. It was a cross with wings on it and it looked alright. But, I worried a bit before hand cos of all the stigma some people have against people with tats in Japan.

    My high school in Japan was pretty strict about what you could and couldn't wear ~ like my cousin's school in Queensland. But, my high school in the Australia (in the Northern Territory) was very relaxed and there was no compulsory uniform. You could rock a green mohawk with tattoos and a face full of earrings if you wanted.

  15. I love your blog! With that said...

    Eeee...everyday I get more and more nervous about moving over there...I hear a lot of good things, but a lot of massively awful things as well... :-(

    Are there any good reads on the mob and the politics of Japan???

    Are you ever worried about your children getting bullied in school for being half and half? My best friend is half Japanese and half Persian and she told me her life was utter hell in school because of it...Makes me extremely nervous on that too...

    1. No worries at all.
      There are many extremely popular Persians in Japan. For example, ダルビッシュ 有 (Yu Darvish), サヘル・ローズ(Sahel Rosa), シリン・ネザマフィ(Shirin Nezammafi), etc. etc.

    2. No worries at all?!? Anonymous have you been to any Japanese schools or taught at any of them? I don't care how glorified any half star/talent /athlete is, half kids get teased and bullied. It happens in America too but the difference is that in America if a teacher sees it they can send the bully out of class or give the bully detention. Here the teachers hands are tied. I had one coworker who tried to intervene in a bully case and he got promptly transferred. I love Japan and will raise my children here due to a lot of benefits but this is one thing I worry about.

    3. Yeah I have heard that during school half breeds are treated really bad until university...then suddenly...if they get past the stigma and trama, they suddenly become popular. I'm worried how I'll react if I find out my child has been bullied, because I have no issue taking my belt off and bringing a reminder of the South when it comes to kids getting way out of line. I'm half American and half Persian, so my paitence is low towards xenophobia, but my hubby to be has been warning me to keep my temper down. :-/ So I'm worried, lol, excited, but woried.

  16. Character defines someone ..not tattoos.
    Hashimoto really seems like a class act (Sarcasm) Sadly I dont think Japan will ever change until the baby boomers and the generations before them are all died off..they have such narrow minds.
    I understand having employees cover up tats but to fire people for them even if they have a small one you cant see is so idiotic.
    If they are going to fire anyone for anything it should be bad customer service or those annoying salesgirls that screech at you...

    1. "Sadly I dont think Japan will ever change until the baby boomers and the generations before them are all died off..they have such narrow minds"

      んで、悪辣な老世代が死に絶えて外人様に感化された新しい新日本に生まれ変わると、外人様の国々のように「正義」「自由」「民主」などと絶叫しつつ、中東の産油国・資源国を中心に世界中で無差別爆撃を始めるようになるわけ?(W  んで、東京でもロンドン、ロサンゼルス、シドニー etc.並みにriotが頻発するわけ? んで、アングロサクソン並に世界中で殺戮兵器を売りまくり、サブプライムのペテン金融商品にAAAって格付けを付与して売りつけetc.,etc.(W。

    2. んで、かつ正義ヅラし優等生ぶって得意げに他国に説教するようになるかも。アメ、アングロサクソン並に(笑

  17. Hashimoto is fine. A handful of stupid policies don't destroy a politician.

    Australians gave Kevin Rudd a free pass, as have the Americans to Obama.

    Hashimoto isn't keeping open a torture camp or drone-bombing civilians.

    Some perspective is required here. He's far, far far away from being like those ugly generational politicians that Japan is weighed down with.

    A true politician is one who isn't a meandering waffler. Good or bad, you know what he's for. Hashimoto makes that well clear. Ishihara is the same. Everyone will never love them and they know it and that's precisely why they get stuff done. What spineless DPJ or LDP generational politician would have the balls to buy the Senkakus and tell the Chinese 'back off'?

    They certainly did not when the trawler incident happened. They bitched off like the crumbs they are.

    Hashimoto any day over the bureaucrat-politicians. He'll learn from the stupidity of such ideas as banning tattoos with experience.

  18. Missy,

    Hoping for the death of the baby boomers and generations before them is crass and ugly.

    That generation built modern Japan. It didn't come out of nowhere. Japan did not become the world's largest contributor to the UN despite being rejected by the racist USSR and China for a seat on the UNSC, by idiots.

    It did not achieve the world's highest historical growth rates out of nowhere.

    It did not become the only non-Western nation to fully industrialize at the hands of clueless old-timer imbeciles.

    It did not become the world's only nation to fully industrialize without colonization, exploitation, war, segregation laws, and general death and destruction abroad, at the hands of people who deserve for you to now wish for them to die off.

    These generations have everything to teach Japan today and people like you. Boring, ugly generational politicians and a bland bureaucracy are the price you pay in the modern world system established by the West for a peaceful modern nation that doesn't drive its economy through war, destruction, and military-worship.

    They've certainly given Japan a lot more than you could ever dream of hoping to.

  19. Ame Otoko...

    quote/"It did not become the world's only nation to fully industrialize without colonization, >>>exploitation, war,<<< segregation laws, and >>>general death and destruction abroad..."<<<>> <<<

    You're welcome! :)

  20. this is really sad, and really fucking stupid....

    and i wanna reply to your last comment about "is this why the japanese system works?" with a big resounding no. of course, it's obvious to us big gaijins that individuality isn't a bad thing, but i now have a new job, at a very high-end, high-level private high school in tokyo, and i was shocked to discover that, at my school, there is no uniform. kids show up dressed however they want, with their hair and faces however they want, and so do the teachers. this makes for a really odd mix, and even i was quite shocked when i started working there, but the kids are really good, hardworking students, and the school is really hard to get into, so obviously something's working isn't it? seeing things like that makes me happy that at least some parts of japan are taking baby steps in the right direction.

    i really hope Ryota doesn't get affected by that stupid law... :(

    1. "at least some parts of japan are taking baby steps in the right direction"

      んで、その優秀な生徒さん達が「kawaii_candie」先生のご指導で「 right direction」にどんどん進んで社会人になり、さらに研鑽を積んで30歳くらいになれば、みんな「かわいい」オタクになれるんですかね?

  21. Anon,

    Enough with this trite pattering about Japan and the war.

    Fist, let me break this down for you in Q&A format.

    Q. Was America fighting for the freedom, as in independence, of the colonies Japan had taken from the Dutch, British, French, and Americans?

    A. No. The colonies were returned to the British (Hong Kong, Singapore, Burma, India), French (Indochina), and Dutch (Malaya, Indonesia). There was no agreement towards the eventual freedom of these colonies. Every one fought wars of liberation against their colonizers; except for Hong Kong, returned to China in 1997.

    Japan's shpwing the colonies that the Western colonial powers could be defeated is precisely what fnally drove them to full-on wars of independence to push them out after WWII. Even racist historians like Borthwick acknowledge this.

    2. Even if you tow this usual, tired line about Japan and the War (curious how like Joseph Keenan, you seem to forbid all mention of the beheading, child-rape, gang-rape, immolation, mutilation, and civilian-butchery of the Allies) - any resources gained by Japan during the War in Asia (which you seem to think the Dutch/Brits/Russians/french had a right to?) were completely destroyed in the War. What was left was returned, and massive reparation payments took the rest.

    So yes - modern Japan, as we know it today, industrialized from the ground-up without war, colonization and destruction. And it's the only nation to do so.

    PS: Thousands of Japanese troops stayed behind in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaya to help the resistance armies there fight the returning British, Dutch, and French. They actually believed in the cause of freedom for Asia - while America simply handed these nations back to the colonizers. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, hard.

  22. I think that PS: part is missing the bit about forcing Indonesians into starvation and using them as slaves during the WWII.

    1. actually, Japan as a nation has been EXTREMELY popular in Southeast Asia as a whole (except for among some very influential Chinese sectors in the region which control the media).
      For example, see the recent BBC survey with regard to the Indonesian view of the Japanese.
      (2012 Country Ratings Poll, conducted by GlobeScan/PIPA among 24,090 people around the world) See the Region-by-Region Results. Indonesians' Views of Japan's Influence -- 77% Positive and only 5% negative. If they conduct the survey in some other parts of Southeast Asia, such as Myanmar, Japan's popularity ratings would be even higher.

  23. Ame Otoko,

    Summer's on its way... we'll have enough hot air without you adding to it. Maybe you can hold it in 'til winter? Thanks for your understanding! Hugs xo.

    And as for the tattoo issue; Corinne, I hope your husband comes through his physical unscathed. It's a ridiculous rule from a ridiculous politician.

    1. Is that a response?

      Go to hell, you white war crimes-apologist/denier.

  24. "The key is the recognition of obsolescence of the philosophy of no rights, kindergarten mentality, overprotectionism and appearance-giving formality." - M. Maruyama.

    Someone was being cheeky when they said that half the public workers were seriously discussing getting their mayor's face tattooed on their rumps. Another person suggested saving money and getting a pair of Underoos. Really?

    The mind boggles.

    1. 何もったいぶって物知り風に話してんねん, 評論屋気取りで(W

      By the way, typical Hashimoto images held by the Japanese

      how does he look?