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Old 2008-11-16, 18:35   Link #821
Nikran
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Heh, from the perspective of someone who had to do 4 years in primary and highschool, 6 years in elementary school sounds like a long long time =P On the other hand 3 years in junior school and high school seem a little short to me, though i hated my last 4 years since it seemed more like 400 years
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Old 2008-11-16, 21:01   Link #822
Risaa
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I might sound redundant but I'd like to point out that the reason why it's common to find anime/manga characters with certain styles of speech (a girl using "boku", for example) is for the sake of having stronger characterization. I recall my sensei felt unsettled about a female character in a manga using "boku" to refer to herself - she said it felt boyish and most of all, "unnatural" for a girl to use that - almost like the girl using "boku" was no longer a girl. I got the same reactions whenever I accidently switched to male speech and I was somewhere outside of Oita-ken (there, it's common for girls to use certain aspects of male speech patterns and that's where I picked up most of my "male" words). People noticeably felt uneasy and uncomfortable, and would sometimes ask me to repeat myself because they began doubting that I'd actually used typically male words. Even tomboyish girls I knew would never refer to themselves as "boku".

So... I might've answered the question somewhere in there but it would be such an unusual case (at least where I came from) for a girl to use "boku" that it's difficult to say, though I would expect people would be very unsettled about a Japanese girl using it (and would probably laugh at a foreign girl using it).
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Old 2008-11-16, 21:31   Link #823
Terrestrial Dream
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukinokesshou View Post
Conservative, suburban and somewhat quaint?
Or avant-garde, urban and somewhat rebellious?

Westerners are often surprised when I tell them that mine were the former.

Consider the following questions:
1. Where are you from?
2. What is your cultural background? Are any older members in your family Japanese or familiar with Japanese culture?
3. How were you first exposed to Japanese society? Interaction with Japanese people, anime and manga, or TV dramas?

Here are my own answers:
1. I'm from Hong Kong. Now you know why I might see Japan as "suburban and quaint". You might think Japan is crowded, but Hong Kong's population is bursting at its limits. When some people look at photos of Tokyo, they see a densely populated city. I see quaint little wooden houses.

2. I'm Chinese but some elder members of my family can "pass for Japanese" in their behaviours and mannerisms due to the Japanese occupation of Taiwan. No wonder I see Japanese culture as being rather conservative... I associate it with my grandparents.

3. I was exposed to Japanese society through interactions with Japanese classmates and their parents, and by watching Japanese TV dramas with my family. The first manga I ever saw was some josei stuff (think "Honey and Clover") that my mum used to read in bed. Anime came a long, long time later.

Your turn!! I hope you find this topic interesting, or at least not mind-numbingly dull!
Let me try this.
1. Was born in Korea and currently lives in America
2. Cultural background? I guess all my family is Korean, no mingling with other race in my family .
3. Animes, as a kid I grew up with Yuusha series and those shows were amazing. And I suppose the Korean propaganda against the Japanese from books . I kinda knew one Japanese kid during middle school but that's about it. And not many Japanese in the east coast as far as I know.
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Old 2008-11-16, 21:59   Link #824
Yukinokesshou
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Originally Posted by Terrestrial Dream View Post
Let me try this.
1. Was born in Korea and currently lives in America
2. Cultural background? I guess all my family is Korean, no mingling with other race in my family .
3. Animes, as a kid I grew up with Yuusha series and those shows were amazing. And I suppose the Korean propaganda against the Japanese from books . I kinda knew one Japanese kid during middle school but that's about it. And not many Japanese in the east coast as far as I know.
Thanks!

And now for the fourth question: How did these factors influence your first impressions of Japanese culture?

I've added this to the original question list, by the way. It was always intended to be the "main" question but I left it as the "title" of the post and it seemed to have been ignored! Anyhow, you can see how I addressed this question in my own answers, so now it's your turn ^^

There is still anti-Japanese propaganda in Korean books? It's the same in Mainland China, but Hong Kong and Taiwan are rather pro-Japan these days (my parents once tried to "set me up" with a Japanese girl in my class )
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Old 2008-11-16, 22:15   Link #825
Terrestrial Dream
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Originally Posted by Yukinokesshou View Post
Thanks!

And now for the fourth question: How did these factors influence your first impressions of Japanese culture?

I've added this to the original question list, by the way. It was always intended to be the "main" question but I left it as the "title" of the post and it seemed to have been ignored! Anyhow, you can see how I addressed this question in my own answers, so now it's your turn ^^

There is still anti-Japanese propaganda in Korean books? It's the same in Mainland China, but Hong Kong and Taiwan are rather pro-Japan these days (my parents once tried to "set me up" with a Japanese girl in my class )
No there are no propaganda in the book but in few of the books that I read had clear anti-Japanese feeling so I just jokingly called it propaganda .
As far as how all those factors influenced me, simple if it wasn't for anime I would probably have very strong negative feeling toward Japanese and its culture. But through anime I came to like Japan and from there I learned more about their culture and came to respect them in some way. Though I still jokingly insult Japanese openly and lets say that the hatred became more of rivalry.
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Old 2008-11-16, 22:23   Link #826
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I'm personally rather puzzled by the "rebelliousness" that seems to be inherent in modern American and European culture. More often than not, it seems to be meaningless and trivial, "rebelling for the sake of rebelling". Can't people just go with the flow, follow the rules of society and be content?

I presume Byakou is French? Heh...the 2007 riot at the Gare du Nord comes to mind. For those of you who don't follow French news, someone without a ticket was stopped and interrogated by inspectors. Apparently, the inspectors were a bit rough and that sparked a massive riot. Suffice to say that this (the riot) would NEVER, EVER happen in East Asia. If you haven't got a ticket, then you have no right to public transport. Society understands that. I have yet to see someone jump a turnstile in any Asian metro system.
It comes down to how you're raised, methinks. What seems like rebelious to asians, is something entirely different to us and vice-versa, and we do it for different reasons. In italy people express themselves themselves very passionely, be it joy, anger, opinion, love, familiarity, and options are open as to how you want to express yourself. That might be considered as uneccessary vulgarity to asians, is absolutely essential to italians who would be miserable confined in the restrictions of an asian culture or even within the restrictions of other european countries like france or the UK.

There are countries out there that (my opinion, of course) I would quality of cutthroat when talking about anything social. America comes to mind as most obvious. When you go to school, and even when you're older, there's always going to be some sort of "social" placement. Either you're part of the cool kids, or you aren't. And if you aren't, you get tons of shit. Even as a grownup, if people think you're "weird", they will talk in your back and be very offensive to you. I imagine things like that would never or rarely happen in asian countries? Don't be surprised of all the people doing bizzare things in america and elsewhere: if you're submissive and happily "follow the rules", people will annoy you, and try to put you down and use you. It's really just that cutthroat, you can't afford to be caught doing something "un-cool" because then you will be seen as an outsider and picked on. I don't even live in america, yet I have plenty of that happen to me. I have had people even ask me after having a very good score to an exam: "Are you ashamed?", like "Are you ashamed -to be such a nerd-?".

Last edited by Byakou; 2008-11-16 at 22:51.
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Old 2008-11-16, 23:32   Link #827
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(Procrastinating on presentation due tomorrow morning... what, it's not like I'm going to sleep anyways tonight.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukinokesshou View Post
Consider the following questions:
1. Where are you from?
Various places. D: Mostly Northern California (USA), but now I consider myself just as much a part of Oita-ken as Cali, if not more so.
Quote:
2. What is your cultural background? Are any older members in your family Japanese or familiar with Japanese culture?
2. Half Korean, half caucasian XD The mom is very familiar with anti-Japanese propaganda.
Quote:
3. How were you first exposed to Japanese society? Interaction with Japanese people, anime and manga, or TV dramas?
3. Narita Airport I also grew up watching Japanese children's movies (anime), and then more anime throughout middle and high school (Sailor Moon, CCS, MKR...). Now I'm more a manga fan than anime fan though, and I've especially fallen for watching dorama. XD
Quote:
4. How did these factors influence your first impressions of Japanese culture
Initially I didn't realize anime was Japanese, especially the children's movies. (I still remember seeing Pikachu souvenirs there. "Look! They've got Pokémon here too!") That visit to Narita Airport opened my eyes and challenged social "norms" I was used to. (Stimulated the brain.) XD I thought Japanese society was very "backwards" but also that it was very, very weird and very, very cool.
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Originally Posted by Byakou View Post
When you go to school, and even when you're older, there's always going to be some sort of "social" placement. Either you're part of the cool kids, or you aren't. And if you aren't, you get tons of shit. Even as a grownup, if people think you're "weird", they will talk in your back and be very offensive to you.
High school truly never ends.

But really, I think everyone in every culture has some sort of "social placement". If we didn't, it would be chaotic; people wouldn't know offhand how to deal with other people and so we'd all have to keep constantly learning new routines for interacting with each individual. Then again, I get the feeling I'm thinking of a different kind of "social placement" than what you're speaking of.

If you're talking about high school cliques, erm, yeah, I daresay it is all about students trying to put some sort of social order into their lives by constantly asking themselves, "am I above so-and-so, or below them?" and that having these unofficial rules ("cheerleaders are socially higher than art club people", for example) cuts down on the thought process. My Sociology text probably has a good answer to this and maybe I'd also know it if I'd actually crack the book open....
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Old 2008-11-17, 04:12   Link #828
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Originally Posted by Yukinokesshou View Post
... Except for the fact that high school is four years in the US; the number of years in elementary and middle schools are adjusted such that the total number of years is still 12 (5+3+4 or 6+2+4).
Some places in the U.S. have 3 years of high school with junior high up until 9th grade, just like in Japan...
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Old 2008-11-17, 11:51   Link #829
Yukinokesshou
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Originally Posted by Autumn Demon View Post
Some places in the U.S. have 3 years of high school with junior high up until 9th grade, just like in Japan...
Okay, point taken... though I still think that there are better comparisons to make than Japan and the US, partly because education in the US (and the UK, for that matter) is so non-standardised and varies from region to region, school to school. Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Poland... all of these countries have somewhat similar and very standardised educational systems, so I prefer comparing these. Anyhow, I'll stop now
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Old 2008-11-17, 12:08   Link #830
Rembr
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Originally Posted by Byakou View Post
I have had people even ask me after having a very good score to an exam: "Are you ashamed?", like "Are you ashamed -to be such a nerd-?".
Mayhap their problem isn't just the fact that you got a good grade.

Also, was this an occurrence in an American school? I have never run into this myself.
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Old 2008-11-17, 14:27   Link #831
Yukinokesshou
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Also, was this an occurrence in an American school? I have never run into this myself.
Neither have I. A good grade was a good thing to have at every school I went to, including an American school (admittedly 60% Asian). We fought tooth and nail to get the highest mark. Had to remain in the top 10%! Good grades made you popular too, but it was an annoying popularity because people would nag you for help with studying.
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Old 2008-11-17, 15:30   Link #832
Nikran
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Originally Posted by Risaa View Post
I might sound redundant but I'd like to point out that the reason why it's common to find anime/manga characters with certain styles of speech (a girl using "boku", for example) is for the sake of having stronger characterization. I recall my sensei felt unsettled about a female character in a manga using "boku" to refer to herself - she said it felt boyish and most of all, "unnatural" for a girl to use that - almost like the girl using "boku" was no longer a girl. I got the same reactions whenever I accidently switched to male speech and I was somewhere outside of Oita-ken (there, it's common for girls to use certain aspects of male speech patterns and that's where I picked up most of my "male" words). People noticeably felt uneasy and uncomfortable, and would sometimes ask me to repeat myself because they began doubting that I'd actually used typically male words. Even tomboyish girls I knew would never refer to themselves as "boku".

So... I might've answered the question somewhere in there but it would be such an unusual case (at least where I came from) for a girl to use "boku" that it's difficult to say, though I would expect people would be very unsettled about a Japanese girl using it (and would probably laugh at a foreign girl using it).
Soooo, it kinda looks like girls using "boku" is probably something that really ever happens in anime/manga, least thats the impression im getting from what you've just mentioned.

Can anyone answer my earlier question about how much influence/authority a student council actually have?
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Old 2008-11-17, 16:15   Link #833
Rembr
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Influence/Authority in terms of what?

American high school's student governments can also be very influential, provided that its members are motivated enough. So I'm not sure what degree of influence you're expecting.
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Old 2008-11-17, 16:31   Link #834
Nikran
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Originally Posted by Rembr View Post
Influence/Authority in terms of what?

American high school's student governments can also be very influential, provided that its members are motivated enough. So I'm not sure what degree of influence you're expecting.
American high school's student goverments? *Digests that one for a moment* Ok i did not know they had those

Well back to my question. Since in my country we don't have such things i want to know what powers a student council is given and what they can/cannot do.
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Old 2008-11-17, 16:38   Link #835
Rembr
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No student governments in UK?

For my school anyway, as long as the principal clears it, they can take up any project they can conceive. It's hard to consolidate their role since it can be pretty broad, like any government. Like I said, if students within the council are motivated and disciplined, they can accomplish a lot and can have a good deal of power. I'm not sure if anything more is possible, so I'd assume it's about the same for Japan.
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Old 2008-11-17, 16:48   Link #836
Nikran
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No student governments in UK?
Not to my knowledge at least =P

In kanon 2006 it made it look like they also decide the fate of students who have got themselves into trouble. Eg - Student council talking about expelling Mai.
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Old 2008-11-17, 17:04   Link #837
Risaa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikran View Post
Soooo, it kinda looks like girls using "boku" is probably something that really ever happens in anime/manga, least thats the impression im getting from what you've just mentioned.
Quote:
Originally Posted by myself XD
[...]it's common to find anime/manga characters with certain styles of speech (a girl using "boku", for example) for the sake of having stronger characterization.
Sorry if I confused you. The bottom line is that it's common in anime/manga (especially when there is a large female cast), but uncommon in real life.
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Old 2008-11-17, 18:22   Link #838
Vexx
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Originally Posted by Yukinokesshou View Post
Neither have I. A good grade was a good thing to have at every school I went to, including an American school (admittedly 60% Asian). We fought tooth and nail to get the highest mark. Had to remain in the top 10%! Good grades made you popular too, but it was an annoying popularity because people would nag you for help with studying.
There's a damning streak of anti-intellectualism in American folk culture that probably dates from centuries before when people were burned at the stake for "being too smart". Certain fundamentalist ideas follow the line that Satan brought Knowledge and that one should approach their beliefs "as a little child" (i.e. untainted with facts or critical thinking skills). That streak persists (see Obama being called "too elitist" which to some extent was code for "he uses big words and speaks in complete sentences").

The high school I went to back in the 70s was that way. Even the administration seemed begrudging in their acknowledgement of the smart kids. Principals and teacher supervisiors tended to have majored in phys.ed and the VP "enforcers" were generally coaches -- the sport players tended to garner all the attention. The "other clique" was where all the "weird eggheads" hung out ... those that ended up being lawyers, engineers, doctors, etc. However, our school was predominantly white with a smattering of asians, blacks, and latinos -- but probably over 50% either never went to college or flunked out in the first year. Those of us who made it in college were the exception and those who made it into a top tier college were total anomalies.

In retrospect, it seemed like high school was the last chance for the anti-intellectual crowd to lord it over the smart ones.
Obviously, this has changed in many parts of the US over the decades since then -- but there's still a very large part of the country that is suspicious of people who do well in school. This is in such direct contrast to Japan's study ethic (and other asian countries) as to invite dumbfounded astonishment from exchange students who come to the US and immigrants (like the Hmong and Vietnamese).

As for most US high school student councils.... its unusual for the school administration to allow them to be anything other than a puppet mouthpiece and most of them certainly get no judicial authority. Now in COLLEGE, its a different matter in the US: college student councils often have the same sort of authority you see in japanese high schools.
But then keep in mind, you *apply* to go to japanese high schools and have to pass entrance exams - someone will take you eventually even if you suck, but there are definite quality tiers in japanese high schools rather like US colleges.

Last edited by Vexx; 2008-11-17 at 18:57.
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Old 2008-11-17, 18:25   Link #839
nagare
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Originally Posted by Nikran View Post
Can anyone answer my earlier question about how much influence/authority a student council actually have?
It's going to vary a bit from school to school especially with the level and budget of the school (middle, high, or college, etc) but primary the student council oversees the many of the non-academic and non-administrative features of the school. Typically they budget the funding for sports/clubs/circles/event, approve new school funded events/clubs/groups, or cut/lessen/increase official funding for any of the above and in some cases disband them. At the high school level, the typical large school events like the Cultural Fair and the Athletic Fair are also overseen. Space and equipment needed for any of mentioned typically need to be approved by the council. There's a guideline that the school puts down that they need to follow to do any of the above.

As far as expelling a student... typically that is not power that the student council has. I've personally never heard of such case. It's a typical anime/manga plot device used in various stories - the lawful evil and oppressive student council (president) is just a typical character/group archetype found in many stories. Their authority and abilities are usually a bit exaggerated.

I guess they could build a case and present it to the people with the power to do so, but ultimately that's not their power to decide any punishment for any student.
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Old 2008-11-17, 20:38   Link #840
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Vexx

Quote:
This is in such direct contrast to Japan's study ethic (and other asian countries) as to invite dumbfounded astonishment from exchange students who come to the US and immigrants (like the Hmong and Vietnamese).
I think it is not quite realistic to group all "Asian" groups together as one uniformly education-happy and model minority which I think this sentence is getting close to. Eg, the education statistics found here. While it's true that the education rate of certain Asian minorities is astronomical (Indians and Chinese notably). It is not quite evenly distributed for all "Asians", and some (such as your example) are currently far below the national average, such as one you mentioned in your post. Yet less attention is probably given to their "needs" because they are being painted with that same "Asian" brush/stereotype and so are being ignored.

Of course if I misread your statement I apologize. Well, actually, this isn't really related to what you said, I suppose, but that direction always tends to irk me a little.

As a side note, if there is indeed anti-intellectualism rooted in American culture, it certainly hasn't seemed to hamper science and technology in the past hundred years.
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Last edited by Theowne; 2008-11-17 at 23:11.
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