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Old 2004-10-09, 12:37   Link #1
LynnieS
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Zipang and politics

... I feel like the (sort of) official thread opener of series, for some reason. Is there an official title? What does the health plan cover? Any kind of a retirement package available?


Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamless
okay, please answer this, if a movie with strong racism theme is made, is it wrong for people to feel offended by it and criticize the movie for its racism theme? And is it wrong for cinemas refusing showing this racist movie?
Nope! Everyone is entitled to his opinions, and in a free world, he's entitled to shout it out to anyone who's willing to listen. Up to the point the cops drag the chap away for noise pollution, perhaps.


Quote:
And if I feel offended by a manga filled with nationalism/militarism, is there anything wrong about that? The main point is not whether I feel people will take this to heart or not. The main point is that I think the nationalism/militarism contained in this manga is so bad that I think people should stay away from it. It's pretty normal to see people post things like "nah, this anime is bad, don't watch it" kind of posts right?
Again, no, I don't disagree with you here. I'm wondering, however, if you feel that way about all forms of nationalism and militarism, or just about the ones about Japan's history... and possibly future if the government does push ahead with changing the Constitution. From reading your posts, I get the feeling that your attitude is a lot like mine, but obviously, I'm not you.


Quote:
What I'm trying to say is about the same. I'm saying that Zipang contains so much nationalism/militarism stuff that I dislike those stuff so much. And I like the Dragon -RON- manga a lot. So I recommend the Draong -RON- manga and discourage people from Zipang. It's like, basically, if you feel one manga is good and the other is bad then you'll tell your friends to get the good one and stay from the bad one. If there's a racist movie, I'll tell people to stay away from that movie. If there's a japanese militarist/nationalist anime, I'll tell people to stay away from that anime. Simple?

PS: unbiased? Zipang is super biased if you ask me!
Writing is inherently biased, IMHO. Journalism schools may teach their students to write impartially, but they are still people. History... What can I say about history texts? Bah. People just have to accept that the full story will, odds are, not be told in any one text, and be willing to go out and learn about the other side.

Something people tend not to do well, I will admit.
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Old 2004-10-09, 12:48   Link #2
dreamless
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Quote:
Again, no, I don't disagree with you here. I'm wondering, however, if you feel that way about all forms of nationalism and militarism, or just about the ones about Japan's history... and possibly future if the government does push ahead with changing the Constitution. From reading your posts, I get the feeling that your attitude is a lot like mine, but obviously, I'm not you.
This one I can answer easily: yes, I feel the same way about all forms of militarism, nationalism, racism, sexism, etc. etc. especially when they are concerned with real world and real history, I feel they are bad.

PS: About that "biased" thing, I was replying to the previous poster's saying that I'm "overly concerned that this particular manga is so unbiased and inflammatory" (?), but I never said nor think it's unbiased
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Old 2004-10-09, 21:02   Link #3
Enron
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"Oh, and I thought people in an anime forum should do better than some "THIS IS A CARTOON. If you take a CARTOON this seriously on this level, then something is wrong with you" kind of argument. Anime is no less of a form of media/art/entertainment than movies, novels, tv-drama, etc. etc. I hope you mean "This is a work of fiction like a movie, novel, tv-drama, etc. etc.", not "THIS IS A CARTOON". You should take an anime as seriously as you take a movie, novel, tv-drama, etc. etc. Else I don't think you are worth debating with."

Listen to what you just said. No less entertainment than a MOVIE, NOVEL, TV DRAMA, ETC.ETC. ENTERTAINMENT. ITS ALL ENTERTAINMENT.

"You should take an anime as seriously as you take a movie, novel, tv-drama, etc. etc. Else I don't think you are worth debating with.""

Do YOU take movies, tv dramas as seriously as you do zipang? When you watch a violent movie, do you cringe about what effect this might have on society? When you watch a tv drama, do you worry about the rampant sex and greed and the message it sends to society? Something tells me you don't. So that would make you a hypocrite.

If you indeed DO apply the same seriousness to any medium of entertainment as you advocate in your above statement, then man, i feel for you. It must suck to watch or read anything and then overanalyze the hell out of it.

I don't take ANY of this stuff seriously, because when you boil it all down, its all ENTERTAINMENT. Its something to keep you busy, that hopefully you will enjoy. Sitting around obsessing over the effect it has on the world around you is just sad, IMO. There's a lot more worrisome things to be concerned about.
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Old 2004-10-09, 21:52   Link #4
leongsh
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Zipang may play up the nationlism/militarism part but I intend to watch it to give them a fair chance of airing their views. It is going to be a tough sell outside of Japan considering it is going to go into World War 2 and drag out some matters that people outside Japan may not take kindly to. I want to see/hear/read/discuss about the viewpoints raised in this series for a lively but positive discussion (am I too optismitic and naive in asking way too much here? ) instead of it descending into an ugly mess of a shoutfest.

Personally, I have known about the manga for some time but haven't gotten round to buying the manga yet and would not want to jump to conclusions. The anime is going to be my main chance to hear them out. Problem is my fairly poor command of Japanese is going to make it tough time trying catch as much as I can of the dialogue in there. I may have to resort to getting the manga and using my well-worn Japanese reference books.
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Old 2004-10-09, 22:03   Link #5
kj1980
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Another way of euphemizing Nationalism/Militarism is Patriotism.

But seriously, war makes shits happen. Is it then that for future generations to disdain their own country for all the crap that happened two generations ago?

What I am saying is: everyone loves their own country one way or the other. How they express it is up to the individual itself - and it is a matter of opinion that is judgmental as any other opinion.


Besides, "Zipang" is what I call the "Japanese anime version of the Hollywood film 'Final Countdown' - except this time it is the Maritime SDF that goes back in time to WWII."
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Old 2004-10-09, 22:08   Link #6
leongsh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enron
Do YOU take movies, tv dramas as seriously as you do zipang? When you watch a violent movie, do you cringe about what effect this might have on society? When you watch a tv drama, do you worry about the rampant sex and greed and the message it sends to society? Something tells me you don't. So that would make you a hypocrite.

If you indeed DO apply the same seriousness to any medium of entertainment as you advocate in your above statement, then man, i feel for you. It must suck to watch or read anything and then overanalyze the hell out of it.

I don't take ANY of this stuff seriously, because when you boil it all down, its all ENTERTAINMENT. Its something to keep you busy, that hopefully you will enjoy. Sitting around obsessing over the effect it has on the world around you is just sad, IMO. There's a lot more worrisome things to be concerned about.
I think in this case, Zipang is a series that going to air viewpoints that is going to raise discussion about Japan's future role in terms of the the military aspect. It's not like a fan-service heavy romantic comedy that you can just have mindless fun as they are expected to raise fairly sensitive issues and arguments in your face during its run. You can choose to ignore if you just want to see it as entertainment but it's unlikely for a fair number of who are going to watch it.

While it's good to get some perspective that anime is entertainment, we should not just paint with such broad strokes to paint over some series that will come up with serious points for discussion. Please do remember animation is another media format to tell a story or get viewpoints aired.
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Old 2004-10-09, 22:16   Link #7
Lord Raiden
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I so far have liked how they have portrayed this anime. Given that I'm a huge WW2 buff and have learned a lot about the war from a multitude of sides, I'd be interested in seeing how they portray this anime from the "Japanese" point of view. I think it should be rather facinating. So far I haven't been disappointed with any of the viewpoints of any other country involved in WW2 as each saw the world through a different set of circumstances, beliefs, and events, so each is unique and tells the story of the greatest war ever one piece at a time.

Hence this is just another piece to that gigantic puzzle and for me should be thurougly enjoyable. Politicaly driven or biased or if it isn't, I'm simply going to watch it with an open mind and focus on the historical aspects, not the political.
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Old 2004-10-09, 22:57   Link #8
dreamless
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enron
"Oh, and I thought people in an anime forum should do better than some "THIS IS A CARTOON. If you take a CARTOON this seriously on this level, then something is wrong with you" kind of argument. Anime is no less of a form of media/art/entertainment than movies, novels, tv-drama, etc. etc. I hope you mean "This is a work of fiction like a movie, novel, tv-drama, etc. etc.", not "THIS IS A CARTOON". You should take an anime as seriously as you take a movie, novel, tv-drama, etc. etc. Else I don't think you are worth debating with."

Listen to what you just said. No less entertainment than a MOVIE, NOVEL, TV DRAMA, ETC.ETC. ENTERTAINMENT. ITS ALL ENTERTAINMENT.

"You should take an anime as seriously as you take a movie, novel, tv-drama, etc. etc. Else I don't think you are worth debating with.""

Do YOU take movies, tv dramas as seriously as you do zipang? When you watch a violent movie, do you cringe about what effect this might have on society? When you watch a tv drama, do you worry about the rampant sex and greed and the message it sends to society? Something tells me you don't. So that would make you a hypocrite.

If you indeed DO apply the same seriousness to any medium of entertainment as you advocate in your above statement, then man, i feel for you. It must suck to watch or read anything and then overanalyze the hell out of it.

I don't take ANY of this stuff seriously, because when you boil it all down, its all ENTERTAINMENT. Its something to keep you busy, that hopefully you will enjoy. Sitting around obsessing over the effect it has on the world around you is just sad, IMO. There's a lot more worrisome things to be concerned about.
I think this should be made clear. Zipang is not like a violent or sex movie, if you want to compare Zipang to a movie, compare it to a racist movie which involves real historical events and figure. Like a movie advertizing for racism with real historical events and people. Some book written by certain Arabians trying to tell you that Hitler is the Saviour and he saved the world by massacring Jews. There are a lot of issues more sensitive and worrisome than sex and violence. I won't enjoy such movies or books, because they provide no entertainment values for me. No, not because what it may have on society or whatever, I could care less about those. I don't enjoy those, and I will tell anyone else to avoid those. It's simple as that. Last time the discussion became quite a bit more complicated and out-of-focus because I tried to be somewhat objective and give credit where it's due, but it turns out that just makes things more and more ridiculous and out-of-focus.

I don't like Zipang, just like I don't like some movies/books/whatever advertising for racism, Nazi, Japanese militarists, such things, especially those involve historical events and figure and try to "revise" them in a one-sided, super biased view, and I'll tell anyone to stay away from them. Simple as that.

Also not all books/movies/art/anime/etc. are just entertainment, a lot of them are much more deeper than just entertainment. They can contain philosophy, politics, history, etc. things that try to make you think instead of just entertainment. If you read all novels/manga, watch all movies/anime, etc. like they are ALL ENTERTAINMENT, without any thinking involved, that's just ridiculous to say the least. There are definitely NOT ALL ENTERTAINMENT. There are things that written/drawn/made that is to make you think the issues and ideas it conveys. For examples like Citizen Kane, Platoon, Schindler's List, Sophie's World, they are movies/novels that's made for you to think about the issues instead of just having fun. The "they are ALL ENTERTAINMENT" argument is just immature and ridiculous. There are racist propaganda books that have zero entertainment value except trying to spread racism.

Last edited by dreamless; 2004-10-10 at 00:15.
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Old 2004-10-09, 23:04   Link #9
Burner of Anime
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Somehow I am minded of all the 9/11 banner waving that was forced into near every Hollywood production around 2002 when looking at this thread. I worked as a freelance subber [translation check for English to Malay] during this period and it was basically everywhere. So while I sympathise with the victims, having to translate American patriotism day after day for 6 months is not something I'd repeat again. The thing is a terrible tragedy had occured, but I feel admittedly removed from it because I'm not a US citizen. A bloke living half a world away and one living 50-60 years after the fact isn't going to have the same sort of anger or thoughts that apply for that time.

My point for this is, what is the value of this thing you are looking at and does it make sense to you? For the above, I can honestly say the value of what I did is personally not as great as another bloke living closer to the source. And to be critical of what I was watching, I must also admit to feeling that this cheapens the tragedy when it is indiscriminately tacked on. The same principle applies for Zipang, be it a revisionist take on WW2 history or unlikely fiction or just 1 guy saying they could have done better [Micheal Moore anyone?]- it doesn't change the real world fact that they lost big and still have trouble explaining to ppl why some of their cities are dangerously radioactive.

I'll still watch this one, because by the end ot the day the only person who can ever decide if this show makes sense is me alone. That way if it really sucks and a fuse in my head gets blown from the preaching there's only one fool to blame
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Old 2004-10-09, 23:48   Link #10
dreamless
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kj1980
( ・∀・ ) ニヤニヤ

Another way of euphemizing Nationalism/Militarism is Patriotism.

But seriously, war makes shits happen. Is it then that for future generations to disdain their own country for all the crap that happened two generations ago?

What I am saying is: everyone loves their own country one way or the other. How they express it is up to the individual itself - and it is a matter of opinion that is judgmental as any other opinion.


Besides, "Zipang" is what I call the "Japanese anime version of the Hollywood film 'Final Countdown' - except this time it is the Maritime SDF that goes back in time to WWII."
Well, no one tries to force anyone to disdain ther own country. No one tells the Germans that they have to keep saying how terrible their country was in the WW2 (but they build war museums and open concentration camps to show how terrible their country was in WW2 anyway). Now I'm not saying that Japanese people must build war museums and expose their country's atrocities in WW2 to the world in public, but when certain Japanese try to write things to paint the atrocities their country committed back then with a good color and try to revise the historical events and figures with a militarist/nationalist view, that surely becomes a problem. I don't know any German writer who try to write stuffs trying to paint the Nazi and Hitler in good color and become famous in German public, all German people I talk to admit that the Nazis are bad and that Hitler is evil, while a lot of the Japanese people I talk to seem to try to say that the Japanese militarists back in WW2 are... just misleaded patriots or something.

If one does not learn from history, then one is doomed to repeat it. And that surely concerns me, if Japan is to repeat history, that means my family, my friends and I will be in great danger.

I can enjoy reading the "Final Countdown part" of Zipang okay, but later it turns into a much much more mess than Final Countdown. the main part of Zipang is not about an SDF ship going back in time, it's about how a "patriotic" WW2 Japanese Imperial intelligence officer trying to use it to build a happy, peaceful, strong Japan without a sameful defeat in the past called Zipang, by manipulating historical events and stealing land and resources from other countries.

Last edited by dreamless; 2004-10-10 at 00:16.
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Old 2004-10-10, 00:20   Link #11
leongsh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burner of Anime
I'll still watch this one, because by the end ot the day the only person who can ever decide if this show makes sense is me alone. That way if it really sucks and a fuse in my head gets blown from the preaching there's only one fool to blame
I agree with you there

May I presume you are a fellow resident of Malaysia considering your disclosure of translating English to Malay?
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Old 2004-10-10, 00:49   Link #12
leongsh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamless
Well, no one tries to force anyone to disdain ther own country. No one tells the Germans that they have to keep saying how terrible their country was in the WW2 (but they build war museums and open concentration camps to show how terrible their country was in WW2 anyway). Now I'm not saying that Japanese people must build war museums and expose their country's atrocities in WW2 to the world in public, but when certain Japanese try to write things to paint the atrocities their country committed back then with a good color and try to revise the historical events and figures with a militarist/nationalist view, that surely becomes a problem. I don't know any German writer who try to write stuffs trying to paint the Nazi and Hitler in good color and become famous in German public, all German people I talk to admit that the Nazis are bad and that Hitler is evil, while a lot of the Japanese people I talk to seem to try to say that the Japanese militarists back in WW2 are... just misleaded patriots or something.
That's all nice and good. As I have stated earlier, I haven't read the Zipang manga yet and as such you have a significant head start over me as to what they do declare as their views in there. So, I'm going into this with an open mind about what they want to say in there whether it be apologistic or highly nationalistic or what have you.

If I am to disagree with the viewpoints raised in there, it should be after careful consideration and not significantly coloured/influenced by other people's personal leanings and/or prejudices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamless
If one does not learn from history, then one is doomed to repeat it. And that surely concerns me, if Japan is to repeat history, that means my family, my friends and I will be in great danger.
If anything, I'm a Malaysian and am well aware of the history of the Japanese during World War 2, especially the occupation of Malaysia then and what they did. However, I'm not going to be so pessimistic in my assessment. I would prefer the Japanese people to have a better understanding of what they did in World War 2 rather than a whitewash and to mold a future policy that helps to define their role in the Asia-Pacific region. My current concerns, even though I'm ethnic Chinese, are more towards what and how China sees herself but that's going into politics and should be sidestepped here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamless
I can enjoy reading the "Final Countdown part" of Zipang okay, but later it turns into a much much more mess than Final Countdown. the main part of Zipang is not about an SDF ship going back in time, it's about how a "patriotic" WW2 Japanese Imperial intelligence officer trying to use it to build a happy, peaceful, strong Japan without a sameful defeat in the past called Zipang, by manipulating historical events and stealing land and resources from other countries.
Nice of you to give a synopsis of what the manga is about Then it looks like it would be an interesting look into an alternative reality that the mangaka is trying to create and to boost nationalistic pride. It is a change from the usual devastation of Tokyo that is being played over and over and over and over... in so many anime series
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Old 2004-10-10, 01:37   Link #13
dreamless
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well, I'm also quite concerned about how China sees herself and the Chinese nationalism despite I'm an ethnical Chinese, I've read some chinese fan-fic/doujin novels across the net that sounds even much more awful than Zipang, but anyway this is about Zipang and politics, not chinese fan-fic novels and politics, I can write an entire essay on that matter. Also those are fan-fic novels not officially accepted nor published, so I'm a bit more concerned about the current japanese government's militarism/nationalism bent.

Yup, it's an alternate reality where in WW2 after the Japanese have invaded other countries and massacred countless Koreans, Chinese, Southeast Asians, they stopped and signed a "generous" peace treaty with the US and the Asian countries, hoarding the resources they have stolen to build an "ideal Japan", and it basically says there's nothing wrong with that. It's like a German writer writes a novel about in WW2 after the Germans invaded other countries and massacred countless Jews, and then stopped before Russia and signed a "generous" peace treaty with everyone and build an "ideal Third Reich", and basically says there's nothing wrong with that. Actually I'm pretty sure there are some German writers who have written those kind of things, but then they would be treated as Neo Nazi supporter and not accepted by the public.

Of course all I have posted are my own opinions and takes on the manga, I got fed up with this piece of japanese militarist/nationalist garbage as much as I got fed up with all those chinese militarist/nationalist garbage I've come across online. So I won't recommend anyone to read them.

Instead, read Murakami Motoka's Dragon -RON-, that's a very good historic/alternate-reality WW2 Asia setting manga and it shows that there are non-nationalist non-militarist japanese who can produce a manga with a balanced view and great story (no, it does not portray the Japanese back in WW2 as complete RATS as in some chinese nationalist novels or whatever else, a piece of nationalism garbage is a piece of nationalism garbage, despite where it comes from) Now that's a great manga instead of some japanese nationalism/militarism garbage.
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Old 2004-10-10, 01:51   Link #14
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Immature, blah blah blah. Great, im immature. Perhaps if i joined your one-man-cursade to save the world from itself, you'll put me on you list of "cool people"?

You keep comparing Zipang to racism, spend paragraphs decrying how we should all reject it because it paints japan in anything but the most dark and negative of lights......then you say you don't think the japanese should badmouth themselves or build monuments to how terrible they were? THATS BASICALLY WHAT YOU JUST TYPED PAGE AFTER PAGE SUGGESTING!

"Well, no one tries to force anyone to disdain ther own country. No one tells the Germans that they have to keep saying how terrible their country was in the WW2 (but they build war museums and open concentration camps to show how terrible their country was in WW2 anyway). Now I'm not saying that Japanese people must build war museums and expose their country's atrocities in WW2 to the world in public, but when certain Japanese try to write things to paint the atrocities their country committed back then with a good color and try to revise the historical events and figures with a militarist/nationalist view, that surely becomes a problem."

Where in Zipang do they put positive spin on any atrocities? Did they justify Nanking? Did they justify Baatan? Or are you just upset they dont flog themselves over the fact they started a war in the pacific. Ding ding ding.

"...despite I'm an ethnical Chinese" - ah, i was wondering about this. That explains a lot. Look, my folks were run over by the japanese war machine as well, but you don't see me sitting around waiting on an apology.

This discussion is over. Im too "immature and ridiculous" because apparently my feeble mind is too weak to realize that this piece of entertainment is really an effort to brainwash japanese youth, turn them into killing machines, and prepare them for another overrun-of-southeast asia.

"Casting demons out of the bushes...", must be a hard way to lead a life.

I pray for the day that I run into ONE anime fan that doesn't try to find some deep meaning-of-life message in EVERY ANIME THEY WATCH.
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Old 2004-10-10, 02:53   Link #15
dreamless
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First off, I never said you are immature or anything. I mean statements like "all movies/novels/animes/manga/tv-drama/etc. etc. are ALL ENTERTAINMENT" are immature and ridiculous, and actually downright incorrect. It has nothing about whether you are immature or not. I'm refering strictly to that kind of statements.

Zipang is NOT "every anime", I don't try to find any deep meaning in some fan-service series or harem shows or whatever, I won't try to find deep meaning in a LOT of animes I watch. But seriously, have you read Zipang? How can you be so sure that Zipang is NOT one of those animes that has a deep meaning aside from pure entertainment? I have read the manga and I think it's a nationalism garbage. What makes you think Zipang should NOT be compared to racism, sexism, nationalism, militarism?

Quote:
Where in Zipang do they put positive spin on any atrocities? Did they justify Nanking? Did they justify Baatan? Or are you just upset they dont flog themselves over the fact they started a war in the pacific. Ding ding ding.
They justify invasion of other countries and stealing land and resources from them to build a better Japan. Have you even read my posts before? Isn't that bad enough?

Another question, have you read Dragon -RON-? I love that manga, and no it's not badmouthing the Japanese, heck the main protagonist is a japanese who is supposedly the saviour of Asia in WW2. But it's not some militarism/nationalism garbage like saying it's alright for Japan to invade other countries for its own good.

It seems you always have this little fiction/imagination that I'm on a crusade or whatever to paint the Japanese totally black, while I clearly showed that I love another manga where the Japanese are not painted even remotely black. Can't you understand there are whole spectrum of colors between black and white?

Quote:
You keep comparing Zipang to racism, spend paragraphs decrying how we should all reject it because it paints japan in anything but the most dark and negative of lights......then you say you don't think the japanese should badmouth themselves or build monuments to how terrible they were? THATS BASICALLY WHAT YOU JUST TYPED PAGE AFTER PAGE SUGGESTING!
I'm not suggesting them to badmouth themselves, but I don't want them to go all nationalistic and militaristic. They can just leave it alone, or if they want to touch the issue, do something like Dragon -RON-, without nationalism propaganda.

That's exactly why I have no problem about the early part of Zipang, and the early part of Zipang does not paint the Japanese in the most dark and negative of lights, not even remotely. So stop your imagination, I have NO problem about the Japanese not painting themselves in the most dark and negative lights. I have problem when they try to justify their invasion of other countries and stealing of land and resources by saying it's in order to build a strong and better Japan.

Quote:
"...despite I'm an ethnical Chinese" - ah, i was wondering about this. That explains a lot. Look, my folks were run over by the japanese war machine as well, but you don't see me sitting around waiting on an apology.
Does that mean to be a racist comment or what? yes I'm an ethnical Chinese, so that explains what? I hope that does not mean you are a racist yourself. And I'm not waiting for an apology or whatever, but I'm not happy to see them trying to justify their invasion of other countries by saying "it's for the sake of a better Japan".

Seriously, I think you have absolutely no idea what the Zipang manga is really like and just pop random things out of your imagination. You showed no proof of why you think Zipang is better than some racist movies or novels, you showed no proof that you've even ever read Zipang. And then you just claim it's ALL ENTERTAINMENT. If you have no idea of what Zipang is like, then you shouldn't make those claims. Where did you see me saying that I try to find some deep meaning-of-life message in EVERY ANIME I WATCH? Or does that come from your imagination? When does Zipang = EVERY ANIME?

Last edited by dreamless; 2004-10-10 at 03:48.
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Old 2004-10-10, 17:58   Link #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamless
Also those are fan-fic novels not officially accepted nor published, so I'm a bit more concerned about the current japanese government's militarism/nationalism bent.
See, in democratic nations, the government does not control the press. The fact that the book is on the market in Japan does not imply the government has granted it sanction.
Yup, it's an alternate reality where in WW2 after the Japanese have invaded other countries and massacred countless Koreans, Chinese, Southeast Asians, they stopped and signed a "generous" peace treaty with the US and the Asian countries, hoarding the resources they have stolen to build an "ideal Japan", and it basically says there's nothing wrong with that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamless
It's like a German writer writes a novel about in WW2 after the Germans invaded other countries and massacred countless Jews, and then stopped before Russia and signed a "generous" peace treaty with everyone and build an "ideal Third Reich", and basically says there's nothing wrong with that. Actually I'm pretty sure there are some German writers who have written those kind of things, but then they would be treated as Neo Nazi supporter and not accepted by the public.
Sure, they don't write about Nazis because Germany has strict laws that CENSOR any work on the subject. But you're showing yourself to be a poorly-read fool with tihs argument, because you think Zipang is somehow unique in its implications. Lots of novels in particular have been published on "taboo" subjects,especially in the fields of alternate history. Just as one example: An author named S.M. Stirling wrote a trilogy of books in which the Confederates in the US, after losing the Civil War, left the nation, took over South Africa, and started a slavery-based society there. Is this author pro-slavery for it? Do you think it'll incite the US to subjugate non-whites again? Even though there is still racism in the country, and some would say it's just as strong? The central theme of the book is indeed that culture; he portrays plenty of members of that culture in a favorable light. And this is just one example out of hundreds. What, exactly, aside from Zipang being Japanese makes it so special? Maybe it strikes closer to home for you, but it doesn't make it propaganda.

If you accept manga as literature, there is something you need to realize: Literature is aimed at an intelligent mind, at the mind of the person who can see it for what it is and approach it from an educated background. The day we start dumbing it down because someone might read it who doesn't know enough to understand it is the day we'll live in a society I will want no part of. Do YOU want to be a part of that society, I wonder?
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Old 2004-10-10, 21:11   Link #17
Panon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamless
I can enjoy reading the "Final Countdown part" of Zipang okay, but later it turns into a much much more mess than Final Countdown. the main part of Zipang is not about an SDF ship going back in time, it's about how a "patriotic" WW2 Japanese Imperial intelligence officer trying to use it to build a happy, peaceful, strong Japan without a sameful defeat in the past called Zipang, by manipulating historical events and stealing land and resources from other countries.
Sounds like I'll enjoy it more than I thought I would then, since it sounds like it follows through with it's premise unlike how The Final Countdown pulled magic out of it's hat just at the right moment to avoid any consequences of the actions and decisions the characters were about to make.
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Old 2004-10-11, 00:58   Link #18
dreamless
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Originally Posted by Elepsis
See, in democratic nations, the government does not control the press. The fact that the book is on the market in Japan does not imply the government has granted it sanction.
Yup, it's an alternate reality where in WW2 after the Japanese have invaded other countries and massacred countless Koreans, Chinese, Southeast Asians, they stopped and signed a "generous" peace treaty with the US and the Asian countries, hoarding the resources they have stolen to build an "ideal Japan", and it basically says there's nothing wrong with that.

Sure, they don't write about Nazis because Germany has strict laws that CENSOR any work on the subject. But you're showing yourself to be a poorly-read fool with tihs argument, because you think Zipang is somehow unique in its implications. Lots of novels in particular have been published on "taboo" subjects,especially in the fields of alternate history. Just as one example: An author named S.M. Stirling wrote a trilogy of books in which the Confederates in the US, after losing the Civil War, left the nation, took over South Africa, and started a slavery-based society there. Is this author pro-slavery for it? Do you think it'll incite the US to subjugate non-whites again? Even though there is still racism in the country, and some would say it's just as strong? The central theme of the book is indeed that culture; he portrays plenty of members of that culture in a favorable light. And this is just one example out of hundreds. What, exactly, aside from Zipang being Japanese makes it so special? Maybe it strikes closer to home for you, but it doesn't make it propaganda.

If you accept manga as literature, there is something you need to realize: Literature is aimed at an intelligent mind, at the mind of the person who can see it for what it is and approach it from an educated background. The day we start dumbing it down because someone might read it who doesn't know enough to understand it is the day we'll live in a society I will want no part of. Do YOU want to be a part of that society, I wonder?
No, I don't think Zipang is unique in it, I have known plenty of novels and movies with racism, nationalism, sexism, etc. themes. And it has nothing to do with society or whatever, the society can decide to censor it or not, I could care less. But I don't like them myself. You can like it, you can hate it, that's for you to decide. I dislike those kind of stuff. Anything wrong with that? For example, I have watched a US movie set after the US Civil War advertising KKK and portray the non-white people as babaric rapists back then, and I dislike it, and I tell people I know to stay away from it. I also watched some episodes of the anime Sister Princess Repure and dislike it and I tell people I know to stay away from it. So actually I wonder what makes Zipang special about it that it seems I can't dislike it and tell people it's a piece of nationalism/militarism garbage?

I dislike a lot of literature works that I think they are racism/nationalism/sexism/whatever garbage and I tell people to stay away from them. This has nothing to do with censorship or legal system or whatever. I just dislike those kind of things, and that has nothing to do with where they come from. It just happens that this time it's Zipang and it seems some people think that I shouldn't dislike Zipang or tell people to stay away from it. So, what makes Zipang so special I wonder? I could care less whether you really decide to get Zipang manga/anime or not, I can't stop you anyway, actually I think I even suggested some people to read some of the Zipang manga if they really want to start a meaningful debate about this manga I basically just said I don't like it and I think people should stay away from this nationalism/militarism garbage. That should be quite clear. It's that mysteriously some people have this idea that I have a secret agenda of starting a crusade to paint the Japanese in totally negative and darkest lights, or that I have a ulterior motive of censoring Zipang or whatever. Heh, why don't they think that I have a secret agenda of promoting the series, which I'd say at least seems more likely than some secret internet crusade or censorship or whatever? (sarcasm) LOL maybe I'm a japanese nationalist/militarist who try to advertise Zipang to the world (/sarcasm)

===== NOTE: above is about Zipang, below is mostly just politics =====

BTW, this is nothing about Zipang the manga or anime itself, this is about politics, but since you mentioned it, about the japanese government's nationalism/militarism bent, well, of course Zipang alone doesn't mean much. But coupled with what the japanese government's been doing these years, like "revising" history books, officially paying respects to WW2 militarists as heroes of the country, I think it's quite clear about their militarism/nationalism bent. Stuffs like Zipang is just the icing on the top.

Also sure it's good if a society or democratic nation (interesting note, in another thread a lot of Americans seem to try to convince me that there's currently no democratic nation in the world) or whatever has freedom of speech and no control of press, but when a lot of members of that society regard such racism/militarism/sexism/etc. literature as heroic, patriotic, hotblood, that's a worrisome sign if you ask me. If some author releases a pro-Nazi literature and the Germans regard it as heroic, patriotic, hotblood, shouldn't that be a worrisome situation? Of course this is not just about Japanese people, they are not unique in this. But then as geographically speaking they are quite close to me, and their past records don't sound that good, so naturally I'm more concerned about it. Those nationalists/militarists in japan definitely concern me more than, say, some nationalists/militarists in some south america country...

About propaganda or not... well, sometimes it's hard to tell whether something is propaganda or not, now we can safely say that those Japanese animations produced at around WW2 time are propaganda, but at that time maybe no one thinks that way. A lot of things can be said as propaganda, like back in the cold war some USSR news report about all those bad things happen in US, and some US news report about all those bad things happen in USSR. They may not be fake news, they may be what really happened, but now we can say they are both propaganda trying to demonize the other side. Dictionary says propaganda as "the systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause". I guess Zipang could be said as part of japanese nationalism/militarism propaganda. Of course you can read it as just a work of literature and focus on the literature side, but the same can be said to a lot of other propaganda stuff.

Last edited by dreamless; 2004-10-11 at 02:30.
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Old 2004-10-11, 02:51   Link #19
kj1980
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamless
officially paying respects to WW2 militarists as heroes of the country
This one subject that really makes us ponder what's so wrong about this part. We aren't "honoring war militants," we are honoring "war veterans." I'm sure the image you have etched into your mind is our Prime Minister going to respect the dead at Yasukuni Shrine. Yasukuni Shrine has the image of "Japanese government officially honoring its dead WWII militants."

On the contrary, that notion is very absurd from our stance. Yasukuni Shrine was made over a century before the war to honor the Tokugawa Shogunate and all warriors that died in the battlefield - both past and future. The spirits of a samurai that died in the Meiji Restoration, an admiral who died in the Russo-Japanese War, a lowly private that died in Bataan, General Tojo, and JASDF forces serving in Iraq ALL go to Yasukuni Shrine.

The US honors its war veterans at Arlington National Cemetary. Once again, you are contradicting your past statement. I'm sorry, but your tone on this sentence reflects a sense that "Japanese committed atrocities in the war, they have no right to honor veterans because they died because they deserved to."

Now that really hurts if you meant it that way. My grandfather duly served at Midway and Guadacanal, he made it through as he saw his compatriots die in front of him by American forces. There are tons of Japanese soldiers that still lay on those islands to this date, that were left behind. We cannot honor those soldiers that died in the battlefield? Yes we lost the war. But they served and died for their country. We cannot honor them?

If you can say that, then please, say the same to the American forces that are dying each day right now in Iraq.

"Japanese committed atrocities in the war, they have no right to honor veterans because they died because that's what they deserve."

"Americans commmitted atrocities in the war, they have no right to honor veterans because they died because that's what they deserve."
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Old 2004-10-11, 03:30   Link #20
dreamless
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Originally Posted by kj1980
This one subject that really makes us ponder what's so wrong about this part. We aren't "honoring war militants," we are honoring "war veterans." I'm sure the image you have etched into your mind is our Prime Minister going to respect the dead at Yasukuni Shrine. Yasukuni Shrine has the image of "Japanese government officially honoring its dead WWII militants."

On the contrary, that notion is very absurd from our stance. Yasukuni Shrine was made over a century before the war to honor the Tokugawa Shogunate and all warriors that died in the battlefield - both past and future. The spirits of a samurai that died in the Meiji Restoration, an admiral who died in the Russo-Japanese War, a lowly private that died in Bataan, General Tojo, and JASDF forces serving in Iraq ALL go to Yasukuni Shrine.

The US honors its war veterans at Arlington National Cemetary. Once again, you are contradicting your past statement. I'm sorry, but your tone on this sentence reflects a sense that "Japanese committed atrocities in the war, they have no right to honor veterans because they died because they deserved to."

Now that really hurts if you meant it that way. My grandfather duly served at Midway and Guadacanal, he made it through as he saw his compatriots die in front of him by American forces. There are tons of Japanese soldiers that still lay on those islands to this date, that were left behind. We cannot honor those soldiers that died in the battlefield? Yes we lost the war. But they served and died for their country. We cannot honor them?

If you can say that, then please, say the same to the American forces that are dying each day right now in Iraq.

"Japanese committed atrocities in the war, they have no right to honor veterans because they died because that's what they deserve."

"Americans commmitted atrocities in the war, they have no right to honor veterans because they died because that's what they deserve."
(Hmm... I guess this is no more Zipang but all politics now) well, it's not only "the japanese committed atrocities in the war", it's more like "the japanese started the war of aggressive expansionism and committed atrocities in the war". okay first the Yasukuni Shrine issue...

Personally I have no problem honoring some brave warriors who tricked by war militants and believed in their cause that died on battle field. But from my understanding that the notion about Yasukuni Shrine is that it contains the spirits of ALL those Japanese died in WW2, including militant Generals, war criminals, etc. etc. and honoring them all could be a problem. It means that it seems the Japanese Prime Minister can't distinguish the bad from the good, so in honoring those misleaded brave warriors who died in the course of the war, who deserves the honor, he also honors some japanese psychos and expansionist extremists who plotted and started the wars. In honoring the idea that one should fight and die bravely for his country, he also honors the idea that one should steal and rob land and resources from other countries to build a better Japan. Of course maybe I have this idea wrong, so if the Yasukuni Shrine doesn't contain the spirits of those war criminals or militant Generals who plotted and started the war, then I have absolutely no problem about it.

So I have no problem if the American honors a shrine which contains the spirits of soldiers died in Vietnam and Iraq, but if the spirits of some psychos who ordered massacres in Vietnam and the spirit of George W. Bush (when his time comes that is) goes into that shrine too, then it could become problematic.

And that raises another issue, something about the neo-history revisionism in Japan. It seems some Japanese intentionally try to be indifferent to the ideas of right and wrong, like Yasukuni Shrine, spirits of everyone died in war goes into it, not differentiating those honorable soldiers from those dishonorable militants. And now they are honored all alike.

I think nowadays they try to say "war is war, there's nothing right or wrong about a war", and they try to paint WW2 in that color. Indeed there are some wars that there's nothing right or wrong about it, but when country A invades country B for its own profit, and country B fights back, then A is wrong and B is right, there should be no doubt about that. So we should make it clear that Japan was wrong in invading others for land and resources in WW2, and it was clearly right for other countries to fight back the Japanese invasion. So it's not just that "you lost a war" but rather "you lost a war that you should lose because you are wrong to try to steal lands and resources from others to benefit yourself". Of course historically a lot of "wrong wars/invasion to others" were won, but that doesn't mean one should try to advertise it as the right idea. Bush ordered US to invade Iraq and won, but I don't think anyone with a right mind should try to glorify and honor Bush for the war. Instead, they should clearly know that this war is wrong, despite they have won the war.

So if the Yasukuni Shrine does indeed differentiate between war criminals/expansionist militants and brave warriors who fought for their country tricked by those war criminals, and does not contain those dishonorable spirits, then I'll retract my comments about Yasukuni Shrine. and if the japanese government doesn't try to write their history books trying to say Japan was not wrong in WW2, or that Japan was only wrong because she fought a war she couldn't win, not because it's wrong to invade others to start with, that there's no right side or wrong side in WW2, then I'll retract my comments about the history revisionism. At least most of the Germans I talked to admit that Germany was wrong in WW2, not because she lost the war, but because she started the war. And here I've met enough Americans who agree that it's wrong for Bush to invade Iraq, even despite the fact that they won the war.

Oh, and it's not really about some individual atrocities commited by individual japanese soldier. I'm pretty sure there are individual angry Koreans, Chinese, Southeast Asians etc. who have commited atrocities to innocent Japanese civilians back in WW2, and I'm pretty sure there are individual angry French people, British people, etc. who have commited atrocities to innocent German civilians back in WW2. But that doesn't change the fact that on the grand scale of things, Japan and Germany are the wrong side, while the other countries fighting back their invasions are the right side. So excuses like "horrble things happen in war", "both sides commited atrocities to each other" etc. etc. regarding WW2 are just that, lame excuses. Japan invades others, they fight back, then on the grand scale Japan is wrong and those other countries are right. If some angry mob from other countries killed innocent Japanese civilians there, that doesn't change the fact that Japan is wrong and other countries are right. You can say what those angry mobs have done are wrong, you can say those innocent Japanese civilians are not wrong and are victims of war, but that doesn't mean you can say on the grand scale that Japan is not wrong and those other countries fighting back invasion are not right.

Last edited by dreamless; 2004-10-11 at 04:20.
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