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Old 2007-05-26, 15:31   Link #132
Obey the Darkly Cute ...
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 61
Originally Posted by Kaoru Chujo View Post

"Japan is hardly roses all around" (houkoholic) seems like a bit of an understatement to me. The Japanese news seems full of corrupt commercial and political machinations of various kinds. I get the sense -- perhaps unjustified -- that certain worlds in Japan are really the "war of all against all." My sense is that Japanese courtesy hides intense and generalized interpersonal competition. Is this true?
Not to derail... but any study of Japan that doesn't include the unpleasant aspects is just drowning by roses. All societies have their "backdoors" and "alleyways" Abe is the nicely painted cover for a nasty clique of ultra-nationalists and a few corporate/clan interests. Much like Bush was painted up to distract that he only actually pays homage to a select inner circle of modern robber barons and you're deceived if you think there's any actual conservative or religious philosophy to it.

The courtesy does put nice icing over corruption (the eyewinks tween yakuza and police, for example), price fixing, clan domination (often concealed by name differences: e.g. the average consumer has no idea that KFC and Taco Bell are the same company -- no real competition).

<shrug> one can understand all those flaws and still love the country and the people. Japan is just historically fascinating for a lot of reasons.

After all, everyone likes the Canadians and they're full of problems under the radar (damned ninja assault moose ).
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