So, last night, I had a question answered that’s been bugging me for years.
On YouTube, one of the major things I tend to watch is Japanese or Japanese-oriented content. One channel I currently follow is a guy who reacts to random Japanese videos as a “try not to laugh challenge”. I remarked that the Japanese culture was kind of repressed and blows off steam in unusual ways. I also said their culture had dark aspects, careful to also say it had beautiful aspects too. Basically, what I’ve been repeatedly saying in this blog.
I got told off by a Japanese commenter telling me I was saying “hate speech”, “discrimination”, and saying “illogical and unfounded” things about Japan.
I told this random commenter to pound sand, of course. But not before thanking him or her, because it answered a question that’s been bothering me for a long time. Namely, why is it that I can’t seem to hold a conversation with a Japanese person?
I have a particular personality, as I’ve mentioned before. I cannot leave a sleeping dog lie. By which I mean, if you put something in front of me that has good things about it, and also room for improvement, I’m going to be honest about both. I’m going to tell you what I like about it, and what I don’t like about it. And, as I’ve proven again and again on this blog, that also applies to Japan. Japan has some very beautiful things to its culture, and some very dark things as well. (Suicide forest, anyone?)
But apparently, this is not something a Japanese person likes to hear.
Basically, apparently, you cannot speak anything about Japan that is not in unreservedly glowing terms.
That’s not how I roll. That’s not ever how I’ve rolled.
But, at least, the mystery is solved. And with this, while I’m not giving up Japanese, I’m giving up ever talking to a Japanese person directly on anything but the most superficial of levels. We’re just never going to speak the same language, even if we do.
But let me be absolutely clear: I’m going to say what I think. About Japan, and about anything else. And if you don’t like it, ざけんなよ.