I’m a bit late to the party on this one, I think the kerfluffle happened before I even started blogging. But I want to chime in on this anyway, because I think it’s really important for me to.
Logan Paul is (or, maybe, was) a YouTuber who was known for his over-the-top style of videos. That’s fine. Logan Paul went to Japan. That’s fine.
Logan Paul managed to get himself in so much trouble he’ll likely be arrested if he ever sets foot there again.
He took a video in the famous “suicide forest”, found an actual dead body, and treated that with a complete lack of respect. This is what got him in trouble. But he did something else that I find a hell of a lot more disrespectful. He desecrated a Shinto shrine.
I am a Christian. That means that I believe that Jesus Christ is lord over everything. Fine. But I have come to have a great respect for the Shinto belief system, and I think that while they are subservient to Jesus, kami actually may even exist, and I’ve come to respect the respect that Shinto has for nature, balance, and peace. If I were to go to Japan, I would even consider going to a shrine and following the rules for purification, etc., there. It’s a matter of respect for the Japanese people, their beliefs, and an ancient belief system that I think very highly of.
And Logan Paul marched in there, threw coins in the water, polluted their harae water, talked loudly and disrespectfully, and basically just pissed everyone off. I guarantee you any Japanese that were there at that time (and there were quite a few) left with a really bad impression of Americans because of that one… baka otokonoko. He probably didn’t even know that a priest probably had to spend a lot of time afterwards purifying the shrine because of how badly he polluted it.
This is not how I want my people and my country to be seen. Yes, there are a few assholes in my country. I’ve even met a few. But many of us are decent people who, while maybe being ignorant, generally want to do the right thing. Some of us even took some time to read about your belief systems and have a great respect for them, even as we may find them mistaken in some ways. But it may be that someday I go to Japan, and I really don’t want people to look at my thick beard, cowboy hat, white skin, and American accent, and think “oh, great, here comes another one”. And Logan Paul set my people back in that regard incalculably.
So. To my Japanese friends, especially those I haven’t met yet. I apologize sincerely. What he did, how he treated your sacred places, as well as your places of greatest shame and how he just generally comported himself, was utterly inexcusable. I am unable to make it up to you – frankly, that is his responsibility – but I want to tell you that not all of us are muchina baka no kodomotachi and some of us actually spend a little more thought than desecrating your sacred places for attention.
Anyway, I thought that needed to be said. I’m done here. His name will not be spoken here again. I hope.