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Japan’s cynical war on woke Its progressive wave is merely a ploy

Who cares about being woke? Dukas/Universal Images Group /Getty Images

Who cares about being woke? Dukas/Universal Images Group /Getty Images


December 12, 2022   4 mins

When I first came to Japan, about 23 years ago, I watched an episode of a highly popular TV drama, set in a kindergarten, which featured a once-happy toddler who had suddenly become withdrawn. The staff couldn’t understand what was wrong, but it soon emerged the problem was his mother, who had selfishly abandoned her household duties to pursue a career. The horror! She was called to the school and, upon reflection, decided that she ought to give up her job and concentrate on her housewifely duties.

On the surface, Japan appears to have progressed a lot since then. The latest Japanese TV drama Modern Love (a sort of Japanese version of Love Actually) features a lesbian couple who are raising a child. Male homosexuality has featured on TV before and lesbianism is hinted at strongly in the ever-popular Takarazuka theatre (an all-female musical theatre troupe). But Modern Love is the first frank depiction of lesbianism on mainstream TV.

Japan is also starting to see the sort of identity-based skirmishes that are common in the West. Novelist Mieko Kawakami made headlines when she dared to interrogate prize-winning author Haruki Murakami over the depiction of female characters in his novels. During the pandemic, she also criticised the government’s Coronavirus task force for being all male.

The tide also seems to be turning in Japan’s leading universities. Once renowned for their conservatism, many seem to be adopting a Western-style “progressive” or “woke” agenda. Waseda University has introduced speech codes for staff when interacting with LGBTQI+ students, while the International Christian University spent a fortune last year building an unprecedented suite of gender-neutral toilets, and has added “other” to the list of gender options on class registers. Japan’s Women’s University is one of several all-female institutions considering the admission of transgender students.

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Meanwhile, Japan’s universities are introducing more progressive content to their humanities courses. A spate of umbrella courses with blandly innocuous names, such as Sophia University’s “Sustainable Futures”, are geared to promoting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: modules focus on “gender”, “race”, “climate”, and “inclusivity”. As for recruitment, applicants for university positions are often informed that if a male and female candidate are regarded as being equally qualified, the female will be chosen.

But, as ever with Japan, appearances can be deceiving. Japan’s progressive wave is merely an illusion to appeal to the outside world. Despite superficial reforms, its university campuses are as placid as ever. Student activism is virtually unknown; teachers are still held in high esteem, and visiting speakers are treated well. I’ve seen a beauty contest advertised on campus, but never a demonstration. In a society where people recoil at the idea of revealing their innermost traumas in public, and where fierce employee loyalty is deeply ingrained, the MeToo movement never stood a chance. It didn’t grow much beyond the campaign of a single victim, the TV journalist Shiori Itō, and as with Black Lives Matter hardly featured on Japanese campuses at all.

A likelier explanation for these reforms is a desire to attract foreign staff and students to boost university incomes. The Japanese government has been trying to increase the numbers of overseas students in Japan since it initiated its Global University Project in 2014, which selected 37 universities to subsidise for 10 years. In 2015, the government set an ambitious target of 10 Japanese universities in the Times Education top 100 rankings, which it is yet to achieve. There is much talk of Japan needing “globalised citizens” to revitalise the economy. To achieve these goals, a more “progressive” posture had to be struck to counter perceptions of Japanese universities as staid and backward looking.

Ultimately, the difference between wokeness in the West and in Japan is this: in the West, much of the impetus in universities seems to be coming from the students — at least a loud and determined minority; while in Japan the process is top-down and aimed at generating revenue. It’s not real: no one is cancelled and there are no “safe spaces”. Japanese students, if they even notice reforms, are often simply baffled by it all.

Similarly with TV dramas, there is little evidence of any desire on the part of the audience for more “modern” storylines. The most popular shows are still strikingly old-fashioned: presenters are rough-looking middle-aged men in shiny suits, with perky, deferential female sidekicks. They are known as se desu ne (“yes that’s right”) girls and their role is to be attractive and laugh at men’s jokes. The same goes for the music industry. The 48 female members of pop group AKB48 are selected for cuteness, sweetness, and air of innocence. Like all TV talents, they are inevitably controlled by agencies run by men.

As for Modern Love, could envy at the success of South Korea’s Squid Game and Parasite be having an influence on Japanese TV producers? Japan is an old hand at selling its culture overseas. The country is ranked fifth in the Global Soft Power Index, and its cultural influence in the UK is growing: Hideki Noda’s (‘Q’) — a drama blending kabuki with songs by Queen — played in London recently, and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s performance of Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbour Totoro has racked up nine nominations in the WhatsOnStage awards. Perhaps progressive posturing is part of an attempt to trigger a “cool Japan” wave in the West to rival the Korean wave known as hallyu?

To paraphrase Paul Valéry, in the modern world, everything changes but the avant-garde… and Japanese society. The corporate world remains unshakeably male, and calls to recognise same-sex marriage as constitutionally valid were thwarted in the courts in Osaka and Tokyo at the end of November. Japan languishes at 116 (out of 146) in the global gender equality rankings produced by the World Economic Forum in 2022.

It’s not clear how many Japanese people care. Long-term residents will recognise that, however dominant men seem to be, women wield considerable power in the domestic realm and beyond. A good example of this can be found in the inner workings of the formidable modern Buddhist group Soka Gakkai, whose political wing Komeito remains a coalition partner in government. Soka Gakkai is controlled, it is believed, by an all-female praesidium known as the married women’s association (the “Fujimbu”) which dictates the organisation’s policy.

Yet if progressive posturing is good for the Japanese economy, then so be it. Since the Meiji era (1868-1912), the Japanese have been renowned for refashioning foreign ideas into a distinct and efficient form. Japan’s police are based on the French gendarmerie, its schools on Germany’s gymnasiums, and its broadcasting service NHK on the BBC. The same goes for the arts: bonsai originated in China, as did the tea ceremony.

The phrase “go woke, go broke” might be a valuable warning in the West, but in Japan that message has been lost in translation. A full rejection of progressive Western values would be counterproductive: far better to appear to go along with it superficially, while changing nothing of consequence. Far better, and far more Japanese.

 ***

Order your copy of UnHerd’s first print edition here


Philip Patrick is a lecturer at a Tokyo university and a freelance journalist.
@Pbp19Philip

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Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

On the surface, Japan appears to have progressed a lot since then

Surely the author can’t believe that going from a cohesive, traditional, stable society to an atomised, rootless, shifting society is a sign of “progress”. Japan has been very clever to only appear to “progress” while remaining true to its culture.
I suspect it may thrive while we circle the drain!

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Haven’t young Japanese people stopped having sex? That doesn’t sound healthy.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

The birth rate in Japan (1.3 children per women) is certainly slightly below ours (1.5). But how much of our rate is due to recent immigrants bringing their higher birth rates to Britain? Foreign born population of Japan is 2%, Britain 17%.
I suspect if we excluded newcomers, we would be close to the Japanese rate.
The Japanese have also been coming to terms with the implications of births below replacement rates and developing solutions. While we have been burying our heads in the sand and relying on high levels of, increasingly unpopular, immigration.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Stuart Rose
Stuart Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

What are some of the ways the Japanese have been grappling with the implications of their low birth rate? Beside the U.K., there are many countries that could benefit from solutions to their replacement woes.

Matt M
MM
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Stuart Rose

I watched a very interesting discussion of this by Alex Martin and Oscar Boyd (on Google). Basically they have three initiatives- 1. Technical innovation like AI, automation, self service and process improvement to reduce labour requirements; 2. encouraging people to consolidate around certain locations which includes subsidies on housing to encourage young people to move to rural locations and attempts to persuade old people to move closer to larger villages (as their village depopulated); 3. Trying to encourage women to have more kids, tax breaks for larger families, free ivf etc.

Matt M
MM
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Stuart Rose

I watched a very interesting discussion of this by Alex Martin and Oscar Boyd (on Google). Basically they have three initiatives- 1. Technical innovation like AI, automation, self service and process improvement to reduce labour requirements; 2. encouraging people to consolidate around certain locations which includes subsidies on housing to encourage young people to move to rural locations and attempts to persuade old people to move closer to larger villages (as their village depopulated); 3. Trying to encourage women to have more kids, tax breaks for larger families, free ivf etc.

Stuart Rose
Stuart Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

What are some of the ways the Japanese have been grappling with the implications of their low birth rate? Beside the U.K., there are many countries that could benefit from solutions to their replacement woes.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

The birth rate in Japan (1.3 children per women) is certainly slightly below ours (1.5). But how much of our rate is due to recent immigrants bringing their higher birth rates to Britain? Foreign born population of Japan is 2%, Britain 17%.
I suspect if we excluded newcomers, we would be close to the Japanese rate.
The Japanese have also been coming to terms with the implications of births below replacement rates and developing solutions. While we have been burying our heads in the sand and relying on high levels of, increasingly unpopular, immigration.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Denis Stone
Denis Stone
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Beautifully put. Would that be clockwise or anticlockwise?

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Denis Stone

Depends on your hemisphere but I hear the Aussies and Kiwis are in the same state as the Yanks and Brits.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Denis Stone

Depends on your hemisphere but I hear the Aussies and Kiwis are in the same state as the Yanks and Brits.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Haven’t young Japanese people stopped having sex? That doesn’t sound healthy.

Denis Stone
Denis Stone
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Beautifully put. Would that be clockwise or anticlockwise?

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

On the surface, Japan appears to have progressed a lot since then

Surely the author can’t believe that going from a cohesive, traditional, stable society to an atomised, rootless, shifting society is a sign of “progress”. Japan has been very clever to only appear to “progress” while remaining true to its culture.
I suspect it may thrive while we circle the drain!

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Jonathan Nash
JN
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago

“Visiting speakers are treated well”
They really are dinosaurs, aren’t they?

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

The footballers even tidy their dressing rooms. Must be a backward country.

Mel Shaw
Mel Shaw
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

And their supporters take their rubbish home with them.

Stuart Rose
SR
Stuart Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

Sporting events are definitely different than they are in the U,S, and the U.K. A modicum of manners and respect, for the teams and themselves, would be a nice change.

Graham Strugnell
Graham Strugnell
1 year ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

They other people’s rubbish too

Stuart Rose
Stuart Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

Sporting events are definitely different than they are in the U,S, and the U.K. A modicum of manners and respect, for the teams and themselves, would be a nice change.

Graham Strugnell
Graham Strugnell
1 year ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

They other people’s rubbish too

Mel Shaw
MS
Mel Shaw
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

And their supporters take their rubbish home with them.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

Basic civility and hospitality to guests? Sexist, reactionary pigs!!Eee, it’s disgoosting!!!
My goodness, Mr Patrick, you are a twisted piece of work.

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

The footballers even tidy their dressing rooms. Must be a backward country.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

Basic civility and hospitality to guests? Sexist, reactionary pigs!!Eee, it’s disgoosting!!!
My goodness, Mr Patrick, you are a twisted piece of work.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago

“Visiting speakers are treated well”
They really are dinosaurs, aren’t they?

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

Maybe the west should should follow the lead of Japan? Sounds like they got it right there.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

”Ultimately, the difference between wokeness in the West and in Japan is this: in the West, much of the impetus in universities seems to be coming from the students”

Yea, like bad dogs made their owners bad…….

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

”Ultimately, the difference between wokeness in the West and in Japan is this: in the West, much of the impetus in universities seems to be coming from the students”

Yea, like bad dogs made their owners bad…….

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

Maybe the west should should follow the lead of Japan? Sounds like they got it right there.

Fletcher Christian
Fletcher Christian
1 year ago

So Japan is basically Britain in 1997. All we have to do is wait 20 years and they’ll have parades of men dressed as dildos with drag queens reading to their kids. Once the woke mind virus infects a patient, it’s trajectory is inevitable, and terminal.

Chris W
CW
Chris W
1 year ago

As you say. The UK is 10+ years behind the USA and Japan is further 10-15 years behind the UK/Europe.
Japan, however, is still relatively cut off from the outside world so its culture will be more woke-resistant than ours, perhaps allowing two cultures to exist side by side.
It confirms my view that all bad things start in the USA – an awful country.

Fletcher Christian
Fletcher Christian
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

I suspect not having English as one’s lingua-franca helps, since that is the primary means of transmission. Hopefully their language will act as a kind of shield. Nevertheless, the temptation of victimhood is extremely seductive – in wokeness the comfortable left have created a wonderful system of high returns in social capital, with zero risk. And yes, the USA are the super-spreader, but patient-zero is France… that’s where all bad ideas have their genesis!!!

Rick Lawrence
Rick Lawrence
1 year ago

Other examples please?

Phil Mack
Phil Mack
1 year ago

I don’t think you know what “lingua franca” means.

Graham Strugnell
Graham Strugnell
1 year ago

Having lived in Japan, I have observed that they are very selective in what they take from the west, which they regard as exciting in some ways but barbaric in others. It is a culture of deference, which we haven’t been since the 50s. They do not investigate their own war crimes, repress scandal in the interests of harmony, and look askance at the multiracial, strife-riven west. They have a great sense of the holiness of doing things traditionally, whereas we eviscerate our past and accuse our forefathers of sins that weren’t sins then. The Japanese see this as an act of self harm, not enlightenment.

Rick Lawrence
Rick Lawrence
1 year ago

Other examples please?

Phil Mack
Phil Mack
1 year ago

I don’t think you know what “lingua franca” means.

Graham Strugnell
Graham Strugnell
1 year ago

Having lived in Japan, I have observed that they are very selective in what they take from the west, which they regard as exciting in some ways but barbaric in others. It is a culture of deference, which we haven’t been since the 50s. They do not investigate their own war crimes, repress scandal in the interests of harmony, and look askance at the multiracial, strife-riven west. They have a great sense of the holiness of doing things traditionally, whereas we eviscerate our past and accuse our forefathers of sins that weren’t sins then. The Japanese see this as an act of self harm, not enlightenment.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

The USA is often effective at disseminating ideas around the world, but in the case of Wokery, I think the virus originated in France.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

NO it was founded in Wiemar Germany in the ‘Frankfurt School’ as a way to destroy Western values. An amalgam of atheism, existentialism, Freud, and Marx at the Goethe Institute. If you do not know this you are ignorant of the world, please read this Very biased Wiki on the ‘school’ (the founders of ‘Critical Theory’ and thus postmodernism, and thus all our ills…)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt_School

Then google the 11 points of the Frankfurt School

really, if you do not know this stuff you are Ignorant of the modern world!

Jonas Moze
JM
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

NO it was founded in Wiemar Germany in the ‘Frankfurt School’ as a way to destroy Western values. An amalgam of atheism, existentialism, Freud, and Marx at the Goethe Institute. If you do not know this you are ignorant of the world, please read this Very biased Wiki on the ‘school’ (the founders of ‘Critical Theory’ and thus postmodernism, and thus all our ills…)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt_School

Then google the 11 points of the Frankfurt School

really, if you do not know this stuff you are Ignorant of the modern world!

Wesley Rawlings
Wesley Rawlings
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

It’s the language barrier. It’s why Japan will cling on to its heritage and culture when the UK will lose it all to American Globalism.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago

Please read on ‘Meiji Restoration’ Japan has a social rule of ‘Adopt and Adapt’ They are an odd bunch, and strong

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meiji_Restoration

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago

Please read on ‘Meiji Restoration’ Japan has a social rule of ‘Adopt and Adapt’ They are an odd bunch, and strong

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meiji_Restoration

Warren Trees
WT
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

I agree, but I can also think of a couple of bad things that didn’t start in the USA: WWI, WWII, Black Plague, Slavery, Torture, numerous Empires and haggis.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Carl Marx, Freudian theory, Existentialism, Postmodernism, Nihilism, to name the actual roots of all this

Graham Strugnell
GS
Graham Strugnell
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Haggis is the worst

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Carl Marx, Freudian theory, Existentialism, Postmodernism, Nihilism, to name the actual roots of all this

Graham Strugnell
Graham Strugnell
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Haggis is the worst

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Great Britain, as it was then, made a great geo-strategic mistake in failing to throw its full resources behind the Confederacy in 1861.

Frederick Dixon
Frederick Dixon
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

Interesting point of view but, assuming that you are serious (?) why was it a mistake?

Frederick Dixon
Frederick Dixon
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

Interesting point of view but, assuming that you are serious (?) why was it a mistake?

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

” It confirms my view that all bad things start in the USA – an awful country.”

As someone who is a member of both sides of the Atlantic, I can assure you you are totally wrong, and a complete tool of the agenda controlled MSM and entertainment industry and Social Media.

50%+ of USA, what we could call the MAGA Deplorables, are 100% in line with the Japanese on all this.

The problem is as all the Education, and Medias, are 90% captured by the postmodernist Neo-Marxist running dogs of the Globalists; it appears this is not the case.

Having cheated and stolen the 2020 and 2022 elections by total corruption things look bad now, but this will flip in 2024, and sanity will return. Not all USA is sunk into degeneracy as Western Europe and UK are. People still go to Church and have Judeo-Christian Morals. USA may ride to the rescue against the Global Left/Liberal Woke Fas *ists like in WWII.

F. Deville
F. Deville
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Yes, you are right. American influence is culturally destructive. I loved traveling in the 1980s-2000s, many times to UK and continent. There was a culture in England, and Europe, where America had and has none. Leaving here (USA) every year for 3 weeks was such a good thing for my life and mentality.
I remember being disgusted the first few days back in the USA. Compared to England in 1990s, I returned to a place of ignorant. unfriendly, ill-mannered people.
It makes me sad and a bit angry to think that the UK has declined to the level of American society.
17% of Britain is foreign born? This is insane, it is cultural suicide. How can you stop it?

Last edited 1 year ago by F. Deville
Fletcher Christian
Fletcher Christian
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

I suspect not having English as one’s lingua-franca helps, since that is the primary means of transmission. Hopefully their language will act as a kind of shield. Nevertheless, the temptation of victimhood is extremely seductive – in wokeness the comfortable left have created a wonderful system of high returns in social capital, with zero risk. And yes, the USA are the super-spreader, but patient-zero is France… that’s where all bad ideas have their genesis!!!

Wilfred Davis
WD
Wilfred Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

The USA is often effective at disseminating ideas around the world, but in the case of Wokery, I think the virus originated in France.

Wesley Rawlings
Wesley Rawlings
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

It’s the language barrier. It’s why Japan will cling on to its heritage and culture when the UK will lose it all to American Globalism.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

I agree, but I can also think of a couple of bad things that didn’t start in the USA: WWI, WWII, Black Plague, Slavery, Torture, numerous Empires and haggis.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Great Britain, as it was then, made a great geo-strategic mistake in failing to throw its full resources behind the Confederacy in 1861.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

” It confirms my view that all bad things start in the USA – an awful country.”

As someone who is a member of both sides of the Atlantic, I can assure you you are totally wrong, and a complete tool of the agenda controlled MSM and entertainment industry and Social Media.

50%+ of USA, what we could call the MAGA Deplorables, are 100% in line with the Japanese on all this.

The problem is as all the Education, and Medias, are 90% captured by the postmodernist Neo-Marxist running dogs of the Globalists; it appears this is not the case.

Having cheated and stolen the 2020 and 2022 elections by total corruption things look bad now, but this will flip in 2024, and sanity will return. Not all USA is sunk into degeneracy as Western Europe and UK are. People still go to Church and have Judeo-Christian Morals. USA may ride to the rescue against the Global Left/Liberal Woke Fas *ists like in WWII.

F. Deville
FD
F. Deville
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Yes, you are right. American influence is culturally destructive. I loved traveling in the 1980s-2000s, many times to UK and continent. There was a culture in England, and Europe, where America had and has none. Leaving here (USA) every year for 3 weeks was such a good thing for my life and mentality.
I remember being disgusted the first few days back in the USA. Compared to England in 1990s, I returned to a place of ignorant. unfriendly, ill-mannered people.
It makes me sad and a bit angry to think that the UK has declined to the level of American society.
17% of Britain is foreign born? This is insane, it is cultural suicide. How can you stop it?

Last edited 1 year ago by F. Deville
R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

Nah, Japan is exceptional on issues like this. Even their marxists in the 60s were nationalists.

Jonas Moze
JM
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

A fascinating reading of Japan and communists – how MacArthur stopped Communism from taking Japan post WWII – really cool, as it could well have – one giant of a man.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

A fascinating reading of Japan and communists – how MacArthur stopped Communism from taking Japan post WWII – really cool, as it could well have – one giant of a man.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

we do have men dressed as dildos… the plastic suited ” ToylitTory” MPs with their reound veowel seounds, ” Pleeceman speak” Windsor tie knots and corfam pointy shoes, who in an earlier age would have been footmen or under butlers.

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago

As you say. The UK is 10+ years behind the USA and Japan is further 10-15 years behind the UK/Europe.
Japan, however, is still relatively cut off from the outside world so its culture will be more woke-resistant than ours, perhaps allowing two cultures to exist side by side.
It confirms my view that all bad things start in the USA – an awful country.

R Wright
RW
R Wright
1 year ago

Nah, Japan is exceptional on issues like this. Even their marxists in the 60s were nationalists.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

we do have men dressed as dildos… the plastic suited ” ToylitTory” MPs with their reound veowel seounds, ” Pleeceman speak” Windsor tie knots and corfam pointy shoes, who in an earlier age would have been footmen or under butlers.

Fletcher Christian
FC
Fletcher Christian
1 year ago

So Japan is basically Britain in 1997. All we have to do is wait 20 years and they’ll have parades of men dressed as dildos with drag queens reading to their kids. Once the woke mind virus infects a patient, it’s trajectory is inevitable, and terminal.

Peter Johnson
PJ
Peter Johnson
1 year ago

“Long-term residents will recognise that, however dominant men seem to be, women wield considerable power in the domestic realm and beyond.” Gee – what other societies might this statement apply to?

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

I notice it exists in the Mexican macho world as well. In the home the woman wields the power. That arrangement seems to suit the notion of inside/outside the home before women were “forced” to work outside the home.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

In Iran too. The woman is the power in the family. Ayatollah Khomeini, had huge respect for his mother and the women in his family. That is why he allowed women to keep their professional jobs and professional licenses, right to attend University, kept girls schools academic, and allowed them to drive cars, did not force the chador (which had been the culturial tradition earlier) but the just abaya and so on. Shia women are given pretty good respect (over Sunni in law and culture mostly)

Jonas Moze
JM
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

In Iran too. The woman is the power in the family. Ayatollah Khomeini, had huge respect for his mother and the women in his family. That is why he allowed women to keep their professional jobs and professional licenses, right to attend University, kept girls schools academic, and allowed them to drive cars, did not force the chador (which had been the culturial tradition earlier) but the just abaya and so on. Shia women are given pretty good respect (over Sunni in law and culture mostly)

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

When MacArthur wrote the Japanese Constitution after WWII he insisted 100% woman get the right to vote – a fascinating story of this process of the writing and then getting the Diet to ratify it – great reading

Anyway – he forced the Japanese to give the women the vote (very against all their culture!) because he said that would stop them from becoming a militarized nation ever again – as they saw what the military had done, and the war had done, and women are not warlike… and he was right.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

I notice it exists in the Mexican macho world as well. In the home the woman wields the power. That arrangement seems to suit the notion of inside/outside the home before women were “forced” to work outside the home.

Jonas Moze
JM
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

When MacArthur wrote the Japanese Constitution after WWII he insisted 100% woman get the right to vote – a fascinating story of this process of the writing and then getting the Diet to ratify it – great reading

Anyway – he forced the Japanese to give the women the vote (very against all their culture!) because he said that would stop them from becoming a militarized nation ever again – as they saw what the military had done, and the war had done, and women are not warlike… and he was right.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago

“Long-term residents will recognise that, however dominant men seem to be, women wield considerable power in the domestic realm and beyond.” Gee – what other societies might this statement apply to?

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago

Japan sounds like a nice place.

Galvatron Stephens
GS
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago

Japan sounds like a nice place.

Zak Orn
Zak Orn
1 year ago

Hopefully Japan stays strong, although they may only be posturing at the moment you only need to let a few “progressives” into important positions before the insanity rapidly spreads as we’ve seen in the UK.
Long-term, rather than jumping on the train to clown town along with the “progressives” Japan would be better marketing themselves as sane place for normal people to escape the crazies as the collapse of the west accelerates.
My wife is from Japan and we’ll be moving back there when we have kids, absolutely no chance we’d want them educated in the UK/US these days.

Last edited 1 year ago by Zak Orn
Harry Phillips
Harry Phillips
1 year ago
Reply to  Zak Orn

Take plenty of money with you.
One other factor forcing down birthrates is the cost of education. From kindergartens (yochien) with multiple uniforms all the way up to Uni, the costs are considerable – although I’m sure the UK must be catching up.
It’s one of the things that drove us out.
Make sure your relationship with your wife is healthy, as foreigners do not fare well in the divorce courts – custody of kids normally going to the Japanese parent.
Otherwise, the absence of wokery and respect for tradition is highly refreshing.

Harry Phillips
Harry Phillips
1 year ago
Reply to  Zak Orn

Take plenty of money with you.
One other factor forcing down birthrates is the cost of education. From kindergartens (yochien) with multiple uniforms all the way up to Uni, the costs are considerable – although I’m sure the UK must be catching up.
It’s one of the things that drove us out.
Make sure your relationship with your wife is healthy, as foreigners do not fare well in the divorce courts – custody of kids normally going to the Japanese parent.
Otherwise, the absence of wokery and respect for tradition is highly refreshing.

Zak Orn
Zak Orn
1 year ago

Hopefully Japan stays strong, although they may only be posturing at the moment you only need to let a few “progressives” into important positions before the insanity rapidly spreads as we’ve seen in the UK.
Long-term, rather than jumping on the train to clown town along with the “progressives” Japan would be better marketing themselves as sane place for normal people to escape the crazies as the collapse of the west accelerates.
My wife is from Japan and we’ll be moving back there when we have kids, absolutely no chance we’d want them educated in the UK/US these days.

Last edited 1 year ago by Zak Orn
Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago

The inherent problem with wokeism is the huge contradictions that arise, because it’s based not on principles but rather on interest groups, who have decided that they are perpetual “victims” and therefore deserve special privileges.

Thus, all male Covid committees are a problem but not 75% female teachers, or all male military casualties in Ukraine.
Or a family where the woman gives up her job to focus on being a mother while the father earns money to run the house is horrible, unless it’s a child custody case in a divorce court and it’s all change.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago

The inherent problem with wokeism is the huge contradictions that arise, because it’s based not on principles but rather on interest groups, who have decided that they are perpetual “victims” and therefore deserve special privileges.

Thus, all male Covid committees are a problem but not 75% female teachers, or all male military casualties in Ukraine.
Or a family where the woman gives up her job to focus on being a mother while the father earns money to run the house is horrible, unless it’s a child custody case in a divorce court and it’s all change.

Sophy T
Sophy T
1 year ago

‘as with Black Lives Matter hardly featured on Japanese campuses at all’
Why should it? There are few black people in Japan.

Olivia Motevalli
Olivia Motevalli
1 year ago
Reply to  Sophy T

Not strictly true, there’s been waves of black migration to Japan from 1500s onward. And a lot of white people were involved in BLM protests in the UK.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

‘Waves of black migration’? I had to check this as it strikes me as a misleading response to the original comment.
There are a few thousand black people now in a population of 125 million – that’s about 0.015% of the whole population. So Sophy was correct that there are few black people in Japan.
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01296612.2021.1986319

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

‘Waves of black migration’? I had to check this as it strikes me as a misleading response to the original comment.
There are a few thousand black people now in a population of 125 million – that’s about 0.015% of the whole population. So Sophy was correct that there are few black people in Japan.
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01296612.2021.1986319

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Stewart
Olivia Motevalli
OM
Olivia Motevalli
1 year ago
Reply to  Sophy T

Not strictly true, there’s been waves of black migration to Japan from 1500s onward. And a lot of white people were involved in BLM protests in the UK.

Sophy T
Sophy T
1 year ago

‘as with Black Lives Matter hardly featured on Japanese campuses at all’
Why should it? There are few black people in Japan.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

Japan sounds great! It must be wonderful to live in such a sensible, polite, civilized society.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

Japan sounds great! It must be wonderful to live in such a sensible, polite, civilized society.

Paul MacDonnell
Paul MacDonnell
1 year ago

“It’s not clear how many Japanese people care”.

I know how they feel.

Paul MacDonnell
Paul MacDonnell
1 year ago

“It’s not clear how many Japanese people care”.

I know how they feel.

Lee 0
Lee 0
1 year ago

It’s a snarky article, like there is something incorrect and shameful about Japanese culture failing to adopt Western so called “values”. Japan is not of the West, rather, it is obviously rooted in Confucianism.
The imposition of Western standards, via financial systems, industrial globalisation, and the new Woke ideology is a form of non military neo-imperialism. The East and South have finally realized what is afoot.

Lee 0
Lee 0
1 year ago

It’s a snarky article, like there is something incorrect and shameful about Japanese culture failing to adopt Western so called “values”. Japan is not of the West, rather, it is obviously rooted in Confucianism.
The imposition of Western standards, via financial systems, industrial globalisation, and the new Woke ideology is a form of non military neo-imperialism. The East and South have finally realized what is afoot.

Adam K
Adam K
1 year ago

Let’s hope at least some parts of the world hold out in the face of flagrant Western degeneracy.

Adam K
Adam K
1 year ago

Let’s hope at least some parts of the world hold out in the face of flagrant Western degeneracy.

Mike Bell
Mike Bell
1 year ago

What an unfortunate article. Equating Woke ideas with progress is very regressive.
Long live Japanese resistance. The UK has already lost.

Mike Bell
Mike Bell
1 year ago

What an unfortunate article. Equating Woke ideas with progress is very regressive.
Long live Japanese resistance. The UK has already lost.

R Wright
RW
R Wright
1 year ago

The Japanese are conservative to an extent that is incomprehensible to the west. The numbers of foreign asylum seekers they let in a year is double digits and the Covid era ban on alll foreigners entering the country for 2 and a half years was extraordinarily popular. ‘Progress’ does not exist in Japan except insofar as it can be delicately managed. This has been the way they have operated since their three century policy of murdering potentially dangerous foreigners on the beaches ended in the 1800s.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

The Japanese are conservative to an extent that is incomprehensible to the west. The numbers of foreign asylum seekers they let in a year is double digits and the Covid era ban on alll foreigners entering the country for 2 and a half years was extraordinarily popular. ‘Progress’ does not exist in Japan except insofar as it can be delicately managed. This has been the way they have operated since their three century policy of murdering potentially dangerous foreigners on the beaches ended in the 1800s.

Michael Askew
Michael Askew
1 year ago

“teachers are still held in high esteem, and visiting speakers are treated well.” The horror!

Michael Askew
Michael Askew
1 year ago

“teachers are still held in high esteem, and visiting speakers are treated well.” The horror!

Jonathan Baylis
Jonathan Baylis
1 year ago

Isn’t the article suggesting a cynical phony adoption of wokeness by in particular Japanese universities, rather than a war on it?

Alan Tonkyn
Alan Tonkyn
1 year ago

Yes, I thought exactly that. The title is completely misleading. Who was editing this?

Alan Tonkyn
Alan Tonkyn
1 year ago

Yes, I thought exactly that. The title is completely misleading. Who was editing this?

Jonathan Baylis
Jonathan Baylis
1 year ago

Isn’t the article suggesting a cynical phony adoption of wokeness by in particular Japanese universities, rather than a war on it?

Fletcher Christian
Fletcher Christian
1 year ago

So basically Japan is Britain in 1997. All we have to do is wait 20 years and they’ll have parades of men dressed as d-i-l-d-o-s with drag queens reading to their kids.

Fletcher Christian
Fletcher Christian
1 year ago

My comment appeared twice.. it didn’t work the first time so I thought maybe Unherd didn’t like d-i-l-d-o-s…. but then it magically appeared but with the edit function removed. Must be gremlins brought about by all the snow!!

Fletcher Christian
Fletcher Christian
1 year ago

My comment appeared twice.. it didn’t work the first time so I thought maybe Unherd didn’t like d-i-l-d-o-s…. but then it magically appeared but with the edit function removed. Must be gremlins brought about by all the snow!!

Fletcher Christian
Fletcher Christian
1 year ago

So basically Japan is Britain in 1997. All we have to do is wait 20 years and they’ll have parades of men dressed as d-i-l-d-o-s with drag queens reading to their kids.

Peter Joy
PJ
Peter Joy
1 year ago

‘Despite superficial reforms…’
What you describe is anything but reform. It is regression, of the most foul and depraved kind. I am disgusted that these US campus-cultural-colonialist perversions are happening in Japan at all – and if they are a cynical charade, thank goodness for that.

Peter Joy
PJ
Peter Joy
1 year ago

‘Despite superficial reforms…’
What you describe is anything but reform. It is regression, of the most foul and depraved kind. I am disgusted that these US campus-cultural-colonialist perversions are happening in Japan at all – and if they are a cynical charade, thank goodness for that.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago

So a university wishing to attract foreign students adopts “gender-neutral toilets”. My days in Japan were long ago but I recall being in a department store with a unisex toilet. As I stood at the urinals along the wall, two ladies came in entered the stalls. At the time made perfect sense. It’s a pity that civility can’t be everywhere.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago

So a university wishing to attract foreign students adopts “gender-neutral toilets”. My days in Japan were long ago but I recall being in a department store with a unisex toilet. As I stood at the urinals along the wall, two ladies came in entered the stalls. At the time made perfect sense. It’s a pity that civility can’t be everywhere.

John Smith
John Smith
1 year ago

Which is more likely: that Japan is collectively waging a secret war on woke by only pretending to be woke, or that they are simply following us to the gallows? You also shouldn’t put too much stock in how things are right now, because this stuff always goes from nothing to something to everything. Japan isn’t going to instantly leapfrog to where we are now, just like we didn’t. Imagine going back even a decade–or less–and “predicting” what things will be like in 2022; almost nobody would believe you. But here we are. Just because things are relatively fine now doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way, and we know from a lot of past experience that there’s no room for optimism. A lot of left-wing cultural rot has already seeped into Japan, and it’s going to keep increasing.

John Smith
John Smith
1 year ago

Which is more likely: that Japan is collectively waging a secret war on woke by only pretending to be woke, or that they are simply following us to the gallows? You also shouldn’t put too much stock in how things are right now, because this stuff always goes from nothing to something to everything. Japan isn’t going to instantly leapfrog to where we are now, just like we didn’t. Imagine going back even a decade–or less–and “predicting” what things will be like in 2022; almost nobody would believe you. But here we are. Just because things are relatively fine now doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way, and we know from a lot of past experience that there’s no room for optimism. A lot of left-wing cultural rot has already seeped into Japan, and it’s going to keep increasing.

Richard Craven
RC
Richard Craven
1 year ago

“A likelier explanation for these reforms is a desire to attract foreign staff and students to boost university incomes.”
If I was applying to a Japanese university, I would find them thoroughly off-putting.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

“A likelier explanation for these reforms is a desire to attract foreign staff and students to boost university incomes.”
If I was applying to a Japanese university, I would find them thoroughly off-putting.

Sophy T
Sophy T
1 year ago

‘As for Modern Love, could envy at the success of South Korea’s Squid Game and Parasite be having an influence on Japanese TV producers’.
Japan has already made its own Squid Game called Alice in Borderland which came out before Squid Game so if anything it’s the other way round.

Last edited 1 year ago by Sophy T
Sophy T
Sophy T
1 year ago

‘As for Modern Love, could envy at the success of South Korea’s Squid Game and Parasite be having an influence on Japanese TV producers’.
Japan has already made its own Squid Game called Alice in Borderland which came out before Squid Game so if anything it’s the other way round.

Last edited 1 year ago by Sophy T
Nicky Samengo-Turner
NS
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Interesting how whilst Britain is criticised and self flagellates about racism, it is almost never even mentioned that Japan has almost no racial minorities and no Islamist problems, yet as the once global leader in consumer electronics, capitulated its lead in mobile phones and IT to silicone valley, my completely missing the advent of the new microchip and internet arrival?