All Things Japanese

My colleague who is Chinese Canadian was complaining today about the weird obsession for all things Japanese that many Taiwanese people seem to have. His father despises the Japanese for the war crimes they committed during vhis time, even refusing to buy Japanese-made cars, etc. He also says that Japanese people have a twisted sense of things (and in particular sex) and can’t understand why people in Taiwan take such a liking to Japanese pop music and fashion. Can someone enlighten us on this?

I’d hazard a guess that a lot of people in Taiwan look down so much on Taiwanese and Chinese culture in general that they feel the need to adopt a semblance of any culture they see portrayed as more worthy of embrace. This includes Western as well as Japanese cultures. People here think that speaking English or Japanese as so much higher class than speaking Mandarin or Fukienese, people look down on Chinese fashions and traditions. Of course, this is more widespread in places like Taipei than elsewhere. I suppose either it’s easier to appreciate Taiwan from the countryside, or perhaps the kind of people who are more prone to that kind of behavior tend to move to Taipei.

As you know before the KMT ruled Taiwan, the Japanese ruled Taiwan as their colony for 50 years. many old people can still speak Japanese today. It is natural that there there is a lot interest in Japan. Have you ever been there? I am from the USA, but I really like traveling in Japan. I am kind of a Ha Ri Zhu too. Japan is a leader in Asia for fashion among other things. It is only natural that Taiwan, being Asian looks towards Japan for fashion ideas. Where are the young poeple going to look towards? The Communists in the PRC. Wow, really fashionable. Poorer countries in SE Asia? No way?

I do not agree with Poagao that Taipei Taiwanese look down upon Taiwan and things Chinese. That is silly, by being interested in Japan it does not mean that they are not interested in Taiwanese things. Taiwan is the Asian leader in Mando pop, ask those Ha Ur Zhu if they like Mandarin songs too. Japan is a cool place, go and check it out and see for yourself what they like about it.

May I guess that your friends father is Mainlander? I have met many old Mainlanders that hate Japan. If I may digress I would like to ask why on the otherhand, these old men are so fond of China. I know it is their old home but GEEZE…there are hundreds of deadly missles pointing at us all here in Taiwan from across the water in the PRC. How could they forgive the CPP for taking away their homeland and giving away their land and homes. Who could love the PLA?

Finally, your friends father should learn to forgive people. Japan is not like they used to be 50 years ago. However the PRC has not changed much.

I can forgive Japan of 50 years ago and also Germany, but present day CCP is still pointing missles at my home and my friends here in Taiwan. I cannot forgive those bastards who are putting free in jail on a daily basis and beating Fa Lun Gong pratitioners etc. They are very bad. I won’t buy anything made in the Communist PRC if at all possible. Who knows it might have been made by democratic freedom fighters in a Communist Gulag. Bastards!

I’m from Malaysia, where there’s some interest in Japanese culture and fashion, but nothing compared to here. I think Poagao is right to a degree. I’m surprised by how many Taiwanese seem to look down on themselves for being Taiwanese, and adore Westerners and Japanese simply because they come from richer “more developed” places. Some people in Malaysia look up to the British (we used to be a British colony) but most are happy to be Malaysian, and follow a blend of cultures, including their own.

Good question, good issue. But I don’t think the Taiwanese look down upon themselves they way one poster said above. That’s nonsense. But yes, some people here may have a sense of inferiority in terms of fashion, hipness, music, movies, lifestyles compared to ultramodern TOKYO and NEW YORK and LONDON, so naturally, in the groovy fashion magazine lifestyle world, TOKYO has some intersting things to share with the rest of the world, and there are Japan tribes in SOuth Korea, Hong Kong and yes, Taipei. If you were 23 or 19, you might get into this Japan stuff too. It has noting to do with JAPAN and everything to do with Japan-ness. Many of the Ha ri zu here actully don’t like Japanese people per se, they know their history. But fasion and coolness is hard to ignore and TKO today has some good exports!

That’s all. Now there is growing up tribe of SOUTH KOREA addicts in Taiwan. Cool, too. Why shouldn’t Taiwanese teens ape the rest of the world and beg, borrow or steal whatever they want from other cultures? It’s a global world now! We are one people, forget nationalities! The young people in Taiwan are getting on the bandwagon that’s all. Bandwidth and all. It’s cool and okay and right on!

Teens do this the world over!


Please tell me I read too fast and that is why the figure of 125 million or so Japanese
(compared to 22 million Taiwanese, 45 million South Koreans, and a measley 7, 3
million H.K./Singaporeans respectively) was
not noticed.

Then add to the equation that Japan has had the highest standard of living almost throughout the last 140 years, especially the last century. And that theirs is a confuscist culture with much similar to all the other other confuscist ones on a deep level, so can offer much that the sophisticated (a certain level of comfort and world interaction is necessary it seems, why else would the 300 million Africans in Africa not make more than a singers/actors microscopic globalwide blip compared to the 30 million blacks in the US?)

Or so is my take on the situation, that it is mainly demographics. Take it for what it is worth.

– David

(what was the quote by President Adams?

"We work very hard so our children will have a better life …

And so our grandchildren can write poetry."

Circa 1820, or something resembling this
figment of memory.

David asked,

quote[quote]What was the quote by President Adams? [/quote]

“I must study politics and war that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics, philosophy, geography and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.”
–John Adams, 1780, in a letter to his wife