?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Japan's new sakoku? - click opera — LiveJournal
February 2010
 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wed, Jan. 7th, 2009 03:04 am
Japan's new sakoku?

44CommentReply


(Anonymous)
Wed, Jan. 7th, 2009 08:17 am (UTC)

Maybe, in a cultural way, Japan is turning inward. But as an exchange student here, everyone's talking about how exchange programs are being ramped up by the government. The ministry of culture is in the process of expanding scholarship aid to foreign students and universities are responding by expanding their international departments. Most people I talk to suggest that the reason behind this change is population decline, and Japan is actively trying to lure young people into the country. And despite appearances, it's not necessarily at odds with a new sakoku... Exchange students are generally more militantly purist about Japanese culture than the Japanese themselves, so it makes perfect sense in a perverse sort of way. Save the country by importing the barbarians!


ReplyThread
akabe
akabe
alin huma
Wed, Jan. 7th, 2009 08:28 am (UTC)

excelent point. i was just talking to someone last night about the 'last samurai' syndrome that some japanese themselves who feel positively disconnected, freed up from their own culture it its narrower aspects, also often tend to display


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Wed, Jan. 7th, 2009 09:48 am (UTC)

i'm just coming to the end of a five-ish month long exchange study in Kyoto (coming from a Scottish art college). Certainly it's been difficult, being my first time in Japan (or Asia at all). I wasn't expecting otherwise, so i've taken the time to learn the language and etiquette, etc, in the hope of not appearing too much of a gaijin.
But i wasn't expecting quite so much (perhaps unintentional) cultural insularity here. It's as if the Japanese don't quite know what to do with foreigners - at home the Scots treat visitors with either a great deal of interest and warmth, or else outright intimidation. But in Kyoto, no-one really knows what to do with us.


ReplyThread Parent
qscrisp
qscrisp
Wed, Jan. 7th, 2009 11:22 am (UTC)

That has always been my experience of Japan, even in the nineties when I first went there. That line drawn between Japanese and the rest of humanity seems uncrossable in any way that will be publicly acknowledged in Japanese society, although, if you're lucky, you might be able to cross that line with individuals. Thank god for individuals.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Wed, Jan. 7th, 2009 11:56 am (UTC)

gosh yes. and of course the Japanese individuals who are most interested in crossing that line are the ones who aren't in Japan anymore.


ReplyThread Parent
funazushi
funazushi
funazushi
Wed, Jan. 7th, 2009 11:08 pm (UTC)

I wouldn't worry about it too much, Kyoto is culturally insular to Japanese people as well.


ReplyThread Parent