Reply To: Japanese Attitude Towards The Disabled

  • Mark

    January 14, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    Hey Ivan,

    Maybe it’s because of my position in the academy, but I tend to reject any blanket statements like “Japanese people think X” or “Japanese culture is Y.” There’s so much diversity in Japan it’s hard to pin down any one strain of thought as being essentially ‘Japanese.’ I suspect the same is true for your own country.

    Having said that, there are certainly histories/legacies of discrimination like those that you mentioned. But I think they’re very much in the minority: like racists or misogynists in any other country. If your concern is that ‘all people in Japan are samurai’ you’re putting too much weight on the thought of one individual. Besides, what the hell does it mean to be a samurai anyway? Different people will interpret the meaning of samurai in different ways, and their interpretations will govern their actions. It’s kind of like the myth that Japan is a homogenous society – it wants to be, and may present itself as such, but it certainly isn’t in many social, political, economic, and cultural ways.

    I’d be happy to chat more about this if you like.



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