“KY” may be kanji yomenai, but it’s not kuuki yomenai!

I’m not certain, but I believe I may have gotten my first internet criticism coming from the Japanese blogosphere. It’s very small, maybe a couple of hits, but I was “kandou” (moved or impressed, depending. But I am being sarcastic.)

I mentioned about Tuesday’s post over at Debito, here, and this was picked up, there–along with the post immediately before it.

The response of the writer of that blog was:





I think this was saying: They don’t read material in Japanese. (日本語の読み書きをしない.) They can’t [therefore don’t] read the newspaper, either. (新聞も読まない.)

This larger one is a little more complicated, but I’ll give it my best:

Comments and contributions by “hikikomori” (shut-in) English-speaking foreigners here who don’t know anything about the history and systems of Japan. (制度・歴史について知らない英語引きこもり在日外国人たちの日本ついての評論コメント・投稿)

Here is the link to the [blank] blog. (有道ブログとそのリンクである。) I don’t know what “yuudou” 有道 【ゆうどう】 is doing there (the translation is honorable or person of good will or who does the right thing), but I think it might be a bit of sarcasm?


Something about Democracy and either not wanting to obstruct debate. I’m trying to work out whether it means the (other) person is exercising their democratic rights in public, or that they disagree with what I said (because I allegedly don’t know anything about the systems and history of Japan, which you can only really learn in Japanese), and want to express their disagreement. Or third possibility, that Japan is a democracy and honoring it, I should get to say what I want, even though this other writer thinks it’s not based in hard-grounded, kanji-sourced fact.


Well, that said, it just might be a comment by a person who saw out of it only what they wanted to see.

But I want to put this out, too. Watch this video for as long as you can stand. It’s in Japanese, but the part about “as long as you can stand” goes to the adult men’s behavior when they visit the elderly mother’s house.

You may not understand one word of Japanese, but you can clearly see what is going on. The men are harassing an elderly woman at her home, because her son is the distributor of the movie about dolphin hunting. This is that fellow “Sakurai”, the protestor out of Kyoto[, or at least his group.]

H/T to Debito.org through Debito’s July 1, 2010 post.

Note: “kuuki yomenai” is translated as “can’t read the air”, but it’s similar to “can’t read the writing on the wall”. Basically, someone that doesn’t know what’s going on.

14 thoughts on ““KY” may be kanji yomenai, but it’s not kuuki yomenai!

  1. Just a quick FYI, 有道 (あるどう) is Debito’s last name in Kanji. (First time I’ve commented, but I’ve been reading your blog regularly for a few months now.)

    1. D’oh! I’m looking at that word, and saying to myself, “it’s so familiar!”, but I just couldn’t make it out.

  2. Sorry for the double comment (feel free to delete this one), but I forgot to mention that, in addition to reading your blog, I also ENJOY it. Hekcuva slip.

    1. I appreciate the compliment, Zig. Some of my readers know me, but mostly I am typing out into the ether and wonder what the overall result (feeling) is.

  3. First time I comment, but more or less a frequent reader of you blog.
    Probably 有道 Arudou is the surname of mr. Debito.

    Also you will be “amused” (sarcasm) by other things that are going on on the internet around some japan related-blog:

    – a fake debito blog to comment (and insult/defamate) without moderation
    SEE http://whatjapanthinks.com/2010/08/13/tepido-org/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+WhatJapanThinks+%28What+Japan+Thinks%29
    SEE ALSO tepido.org
    – someone that doesn’t comment on this blog, but blogs about a post of yours
    SEE http://www.billowykimono.com/2010/08/guess-what-guys.html

    Looking at these site you will see “familiar” nicknames like senor science, LB or Ken Y-H etc. take a look on comments on japan probe to have an idea what i’m talking about. I’m impressed that some people have a lot of spare time to counter argument everyone on every japan-related matter on regular basis. But I think that it’s how the internet works
    nowadays (sarcasm).
    It is always interesting to read your post, so keep up the good job!
    Also sorry for my broken english. =)

    1. Mamoru, I think your English is fine. You probably notice that native speakers mess up here and there, so if you reach that level, it’s quite a fantastic accomplishment, don’t you think?

      The earlier poster (Zig) pointed out to me that 有道 is Arudou as well. I kept looking at the word as “yuudou” and said, “it’s so familiar!” I think Debito tries to do the right thing by people, and so the kanji is fitting. No one is 100%, and I think that’s where the cheap-shot artists come in.

      I caught Tepido.org, which I thought was meant to be a serious counter commentary. (Someone had linked into mine there a few weeks back on some point.) Sure, everyone can expect a good-natured ribbing, but I noticed that some of the later posts just were name calling. I think one tried to show how if you punch a search term into Yahoo enough times, it will show up in later partial searches. So someone called D.A. a moron, and then thought it was funny that they “persuaded” Yahoo to report the same thing back.

      I dealt with that kind of thing as an early blogger (2003) back in America. And so, I’m not too keen on the site, even though they recently pointed out my Ron Kessler/Health One work. If someone wants to say Debito is off about a point, well, fine. I don’t agree 100%–who does with anyone? But the site just seems to taking what Debito posts one day, and then just trying to do smears. I had it happen in ’03, and even later years, and I just think that’s below the belt even for the blogging world.

      The guy who hit my JET post last month just seemed to be some kind of crank. It’s one of these things where someone just wants to start an argument, so their approach is to go out and say that someone said something wayyyy much different than what was actually said. I only took the bait on it because I wanted to show that, yup, this is contemporary JET for you—even if it’s the rare bird. I think in a later post he had claimed to be posting drunk, and that excused it. Nice. The better approach would have been to make an authentic apology. I don’t know what it is these days in America with people “apologizing” for the fact that their bad behavior just isn’t deferentially tolerated without comment from the victim. I think that’s the whole premise of the cable show “Jersey Shore” in fact.

      These people who go around anonymously fixing the internet or picking fights sound like they just waste time. Probably time that used to go towards watching TV. Gotta wonder.

      Thanks for reading my blog, Mamoru.

  4. Rather than “can’t read a newspaper” I think “don’t (or won’t) read a newspaper” might be a bit more appropriate.

    As for the last sentence, based on a cursory glance of the original post, the blogger seems to be saying that “if you want to express your democratic right to protest, please do it here. I won’t try to stop you by moderating your comment.” An obvious swipe at someone.

    1. Chuckers, thanks. You are right it’s the negative of read a newspaper. I saw it as a follow-up to the statement about “don’t read things written in Japanese” and a precusor to this “English-language hikikomori (shut-in)”, so I thought the writer meant to be saying, “hey look it, they can’t read the newspaper because they don’t read Japanese!” The whole idea that information about Japan really only be conveyed in kanji, when 90% of all communication, wherever in the world, is non-verbal.

      I don’t know what to make of that last part. I don’t think it was a swipe at me, as I try to be respectful of other people’s right to say. And if he meant Debito, well, Debito gets numerous comments every day, and he has the right to regulate that comment board, since it’s one of the most popular solo boards for expats in Japan.

      I get the rare cuss-word post from the internet ether, which obviously doesn’t go through.

      1. It seems the blogger was taking a swipe at Debito as he has a tendency to be very revisionist with comments, not just of his own but of others that post to his site. Tepido.org highlights some of this over in that space. Debito has excised some of your comments in the not so distant past.

        This make Debito’s claims against Tony Lazlo for removing things from mailing lists a bit ironic.

        1. Yeah, yeah. The thing with him, and maybe your comment gets on and maybe it doesn’t. You are right, that happened with me once, but I think it was because some PC dude decided my view was not politically correct, and Debito just went zap. Ninety-five percent of mine get on there.

          I felt the comment went to the idea that anyone who had a comment about what the blogger said should feel free that, if they agreed, their post would go on. I noticed that, as of today, no one commented, which makes me think that that, too, is a blog that just seeks to bait people, using the actual creative talent coming off someone else’s website . . .

  5. what a way to dismiss a perfectly valid arguement by calling the other side an english-speaking hikikomori. says the biggest hikikomori of them all. he blogs so much every day that he probably doesn’t get out of the house much anyway. dont let him bully you into not writing anymore, i like reading your blog even if i don’t comment!

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