I caught Debito’s second column on the topic, which seems to have struck a chord with more people than usual.
It’s all very interesting, and a good installment of Just Be Cause. Myself, though, I’m astounded at how people will intensely debate this one element of being an outsider in a society that makes outsiders of its insiders. People microaggress you all over the place. There isn’t anything particularly unique about the Japanese style of it, except maybe that it fits that pattern of indirect or shadow fighting that fits into J-culture. The more clever or deceitfully elaborate a tactic is, the more it seems to have respect in Japan. Things that we look at as outright cowardice or cheating seem to get their own due in Japanese society.
Again, this is all said with the proviso that it’s talking about the bad actors in an otherwise good society.
My focus is on this concept of equal protection of the laws. I still think the Japanese government has a problem with that notion. I don’t see it as a microaggression, it’s much more a macro-aggression.
[Update: It never fails, that there is this side thing going on, that people are trying to identify who among the J-bloggers fits into what category in the article. I assumed that “apologists” was in reference to the expats who have been sass-mouthing each and every point taken up by the J-expat “left” (I don’t know if it’s right or left, or what have you, but the idea that the critics or challengers have their say, and then another group wants to refute point-by-point.) The “haters”, if you draw a Venn diagram, probably overlaps with that group. “Dorks”, well . . . Although, I’m a bit surprised to find Mr. Hikosaemon in that group, because it never struck me that he was part of the Tepido Twelve–if it was even twelve people if you did not include sock puppets. I understand that this has been renamed the “Notorious Twelve”. I assume that, in turn, has to do with the rebranding over at Tepido.org, which now calls itself Japologist. Hikosaemon seemed, to me, definitely NOT to be part of that scene, but is doing something in the J-Vlogging community going more to PR and promotion. Definitely a totally different group and different style.
All of that misses the point that, as I’ve been saying, is that these other J-blogging microaggressions, in their extremes, are probably things that are illegal in Japan. I am surprised that the J-authorities don’t crack down on that sort of stuff, but maybe that’s been going on, as I ruminated that other day.]