Positive change can
only come, it seems, from
one group at a time
I wonder if Black Friday took off in Japan this last Friday …. or Cyber Monday? I haven’t noticed anything in the Japanese newspapers I’ve been browsing on-line this evening. Do you know in French, they call it Vendredi Fou? Mad Friday. In some francophone parts of the world anyway. No wonder!! People do go a bit mad but I guess it is a good time to get early Christmas shopping in as long as you do it wisely, and even if it is just for yourself : P. I took advantage of Cyber Monday myself- seeing as I missed Black Friday (and Black Weekend for some shops) as I was busy working – to buy myself a coat which I’m going to consider my Christmas present to myself. I never buy clothes online as I prefer to check something out myself first but I guess I got caught up with the buzz. I hope it looks good because the thought of returning clothes makes me feel very lazy! I have bought footwear on-line and luckily that turned out well so I’m hoping this does too. I’m a big fan of coats and would have bought this one at its normal price (25 euros more) so I think it will be worth it.
Speaking about news articles from Japan, I was just thinking back to my post on #metoo. It seems to be gaining traction now in Japan with various recognisable people talking about their experiences, one of them a journalist writing in an article about being groped by a chikan on a train at the age of just eight!! The stigma about being a victim in Japan, whatever about everywhere else, is said to be very strong so people prefer to be silent but hopefully they’ll get the courage to at least talk about it with people even if they cannot get justice against the men in question. She only began to speak about it as an adult.
On a similar subject, I came across another women-related article about how a well-known convenience store chain in Japan is planning to take pornographic magazines off its shelves. Why? The Olympics apparently. It has taken them this long and only because of the Olympics to take these magazines off the shelves, realising that it would make foreigners uncomfortable. What about regular Japanese people, or indeed anyone living in Japan, who feel uncomfortable seeing men (I think it’s safe to assume it’s just men who do this!) in the shop just to perve at the young women, probably young girls (or boys) in these magazines, while they (the regular folks) are in getting their groceries or what not. I understand that Japan wants to make as good impression as possible on visitors for the Olympics (or indeed the Rugby World Cup the year before) and of course Japan already makes a good impression on most visiting foreigners but just to make this decision now when they could have made it a long time ago which would have pleased an enormous amount of people. Hmmm. It says a lot that it’s even news.
Yet more unbelievable news about how women are thought of by some men in Japan, this time in a historical sense. The Mayor of Osaka has cut a six-decade tie with San Francisco after the latter’s mayor designated a comfort women memorial as city property. Not only has this Mayor announced his plan to cut ties because ‘trust was broken’ (get real!) but the Japanese government itself opposes the existence of that memorial and others. I say bravo to the Mayor of San Francisco. Cool city, cool mayor!! Of course, many Japanese abhor this denial policy of Japan’s leader and support the memorials to these victims – let’s not forget that either. Better for Abe and his cronies to change their views themselves than be forced to do it later just to look good for the Olympics or whatever. The idea of cutting off ties with a prestigious city like San Francisco – a bonkers idea in general – just because its mayor clearly does not ‘bow’ to Japan’s policy is just fascist.
The news from Japan should be a real eye-opener this evening. There’s another story about rent boys in Japan (vulnerable victims as well) but I’ll leave you to chew on the above for today, or check it out yourselves. Besides I could just read the headline as I had reached my ‘story limit’ for the day (annoying or what).
Postscript: It seems that the convenience store is only ‘suspending’ (中止する )the ban on those magazines, implying that they may return. Hopefully not though. They should realise that they should have been doing this along. The English used by the person who translated the article (you can opt to translate it yourself but there is a translation already done) isn’t great by the way. They used the word ‘nationwidely’. Noone says that. Widely by itself yes (widely known, widely regarded, etc.) Nationwidely ….no! Nationwide is fine. This is for the English language version of a big Japanese newspaper by the way but the quality of writing, or lack of editors to pick up on poor quality writing, in newspapers is pretty dire these days from regional newspapers to bigger national newspapers everywhere, so unfortunately it’s not alone in its misuse of words. Are people so keen to get out the news that they forget their English? Apparently so. Then again, I was in a hurry to report this interesting news and missed the word suspend so I should have been more careful myself, even if I’m not a national newspaper.