Sunday, October 21, 2012
Why Are More Young Japanese Women Showing Nationalistic Tendencies? (It’s the internet, stupid)
Ultra-rightist movements in Japan are visible through men who cover their faces with black bandannas, sun glasses and helmets. They drive around in what is as close to an armored van as a Japanese civilian can get and spew military music and political rhetoric from loudhailers fixed to the top of the vehicle. You can hear them coming from miles away and are reminded that the nationalism that led Japan into World War II is still alive to some extent, albeit among a small minority of people.
It is hard to believe, quite shocking in fact, that young Japanese women who don't appear to have a provocative thought in their head are becoming politically active on the rightist's side.
On the surface, they appear to be 'normal women' who follow fashion trends, buy luxury brand goods, and get excited over kawaii sweets like anyone their age.
However these women will not have anything to do with Korean pop culture, including the TV dramas, which were all the rage with young women until the recent spat with Korea over the Takeshima/Dokdo islands. They believe that Korea is teaching a mistaken version of history in their schools, one that was created solely to make Japan look evil, which they believe is unforgivable. The Senkaku Islands (territorial dispute with China) and Takeshima are definitely Japan's. They are for severing all Sino-Japanese and Korean-Japanese diplomatic ties. They believe that advertising and mass media are in collusion with the Koreans to make them look good to the Japanese people. While their form of protest may be different, they are just as emphatic in their rough speech as the men in black bandannas.
One of these women, who goes by the alias Aida Takiko, recently told Niconico News, "I won't use Korean make up or food, or any product that's made in Japan with Korean affiliation or sponsorship anymore."
According to the 33-year-old company worker, it all began when she was introduced by an acquaintance to Japanese internet message board 2channel, which has a history of being a seething cauldron of rightist, anti-Korean opinion. She feels like she learned the truth there. "I was shocked about what is going on in Korea and China. Famous Korean actors bashing Japan, things like the rise of sex crimes there, the sloppy health management of products infested with worms being sold; I learned that Japanese media reports are biased and cannot be trusted."
2channel now has a large following of young Japanese women who feel strongly about the rightist ideology introduced there, many of whom began following the site after an incident in 2011 in which famous Japanese actor Saousuke Takaoka criticized Japanese TV station FujiTV for promoting Korean content at the expense of domestic programming.
Chisako Takenaka, (alias) 29 years old, is one of the many people who took part in demonstrations against the Japanese media. She commented, "Truthfully, up until recently I had no interest in politics or the economy and was quite ignorant of what was going on around me. But now, thanks to Twitter, I'm more aware of what's going on." Ms Takenaka has eagerly taken part in recent rightist demos over the territorial disputes of Senkaku and Takeshima.
These woman feel like they have found the truth, and feel that contradictions have been smoothed over with their beliefs. Does this make them a part of "Neto Uo", the internet right-wing?
Ms. Takenaka denies it. " We are Japanese people doing what comes naturally and what any Japanese should do. We simply refuse to forgive what is unforgivable."
These women are not necessarily socially disadvantaged. Why are these women, who appear to have their feet planted solidly on the ground, turning into rightist activists? The bigger picture is thrown away for the falsehood of grasping at bits and pieces of information on Twitter and 2channel and calling them ultimate truths. It's a shame that energy can't be used to build bridges instead of building walls.
Source: Niconico News
社会的に不遇なわけでもない、いわゆる「リア充」である女性たちはなぜ「右傾化」したのか？ 週刊SPA！10/16発売号「一般女子の右翼化が止まらない！」では、コメンテーターにネット論客として知られる山本一郎氏を迎え、その背景も分析している。 ＜取材文／SPA！保守系女子を見守る会＞