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Anti-Japanese Sentiment

Discussion in 'Post War 1945-1955' started by ladymage, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Active Member

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    Totally agree Owen. Strange you should mention that as I am reading the book by Alastair Urquhart, "The Forgotten Soldier". He spent years as a POW in various camps and had to work on the Death Railway.
    Really opened my eyes what the Japanese Army did. I think everyone should read a book like this.

    Lesley
     
  2. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish

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    A Friend of my Grandad's spent time in Changi etc., with everything that implies and can imply in later life.
    Used to walk around people's houses looking for 'made in Japan' labels (far more common in the 70s), and then throw the offending item in whatever bin he could find nearby.
    Nobody commented, and you could always retrieve it later.
    Essentially, he could 'act as poorly' as he liked. His experience, his times, his memories.
    Some forgive, some don't. Not my call to judge 'em.
     
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  3. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Just ordered the book from Amazon Lou.
     
  4. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I think you'll like it. It is well researched using Japanese language sources. It really gave me a lot to think about.
     
  5. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Good post Von Poop..

    Agreed Von Poop. And unfortunately for some I am going to put the cat amongst the pigeons and apologise to no one.
    I grew up around my grandad...My dad and his own brother fighting ww2 in RN in Atlantic...
    My Grandfather fought the Japanese In burma, Both the retreat and under Slim the way back.
    I grew up around him and his mates, and attended with my brother many Burma Star meetings.
    Pubs yes. Drunks no...The stories they told still haunt me. My grandad saw many things me an my own brother
    as future servicemen would never see. They have and some are still alive the right to think what they like on
    the Japanese. Some have followed the Japanese nation closely on issues relating to ww2 and were never happy with
    what they saw in times of peace. I cam out of forces and went into banking telecoms. Working in City of London amongst
    other countries and places. I had to attend comms meetings with many nationalities. And was only ever asked to leave
    one meeting. With the Japanese bankers I attended with my colleagues who all bowed and did what seems the obligatory
    greetings. I just could not do it. I had memories implanted from brave...angry...men who had every right to think of Japan
    as they did..indeed do..still. And I support that right and will hold the Japanese to count until they change their attitude
    to ww2 and what happened. Even this week they are off on the old comfort women never existed road once more and
    will keep doing such things unless we speak out and stop them in their tracks, re writing or better still ignoring
    what they did. If that offends anyone. So be it...My view...Carry on Grandad.
     
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  6. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

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    Quick story regarding this topic. During my college days I was working my summers to pay for school. I worked as a stock boy at a local retailer in a small town in CT. I would switch to work the fork lift in the front at times and help load pallets of top soil and concrete into flat beds. It was required as an employee to work one twelve hour shift a week. This was my favorite shift because I had the chance to work with a WWII vet named Bill. He was a radio operator on a B-17 with double digit combat missions ( I can't remember the exact number at this time). He was very outgoing, engaging and had a great sense of humor and he would keep me in stitches during the evening hours on slow Saturday nights at the store. I would talk with him often about his service and he was very forthwith with stories of his experience, especially when he found out my fascination with the topic. We would have dinner together at times and developed a friendship.

    Anyway, one evening during business hours I was running the register with a fellow employee. This young man, around 22, was a Japanese American and we were chatting between registers. The staff were required, when working the front of the store, to adorn ourselves with ties. I never noticed at the time that his tie was the Japanese symbol, bright red rising sun, with sun rays stretching across the length. I remember this tie vividly due to the fact that, as I am chatting with this fellow coworker, Bill walks by and notices his attire. Bill immediately demands he remove the tie. The kid refuses, claiming he has to wear a tie for work and he sees no issue with it. A verbal exchange ensues and Bill walks away, clearly angry and muttering underneath his breath. Assuming that the situation is over, I begin helping a customer, in which there are many flowing in at this time. Just then, Bill arrives again holding a pair of box scissors. Without warning or hesitation, Bill, with great ease, swipes and snaps off the tie, just below the knot. The kid, as well as the staff, customers and management, are frozen in stunned silence. Bill crouches down, picks up the severed remains, hands it to the kid, gives me a wink, and walks off, like nothing happened. He never talked about.

    This was my first account of anti-Japanese sentiment.
     
  7. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    I think that what he did was a well-measured and appropriate response given the circumstances. He could've stomped the ever-loving s#1t out of the young insensitive Japanese-American smart a$$.
     
  8. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

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    I agree . I also know that many people do not have the same education regarding the atrocities that were committed in the PTO. I so believe he was justified. Unfortunately, at the time the kid had no clue, I had to explain it to him later.
     
  9. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    How'd he react to what you told him?
     
  10. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

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    Not as accepting as I hoped. He was an immature kid who was more concerned with his $10 accessory than what a veteran of the Second World War had to say. It was a shame, because it was an opportunity for me to educate someone, the same age as myself, in a matter of vital historical significance. He could care less.
     
  11. green slime

    green slime Member

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    No one near Australia or New Zealand would've attempted to display the Rising Sun publically in such a manner when I was growing up. Other than on book covers, comics, cartoons regaling war stories etc.

    So many families lost members. My Grandfather could never really talk about his experiences, which marred him for life.

    I don't mind Japanese people, but don't expect me to let you wave that flag under my nose without comment.

    I usually just politely point out that it is as provocative as the Nazi Swastika to those who know it's origin, and ask them to cease displaying it in my presence in the future.
     
  12. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    While I perfectly understand the WWII vets feelings, one can also appreciate that the Rising Sun was around long before and after WWII. It's different than the Swastika, which was wholly an emblem of the Nazi era.
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Actually the swastica may well out date the rising sun.
    I still remember seeing a collection of Kiplings work, printed in the 20's I think, covered with swasticas. They appear in India in sites thousands of years old and I think I've seen some of them in pre Viking Age Norse sites. (well actually photo graph's of the same.
    See:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/Swastika.html
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I'm of two minds about this. If it was done as deliberate provocation I'd be inclined to agree. If the vet had explained nicely and the kid had refused well so be it. But as explained he didn't understand. That he didn't care after the fact doesn't reflect well on him but ...
    Would you feel the same if the tie had the Stars and Bars?
    Would it make any difference in this case if "Bill" was an African American?
    How about if it was a Star of David?
    Again if "Bill" was a Palastinian, especially one who had lost family?
    Or reverse the last one?

    I'm willing to cut the vet some slack but I'm not going to approve of what he did.
     
  15. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

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    Interesting take. The other members of the staff, who also knew of his past, we're shocked at the event but not perturbed by it. Bill had a strong will and it actually reflected badly upon the young man, in their eyes. I give credit to the kid though, he never complained or whined to the higher ups, just took it. He worked their for the remainder of the season as well.
     
  16. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    That's good for you. I would have bought him a beer afterwards, but that's me. And I would have stomped the ever-loving s#1t out of the little b@$tard if I would've been that vet. It has nothing to do with all the other scenarios you offered. Neither one took part in the Civil War so the Stars and Bars scenario doesn't count. Neither one was Jewish or Palestinian, so the Star of David scenario doesn't count. It involved a WW2 veteran who obviously had a hard time in the PTO and really doesn't care for the Jap(anese) B@stards and the Anti-Civilization Forces of the Greater Co-Prosperity Sphere nor the Rising Sun tie on the little a$$-wipe who didn't care why it offended anyone, even when it was pointed out to him. Banzai!

    lwd, please don't take this rant as a personal attack or some sort of wild response that our friend Karjala is famous for in other threads.
     
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  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Takeing offence where non was meant is not completely rational. I've known a number of vets from that fought in that theater at least some who from what we are told had as much or more reason to not like the Japanese. I don't see them doing either one. If someone came up to me and told me to take off a tie because he didn't like it I'd expect at least a bit of an explanation, which from the description wasn't given here.

    And yes those scenarios are comparable. I didn't say that the same individuals were involved indeed by changing the ethinic background I made it pretty clear that they weren't. If the activity is justified in one case then it's justified in all of them. The logical conclusion if we take it to the extreme you do is that wearing or even flaunting the Stars and Bars is sufficient reason to "stomped the ever-loving s#1t out of the little b@$tard" or the same goes for the other situations. That's pure BS. It doesn't reflect well on the kid that he didn't care but neither does it reflect well on the vet who didn't explain why he found it offensive.
     
  18. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Humans are not rational.

    We make decisions based on emotions, wants, and desires, and then rationalise afterwards.

    It's not rational to expect people not to take offence. Symbols are hugely important, and should be understood, before donning.
     
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  19. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Well the two guys had a verbal exchange, and it is not clear as to what exactly was said. I was under the impression that the older vet told the kid why he found his choice in neck wear unacceptable to him, and the kid didn't think he needed to comply which resulted in his tie getting customized. I'm wasn't saying that the vet should have took it any further, but that's what I would have done if I were that vet in question, but that's me. I still think what he did was perfect given the circumstances, but again, that's just me. It's all good.
     
  20. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

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    To clarify, the best I can remember of the verbal exchange was that Bill was visibly annoyed and he did, to some extent, tell him why the tie was inapropriate. He didn't go into extreme detail, but he did convey the message. Furthermore, from what I remember of the kid, who was not a punk by any means, was very proud of his heritage, hence why he wore the tie. That factored in, I believe, to Bill's anger.
     

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