Skip to comments.Old Japanese maps on Google Earth unveil secrets
Posted on 05/02/2009 5:09:07 PM PDT by george76
When Google Earth added historical maps of Japan ...Google failed to judge how its offering would be received, as it has often done in Japan. The company is now facing inquiries from the Justice Ministry and angry accusations of prejudice because its maps detailed the locations of former low-caste communities.
The maps date back to the country's feudal era, when shoguns ruled and a strict caste system was in place. At the bottom of the hierarchy were a class called the "burakumin," ethnically identical to other Japanese but forced to live in isolation because they did jobs associated with death, such as working with leather, butchering animals and digging graves.
Google has misjudged public sentiment before. After cool responses to privacy issues raised about its Street View feature, which shows ground-level pictures of Tokyo neighborhoods taken without warning or permission, the company has faced strong public criticism and government hearings. It has also had to negotiate with Japanese companies angry over their copyrighted materials uploaded to its YouTube property.
(Excerpt) Read more at apnews.myway.com ...
I’m a big lover of Japan, but this is silly. They should include where the Tokugawa shogunate crucified and burned all of the Christians, too.
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I wonder if they list Formosa and Korea under Japanese rule.
Yeah, this is like old real estate deeds that say it can’t be sold to a black guy. Kind of a curiosity these days except for the easily offended or the downright bigoted.
Yet the samurai, professional warriors and killers, were at the peak of the traditional Japanese hierarchy.
Little inconsistency there, perhaps? The killer is glorified, but the guy who digs the grave is shunned.
I wonder what the traditional Japanese justification for this is.
Ah heck, it’s just a little matter of history, ask our Universities about it. They’ll tell you how to change it or gloss over it in so that it is lost in one or two dumbed down generations.
From what I understand, it’s a Buddhist thing. Flesh and skins are unclean.
So killing is OK, but disposing of the results makes one unclean? I suspect the Buddha himself would not recognize this type of “logic.”
I bet this came about when Buddhism was integrated into a warrior society.
The degree of contamination. Samurai only are contaminated some, but the eta were those who were severely contaminated by constantly doing work/living in conditions that required contact with things that squicked out the sense of cleanness of the 16th and 17th centuries. That would basically deal with things having a lot to do with death and blood. But for some reason some other odd jobs got associated with uncleanness, like making bamboo tea whisks, and being certain entertainers....
It’s a weird combo of Shinto/Buddhist prejudices codified by the Shogunate, and possibly used as a scapegoat class, to give the peasant farmer, who was pretty low on the totem poll himself, something to be above....and it also worked that you could be put into the non-person class as a punishment for a long time...
Yup, them bamboo tea whisks are pretty disgusting.
I understand that potential marriage partners are still screened in Japan for eta ancestry, although the government tries to pretend it doesn’t happen.
The Japs have always been in serious denial about their various horrific acts, from far history to the recent, like the Rape of Nanking, Pearl Harbor, and the Bataan Death March.
They don’t much talk about Hiroshima, either...
For all their remarkable accomplishments as a race of people, the Japanese seem to have a real blind spot when coming to grips with the less flattering aspects of their historical past.
“burakumin” sounds a bit like the Indian untouchables who also worked with unclean things including body waste.
Since the Samurai worked with fresh kills, they would not be exposed to the same germ problems that workers with longer dead animals and people might be exposed to. Possibly it was a public health issue based on bad illness experiences with those who handled rotting flesh and hides. Of course, they didn’t know about germs in those days.
It’s kind of like SPLC or ADL, pumped up on steroids.
If you mention ANYTHING about Burakumin at a Japanese public school you basically get fired. They come around every year or so, some rep from their organization that has a weird name. He speaks politely about the need to be sensitive, and beforehand Everyone Is Made To Understand.
Sometimes they show some “Woe is me”-type film.
Some important rules in Japan —like eating on a train (I’m talking about subways or JR lines), for example— are not written down anywhere, but are so well known that no one speaks of them.
It is still true that some young people don’t know this stuff —I have had to teach some Japanese folks about it (who reacted unbelieving at first).
Know why there’s no real Nanking History Awareness Group? Cuz those victims aren’t Japanese...
But in reality, only white liberal nations wallow in guilt over their past national crimes. No other group of people on earth does this. Muslims don't. Africans don't. Native Americans don't.
In the liberalized West, we're very accustomed to obsessing over our past sins. We think our sins are uniquely evil and we thus don't usually expect non-Western people to fret over their own violent pasts. To the liberal mind, sins by non-Western people could never possibly reach to level of wickedness of Western sins. However, we treat the Japanese as a bit of an exception (i.e., it upsets us a little when they ignore their past crimes) because we consider them to be a first world nation, so we expect them to be “just like us” and spend a great deal of time fretting about their past.
Japanese history is fascinating to me, perhaps especially because of their blend of the highest art, culture and sensitivity with the most incredible brutality and bestiality.
Such things have always existed in every society, but as far as I’m aware the Japanese are nearly unique in their ability to combine these in the same person, indeed almost at the same time, without seeing a conflict.
For example, the Japanese Army was well known in the Russo-Japanese War and WWI for being chivalrous and well-behaved. By the time WWII came around, the extreme opposite. A good many have tried to attribute the change to Nazi influence. But a cursory study of the period will show the Japanese didn’t really pay all that much attention to the Nazis.
The answer, IMO, is that the brutality of WWII as compared to earlier wars of the century was merely a different aspect of the Japanese military tradition coming to the fore. They were both there all the time. The only difference was which one was in the ascendant.
Another country’s past and present come back to haunt them. Well, suck it up.
Japan of the turn of the century treated Europeans with respect and POW (Russians) with respect. But that is where it stopped. Treatment of Chinese POW and Korean POW during the Sino Japanese War of 1895 was not so kind. Japan adopted the European convention that European nations are civilized thus accorded civil treatment in the time of war, while the rest of the world was barbaric, thus civil treatment was not necessary and optional. Japanese treatment of POW escapes were simple, any Chinese POW escaped, the rest who did not run were randomly selected and beheaded. Check out the reports on the Sino Japanese War of 1895. Same was done to Korean troops resistng Japanese violation of its territory when they marched thru Korea to Manchuria to fight the Russian forces. By the time of World War II the Japanese asked themselves why apply brutal methods to non European POW’s, just apply the brutal methods to all of them.
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