@@@@@@@@@@@@@@To Be More Defensive@by YAMAGISHI,@K.
@@@r end World War hh, Japan e have become one the most nations the world; defenseless in military affairs and in cultural dignity as well.
@@@Generally, Japanese people haven't been encouraged to give an excuse for what they have done, particularly their mistakes. They haven't been trained or encouraged to be self-assertive unlike, say, Americans ( I don't say all Americans are self-assertive, but it will be an undeniable fact that most of them are far more self-assertive, and perhaps more aggressive, than ordinary Japanese). Personally, when I was small, my parents and other old people around me would tell me that it was disgraceful for a person (especially a male) to give an excuse for his act(s) or mistake(s). He was asked to take responsibility without making an excuse. This national trait has surely accelerated Japanese people's defenselessness of its cultural dignity. The Japanese seldom argue back to foreigners' criticism and this attitude often leads to foreigners' misunderstanding or selfish interpretation. How many of the Japanese can be defensive against the foreigner's conviction as follows?
@@@@@@@I do love the Japanese, otherwise I wouldn't have stayed here for
@@@@@twenty five years, but there are periods when I actually hate some
@@@@@aspects of Japan and I'll tell you what these are.
@@@@@@@One is the so-called family suicides. They're not suicides at all.
@@@@@Usually, the mother or the father murders their children and then
@@@@@commits suicide. I find this appalling. Why do the Japanese do this?
@@@@@Why doesn't the press and why doesn't society try to create an
@@@@@atmosphere, a mold which condemns this?
@@@@@@@I know the basic reasoning: when a mother or father is despairing
@@@@@and they want to kill themselves, they fear to leave their children
@@@@@alone; they'll be alone in the world, orphans and that would be dreadful
@@@@@thing ( sic )\John Roderick in Japan As We Lived It, Compiled by B.
@@@@@Krisher, 1989, p.71.
@@@The writer's indignation is quite understandable; most Japanese won't be able to answer this question or allay his hatred. However, I can't help saying that his opinion has been formed on a superficial observation of his own, because we could have a look at this sort of problem (i.e. a parent's taking her or his child's [baby's] life) from the viewpoint of old Japanese customs as well. The reader can find an answer to the question in my book Nichiei Gengo-Bunka Ronko (Aspects of Japanese-English Languages and Cultures, Kobian-Shobo, 1995, Chap. 11). Suffice it to say, to ancient Japanese, taking their babies' or children's lives (children 7 or@younger) wasn't necessarily tantamount to killing or murdering.
@@@Since Japanese people haven't trained or accustomed themselves to argue back, they give in too easily to foreigners who are overly aggressive or self-assertive.
@@@To teach Japanese students to be more defensive, teachers, Japanese or non-Japanese, should encourage them to (try to) be more well-informed about their own language and culture. (See here!)