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My god in heaven, this continues to blow my mind.

Shows the difference between the US and Japan on some level or another, you see this happening then you hear about I think it was Adidas and their new 'asian themed' shoe being deemed an offensive stereotype- guess the shoe tongue has a yellow face, 'bowl' haircut, slanted eyes...

I don't know what's better, which side is 'right', ya know? I guess all that matters is can they sing...


How could Adidas (or whoever) have even thought of doing this, given the huge flap over the Ambercrombie and Fitch 'wong's laundry' et al t-shirt flap from a few years back? Holy cats, there's nobody home anymore, naa mean?

(but stereotype ROBOTS are Ok...where's the anti-defamation league for that, huh? huh? I ask you!)

If I'm not mistaken, the video implies that some members of the group were, in fact, black in their youth.

For the record, I actually really like the music and would still be excited about all this minus the race issue. Look for an loving Rats&Star overview on an upcoming Tears of Shame podcast.

Also, whenever I confront a Japanese person with the terrifying reality of what blackface groups look like to the rest of the world, I'm told, "they actually really respect black people." So go figure...

At risk of painting a bad picture of myself, I don't *object* to the blackface so much as I am boggled by the sheer difference in what is considered PC there and here.

Me, I prefer a colorblind world where it's OK to make fun of ANYONE, not a sanitized world view where one has to ban Aunt Jemima, pretend Minstral shows didn't exist, and a group of Japanese who just want to be black men singing gospel and stuff would be hated on in the US.

Humor defuses trouble. Why is it OK to mock Vanilla Ice but Emenem gets props? I say mock them both!

I'm rambling like mad and don't got the skillz to shizzle, gonna get my brain straight by watching more anime nizzle.

Or Streets of Fire.


It's simply human nature. I think there are few human societies anywhere which are "sensitive" by default. Rather, the default seems to be towards having a notion of "the other." You could see blackface entertainment on British TV into the 1970s, twenty or thirty years after that sort of thing would be considered acceptable in America. It wasn't because the whites watching necessarily hated black people, but because social pressure in the UK was lacking, because of the proportionally smaller role black people had (and voiced) in British society. Even most racists in America never denied black people were, in fact, Americans; today, most British people accept the idea of being both black and British. But proportionally there are almost no black people in Japan, and certainly the idea of being a black Japanese remains a bit theoretical.

We still think nothing of saying "what a gyp" whereas we no longer say "he Jewed me down." Both Gypsies and Jews were victims of the Holocaust; but even the Holocaust itself wasn't enough to end casual anti-Semitism in this country; again, human nature is such that you have to make yourself felt politically in order to effect change. Even if all you're trying to do is appeal to people's better nature, you still have make sure your appeal is heard.

Anyway, we otaku think nothing any longer of Nordic features on a manga or anime character's face, perhaps because we take it for granted that anyone would want to look "white." For some reason when Japanese want to look "black," instead, then we get disturbed--then we go to whisper in their ear, "No, white, white--trust me."


"With one part of my mind I though of the British Raj as an unbreakable tyranny, as something clamped down...upon the will of prostrate peoples; with another part I thought that the greatest joy in the world would be to drive a bayonet into a Buddhist priest's guts."

—George Orwell, "Shooting an Elephant"

When this comes out, I expect full audio synchronization, Patrick.

While you're at it, could you pick me up the Disney SONG OF THE SONG DVD? Can't get it here stateside. Can't even get it here in Texas...

I think it's just problematic because blackface has such a bad history in America. That it's not so much that the Japanese people are trying to be rude, or that we think they are, but to someone here blackface kind of automatically represents something reductive, belittling.

Whereas, of course, white people haven't really been subject to the same kind of racism. So somebody of another race trying to look white doesn't seem like an insult. Kind of like how women crossdressing as men are suspect, but nowhere *near* as ridiculed as men who dress like women; because after all, since men have been considered superior for so long, it's only natural for a woman to want to be a man--I'm looking at you, Freud--but a man wanting to look like or be a woman is lowering himself, and that's just crazy.

It reminds me of the problem of Nazi cosplayers and little Nazi costumes for dolls in Japan. Those people aren't down with gassing the Jews, they're not trying to ring in the Fourth Reich or anything. But to Westerners like us, who had family members (maybe) who fought against the Nazis, who have been taught about the horrors of the Nazis and seen those awful pictures of human beings reduced to almost nothing, *and* live in a very multicultural society where there's vocal members of any given nationality/religion sticking up against even less obvious racism, it's hard not to be bothered by it. I've seen many a flame war between Westerners who like Nazi BL manga or Nazi cosplay or dressing their Volks dolls like Nazis, and other people who can't see that uniform and seperate it from what was so horrible.

To add on, as I guess I was kind of tired and rambling earlier:

Personally, I'm kind of stuck between being mortified and just shrugging and going "LOL Japan, they're doing something silly again."

Having watched (part of) that Hey Hey Hey episode, they seem to have a good sound. Will have to check out more of their stuff as it comes out.

I think we can all agree that the REAL flaw the Japanese made here was that they didn't get adorable children to do the blackface routine, because hey, who can hate adorable children?! Certainly not Vernon Chatman and John Lee:

White people, having fun.
Global domination over evvvvvery-o-oooone!
White people, smile so briiiiight.
Genocide for anyone who iiiisn't whi-i-ite!

It's the same old, same old - Japan imports ideas w/o knowing their context. It's like listening to a Japanese kid go "Facku yuu" - ridiculous.
I don't think the earth will be sucked into a black hole by these guys' blast from the American racist past - they're more like flourescent dyed poodles.

Of course, gaijin importing Japanese ideas without knowing their context--why, the concept is unthinkable.

Why, Carl! I am shocked, shocked I tell you, by such a bakka comment!

Why, just the other day my tomodachi and I were hanging out, eating cup ramen and munching pokey (Squeee!), discussing how kawaii that new...

AARRGGH! *bampf*

sorry, sorry...go back to what you were doing...the meds should be kicking in soon...

Ok, I guess the question I should ask is why bother with the blackface at all. Why not zoot suits? Why not track suits and big gold chains?

Gimmicks used to sell music are just that...gimmicks. It means there's some weak sauce in your game.

Unless you're trying to make some sort of social statement on the nature of subliminal racism and its usage in the history of America, this blackface crap gets NO pounds from me. Michael Jackson nonwithstanding, there are those of us in this world who don't have the "option" of wiping our color off our faces every night with Noxzema and returning to "normal." I guess those who try to piss on our heads and tell us its raining by "honoring" Black people and soul music have found some new advertising firms...if only Roberta Flack had put on some whiteface during her career, who KNOWS how far she'd gotten, eh?

Next time I go put out an album of enka remixes, I'll don my fake thick glasses, buck teeth, put on a sloppily-fitting yukata and "accidentally" stick a pair of chopsticks upright in my bowl of rice when the liner note cover's being photographed. Just to let all the gullible, broken lightbulbs out there that I'm honoring some real Japanese "soul music." All's fair when you're trying to sell enough CDs to pay back the advance the wrecka company gave you, yey?

^ Ya...ain't it a hoot? You'd be surprised how many people work here (and at other jobs equally risible) who have other things going on in the world besides what you read about in the funny papers. If you'd like to pay my rent and feed my ass I'd be more than happy to quit, though. You can obviously read my e-mail addy, so get back to me on that, Black.

And it's "exploitATive," guy. Next time you wanna backhand compliment someone with pseudo-smugness, use the spell-check feature in your browser if you have one. Now, if we're both through with the tired-assed bigger internet penis battles, let's get back to the topic.

Thus do I ban this troublesome and trollish IP like Rapeman manga on the train.

Ban me or ban the Henshin Pimp?

All I did was comment on something that amazed and totally disappointed me as a person of color and aficonado of Japanese culture. If my choice of words offended you, then I apologize for their passion in anger, but I didn't deserve that smartassed dig at my place of employment masked as a reply from someone who doesn't know me.

Naw, Mizu, you cool. I just banned the Pimp. He's bein' a bad boy.

Rats & Star is a doo-wop group which a famous sex offender Masashi Tashiro (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masashi_Tashiro ) belonged to. He is God! He is called "Tashirock", "God of Laughter", "Perverted sneak shot maniac" in Japanese BBS "2channel". In addition, he has been chosen as American "Time" magazine's Person of the Year (but "provisional" winner). Rats & Star is a great group, but Tashiro was absent. Please come back to the show biz, Tashiro!




Next Time Shaq mocks an Asian accent I don't want to hear ANYONE complain.

And no the Japanese are not some innocent group of children, pure of intent, with no idea what they're doing. They know EXACTLY what they're doing and they know what it means.

They are no different than Al Jolson --period. And to that moron who said we need to laugh at stereotypes, clearly that fool is a white shut in with on contact with the outside world, other than FoxNews.

Shut up and grow up.

I have the same feeling as you, so good. however, if you add some explanation below the pictures, it's better.

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