Yujiro Taniyama, Japan Broadcasting . net 【JB】contributor
An Agatha Christie mystery it has long been, really.
Yes, the question of why the Australians, Americans and many other caucasians inexplicably enjoy making fun of the Orientals as ‘inferior slanty eyed coolies’.
As ethnically an Asian (if the Japanese are to be categorized so) myself, in this unremarkable editorial I would like to pursue on why this disingenuous and disparaging slanty-eyed posture still widely persists in the West. Actually, for over four damning centuries I’ve been concerned with this unsolvable enigma of abysmal ignorance; yes, since the early 1980’s when due to my father’s business our family temporarily moved to Adelaide in South Australia. “You bloody wonker Ching-Chong!”, was how the uncultivated Aussie primary school kids had graciously bullied the ‘Chinese’ author every bloody day on the way to school, with that effrontery ‘slanty eyes pose’. For a little ‘Jap’ kid (as the kangaroo eating locals pretty often used the term simultaneously, which uniquely contradicted their ‘Ching-Chong’ usage), the whole act was ununderstandable because whenever the little stranger from the Orient looked into the mirror, his eyes appeared no different from blue eyed Ben or Tim in the classroom.
So for me, in hindsight, three and a half years I spent in Down Under, where the notorious ‘White Australia’ policy was implemented in 1901 – was surprisingly about being labeled as a ‘3rd class citizen’.
Meanwhile, on August 22, The Guardian reported that Japanese footballer Kyogo Furuhashi had been racially mocked by the Scottish premier league’s Rangers FC fans. There was a little video on the internet where the uneducated Scotsmen were enthusiastically singing “Furuhashi ate my dog, ate my dog” on a bus. I profoundly enjoyed the unfamiliar tune because we the Nipponese do infrequently gulp whale meat, but don’t eat Dog-Sushi. As far as the author is concerned, only the Chinese and the Koreans (as well as the Vietnamese in the north) have traditionally fulfilled their appetite by the four legged animal. The western corporate medias reprimanded the song as ‘using the racist stereotype that Asians eating dogs’ – but fell short of factually explaining that the Japanese don’t eat the woofs. Neither did the articles pedagogically describe the historical background to dog-meat eating customs in China and Korea. And in my view, this sort of irresponsible reports of the West have played and still plays a significant role in inconspicuously exacerbating tensions and condoning narratives that ‘dog eating is for the uncivilized and shall be condemned’. Such an ‘unbiased’ journalism is not only dangerous but largely hypocritical and counterproductive in the long run; for it intentionally urges the readers to turn a blind eye from understanding the ‘vulgar’ customs different from their own.
I personally have no trouble whatsoever of dog-steak mongers in Peking or Pusan (before I did, though). If that’s their tradition, the Sheepdog Samurai respects it. And if the prudent reader is against it, just don’t eat it. It’s as simple as that. It is not for the West to self-righteously decide on whether who should eat what; because that exacerbates unnecessary prejudice. True, in Korea’s famous ‘Bok Nal’ (Dog soup festival) held annually from July to August, over 1,000,000 dogs allegedly ‘disappear’. Cat meat is still cherished in China. Fine, but I don’t eat them. Period.
Lastly, it is my sincere disappointment to convey to the mighty readers that the pejorative ‘slanty eye’ had once again been used by Glasgow’s fans (on the bus) to make fun of Furuhashi, a talented Japanese international (who ironically does have narrow uplifting eyes, I must admit) that currently plays for the Scottish Celtics. In October 2017, American Major League Baseball Houston Astros’ inane Cuban player Gurriel made a fool of himself by insulting the handsome Japanese-Iranian hurler Darvish; with his proud slanty-eye mockery. And now in summer 2021, William Braveheart Wallace’s impeccable descendants did the same playing down Asians as a whole on Mary Stewart’s soil. Hundreds and thousands go unreported of course, if not millions. And to wrap up this editorial, I ask all the English-speaking readers and caucasians on the planet;
“Why are you still passing on this foolish Western custom from generation to generation? When are you gonna grow up?”.
True, come to think of it some stunning four decades have passed since I was repeatedly bullied as ‘slanty eyed Ching-Chong flat face’ in crocodile-eating land of White Australia! Michael Jackson, my idolatry figure was at his prime at the time. And you people are still obsessed with this same proclivity of utter stupidity! What? “Racial discrimination has no place in the 21st century?!”. Preposterous! That’s a big fat lie by some rest-satisfied liberals and activists in Sydney or New Jersey! Not only anti-Asian hate, but racial prejudice overall will never be mitigated worldwide, unless ‘Bowling for Columbine’ filmmaker Mr. Michael Moore’s stupid white men learns that the fossilized pre-judgement (the parent term of prejudice) that ‘Orientals have inferior, ugly-beastly eyes’ is indeed putrescent and untrue. Get over the ludicrous ‘schadenfreude’! Abandon your latent white-exceptionalism mindset that roots back to the days even before ingenious thinker Malcolm X was born! It’s surely far easier than to solve the classic ‘Murder on Oriental Express’, laities and gentlemen.
Just take a look at Shohei Ohtani, the next President of the American Republic.
Are his gorgeous eyes any different from Robert Redford’s?!