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  1. #1
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    It's now been ten months since I left Japan, and my posting rate has decreased a lot, especially this summer. I also feel that almost all the issues that could be discussed about Japan have already been discussed times and again, so that it becomes quite repetitive. Most practical questions can now be answered by the FAQ or by searching for old posts. I wish somebody would write about local festivals or bring up new, little known subjects (Buddhist mummies, Kokeshi, differences between temples and shrines) as I used to do. But so far very few people have shown any real interest in traditional Japanese culture on this forum - apart from Mandylion, who wrote about Japanese sword, and a few others. Even when it comes to the economy or society, I feel that I am one of the rare members to have started new discussions over the years, and now that I don't do it so often, serious discussions are slowly dying away, except for politics (e.g. Yasukuni) and discrimination, which are not the most cheerful topics to discuss.

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  2. #2
    Banned ricecake's Avatar
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    Maciamo

    I have strong interest in traditional Japanese culture,local festivals ( Matsuri ) and Japanese handicrafts ( dolls,ornaments,etc ) top my list.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Mars Man's Avatar
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    NO. We have not discussed it all, for all is--as far as our minds grasp it--a continuim, and there is always something to come.

    There's more than meets the eye.

  4. #4
    You SPAM/We BAN !
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    I have often wondered if.....

    a book club type thing would go over here. A bunch of us agree on the same book to read(to do with Japan). Then we have 2 weeks to get the book and start reading. Then we discuss the book and hopefully bring in info from outside the book that has to do with what's in the book. Maybe start with something short & light and if it goes well, get into deeper more complicated subjects.
    So would anyone be interested? Any sugestions on books we can all get ahold of no mater where in the world we are located? Be nice to discuss something interesting that we all can learn from. Maybe we could even try a chatroom discussion?

    Frank
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  5. #5
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank D. White View Post
    a book club type thing would go over here. A bunch of us agree on the same book to read(to do with Japan). Then we have 2 weeks to get the book and start reading. Then we discuss the book and hopefully bring in info from outside the book that has to do with what's in the book. Maybe start with something short & light and if it goes well, get into deeper more complicated subjects.
    That is a good idea. In fact I already wrote a few book reviews on the forum such as Memoirs of a Geisha, Dogs & Demons, Gold Warriors, Snow Country, as well as quite a few othes in the JREF Shop. I also commented on book reviews that were already started like Genji Monogatari.

    I also took many isolated ideas and quotations from other books on Japan (esp. regarding history, politics and economy) to start a few dozens topics. For instance my Edo Trivia comes mostly from Andrew Gordon's History of Japan.

    Unfortunately it seems that few of our members are disposed to share their impressions on serious books (i.e. non fiction or classics), or do not read much.

  6. #6
    Banned sabro's Avatar
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    Perhaps we should stick to light topics like J-Pop and Hello Kitty.

    I like to talk to J-bot.
    Last edited by sabro; Sep 20, 2006 at 15:40. Reason: Offensive; Critical of forum management

  7. #7
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabro View Post
    The range and diversity of opinion is certainly limited here. Apparently discussing certain topics of substance will get you in trouble if your perspective diverges from a few of those in charge. Perhaps we should stick to light topics like J-Pop and Hello Kitty.
    I would rather say that there are many people who are not mature (and/or knowledgeable) enough to discuss serious matters without claiming that nayone who criticise Japan is a Japanophobe. Consequently, a big part of discussions is pop culure related. But I do not lure myself anymore; few people are interested enough in a country to discuss about its traditional culture, history, religion, economy, politics, society problems, etc. What is more, serious discussion require more research and more energy to write about, and as humans are often lazy by nature, few people participate in too "complicated" discussions.

  8. #8
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I would rather say that there are many people who are not mature (and/or knowledgeable) enough to discuss serious matters without claiming that nayone who criticise Japan is a Japanophobe. Consequently, a big part of discussions is pop culure related. But I do not lure myself anymore; few people are interested enough in a country to discuss about its traditional culture, history, religion, economy, politics, society problems, etc. What is more, serious discussion require more research and more energy to write about, and as humans are often lazy by nature, few people participate in too "complicated" discussions.
    There used to be a lot more interest a few years ago when a larger concentration of the forum were older brainiacs into these more specialized areas....with its rapid growth (many are so eager to champion) and attack of the young I suppose dispersion and 'pop-related' infiltration is inevitable...

    There has been a diminishment of serious cultural discussion in the language section as well, maybe for different reasons, but I wouldn't be so quick to target the small minds of our members. Constant bickering over trivial matters such in the Biodiversity and Gaijin threads has etc also driven people away in droves.
    Very sad indeed. I hope this thread can be the start of a new direction.
    Last edited by Elizabeth; Sep 19, 2006 at 20:33.

  9. #9
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    Well, since we're discussing this in an admin sponsored thread...

    One of the reasons I have been posting less lately is that I somewhere decided that I didn't want to share some of what I have learned about Japan over the years over an open board like this.

    The reason is that I have a certain stereotype of foreigners that I've had for quite some time, to be honest. I realize of course that my stereotype is too simplistic to account for probably more than a small fraction of the actual truth.

    Anyway, my stereotype is that of the foreigner who only wants to take from Japan, but not give anything back in return. I have met a number of people like this, and a number of people not like that at all, but I can be rather conservative at times, and I don't want to post too much information that can be used to hurt(?) my adopted home.

    I also think that people (especially young people) are extremely lucky these days with the wealth of easily accessible information at places like Jref. When I was new to Japan, the web was nowhere nearly as robust as it is today, and of course I wasn't web-savvy at all. Therefore, I learned most of what I know from direct experience. I think that is the best teacher.

    I think that "getting into" Japan and learning the ropes should be difficult, because it weeds out those whose interest isn't genuine.

    Another reason that I don't post about Japan so much any more is that I have decided on a policy of not responding to Maciamo on Japan-related issues. Since he most certainly has an opinion if it's Japan-related, it's most certain that he will join the conversation sooner or later. I'd rather avoid trouble before it starts.

    Another reason is that many people that I enjoy engaging with are gone, be it by choice or otherwise. I am very happy to see sabro back, btw!

  10. #10
    Koyaniskatsi yukio_michael's Avatar
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    I'm very interested in tradional Japanese culture, but I'm much more interested in writing about modern Japanese culture... For example, the psychology of the modern Japanese male, the labour crisis and how it effects women, if Japan exports any true meaningful popular culture, the rise of otaku-fan-service & akiba popularity, lolicon as a government protected cash-cow, how Japan exports paraphilias... etcetera...

    I'm in the process of aranging my schooling now to go back and get my bachelors in Asian studies, so I'll probably be writing a lot more now... Believe it or not, writing about Japan has a bittersweet taste for me, as I miss it, I miss my girlfriend and I'm sad that I'm not with her--- that's just me.

    I don't see anyone brining up these issues--- I mean when we talk about what is 'cool or popular' in Japan right now, what does that really mean--- I don't think anyone really talks about this much, though it gets a lot more attention on blog's like Marxy's Neomarxisme blog, Jean Snow's blog, & Momus's Click Opera blogs (among others)--- where Japan is headed as a consumer... What produces various mindsets, what's going on with slowlife culture, peace-culture, surf-culture... I think there is a lot left to talk about, so long as Japan stays the vibrant ever-changing country that is has been up to now.

    just my 2 円
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  11. #11
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
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    Maybe you are just too smart...that is why you get bored.

  12. #12
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    It's now been ten months since I left Japan, and my posting rate has decreased a lot, especially this summer.
    Wasn't that your original intent, after the division of Eupedia from JREF ?

  13. #13
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth View Post
    Wasn't that your original intent, after the division of Eupedia from JREF ?
    Not really.

  14. #14
    Hullu RockLee's Avatar
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    We by far discussed everything, but the truth is that so many people joined who's only interest is J-pop and that kind of stuff

    @Yukio, I suggest you make a new thread about it or pm Thomas.
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  15. #15
    Um...okay
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    Well, I appreciate the discussions on pretty much everything. My interests range from history, traditional arts, poltics, modern culture, even pop culture. The only reason why I don't participate is that I haven't been to Japan, so I have nothing really to add. I've started again to learn Japanese, but it doesn't seem enough. I would like to learn and particpate more,
    "People say common sense will fix things, but sense has not always been common."
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  16. #16
    Banned sabro's Avatar
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    When I joined this forum two and a half years ago, my first posts were to get some phrases translated. As an American of Japanese descent, I am greatly interested in Japanese culture and traditions. This was one place that I could somehow connect, learn, and explore a part of myself which seems distant.

    I also enjoy a discussion of substance. I find it stretches me as a critical thinker to have to defend a position or construct an argument. This forum proved a good fertile ground for that also. As a professional educator, I am alway curious about education systems and practices. I also love history, literature and music.

    I enjoy a good debate. During the US elections, I found an eclectic and diverse group that had opinions on the candidates that were far different than those available in the American media. Seeing the US through the eyes of those both distant and different gave me a new vantage point from which to view my own politics. I also found the discussions of other American issues intriguing-- whether it was our language, our customs, our history or some kind insight into a difference in culture.

    There were interesting discussions of religion-- explorations of limits, beliefs, and the sharing of ideas on faith and belief and thought.

    I had incredibly interesting discussions that were outside my area of knowledge such as a long heated debate about the biological basis of race that Bossel and I shared.

    Unfortunately most of those topics have been moved to another forum, which has different administration and rules, and indeed that has a different focus and intent, and it was made quite clear that people like me are unwelcome there.

    But best of all, I met some of the highest quality, most intelligent, insightful and genuine people that I have ever encountered on the web. Unfortunately again, most of those have left recently...

  17. #17
    Banned sabro's Avatar
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    Thanks Mikawa! I like your blog.

  18. #18
    Regular Member Mars Man's Avatar
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    Nice to see you back and posting sabro san !!

    Frank, I like that idea too. It may have enough 'logistical' bottlenecks inherent in it, preventing real being able to grow out and spread, but I'd be interested in looking for a book to offer as a suggest--of course, the little time I do have for reading has not been on Japanese related subjects in these past four to five years.

    I agree with you, Maciamo san, that the forum could use other voices too. I'll see if I can come up with something to help out on that point, but it may take some time, and I can't promise. . . I will try though.

  19. #19
    Banned sabro's Avatar
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    Thanks Mars Man! I shall endeavor not to offend or criticize!

    I could use some feedback on my brother's novel- Atomik Aztex by Sesshu Foster...

  20. #20
    Banned Gaijinian Man's Avatar
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    It can get very annoying as a teenager actually interested in Japan, cuz people hear I'm interested, and auto assume I'm in it for the Anime. I hate anime. And Manga. Just creates 'fake' Japan-interested people, who give 'real' ones a bad name.
    Ha--I really put little thought into this post, sorry.
    Last edited by Gaijinian Man; Sep 22, 2006 at 00:51. Reason: Wow.... my english has taken a serious hit...

  21. #21
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaijinian Man View Post
    It can get very annoying as a teenager actually interested in Japan, cuz people here I'm interested, and auto assume I'm in it for the Anime. I hate anime. And Manga. Just creates 'fake' Japan-interested people, who give 'real' ones a bad name.
    Ha--I really put little thought into this post, sorry.
    I hate it too, Gaijianian Man !!! Everytime I go into the Japanese chat threads anymore that's all they discuss so I don't even do that much lately. Maybe I need to create an anime/manga section just for them...hehehe....
    Last edited by Elizabeth; Sep 21, 2006 at 21:05.

  22. #22
    tsuyaku o tsukete kudasai nurizeko's Avatar
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    I used to be very interested in Japan, by the time i came ehre it had died down considorably but enough that I wanted to dig around.
    I dunno, lately, it just seems to me that theres less interesting conversation worth contributing to.
    Then theres real life taking my attentions away.
    At the momment my interest in Japan is somewhat thin, but, if I came across a good read about Japan other then the nit picky fighty fighty foreigner policy of the day fetish threads and "OMFG miyavi is cute for the 1billionth time" ones, I'de read them, perhaps offer my own contribution to the thread.
    Also I just seem to forget more often to even come to look at Jref let alone post.
    Its just a case of the forum changing and me changing really, no doubt I will probably find Jref interesting again in the future enough to hang around often again and get involved more.

    Edit: Having a quick glance at a few threads I bothered to look at, the level of hostility between some members here is also a bit of a negetive factor.

  23. #23
    Koyaniskatsi yukio_michael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaijinian Man View Post
    It can get very annoying as a teenager actually interested in Japan, cuz people hear I'm interested, and auto assume I'm in it for the Anime. I hate anime. And Manga. Just creates 'fake' Japan-interested people, who give 'real' ones a bad name.
    Ha--I really put little thought into this post, sorry.
    Well, it's like eating ramen... You know, when you say that you eat ramen, people assume that you are some sort of thrifty student who eats those tasteless 10 cent packages of flavourless noodles... but then you have to qualify your statement by oh no, I eat good ramen, from korea, with vegetables, and pork... and... hello??

    I don't think there is anything wrong with anime and manga... I'm not a huge fan of anime, and my reading level prevents me from enjoying too much manga, but I will say that reading manga is an excellent way to keep up with your coloquial Japanese...

    You should never let someone elses brash adoption of a particular part of a culture prevent you from enjoying it... If anything, manga is still enjoyed by a large contingency of non-otaku in Japan, and doesn't have the same stigma as it does outside of Japan, of being the strict domain of rabid fan-boys...

  24. #24
    Horizon Rider Kinsao's Avatar
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    Hmm, I don't think we've "discussed it all", because current events and politics are always changing, aren't they? There are different things on Japanese news, and even those of us who can't read Japanese well can read "Japan Today".

  25. #25
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinsao View Post
    Hmm, I don't think we've "discussed it all", because current events and politics are always changing, aren't they?
    Well, it is Japan... Things rarely change much in politics.

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