I was on Japundit [dead link removed] last night browsing through the posts about China and reading the depressing roll of stories about the Japanophobia that’s come out of the inGlorious Motherland over the past year and a half or so. Apart from one female pupil in Beijing who was rabidly anti-Japanese (and the object of her classmates’ amusement because of her sentiments), most of the kids that I’ve met in China are Japanophiles to differing degrees. I’ve got one kid who practises his Japanese in my classes (so at least he might actually be competent in one foreign language; just not the one I’m trying to teach him), and quite a few have been seduced by manga and anime. More than a few would like to be mangaka (cartoonists).
Perhaps I’ve been lucky in encounter of this sort, because this morning I dropped by Lost Laowai where Rick has posted After the Quake… He notes the toleration in China of extremely intolerant views about Japan and the Japanese. Such views shouldn’t have any place on Nanny’s much-touted civilised Internet, but it’s Japan, so a special exception can be made.
Then there are exceptions to the exception. Japundit had a story [again, dead link removed] about Saaya Irie, a somewhat physically well-developed 11-year-old Japanese idol, whose picture was posted on a Chinese Internet forum. The comments were basically, “Who cares if she’s Japanese? I’ll have some of that.” In other words, all the Japanese would have to do is send in legions of cute girls, and all those Chinese boys who will never get married would be utterly powerless. Allow the children dual citizenship and it’d solve Japan’s population decline and, hopefully, do something to redress China’s gender imbalance and intolerance in the next generation.
So I’m reading about anti-Japanese sentiment in China on one site one day, and again about the same subject on another site the next. There’s your coincidence. This sort of thing seems to be happening to me rather a lot these days.
1. If I remove “same” from the second clause, the resulting rhythm is iambic from again to next. (‘ precedes the stressed syllable.)
[a’gain] [a’bout] [the ‘sub][ject ‘on] [a’no][ther ‘site] [the ‘next]
It’s curious how the rhythm caught my inner ear and made the end of the sentence seem monotonous and, somehow, unintelligible because of its hypnotic nature.
1. I made a huge boo-boo in this sentence. I’m not telling you what sort of boo-boo, but it was there long enough for people to see it. This is so embarrassing.