Evening Odds and Ends

1.) Stomach flu. Came out of nowhere last night/yesterday afternoon. Haven’t made an emergency trip to the bathroom in a bit now.

2.) Watching the Ken Burns documentary on WWII. Maybe I’m just jaded, but I wonder if our perceptions of the war would’ve been different, had CNN, google news, and the internet existed back then. What if Halliburton and Blackwater existed then?

I’m trying to understand some of the hatred some of the people interviewed still have for the Japanese. I don’t hate the Saudis, who were mostly responsible for 9/11. Granted, my family isn’t winning any racial harmony awards, but some of the things I’ve heard them say (of the generation who lived through that time), don’t bear repeating, as if the firebombings of Tokyo and two atomic bombs weren’t enough. Does that generation of Japanese hate Americans?

I guess part of what I’m reacting to is how lily-white and innocent the Americans are being portrayed in this. Sure, they probably didn’t come close to some of the atrocities elsewhere, but having heard of the crap that happened in Vietnam through present day, I’m a bit incredulous.

I’m tired of hearing how my generation isn’t as patriotic as the “greatest generation,” because we oppose the war in Iraq, or how our morals are askew. Or how we don’t compare in education to that generation. Maybe they need to realize that the world is completely different than it was 60 years ago.


~ by Jen on September 24, 2007.

4 Responses to “Evening Odds and Ends”

  1. My xe-husband (of about i year 🙂 was third generatuon here Japanese. His parnents were kids here during WWII and had to stay in a relocation camp in the desert. They didn’t seem to bear any animosity towards the US for that, though I’m sure I would.

  2. Sorry – I forgot to say that I hope you’re feeling better now 🙂

  3. Thanks! Still pretty tired, though.

  4. Hi Garpu,Sorry I haven’t been by in a while. I’ve often noticed that people of that generation still call Japanese people “Japs” and “Nips”, decases after the war has been over. I think there was a level of absolute hatred of the Japanese in WWII that was never extended in the same fashion to the Germans and the Italians. I think they were actually regarded as “sneaky” and subhuman. The especially vicious, no-quarter, no rules type of combat in the Pacific theater contributed to this. Pearl Harbor and the Bataan Death March really pissed people off. There is a pretty good book called War without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War which outlines a lot of the reasons for the cultural conflicts and misunderstandings that led to this hatred on both sides. The Japanese considered themselves to be a chosen, superior race as well. They thought that by using Kamikaze pilots, for example, that they would teach us a lesson about their superior virtues of bravery and selflesness. To Americans, this made no sense at all, and only made them think of the Japanese as madmen or animals. Complete cultural disconnect. Japan also has to come to terms with some of its atrocities in the war. Maltreatment and execution of prisoners, the Bataan Death March, The Rape of Nanking, medical experiments on prisoners, and thousands upon thousands of untold atrocities in China.I think Burns will wind up not disappointing us. He covered some of the racism as was encountered in the arms plants in Mobile the other night; I think that in discussing Okinawa, Saipan, and the use of the A-Bomb in upcoming episodes, he will address some of these other issues we worry about too.Hope you’re feeling better. we had a touch of some stomach thing too.

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