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The Wind Rises and Japan being onesided
Posted 9/26/13 , edited 9/26/13

dax20798 wrote:

Just to clarify, I don't know WHAT Japanese history books teach about WWII, if anyone reading this does (I mean actually does...not like, you read some second-hand Korean news report on the subject), then I'd love to hear it, personally. I think controversial subjects should have all sides represented, even ones like the full scale of what Jews were subjected to during WWII (why, for example, is it punishable by imprisonment to question any aspect of the Holocaust?? That's not what a free society does, but it is what Germany does). I could care less about 'rehabilitating' the Japanese Imperial Army, I'm just interested in the truth, not one-sided pleading.


That's just it though. Most of the world sees only how the Japanese people suffered during WW2. Which of course is something that should be known, but it is NOT the only thing that should be known.

The other side (what the soldiers did for example) should be known as well. But it isn't, because Japan refuses to let it be known. Sure, not every single soldier was evil. But it is amazing to me the sheer amount of soldiers who went along with the brutalities and did such horrid things on such a large scale and mass movement.

What Germany does to those who question the aspect of the Holocaust is wrong; but it is again what leaders and those in power in Japan do as well towards any mention of war crimes. Not only that, but the regular Japanese people protest and berate those who dare speak against Japan in the time of the war.




dax20798 wrote:

So his films are manipulative in a good way? I tend to use 'manipulative' as a pejorative term.

I don't pretend to know a lot about events in Nanking, but I do think the numbers are inflated and rounded off for dramatic effect and anti-Japanese 'national unity' on the part of the modern Chinese government, which I think is just vile. But I'm no apologist for the Japanese Imperial Army, don't get me wrong.


No no, I see where you're coming from, and I respect your opinion though I might not fully agree with it. Perhaps on one side the numbers are inflated, as it is known that some do deflate the numbers.

And the anti-Japanese stuff is ridiculous. I myself am not anti-Japan, but I am most certainly against their continued denials and downplaying of such widespread and cruel events. Just admit it, apologize for it, and be done with it. Why go through all that trouble of hiding it? The majority of the people in the world still won't hate you.

And yes, I do see Miyazaki's films as being manipulative in a good way.
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Posted 9/26/13
Well, I think there are a lot of movies that show Japanese cruelty towards foreigners during WWII...'Bridge on the River Kwai' comes to mind, 'Paradise Road', plenty of documentaries. You mentioned the 'John Rabe' film, also there's a Hong Kong movie about the Japanese Army's biological warfare experiments (Unit 731), I think it's called Black Sun or something like that. I guess you mean movies like that that were produced by Japanese? I can think of some antiwar movies by Kon Ichikawa, but nothing else comes to mind, but then again, I'm hardly an aficionado of Japanese cinema, beyond anime and samurai films

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the Japanese government imprisons its citizens for criticizing the country's WWII atrocities. Do you have any sources for that claim? I have no problem conceding that naysayers are bullied by Japanese nationalists, which is very wrong, but that's not the same thing as government sanction.
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Posted 9/26/13
Japan need to get over themselves, swallow their pride, and just admit the shit that they did during WWII.
Take a lesson from Germany.
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Posted 9/26/13

Syndicaidramon wrote:

Japan need to get over themselves, swallow their pride, and just admit the shit that they did during WWII.
Take a lesson from Germany.


nicely put, this ^
Posted 9/26/13

dax20798 wrote:

Well, I think there are a lot of movies that show Japanese cruelty towards foreigners during WWII...'Bridge on the River Kwai' comes to mind, 'Paradise Road', plenty of documentaries. You mentioned the 'John Rabe' film, also there's a Hong Kong movie about the Japanese Army's biological warfare experiments (Unit 731), I think it's called Black Sun or something like that. I guess you mean movies like that that were produced by Japanese? I can think of some antiwar movies by Kon Ichikawa, but nothing else comes to mind, but then again, I'm hardly an aficionado of Japanese cinema, beyond anime and samurai films

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the Japanese government imprisons its citizens for criticizing the country's WWII atrocities. Do you have any sources for that claim? I have no problem conceding that naysayers are bullied by Japanese nationalists, which is very wrong, but that's not the same thing as government sanction.


I'm not talking about imprisonment, but the people who speak against Japan's WW2 atrocities are degraded, fired, ostracized. They're attacked by a lot of people both of a Liberal party, Conservative party and others and of course - the ultra nationalists go after them with a vengeance. Several people who have gone against Japanese war crimes have been attacked and even murdered, including a mayor in 1988 I think (but you'll have to check the date to be sure).

And while there are movies made outside of Japan of Japan during WW2 (and before), Japan has yet to make a movie of those events, which again lets the aforementioned events slide into the dark pits of history.

Btw, I really like The Bridge on the River Kwai.
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Posted 9/26/13 , edited 9/26/13

dax20798 wrote:

Well, I think there are a lot of movies that show Japanese cruelty towards foreigners during WWII...'Bridge on the River Kwai' comes to mind, 'Paradise Road', plenty of documentaries. You mentioned the 'John Rabe' film, also there's a Hong Kong movie about the Japanese Army's biological warfare experiments (Unit 731), I think it's called Black Sun or something like that. I guess you mean movies like that that were produced by Japanese? I can think of some antiwar movies by Kon Ichikawa, but nothing else comes to mind, but then again, I'm hardly an aficionado of Japanese cinema, beyond anime and samurai films

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the Japanese government imprisons its citizens for criticizing the country's WWII atrocities. Do you have any sources for that claim? I have no problem conceding that naysayers are bullied by Japanese nationalists, which is very wrong, but that's not the same thing as government sanction.


I think you're missing the point. As you yourself say, None of the films you name are Japanese made. I suspect no small number them have been banned or censored when they are shown in Japan. Which is the OPs point.

----
The counter point is that we are none of us innocent.


Still. the level of Japan's... revisionism... for the events of WWII is exceptional for a free country. Now if I were comparing it to Stalin's Soviet Union or China or North Korea. maybe not so much. but... They're not free countries.

Still all countries have their blind spots.

Did you know in Turkey it's against the law to say or write anything bad about Mustapha Gemal (AKA Gemal Ataturk)?

That would be like in Canada if you could be put in gaol for saying that the great Prime Minister John A McDonald, was an alcoholic. (which he was.)


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Posted 9/26/13 , edited 9/26/13
Well, it's a Miyazaki film, so I don't think that people should expect his films to focus on subjects that dark. The darkest Ghibli film that I've seen is Princess Mononoke, which isn't much darker than The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and the first The Land Before Time movie. Sure, Japan should face it's past, but acting as if a family-oriented studio is supposed to illustrate some of the most horrific events in history... That's like trying to get Disney to make a cartoon Schindler's List.

In short: I'm against The Wind Rises being used as a scapegoat.
Posted 9/26/13

aeb0717 wrote:

Well, it's a Miyazaki film, so I don't think that people should expect his films to focus on subjects that dark. The darkest Ghibli film that I've seen is Princess Mononoke, which isn't much darker than The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and the first The Land Before Time movie. Sure, Japan should face it's past, but acting as if a family-oriented studio is supposed to illustrate some of the most horrific events in history... That's like trying to get Disney to make a cartoon Schindler's List.

In short: I'm against The Wind Rises being used as a scapegoat.


You missed the point.

The point was that Japan is eager for this movie to be released, but won't show any movies concerning what they did to others in the war in their own country.

And Disney's made movies dealing with racism before, though of course their older cartoons were racist as well!
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Posted 9/26/13

puellapeanut wrote:


aeb0717 wrote:

Well, it's a Miyazaki film, so I don't think that people should expect his films to focus on subjects that dark. The darkest Ghibli film that I've seen is Princess Mononoke, which isn't much darker than The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and the first The Land Before Time movie. Sure, Japan should face it's past, but acting as if a family-oriented studio is supposed to illustrate some of the most horrific events in history... That's like trying to get Disney to make a cartoon Schindler's List.

In short: I'm against The Wind Rises being used as a scapegoat.


You missed the point.

The point was that Japan is eager for this movie to be released, but won't show any movies concerning what they did to others in the war in their own country.

And Disney's made movies dealing with racism before, though of course their older cartoons were racist as well!


No, I didn't miss the point. Regardless of the reason, the film is being used as a scapegoat.
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Posted 9/26/13 , edited 9/26/13
I love Japan, but as a nation and as a people I question some of their choices. They do need to just apologize and educate their youth on the war crimes they committed. They just have too much pride, but I think as the old timers die off hopefully the new generation will gradually do things differently. Not to bash Japan since I see this same type of backwards mentality in Americans and the Chinese as well. That's why I think nationalism and "patriotism" is vastly overrated. I like being neutral and being able to see faults and good of everyone, regardless of national or political affiliations.


puellapeanut wrote:
You missed the point.

The point was that Japan is eager for this movie to be released, but won't show any movies concerning what they did to others in the war in their own country.

And Disney's made movies dealing with racism before, though of course their older cartoons were racist as well!


Actually you missed the point. While I agree the Japan as a nation is at fault for not being transparent about their past, you are singling out this children's film unfairly. Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki have nothing to do with war crimes or the cover up of war crimes. It's not their fault for wanting their film to be shown.
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Posted 9/26/13

bensonc120 wrote:


puellapeanut wrote:
You missed the point.

The point was that Japan is eager for this movie to be released, but won't show any movies concerning what they did to others in the war in their own country.

And Disney's made movies dealing with racism before, though of course their older cartoons were racist as well!


Actually you missed the point. While I agree the Japan as a nation is at fault for not being transparent about their past, you are singling out this children's film unfairly. Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki have nothing to do with war crimes or the cover up of war crimes. It's not their fault for wanting their film to be shown.


I'm afraid I have to agree. Perhaps Japan should hold up a better mirror to it's past and start worrying about teaching it's children justice as opposed to saving face for the past. but really focusing on single movie that's largely unrelated to those events doesn't seem fair either.
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Posted 9/26/13 , edited 9/26/13


I disagree. The point is not to single out the movie or to say that Japan shouldn't want it to be shown. Arguing either of those points is 100% straw man, which is practically the definition of missing the point. The movie was presented as an example of Japan's hypocritical behavior with respect to its history.

Back on topic, I've personally never really liked war in my entertainment. I couldn't really care less if they fess up to their war crimes or not, but I did find this discussion to be quite interesting.
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Posted 9/26/13 , edited 9/26/13
Once upon a time it was common practice amongst most national governments to attempt to "protect" their citizens from the more horrific knowledge of how their wars were fought. The simple, sad truth is that war--like so many other endeavors--is institutionalized cruelty, and that all participants, well, participate. Should Japan apologize on the international stage? It might behoove them. Should Japan make more effort to educate its own people about Japanese atrocities committed during WWII? Given our particular point in history, when WWII veterans of all sides are rapidly dying out, such a policy reversal might be seen as an abandonment and betrayal of their veterans. Just an observation, certainly not a defense. . .
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Posted 9/26/13 , edited 9/26/13
A story is much less interesting if it is reduced to an overall summary of what happened on both sides. At that point, it is history and not a very personal account of events that transpired. They are meant to convey no feeling, just information.

Point of view makes things interesting. You get the feelings and the perspective. This is what makes a story good.

Also, Miyazaki probably isn't aware himself of everything that happened in the war. No country will teach its citizens that they killed countless innocent people. And, guess what? It doesn't matter. Nearly every developed country is guilty of this. Admitting it or not admitting it changes absolutely nothing. Apologizing doesn't bring people back. The compensation isn't coming from the people who actually did the dirty work. It is coming from people who have no idea why others are accusing them of things they haven't done. Be careful when using 'government' to refer to the entire country and all its people. People die, retire from office, get elected for something else. Only the name of the organization we know as 'government' stays the same.

Miyazaki is legend. He is a master storyteller and one of the greatest animators. This is why I will watch this movie. I'm watching and buying this movie and it has nothing to do with a war from several decades ago.
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Posted 9/26/13

moonhawk81 wrote:

Once upon a time it was common practice amongst most national governments to attempt to "protect" their citizens from the more horrific knowledge of how their wars were fought. The simple, sad truth is that war--like so many other endeavors--is institutionalized cruelty, and that all participants, well, participate. Should Japan apologize on the international stage? It might behoove them. Should Japan make more effort to educate its own people about Japanese atrocities committed during WWII? Given our particular point in history, when WWII veterans of all sides are rapidly dying out, such a policy reversal might be seen as an abandonment and betrayal of their veterans. Just an observation, certainly not a defense. . .


I think the problem is at the end of WW2 the allies forced the german people to go in the camps and bury the dead in them as a way of showing them the evil that was done in their name. They never force the Japaness the same way so to this day most japaness will never admit they did anything wrong

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Posted 9/26/13

staphen wrote:



I disagree. The point is not to single out the movie or to say that Japan shouldn't want it to be shown. Arguing either of those points is 100% straw man, which is practically the definition of missing the point. The movie was presented as an example of Japan's hypocritical behavior with respect to its history.

Back on topic, I've personally never really liked war in my entertainment. I couldn't really care less if they fess up to their war crimes or not, but I did find this discussion to be quite interesting.


I don't think it's a straw man. The OP's point is valid. I don't see taking issue with the tools he uses to present his point as detracting from that point. I also don't see a 100% correlation between this movie and the nation as a whole refusing to look at it's past. If anyone is guilty of logical chicanery it is the OP for linking this movie to his point. That said it's a relatively minor point against the larger issue.

So let me posit this for you:

Do you think that Japan is more revisionist about it's world war II history than say the US, Canada? Germany? Rumania? and if so? what do you think should be done about it?


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