Trash Media and Convenience Stores February 2, 2007Posted by fukumimi in crime, Japan, Media.
Whilst the convenience store isn’t the place you would go to buy any real book, this piece of publishing trash must be about as bad as it gets.
It is bad enough that porn magazines are on public display next to the normal periodicals (most of those have smutty content as well, but at least in the case of those publications, the smut subsidises for what appears to be the closest thing to published investigative journalism that the Japanese media can muster), not even an attempt to key them out of sight or reach of small children. Then there is the level of sex in comics targetted at teens and even pre-teens.
But, although I’m a firm believer in the freedom of speech, I certainly can’t agree with the distribution of a pathetic xenophobic piece of crap like the “mook” (=japanglish word for a m(agazine)-(b)ook) shown above, albeit from the well known publishers of porn featuring lots of girls wearing high school attire, Eichi Shuppan who probably account for a decent proportion of sales of convenience store magazines (especially late at night).
Eichi also publishes a bunch of magazines/mooks profiling Korean celebrities, catering for the sad but probably harmless Fuyu-no-sonata bored housewife set. How’s that for covering all the bases.
I wonder what logic drove Family Mart, Amazon, 7&Y (the company behind 7-11 and Itoyokado), Kinokuniya (the book store), Yamato Transport, and Rakuten, to name the more famous names behind the places where the title can be bought to stock these titles.
Freedom of speech is one thing, but in this day and age, I think it is a pretty dangerous strategy to stock books that prominently feature rascist caricatures of foreigners and (admittedly inside the book – sorry, mook) the n-word in huge type under the pretext of publishing “a collection of crimes committed by foreigners”. Definitely not very PC.
The scary thing is that the sentiments expressed by such provocative publications may not be too far from the privately held sentiments of many (although by no means all) Japanese, only varying in degree. It isn’t helped by the bad behaviour of a small minority of foreigners who live in Japan, and the media’s fascination for selective reporting of stories involving foreigners. There is much simmering discontent in Japan, and it is being expressed by picking on a minority. So what else is new….
Why do I draw attention to this embarrasing situation? Because time and time again, Japan, its businesses, and many of its people, have shown that, left to their own devices, they have no particular inclination to change their ways, and unfortunately only by airing dirty laundry and attracting voices of criticism from the global community, can Japan be forced to change.
Of course, that doesn’t mean everything that global pressure is trying to force on Japan is, in my opinion, good. Far from it. But rascist rubbish (and, perhaps more importantly, its tolerance by the general public and businesses) needs to be addressed, and this is an instance of a need to air dirty laundry in public.