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Off-topic: Japan and its "charming" racism

by on February 17, 2008

nazonoamerican.jpgYou might’ve seen a couple of these Indian Math Drill games…ASK made one too. Covers like this which say “What’s 75×75? An Indian person can clear it in TWO SECONDS” is just general lack of cultural awareness. But Sega took it to the next level.

Take a look at Miburi & Teburi, and the first thing you’ll notice is a giant white man covered in fake hair. That is what they call a ‘Nazo no American,’ or a hint-giving American. There are several others in the game too, such as a woman wearing an American flag, a Hard Gay lookalike, and others. Scroll down and watch the videos. The top video is the in-game stuff, and it doesn’t seem so bad. They have depictions of ‘hyper-Japanese’ people in there too, it seems. But the lower video is problematic. It “stars” the voices of two “Americans” who say things like “I love Japan, I love Japanese people” in uniquely horribly faked American accents. It’s the equivalent of someone saying “I rike fly lice” to describe how a Japanese person might talk. Of course Japan isn’t the only culprit – we’ve still got Mad TV…somehow. But I think in Japan there’s a lack of awareness that this is insulting in the first place, which increases the problem. I honestly think I’d have less of a problem with it if they were truly playing with American conventions and American Japanese fetishism – but they’re just unconsciously making fun of a group of people. And I’m not sure anyone will tell Sega this isn’t appropriate. It’s a fine line, but I think this crosses it.

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From → Museum, Off-topic

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