A friend posted this picture of a cute young girl in a kimono on my Facebook timeline.
There’s more to the thread here.
The key question about this is what do the Japanese think about things like this. Now I’ve been to Japan three times so far and been all over the country at this point. I’ve also known Japanese people, spent a lot of time looking at Japanese train sites and watched a lot of anime and other Japanese TV. So I’ve had a bit if experience with the weird and wonderful Japanese culture. One thing about Japanese culture is that it is a cultural appropriator and has been for Centuries. Parts of the language, the writing, the dress and many other things came from other places even before modern times. Indeed the time of isolation was mainly because Japanese people were eagerly appropriating new culture(Christianity and muskets for instance) and the powers that be were worried about what the impact would be. They were right to be worried. A soon as Commodore Perry sailed out of Tokyo Harbor, Japanese people were on the next boat out, looking for new things to bring back and adopt.
I’ve posted about the Japanese and kimonos before, several times. Here’s some hard facts. The art of kimono making is facing extinction. Like several crafts that have become obsolete as Japanese tastes change.
got a rude shock. The district looked gutted, there were apartment buildings everywhere and only a few traditional dwellings and workshops in between. We passed a kimono merchant’s house that was being demolished. “There’s Chieko’s home,” I said.
We visited one kimono workshop and the owner kindly agreed to show us around. His family had owned the workshop for 140 years, he said, and now times were tough; customers were dwindling and nearby workshops were closing down. We saw a computer programmed jacquard loom, and on it there lay the answer to some questions I had in my mind — an exquisitely beautiful kimono obi worth $8,000.
Japan’s kimono industry has long been in decline. After 1945, Japanese women abandoned their role as bearers of Japan’s fashion traditions and embraced Western styles, and the market for high-end kimono is now collapsing as wealthy customers opt for cheaper, more casual fashion.
A recent Asahi Shimbun article explained that between 1982 and 2012 kimono sales declined from ¥2 trillion to one tenth of that figure, and kimono tailors’ numbers fell from 6,300 in 1984 to 1,351 in 2014.
In Kawabata’s novel a traditional kimono weaver predicts that if any business like his survives the coming decades, it will only be because it is “under government sponsorship as an ‘Intangible Cultural Treasure.’ ” This seems like only a slight exaggeration in hindsight.
So now the kimono industry is trying to innovate, to diversify beyond the formal, conventional styles that had been its mainstay, and to seek out overseas markets, much as it has done in the past. There is a genuine conversation to be had among non-Japanese about how to help preserve and respect this industry, but as we shall see, it can go terribly wrong.
A recent “Looking East: Western Artists and the Allure of Japan” exhibition in Japan and America, organized by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Japan’s national broadcaster NHK, incidentally incorporated some promotion of kimono culture.
Then there are the things the kids might learn about Japan by playing dress up. It’s obvious that the girl was trying to recreate the tea ceremony rather than just playing dress up. Who knows where that would lead.
When the scariest thing about Halloween is the culture police, we have a real problem. The fact is that these people seem to exist for the sole purpose of draining anything resembling actual fun from anything they can. Perhaps people should wear culture police costumes. You can start with SS uniforms and change the insignia. Or look at the videos below for ideas. The cultural Revolution one would be easy, with all you need is a white shirt, a red book and a fanatical leer. You could modernize with a red tablet with inappropriate tweets on it.
Of course the culture appropriation bullying isn’t just limited to Halloween costumes. It reaches out into just about everything to the point that the bullying get insane. How insane. How about claiming that the canoe is not an appropriate symbol for Canada because it’s not native.
Of course the reason for screaming about cultural appropriation have nothing really to do with culture or appropriation. Instead it’s just another way to generate self created moral authority and the power that goes with it. Power that the people doing the screaming want to use for their own purposes. It’s all too easy to give in and hope that the screamers will be appeased. They won’t be though, at least not until things get all too much like the video below.
While that video is fiction and a warning, the one below is neither. This is the end game of the culture warriors. This is the legacy of the last Century and we behoove ourselves to remember that. For the sake of the dead, if nothing else.
It’s important to remember that the people doing this stuff have no joy but the pain and suffering that they inflict in others. That they don’t care about culture, innovation, creativity, growth, liberty, individuals or anything else other than their insatiable appetites for pain and suffering that they inflict.
These people cannot be appeased or reasoned with. The only thing you accomplish by giving in is that they will come back again for another round.
This isn’t about costumes. This is about tyranny and the attempt to control how people think and act. Don’t let them win. Don’t give in believing that giving them what they want will do anything other than make your life miserable. I’ve seen case after case where the only result was tears and misery.
We cannot allow these spoiled children the power over our lives and our children’s lives and the way we think. It’s time to paint on the black camo, push back our dreadlocks put on our war bonnet, put the katana in our obi and get in their faces and push back. It’s for the kids and their right to be free of the tyranny that these people want so much.