Beowulf wrote: ↑
Tue May 15, 2018 2:22 pm
Stephen Faulk wrote: ↑
Tue May 15, 2018 12:37 am
I don't have time to unravel that passage by Joel stice. But it gets several things wrong that bother me. Ine is that samurai were not butchers, they had to be provoked.
One writer provided a better characterization of trade conditions, he said it was more like being in a very strict boarding school. Usually when people got into clashes it was because foreigners who knew better were not following the protocol and being arrogant.
Here is an account of the Sakai incident that is likely to be more accurate: https://samurainovelist.com/2015/07/21/ ... dent-1868/
The "sailors" were from a French warship, the Japanese soldiers were not samurai (but were elevated to that status by their subsequent honorable deaths), their actions were provoked and Japan agreed to reparations and executions for political/military reasons.
My point was not to deprecate the samurai, rather I was postulating that the difficulties in developing a career as an artisan or advancing in the business world may also have to do with social and cultural issues.
I didn't take it as a put down. Just saying there's a lot of hooey and cliches about samurai in Western pop culture and it obsures the real stories. I just dislike the sensational samurai story as an entry point to Japan culture, and most Japanese folks agree.
My father in law is an 85 year old widower who found a girlfriend by internet dating. His kids hate that he did that. Since I'm American and of a certain generation it seems quite fine to me, I covertly protect and support him. Japan is dealing with the same issues we all deal with, it's not mysterious. And yet there's an element of the culture being highly self referential by virtue of being an archipelago and having a singular unique language that is frankly, mysterious.
I'm just a stranger here myself.