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JP 03-3: Male-dominated Society-Danson-johi-男尊女卑


Well, this is the final show of this 3-parter. Although I think we’ll be exploring danson-johi in future shows, both in the context of other elements of Japanese culture, and perhaps a second round for the concept itself. Would love to hear from folks in the comments: of course, we are not claiming to be the last word on any of this. We are sharing our parts of the puzzle, and we’re very happy when you share yours!

  • generally, you don’t see so much conflict in everyday life, in Asia
  • lots of conflict in England and America
  • there’s definitely a positive side to conflict (Ed. says Karamoon. Terri doesn’t like it)
  • Orson Welles ‘The Third Man’: “300 years of bloodshed in Italy produced the Renaissance; 2000 years of peace in Switzerland produced the cuckoo clock”
  • there’s healthy conflict
  • a big problem in England and the US is the identity crisis
  • people don’t really know what they’re supposed to do in their lives
  • in countries like Japan, maybe people think there’s a definite role for them
  • “I do that well”, so perhaps they’ll be something like stable
  • whereas in England, Karamoon thinks in terms of class struggle
  • talking about Emancipation in America: where is the ex-slave’s place
  • where is the place of immigrants who are treated so terribly
  • in the West, when people do get up in society, they’re the ones who look down on their fellows
  • in London, the Afro-Caribbean or Indian community of invitees, who came to alleviate the labor shortage
  • now they look down on the Eastern Europeans: “the Polish are stealing all the jobs!”
  • instead of looking up and saying that it’s the people at the top who are actually to blame for the system being this way
  • at least they’re not trying to build fences filled with stupid
  • in America, fence building a) won’t work, b)waste of time c)makes Americans look like such idiots
  • my country is so crazy – said with love and frustration
  • Terri hears from women who are Japanese when treated badly by their bosses and refusing to complain: ‘we Japanese women don’t do that’ – white heat – “what? why you march right in there…”
  • getting older, starting to consider things more
  • go start your own business – but then that’s a problem here, too
  • Karamoon thinks that’s always the American solution to every problem
  • Terri thinks he may be right – but it can be helpful (Ed. she wails)
  • hopes we’re moving towards creative capitalism/culture, DIY, remote work
  • work is a big part of life in Japan
  • “what do you do?”
  • it’s a funny question – asked even in Britain
  • Karamoon cries a lot
  • I like walking; I eat too much and feel ashamed
  • in Japan, work has been such a big thing since WW2
  • big companies: job, health care
  • hasn’t been true for quite a while
  • Japan is in very serious trouble
  • ‘freeters’ (freelancers: typically younger, do a lot of temping) want to try a bunch of different jobs or none at all
  • health care may change that – no company health insurance
  • of course the big companies claim they are lifetime jobs
  • younger people get out of college wanting stability
  • very weird and unclear change
  • danson-johi will stay with us for a while
  • it’s going to be related to many things we discuss
  • the way we see age is also affected
  • getting older is cool: you can experience more
  • experience is really important – if you survive and get the lessons that experience should have taught you…

Terri records the show on her iPhone3G
Tom Toeda of fti studio mixes the show.
image credit: Okinawa Soba
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Next show theme?
We’re going to stock up on food-related shows next, since work and food are both critically important subjects in Japan. So, next show: Obento.

This week’s show:


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