there's a rather viral thread that argues people from 4chan and SomethingAwful have been duped by folks from 2ch into believing that japan is a depoliticized paradise of rightwingers
and uh, i understand why folks want to believe in that but that's fucking nonsense
for example, the thread confuses contemporary japanese right-wing rhetoric (historical denialism) with how the LDP gained power (the 1955 System or 55年体制 which split the dissenting votes into many parties)
we can't also ignore how the US saw japan as an ally in the cold war
japan was described (or rather reimagined) as a "geisha ally" for a reason
after ww2, japan was viewed as a "developing country" that needed a lot of help from the united states and so on
and development in the cold war (and even now) tends to depoliticize countries
when countries get "depoliticized" and people just give money to them, the "developmental states" in these countries become stronger; the LDP also engaged in mercantilist/protectionist policies, thus causing the so-called east asian miracle to happen
they are "elite" for a reason
the united states and the "free world" like japan for this reason as well as its geographical proximity to the koreas, china, and russia
not to mention travel writing and news reporting would have infantilized japan into some backwards traditional country
and this actually helps with the now-fledgling tourist industries!
japan needed a #brand and they thought this nonsensical hotchpotch of backwards traditional crap was the best way to sell; this ignores how most of these conceptions like ninjas are historically inaccurate but $$$
the "nation" of "japan" was thus in hobsbawm's wording "invented" rather recently
i am bringing this all up because that thread is missing these historical, political, sociological, and economical aspects of nationalism
to suggest that somehow 2ch taught 4chan users the japanese nationalist utopia is a ludicrous idea
they have basically been set right after japan lost in world war 2; all these myths of "samurai spirit" or whatever shit people are smoking were made in these decisive moments
and these perceptions in the english-speaking discourse happen BECAUSE japan was this depoliticized
it was The Island in the Far East for many people; they didn't care about who was ruling or how corrupt their democracies were -- this is still happening today
it's orientalism
orientalism is the method people use to depoliticize the "east" in order to say some woke shit about culture, as if culture and politics don't influence each other
japan was and is Othered
that's why certain folks got mad when jp media had trans characters
to give credit to the rise of social media is missing the forest for the trees here
orientalism is Old As Fuck and japan, for better or for worse, knows it is being Othered and uses it to its advantages; it has led to interesting developments but it also depoliticized them badly
so there is no "conspiracy" of rightwingers going on
it's just people being plain ignorant across the board and not realizing japanese people have their own histories to contend with
also wtf stop calling 2ch as "2chan"; these are two different entities and 2ch is 5ch now anyway
tl;dr: no, the internet didn't depoliticize japan
we, our parents, our grandparents, our grandgrandparents -- all of us did
p.s. this is not to say that japanese nationalists have their own agenda but this is another story altogether and i don't think they are relevant to this at all; this is just plain ignorance as far as i can tell
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