Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Japanese Enigma

Over the years I've come across various outrageous stories about modern Japan's deviant sexual obsession , to the degree of reported cases of mass incense and commonality of underage , rampant prostitution. Other contradictions include Japanese Nationalist heroes ,such as the late writer/activist Yukido Mishima who wrote themes of male homosexuality , while making calls for a return to tradition(!) Not to mention the many public condemnations of Jews and American blacks that have been uttered over recent years by major Japanese political figures.

Now for the latest dispatch from Tokyo:

A writer's death can do wonders for pushing that back catalog. Less drastically, a few books acquire cachet by being banned. Which may help explain why a reissue of "Little Black Sambo," a turn-of-the-20th century illustrated children's book attacked as being racist, is on the bestseller lists in Japan this spring. The Japanese edition of "Sambo" was a big favorite here, from the time it was introduced in 1953 until it was yanked from bookstores in 1988 after a swift and effective anti-racism campaign.


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