Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I think I'm turning tiny-Japanese

People ask why I didn't just stay in France ("It's so lovely!"). I agree, it's a good place to be...sort of.

There's apparently a children's board book that just came out in France called Le Livre des Plus Petits, which presumably shows small things.
...Like, Japanese tourists. And it explains why France can be a real bummer. Overall, one of the coolest places on Earth, but you really gotta assimilate, lest you be blatantly referred to as "une petite chinoise," the way I was whenever I said or explained something Asiatic. [I don't want to use one example as a testament to a people, but it's the fact that no other of my French peers found this objectionable that irks me.]

I'd go on to argue that that's why people (including myself) feel good about assimilating to French society/culture - because it's so hard.

Just like it is so difficult and equally rewarding to be "accepted" by a lot of Japanese communities. Ironic.

Anyway, back to the book.
This racist depiction of Japanese tourists is no haphazard drawing. Bravi really gave it some thought. Here, les petits japonais vont monter l'autobus:It's no Indian Coca-Cola commercial, but it's almost worse because it's a kid's book.


Deborah said...

You've always got something interesting going on here...

I've never been to France, but somehow what I hear always sounds vaguely Japanese-y. I think part of the reason is this sort of prehistoric racism.

It would never occur to them not to think that way... see Kerim's blog on Japanese politicians...

ill iterate said...


totally. japanese politicians are the worst.