To: Crecente
From: Bashcraft
RE: Snow!

In Japan, it's not only popstars who are idols, but also TV announcers — typically, female announcers. My personal favorite, you ask? Without a doubt, Christel Takigawa. Born in France to a French father and a Japanese mother, she is a Japanese citizen and was, until recently, a TV anchor for FNN News Japan.

With a lot of the "half" people I met or see on TV, it's not that I can relate to them (I can't), but I can relate to their parents, I think. Perhaps I have a vague idea of some of the stuff they went thru — identity issues, language issues, etc. And as the number of half-Japanese, half-whatever individuals increase, it does help to normalize things.

For example, some really famous half celebrities cannot speak English — something they have made very public. This, in turn, eases expectations for my son, who seems to be having a tough time picking up English. If that makes sense

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Anyway! So I think Christel is pretty nifty, and she's been hosting News Japan since 2002. By her own choice, she's recently left the show and moved on from News Japan to greener pastures.

Another TV announcer, Yutaka Hasegawa, said this about Takegawa's replacement: "This chick, uh, she is also by far more skillful than that foreigner (gaijin) who was doing it until recently, you know?" Quite a few people were upset by his word choice (and quite a few didn't really care!) as she's not, you know, an actual foreigner. She's spent most of her life in Japan, she's a Japanese citizen, blah, blah. The other issue is that news shows don't use the term "gaijin", but the longer "gaikokujin". Comedians use it tons, though.

Some of the replies on the Japanese internet include:
"Why is he using discriminatory language toward someone who was sacked?"
"We can't forgive that guy for speaking ill of Christel."

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The word itself is tricky, and sometimes loaded — though, people who use it aren't necessarily using it as discriminatory manner. Like a lot of things, context, context, context. It's too easy just to write off the word. The thing that that surprised a lot of people about the way Hasegawa referred to Takigawa's replacement — he used the word "koitsu", which in this case would be something like "this chick" or even "this broad".

After erasing YouTube clips of the incident, Fuji TV issued an apology: "'Gaijin' is improper language, and we should have immediately corrected the problem. The TV program production side is also humbly reflecting on this, and we truly want to apologize to the program's audience and others who felt uncomfortable."

The most interesting thing about this has been the reaction. Like on the Japanese internet, hundreds of folks have commented on the issue — as website Japan Probe points out, some are arguing that gaijin is a bad term to use against anyone and others are arguing that it's a bad term to use against Japanese people. Then, some people are saying that being referred to as "koitsu" is worst than "gaijin". Like I said, interesting stuff.

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If you can read Japanese, the comments here are particularly interesting. Also, there is a post on the issue in English over at Japan Probe.

Anyway, What you missed last night
Let's Compare XBL And PSN Bayonetta Demo Screens
South Park Let's Go Tower Defense Play! Review: Throwing Snowballs
So How's That PS3 Bayonetta Demo?
PSPgo In Chinese Knock Off Form
Turbo: The Movie Is Better Than Most Street Fighter Films