Sunday, January 15, 2006

East Asia is the most dangerous area in the viewpoint of constructivism

Constructivists think nowadays an area which is the most unstable in the world is east Asia (both North and South Korea, China and Japan). Constructivism observes international politics in the viewpoint of cultures, identities and something like these. The reason of the above thought you can imagine from history. The cultures of both north and south Korea and Japan are derived from that of China, and these countries have the similar way of thinking. It is natural for the people who have the common things like culture and the way of thinking to be able to establish good relationships with each other more easily than with the people who do not (for example, maybe you can get on good terms with a person who have the same hobby as you more easily) . Nevertheless, Japan and Korea fought against each other, and moreover China and Japan did the two big wars. Therefore, constructivists believe that east Asia is one of the areas that the international society must pay attention to most.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Malcolm X

The other day I watched the movie "Malcom X". As you can imagine from the name, this movie describes the life of Malcom X. He was one of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in the first 1960's in the U.S. In addition, it also describe how difficult the problem about the discrimination of the races is. The friction is not only between a race and another but also among the groups of each. In other words, it is not simply binomial, i.e. by one and another. This will be also true of other problems.

Anyway, I recommend this movie. You can see the vivid description of the Afro-American lives in 1960's in the U.S.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Music Scales

What do you imagine about a music scale? Perhaps you will think CDEFGABC (so-called the major scale, in Japanese HA NI HO HE TO I RO, or in German Do Re Mi Fa So Ra Si Do). Certainly this is one of the music scales. In fact there are many other scales. For example, the pentatonic scale is famous. This has only five notes. You might think this is the scale which omits two notes from the major one, but the thought persists in white keyboards on the piano. The pentatonic scale exsits as the pentatonic scale, not the scale changed from the major one. At all, the fact that first of all you imagine the major scale when you think about the music scales, means that you are soaked in the Western music culture. In fact, the pentatonic scale is used for some Japanese traditional musics. However, there are some people who know the major scale but do not the pentatonic scale. This is one of the evidences which indicate that we are westernized and our traditional musics themselves have become further.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Slow Foods

Nowadays, we can eat Mc'donald anywhere. It is one of the foods cultures that prevailed all over the world. This is a so-called fast food. In today's busy situation, we do not have much time to make meals, so that we tend to eat fast foods more than in the past. In this stream, recently the idea of slow foods has been being insisted on. The idea means the protection of their own traditional foods. This was born in Italy. Italians have had concern that due to the extention of fast foods their own traditional food would decline. Therefore, they started to insist on the idea of slow foods in order to protect them.

Currently, globalization has been contended more and more, but first of all we should think about our own cultures. Only after this, we can understand what globalization is. The idea of slow foods is one of the oppotunities to think about our own culture.

So why don't you make a traditional meal today, not buy a first food?

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Interviews

Yesterday, I went to Shibuya with my friends in order to interview non-Japanese people for the next Eng. Seminar class. At first, we were very sensitive but, once we started to, we enjoyed it very much. I had little experience of speaking with non-Japanese, so this was a very good oppotunity.

I interviewed an Italian. She was very friendly and intelligent. She willingly answered my interview. I felt she was warm because, in general, we Japanese do not like to be interviewed by strangers. This thought was had in common with my friends. It is certain that the thought that Italians are open and friendly and Japanese are closed and cold is a stereotype, but I felt it was just not wrong and, in fact, she and other people who we interviewed said Japanese were less open.

Anyway, I really enjoyed interviewing.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Should Japan Receive More Refugees?

Japan is critisized because it receives the least number of refugees in the developed countries. Until today, Japan has regarded only 300 people as refugees. The number is extreamly small. Then should Japan receive more refugees?

It is a very difficul question. It is right to help refugees. However, the problem cannot be solved, only by the way we permit them to live in Japan. They generally have different culture and sometimes they cannot be accustomed to a society which recceived them. If they cannot get along with the society, not only can they be happy but also they will have no choice to commit crimes in order to survive. People to a minority tend to be tied up with each other and it can make the group of crimes as the gangs in the U.S. have many Italian members. Namely, it is not enough only to receive them. We must support them and they may also need to compromise something so as to be accustomed to new society. But these finally mean assimilation. Futhermore, some of the refugees cannot be adapted even if they and we try to very much.
It is not necessarily good for them to live in different societies forever. Recently, thougt about the problem of the refugees in the international society has changed, from receiving them to returning them as soon as possible by recover their countries. It is certain that we must receive and support refugees, but I think we should also assist the recovery of refugees's own countries so that they can go back as soon as possible and it is needed to let them live in Japan for the time being while the recovery is realized.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Respect of Workers' Thought

It is famous that Japan accomplished the rapid economic growth. It is for some reasons and one of them is that workers as well as their boss also think how they can make production more efficient. This is a characteristic of Japanese industries. In the past, it was common that workers did only things which their boss said, but in Japanese industries, views which workers has been respected, because they work in the very process of production and can understand how it can be improved most. As Japan developed more, this thought prevailed overseas. People from the foreign countries, even the U.S., came to Japan in order to investigate its method of raising efficiency of production. Nowadays, it is more usual in the world that workers think about more efficient ways of production by themselves and their opinions are respected. This is an example which express that a characteristic of Japan prevailed overseas.