Well the first round of feedback on E Mobile’s “Yes, We Change” commercial shown on TBS and TV Tokyo’s World Business Satellite comes from one reader that thinks Black Tokyo harbors a “bitter racist” and from the website Japan Probe:
While I respect everyone’s opinion, let me clear a few things up and respond to comments such as these:
- “The only people who find this racist are LOOKING for racism; butthurt gaijin who need to get a life.”
- “Taken completely out of context by foreigners, this commercial will appear racist.”
- But hey – why would e-mobile parody a currently-broadcast weekly TV drama starring a very popular and bankable idol when they could instead enrage foreigners everywhere by a blatantly racist parody of the Obama campaign!
- In the 1970’s, Sanrio Company begins the characterization of Blacks as monkeys
- Sanrio’s Bibinba (Sarumen Kanja) character with fat, pink lips, and rings in its ears becomes popular
- Sarumen Kanja mannequins used in Tokyo department stores
- The baseball manga Reggie and his sarumawashi no saru (monkey performance)
- The popular book, Little Black Sambo (a great stocking stuffer since the 1970’s in Japan)
- The Rain Forest Cafe next to Tokyo Disneyland selling Black Sambo dolls
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Earthquake Pamphlet
- The two talento known as Bobby depicted as gorillas in media and print ads
Folks who say “Look, a monkey advocating change – this must be about Obama” are revealing a lot more about themselves than they are about Japan, Japanese and this commercial.
“we have had enough of understanding japanese culture”
I would say you have not had nearly enough.
“let`s see them understand other cultures for a change.” In their own country? Why?”
I guess my quick response to the last question would be: Ask the Nazis or other people that are culturally stuck on ignorance and not being tolerate of others (non-Japanese) living and working in Japan! Many Japanese politicians run on a platform on change but they are not depicted in a demeaning manner. If the poster knew so much about Japan then (s)he will understand that I sense the stench of selective reasoning when I read the reply. I mean come on, even Coca Cola cannot slam Pepsi on a television commercial. No corporation does this to another in Japan. I can ask my contacts at Dentsu and Hakuhodo if I am wrong.