Wednesday, February 11, 2009

'Monga' in our midst

From Japan Today, 2/11/09:

“They get into jacuzzis at onsens still covered with body soap, punch out taxi drivers and so on. Here we pursue the mode of life of the foreigners who swagger in our faces during Japan’s recession!”

This week’s issue of Spa! (Feb 17) then proceeds with a four-page polemic against foreign tourists and residents titled “Report of Monster Foreigners on the Rampage.”

Spa! employs the word “monga” for this phenomenon, a neologism of created by combining “monsutaa” (monster) and “gaikokujin” (foreigner).

And what has this to do with visual anthropology and/or the project? Read on...

...One “maid” employed by a shop at Akihabara relates her own tale of woe: While distributing flyers on the street she was pursued by a group of five or six cackling black males, exclaiming “Meido-san! Meido-san!” as they recorded her image with video cameras.

“I was terrified, fled for my life,” she shudders.

This isn't making our job any easier...

Read the whole article and comments:


Joe said...
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Joe said...

Articles like that are painful to read. No matter how well-behaved we try to be here, a few you-know-whats seem to ruin it for the rest of us.

Our school seems to function as a microcosm of the rest of the foreign community, if stories from blogs/boards/media are to be believed. We've got a lot of great people here, as well as some less respectful folks who don't mind tarnishing our collective reputation for the sake of one wild night at Big Wave.

All we can do is ganbaru! Ha ha.

R. said...

Yes, these things are very frustrating. Japan is such a beautiful place, as are many of its people, but sideward glances and whispered 'bakka gaijin' comments make you realise how conspiciously white you are.

Unfortunatly, we all know some mongels. (If you are reading this, get out of Katahoko koen and stop embarrasing other students, the school and the gaijin community as a whole).They are a reality and it's easy to focus on the negetive. Despite the bad side of this article, Spa! is good for a laugh.