Life As A Casting Project

Sometimes, it seems that people aren’t as nice to us as they could be. It seems that they aren’t excited as they could or should be when we speak their language. It happens. Move on. There are literally millions of alternatives.

We don’t really judge any group of people fairly. Almost all our judgments about entire nations tend to be based on sample sizes of one or two. I am more than willing to ignore whatever increasingly rare BS I get from an occasional random person who is Japanese because I have Japanese friends who look out for me like family.

A friend of a friend recently broke up with his Japanese girlfriend. He was a total Japanophile before. Now he totally hates Japanese people. He still lives here, but he’s suddenly anti-Japan rant-prone.

Who’s wrong? Who’s right? That’s beside the point, really. The point is…make thee a Japanese family. Skew your perceptions, because they’re already skewed anyway. Skew them toward the good, because that’ll help you more. You’ll be happier and feel better.

Methinks that there is no reality to observe impartially when it comes to things like this. There is just your circle of friends. You’re hardly going to go out and meet all 127 million Japanese people. Nor will you meet the few thousand that would be necessary to make meaningfully accurate statistical statements about the whole. So there’s no point discussing the whole, because you’ll only ever interact with a handful of parts anyhow.

Manage the parts. Fix the parts if they need fixing. Construct your world. Fill it with characters whom you like, and make casting adjustments as and when needed. Since they get the most lines and screentime, if the stars are good enough, then a miscast stray extra here or there won’t have much effect either way.

It’s not Japan you need to change, it’s your peeps. Maybe. Probably. 😀


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  11 comments for “Life As A Casting Project

  1. Chagami
    April 13, 2011 at 00:37

    Great post! 😀

    I think that most people aren’t learning Japanese for the sake of learning Japanese; I think that they’re working on a larger “Japan Project” where the language is only one aspect. I’d like to see more posts like this to help with my own Japan Project. 🙂

  2. April 13, 2011 at 01:33

    This may sound harsh, but from the start I was only interested in the language and the media. I’ve met lots of Japanese people over the years and most have been nice, but that wasn’t why I took up Japanese to begin with so I really don’t care whether they’re nice or not.

  3. April 13, 2011 at 05:05

    I spent a year in Japan 24 years ago, teaching English in a little church. When I had friends, I loved Japan. When I felt lonely, it seemed an indifferent, if not hostile place. Of course, the people didn’t change, my perception did. That was helpful to remember.

    And there’s nothing wrong with loving language for it’s own sake, though I would say we miss out (I include myself) when we don’t enjoy people and culture along the way.

  4. Eri
    April 13, 2011 at 07:52

    Well, it seems to me that people who are racist only base what they have personally seen from maybe one or two people of the race they hate. Even if they meet someone of the same race who is completely the opposite they completely ignore it :/ But one race of people isn’t really all one way. Sure there are things people in other countries do that we don’t, but past that, there are people who are mean in every single country. There are people who are stupid, there are people who are racist, there are people who are way too nice for their own good. No one country has a certain type of person in which every person in that country demonstrates. And it’s stupid to think otherwise.

    Basically, no matter where you go, there are going to be people who you don’t like. But there will also be people you do like. You just have to find them 🙂

  5. 魔法少女☆かなたん
    April 13, 2011 at 10:22

    I’ve met enough stupid and rude people in enough places to know that it’s a worldwide phenomenon, but luckily it’s not everyone or even most people. I could complain about how much I hate Americans for being ignorant, condescending, whatever, but actually, most of the Americans I know are people I like, and those labels don’t really apply.

  6. Onsokumaru
    April 13, 2011 at 10:25

    This is all very true. Unfortunately not many people are willing to face reality, the internet especially. Make a fair point and you’ll be greeted by a youtube video showing negativity of a few; which will be based on Japan or anywhere else as a whole.

  7. April 13, 2011 at 11:00

    Agreed, but I’m a realist and I don’t like the idea of only looking on the bright side or only acknowledging those things which are positive, I want all the information, good and bad, THAT’S the most useful thing to do. Every culture and country has its problems, and Japan is no exception, so what I’m saying is that the correct thing to do is acknowledge and accept both the positives and the negatives.

    Cheers,
    Andrew

  8. Einar
    April 13, 2011 at 17:56

    Sometimes you say things that are really universally true, and you say it with uncertainty, which makes it even more true. odd.

    Anyway keep up the good work 😀

    (Starting to be able to talk some japanese, and have gone through all the kanji once, revising them now :D, never would have gotten there without Khatzumoto.)

  9. ダンちゃん
    April 13, 2011 at 18:08

    Another good post. When I originally came to Japan to study in 05 I enjoyed being thoroughly critical of pretty much everything. It didn’t help that I couldn’t properly understand the language and had basically no Japanese friends. Now I can’t quite believe how nice a place it is and I have to keep pinching myself. OK, there’s =still= too much plastic wrapping on everything… ^^

  10. paekdusan
    April 15, 2011 at 15:13

    Thank you! This was an extraordinarily timely post. I was becoming a bit frustrated and, consequently, a little lazy in my language study. Your post made me remember that I’m out to master Korean, and to do it by having fun. And if the people I’m surrounding myself with aren’t fun, then I need to make a change. My screenplay. My life. If I’m in charge, then I need to step up and make the casting adjustment. Again, thank you.

  11. Es2Kay
    November 28, 2011 at 22:06

    “A place is only as good as the people you know in it. ”

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