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Almost seems like they didn't actually expect to win and had no idea how to handle having actual power and responsibility.
They bickered internally. Could promise change, but not do it.
Updates on Hana Kimura's case via New York Times:
Her apparent suicide late last month at age 22 has provoked a national call for action against online bullying, thrusting Japan into a global debate over how much responsibility online platforms should have for moderating the content they host.
The Japanese authorities pledged to move quickly to rein in internet trolls, who hide behind a cloak of anonymity to share malicious posts that are sometimes misogynistic or racist. But free-speech advocates fear that measures making it harder for people to hide their identities could chill the country’s rising online activism, which has become an increasingly powerful check on government power.
“There are conflicts with freedom of speech and rights and privacy that are extremely thorny,” said Ayaka Shiomura, a former TV personality and current member of the upper house of Japan’s Parliament who has herself been the target of cyberbullying.
“We have to think about the victims, like Ms. Kimura, first,” she said, but “it’s possible for her situation to be exploited.”
The discussion in Japan echoes a fierce debate in the United States over how far social media companies should go to intervene in users’ posts. Last week, Twitter added labels to two of President Trump’s tweets, directing users to fact-checking materials, and it hid another of his tweets behind a warning, saying it glorified violence.
An incensed Mr. Trump, who has used social media to assail everyone from the world famous to the totally unknown, signed an executive order that could increase the liability of companies like Twitter and Facebook for content posted by users.
In Japan, the authorities have been wrestling for decades with how to police online speech. The country’s anonymous message boards, created in the internet’s early years, became breeding grounds for some of the worst aspects of modern online culture, as users found a thrill in publicly expressing their darkest views with no fear of repercussion.
The Japanese Parliament passed a law nearly 20 years ago that sought to protect victims of online abuse, though lawyers say it has had little effect. Now, since Ms. Kimura died, officials are vowing to put more teeth behind the protections.
The minister of communications, Sanae Takaichi, told reporters that she would move “with speed” to add measures that would make it easier for victims of online abuse to unmask the people behind anonymous posts.
Celebrities, politicians and legal experts have called for even stricter moves, demanding that social media companies be forced to take a more active role in reviewing and removing hate speech.
A coalition that includes Facebook, Twitter and the popular Japanese chat app Line put out a statement shortly after Ms. Kimura’s death saying that they would move swiftly to reduce personal attacks on their platforms. Among the steps could be blanket bans on users who intentionally demean others.
While the move by Twitter in the United States to more actively moderate content has added fuel to claims on the right that the platform is trying to squelch conservative views, in Japan the issue of intervening in online speech has posed a dilemma for the left, as well.
Suspicion of government censorship has deep ties to historical memories of the authorities’ ruthless suppression of free speech before World War II. People on the political left point to the power of unfettered speech to hold the government accountable in a country with a weak political opposition, and say that government regulations could be used to destabilize this growing force.
In May, an overwhelming wave of online criticism led Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to abandon an attempt to extend term limits for the country’s top prosecutors, a move widely seen as an attempt to shore up his political power.
But those on the left also abhor the kind of harassment that may have contributed to Ms. Kimura’s death.
For many viewers, the gentle rhythms of “Terrace House,” a show that throws six strangers together in a beautiful home and gently prods them to couple up, seemed like a refuge from the sometimes sordid drama of other reality dating shows.
Where other shows seemed intent on bringing out the ugliest aspects of their contestants’ personalities, “Terrace House” focused on quotidian pleasures. One of the biggest narrative arcs of the last season centered on one cast member’s struggles to make broccoli pasta.
When the show, which is produced by Fuji TV, was picked up by Netflix, it became a surprise international hit, with reviewers praising its often endearingly awkward content.
But online, some Japanese viewers spewed a constant flow of invective against the show’s cast members, ruthlessly picking apart their every misstep and perceived personality flaw.
Ms. Kimura, a professional wrestler, was subjected to especially harsh attacks. When commenters filled her social media mentions with posts calling her a “gorilla” and asking her to “please disappear,” she responded with a meek apology, asking, “If I do, will people love me?”
In an episode that aired in March, she was shown upbraiding a roommate for shrinking one of her expensive wrestling costumes in the dryer. The trolls piled on, telling her to die and criticizing her for her supposed lack of femininity, her muscular build, her outspokenness and the dark skin she inherited from her Indonesian father.
When the show went on hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, Fuji TV re-aired the episode and uploaded additional behind-the-scenes footage to You Tube and the show’s official website, drawing a second barrage of attacks.
On May 23, Ms. Kimura wrote on Twitter that she was receiving as many as 100 “frank opinions” each day. The post was accompanied by photos of multiple cuts on her wrists and arms.
Hours later, Ms. Kimura was found dead in the Tokyo apartment where she lived by herself.
In the ensuing controversy, Fuji TV quickly removed content about the season in which Ms. Kimura appeared from the show’s website and suspended its broadcast. In a statement, the network’s president apologized for not paying closer attention to Ms. Kimura’s mental state, writing that the network’s “awareness of how to help the cast was insufficient.”
As with bullying the world over, in Japan “people who are different from everyone else are often the targets,” said Ikuko Aoyama, an expert on cyberbullying at Tsuru University. “People use social media to knock down people who stand out.”
But “the damage that comes from veering from social norms is maybe more serious for Japanese people than those in Europe or the U.S.,” she said.
The burden of standing out seems to have weighed heavily on Ms. Kimura. In one of her first appearances on “Terrace House,” she told a castmate that she was worried that people hated her outgoing personality.
While her infectious enthusiasm and bubbly warmth made her a favorite with some fans, those traits also attracted scorn from others who came to see her as the show’s “heel,” a wrestling term used to describe a villainous foil for a heroic opponent.
It was the role she played in the ring and was most likely also the one she was expected to play on the show, said Hiromichi Shizume, a producer for Abema TV who has worked on reality shows. Producers often seek to reinforce those casting choices by coaching cast members and by selectively editing the hundreds of hours of footage they shoot.
They also regularly play up conflict on social media, hoping to drive more viewers to the show, Mr. Shizume said.
In Ms. Kimura’s case, “the promotional videos for the shows were edited to show her saying some nasty lines,” he said, adding that “negative posts online really boosted social media interest.”
Producers religiously monitor the social media response to their shows, said Tamaki Tsuda, who works on the high school dating show “Who Is the Wolf?”
“The trash talk drove interest in the show,” she said. “They understood that and used it, and I expect they were aware of what was happening with Hana’s social media.”
While Ms. Kimura’s death has prompted self-reflection about online hate and the nature of reality shows, some in Japan seem impervious to those lessons.
Twitter mobs used her apparent suicide as an excuse to unleash a torrent of invective on other members of the “Terrace House” cast, including the celebrities who appeared on the show to provide color commentary.
One of those targets has been Ryota Yamasato, a popular comedian who often ridiculed the show’s cast. Since Ms. Kimura’s death, commenters have lashed out at him online, filling his mentions with angry demands that he take responsibility.
Edited by Ominae on Jun 3rd 2020 at 4:26:57 AM
PM Kan, I'm guessing, was from the party that managed to topple the LDP but fucked it up, correct?
Ugh, nothing worse than a self-rightous Internet mob.
Edited by HailMuffins on Jun 3rd 2020 at 8:35:46 AM
The DPJ managed to have three PM in as many years. Absolute disaster.
It has to be said that many opposition politicians are former LDP and DPJ, sometimes having no real disagreement in politics as much as who is in charge.
Edited by TerminusEst on Jun 3rd 2020 at 4:56:49 AM
Well, sometimes a party seems to work best as opposition rather than situation...
On the Hana Kimura case: why do people seem to have a hard time differentiating political criticism from hate speech?
Also, this is why I'm quite wary of reality shows in general: stupid fanbases.
As mentioned before, the legacy of World War II and the rise of pro-Imperial military factions left a wary generation after the Allied Forces occupation weary of censorship.
An editorial posted on NHK World regarding cyberbullying:
Kimura Hana appeared on the Fuji Television reality show "Terrace House," which became an international hit after it was picked up by US streaming service Netflix.
After an episode was aired in late March, she was subjected to a number of hostile comments on her social media accounts. This abuse apparently drove her to suicide.
In the days leading up to her death, Kimura said she was subjected to more than a hundred hateful messages a day.
Her death sparked an outpouring of grief, with people posting messages with the hashtag "RIP Hana Kimura."
Many of Kimura's fans mourned her death on Twitter.
Tanaka Tohko, a professor of media studies at Otsuma Women's University, says the tragedy could have been expected.
"We have seen hostile attacks and aggressive comments on social media for several years. These are especially directed toward women. But society has not addressed this, and now there has finally been a tragedy."
Since the tragedy, the responsibility of online service providers has come under scrutiny. A coalition of such companies, including Facebook and Twitter, announced they would strengthen measures against abuse.
They say they will mount a campaign to inform people about their ban harassment and defamation, and may suspend services for violators.
Yahoo Japan is not part of the coalition, but it says it plans to provide artificial intelligence technology to other social media companies that can identify inappropriate posts. It says it hopes to strengthen controls for the industry as a whole.
A group of IT companies has also decided to put information on consultation services for people who have been subjected to social media attacks on their websites by the end of June. They will ask that inappropriate posts be deleted and give advice on how to seek information on people who post inappropriate comments anonymously.
Tanaka says one of the major challenges is the fact that laws covering online activity in Japan were written nearly 20 years ago.
"It's difficult to bring disclosure requests unless you go to court. But that is often costly and time consuming. Japan needs to rethink the role of internet providers and platforms."
Politicians in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party have started discussing how to deter hostile comments on the internet. Justice Minister Mori Masako said on June 2 the ministry would study appropriate criminal punishments for those who write abusive messages.
Tanaka says the laws need to be revisited, but there also needs to be careful consideration of freedom of expression.
"Of course, false accusations and hostile verbal attacks — especially those directed at one person — shouldn't be allowed. That has nothing to do with freedom of expression. But I believe anonymity and free speech should be guaranteed. We need to have a deep discussion of how social media conversations can be regulated."
Tanaka says some measures can be implemented without changing the law.
"For example, students have recently been learning how to use social media, and how to behave on the internet. But the generations who spent no time on the internet during childhood haven't learned such manners. So I think education in this area is important."
Around the world, several celebrities associated with reality TV shows are believed to have died by suicide.
Multiple reality show contestants in the UK have taken their own lives in recent years after reportedly being harassed online. In South Korea, the apparent suicides of several K-pop stars have fuelled debate about how to counter cyber-bullying.
Tanaka stresses the responsibility of production companies, and the necessity to realize that the way media is consumed has changed completely.
"Now, we can see TV programs and movies and communicate with other viewers online at the same time. The audience situation is totally different from before. One of the big problems is that we now have a situation in which many members of the audience can jointly fire off their negative feelings toward actors directly."
She points out that production companies now have responsibility for taking care of actors, and to consider how to react to viewers after programs are aired.
For better or worse, social media has become an inescapable part of society. Whether Kimura's death will be a catalyst for change is still unclear. But it has at least kick-started a national conversation.
The second episode of the Trash Taste podcast has the three Youtubers talking about how it is like living in Japan as a foreigner, it's pretty neat:
Okay, two foreigners and a hafu, but it's like Joey says: if you don't look Japanese, you might as well not be Japanese, particularly to the older generation.
On a whim this morning I put the words "Hana Kimura" into the search bar to see if anyone else on the wiki had ever added anything about her...and this was the top result. Really, there was hardly anything about her pro wrestling career, or even what she did on Terrace House beyond be hated for being on it.
But I read the quotes from the New York Times article and, I'm sorry but I was pretty sure Isao Kobayashi https://twitter.com/isao_1303 was her father. Was I mistaken? Is he Indonesian? He certainly never struck me as "dark skinned". None of that family really looked "dark skinned" to me https://ameblo.jp/yone-zou/image-12123972812-13555883530.html
Here's a shot of the three of them against Minoru Suzuki for contrast. I guess Kyoko could get noticeably brown when she was out in the sun(which she hasn't been with the whole pandemic), but even then that was relative to all the pale people she wrestled and tagged with. Isao, at the risk of coming off as a racist, seems to range between, white, peach and yellow to me. Maybe that's because he dyes his hair blond but to me a brown of that shade is so unnoticeable to still be light skinned. Maybe Isao is not the biological father. Maybe Hana came from a previous relationship, but Hana, was, if anything, lighter than her parents(I've seen maybe one picture from Thailand where she seemed to have a noticeable tan. She was darker than Isao there but still lighter than Kyoko)
Not to suggest the New York Times doesn't know what they are writing about or are purposefully twisting the narrative...as much as I want to. "Punching gorilla" was a term I heard in the early to mid 2000s describing professional wrestlers who did more striking than wrestling(a stupid term because gorillas don't punch, but I digress). The person I usually saw it directed at was Melina Perez(mostly by WWE fans who didn't know any better) and I guess that could have been racially motivated, but I'm not sure(she is a Mexican who was fake tanning at the time). In Japan during the mid 2010s I read the term "violence gorilla" directed at wrestlers. Is it the same thing or coincidental? I don't know. But I do know Yoshiko was who I usually saw it directed against(particularly regarding an incident where she force fed Kyoko Kimura a banana, can't find the video) and Yoshiko's fairly light skinned. I can certainly believe there are Japanese people who look down on dark skin, I know for a fact enough of them are vocal about the greatness of being lily white that there is fairly significant push back against it. I just have a hard time believing someone decided to direct those opinions at Hana Kimura.
All the same, we know the conclusion and the most likely cause of it. My beliefs might be opposed to reality, but does anyone think they can explain how? Was Kyoko with some dark skinned Indonesian before Isao? Was Hana bleaching or something?(and since I'm posting pictures from accounts belonging to Isao and Kyoko, Sumie Sakai suggested they don't actually want to be bothered by posts about their daughter, having not yet finished grieving, so be careful about sending those).
Edited by IndirectActiveTransport on Jun 19th 2020 at 7:41:51 AM
Um. Something the Japanese themselves like to downplay: everybody has indigenous blood, no matter how much they like to think they are descended from what amounts to the Korean peninsula (although they try to deny that, too).
And that blood... is basically Ainu and Polynesian. So, yeah — that's the basic racism, right there. The more you have, the more likely you look it.
However, every family has the chance of producing more curly hair and darker skin than expected just from looking at the parents or grandparents alone. Because that's genetics for you: throwbacks happen if the right switches get switched. Yet, it's much easier to blame infidelity than be reminded about their roots for many.
Even the Imperial family has had to resort to extreme measures to straighten their hair and whiten their skin from time to time. Dangerous measures.
Edited by Euodiachloris on Jun 19th 2020 at 2:25:24 PM
I heard word that her biological father was Indonesian, but abandoned her and her mom. I'll have to check on this.
Okay, I know Kyoko straightens her hair when not wrestling(which is all the time now that she's retired). Chigusa Nagoya once billed Kyoko as "Caribbean Kim" but I wasn't sure if that was a joke or not. That point about indigenous blood makes sense though, because I've seen more than few Japanese people with Afros besides her, Japanese people who didn't strike me as "Caribbean".
I also don't get the femininity thing. Hana Kimura was certainly more muscular than the average woman, but by athlete standards, by professional wrestling standards, she was kind of tiny, at least ten pounds lighter than Kyoko at the same age. And regardless of muscle mass, femininity was a central part of her "sexy but dangerous" gimmick. With the flirtatious posing, and the dancing, and the tight clothing. Was it because she started coming to the ring in that training mask? Cause even then that thing was glossed and overtly shiny. She was a lot more feminine than Kyoko and even Act Yasukawa before her.
I understand backlash against her "upbraiding" someone else on the Terrace House show. I don't agree with attacking her for attacking someone who damaged her expensive clothing, but I at least understand it. Cause and affect. I understand disliking Kimura for being an cackling petty heel, because for better or worse that what she was more often than not. I'm just confused because the insults referenced don't seem to fit the person I remember(and can still see photos and videos of).
NHK World has a commentary on cyberbullying in the wake of Hana's suicide.
Inside the ring, she would trash talk her opponents and play tricks on them. But outside, she was a completely different person.
I once complimented her on her performances, telling her that while it was hard to be a heel, she was doing a good job. She gave me an anxious look and asked if I really thought so, before adding, with her trademark smile and big, sparkling eyes, "Thanks."
Another memory that stands out is of her comforting our mutual who was going through a tough time and was crying. Hana got so emotional that she also broke out in tears. Kind and sensitive. That's how I remember Hana.
So when I heard about the incident on Terrace House that triggered the cyberbullying, I knew it didn't reflect who she really was.
I didn't follow her on social media so I didn't see any of her posts in the days leading up to her death. But after I heard the news, I went back and read them.
I wanted to live life being loved. To everyone who stood by my side and supported me, I love you. Thank you. I love you. I'm sorry I'm so weak.''
(Kimura Hana Twitter post)
I spoke to Harada Takayuki, a psychology professor at the University of Tsukuba and a certified public psychologist, and asked him about what might have been going through her mind when she posted these tweets.
"The posts made immediately before her death are short," he says. "It seems as though she was shouting out each word, while also feeling hesitant about death. But this last one is mostly in the past tense, which shows her resolve."
He adds: "You might think the slander is what drives people to death, but if that was the only explanation, every famous person in the world would have killed themselves by now. There are always other risk factors—both environmental and individual factors. There are also social and cultural factors that make some people reluctant to seek help. If we're going to prevent future suicides, we need to raise awareness about these risk factors."
CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) lists some of the risk factors:
In one of the tweets she posted before her death, Hana wrote that she was overwhelmed by the nonstop barrage of slander.
Nearly 100 frank opinions a day. I couldn't deny that I was hurt.
'Die,' 'disgusting,' 'disappear' are the most common thoughts I had about myself.''
(Kimura Hana Twitter post)
Shimazaki Masatora, a lawyer who specializes in online human rights says "when flaming does happen, legally, it's possible to request information on the abusers and sue for damages. But often, this will fan the flames and lead to more comments."
He told me of a case in which the lawyer of a cyberbullying victim repeatedly requested the disclosure of personal information on the abuser, which only lead to increased flaming, culminating in death threats. More than eight years on, the lawyer is still the target of abuse.
For people who find themselves being flamed, Shimazaki recommends taking these three steps:
1) Stop posting online.
Do not post on social media networks like Twitter and Facebook. He says posts of any kind can be targeted by cyber bullies.
2) Protect personal information.
Shut down social media accounts or at least take steps to hide personal information. Some people make their accounts private. However, Shimazaki says this is not always effective, as people with access will sometimes share screenshots of private posts.
3) Stay offline
Shimazaki says the best thing to do is avoid going online altogether. Don't go on the internet or use social media until the flaming subsides. Don't search your name or username.
After Hana's death, many of the people who bullied her deleted their social media accounts after being targeted by abuse themselves. In this sense, the vicious cycle of flaming continues.
After her daughter's funeral, Hana's mother Kyoko posted this online:
Don't blame yourself
For Hana's death
Don't blame someone else
Stop the spiral of hate
So the same thing doesn't happen again
So we can be closer to
The kind world Hana wanted
PS - I can confirm that Hana is half-Indonesian based on some news articles I read in the past.
So this is a language question I can't recall if I've asked before. In some Japanese media I'll notice female characters using "masculine" sentence-ending particles (na, da, zo, what-have-you) even if they don't act particularly masculine (leaning towards outright femininity in some cases). Is there some sort of reason writers go for this or am I looking too much into this?
Edited by PhysicalStamina on Jun 30th 2020 at 9:51:01 AM
Those aren't particularly masculine at all, at least from what I remember hearing. Most of it is just colloquial Japanese.
Edited by TerminusEst on Jun 30th 2020 at 7:01:27 AM
Terminus is right. That thing happens.
Think of it this way: Japan is just as bad as Britain and Ireland are when it comes to the sheer number of local accents/ dialects/ slangs and how far (or not) aspects of any of them have spread (and when) and what their use implies when spoken by others.
Which means... you're dealing with shades and sliders you don't get in Standard Japanese textbooks and lexicon lists. And most of those shades are "just another way to say the same thing".
Edited by Euodiachloris on Jun 30th 2020 at 3:33:19 PM
So what're you saying is that Japanese is the linguistic equivalent of a kudzu plant?
More like very few people would speak the "standard" of their language in every day life. If they did, they'd sound overly formal or just strange in general.
Actually reminded how guys in Tokyo often ended their words in "-chatte" and "-chatta", which everywhere else is very feminine.
Edited by TerminusEst on Jun 30th 2020 at 7:39:31 AM
Wait, so does this mean our Gender and Japanese Language page isn't entirely accurate, or, as it says, is the whole ordeal more of a social expectation that lost relevance decades ago?
In a societal sense it doesn't really exist anymore in the younger crowd, so it really exists more as a characterisation device.
Edited by TerminusEst on Jun 30th 2020 at 7:46:46 AM
The blob-monster which is the Japanese group of languages/ dialects is shifting. But, it was always a separating-recimbining-stealing blob-monster, not a singular entity. That writing system is your first clue.
Edited by Euodiachloris on Jun 30th 2020 at 4:00:45 PM
Don't worry soon it will all sound the same brand of English-Japanese:
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh: the horror!
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