Japan By River Cruise

Japanese history scholar Chelsea Szendi Schieder talks about the ways Japan chooses to deal with the dark chapters of its past, and how denial is NOT just a river with some amazing cruises.

Show Notes

Japanese history scholar Chelsea Szendi Schieder talks about the inconsistent ways Japan chooses to deal with the dark chapters of its past and how denial is NOT just a river with some amazing cruises.

Ollie looks into how the Sumidagawa River Cruise is finally adapting to foreign widths.

Bobby makes a joke that hinges on ignoring the difference between a ワクチン and a 予防接種

Topics discussed on this episode include:
  • Chelsea's book Coed Revolution about the female voices in social movements in Japan in the 1960s and 70s
  • How Chelsea thinks current activism in Japan compares to past activism
  • Why students are more prone to becoming activists
  • The difference between being political and being politically active, and why people think Japan isn't political
  • Why activists in Japan are SHY
  • The multiple uses of hammers
  • How being a historian/academic colors Chelsea's experience of the Japan twitter-sphere
  • This Anti-Olympics advertisement
  • What the 1964 Olympics did to create an image of Japan and how they went about it
  • Lots of anecdotal evidence
  • The only kind of positivity expected to accompany this year's Olympics
  • Who has more of whose money
  • South Korean and Japanese tensions that get brought to light by things like the Olympics
  • Everything you never ever wanted to have to know about the euphemistically called "Comfort Women"
  • How Japan presents a different attitude to international and domestic audiences about what they think is an appropriate response to calls for accountability 
  • What COULD a government due to make up for its past atrocities
  • What Japan stands to lose by taking responsibility for war crimes
  • Why past efforts to do so have fallen short, and why some victims have refused compensation from Japan
  • Where are today's students even GETTING their history
  • How history may be, by default, the most ideologically biased school subject
  • WHY this case has global ramifications
  • Revisionist history and high minded defenses as a cover for bigotry
  • Anti Korean sentiment in Japan, and how Chelsea's experience working on Comfort women research has sensitized her to it
  • Why a CERTAIN group of Comfort Women WERE afforded something like justice and others weren't
  • What Chelsea thinks are the key factors that contributed to the time lag for these calls for Justice
  • What are the reasons for continuing to fight the fight to have Japan acknowledge its history 
  • The argument that facing up to Japan's war crimes is unnecessarily masochistic or self-flagellating
  • Why conservative white people align themselves with conservative Japanese
  • Why Ramseyer and Kindergarteners might not be fully qualified in their Japan expertise
Topics discussed in the extras include
  • So much stuff.
  • Seriously, so much good stuff about the Ramseyer article, the source-based rebuttal to it, which Chelsea was on the team for, and Chelsea's approach to historical scholarship that would be more than enough fodder for three other episodes.
  • You should get these extras.
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Content Links:
Coed Revolution: The Female Student in the Japanese New Left
The Rebuttal Article, "Seeking the True Story of the Comfort Women"

Social Media Links:

Chelsea Szendi Schieder: Twitter | Homepage

Ollie Horn: Twitter | Instagram

Bobby Judo: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Other things to click on

Some are affiliate links because we're sell-outs

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What is Japan By River Cruise?

Stand-up comedians Bobby Judo and Ollie Horn purport to report on the Japanese river cruise industry each week.