The Other Side of Lost in Translation


There's A Boat That's Soon Leavin' For New York

I'm free, finally free.
I had finished the piece about Animal Rights a few days ago,
actually it was about Animal Rights and stupid Japanese medias.
I am very proud of the work I did
and now I am moving on to the next subject
which will be about "Generation Next"
and probably about the issues of college tutions as well.
I am plannig to do lots of field research for this project.
Well, mainly I will go to some colleges like NYU and ask students questions.
Anyway, I will talk about them some other time.

Instead, today I like to talk about what it is like to live in U.S.
as an Asian who speaks crappy English.
Yes, this is the beginning of "The Other Side of Lost in Translation vol.1"
a.k.a. The Other Side of Gaijin Stroies.

Japanese medias have been feeding Japanese
the super Glamorous images of American cultures for a long time.
As the result of that, majority of Japanese are quite in love with America
without knowing that it is very very one-sided love, unfortunately.
Also Japanese medias keeps creating images that
these feelings are quite mutual,
which means America loves Japan too.
And of course that is far from the truth except some American Otakus.
Just think of it, any not-beauty-queen girl,
who fell in love with a cutest boy in town,
tend to have a very wishfull thinking like
he might not love her yet
but probably be fond of some of her, just something of her.
Any positive imagination can please her a great deal
and that's exactly what
Japanese medias have been doing to Japanese,
a full of distorted imagination of being loved by America.

Many Japanese in U.S. says "I'm Japanese"
whenever they introduce themselves right after their names,
sometimes even before their own names
as if they believe they are instatly respected and loved
if they say this magic words, "I'm Japanese."
Of course any Japanese knows there is a thing called racism in U.S.
and what happend to Japanese Americans during the War.
Yet they like to or tend to believe
they are liked more than any other Asians by America.
I guess most of people prefer to believe something more positive
and Japanese media are sure not to tell Japanese
the negative aspects of this story
because they know those do not please or entertain Japanese.
And they keep informing them about the latest fashion, music,
movies, musicals, Hollywood stars, star athletes,
new clubs and super trendy restaurants in New York city.
Japanese simply believe all people in New York
live in tall buildings and have great views.
Despite of so many informations about New York
flooded in Japanese medias,
they do not have a clue about the realities of this city.

I had grown up in a very rural area of Japan and hated it.
Then when I was eighteen I came to Tokyo
and entered one of the most famous school.
I met many smart kids with very sofisticated tastes there.
For first two years or so, it was a blast, that's for sure.
But then I was lost
because I did not know what to do with my life.
And one day it dawned on me that
it would be a wonderful idea to go to New York city after the college.
Tokyo showed me so much, then New York can do even more to me.
New York is the capitol of the world, isn't it?

Then I got on the board of the boat for New York.
Well, it was the airplane, of course.
But I like the song from "Poggy and Bess" called
"There's a boat that's leavin' soon for New York."

There's a boat that's leavin' soon for New York
Come with me, that's where we belong sister
You an' me Kin live that high life in New York
Come with me, there we can't go wrong sister
I'll buy you the swellest mansion
Up on upper Fifth Avenue
An' thru Harlem we'll go struttin'
We'll go a struttin'
An' there'll be nuttin'
Too good for you
I'll dress up in silks and satins
In the latest Paris styles
And de blues you'll be forgettin'
You'll be forgettin'
There'll be no frettin'
Just nothin' but smiles
Come along with me, that's the place
Don't be a fool. Come along, come along
There's a boat that's leavin' soon for New York
Come with me, that's where we belong, sister
That's where we belong

Hello, New York, here I come.
I was one of those stupid Japanese who got on the board
with only tons of glamorous images of this city
and had absolutely no idea what is really waiting for me.

To be continued


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