Quote Japan

Interesting, odd, outrageous or informative quotes about Japan

Patrick Smith- Quotes from Japan, A Reinterpretation

(In the imagination of the West, between the old Japan of samurai and Zen gardens and the new Japan of gadgets and efficiency) “there is a blank, where the Japanese live” Nobel Prize for Literature winner Kenzaburo Oe, quoted in Japan, A Reinterpretation by Patrick Smith

“No gift resembling democracy had yet been presented. A gift as large is always a problem, anyway” Patrick Smith in Japan, A Reinterpretation

“The logic (of the CIA giving tens, maybe hundreds of millions of dollars to the Japanese Liberal Democratic party) was the same as during the Vietnam war, when we burned villages to save them: We subverted democracy to save it” Patrick Smith

“In the 1920s…no year saw fewer than 250 major strikes…At the end of the 1940s membership (of independent unions) was 6.7 million- 56% of the workforce” Patrick Smith, giving some surprising statistics from the country of the “Japanese way” of harmony and toothless company unions

“Narita, Tokyo’s international airport, was big enough because Japan wanted to limit the influx of foreigners.” Patrick Smith, quoting a typical 1990s American conspiracy theory

“Japan did not enter a recession in the early 1990’s: It was ‘blindsiding’ us, the better to achieve economic domination”- Another American conspiracy theory, quoted by Patrick Smith

“Every component of Japan’s post-war economic machine was in place by the end of the occupation…MITI…Targeted industries… began under the Americans in 1947″ Patrick Smith

“Education in Japan is not intended to create people accomplished in the techniques of the arts and sciences, but rather to manufacture the persons required by the State” Arinori Mori, Japan’s first education minister, quoted by Patrick Smith

“Rote learning is the child’s next lesson in dependence. To think is an act of autonomy: to memorize the given is to rely on authority” Patrick Smith

“Education madness first appeared in the 1890s” Patrick Smith

“In the average family, education consumes a quarter of income” Patrick Smith

“It is the accumulation of inefficiency that leads to efficiency” director general of the Japanese health ministry, quoted by Patrick Smith

“The families of karoshi victims estimate that 10,000 people a year die from the stress of overwork” Patrick Smith

“And these corporate slaves of today don’t even share the simplest pleasures that those forced labourers of ages past enjoyed; the right to sit down at their dinner table with their families” 43-year old salaryman Toshitrugu Yagi, quoted by Patrick Smith

“Don’t let them live, but don’t let them die” Edo era bureaucrat’s motto (little changed today) quoted by Patrick Smith

“Famously, 90% of the post-war Japanese long believed they were part of the middle class- an impossibility, but an article of faith nonetheless” Patrick Smith

“Japan had a culture… simple cultivators rooted in the community. There was no rigorous moral code, no hierarchy, no distinction between man and nature. The Japanese liked to drink and dance, and they ate with their hands from plates of bamboo” the impression of the first Chinese visitors to Japan, quoted by Patrick Smith

“The Japanese have ever since (they started copying their culture from China) taken a lively interest in copying the material culture of others while resolutely rejecting their principles” Patrick Smith

“Japan’s long and unfortunate neurosis in its relations with the outside world: borrowing balanced by a defensive brand of nativism, the seesaw of admiration and xenophobia” Patrick Smith

“The supreme commander is therefore ordered to assist secretly in popularizing and humanizing the emperor. This will not be known to the Japanese people” an official post-war American directive, quoted by Patrick Smith

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