OK, after the false re-start a couple of days ago I have finally re-wiped everything and reinstalled from scratch, and finally figured out the correct way to import the old database with ALL Asian language text intact. We had some good discussion going on the “welcome back” thread over the past few days, so as I promised I’ll just post the archive of that below, so everyone can re-read their own comments for fun long into the future.
Sorry for the interruption, but following a history of increasingly less minor annoyances with our previous web hosting service, after the last service interruption I decided to simply cancel the account and relocate to a new hosting company. I expect that everything should be working as always, but please let me know if you encounter any bugs, glitches or oddities. While I won’t be making any promises about frequency of posting, I will do what I can to make sure the site at least remains online and accessible long into the future.
[Edit]Well damn, it looks like my database transferring somehow stripped ALL the Japanese characters out of the archives, both posts and comments. Does anybody out there know a way I could transfer the SQL database intact? It seems to be using phpsqladmin that screwed things up.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 27th, 2007 at 10:13 am and is filed under Personal/Blog News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Edit this entry.
# Back to Japan
# Back later in the week
# Curse you, yen!
# Late night Yoshinoya coming back March 1
# Site Problems ???????????
51 Responses to ‘Welcome back’
March 27th, 2007 at 11:26 am e
You should post a question at the WordPress support forums. I’m sure someone else has dealt with this.
March 27th, 2007 at 11:26 am e
That is amazingly weird that it would do that, but nevertheless it’s good to have MF back
March 27th, 2007 at 12:00 pm e
WordPress has great support forums. It’s not a bad idea.
Are you ok from the earthquake? For a moment I thought your blog went down due to last weekend’s earthquake.
March 27th, 2007 at 2:25 pm e
Roy: It depends on how you pulled the old database out. Is it a true backup or a dump? If it’s a true backup, make a copy of it. Take that copy, rename it and import it into mysql. You need to change the types on your fields to ‘blob,’ then set it back to what it was and change the collation to utf8_unicode_ci
Then, that has to be done for all tables with the other language.
Then, in /wp-includes/wp-db.php
there is this line:
$wpdb = new wpdb(DB_USER, DB_PASSWORD, DB_NAME, DB_HOST);
Add this under it:
$wpdb->query(?SET NAMES utf8″);
This is really kind of complicated if you’re not 100% comfortable with MySQL. I would not recommend trying it with live data, or with your actual backup of the database (thus, copy it and load it in as a separate database…)
March 27th, 2007 at 9:16 pm e
So you ruined my looong post on Japanese anime and it’s representation of militalism?good.even I myself found that was too pseudo academic.
March 27th, 2007 at 11:37 pm e
So would Ghost in the Shell: SAC actually be an allegory to the rising attitudes of Japanese nationalism as well as social issues in contemporary Japan? However, I did think it was absurd for Japanese peacekeepers to be welcomed in a unified Korea in that one episode…
March 28th, 2007 at 1:29 am e
It’s called Sci-fi,Mark.But I haven’t seen that one(haven’t seen anime seriously for about 20 years or so.)And one more thing.I don’t believe in “rising”attitudes of Japanese nationalism either.
March 28th, 2007 at 5:48 am e
You don’t think that nationalism in Japan is rising? Interesting. I had the quite opposite impression. I don’t think that “militarism” is rising however.
I don’t agree always with Ian Buruma and I don’t think the following article explanation is all correct, but still I think it grasps the big picture of what happened during the 90ies and present.
curious about your opinion.
March 28th, 2007 at 8:32 am e
No one here really loves Japanese nationalism (I hope). Then again, you haven’t seen the anime so why would you form an opinion on something you haven’t seen?
I’m not bashing anime as a whole but it’s still absurd that GiTS:SAC would explore modern day issues such as a rearmed SDF, illegal immigrants, Japan’s role in East Asia, helping Taiwan province be independent and other mildly nationalist topics.
March 28th, 2007 at 8:58 am e
I saw GITS SAC as an anti-nationalist counter-narrative. What about all of those scummy politicians? What about the Jieitai goons who make racist comments and threaten the immigrants? What about the clear condemnation of segregation and romanticizing of the immigrant rebellion? The end of the second SAC series is also mildly anti-American (beiteikoku?) in character which is typical of decades of Japan’s left-leaning discourse and let’s face it, if Japan is going right at present it is going right into the arms of American militarism. There is nothing in SAC that points to the same type of naked support of interventionism, etc. that the Abe cabinet seems to be going for. If anything, it is an indication that nationalist attitudes in some anime/manga are very superficial (we are not talking about Sensoron here) and often used to satirize the Japanese political establishment. SAC is an anime that sees military technology as “cool” but it is easy to see that it (second series mainly) is profoundly distrustful of the Jieitai (oops, Jieigun) and Japan’s old guard politicians.
March 28th, 2007 at 10:06 am e
Thanks for the clarification M-Bone. I had the impression it was mildly anti-American when they showed flashbacks of how Japan was used as puppet in American military adventures in that episode in Mexico, Korea, with their ties to the US CIA. It was still a fun show nonetheless, though I still found it absurd Japanese peacekeepers were welcomed in wartorn North Korea…let alone anywhere in Korea
March 28th, 2007 at 10:11 am e
It’s anti American in the sense that it is anti-militaristic and America is often associated with militarism in today’s political climate. I think GITS:SAC is part of a very common trend in anime, best exemplified by the entire Gundam series, in which the innate coolness and drama of military and para-military situations and gear are used to convey themes that are inherently anti-militaristic. In GITS:SAC, Tokyo is both nuked AND underwater due to global warming- a dual attack against pro-military forces that might lead us to a nuclear war and conservative politicians that would rather seek short term economic gain than prevent long term ecological catastrophe. Likewise, look at Gundam Seed and it’s statements against racial imperialism.
March 28th, 2007 at 11:42 am e
Very nice. Let’s just stick with GiTS since it is obviously a much better show than any of the Gundam Seeds
March 28th, 2007 at 3:14 pm e
I think that while GITS is very well made, GUNDAM Seed should not be dismissed—when you take out all of the pink haired idol singers and love triangles there are some interesting anti-war and anti-racist themes in the work.
Anti-Americanism and anti-war have been associated in Japan since the 1950s—protests against US bases (Uchinada, Iwakuni, etc.) and against a-bomb tests (the Fukuryu-maru incident shocked Japan). This has carried through the Vietnam War, Iraq War, etc. The reputation of the USA in Japan, Canada, NZ, etc. is that of a great cultural power that should be admired for its movies, music, etc. BUT that does not mean that a majority of people are going to like the way that the USA has conducted its foreign policy at several points in the postwar period. GITS reflects this view. I didn’t think that GITS was anti-American until the end of the second series (where the USA participates in a Jieitai/gun conspiracy to nuke the immigrants). While this portrayal is extreme on some levels, it is really no surprise that more and more people are getting the idea that the USA is involved in all kinds of reactionary dodgyness. What is most interesting is that these perspectives can be exported to the USA in shows like GITS and become popular.
Jade Oc Says:
March 29th, 2007 at 1:25 am e
I was wondering where this site went to. Nice to have it back, even if I can’t comment in any meaningful way on anime, about which I know very little….
March 29th, 2007 at 2:46 am e
I love how we’re getting such a great discussion on such a simple post. I never did believe in “open threads” but hey, looks like someone likes ‘em…
March 29th, 2007 at 3:26 am e
Joe: it’s probably more to do with the fact that this is the only new post in the past week, and the restoration of service more than 24 hours ago hasn’t see any substantive post. I would have thought you three would be chomping at the bit!
March 29th, 2007 at 5:28 am e
“Then again, you haven’t seen the anime so why would you form an opinion on something you haven’t seen?”
Yes.I’m not a pundit on the 21st century anime.I belong to the old school.and people here know my opinion that the golden age was the 80’s.However I can still say Japanese peacekeeper getting warm welcome in the pennsula can happen in a science fiction anime.I mean after all it is pure fiction.Not that so absurd than your brain can be plugged into a computer and read other’s mind and all.
And”Helping Taiwan be indepedent “is “a mildly nationalist topic “?In what sense?
Nationalism in Japan:
I was wondering if there is any such “American Nationalism”or “British nationalism”,for the word “nationalism” is definitely used as a negative term in English language.Why should only Japan has to bear others putting such nasty label to make the country look bad?
What I do see in the country,however is the fall of the leftist dogma that has been dominating this country for the decades.I was born among these pacifist talks dominating in the media and society,but the outside world had been putting “Japan leaning to the right ward”label for all along.Which makes me think this is nothing new phenomenon.I was actually surprised that everyone is relatively calm with NK nuclear tests and all.What would other country react in the same sort of situation?
March 29th, 2007 at 6:13 am e
“What I do see in the country,however is the fall of the leftist dogma that has been dominating this country for the decades.”
Yeah, your absolutly right on that. Leftism (marxisme, socialism) had a too much and too long influence on Japanese intelectual during the post world war years, I suscpect that it was so because it could salvage two ideals from the pre war, Anti-americanism (anti-occident if you like), and with the fame of Mao and CCP, in a somewhat peculiar way, also Pan Asianism (the famous Takeuchi Yoshimi would be an interesting example. It is interesting that he is now quite popular in China).
Nationalism, and Patriotism that is indeed a difficult problem. What is the differences and what are the similarities?
March 29th, 2007 at 8:11 am e
“Nationalism, and Patriotism that is indeed a difficult problem. What is the differences and what are the similarities?”
Nationalism is an ideology,Patriotism is an attitude,or so says in the books.
But I’m rather skeptic with the actual differences.
In Japanese as you know nationalism has many names.国家主義?国粋主義?日本主義?皇国主義?民?主義andナショナリズム.each has different nuances butナショナリズム
in Katakana is probably closer to the English use of the patriotism for in Japanese patriotism is愛国主義,a rather right wing term and usually used with a meaning equivalent to jingoism.So that makes even more confusing.
March 29th, 2007 at 8:28 am e
“the restoration of service more than 24 hours ago hasn’t see any substantive post. I would have thought you three would be chomping at the bit!”
I asked everyone to refrain from posting for a couple of days so I can find time to redo the import of the old database, so it won’t have all the Japanese characters turned into garbage as it is now. Just a warning to everyone- this thread MAY get wiped out during the restoration process, but I figured it was more important that everyone see the blog wasn’t going away, and that the archive be accessible than to wait until everything was perfect before I reactivated the site.
March 29th, 2007 at 8:33 am e
But things were getting interesting. It would be a shame to wipe this entire discussion on anime and Japanese ideological shifts out…
March 29th, 2007 at 8:35 am e
OK, I promise to make an extra-special backup of this thread that I can post if it gets erased during my database fiddling.
March 29th, 2007 at 8:36 am e
Perhaps we continue that here now,Mark,First you give us a shot.
March 29th, 2007 at 9:41 am e
Japan does not have one “nationalism” it has “nationalisms”— – There is the “Japan is a great place to live, four seasons, great food, etc.” type of nationalism. This is the same type of nationalism that Canadians have “Canada is great because we have better/nicer X than Americans.” (not saying that it is true, just that this is the core of Canadian nationalism). – There is the “Japan is a peaceful country, article 9 is great, can’t we all just get along” type of nationalism. – There is the “China and Korea suck, everyone should shut up about the war” type of nationalism (once again, not my opinion, just paraphrasing some Japanese right wingers). – The most rare type of Japanese nationalism is the “Japan should arm to the teeth and fight all comers” type. This really only survives in big black vans and certain corners of the LDP….
I think that a lot of foreign “experts” are really anxious to see types 3 and 4 take off. Gives them more to write about. I also think, however, that it is types 1 and 2 that are most entrenched in popular culture, etc.
Asahi ran a public opinion poll a few weeks back—“Should Japanese sincerely reflect on and apologize for …. done to China and Korea during the war” 85% said yes, 2% said no. In a similar survey done in 1985 it was 82% yes and 5% no. By the numbers, it really does look like the type of Japanese nationalism that has Buruma’s bloomers in a knot is NOT on the rise.
Well, if belligerent nationalism is not on the rise in Japan, what explains Sensoron, Kenkanryu, Gaijin Hanzai File, etc. ??? Well, Japanese pop culture has become far more diverse since the 1980s. Niche markets have sprung up and when you think about it, the 2% of a$$holes who think that Japanese should not reflect at all on the war are still a market of 2,000,000+. Wow, what a coincidence, the readership of the Sankei Shimbun is about 2,000,000 (and NOT one the rise)….
It also pisses me off how some writers fixate on Kenkanryu and ignore the, oh, 7000 manga that portray foreign characters in a positive light.
March 29th, 2007 at 3:52 pm e
First Shot: let’s focus on belligerent nationalism since that is more of a concern in light of current events and from the general consensus that we all want positive aspects of Japanese nationalist to prosper for everyone’s benefit.
What aspects of GiTS appeal to bloggers here?
March 29th, 2007 at 3:52 pm e
*I meant positive aspects of Japanese nationalism, not nationalists.
March 29th, 2007 at 5:32 pm e
I like the GITS films because of the visuals and the pacing. The philosophical discussions are interesting, but not the best that the director (Oshii Mamoru) has produced. I like his Patlabor films more.
As for the Stand Alone Complex shows, I think that the production values are excellent for television. There are a variety of homages to American films like Taxi Driver and Full Metal Jacket which are interesting. Mostly, however, I like the willingness to use scifi to deal with some major present problems – immigration, racism, the role of organized violence in Japan, mass movements, terrorism, etc. I also like how some elements of the story parallel elements of Japanese history of the 1960s and 1970s (seiji no kisetsu). Also, it is VERY critical of Japanese conservatives on a number of levels and that is always interesting to see.
The show also presents a good mix of fast paced, action based episodes and slower, more contemplative ones. There is a lot to say for that approach. Some other recent anime that have a lot going for them (eg. Gantz) tend to burn me out.
I don’t think that the Stand Alone Complex shows are that interesting in their handling of future technology, the movies do this better, but they are surperior as political drama.
March 29th, 2007 at 6:10 pm e
Is it just me to think that the original artist Shiro Masamune is the least nationalistic man in Japanese manga world.He has some description on Korea partly because he lives in Kobe,city known for many Korean inhabitants(along with China Town and Japan’s first islamic mosque).
March 29th, 2007 at 8:22 pm e
WHen is season 3 of GiTS: SAC coming out?
BTW, the teaser trailer for GTA 4 is out – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlF6fbIFiCM
March 29th, 2007 at 8:28 pm e
Ｍ?ｙ Ｉ ｃｈ?ｎｇｅ ｔｈｅ ｓｕｂｊｅｃｔ ｆｒ?? ｖｅｒｙ ｌｉ?ｉｔｅｄ one to more stimulated one?
Foreign Policy on Japan’s “Sex slave”problem,They are interviewing Gerald Curtis.
And he is not doing fantastic job to make things clear for FP readers.
And now the Canadians are joining the arena.
P.S I’ll be back on Monday.
March 29th, 2007 at 8:33 pm e
Wouldn’t Miyazaki Hayao be the least nationalistic man in the Japanese manga world, given his longstanding left orientation?
March 29th, 2007 at 9:56 pm e
Daddy Miyazaki is a complex man.He loves weapon and war machines.
Left orientation perhaps but also Anti-Americanism.
March 30th, 2007 at 3:19 am e
M-Bone: very interesting, and true. The whole media rage right now about “growing nationalism in Japan!” is such a pile of nonsense I don’t know where to begin.
March 30th, 2007 at 6:23 am e
Nationalism in Japan is growing! Japanese people LOVE IT when their figure skaters win.
But seriously, yeah, something has to be done about this brand of media hysteria and blogs are probably a good place to start.
March 30th, 2007 at 6:33 am e
I have mixed feelings about GiTS: Standalone Complex. (note that I haven’t gotten around to watching season 2 or the movie yet) I loved the music, animation, some of the characters, some of the individual episodes plots, but the arc of the overall season and the eventual reveal about the Laughing Man villain left me extremely cold.
I think the show’s portrayal of technology tends to be a sort of weird combo of retro 80’s cyberpunk (which the original manga/movie was) and tropes of modern net culture, but doesn’t to me do a whole lot of exciting stuff with technological prediction. I do very much like the social and political future that they have created, and because the political elements seem to be a lot more prominent in season 2 I’m looking forward to watching it in the near future. It seems like my capsule review is almost identical to what m-bone said above.
I’m sure you can find more left-wing manga writers than Miyazaki, no? I mean there’s a LOT of manga out there.
“Well, if belligerent nationalism is not on the rise in Japan, what explains Sensoron, Kenkanryu, Gaijin Hanzai File, etc. ”
Kobayashi Yoshinori’s stuff is very interesting. In “Taiwan-ron” he did a very good job of convincing me that his particular kind of right-wing nationalism is based not around racial superiority but cultural. He spends like 100 pages doing nothing but walking around Taiwan and talking in Japanese to old people there and raving about how old people in Taiwan have the real Japanese spirit that is dying out in Japan, blah blah blah. His favorite person in the entire world is former Taiwan president Lee Deng-hui, who is a native speaker of Japanese as well as Taiwanese, and perhaps the only head of state to be photographed doing Japanese manga cos-play. “Lee Teng-hui, former president of the Republic of China (Taiwan), cosplays a manga character who has a strong Japanese spirit Edajima Heihachi (江田島平八, see Sakigake!! Otokojuku and ja:?!!男塾). Standing behind are two unnamed Taiwanese boys dressed like Japanese high school gang members. Lee and the two boys are holding shinais, the bamboo swords made for kendo games.”
Later on I will translate some of the interesting passages from “Taiwan-ron.” Of course his other stuff is interesting too, but Taiwan kind of becoming my specialty, so obviously that book interests me the most.
March 30th, 2007 at 8:31 am e
Its the kind of revisionist views promoted by Kobayashi Yoshinori, Abe Shinzo, that concerns me. It doesn’t help that this kind of attitude is popular in 2ch, which claims to be a forum for true mainstream Japanese views.
I doubt people are concerned about Japanese having pride in their national teams, but it does become problematic when their government promotes right-wing ideals as the mainstream thought among the Japanese people. Then again, the people of Japan have been misrepresented since 1951.
News like this isn’t helpful either: http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200703290296.html
March 30th, 2007 at 8:47 am e
About future tech in GITS – In the second Stand Alone Complex series, there is a lot of interesting speculation about future military technology. There is a sniper scene that is off the hook. However, as I alluded to above, I’m not sold on the the future of the net that is outlined in the series – I don’t think that it is either that possible or that interesting.
Kobayashi is a blowhard of the first order. I’ll take this opportunity to dub him the “Anne Colture of Japan”.
Wow about the cosplay. Anybody who has read Otokojuku knows that Edajima Heihachi is a blithering idiot…. Appropriate? In any case, it IS nice that Taiwan and Japan seem to get along well.
On Miyazaki – Yes, maybe Shirato Sanpei (Kaumi-den, Sasuke, etc.) is more left wing than Miyazaki. However, Miyazaki was actually a Marxist activist, has depicted idyllic communistic societies in his films, is big into social justice, etc. I think that he is far left in the traditional meaning of the term. Miyazaki is also anti-commercial – he is on the record as saying that he never wanted any of his films released on video. Apparently, he feels like crap knowing that kids are watching Totoro 187 times instead of actually going outside for some human / natural interaction.
March 30th, 2007 at 10:21 am e
Future tech that appeals to me in GiTS are the prosthetic parts for amputees and the stealth camouflage. Items that I have issues with are an independent Taiwan, the Kurils reverting to Japanese jurisdiction, a sinkhole for Tokyo, and the American Empire.
Kobayashi, Abe, Kin Birei and Shintaro Ishihara are all equally assholes. They are the David Dukes, Larry Elder, Chen Shuibian, and Jean-Marie LePen of Japan.
Taiwanese government officials have this zany idea that the JSDF will come to their aid when China deploys the PLA to liberate the island…They fail to realise it could start WW3 and Japan is forbidden to go on the offence due to Article 9. Also doesnt help that some people forget that Taiwan is no longer a Japanese colony…or that Taiwanese are not Japanese as hard as they try (Lee Teng-Hui, Kin Birei)
Miyazaki is a fun artists. I enjoyed Astro Boy and Kimba the Lion.
March 30th, 2007 at 10:47 am e
Wouldn’t Abe just be the mutant mix of Bush and Rove of Japan?
In any case, I can’t say that I have a problem with any of those things in GITS. In the Stand Alone Complex world, there has been two world wars between our time and the show’s. Given that setup, is an independent Taiwan or a sinkhole Tokyo really that hard to imagine. In any case, I don’t think that this is wishful thinking on the part of the creators, just clever sci-fi politics. Also, lets not forget that in the show, Japan has a FEMALE Prime Minister. Something tells me that we will see the Kurils returned before that happens (not that I think that Japan is “uniquely” sexist, just that Japanese politics work in mysterious ways).
I’m not biting on those Taiwan points – the regulars probably remember how I feel about Taiwanese independence and anime discussion is a lot more fun….
Are you sure that you are not thinking of Tezuka Osamu (created Astro Boy, Kimba, and a bazillion other anime/manga)? Come to think of it, Tezuka was pretty lefty himself. I think that he was more of the bleeding heart / humanist type than the ideological type, however.
March 30th, 2007 at 1:20 pm e
Abe a mix of Bush and Rove? Well he is a blend of mental retardation and crazy right-wing thinking. You could be right in that sense.
It’s interesting to think Owada Masako may have eventually become Prime Minister if she made a different decision when Naruhito was making moves on her. Actually Russia offered to Return 2 of the disputed Kuril islands to Japan, but the government told them to fuck off since they wanted all 4 islands back…
Taiwan politics has nothing to do with Japan despite the wishes of some Taiwanese like Kin Birei and Lee Tenghui.
Yes Astro Boy was a fun show, but I was horrified to learn the Lion King was a blatant ripoff of Kimba the Lion.
March 31st, 2007 at 8:26 am e
Masako as PM? I don’t know about that. I think that her talents have been exaggerated over time. LOTS of Japanese women end up studying at Harvard the bottom line is that they don’t become PM. When is the last time that a bureaucrat of any type moved into the political ranks and became PM? Was it Ikeda?
Well, Taiwanese politics may have little to do with Japan but Taiwanese people’s Japan love shows up in polls.
Since Russia broke a neutrality treaty, kidnapped tens to hundreds of thousands of Japanese, uprooted and deported tens to hundreds of thousands of more and stole their property, and took the Kuril islands…. why shouldn’t Japan hold out for all four?
March 31st, 2007 at 9:49 am e
“Taiwan politics has nothing to do with Japan despite the wishes of some Taiwanese like Kin Birei and Lee Tenghui.”
I’m not sure what you mean by this at all. Taiwan and Japan have an increasingly close relationship, economically, diplomatically and culturally, and the politics of each country have very strong potential to affect the other.
March 31st, 2007 at 10:15 am e
I took the comment about Taiwanese politics to refer to the influence of Japan on Taiwan. That may not be such a big factor but there are deep, deep connections on so many levels.
March 31st, 2007 at 12:36 pm e
Oh jeez. I made the remark about Taiwan to make sure we don’t talk about it in relation to Japan. It’s true that many Taiwanese had happy memories of their colonial era under Japanese rule, Taiwan is now no longer part of Japan.
Japan can continue holding out as has been the status quo while Russia will use lethal force to defend their disputed claim. Masako as a politician may have happen, but we’ll never know for sure.
April 1st, 2007 at 5:29 pm e
What’s with the Blog Holiday?
April 1st, 2007 at 5:29 pm e
that was me signing in as m-bone by mistake!
April 1st, 2007 at 9:48 pm e
April 1st, 2007 at 10:44 pm e
OK, we’re back with a fascinating look at what’s happening to the online ad industry in Japan! Posting should be back on schedule sort of, except I’ve got 3 things keeping me from it – a big translation project, trips around Thailand, and then the move to Japan coming up in 2 weeks.
April 2nd, 2007 at 5:46 am e
You are the first person I’ve ever run into who is linking Le Pen and A-Bian.
And Kin Bi Rei 金美齢along with these thugs are to me an overkill,Is it not Kou Bun Yu 黄文雄that you are mistaken of as you had with Tezuka and Miyazaki?
Anyway Taiwan politics has a lot to do with Japan since it could lead us into a war.
Should been here a little earlier for you would go round and round with a chap named Beeway….
Ｔｅｚｕｋ? had copied a lot from Disney.I don’t think his family is in no position to demand Disney for anything.