Thursday, November 10, 2011


I was sitting in my Japanese lesson the other day when all of a sudden this loudspeaker started blaring from outside. It got so loud that I couldn’t concentrate on the lesson so I had to ask my teacher what was going. She said that it was a “right wing” propaganda vehicle.  The activists were complaining about Japan’s failure to act on territory disputes with Russia and in particular Korea. The Korean consulate is very close to my school and on certain days these guys just circle around the block sending out their messages. There are a bunch of other consulates in the area, but only the Korean consulate needs armed guards. I’m surprised the protesters can get away with it since Shinsaibashi is such a famous upscale area. You can’t ride your bike or smoke on Midosuji, but apparently broadcasting super loud nationalistic messages about Korean “sheep” is OK. My teacher said that Japanese people don’t complain about these noisy protesters since they have some sort of association with yakuza and are technically protected under the constitution. In a culture where standing out is looked down on it’s kind of surprising to see something so purposefully obnoxious.

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