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I’m speechless…

I have to confess this video left me pretty much speechless. It’s a Japanese “ganguro” girl video and it pretty much speaks for itself and the unending question of the distortion of black images. Take a look for yourself and I’m sure no doubt you’ll have plenty to say.

43 comments to I’m speechless…

  • WTF is right. Where do we start? Damn, Damn, Damn!

  • Jay E.

    I saw this movie during a film festival in New York. After this scene, I walked out. This worst part, of course, is that many people in the audience were laughing. Amazingly offensive.

  • Obsidienne

    “Whoa!” indeed. I’m rather speechless myself. There’s some much needed background information for this. Nothing could justify this video, but I’d like to know where they’re coming from, what prompted them to do this video. Where are they getting their cues? The black population in Japan is minuscule; are they basing their performance on the images they’ve seen on TV and in movies? I have more questions than answers for this one…wow.

  • Rog

    I’ve heard of Japanese girls tanning their skin in extreme ways in order to imitate Black People, but this just some highly exaggerated BullS**T!!

  • That Guy

    I did not think that “ganuro” wore black face even though the word could be translated that way. I thought that ganuro girls typically were tanned almost orange and had wildly colored hair (blonde, hot pink). I cannot even put togehter coherent thoughts on this as I was blown away by the video. Here is a link to the wikipedia entry for Ganuro. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganguro

    There is this from the wiki about the link to African americans, “Blackfacers in Japan lay claim to an important and controversial social space. While it may seem that their sole motivation to dress and look the way they do is to identify themselves with African Americans, hoping to reflect the notion of African American “coolness,” there are other, less obvious reasons at work. For one, when blackfacers tan themselves and dress in a stylistically hip hop fashion, they are able to partake in a mainstream hip hop culture, which is seemingly exclusive and therefore appealing. At the same time, their style can be seen as a form of political defiance and an affirmative embrace of black culture.”

    Sorry for the long entry

  • Actually, the word is ganguro. I don’t get it, either (it looks ridiculous), and it’s been around for quite a while.

    • Sergio

      THANKS! Correction noted. See above

      Also you just know that some black person, some “happy slave” is going to say that they have no problem with this. I can hear it now:

      “Lighten up! It’s just a joke”

      “How come black people have to be SO serious?”

      “Why does everything have to be so racial?”

      You know they’re out there…somewhere.

  • Good old-fashioned ignorance. As Vichus said, it’s been around for a little bit.

    I’m familiar with the so-called Ganguro girls, who want to look black and American, like their R&B/Hip-hop idols (our music travels). I read that they go out of their way to look “black,” spending oodles of money in some cases, because they think it’s “cool” to be black.

    But these gals above have taken it to the extreme. While Ganguro culture supposedly covets “blackness” and wants to mimic it (as they say, imitation is the best form of flattery), what these ladies above are doing isn’t at all meant to flatter; more to ridicule.

    I’d say that there definitely is an extremely limited perception of black people in Asian territories (limited to what is exported from the west in a lot of cases), which leads to this kind of bullshit, and the idea that we are somehow inferior (well, I guess that’s a POV that’s common almost all over the world, regarding black people). The recent Chinese invasion of Africa speaks to that.

    I’m not so much shocked by this, as I am just saddened at how much there still is to learn on all sides.

    But, like I said, good old-fashioned ignorance still exists around the world. And this goes both ways, or from every direction.

  • ira

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J0BMJfzpUQ

    The flip side of the craziness. Wapanese people and weaboos. Check ‘em out.

  • I didn’t catch the directors name, was it Tyler Perry? I mean, it was “colored” girls doing their thang.

    Hey, besides, I’ve visited Japan, and let me tell you a secret, a black person does not want to put that country on their dream sheet of places to live.

    There may be Ganguro girls and squirrely girls, but it’s a no-no if your hair needs a little texturizer or hot comb.

    But don’t blame it on the Japanese people. During World War I & II, many Europeans thought we had tails, and who do you think gave them that idea?

  • ira

    I walked in to a convention panel of Otaku people earlier this summer at the Rosemont Horizon Comic-con. Otaku (of which I am not one) are the equivalent of “Trekers”. It’s supposed to be what you call the “sane” aficionados of Japanese culture particularly anime etc. The Wapanese moniker is derogatory and is equivalent to calling a Star Trek fan a “Trekkie”. Ditto for “Weaboos” and “Narutonerd”. These people can be just as offensive to the Japanese sensibility as they filter the Nippon culture through distorted white western vision.

    Then there’s the constant maligning of black folks by everybody. There’s more effort made into lampooning blacks than any other group, or so it seems. I always say that Obama was one nigger joke too many. That’s why we have the Tea Party now. After that last joke cleared there was a black man in office at the white house. “Did you hear the one about the black man running for president?”

    He won.

    How the fuck is that supposed to be funny? Jokes on you! Hard to laugh that shit off.

  • Meh!

    It’s hard for me to get worked up over this kind of thing anymore. Offensive? Yes. But this kind of ignorance is everywhere, even here in the USA and will be around for awhile. We know that. So now what?

  • ira

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-19ioGniZ88

    I’m sure some of you have also seen this oldie but goodie which is still on YouTube. The Japanese Nigger Family Breakfast.

    It’s been on-line for the last 10 years or so.

    Niggers must be fascinating…who knew?

    • That was actually created by 2 white guys – 2 white filmmakers specifically. They claimed it was a parody of the Japanese perception of African American family life. The actors themselves are also American (Asian American).

      It actually even played at some film festivals, believe it or not.

      So, when considered within that context, it seems more exploitative on the part of the White Americans (what’s new?). I’d actually be interested in finding out who created the Ganguro video above. We may be surprised to learn that it actually originates right in our very own backyard.

      Here’s the IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0415321/

  • T. Whiner

    WTF? I am speechless at the freaking stupidity of this.

  • I have been a fan of anime, Japanese film, books, etc since I was tween, but I’ve never felt the need to impersonate Japanese style or use Japanese words I’ve learned in public, or even in internet forums. Weeaboo behavior is dorky and embarrassing.

  • Judit

    Too ignorant for words! I just got back from japan and I can tell you, some of the women over their still walk around with umbrellas- long sleeved shirts in 90+ degree temperatures and extremely high humidity – just so that they won’t tan – to keep that pale face look. So if they don’t like dark meat on themselves – what does that tell ya?

  • mlm

    I’m glad I never ran across this in person. I might of needed a translator.

  • A.I.Davis

    ….. we, black americans, african americans
    have never OWNED our image of ourselves. We have allowed white people to export their perception of
    world wide black people, without answering and export-
    ing “counter attacks”, in response. Perhaps that is why
    Africans see us through european eyes, and we refuse to fight the exportation of black american imaging.
    Need I point out that this japanese depiction is not
    far off the mark that “in living color” presented to
    the world not too long ago. We all laughed and laughed, happy to see successful black actors on tv
    and working. If, we OWN the night, then we must counter negative images world wide, and allow suitable representatives to tell the truth. And while I’m at it …. allow those same reps to counter the negative images exported to the world by Tyler Perry.

  • Seriously? I don’t think black Americans have any specific image in the first place….what do people think about when they hear the words “black people?”……I consider myself black and the only things I think of off top is hip-hop,unhealthy food,welfare,high drop out rates, gang activity…etc…the only positives that I can think about pertaining to black people is The Civil Rights movement, blues music, and the renaissances but that’s not the epitome of black culture…black Americans don’t really HAVE any culture..those negative things I mentioned before apparently aren’t what anyone wants to equate to “Black Culture”..yet there isn’t anyone who can actually say what black culture is……so what is the black image? There isn’t anything that really represents black people, the only things there are stereo-types which most black people actually live up to….lots to think about :/ hmm…..

    • mumblerlbg

      Wow, you know most black people intimately enough to know that they live up to or down to whatever stereotypes you have in mind?

      • yes..yes I do…and I’d like to correct that, I actually meant most of the black people that I know. However, that’s irrelevant to my point because MOST doesn’t mean ALL, nor do I make any claim that it does or should. I simply was pointing out that “black people” claim to have this image or culture that they need to protect yet no one, not even themselves even know what their culture is..and this is because black people don’t have any specific culture and the only image that people (black or not) see representing black Americans are the stereo-types.

      • WTF… WTF???!!!

        “I actually meant most of the black people that I know. However, that’s irrelevant to my point”

        No it’s not! That is the point! Who do you know? And, what’s your definition of culture.

        First, I have to ask if you are black? It seems to me that you’re looking through the eyes of white folks. Did you actually read, and believe what you said?

        Your words made me cringe. I am wondering if you were raised be a black person, and if so, what images of blackness and our culture did they impress upon you.

        Look around, you’ve been brainwashed. Most of us that visit this site are people of color. Yet, you had the audacity to slide that bullshit up in here.

        I would suggest that you read a few history books, and not rely on the 10 o’clock news for your major source of information.

        • WTF?

          This is my point, which I’ve CLEARLY stated —> “black people” claim to have this image or culture that they need to protect yet no one, not even themselves even know what their culture is..and this is because black people don’t have any specific culture and the only image that people (black or not) see representing black Americans are the stereo-types.”

          Now CareyCarey if you disagree then define what this so called “Black American” culture is. Not all black people are the same, have shared the same experience, or even have 100% of the same ethnic background no matter how much you want to believe they do…I know my African history as far back as a group of African slaves being brought from different countries in West Africa, which specific countries are those? I don’t have a clue and neither do any other Black Americans. Are you trying to say that all those West African countries shared the same culture? I think not..many of them didn’t even speak the same language. What about the many black Americans who have white ancestry, which most of them do? Do they know which parts of Europe their ancestors came from or the culture? I think not…and the same goes for the small percentage of us who have Native ancestry as well…So don’t come at me sideways like you know what this so called “Black American” culture really is, chances are, you couldn’t pin point anything positive other than the struggle for equal rights and good music (not including gangsta rap), but is that all Black Americans are? No…so I said it before and I’ll say it again…WHAT IS THIS BLACK IMAGE OR BLACK CULTURE THAT YOU ARE TRYING TO PROTECT?

          “First, I have to ask if you are black? It seems to me that you’re looking through the eyes of white folks. Did you actually read, and believe what you said?”

          Spoken like a typical ignorant Black American person…What does it mean to be black? If you dare say having African ancestors who were slaves you’re more stupid than I thought. Many Caucasians (even the pale skinned, blond hair, blue eyed, pink cheeked people) have African ancestors who were slaves, so you need to pick up a few history books or even some scientific studies and read….even though this might be irrelevant because they aren’t American, you should look at the story of Sandra Laing, prime example and white Americans aren’t exempt.

          “Your words made me cringe. I am wondering if you were raised be a black person, and if so, what images of blackness and our culture did they impress upon you. ”

          Again, you and this word “Black person” WTF is that supposed to mean? Brown skin? Then yes…many Mexicans and Dominicans are brown skinned as well…So are some Guatemalans and so were some Natives…are they black people?…I was raised by a person of color. As far as the images of “blackness” whatever the fuck that’s supposed to mean….I was taught not to judge a person by their skin color, but by the content of their character. You also keep bringing up this word “culture”..and again, I ask you to define this concept of Black Culture…which you can’t because Black Americans don’t have any specific culture, and the negative things they are associated with (unhealthy food, gangsta rap, uneducated, poor, etc), there are actually some Black Americans (SOME not ALL of the ones I know) live up to those things…so unless you can clearly define some positive cultural aspect that Black Americans are known for that no other “group” is known for, your fantasy of a Black American culture is just that..a fantasy….let it all sink in next time instead of trying to take certain sentences of mine and try to turn my premise around. *whips my hair back and forth*….whip it real good ;]

          • Well WTH, since you’ve conveniently passed and skipped over the most important questions pointed at YOU, we’ve peeped your hold card.

            And, after reading your following opening, it’s obvious that what you are speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re saying.

            LOOK.>>>>“black people” claim to have this image or culture that they need to protect yet no one, not even themselves even know what their culture is..and this is because black people don’t have any specific culture”

            Can you see me laughing? In that one sentence you spoke for black people, yet distanced yourself from that group by saying “they”, not “we”.

            So young man, I am going to leave you alone.

            Btw, a culture does not necessarily have to be connected to DNA.

            Anyway, if I talk to a racist fool too long, there soon will be two fools talking…. SO…

            BYE!

            • WTF?

              “Well WTH, since you’ve conveniently passed and skipped over the most important questions pointed at YOU, we’ve peeped your hold card.”

              I’ve clearly and conveniently answered your questions pointed at me, YOU just chose not to read it…so I’ve peeped your MO.

              “LOOK.>>>>“black people” claim to have this image or culture that they need to protect yet no one, not even themselves even know what their culture is..and this is because black people don’t have any specific culture”
              Can you see me laughing? In that one sentence you spoke for black people, yet distanced yourself from that group by saying “they”, not “we”.”

              If you weren’t so far up your own ASS you would have noticed that I was responding to a post that A.l Davis wrote previously, where he says black americans have never OWNED their image of themselves…So I CAN AND DO conveniently distanced myself from the group of “black americans” he was speaking of, because I KNOW WHO I AM, and I embrace ALL OF MY CULTURES (white, native, west african, latino) I’m not that ignorant Black American who claims “culture” (maybe you are) and doesn’t even bother to learn any of it…I know 2 West African languages FLUENTLY, I speak spanish fluently…I even know conversational German…I’m cultured, but my culture isn’t every black persons culture and that’s the point I was getting at. A culture of a people defines customs that ALL or VAST MAJORITY of those people take part in..and Black Americans don’t have that, because we are all so MULTI-CULTURAL…there is no Universal culture for Black Americans. So I’ll ask again, since you blatantly like to challenge my thoughts without explaining why..What is this universal Black American Culture that you speak of?…..exactly…IT’S NONEXISTENT..

              “Anyway, if I talk to a racist fool too long, there soon will be two fools talking”

              HAHAHA another scape goat the ignorant Black Americans take…”They don’t believe me, so they must be racist” “They didn’t say anything about race, but I’m going to call them racist anyways because I’m afraid to be wrong”….RODFLMAO!!!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

            • WTF?

              You even further solidified my point even more when you said this:

              “No it’s not! That is the point! Who do you know? And, what’s your definition of culture.”

              My definition of culture? I consider myself Black American…now if All Black Americans had the same culture, you wouldn’t have to ask me that questions..you would be able to say “since you’re a black American, you must practice this or celebrate that, or speak this”….I got the American part down pact..but what is the Black part? Exactly..you don’t know. If you do, give me an answer that applies to ALL Black Americans.

              • No entiendo

                Ich verstiendo

                Ek verstaan nie

                Je ne comprends pas

                Non capisco

                Mwen pa konprann….. YOU :-)

                soooooooo…

                s’en alien voler, neme derange pas

                desaparecen de ventanas, no me molesta

                negfliegen, storen mich nicht

                abire fugientem noli mihi molestus

                • WTF?

                  refusing to answer the question…deflecting the issue at hand. that’s the way to do it haha..and you do understand, you just don’t want to admit you’re wrong. But it’s okay. :]

                  • We don’t want to talk about deflecting the issue…. DO “WE”?? *eyebrow raised”.

                    The issue is what constitutes a culture. You seem to be implying a “culture” only exist or starts at the at the beginning of a specific race. That’s woefully incorrect. A culture is not a race.

                    A culture exists in the mind and ways of people that share common interests, beliefs, speech patterns, religions, diets, “OPPRESSORS”, likes and dislikes,skin care, and the list goes on and on. Granted, since few of us live on an island, it goes without say that cultures do entertwine, and there are no absolutes. Nevertheless, the core remains and therefore it’s incorrect to suggest that the black Amerrican does not have a culture.

                    One way to look at this is to ask the question… “whats the culture of America, or any region of the world?”

                    Is it the culture of hatred or skin color that defines that culture? What’s the culture of Germany? If we take the time to ponder those questions, would we then say “they” didn’t have a culture if everyone in that “group/region” didn’t adhere to the ambiguous guidelines or constraints of such?

                    Using your ideology and/or concept of a culture, none exist unless everyone in a specific group, walks and talks and shares a dogma of beliefs, every day of their lives.

                    Having said all of that, can you agree, or would you agree that there are cultures within cultures?

                    • WTF?

                      ” You seem to be implying a “culture” only exist or starts at the at the beginning of a specific race. ”

                      I’m not implying that at all…nor have I once said that.

                      “A culture exists in the mind and ways of people that share common interests, beliefs, speech patterns, religions, diets, “OPPRESSORS”, likes and dislikes,skin care, and the list goes on and on. Granted, since few of us live on an island, it goes without say that cultures do entertwine, and there are no absolutes. Nevertheless, the core remains and therefore it’s incorrect to suggest that the black Amerrican does not have a culture. ”

                      There are such things a cultures, don’t be an idiot…there are certain customs that majority of people of a nation share..Like India, they have their own types of celebrations and holidays..Germany, they speak German and have their own holidays and customs as well. What do black Americans have that the majority of them share? Nothing..if anything black American culture would just be American culture all together..there isn’t anything about their culture that is particularly pertaining their “blackness”..therefore, black American culture is just a fantasy, it’s not universal…However, cultures like people from the the Middle East or Latin America have things that the applies to the majority of their people.

                      I never said black Americans did not have a culture…I’ve said OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER, that there is no such thing as a universal black American culture, meaning ONE culture (customs, traditions, holidays,food etc) that all or even most black people share. You want examples of more cultures? Native Americans…each tribe has their own individual customs and traditions and languages, Buddhists, they have their own prayer ceremonies. Catholics, they all practice the same church customs and bow to the pope…Jews, the vast majority of them observe Hanukkah..Countries like the UK,Canada, Ghana, Switzerland all recognize Boxing day as a holiday…I can go on and on -_- ..cultures do exist..Black Americans don’t have a specific one to call their own…they’re just American.

                    • WTF?

                      But anyways..you need to stop deflecting….What is Black American culture? Tell me what it is…Can you? Are you able to say to me “Because you are a black American, not just an American, but a black American, you historically have been know to celebrate this….eat this…or practice that?”..I didn’t think so.

              • Well, it appears as if we’ve returned to the beginning. If you believe the majority of black americans do not share common traits, ie, celebrations, religions, speech patterns (understand their slang), enemies, diets,musical taste, etc,…. then again, I have to ask you, what black americans have you been around? I bet you wouldn’t be caught dead around “THEM”.

                Then, you even misguidedly used religion to define a culture. And we all know every Jew nor EVERY Catholic worships in the same way.

                What has become glaringly obvious to me is you appear to be a black person that does not want to be considered “one of those negros”. That’s right, how could I forget, you said that! Gosh, I could have had a V8 instead of wasting my time talking to a negro that does not want to be black. That’s right, you’s a cultured black fella.

                And Switzerland all Switzerland all recognize Boxing day as a holiday…

                That surely defines a culture.

                And fat meat is greasy. *eyebrow raised*

                You’ve been watching too much TV.

                • WTF?

                  And you still haven’t answered the question…what is Black American culture? Stop being vague and answer the question…that’s what this whole spiel has come down to. You claim there is a black American culture, yet you cannot define it right?….hahahahaha there isn’t anything left to say. So either stop running away from the question and answer it…or admit you have no clue :]

                  • CULTURE: A particular form of civilazation, esp the beliefs, customs, arts,, and institutions of a society at a given time.

                    Now, since you’ve consistently tried to marginalize the black experience in America (and separate yourself from any similance of such), it would be a fools errand and a futile attempt to the 10 degree, to convince or persuade you to understand that experience.

                    Mumblerlbg wrote (10 days ago!):

                    “WOW, you know most black people intimately enough to know that they live up to or down to whatever stereotypes you have in mind?”

                    There you have it. And if we told you, we’d have to kill you. :-)

                    Check this popular old school song(black american). “If you don’t know me by now, you will never never never know me”

                    • WTF?

                      …..haha, you just further validated my point. Black American Culture = non existent…-_- smh, refusing to answer the question and prove me wrong..typical scape goat to hide the fact that you have no clue.

  • Why waste time on this?

    Personally to me it looks like they’re making fun of the girls who do this, but took it to the extreme which unfortunately makes fun of black people instead of their intended target. I for one, am sick of giving energy to ignorant people. If we continue to give them space here and get upset about it, it only justifies their behavior. I say ignore it and move on. Japanese people are sheep anyway, they do whatever is popular and make broad statements about people they obviously know nothing about. At the end of the day you will never meet these people so what does it matter what the hell they think?