Blackface Continues in Japan. In 2015.

Because of a recent (perennial) blackface event in Japan (http://kotaku.com/blackface-continues-in-japan-in-2015-1685…), an article I wrote on the subject (in Japanese at Huffington Post Japan and in English at  has resurfaced on twitter and now I’m quoted in this (Japanese language) livedoor article. I maintain now as then 1) We non-Japanese, especially Americans, need to be very careful about projecting our own history and ideas about how things are and should be on the rest of the world and/yet/but 2) Japan needs to understand that it -is- and always has been part of the larger diverse world, that however playful its own tradition of dress up has been, things like blackface and animalization can be offensive in that global context. Lastly, if you think you are paying tribute to African-American music and culture by wearing blackface (the excuse given in these cases) here some advice: Stop it.

O. Ben Karp

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