Friday, February 03, 2006


The Chinese authorities seem to have banned Memoirs of a Geisha, apparently on the basis that it is offensive to the Chinese for Chinese women to play Japanese women (or possibly because of a cultural misunderstanding based on the idea that geisha are prostitutes and that for a Chinese woman to play a Japanese prostitute is insulting). There was a bit of a fuss in Japan about Japanese parts being given to foreigners, which I disagreed with but could at least understand. This smells like racism to me.

So let's recap, this is a not particularly good movie directed by an American and intended for a mainly Western audience, based on an orientalist novel by an American about a blue eyed geisha, which sets out to titillate long held Western fantasies of Asian women and which uses a queer assortment of variously Asian actresses to play the main Japanese roles. It is a movie which had to be promoted in Japan under the slogan "Japan like you have never known it" and which has now stirred up all kinds of anger in China and been banned over there for making a Chinese actress the heroine. Don't know about the Chinese decision but, if I was Japanese, I think I would want to ban it!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yea. Them thar damned dumb baka gaijin, Westerners, could never ever get nuttin' right 'bout unique Japan. It is the mysterious orient you know.

Yea, it was a shit movie. Seemed the controversy was mainly online, especially just before the movie was released. MOst of the complaints were as deep and well thought out bigotry as yours. Only a "Japanese" could play a Japanese. Only a Japanese could possibly write a book about Japan--even a work of fiction.(It was news that the author has blues eyes. That is an important fact here. Had he brown eyes, he would be more credible.) The consultant on the film was a Caucasion female researcher who had written books on geisha in Japan. However, she was not Japanese, so she had to be wrong. Only a Japanese (and their baka gaijin asskissers who run around calling themselves "gaijin" could explain Japan.)

And as we all know, the Japanese are a seperate race. Why, anyone can tell a Japanese from a Chinese by looking. Oops--except the Japanese police who arrested a female native Japanese by mistake a few months ago 'cause they figured she was an evil furriner.

I believe, like you, that only actors of the proper race, ethinic group, citizenship etc. could play roles of thier race etc. Not more British actors playing 'mericans. No more 'mericans playing Brits.

The fact that it was a bad movie which was about as idiotic as the absurd "The Last Samurai" isn't the point. The point, once agin be, only the unique Japanese of pure Japnese blood (WTF is that?) should be permitted to play the pure Japanese.