I do agree that the "I love everything about Japan" fandom is pretty ignorant, because you can't generalize about a whole nation based on a small (especially an artistically-enhanced) glimpse. But, by on that same logic, as an anime fan I don't preoccupy myself with knowledge about Japanese war crimes and don't know why I should have to. That's because the government and the entertainment industry are - and should be - completely separate.
If ever I was inspired to visit Japan because anime/manga instilled in me a passion for the language and the culture, I'd be more concerned with any potential CURRENT crime problems in Japan than with whatever war crimes Japan has committed in the past. All countries have done some pretty atrocious and/or stupid things throughout history, but I don't think it's something that should be held against them in all parts of their culture. I wouldn't boycott American television because of something wrong with American politics. Similarly, I wouldn't stop liking the work of Japanese artists because of the actions of Japanese armies.
And I'm not sure whether I'd want to see a Rape of Nanking anime... It seems a bit unreasonable to expect a country to highlight itself in its worst moment - and, I think, instead of serving as an effective apology for or acknowledgment of it, it would only rekindle the pain associated with it. Besides, I don't see why innocent anime artists should have to take on the burden of apologizing for or acknowledging wrongdoings on behalf of their whole country anyway. Since they'd be writing mainly for an audience in Japan, it might come across more like an antipatriotic stab at their own military. (And by the way, I too will admit that I probably don't know what I'm talking about.)
In any case, this is quite an interesting argument to think about.
· 10 years ago