I love Japan but it does NOT always make sense.
Here is an example…Japan still feels sorry for Barry Bonds. Nobody feels sorry for Barry Bonds. But Japan does.
Outward appearance is EXTREMELY important in Japan.
My office manager once bought a complete ski outfit, boots, new skis and boots (more than $1000 total) and she had NEVER been skiing before. She wanted to at least look like she could ski.
Outward appearance is EXTREMELY import to the Japanese.
Bonds ALWAYS seems to be smiling…a Japanese sports reporter says.
There is no perception of him being arrogant. If only this Japanese could read English better.
Once, in a home run hitting contest, Bonds stepped behind Hideki Matsui to give him a massage and offer him encouragement. The Japanese still remember this.
Bonds hit a couple of monster homeruns on a Japan tour. The Japanese have not forgotten this either.
Outward appearance is very important in Japan.
When asked about what the Japanese think of his steroid use, there are two responses –
1. Japanese people haven’t thought enough about it to have an opinion.
2. He was probably just careless.
Bonds is a cheater. In Japanese that is inchiki…pronounced een chee key.
Japan canNOT always be right. If they stopped looking at outward appearance only they would discover that there is ugliness underneath sometimes.
What do you think?
>someone who knows Japan from the inside of Japan
Thats something I try to do on my blog, but not quite achieving yet…
You know what? I thought of the same thing. Many Japanese TV media mentioned of Bond’s HRs, but very few, at least i didn’t see any, comments on his drug issues (though read some in the papers). Having said that, I don’t think why media says nothing about it, has anything to do with the outward appearences. True, outward appearence are important factor in Japanese society, but for sports media, a fact that the sports jounalism does not exist in japan is a much majaor factor.
Thank you for visiting, Toru.
And thank you for your comments about the Japanese sports media. I am always eager to learn especially from someone who knows Japan from the inside of Japan.
That’s really interesting to see the Japanese media’s perspective. How does Japan perceive the BALCO/steroid scandal in general? Is this something that is even an issue in Japanese baseball?
I hope Toru weighs in on this….
I am not certain, but I don’t think there has been any BALCO/steroid scandal in Japanese baseball. I would like to hope that this is because the Japanese baseball community has had strong anti-drug feelings. In one of last nights’ sports news programme, there was an in-depth feature on this Bonds case, and the how whole issues has been seen by the proffesionals who are associated with the Japanese baseball. NPB has only started this year to do some drug tests. They say that an attempt of trying to bring basball back to the Olympics, and for WBC have had some influence on that. As you know, IOC are more strict in these issues.
As for how Japan perceive the BALCO/steroid scandal in general, I am not sure, because I think it hasn’t really been percieved for a start. The media are more interested in telling how Ichiro did, or Iguchi hit a homerun, etc. Nevermind the game, and sadly, probabaly thats only what the majority of Japanese people are interested.
Thank you for this honest assessment of how the Japanese public views baseball and bonds and scandals and such.
Question: If it were Ichiro or Matsui who was found to be with steroids, do you think the Japanese press would make it an issue?