War Hero: Japan

December 13, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Brant Brown

Well, we've come a long way since December 7, 1941, haven't we? Internment camps, nuclear bombs, and poor recollections from Clint Eastwood aside, we found out after the war that these "Japs" as Harry might call them weren't so bad after all. Just a little off. When the dust and body parts settled, we naturally occupied their country, which has become status quo. The U.S. then installed a democratic regime, assisted in rebuilding the Japanese economy, and voila! New Japan.

The Japanese are a proud culture, where custom and tradition are held in steep regard. Thus, the Japanese are grateful for our help in restructuring their country in the wake of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At the same time, they are consciously looking to subvert American culture on our home turf. What do we have to say about this blatant cultural assault? Thank you! Thank you very much, Japanese friends! We very much appreciate your efforts (while bowing down and acting submissive). Here is what the Japanese have offered back to our fair country:

  • Baseball. No other country shares our love of baseball like the Japanese. Their players have begun to infiltrate the MLB, but we're turning the other cheek on this one. Any league that incorporates Ichiro is fine by us. Plus now the Cub fans have #1 Slugger Kosuke Fukudome, and Hideki Matsui was kind enough to share his massive collection of pornography with the United States.
  • Speaking of porn, they gave us Bukkake. Enough said.
  • The Karate Kid II. OK, certainly it doesn't hold up to the original. But it perpetuated the myth of Mr. Miyagi and gave Pat Morita something to do. Seriously though, the Karate Kid franchise? Perhaps that's best saved for an Overrated posting. The movies are classic, and fine by themselves, but it seems that when people want to discuss classic '80s pop culture, they always start off with the Karate Kid as if they're breaking some new ground. Yes, Daniel San had a hell of a summer that year, beating the Kobra Kai in the All-Valley Tournament, going to Japan and fighting to his death, and his trials and tribulations that we prefer not to refer to in the third installment of the franchise. Yes, he dated three different girls over the span of that summer. Yes, he introduced Mr. Miyagi to girls as his "best friend". Of course there was sexual tension between the sage veteran of the arts and his nubile apprentice. Get over it Bill Simmons and Dave Damashek. It's a tired subject. Joe Esposito sang the theme song? What, that was his only hit? You're kidding me. I'll say it. Fuck the Karate Kid.
  • Sushi. I don't like sushi necessarily. I'll continue to keep trying it in social circles, but it's nothing I'll seek out on my own accord. Raw fish? Eh. Whatever. Rice is good, but I'm not going to suggest we go find a sushi place in order to sound cultured or high and mighty. I'll take my fish baked, thank you.
  • Hot chicks. They have some, contrary to popular belief. I can't name any, but I've seen them here and there. One of them was in Sin City. I can't recall her name, but generally they are small of stature and cute. Look 'em up.
  • Dark movies. I can't say I've seen one, but the Governor tells me the Japs make a mean horror movie. I think all of the U.S. horror movies of late were remakes of popular Japanese flicks. I'd believe this. We like to steal things from other people, be it movies, oil, or African children.
  • Chinese food. This stuff is great. I particularly enjoy lemon chicken and Mongolian beef.
  • Whaling. Really, it's about time someone stood up for the whalers of the world. Talk about a bum rap. Scientific studies have shown that for every 100 whales that are killed, the sea level lowers by three inches. Take that Al Gore, and your Holy War against Mother Nature and coal. Killing whales offsets the melting of the Arctic ice caps. Who really loses out in this debate? The whales? They're fucking animals!
  • Asahi and Kirin. Both are a quality beverage, but I can't necessarily agree with them at a Teppan restaurant. Have you ever been to one of those? Christ, me and the wife go with a group of six other people. Sure we're having a gay old time, and the cook makes a vagina out of rice, but then we get the bill and we each owe sixty bucks? What the fuck? Seriously, have some modesty in the prices of your food. It's not that elegant of an establishment if you're cooking the food in front of me.
  • The movie Rising Sun. Probably the defining role in the career of Wesley Snipes, plus Sean Connery at his post-Bond best. It also had Japanese guys in it, and Harvey Keitel. Hard to go wrong with that one.
  • Finally, the Japanese gave us karaoke. At least, I think they did. It could have been the Koreans for all I know. It doesn't matter, Japan will get a pass on this one.

So there you have it. Japan? Not so bad after all. Don't tell that to grandpa though. He still puts them right alongside "the coloreds" on his shitlist.