Author Topic: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?  (Read 6025 times)

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Offline kenchan

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TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« on: May 07, 2012, 01:59:02 PM »
I'm Japanese, so I felt compelled to bring up this topic:

Did you guys thing TAR20 Leg 11 showcased Japan in the best possible way?


I happen to think so, because within 1 episode, the teams got to see and experience:
* The BEAUTY of Japan: Miyajima Itsukushima Jinja shrine - it's just gorgeous
* The TRAGEDY of Japan: Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima
* The TECHNOLOGY of Japan: Shinkansen 700 series (with the long nose) from Hiroshima --> Shin Osaka
* The COMEDY of Japan: Those silly TV gameshows!
* The CUISINE of Japan: Sushi (sans Wasabi bombs this time...)
* The HISTORY of Japan: Osaka Castle (the stronghold of shogun Toyotomi, who arguably played a key cultural and political role in the unification of Japan in the 16th/17th century)
 
Past seasons (9, 12, 15, 18) have also showcased many of these aspects, but not all in a single episode. 

It was also interesting to hear some of the teams (BBRachel, Army Dave) talk about their thoughts on Hiroshima.   This would also be an intersting topic to discuss. 
(I personally felt it was very appropriate that Phil, having come from a WWII-participating nation that didn't have a prominent role as Japan or the US did, gave the commentary about what happened on Aug 6, 1945.)


Thoughts?
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Offline Jimmer

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2012, 02:02:25 PM »
I felt like it was a good leg!
I wish they would have spent more time at Hiroshima!  :hearts:

Offline starrynight

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2012, 02:07:35 PM »
I didn't want more preaching at Hiroshima, it always feels at those points that racers are reading from a script.  I think anyone with much of a brain realises the tragedy at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, so I don't need to be spoken to like I'm an ignorant child there.  The gameshow thing was alright and pretty funny.  But I really don't think you can realistically get to know a country just by watching an episode in this entertainment show, just take it for what it is..light entertainment.
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Offline choroneko

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2012, 02:24:11 PM »
It wasn't really that great to me. Though, I was touched they paid respects and took a moment in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
I'd be more impressed if they just stayed in Hiroshima or did a Kyoto leg. I'm just bored of Osaka & Tokyo.
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Offline Best Loser

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2012, 02:33:39 PM »
I didn't want more preaching at Hiroshima, it always feels at those points that racers are reading from a script.  I think anyone with much of a brain realises the tragedy at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, so I don't need to be spoken to like I'm an ignorant child there.  The gameshow thing was alright and pretty funny.  But I really don't think you can realistically get to know a country just by watching an episode in this entertainment show, just take it for what it is..light entertainment.

It's completely different reading about it in a textbook and being at that site participating in a memorial service.


Offline Declive

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2012, 02:38:31 PM »
I agree , they got us to really know Japan.
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Offline kenchan

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2012, 02:47:22 PM »
It was also interesting to see the teams fumbling at the train/bus ticket vending machines - I hope some JR employees get to see this episode - that little bit of Romaji on the display really don't help the tourists much, it seems (or maybe they just in a rush...)

Also, I'd have to believe that BBRachel's thoughts were at least in indirect reference to the solidarity the Japanese showed in the aftermath of 3.11.
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Offline choroneko

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2012, 02:55:45 PM »
It was also interesting to see the teams fumbling at the train/bus ticket vending machines - I hope some JR employees get to see this episode - that little bit of Romaji on the display really don't help the tourists much, it seems (or maybe they just in a rush...)

Also, I'd have to believe that BBRachel's thoughts were at least in indirect reference to the solidarity the Japanese showed in the aftermath of 3.11.

What did she said? I wasn't really paying much attention. Hehe  :lol:
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Offline Kamineko

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2012, 11:55:11 PM »
I really love this leg, because I've wanted to go to Japan since I was little kid!! I love how they managed to show many elements of Japan in a single episode!! :hearts:


Offline Katarzyna

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2012, 12:01:54 AM »
Yea, it was a beautiful leg. However, the Tokyo night leg in TAR 9 is still my favorite Japan leg. Shibuya crossing & the capsule hotel.  :hrt:
In this leg, the detour was quite underwhelming. I thought the sushi bingo will be hard.
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Offline topaz

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2012, 03:05:11 AM »
It wasn't really that great to me. Though, I was touched they paid respects and took a moment in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
I'd be more impressed if they just stayed in Hiroshima or did a Kyoto leg. I'm just bored of Osaka & Tokyo.
about that being paid respect to the victims of the atom bomb, I say we've never know if those 4 remaining teams had really touched their emotions to the event that ended the World War 2, literally and felt sorry for it or it was just a plain publicity to the show.  Because unlike on the All-Star edition, if you'd watched the Poland leg there, they'd visited the Auschwitz concentration camp and paid respect to the victims of the Holocaust during that war led by Nazi Germany, the 6 remaining teams really paid respect there and I remember that Charla and Mirna had commented on the Armenian genocide during World War 1 as they believed it was very similar to the crimes that had committed by the Nazis against the Jews, Gypsies, gays, etc.  But on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it's a different story because some Americans doesn't want to admit that kind of crime they'd committed and they have reasons why it should had drop the bomb to that 2 cities as a result to the payback of the Pearl Harbor attack and being an alliance to the Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy during the war.  And to prove that, here some links that I'd found some controversial topics on IMDB regarding this episode:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0285335/board/thread/198692314

...and the other one topic there that entitled, The murderer won was recently deleted by the IMDB admin because of too much political talk about visiting the Hiroshima peace memorial and some they'd dismayed about the winning of Rachel and Dave while apologizing the bombing of that city as they are military couples who went to Iraq and Afghanistan before in order to kill the terrorists there after 9/11 as for the sake of "security" and "freedom" in America.


Offline starrynight

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2012, 03:47:23 AM »

It's completely different reading about it in a textbook and being at that site participating in a memorial service.

Yeh but I'm sure for some viewers at least hearing some short platitudes in the middle of a race isn't really going to be that informative.
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Offline kenchan

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2012, 08:27:33 AM »
Topaz,
thanks for sharing that link.

I would like to believe that the participants of this forum are fairly well educated fans of the Amazing Race who enjoy worldly views, and firmly understand that there are "two sides to every story". It is my hope that we can continue to partake in this discussion so we can all reflect, share and learn in a fair and factual manner, without any personal attacks.

But on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it's a different story because some Americans doesn't want to admit that kind of crime they'd committed and they have reasons why it should had drop the bomb to that 2 cities as a result to the payback of the Pearl Harbor attack and being an alliance to the Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy during the war. 
...

I'd be interested in finding our more about Army Dave's view on Hiroshima.  Not as a challenge, but I am curious to find out what really went through his mind as he saw the Atomic Dome, as an American, and as a human being.


Like most of you in this forum, I too was born in a generation that "never knew about THE war (WWII)", as opposed to my parents' generation (they were directly affected by it).  Some of you who are parents may be watching TAR with your children too. So WWII was just something you learn in history books.

Yet, we have seen different kids of wars since then, some even broadcast live on CNN, some going on right now.  You may have your own more personal experiences that you have lived through. A lot of us are (unfortunately) familiar with the idea.

So from that standpoint, we are more or less in the same boat.

Given that, I think it's important that we reflect on this topic that was presented to us.


I first learned about WWII when I was attending elementary school in Japan. The history curriculum in Japan at the time didn't present WWII with severe amounts of animosity, but what is interesting is that not a whole lot is taught about Japan immediately after WWII. This is perhaps due to the mostly apologetic tone that the Japanese government had during the post-war era, coupled with the influences of the GHQ. It was not a very proud era for the Japanese to say the least.

Then I learned about WWII at an American high school. I think most people on this forum know the story from this angle.

About 15 years ago, I visited the Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos, NM  (http://www.lanl.gov/museum/index.shtml), and I was able to view the exhibits in a somewhat neutral stance.  I have to admit it was bone chilling to read the copies of American newspapers from August 7, 1945, however, I was able to walk through the museum to understand a certain historical perspective without getting overly emotional for the rest of the exhibit. I could only imagine that my parents or late grandparents would be thinking if they were to go visit this museum.

Despite the somewhat brief appearance of the Atomic Dome during our beloved American TV show compared to the Auschwitz tribute many seasons ago, and setting aside any speculation as to why the Atomic Dome visit didn't include a lengthy a tribute like the one at Auschwitz, I still truly appreciate Phil and the TAR producers in bringing attention to the matter in order to stir conversation about humanity.  There are very few historical events that have the same level of impact to humanity in such a short amount of time as what happened on August 6, 1945. Yes, that was 67 years ago. It's "history" by all means. I hope we all agree this is the type of history that must not be repeated.  And those lessons need to be passed down the generations.


Sidenote: The City of Hiroshima had previously proposed to tear it down as the structure is not sound (think earthquakes like 3.11 and all of the Japanese building codes), and you have to admit, it is a rather (purposely) depressing looking structure (in contrast to the modern buildings around it), but its status as a UNESCO World Heritage site still holds, and as recently as 5 months before the race visited Hiroshima, the city had completed some reinforcement work. With respect to the lives lost at the moment of impact, it's a very small price to pay to preserve this memory.

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshima_Peace_Memorial
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%8E%9F%E7%88%86%E3%83%89%E3%83%BC%E3%83%A0
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 08:56:41 AM by kenchan »
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Offline SuperTux

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2012, 08:46:18 AM »
This episode is good, but actually I don't deem that highly of it in terms of revealing real Japan. This episode only leaves me with the impression that Japanese enjoy playing games a lot.

It wasn't really that great to me. Though, I was touched they paid respects and took a moment in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
I'd be more impressed if they just stayed in Hiroshima or did a Kyoto leg. I'm just bored of Osaka & Tokyo.
I was really moved when watching the review of Hiroshima Atom Bomb in this episode, though I'm Chinese. :lol: It was a tragedy. Peace is more important than anything else; we don't wanna see something that bad happen again.

I didn't want more preaching at Hiroshima, it always feels at those points that racers are reading from a script.
:lol3:

好像用中文做签名档会比较酷。

Offline kenchan

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2012, 09:24:03 AM »
This episode is good, but actually I don't deem that highly of it in terms of revealing real Japan. This episode only leaves me with the impression that Japanese enjoy playing games a lot.

I think the Japanese invented the self-humiliating TV game show genre with "Za Gaman". --> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Za_Gaman
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Offline choroneko

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2012, 09:36:16 AM »
It wasn't really that great to me. Though, I was touched they paid respects and took a moment in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
I'd be more impressed if they just stayed in Hiroshima or did a Kyoto leg. I'm just bored of Osaka & Tokyo.
about that being paid respect to the victims of the atom bomb, I say we've never know if those 4 remaining teams had really touched their emotions to the event that ended the World War 2, literally and felt sorry for it or it was just a plain publicity to the show.  Because unlike on the All-Star edition, if you'd watched the Poland leg there, they'd visited the Auschwitz concentration camp and paid respect to the victims of the Holocaust during that war led by Nazi Germany, the 6 remaining teams really paid respect there and I remember that Charla and Mirna had commented on the Armenian genocide during World War 1 as they believed it was very similar to the crimes that had committed by the Nazis against the Jews, Gypsies, gays, etc.  But on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it's a different story because some Americans doesn't want to admit that kind of crime they'd committed and they have reasons why it should had drop the bomb to that 2 cities as a result to the payback of the Pearl Harbor attack and being an alliance to the Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy during the war.  And to prove that, here some links that I'd found some controversial topics on IMDB regarding this episode:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0285335/board/thread/198692314

...and the other one topic there that entitled, The murderer won was recently deleted by the IMDB admin because of too much political talk about visiting the Hiroshima peace memorial and some they'd dismayed about the winning of Rachel and Dave while apologizing the bombing of that city as they are military couples who went to Iraq and Afghanistan before in order to kill the terrorists there after 9/11 as for the sake of "security" and "freedom" in America.

Regardless of the racers' sincerity, I'm glad they went and took a moment of serenity in the park. Props to the production. And yes, I know some Americans think it was a good riddance to us. I read alot of hurtful comments from them. It's already up to them how they want to present theirselves to the world.  :lol:
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Offline Prophet

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2012, 09:39:22 AM »
I'm not sure I want to get into this :lol: and I haven't thoroughly read this entire thread, but please remember that Japan attacked innocent Americans first.

ETA: Do I hate Japanese today? Absolutely not. But when it comes to history, maybe we shouldn't leave out important facts? There will always be innocent people killed in war; this is a sad byproduct of war. I just wish people wouldn't try to make America sound so evil.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 09:43:03 AM by Prophet »
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Offline choroneko

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2012, 09:55:53 AM »
I'm not sure I want to get into this :lol: and I haven't thoroughly read this entire thread, but please remember that Japan attacked innocent Americans first.

ETA: Do I hate Japanese today? Absolutely not. But when it comes to history, maybe we shouldn't leave out important facts? There will always be innocent people killed in war; this is a sad byproduct of war. I just wish people wouldn't try to make America sound so evil.

I'm not! I'm only sharing what I've seen. I read hurtful comments when the 3/11 tsunami happened. It's unfair to bring up the war crimes the Imperial Japan did when it has nothing to do with the tsunami.
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Offline Prophet

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2012, 09:57:18 AM »
Then never mind me. :lol: I don't really know what the tsunami has to do with anything. :duno:
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Offline Prophet

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2012, 10:08:08 AM »
I was addressing something that bothered me both when I watched the episode and when I read some comments upthread. I have no idea how the 2011 tsunami got thrown into this discussion, but it has nothing to do with war. It is fine and wonderful to mourn innocent people who were killed as a result of war. But at the same time, please do not demonize war altogether or make America out to be evil. That's all I was trying to convey.
Physics alone is not enough.

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Offline choroneko

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2012, 10:20:10 AM »
I was addressing something that bothered me both when I watched the episode and when I read some comments upthread. I have no idea how the 2011 tsunami got thrown into this discussion, but it has nothing to do with war. It is fine and wonderful to mourn innocent people who were killed as a result of war. But at the same time, please do not demonize war altogether or make America out to be evil. That's all I was trying to convey.

I apologize for my vague statements. I was talking about the hurtful comments to Japan. And I'm not demonizing USA at all. I should've said anonymous people, instead of specifying it.
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Offline Prophet

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2012, 10:22:09 AM »
I understand, maybe I came on too strong, :lol: but I was actually referring to comments which were not yours. :tup:

The tsunami was a horrible tragedy and anyone who says Japan deserved it needs to shut up.
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Offline kenchan

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2012, 12:10:32 PM »
I think it's healthy we are having this discussion - whether we are on the verge of fighting - it gives us a chance to understand.  (Thanks Prophet for landing back on earth  :tup:)

Actually, some people would argue that WWII in the Pacific actually began earlier in the 20th Century with end of the Japano-Russo War (the last war that Japan won with the help of the British Navy - and the Americans were involved as peace negotiators, and hosted the delegates just outside of Portsmouth, NH in 1905 for the signing of the peace treaty).  This established Japan as a prominent player in the Asia Pacific region, but soon after, the Japanese Army performed many unspeakable acts on the Asian continent.
And some would even argue that was war against Russia was necessitated by Japan's rapid westernization in which the lack of natural energy resources became highlighted as a huge problem. And what event kick-started Japan's rapid westernization? It was Commodore Perry's arrival in the mid 1850s (See? All of these TAR episodes come full circle and you get a pretty nice history lesson).  Until then, Japan had been isolated in international trade for over 200 years, during which only the Dutch and the Chinese traded in a limited capacity with the Japanese.

But again, I'm not here to point fingers either.  :) 

If you feel strongly about any of this, I would encourage people to go find books and other forms of information about WWII. 

I, for one, am just fascinated how the word "STORY" is part of the word "hiSTORY".  It teaches us who we are. Just like this show does.

« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 12:19:43 PM by kenchan »
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Offline bcp19

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2012, 12:33:01 PM »
I was addressing something that bothered me both when I watched the episode and when I read some comments upthread. I have no idea how the 2011 tsunami got thrown into this discussion, but it has nothing to do with war. It is fine and wonderful to mourn innocent people who were killed as a result of war. But at the same time, please do not demonize war altogether or make America out to be evil. That's all I was trying to convey.

I apologize for my vague statements. I was talking about the hurtful comments to Japan. And I'm not demonizing USA at all. I should've said anonymous people, instead of specifying it.
Having spent 20 years in the Navy, and with 4 or 5 deployments in Japan along with some ship visits, I can see both sides of this.  I could never get behind the old "Sins of the father are now sins of the son" attitude.  The Japanese culture is a rich and varied one, but without understanding it, you can easily make a fool of yourself when dealing with them.

One time, the ship I was on pulled in Sasebo, and being familiar with Japan and Japanese culture, I understood the meaning behind several the signs that had others ready to trash talk the locals.  I took a lot of time making sure those idiots learned the truth before they did something stupid.  The sign?  "No American".  The general meaning? "No english spoken here".  I knew enough Japanese to be able to go into a place like that, and I always remember the smiles that I would get once I spoke their language to them.

The sad reality is too many people do not take the time to understand the reasons behind things and make (often incorrect) snap judgements based on how they would mean it if they had posted a sign lilke that, and then act on that assumption.  I would be sad to be on the race and only get a short stop in Japan, I've always wanted to go back there for a visit, but that will have to wait until I retire, more than lilkely.

Offline kenchan

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Re: TAR20 Leg 11: Best showcasing of Japan ever?
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2012, 01:27:20 PM »
The sad reality is too many people do not take the time to understand the reasons behind things and make (often incorrect) snap judgements based on how they would mean it if they had posted a sign lilke that, and then act on that assumption.  I would be sad to be on the race and only get a short stop in Japan, I've always wanted to go back there for a visit, but that will have to wait until I retire, more than lilkely.

Well put, bcp19! 
And thanks for sharing your experiences with the Navy.
「超たのしい~!♪」
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