Monday, May 31, 2010

Hypocrisies specific and universal

"Deep in the soul of the Japanese lurks the Shinto concept of pollution and the Buddhist prohibition against killing.  So Japanese look down on and discriminate against people who handle meat and leather . . . but they drool over sukiyaki and lick their chops over mixed grill . . . they let the butchers take upon their shoulders the sin of killing animals; then they wipe their mouths and pretend that they haven't done anything wrong."

-An oddly cross-cultural observation, from the autobiography of burakumin activist Kitahara Taisaku, ca. 1927

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