Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How the Japanese see the Arabs

Today read a couple of articles about a book, 'The Arabs: A Japanese point of view,' by Nobuaki Notohara. The two articles were 'When individuality, privacy vanish' by Ahmed al Falahi & 'The Arabs from a Japanese Perspective' based on excerpts from a review by Muhammad al Rumayhi. These 2 write-ups have got me interested in the book. However it doesn't seem to be available in English. Seems it was originally written in Japanese and later translated into Arabic.

The 2 reviews bring up some thought provoking observations in the book.

  • Arabs are occupied with the idea of a single style. Everyone dresses similarly, for instance. What this costs is individuality, and eventually the notion of privacy.
  • Society takes prominence over the individual. Sense of individual responsibility vanishes. This can be seen in the way public property is treated. Parks, Roads & such.
  • Rulers are unquestioned, whether it is the head of family or state. Hence rulers tenures are normally life-long.
  • Why the Japanese don't hate America.
  • Need for domestic & External criticism. And self-criticism
Would be interesting to ponder how other societies stack up, on these values.

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