Friday, April 13, 2007

The Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe & Everything

is 42.

Who's wearing it on Sunday: hella people. Entire teams. Arthur Rhodes Jason Ellison. White dudes.
Who's not wearing it: Ichiro Suzuki.
His quote:
"I don't have the idea of wearing 42. Maybe I might write his number behind my
cap. It's very important to feel near Jackie Robinson. It's a matter of respect.
But I will probably not put it where anybody but me can see it."
Here's another fun quote from Ichiro Suzuki:
“Not only will we win, but also we’ll make Japanese baseball fans feel that they saw a truly great game. I want to make (Korea and Taiwan) see that they will not be able to beat Japan in the next 30 years.”
Then Korea beat Japan, 3-2. And Ichiro was excorciated in the press for being a racist. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, going against decades of confirmed scholarship, refuses to acknowledge that Japanese soldiers enslaved and raped Chinese women during the Second World War. Japan also apparently loves black people. To wit:

Here's a picture of the box of a top-selling Japanese video game:

And here's a popular cell-phone keychain in Japan, which is based on a children's story that is essentially the Where the Wild Things Are of that nation:

And here's a drawing from Japanese manga:

What does all this prove? Probably nothing. Garrett Anderson, a black man, says he won't wear Jackie Robinson's number on Sunday because it wasn't his idea. And besides, this kind of ritualized observance of a semi-artificial symbol is at best Hollywood and at worst has tones of national socialism, or at least cultural jingoism. It's the kind of middle-class collective group think that leads everyone to a good night's sleep, but does it really change attitudes?

Anyhow, there are 14 Japanese players in the big leagues at the moment. Which plan to wear #42?

So Taguchi
Takashi Saito

Why? Because their teams, the Cardinals and the Dodgers, have decided everyone will wear that number on Sunday.

1 comment:

Chi-Wei Hu said...

It is very difficult growing up in Seattle as Asian man. Believe me. They say were are many, but they would rather have us down on King Street in Chinatown. Go Pumas! Why does no one show up for athletics on Dahl Field?