Barthes and the Empire of Signs

2009年01月31日 03時49分25秒 | Weblog
Barthes and the Empire of Signs


記号の帝国に関するレビューはトム・ギル、「ジャパノロジー入門」資料 第16回:「ロラン・バルト、『表徴の帝国』」


What does a "space" or "clearing" mean in this regard? Originating with Heidegger but taking on numerous other(yet related meanings, the idea is essentially this;reality is not a pregiven monological entity lying around for all to see; rather, various social practices and cultural contexts create an opening or clearing in which various types of subjects and objects can appear. For example, as I would put it, the magic wonder space creates a clearing in which animistic objects can appear;the mythic world space creates a space in with a caring God can appear; ・・・・None of those are simply lying around out there and hitting eyeballs of everybody. There is no single "pregiven world"(the essential insight of postmodernism)
cw 6:Sex, Ecology, Spirituality, 775 in the simple feeling of being 199)




page 39
What does 'reality' look like outside of discourse? How would we access it independently of language?

page 41
Because ideology influences perception and therefore the reading and writing of history, instability characterizes the signified-signifier relations posed within its textural representation of culture. Access to the real is deferred

page 19
What Barthes knows about Japan is always already filtered through an 'emptiness of language which constitutes writing.' Meaning is delayed, access to truth prevented .


As an outsider to Japanese cultures, Barthes must locate himself within the ethnocentrism and cultural blindness of a narrow range of meanings that the image of Japan stimulates in the Western reader.

page 20
Barthes' knowledge of Japan is limited to what has read of its history and seen of its images,either through experience or in the media. The exposure to a Western Archive of texts and images that are call ed 'Japan' establishes myth of Japan as part of Oriental culture as opposed to an Occidental culture. ・・・

page 21
This image of of 'Japan'---its myth is consequently an invention of the West. It bears no resemblance to the real Japan. ・・・・・So in one respect, nothing stands behind the empire of signs that Barthes call Japan.
・・・・He therefore chooses to invent Japan、to write a fictional representation which does not have the pretensions of Truth and History as its grounding .


page 50
This conceptual opposition repeats what Derrida has called the binary logic of Western metaphysics, in which two items are set in opposition so as to enable their conceptualization ,and thus a gauge their values, though the identification of differences between them.

Barthes acknowledges the limitations of his own perspective. Empire of Sings thereby leaves open the possibility for reassessment.

page 52
Empires of Signs is record of personal experience, a journal of the short trip that Barthes took to a country called Japan. Its significance is in the process of writing as a moment of reflection on the substance of experience, rather than in the truth of the message.





2009年01月31日 03時48分27秒 | Weblog
Dutch fear foreign take overs of utilities

Friday 30 January 2009

Two-thirds of the Dutch population are concerned about Dutch energy firms being taken over by foreign companies according, to a study by Blauw Research.

Almost 90% of those questioned were aware that the country’s two largest power firms, Essent and Nuon, are in the process of being sold off to foreign firms.

Meanwhile, the latest (2007) European Commission survey on nuclear power concludes that almost 25% of the Dutch are positive about increasing this form of energy compared with a European average of 14%, reports Friday’s NRC. dutchnews


オランダ 3分の2以上の人がオランダのエネルギー関連企業が外国企業に乗っ取られることを不安に思っている、という。


2009年01月30日 17時48分30秒 | Weblog
<Hispanic Group Alleges Hate Speech on Cable News

・・・・NHMC, a nonprofit LA based media advocacy group, cited a 2007 Media Matters study that concluded that "the alleged connection between illegal immigration and crime" was discussed on 94 episodes of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, 66 times on Fox's Bill O'Reilly, and 29 times on Glenn Beck's Headline News show.・・・・魚拓


'British jobs for British workers'.

2009年01月30日 17時47分58秒 | Weblog

By Nick Britten
Last Updated: 10:04PM GMT 29 Jan 2009

Hundreds of factory workers protested outside one of the country's largest oil refineries against the use of foreign workers on a multi million pound construction project.telegraph魚拓



ちなみにこっちはフランスの大規模なデモMassive protests across France


”Fuck off we are full"

2009年01月30日 17時47分01秒 | Weblog

THE photo fanned fires of outrage across NSW and beyond.

Two Sydney girls and a boy, draped in Australian flags with sketches proclaiming F*** off we're full on their stomachs, celebrating Australia Day with a message of anti-immigrant hostility and smirks on their faces.

Fuck off we are full「失せろ!オーストラリアは満員。」とでも訳せるのでしょうか、とにかく、移民を排他するがごとき文言を国旗と共に体に書いた、若者が非難を浴びているが、その内の一人の若者がラジオインタビューで、「後悔している、悪気があったわけじゃない」という趣旨の発言をしている。

I’m not racist, I’m just stupid
It would be nice to just laugh at the teenagers behaviour but the power of their message is so much greater than the power of their brains.









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2009年01月30日 10時28分15秒 | Weblog
Police Investigate Segregationist Signs at Kennesaw State
January 14, 2009 05:03 PM ET | Alison Go | Permanent Link | Print
Police at Kennesaw State University have no suspects as they investigate two signs placed over Student Center water fountains last month, one that read "whites only" and the other, "blacks only," the Sentinel reports. Discovered on December 9, "the signs bring to mind a painful and oppressive time in our nation's history," said the director of student life. "The person who posted these signs either doesn't know and understand the serious nature of this history or knows and is subjectively and [secretively] expressing contempt for it."




で、こうした学校における人種差別はいまでも横行している。アフリカ系アメリカ人の蔑称を用いて、おまいらは、首つって死ね、などという落書きが学校にある。WFMY News 2 - Racism in School(ビデオ)












 おまえ日本人じゃないだろう、とか、やああい、外国人!、外人! ○○人!なんていうのも相手の心を傷つける。












2009年01月30日 10時27分27秒 | Weblog
an 27, 2009
Man Assaulted In San Jose For Speaking Spanish
CBS 5 CrimeWatch

A 28-year-old San Jose man was arrested on suspicion of committing a hate crime Monday after allegedly attacking another man because he was speaking Spanish, police Officer Jermaine Thomas said Tuesday.

The 53-year-old victim, who is Hispanic, was talking on his cell phone in Spanish in the area of Saratoga and Latimer avenues around 12:20 p.m. when the attack occurred, Thomas said.

The suspect, San Jose resident Scott Pontzious, who is white, allegedly told the victim during the assault that he needed to speak English.

Pontzious then fled but was later arrested nearby. He was booked into Santa Clara County jail on suspicion of battery and committing a hate crime, Thomas said.魚拓




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2009年01月30日 10時26分36秒 | Weblog
The newspaper delivery man who claims he was beaten and robbed by three off-duty Vancouver-area police officers last week says the officers involved should have been charged with a hate crime for shouting "we don't like brown people" during the alleged assault.魚拓

3 Canada Cops Arrested for Muslims Hate Crime pt1(ビデオ)



人種差別的失言の大臣 失職なし

2009年01月30日 10時25分42秒 | Weblog
Racist joke minister retains jobBritish politician jokes 'UK could put golliwog back on jam jars now Obama's been elected'

 で、このgolliwog とそれにまつわる匂い、というか、意味合いが、僕にはいまいちわからない。


British jam manufacturer James Robertson & Sons used a golliwog called Golly as its mascot from 1910, after John Robertson apparently saw children playing with golliwog dolls in America. Robertson's started producing promotional Golliwog badges in the 1920s, which could be obtained in exchange for tokens gained from their products. In 1983, the company's products were boycotted by the Greater London Council as offensive, and in 1988 the character ceased to be used in television advertising. The company used to give away golliwog badges making up different sets, such as playing jazz instruments, or with sports equipment, or other such themes. The badge collection scheme was retired in 2001.

In a statement reported by the BBC, Virginia (Ginny) C Knox, previously brand director for Robertson's and now Chief Operating Officer of the Culinary Brands Division of RHM, told the Herald Newspaper in Scotland in 2001 that the decision to remove the Golly (Golliwogg) symbol from Robertson's jam and marmalade jars was taken after research found that children were not familiar with the character, although it still appealed to the older generations. "We sell 45 million jars of jam and marmalade each year and they have pretty much all got Golly on them," said Ms Knox. "We also sell 250,000 Golly badges to collectors and only get 10 letters a year from people who don't like the Golliwogg image".[2]. Today, Robertson's Golliwog badges remain highly collectible, with the very rarest sometimes selling for more than £1,000, and even comparatively common and recent badges being worth £2.00–£3.00.・


・・・・In Britain and the Commonwealth, "golliwog" perhaps became "wog" a racial slur applied to dark-skinned peoples worldwide, including Africans, Italians and other Mediterranean people, Native Americans, Middle Easterners, Hispanics, and Indians. wiki

 本で読んでは知っていましたが、イタリア人もdark-skinned なんですねええ。



2009年01月30日 10時24分41秒 | Weblog
victory manualで紹介されていた本The Fugu Plan

Editorial Reviews
Product Description
If someone who is rich and powerful comes to you for a favor, you don’t persecute him – you help him. Having such a person indebted to you is a great insurance policy.

There was one nation that did treat the Jews as if they were powerful and rich. The Japanese never had much exposure to Jews, and knew very little about them. In 1919 Japan fought alongside the anti-Semitic White Russians against the Communists. At that time the White Russians introduced the Japanese to the book, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion."

The Japanese studied the book and, according to all accounts, naively believed its propaganda. Their reaction was immediate and forceful – they formulated a plan to encourage Jewish settlement and investment into Manchuria. People with such wealth and power as the Jews possess, the Japanese determined, are exactly the type of people with whom we want to do business!

The Japanese called their plan for Jewish settlement "The Fugu Plan." The "fugu" is a highly poisonous blowfish. After the toxin-containing organs are painstakingly removed, it is used as a food in Japan, and is considered an exquisite delicacy. If it is not prepared carefully, however, its poison can kill a person.

The Japanese saw the Jews as a nation with highly valuable potential, but, as with the fugu, in order to take advantage of that potential, they had to be extremely careful. Otherwise, the Japanese thought, the plan would backfire and the Jews would annihilate Japan with their awesome power.

The Japanese were allies of the Nazis, yet they allowed thousands of European refugees – including the entire Mirrer Yeshivah – to enter Shanghai and Kobe during World War II. They welcomed these Jews into their country, not because they bore any great love for the Jews, but because they believed that Jews had access to enormous resources and amazingly influential power, which could greatly benefit Japan.

If anti-Semites truly believe that Jews rule the world, why don’t they all relate to Jews like the Japanese did?

The fact that Jews are generally treated as outcasts proves that people do not really believe that Jews are anywhere near as wealthy or powerful as they claim. It proves that anti-Semites do not take their own propaganda seriously.


Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Twenty-five years have passed since The Fugu Plan first appeared. In 1979, so little was known of Japan’s plan to resettle up to a million European Jewish refugees in its puppet state of Manchukuo that the New York Times published a news story about the book. Now, the fugu plan is widely recognized as one of the few positive, if strange, twists in the tortured fate of European Jewry.

Over these years, one person has come to be the human face of the fugu plan: Chiune Sugihara. From November 1939 to September 1940, Sugihara was officially the Japanese consul in Kovno (or "Kaunas"), Lithuania. In reality, Sugihara had been sent to Kovno to gather intelligence about Soviet and German troop movements in the area. Because he was there, however, and because of who he was, Sugihara became one of the crucial players in the fugu plan -- a scheme that, by the war’s end, would save the lives of thousands of Jews, as well as the entire Mir Yeshiva, whose scholars would survive to inspire a new era of Jewish learning in the U.S. and Israel.

Books and articles in English, Japanese, Hebrew and Chinese, running the gamut from scholarly to mass-appeal, are now being written about Sugihara – "the Japanese angel". In Japan, the name ‘Sugihara’ has become a symbol of one who takes care of others. His life is the subject of a secondary school English language text. A plaque at the gaimusho, the Japanese Foreign Ministry, commemorates his humanitarianism, in spite of the fact that he had disregarded orders from his superiors. In Israel, Sugihara is honored by Yad Vashem among the "Righteous of the Nations". And in the spring of this year, PBS will air, nationwide, an award-winning documentary, "Conspiracy of Kindness" about Sugihara’s life and the lives of a few of the many people he saved.

Over the past 25 years, we have learned a great deal about this man. Chiune (or Senpo, he used either of two first names) Sugihara was born with the century, on January 1, 1900, and was raised in the bushido/samurai philosophy of his mother’s family. Though his father – in pre-war Japan, the unquestioned authority in such matters -- directed him to study law, Sugihara’s own interests were in foreign languages and cultures. Circumventing his father, he applied to the gaimusho and was sent to Harbin, Manchuria, to study Russian. For the next ten years, Sugihara remained in Manchuria, marrying and later divorcing a Russian woman, and only rarely returning to Japan for brief visits. Starting with his posting to Lithuania in 1939, he spent eight years in Europe, going wherever the gaimusho saw fit to move him: Berlin, Prague, Konigsberg, and finally, at the war’s end, Bucharest, Romania. There, he was arrested by the incoming Soviet forces and, with his wife and three children, interned for two years before being allowed to return to Japan.

In post-war Tokyo, there was little work available for a former, low-level diplomat. Sugihara managed to keep his family together only with small jobs that made use of his language skills. He worked intermittently at the American PX; he served as an announcer for the foreign language bureau of NHK, Japan’s national radio; he free-lanced translation and interpreting services; and finally, in an almost unbelievable quirk of fate, he was hired by a Ginza clothing store whose owner, Anatole Ponve, had been one of the leaders of the Kobe Jewish community which had cared for the ‘Sugihara refugees’ when they first arrived in Japan in 1940. But in spite of seeing Ponve virtually every day, Sugihara never mentioned his own role in the rescue of the Jewish refugees.

I asked him about that a few years before he died.

"I never knew what happened to the refugees," he said. "I never knew if they got past the Soviet Union, if they actually came to Japan, if they ever found safety. I didn’t want to discuss it because perhaps I had only led them to their death. I was afraid to bring it up."

Did he know, I wondered, about the fugu plan?

"I only knew about that when you told me. If I had known, it would have been much easier for me. I wouldn’t have felt the sole burden of responsibility for issuing the visas."

Finally, I asked him the one crucial question: Why did he do it? To the best of anyone’s knowledge, before July 1940 Sugihara had never had any personal contact with Jews. Why, then, did he risk his career and possibly his life to save the lives of these refugees?

He looked at me as if he didn’t really understand the question. "I just did what we as human beings should do. One of my best teachers, in Harbin, once told me: You do the right thing because it is the right thing. Not for gain. Not for recognition. Just because it is the right thing. The refugees were people who needed my help. I could give help to them. It was the right thing to do. That's all."

In the midst of the horror of 1940, it was the extreme good fortune of thousands of Jewish refugees, and tens of thousands of their descendants, that a rare man such as Sugihara was there when their lives depended on it.

Marvin Tokayer



2009年01月29日 17時40分23秒 | Weblog





page 30

An empire is a large composite, multi-ethnic or multinational political unit , usually created by conquest, and divided between dominant center and subordinate, sometimes far distant peripheries.

Imperialism is used to mean the actions and attitude which create or uphold such big political units--but also less obvious and direct kinds of control or domination by one people or country over others. ・・・・

Colonialism is something more specific and strictly political systems of role by one group over another , where the first claim the right ・・・to exercise exclusive sovereignty over the second and to shape its destiny.

page 31

Colonization refers to large scale population movements, where the migrants maintain strong links with their or their ancestors former country, gaining significant privileges over other inhabi9tants of the territory by such links.


The system rested on exploitation:tribute in cash, in kind, or in slaves sent from the peripheries to the imperial centre. Some contemporaries , and many later historians, believed that this reliance on subject peoples to play for the empire to sustain the relative wealth(and thus supposed idleness and decadence)of the rulers, and increasing to fight their wars for them too, gradually undermined Roman power and led to the empire's collapse.
we can surely speak of Rome's empire as a multi-ethnic or multiculural one , but also one where what a later age would call cultural assimilation-ism was vigorously practiced and widely accepted.


page 49
despite the political fragmentation, much of Europe possessed important elements of a common culture
at least among members of the ruling groups---it was, one could say, that commonality which produced the very idea of Europe, The Church and the use of Latin were naturally crucial in this and became ever more so.


page 67
Some popular African-American writers assert that 150 or 200 million Africans were enslaved or killed and that lower estimate is a racist evasion . The probable real total of 12 to 15 million victims is surely terrible enough.

page 70
Indigenous populations throughout the New World and on many Pacific islands were reduced to a fraction of their former numbers, of entirely wiped out. I parts of Africa, too the collision with Europe produced demographic catastrophe it has been estimated, for instance, that the population of the Belgian Congo diminished by nine of ten million in the decades following the con1uests.



page 78

Colonized areas were forced into acting as sources of under-priced raw materials for European industry and of cheap, often forced or enslaved labour.・・・Where there was not savage exploitation , there was utter neglect :colonial governments spent almost nothing on education, health care, social welfare, of infrastructure・・・・・

The positive case argues that , on the contrary, colonialism played economically progressive role. Colonial rule was the means to which European technology , culture and institutions---the things which had enabled Europe itself to develop and industrialize--were spread across the rest of the world.


page in may versions, more specifically northern Europeans sometimes called "Aryan' and 'Nordic' or particular nationalities like the English or Germans, were at the top. Many Asian peoples occupied intermediate positions, Some were acknowledged to possess considerable intelligence, and Indian , Chinese or Arab civilizations achievements could not be entirely denied . But they were widely believed to possess profound flaws in their collective character, being >congenitally dissolute,idle , dishonest, cruel and son on.

page 92
The late-Victorian propaganda of empire did not only stress modernization but standardly depicted its pioneers ---explorers, soldiers , missionaries , frontiersmen---as paragons of rationality maturity, and self-control, in stark contrast to the wild ,unruly, often childlike people they met and dominated.


page 95
If Africans of Indians had united against the colonialists, the colonization would have been impossible, except at staggering , unacceptable human and financial cost. But to do that , they would have had to think of themselves as 'Africans' or 'Indians' single people with shared interest in the first place. Before the 20th century, very few could even potentially do so.


このようにして、civilizing mission(page 95) 、文明化をしていく使命を「野蛮」な地域に対してはたしいくわけだが、

page 97
the responses to colonialism and to the West of Indian intellectuals were not simply polarized between imitation and reject, collaboration and resistance. They didn't accept colonialist claims about their own natural inferiority; but nor were they simpleminded enough to believe that 'Europe' was a single homogeneous entity. They know they could pick and choose among the things British rule and 'European culture' offered them--or sought to impose on them . They accepted some adapted some to their own purposes, rejected others.


page 117

The new idea of empire is like the ancient Roman and medieval Christian ones, ・・・・in that it is,or aspires to be a universal order. The United Stated, with its close allies, is the only force that can maintain global peace and just ---if necessary, by force,---no in the pursuit of a nationality or a power hungry agenda,but to uphold these universal values.
Such argument・・・probably and simply makes the United States sound more powerful than it really is. It underestimates the actual and potential tensions between universalism and narrower national interests in American thought ・・・・



2009年01月29日 17時39分37秒 | Weblog
・・・・Unfortunately, tough economic times seem to be the natural ally of hate groups. Memberships swell with new recruits who blame their troubles on minority groups. For example, the SPLC reports that known anti-immigrant hate groups have increased from 602 in 2000 to 888 in 2008―a 48 percent increase. This prompted Jeff Schoep, leader of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement, to crow, "This immigrant thing ... has been the greatest boon to us."
Fueling more hate group activities are the election of the first black U.S. president and a new U.S. Census report predicting America's whites will lose their majority status by 2040.mtexpress.魚拓


Posted on Sun, Jan. 25, 2009

Immigrants becoming targets of attacks


2009年01月29日 17時38分56秒 | Weblog
Moscow Through Brown Eyes wouldn't advise “a young person of color” to come to Russia for long-term study: “The world is large and there are many options. You shouldn't have to fear for your life every day.”(Global voices)

Banning any more Indian restaurants

2009年01月29日 17時37分43秒 | Weblog

Kebab shop ban prompts charge of racism

Published Date: 28 January 2009
COUNCILLORS in the Tuscan town of Lucca have been accused of racism after banning any more Indian restaurants or kebab shops from opening up.
The edict has been passed by the right-wing Popolo della Liberta party – headed by Silvio Berlusconi, the prime minister – whose councillors want to see more traditional Italian dishes being served, banishing anything else.

Filippo Candelise, a Lucca councillor, said: "To accuse us of racism is outrageous. All we are doing is protecting he culinary patrimony of the town."

Alessandro Tambellini, an opposition councillor, said: "This is blatant discrimination. They are saying French or German cuisine is acceptable but Indian or Arab is not."


"Don't "speak white? Don't bother"

2009年01月29日 03時10分52秒 | Weblog

"Ghetto" Bikini Girl Declined Job, Cites Racism
updated 9:16 a.m. ET Jan. 28, 2009
Don't "speak white?" Don't bother


New york Daily の元記事を捜しますと、
Melody Morales said she was rejected for a job by a manager at the Times Square restaurant who griped, "You don't speak white" and "you are ghetto."


a manager told her to get lost, saying, "I am not going to ruin my business with your Latin accent."


another manager instantly rejected her, telling her, "We will not hire you because you have a speech problem," and "You have a Latin accent."


Youtube で Selena The Movie part 6 を検索してください。(リンク張れませんでした。)
メキシコ系アメリカ人が成功するのに、どれだけ努力がいるか、言葉の問題がどれだけ障害になっているか、アイデンティティーとは何か、など考えさせてくれます。 Selena The Movie part 6 


"It is 100% illegal to discriminate because of where you're from or because you have an accent," said her lawyer,NYD



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