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卍's in Buddhism, manga/anime, and the west

 
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:05 am    Post subject: 卍's in Buddhism, manga/anime, and the west Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So I'm a Buddhist that's spent a good amount of my formative years in Buddhist countries and I'm used to seeing 卍's in Buddhist temples, on children's schoolbags as a talisman of good luck, and so on.

But in America everyone is so ultra uptight about Nazis that the symbols the nazis borrowed from are also censored. A lot of it is self censorship, with Blade of the Immortal live action using a different kanji and so on, but basically it's people who aren't Nazis being told their older-than-nazis symbol will trigger westerners and they shouldn't use it at all.

Will The West ever get over WWII to the point that they can tolerate non-Western peoples using the not-related-to-nazis 卍 in artwork, religion, entertainment?

In general this thread can be about symbols and banning them. I also like my WWII flight simulators to accurately portray WWII vehicles, or my Nazi werewolves to look like Nazi werewolves.
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Josh_Kablack
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

For the remainder of my lifetime, I am going to assume that anyone wearing or prominently displaying a swastika in the US of A is a Nazi wannabe. I will suspend this assumption only if it appears that some sort of film/tv shoot is happening.
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Since when is that censored anywhere else but germany?
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Koumei
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I think when various children's anime get ported to the US, various symbols get scrubbed - not only the swastika (remembering that it doesn't have the same connotations in Japan, where the history of WWII is understood to be "Once upon a time, for no reason, America dropped nuclear bombs on us."), but in some cases even things like the crucifix (Citation: Sailor Moon's original dub by DiC, which should be considered a war crime in and of itself). That one was an extreme case, but if you told me that a martial arts anime featured Buddhism and the various iconography belonging to it, and that any "Swastika" was removed upon being converted into a schoolday-morning cartoon in America, I would absolutely believe it.

But yeah, if you want that symbol to be acceptable any time soon, I would suggest first going and actually eradicating the Neo-Nazis who have successfully re-re-claimed it on their murder-marches. I'll wait, let me know when we live in a Nazi-free world and such symbols can be used free of crazy white people being inspired to kill the nearest brown person.
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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Stahlseele wrote:
Since when is that censored anywhere else but germany?

It is legitimately fucking weird that Germany bans the swastika in so many contexts.

I can understand banning the glorification of an ideology whose primary tenant is 'murder thy neighbor if he doth not look quite like you.' It is kind of fucking weird that planning to kill Bob is a federal crime while planning to seize control of the government so you can have jackbooted thugs kill Bob and everyone who looks a little bit like him is just fringe politics. Advocating a white ethnostate is advocating tyranny and even if you're trying not to say the word genocide we're not fucking idiots. You are Hitler. Why do we have to wait until you win before we resist you? That didn't work out so well for Germany.

But banning it in the context of entertainment in which nazis are the bad guys is fucking weird. That is less "the nazi ideology is by definition violently oppressive and therefore dangerous to our society and its people" and more "what are these 'nazis' you speak of I've never heard of them before lalala I can't hear you." It is probably a good thing if people are turning flamethrowers on swastika-emblazoned enemies in videogames. The importance of napalming nazis is one of history's most tragic lessons.
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Dogbert
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:47 am    Post subject: Re: 卍's in Buddhism, manga/anime, and the west Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
Will The West ever get over WWII to the point that they can tolerate non-Western peoples using the not-related-to-nazis 卍 in artwork, religion, entertainment?


Come back when the big sign on top of the planet saying "[X] days without a nazi-derived hate crime" reaches the equivalent of eighty years, because now the counter is back to ZERO DAYS.

I'm sorry a recurrent movement of cancers posing as men ruined a religious symbol for you and your kin, but that's how language works. Language is defined by the consensus, and I don't think the 卍 symbol is going to be associated with anything other than the unadulterated form of terrestrial evil for at least another twenty generations.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Koumei wrote:

But yeah, if you want that symbol to be acceptable any time soon, I would suggest first going and actually eradicating the Neo-Nazis who have successfully re-re-claimed it on their murder-marches. I'll wait, let me know when we live in a Nazi-free world and such symbols can be used free of crazy white people being inspired to kill the nearest brown person.


I'm gonna say "But the KKK went around using crosses and nobody banned all crosses" and also say that I know the reason, that the US is christian majority and the cross has a lot of history there and so on.

Yeah how saturated a culture is with symbols and how the 卐 and 卍 be it tilted or untilted doesn't have the same history in the west as it does in Asia. I currently live in a Buddhist majority country so I can walk around with a big ol' swastika on my shirt and nobody will bother me.

I'm just complaining about life in America to complain about life in America. Also recently read an article about Vietnamese German Buddhists that are afraid to use 卍's in their Buddhist graveyard because it'll attract left wing critics and right wing nazis to their religious sites.

Also chatted with an internet friend about how either direction, tilt or untilted, has been used in Asia (and parts of Europe at times).





Last edited by OgreBattle on Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:14 am; edited 2 times in total
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Josh_Kablack
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:


I'm gonna say "But the KKK went around using crosses and nobody banned all crosses" and also say that I know the reason, that the US is christian majority and the cross has a lot of history there and so on.


Somehow the American popular psyche can differentiate between the Burning Cross associated with the Klan and the crucifix in front of every christian church when we really cannot differentiate between the tilted Nazi swastika and similar symbols with other tilts and rotations.

Commonality is definitely part of it.

But it probably also has to do with the Klan being a domestic organization while the Nazis were a foreign power we fought a major war against.
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Mechalich
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:

I'm gonna say "But the KKK went around using crosses and nobody banned all crosses" and also say that I know the reason, that the US is christian majority and the cross has a lot of history there and so on.


The swastika was also a Christian symbol pre-Nazis, though admittedly not an especially popular one, and post-Nazi Germany Christian churches basically stopped using it. Nazi appropriation of this image had overwhelming impact in a way the KKK never had (though people are going to give you some weird looks if you start setting crosses on fire) because they were able to accomplish so much more.
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Korwin
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

DSMatticus wrote:
But banning it in the context of entertainment in which nazis are the bad guys is fucking weird. That is less "the nazi ideology is by definition violently oppressive and therefore dangerous to our society and its people" and more "what are these 'nazis' you speak of I've never heard of them before lalala I can't hear you." It is probably a good thing if people are turning flamethrowers on swastika-emblazoned enemies in videogames. The importance of napalming nazis is one of history's most tragic lessons.
I'm pretty, pretty shure it's not banned there (in Entertainment).
I don't think we got an different german version of Inglourious Basterds here in Austria than in Germany.
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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Germany is notorious for getting versions of videogames where the nazis are not explicitly nazis and do not use explicitly nazi symbols, with the reboot of Wolfenstein probably being the most recent big example. I am honestly not sure how much of that is governed by actual law (art being one of the enumerated exceptions to the ban) and how much of it is a chilling effect (why risk legal trouble when all you have to do is change a few words and textures) or fear of controversy (perhaps German news media is considerably more sensitive about the use of the swastika and exactly as stupid about "videogames corrupt our youth" bullshit as our media, so, again, why risk bad press when all you have to do is change a few words and textures). But it's absolutely a thing that happens. Developers often feel the need to make sure that the nameless grunts you murder your way through in their videogames are absolutely not nazis in their German releases, and that's always struck me as a little bit weird.

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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Especially if you think a bit further.
"If they are specifically not nazis, then they are just heroic german soldiers of the wehrmacht doing their job and defending their country no matter what their political allegiance may be. And you are slaughtering them by the hundred. You imperialistic schweinehund."
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Ancient History
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List


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tussock
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Western democracies are rather prone to fascism. in that it's not a very big change to go from liberal democracy to fascist dictatorship with the constitutional tools our governments collectively share (since the French Revolution spread modern forms of government across Europe and their colonies, including the Freshly independent American colonies).

That thing the Nazis did in Germany with declaring an emergency, locking away anyone who disagreed with that, and not having elections again because there was a war on, that also happened in NZ and Oz and GB during WWII, bits of it in the USA too, it's rather normal. The difference being that our rationing and strict censorship and mass incarcerations and casual mass murder of enemy civilians for the war effort, that was, well, they started it, is basically the difference.

That's an important difference. The people who want to start big wars with lots of civilian targets in western democracies are Nazis, it's part of their ethos and not really part of anyone else's. Their chosen symbol is the swastika, and we notice that shit, because those people, if they were to get to be running our governments, that would be very, very bad, for us and also everyone else.

And because it would be so very bad, mostly people don't want to be confused with Nazis, and Nazis themselves mostly want to hide that part of themselves from public view.

But it's not just that, all those fascist symbols are shunned. It's an effective thing to put a group of like-minded people in the same colour shirts and have them march and shout things in unison. It's impressive. But if you do that in a black shirt, which is the best colour for it really, or even a brown one, everyone's going to compare you to Nazis and then you're fucked, because everyone automatically hates you and everything you stand for, just in case you are a Nazi.

Because it's very bad, if Nazis get what they want, especially politically.
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Blade
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I've met a few people in Europe who had Swastika tatoos related to the original symbol and who were trying to "reclaim it" from the nazis.

The problem is that many people aren't even aware that he Swastika predates nazism and think that it's only "the nazi symbol". In French, the common term to describe the symbol is "croix gammée" (some French will know the term swastika but most will just know it as "croix gammée") which actually refers to the nazi swastika. So we more or less lack the word for non-nazi usages of the symbol.


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