GuyJean wrote:This belongs in Random Gaijin thread..
Kanchou wrote:Those inaka jap women don't age well, do they.
Yokohammer wrote:If the details are all exactly as stated, this guy certainly gets my respect. His kind of dedication to service is just too rare. Paid a pittance to do it, too. If he carries it through to "the end" he's a saint.
Tsuru wrote:Quite a story...
I tried looking for the village on a map but could't find it... kanji anyone?
Samurai_Jerk wrote:Since when does helping stubborn old Japs maintain the status quo qualify one for sainthood?
Yokohammer wrote:That's IMO SJ. I doubt that the Catholic Church would agree, and you don't have to either. But that's my "unofficial" opinion.
Mulboyne wrote:[floatr][/floatr]WSJ: The American Who Manages the Decline of a Japanese Hamlet
Jeffrey Irish, a 48-year-old American, is the unlikely village chief of Tsuchikure, a remote farming hamlet in Japan's southern Kyushu island. The tall, even-tempered Californian got the position because he satisfies the post's main requirements: He hears and sees well. In Tsuchikure, where the average age is 77 (if you don't count him and his family), that makes Mr. Irish one of only three residents qualified for the job. He spends his days keeping track of the physical and mental decline of the 24 elderly longtime residents of this wilting Japanese village...The remaining villagers have made a remarkable choice: Rather than try to come up with ways to lure new residents and keep the town alive, they have pretty much decided to let it disappear slowly, even as they do themselves...more...
"The Forgotten Japanese: Encounters with Rural Life and Folklore" by Jeffrey Irish
Samurai_Jerk wrote:I'm not talking about official Catholic sainthood. I'm saying that this guy isn't really doing anything great. If he wants to dedicate himself to a cause, why not one that's worthwhile? Helping a village of old inbred farts that is still living in the Meiji Era remain an isolationist backwater is nothing to be proud of.
Yokohammer wrote:I think you have to look a little beyond the old farts themselves to see what I'm seeing, but even if you focus on the villagers I think it's a noble cause. I fail to see what's not worthwhile about it.
In terms of worthwhile-ness, in addition to the obvious benefit to the villagers there's some serious FG PR value here. Here's an FG who isn't skinny dipping in the imperial moat, isn't stealing cars and bicycles and shipping them off to foreign lands, isn't running a black note scam, isn't conjuring away money under the noses of convenience store staff, isn't peddling drugs, isn't joy-riding the carts at the Tsukiji fish market ... etc etc ad-nauseum.
What Jeffrey Irish is doing will have strong positive resonance with the Japanese. As a group I think we need a lot more of that if we even want the slightest hope of being treated as anything more than a marginal annoyance here. If I'm only speaking for myself, that's fine too.
There's also the experience and understanding he is going to take home. That can be the basis for creating a bit more understanding between cultures, and as idealistic as that might sound to some, I believe it's worthwhile.
Totally agree. He writes a column for the local paper, but has he been written up in other Japanese press? It's the locals we need to impress, not us FGs.FG Lurker wrote:.. and my thanks go out to Mr. Irish for generating some positive FG press!
GuyJean wrote:...has he been written up in Japanese press?...
Mulboyne wrote:I don't think Irish wants to be seen as a saint and he doesn't come across as a misguided do-gooder either.
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