Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

To think the library shouldn't use Japanese pictures to celebrate Chinese New Year

(47 Posts)
sweetestB Wed 06-Feb-13 14:32:05

They were decorating the children's session yesterday and putting lots of Japanese pictures next to the Chinese dragons and alphabet.
I wasn't sure if I should have said anything, maybe someone from the Chinese or Japanese communities will speak up, but there aren't many around here.
Or it doesn't matter?

BonaDea Wed 06-Feb-13 14:34:52

Well, it is pretty stupid of them. Not sure if it is worth saying anything.

sweetestB Wed 06-Feb-13 14:37:18

maybe an anonymous e-mail?

MechanicalTheatre Wed 06-Feb-13 14:38:13

yeah tbh that kind of thing pisses me off as well, it's just lazy.

StuntGirl Wed 06-Feb-13 14:39:09

I would say something. It's probably out of ignorance rather than malice, I'm sure they'd be happy to change it if it was pointed out to them.

HecateWhoopass Wed 06-Feb-13 14:40:26

Just point it out nicely.

I'm sure, as stuntgirl says, it's ignorance and they'll change it.

sweetestB Wed 06-Feb-13 14:40:59

I'm sure they can't just tell the difference, they are such lovely people, I didn't want to embarrass them

caramelwaffle Wed 06-Feb-13 14:41:34

Perhaps a quiet word or an email.

As SG says, it's probably not out of malice.

HecateWhoopass Wed 06-Feb-13 14:41:57

They'll feel worse if someone complains or is rude about it.

StuntGirl Wed 06-Feb-13 14:42:50

Intrigued what images they're using though? I'd have thought the difference would have been obvious?

I wouldn't worry, as long as you tell them nicely I'm sure they won't take offence. And at least they'll know for next year smile

bigbadbarry Wed 06-Feb-13 14:44:27

YANBU. Our school had lots of people in kimonos on stage representing China at their "Christmas around the world" play.

sweetestB Wed 06-Feb-13 14:45:20

Well for me it is obvious but I wouldn't expect everybody to tell the difference.

exexpat Wed 06-Feb-13 14:47:08

Yes, I'd point it out as politely as possible - if the display is meant to be educational, it should be factually accurate and relevant.

It is just about conceivable that some Japanese things might be relevant, as Japan also uses the animal zodiac thing, so Japanese pictures of snakes etc for this year might be relevant, but they celebrate new year on Jan 1st so it is generally inappropriate to use Japanese new year things at this time of year.

The confusion of China/Japan thing is a bit of a bugbear of mine as I've lived in both countries. I have been know to message people on eBay who have listed things as Chinese which are actually Japanese and vice versa. Sometimes they are pleased to be given the information and correct the listing, but half the time they don't want to know or can't see that it matters.

Moominsarehippos Wed 06-Feb-13 14:49:12

Reminds me of Father Ted ('The Chinese. A great bunch of lads').

StuntGirl Wed 06-Feb-13 15:00:43

The confusion of China/Japan thing is a bit of a bugbear of mine

Mine too and I've never lived in either grin We have a lot of Chinese students in my city, and nobody ever calls them Chinese. They're always, always described as "Japanese or summat". They're fucking Chinese, like the other 10,000 students who come through here every frigging year.

The Eastern Europeans in our city are always referred to as Polish too. I used to work with a girl who would ask "Were they Polish?" when I'd served some customers.
Me: "No, Latvian"
Her: "There's a lot of Polish around here isn't there"
Me: "Well yes but that couple were Latvian"
Her "Well it's the same thing isn't it"
Me: <Silently rage>

MechanicalTheatre Wed 06-Feb-13 15:11:02

Irk, yes, have had the same recently.

Colleague: you know that Chinese girl in my class?
Me: No.
Colleague: yes, you do. Phong.
Me: She's not Chinese, she's Viatnamese.
Colleague: well, whatever.


corlan Wed 06-Feb-13 16:00:52

Oh come on - it's all the same isn't it?

Chinese, Japanese - even they can't tell the difference!


sweetestB Wed 06-Feb-13 16:03:51

The images a clearly real japanese women wearing kimono and drawings of ancient japanese women wearing kimono

GrowSomeCress Wed 06-Feb-13 16:10:22

I think it's probably partly down to the new habit people have of just getting pictures from Google Images and assuming they can just use them for whatever they want

sweetestB Wed 06-Feb-13 16:19:55

Well but one would think that google would show a chinese picture for a chinese search. ? Maybe they didn't even google it. I will google it now and see what comes up.

Fakebook Wed 06-Feb-13 16:35:36

I can't believe that in this day and age people can't tell the difference between Chinese and Japanese people. That's like using pictures of Bangladeshi people instead of Indian to celebrate Diwali.

sweetestB Wed 06-Feb-13 18:18:11

any Japanese or Chinese mumsneter here?

exexpat Wed 06-Feb-13 18:24:00

I'm British but lived in Japan for 11 years & studied Chinese for 5 years - can I help?

Moominsarehippos Wed 06-Feb-13 18:32:14

Most of the world would have difficulty locating Scotland on the map, let alone know that it is a country in its own right!

I can tell the difference between Japanese and Chinese script though! Then, I did work for a Japanese designer for a bit.

TepidCoffee Wed 06-Feb-13 18:39:23

Yeah, this would annoy me as my DH is Japanese and (obviously) DS is half-Japanese. I would say something in a jokey, psst type of way.

sweetestB Wed 06-Feb-13 18:40:43

They did have kanji writing only, no hiragana/katakana, but the ladies wearing kimono, their hair style, and the poses/ pictures style.....clearly Japanese.
I just googled Chinese New Year and didn't see any Japanese pictures, so they clearly didn't google it.

showtunesgirl Wed 06-Feb-13 18:42:00

There are quite a few Chinese people who would be very offended by this. The reason being that the Japanese have over the years committed great atroticites against the Chinese. If you have a strong stomach, Google: The Rape of Nanking.

showtunesgirl Wed 06-Feb-13 18:43:46

Sp. atrocities

sweetestB Wed 06-Feb-13 18:46:38
TepidCoffee Wed 06-Feb-13 18:47:30

Showtunes, I think most would be pissed off by the ignorance...

Adversecamber Wed 06-Feb-13 18:47:53

My Father is Chinese and would be hugely offended. He still won't buy anything Japanese, the atrocities were shocking. He is in his late 80's.

Watch a film called City of Life and Death, based on the rape of Nanking.

Personally I also get annoyed with the poor research. It feeds in to the they are all the same type rubbish.

sweetestB Wed 06-Feb-13 18:49:52

My link was supposed to show the 16th photo only

TepidCoffee Wed 06-Feb-13 18:51:45

Not great in an educational establishment!

sweetestB Wed 06-Feb-13 18:55:23

I will pop in there after tomorrow ( they are closed tomorrow) to see if they changed it.
How to point out politely that they made a mistake?
I use the library a lot, I don't want a awkward situation

Merrylegs Wed 06-Feb-13 19:05:46

It's just a mistake. Just point it out to them! Honestly, what do you think they are going to do? Sob loudly? Ban you from the library?

You could use the old did you mean to.... 'Your display is so eye catching and colourful, but did you mean to put Japanese pictures up to illustrate Chinese New Year?'

And smile in a friendly manner.

sweetestB Wed 06-Feb-13 19:09:35

oh yes, praising first....rule number 1

StuntGirl Wed 06-Feb-13 19:11:12

Merrylegs has got it right I'd say smile

Personally I think that image you linked to is very obviously Japanese, but then I have a similar one hanging on my bedroom wall so maybe it's more obvious to me?

Jinsei Wed 06-Feb-13 19:19:11

The confusion of China/Japan thing is a bit of a bugbear of mine

And mine! So many people seem to think they are interchangeable. hmm

I would expect more from the library. I think you should mention it.

MrsDeVere Wed 06-Feb-13 19:19:24

My DD went to a lovely nursery.

Every month they would feature a child on the display board with info about their ethnic background, their likes, pets, family etc.

I remember them showing me DD's. It was very nice.

Except that they had whacking great big map and flag of Ghana.

DD's dad is from Guyana hmm

Only a different continent...

Jinsei Wed 06-Feb-13 19:22:18

Oh dear MrsDV - I'd have felt horribly embarrassed for them. I hope you enlightened them.

StuntGirl Wed 06-Feb-13 19:22:59

Oh goodness MrsD! shock

How did they make that mistake? Surely they ask the children involved about it!

hugoagogo Wed 06-Feb-13 19:25:13

Great idea merrylegs I work in a library and sometimes have to make displays.

This is my worst nightmare, I would definitely want to be told.

TheNebulousBoojum Wed 06-Feb-13 19:50:18

'My Father is Chinese and would be hugely offended. He still won't buy anything Japanese, the atrocities were shocking. He is in his late 80's.

Watch a film called City of Life and Death, based on the rape of Nanking.

Personally I also get annoyed with the poor research. It feeds in to the they are all the same type rubbish.'

Adversecamber, that's exactly what I was thinking, have people really no idea of the history between the two countries over the last couple of hundred years?
It's sloppy and lazy work.

have people really no idea of the history between the two countries over the last couple of hundred years?

I have no idea.

But I don't work in a library!

MrsDeVere Wed 06-Feb-13 21:34:28

People do it all the time. They get Ghana and Guyana mixed up hmm

I just laughed TBH. I did have to insist that they changed it though. I was a bit less amused at that.

Purple2012 Wed 06-Feb-13 22:16:09

It would annoy me too. Especially in a library.

Mind you, our library had a big mural on the outside with the word government spelled as goverment - you would think they should know better.

TepidCoffee Wed 06-Feb-13 22:18:49

I don't think you even need to be aware of the difficult history to be aware that they're not the same place and it's fairly insulting to mix the two up!

Like MrsDV's example, it's the ignorance that should be challenged.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now