Thursday, March 15, 2012

Won't Miss #428 - Japanese sports figures worship

I hate to watch the Olympics and the biggest reason for that is I dislike the blatant favoritism of athletes based on shared nationality. I have always disliked the way medal counts are tallied up according to country with the underlying idea that those with the most medals represent a country with somehow superior people and those with smaller numbers are inferior. I felt this long before I ever set foot in Japan even though America often won a lot more medals than many other countries.

In Japan, when a Japanese athlete makes it big in sports elsewhere in the world (especially American baseball, but also European soccer), it's like the Olympics all of the time. Because of the common inferiority complex that Japanese people have relative to the rest of the world, many people latch onto a Japanese athlete who makes it big for no other reason than he is Japanese. It's one thing to love a sport or a gifted athlete. It's another to adore that person or sport simply because one of your countrymen is performing well in it in the international arena. 

I won't miss the blatant nationalism reflected in this sort of behavior.