No more putting on kimonos at the MFA

The Museum of Fine Arts reports it's responding to complaints about cultural appropriation and banning the weekly wearing of kimonos in front of Monet's La Japonaise.

Last week, protesters stood with signs in front of the painting protesting non-Japanese people being allowed to put on a kimono as cultural racism. In a statement today, the museum says:

The kimonos will now be on display in the Impressionist gallery every Wednesday evening in July for visitors to touch and engage with, but not to try on. This allows the MFA to continue to achieve the program’s goal of offering an interactive experience with the kimonos - understanding their weight and size, and appreciating the embroidery, material, and narrative composition. We will also increase the number of Spotlight Talks presented by MFA educators, to take place every Wednesday evening in July in conjunction with the display of the kimonos. The talks provide context on French Impressionism, “japonisme,” and the historical background of the painting, as well as an opportunity to engage in culturally sensitive discourse. We apologize for offending any visitors, and welcome everyone to participate in these programs on Wednesday evenings, when Museum admission is free. We look forward to continuing the Museum’s long-standing dialogue about the art, culture and influence of Japan.

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Alternate headline

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The UHub Copy Desk is standing here, quietly seething that I did not go with a headline that included the phrase:

Yukata see this ...

She said it's not fair I am forever using references from 1960s and 1970s-era movies and yet not that. I explained I am my own least common denominator and that not all of us are as familiar with the subtleties of Japanese couture as certain online copy desks.

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Sigh

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Lame and pathetic response, but not surprising. Why don't they just return all the 'stolen' artifacts to Japan? I find Japanese culture fascinating, but this is a huge turn-off and awakening. If this is what the majority of Japanese think, than screw 'em. I'm throwing out my gift Kimono (that I've never worn) tonight. I don't want to be 'racist' and 'imperalist'.

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Oh please.

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How about you and the upvoters of your post look at the facts of this incident instead of being so dense and jumping straight to "the majority of Japanese thinking" a certain way? In particular: Amber Ying, linked to in the original UHub post regarding the protest, is a Chinese American and is objecting to orientalism in general.

And here's a response by a local Japanese-American expressing disappointment at the decision: http://japaneseamericaninboston.blogspot.com/2015/07/monets-la-japonaise...

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Blog is a great read

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Yes that blog is a great read. I agree completely. (I'm half-Japanese myself).

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The kimono artist is an educator not a cultural racist.

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So then those who agree with the small group protesting think the Asian artist who made the kimono for the express purpose of people trying it on for cultural education is a cultural racist? Have those protesting at the MFA accused the kimono designer yet? I'd be interested in the response from the artist. These are strong and damaging accusations that censor education and cultural artistic exchange.

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No, we disagree with the way

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No, we disagree with the way the MFA was exhibiting the kimono, without information on it. It was merely used as an accessory to a Monet from the era of colonialism.

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Well, this makes an

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Well, this makes an interesting point: http://japaneseamericaninboston.blogspot.com/2015/07/monets-la-japonaise...

Perhaps we need to reach out to the Japan Society of Boston on their thoughts ? Also - were you there (pretty sure you said you were not)? If not, how do you know what was and was not being educated about it?

"It was merely used as an accessory to a Monet from the era of colonialism."

It was Monet's La Japonaise, which was, you know, kind of making fun of the entire Parisian movement of Japonism during the period.

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I read the protesters' and the

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I read the protesters' and the blogger's accounts. I thought it was pretty thorough. I am going to see the exhibit myself this evening.

Monet's intent is easily lost in the 21st century. There was no deep dive on this at the MFA either.

UPDATE: I went to the MFA, and heard the educational spotlight on Monet's La Japonaise. The replica kimonos are there, and no one can tell you anything about them. Except that they were donated by NHK, Japan's public broadcaster, after being used by museums in Japan that exhibited La Japonaise when it traveled there. There is no placard or flyer on the kimonos at all.

You can't learn from the art educator how they were made, what they were made of, what the symbols on the kimono mean, what the spirit on the kimono means, really nothing. You learn a tiny bit that Japanese-European trade was flourishing thanks to the opening of Japan by Commodore Perry.

The protesters, if they can even be called that, were very respectful. They asked pertinent and respectful questions of the art educator. They talked with people who were curious about why some in the Asian American community were offended.

Nothing was disrupted, except by a guy who wanted to pick a fight with any Asian. He told me I was creating a spectacle and that I knew nothing about art, even while I just stood there at the exhibit and had said nothing to anyone at all, except to say hello to some friends. My sympathy has gone up 100 times with the actual protesters who have to deal with jerks like that.

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Spirit of the kimono? Really?

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Spirit of the kimono? Really? It was an extremely formal and fancy dress style for the wealthy aristocracy of Japan. Is there meaning and a spirit to Elizabethan dresses? Sure, it has symbolism - that of the wealthy elite. Is it not a replica of the one in the painting? Who knows what that was, or how accurate the painting was.

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So IOW unless you're Japanese

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So IOW unless you're Japanese you're not "allowed" to wear "their" clothes. Far more racist than whatever these protesters are complaining about, and far more offensive.

Anyone interested in joining a counter-boycott? I for one will do my damnedest to make sure the MFA gets more bad publicity and loses more money over this spineless gesture than the racist Japanese protestors think they've accomplished.

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Not correct -- no Japanese protests involved

Indeed -- quite the contrary. Although the Japanese artisans who made the replica kimonos had no problem with what the MFA was doing, and no Japanese (or Japanese-American) seem to have objected, other (non-Japanese) Asian-Americans objected -- and their objection trumps all.

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Your post is quite ironic,

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Your post is quite ironic, because the whole point of minorities speaking out against such issues is that "white people make all of the rules." When they are offended, the argument, as your comment seems to insinuate, of white people is "well that's just plain ol' reverse racism, innit!"

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No

I am saying that, in fact, Japanese-Americans, Chinese-Americans, Vietnamese-Americans, Thai-Americans, Indian-Americans, Filipino-Americans (etc) do not make up a homogeneous undifferentiated mass. The do not necessarily share the same culture (or values). If the protest had vbeen _initiated_ by Japanese-Americans (and anyone else -- Asian-American or not) had supported these objections, one would have an entirely different situation.

I would say that it is as fallacious to lump all Asians together as it is to lump all "whites". Does an Irish person get to be the person to object to the appropriation of Parisian berets by the Japanese -- regardless of whether the French approve such "appropriation"?

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So only "race" matters, not ethnicity?

This appears to me to be a mixed Asian group telling the Japanese what they get to like and what the rules for cultural interaction with people in the US are.

You are the ironic one here.

This isn't white people pretending to be Asian. This is one set of Asians working with non-Asians, and another group of Asians coming up with rules for both groups in the name of protecting the Asian group, as if the Japanese cannot decide the terms of these interactions for themselves - or the non-Asians need to discipline the interaction according to those "Asian" rules to protect them.

That's pretty damn patronizing.

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Again, I think it speaks to

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Again, I think it speaks to the perpetuating of Orientalism and the like. And I think you're missing the forest for the trees with that response. But that's just me.

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Or maybe

It's about both the forest and the trees, and it's okay to be disappointed with how the MFA went about things while being critical of the activists' failure to bring Japanese Americans on board more proactively.

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Sure. I think I probably

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Sure. I think I probably didn't say what I was trying to so eloquently above. I've at least shared that I read and understood some concerns of both the protesters and the author of that cited blog column above.

But I think there's a lot more to this debate than I really want to participate in as far as uhub is concerned. I clearly have a lot more reading to do.

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Furthermore, having worked

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Furthermore, having worked with several people from Japan in a professional capacity, I'm quite positive that the Japanese are more than well-educated and well-spoken enough to speak for themselves. It seems to me that it is the protesters who are in need of an education yet instead they are censoring education! No dialogue, just outright censorship based on false accusations aimed at shaming a cultural institution, an Asian kimono designer and museum patrons wishing to learn about Japanese culture. What a shame the cowards bullied a wonderful cultural institution into censorship. What's next? Someone is offended by evolution so science teachers are shamed into only teaching religiously approved 'science'? Horrifying. Someone has to stand up to these anti-education extermists.

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The protesters were not anti

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The protesters were not anti-education. They tried to educate everyone they spoke w/ at the MFA. The MFA really wasn't educating anyone on this kimono.

And they're not cowards. Try protesting something yourself. It's not an easy thing to put yourself out there and try to have a constructive dialogue with strangers.

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I would feel much more supportive of the protestors

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if there had been more visible attempts to communicate concerns with either the MFA or the attendees instead of a leap to the jugular with the "racist imperialist" business. It's a pretty awful way to start a constructive dialogue, especially when there's enough blurriness re intent, cultural appropriation, etc. as we've seen in these posts. I know that this is the current style of calling attention to grievances--I just think it has the effect of stifling conversation and understanding rather than encouraging it.

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Hi Sally, the activists did

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Hi Sally, the activists did try contacting the MFA. They were dismissively told to use the suggestions box.

From Christina Wang:

Yes, we protested the 2nd week because at the first week we approached an MFA employee and spoke with the Deputy Director Katie Getchell who dismissed us and directed our concerns to the 'visitor suggestion' form. When I asked how long the response time would be they told us that it was indefinite and it takes them a 'long time' but at some point they would respond. This event was slatted to go for a month, I doubted that they'd respond in that time, much less do anything about it. They refused to have a private meeting and another organizer called the MFA a week before the event started, left contact information, and as of now, still has not received a response.

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"We look forward to

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"We look forward to continuing the Museum’s long-standing dialogue about the art, culture and influence of Japan."

They say this after giving in to this nonsense specifically to avoid having to make a dialogue with a bunch of self-righteous twits.

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Kimonogate

In the year or so that I have been enjoying UHub, I have to say that this is one of the strangest stories I have come across. The people protesting this seem to me to have taken the "cultural appropriation" to the extreme, to the fringe. It made me think about all of the years that I spent studying Aikido as a teenager. Was I somehow a racist for doing so? What about whites who glom on to Tibetan Buddhism and yoga et al? Should people strictly stick with activities generated by members of their own racial background, lest they risk being labeled racist? These are confusing times we live in!

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That was an interesting

That was an interesting article. Makes a lot more sense to me now. I admit that I had a bit of a knee jerk reaction to the original article & thought that the protestors were silly, but the more I think about it, the more I can appreciate their perspective. Thanks!

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I had the opposite conclusion

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Setting aside my impression that the article was both simplistic and paternalistic, it actually implies that the what the MFA was initially doing was not cultural appropriation. People attending the museum event were encouraged to learn the meaning and history of the kimono, and to wear a complete and authentic example in a non-ironic manner. That gets them safely through the 'flow-chart' at the end of the article.

Conversely, by the article's reasoning, nearly every child in Africa or Asia wearing an American T-shirt is far more guilty of cultural appropriation than the MFA attendees.

***

The protesters were silly. Actually, they were worse, they were exploitive wolf-criers who did nothing to encourage greater intercultural understanding or respect - in fact, wrt Japanese-American rapport, they did the opposite (which I cynically believe may have been their true motive all along).

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I agree.

It seems the MFA (note-IANA fine art expert) was doing it right. Then along come some social justice warriors that aren't Japanese and decry yellowism.

I like the Buddha example from the article. A few years ago the Jade Buddha (big statue) was in Worcester. They were selling Buddha Bling to raise money. Tasteful stuff, but really goes against the grain of the SJW hurted feelings.

Oh, want a good chuckle? Look up 'Golden Buddha'. Basically, they built an 11,000 pound gold Buddha. Then lost it. For two hundred years.

I'm just waiting for next St. Patrick's Day (appropriated by fans of General Knox as Evacuation Day) when there will be a great hue and cry about the wearing of fake red beards and the noble plastic hats of my people.

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Tasteful stuff, but really

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Tasteful stuff, but really goes against the grain of the SJW hurted feelings.

Assumptions, assumptions. How do you know it hurts their feelings?

It doesn't hurt my feelings, for instance, because it's marketed towards Buddhists and others who visited the temple and appreciate the faith.

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The MFA exhibition doesn't

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The MFA exhibition doesn't get through the chart because they didn't offer education of the kimono. The MFA itself gets through the chart, but not everyone they are offering to try on the kimono does. Because there is no explanation of the kimono beyond that it was donated and that Parisians loved Japanese things like it.

BTW, American t-shirts are donated to charity, and then taken to Africa and Asia to be resold as cheap, durable clothing. Are there any Americans actually affronted by this act of recycling by poorer economies? I think not.

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Since we are talking about

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Since we are talking about Japan, I can assure you that they are not taking American recycled clothing. Same thing with South Americans, and yes, even Europeans wearing American T-Shirts. Are you sure there were not plaques on the Kimono or painting describing more in depth things? Perhaps there was an intro that went over things more, or booklet?

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There were no such things, as

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There were no such things, as described by the protesters. And they were looking very hard for them. I'm going myself to see. I'll let you know.

I was addressing someone's earlier point on poor Asians and Africans wearing recycled US t-shirts. Not Japanese in particular.

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The Real Issue

Anyone notice that it is a terrible painting to begin with?

God bless the MFA for having to deal with this lunacy. They are really doing some great things with the displays in the American wing.

On a tangent, Let's hope the protesters stop using all those cars, trains, electric light bulbs, cell phones, iPads, and other things that we imperialists came up with over the ages.

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Welcome!

Welcome to Boston, new MFA Director Matthew Teitelbaum! Here's the shitshow you have to look forward to!

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He hasn't taken over Malcom

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He hasn't taken over Malcom Rogers' position yet, not until early August.

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Time to bash Canada eh?

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Can't you friggin masshole troglodytes get through one of these posts involving an "other" without sniping?

Do your lives really suck this much?

Do provide your summary of Canada backing down moments as an inherent feature of its being so we get more to work with than yet another putrid lazy weasel assertion.

Stephen Harper is no prize, but still.

https://youtu.be/IfM_cqOLnE8

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Backing Down?

Vancouver June 2011/Roberto Luongo's incredible lack of depth perception. Sorry man, you left yourself wide open on that one. Call me a masshole, you get a masshole response.

As a member of the MFA I can say that backing down here to a small group of not even Japanese protesters over something as simple as putting on fabric is idiotic and infantile. It is a speech code straitjacket that the MFA has put themselves into. Malcolm Rogers has spent 20 years bringing what was not a faltering, but not thriving institution scared of its own shadow (and its neighbors) into a really fantastic place and now we have got some twerps fancying themselves as some sort of Black Lives Matter crowd, except involving French Impressionism and silk, ruining a legacy.

The MFA got burned by a bunch of self-important weenies and it pisses me off.

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But that still isn't all of Canada.

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Nice deflection though.

I give Mass Audubon 60 bucks each year but I won't inflate the significance of my relationship to it.

So we have severe hand wringing and pearl clutching because one show and tell gimmick failed to persist. Whatever will we do with this ruined legacy?

There does seem to be some national press as I just saw a piece in L A Times so maybe the worry of the MFA extends beyond the confines of here.

I don't have an opinion on kimono try outs but the loathsome bullshit people spew over the course of this thing about how Japan sux, Canada sux is and so on is just the worst kind of low life rube screech. Well played.

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Protesters were wearing

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Protesters were wearing western clothing too. Bad.

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Western clothing is

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Western clothing is predominantly made in Asia. And it is worn globally, and has been for many decades. Wearing t-shirt and pants is of no special significance anywhere. Unlike a cultural icon such as a kimono.

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What about a beret, kilt,

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What about a beret, kilt, dirndl, Irish cap, sombrero, and a whole host of other culturally identifiable items of clothing (those were just European ones off the top of my head)?

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The sombrero is thought to

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The sombrero is thought to originate from Mexico. And I don't really care about those other articles of clothing because they can't suffer from being seen with an orientalist view.

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The Mexican Sombrero (well,

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The Mexican Sombrero (well, that actually just means wide brimmed hat in Spanish) originated in Spain. So basically, you don't care about people wearing sombrero's on Cinco de Mayo, or Irish hats/shamrocks/etc on St. Paddy's, because things like this happening in other cultures is fine, but its no OK to happen to a culture you are kind of, sort of related to, when it isn't even in the same league (museum using the Kimono for what it was made for in Japan by the Japanese government for it to be tried on in museums to accompany the painting) ? Really? As if Mexico wasn't a colony, or as if the UK didn't still own the northern part of Ireland.

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I first saw this painting in 1970 or 1971,,,,

... and thought then that this was the dopiest Monet the MFA owned. I haven't grown any fonder over the years. But when it went to Japan on loan, it was very popular there -- thus leading to the gift of the replica kimono -- which the makers seemingly _wanted_ people to have a chance to (briefly) wear. Too bad non-Japanese activists decided to spoil the party.

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Your tangent is odd. Should

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Your tangent is odd. Should slaves not have used guns from Harper's Ferry during John Brown's attempted insurrection because they were made by White men? Should Communists not use electricity because it was invented by decadent capitalism?

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I am Japanese American and I didn't find this offensive

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I am Japanese American, and I didn't find anything offensive about what the MFA was doing. It is telling that none of the protesters are actually Japanese. Kimono are not a birth right. They used to be exclusive to the nobles, but Japan destroyed much of the noble classes years ago as part of the democratization of the country.

The MFA has played a key role in US history promoting Japanese art and architecture. The protesters should be ashamed of their own ignorance.

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That was my first reaction...

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Like--are they telling everyone, with bitter irony, to try on the kimono to see what it's like to be a "racist imperialist" i.e. taking a dig at Japan for their many past er, racist imperialist transgressions against its neighbors? While I welcome dialogue about cultural appropriation, this whole thing still seems like a blatant overreaction to me, so that the chance for any kind of useful conversation was blotted out by a mix of embarrassment and confusion. And shouldn't the non-Japanese protesters have had some kind of dialogue with an actual Japanese-American before appropriating/inventing outrage in their behalf and creating a kerfuffle?

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Heh

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Outrage Appropriation

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I disagree with the analysis

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I disagree with the analysis of the young person's protest sign, especially after reading the group's Facebook page. He was comparing putting on the kimono at the MFA last week to the way Camille Monet and the Parisians put it on, as the initial cultural appropriators. The Parisians so into Japonisme were citizens of an Asian colonial power, the French Union [Empire].

Hence, the sign, try on the kimono and feel how French imperialists would have felt.

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Not to rehash this whole thing but

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I do think that the fine points of this whole topic are getting steamrollered--first by the protestors who used inflammatory, hyperbolic language to make a point that could have easily been addressed in a simple conversation or question, as in "this bothers us and here's why." And I would say again--read more about Japonisme. This was NOT an aesthetic movement driven by colonialism or oppression--it was about trade between two powerful sovereign nations BOTH of whom had colonial interests in other parts of Asia. The notion of Japan as a mute, powerless victim here whose culture was being pillaged (and needs defending 100+ years later by Chinese-Americans) is just plain inaccurate and that's why the unintended irony of the sign struck many people.

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Well, the painting is from

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Well, the painting is from 1875. Japan is entering Korea, yet Western powers are imposing unequal treaties as late as 1868. They don't really pull back from the colonialist view of Japan until Japan defeats Russia in 1895. Unequal treaties imposed on Japan.

I don't think the protesters are really defending Japan. They are taking a pan-Asian view that cultural appropriation of any Asian culture is an affront to all of them. As Asian Americans.

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Pan Asian View?

Not really. They are taking their own personal views and attempting to enlarge them to the level of international importance.

One might argue that such a "pan Asian view" is pretty revisionist at best, and oversimplifying to the point of cultural obliteration at the worst.

After all, the Japanese have spoken on the matter of this painting and sent kimono for the purposes that these "pan Asian" protesters are claiming is all wrong. Pretty condescending.

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I guess I should have said

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I guess I should have said specifically Asian American rather than Pan-Asian. Asian Americans are a Pan-Asian group.

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In other words

This is about your issues with US society.

It has nothing to do with a non-disadvantaged group of Asians interacting with a foreign museum, or the terms of a consensual cultural exchange between equals.

Ugh.

Perhaps you should pick a more appropriate and representative target next time. At the very least, subject your targets to a proper power analysis before sounding off in insulting and patronizing ways.

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The target is the MFA. I'm

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The target is the MFA. I'm not a protester. I just can't dismiss their point of view out of hand. What is your power analysis of the MFA's role?

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Equal partners in cultural exchange

The Japanese were not disadvantaged here. There is no coercion for them here. In fact, it appears that they proposed the exchange (or reciprocation) and dictated the terms of it.

The protesters are seriously disrespecting the Japanese autonomy, agency and role in this exhibition, and their conflation to "everything Asian in America" is patronizing on that account.

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Well, the kimono try-on

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Well, the kimono try-on bothers Asians here, including some Japanese Americans I know. And the kimono is still being exhibited in the MFA, so I don't know why the Japanese should be bothered.

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Right

So generic Asians, whose experience of the US is exceptionally different from that of Japanese-Americans on different coasts and of Japanese in Japan and from Japanese immigrants, get to dictate the terms of the conversation.

Doesn't it strike you as extremely presumptuous and condescending? Doesn't that reek of cultural insensitivity of Asian Americans to the Japanese artisans who provided the kimono? Obviously not, because you are way too far up in your own head and experience to begin to understand complicated differences, differential perspectives, and variations in the degree of agency involved.

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Who is a generic Asian? What

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Who is a generic Asian? What does that even mean? There are Japanese Americans right here in Boston who are the glad the way the MFA setup their kimono try-on is cancelled.

I don't see anyone being presumptuous or condescending. What I've seen are young people having conversations with museum goers and staff at the MFA, that they will continue to have. To explain why they thought the try-on was ill conceived, and to ask the MFA to respond to them. Because they tried contacting the MFA numerous times and were dismissed. If their concerns were heard before they chose to protest the second week of the exhibit, the MFA could have avoided any controversy.

Swirly, you say I don't understand different experiences. I understand some Asian Americans', including Japanese Americans' experience of discomfort at this exhibit. I also understand why many Japanese who live or grew up in Japan may not. I don't appreciate my attempts at explaining the activists' view labeled as being too far up my head.

I won't debate agency with you because I've already done that in the previous topic on this w/ Michael. Let's just say I dispute your characterization of me as not considering the artisans at all.

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Yup. And some find that use

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Yup. And some find that use of a pan-Asian, monoculture only when it's convenient to the activists to be misrepresentative and tactless, as we've seen from the pushback responses by Japanese Americans.

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Very effective

Japanese artisans will have to think twice before they try to express themselves around these parts again.

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Very effective, conflating

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Very effective, conflating the artisans overseas who don't have control over the exhibition, with the MFA.

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And I respectfully disagree...

... with your disagreement.

And I do agree with Sally that it was presumptuous for this group of protesters to take action with no apparent attempt to ascertain whether this was seen as problematic by Japanese or Japanese-Americans.

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They did not just join the

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They did not just join the Facebook group. They RSVP'd to come to the protest event today, while the kimono was still being offered to be tried on at the MFA.

While an RSVP to an event on Facebook means almost nothing, it is at the very least, symbolic. It is a signal that you support the event. At least the way everyone I know uses Facebook.

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I'm sure everyone read the names on the Facebook group.

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Their protest is obviously a public one, and yet none of these supposed plenty of Japanese Americans came forward, deferring to Siyuan and Wang as the representatives during the protest and to the Boston Globe. To accuse this event of being cultural appropriation and decrying the exclusively "non-Japanese staff" under the flag of a unified Asian American identity without taking the simple step of bringing a Japanese American front-and-center is gauche at best and hypocritical at worst.

The reality is that without doing so, you get responses like the ones seen in this comment section where the protests is attributed largely to the Japanese -- a sort of misrepresentation that I would assume sensible activists would avoid.

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Nobody came to the protest

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Nobody came to the protest last week because it was new. There are Japanese Americans involved now.

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And I'm sure the media isn't

And I'm sure the media isn't about first impressions and will continue to cover this with the same care and attention that they did this week.

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I'm going to see the exhibit

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I'm going to see the exhibit myself this evening, since my work is down the street. But it seems the MFA didn't put up any information about the kimono, aside from the very basics. That it was donated from Japanese artisans, and that we should try on the kimono and feel how Camille Monet would have felt to try it on.

That's not enough from the protesters' view to avoid the charge of cultural appropriation. While many who try on the kimono may know and appreciate it and its history, it is possible there are some who try it on as a costume and learn nothing.

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The MFA has made a big error

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The MFA has made a big error giving into this ethnic bigotry.

What's next? Segregating art wings because only some cultures are allowed to look at specific cultures' art?

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I think you're conflating it

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I think you're conflating it a bit. I think at least some of the disagreement was with the patronizing aspect of the event: "Come try on the kimono. Oh, would you just look how CUTE the Japanese are." That was something of the vibe I got from Ying's angle on the protest. Not to mention it's hard to not think that at least some aspect of Orientalism was being perpetuated in it, as well. But to that latter argument, I'll sit that one out.

Between the blog posted above and the article linked in it, "Why it's hard for white people to talk about race", there is a plethora of perspective you could gain by reading those. As I said above, both are well worth the read.

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Maybe these protestors

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are involved with the Chicoms. They are known for creating tension and certainly creating tension between Japan and it's allies, and among Asians in genersl. It would benefit the Chicoms far more than the Japanese. As one poster said, at least one of the protestor's signs appeared to be actually anti-Japanese.

It would be interesting to get more info about who exactly these protestors are, what their backgrounds are, is there group connected to other groups, etc.

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Are f'ing kidding me? What

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Are f'ing kidding me? What are you, the ghost of Joseph McCarthy or something to come up with these zany plots? These American kids who are Asian are all on Facebook. Investigate their "ChiCom" ties all you like!

This is part of Orientalism, btw. These kids are Asian and protesting, therefore, they must be Chinese Communists! They must have gone to Mao Ze Dong Military University #1 rather than Williams College! They must not be Americans!

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Agreed but...

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This is part of why it's weird to me. Do Chinese-Anerican kids and Japanese-American kids share a "culture" because they come from the same region? If anything the conflation here seems to be giving in to the untutored American's notion that "hey--they all use chopsticks, they all 'look alike' therefore they're pretty much all the same when in fact they're wildly different and in many cases clashing. (I worked in a Japanese restaurant many years ago--and I remember vividly the bitter tension and insults that regularly flew about between the Jspanese owners and chefs, the Chinese waitstaff, and the Hong Kong born manager--holy cow. And let's not start on the Korean customers who came in regularly.)

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Agreed

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And this brings me back to my original point--why on earth focus on this minor, arbitrary thing rather than the myriad issues that DO affect Asian immigrants to the U.S.? I mean--showing up at the Brattle the next time they show Breakfast at Tiffany's would make much more sense. Let alone maybe piping up loudly every time anyone waxes sentimental about that racist ahole Dapper O'Neill or hey--let's not forget Marky Mark.

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I know, I know. But kids do

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I know, I know. But kids do what they want. Maybe that it's a museum with an acclaimed East Asian art collection and experts that is offering this jaundiced (yellow, haha) take that bothers them.

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Probably maybe. If the

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Probably maybe. If the consulate were to exhibit it, I would assume they would provide context and information. If they were to get the MFA to exhibit it, I think they would assume the MFA would do the same thing.

But the MFA didn't in this case. They should have provided more info on the kimono to avoid this controversy.

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Is it any of your business?

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And this brings me back to my original point--why on earth focus on this minor, arbitrary thing rather than the myriad issues that DO affect Asian immigrants to the U.S.?

My opinion only: those who are doing nothing should refrain from commenting on how those who are doing something should spend their time and energy. IOW, Sally, you should feel free to avoid issues that you believe are "minor" and "arbitrary" and concentrate your energy on issues that you believe matter, and let others do the same. Unless you're arrogant enough to believe that there is some grand universal standard of What Really Matters, and that you know exactly what it is, surely you can see that it's best to not snipe at others' priorities. If other people want to spend their time and effort on something that you believe is trivial, it ain't no skin off your nose.

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Says the creeper...

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Is it any of YOUR business? Seriously--why are you always trailing me around like a yippy little dog? Maybe try contributing something useful of your own instead of spending so much time policing other people's posts.

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"policing other people's posts"

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Really, Sally? "Policing" your posts, as if I have any power to stop them or change them? Come on. You called out protesters over what you saw as a valueless act and a waste of time. You took exception to someone else's expression and to how they spend their time -- theirs, not yours. Who's doing the "policing" and yipping like a little dog, again?

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You are.

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Weirdo personal attacks; faux outrage in a conversation that's been remarkably calm, friendly, and civilized; nothing substantive or interesting to add to the conversation...yep. Or rather--yip.

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OK

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Than they're your typical, garden variety, western, comfortably raised, and educated 'progressive', with chips on their shoulders, saying "Look at me...look at me, why doesn't anyone pay attention to me!?" useful idiots? And your reference to Joesph McCarthy is really ironic.

As for the term 'Chicom', it is VERY COMMONLY USED to refer to Beijing government, and is also 100% accurate. And yes, they do love stirring up shit, and have pretty sophisticated and roundabout ways of doing, for plausible deniability.

LOL....NO SIR, BOSS...I AM NOT A 'BIRCHER' [NEOCON circa 2015].

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Silly

Even a cursory bit of Googling would not support this...

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This sort of ethnic cultural

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This sort of ethnic cultural segregation disturbs me. So... a black kid from Roxbury can't try on a kimono otherwise she is a racist? What if you're a Mexican immigrant to the U.S.? Are they banned from trying on kimonos lest they be publicly shamed as racists? What if you are 50% Cherokee... is it okay for you to try on a kimono or will you be accused of racism? Can you try on a kimono without retribution if your grandparents are from Laos? The more that I consider this issue, the more offended I am by the MFA's decision to bow down to the protesters.

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Watch out...

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...you're likely to break your ass on that slippery slope.

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Maybe you should go bury your

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Maybe you should go bury your head in the sand, stop thinking for yourself unless approved by others, stop listening to music unless approved by others, stop reading books unless approved by others, stopped attending museums unless approved by others, stop seeing films unless approved by others and be miserable for the rest of your insular little life.

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Are you joining in on the

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Are you joining in on the #whitesupremacykills #mfaboston twitter trend, ibb?

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Sorry, I don't understand

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Sorry, I don't understand your comment. I was being serious and your were being snarky.

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Only works...

... if you buy into the underlying concept 100 percent. It represents a rather extreme viewpoint.

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Interesting...

My son's school dresses up their students in yukatas every August to celebrate the Bon Festival. Parents and students are encourage to dance traditional Japanese dances. Wonder if we should expect protests, too?

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Expect a witch hunt to be

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Expect a witch hunt to be organized via Facebook and those students guilty of becoming educated in other cultures to be publicly flogged via the internet.

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