inappropriate use of "-san" in English speech/text (v2)

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Gaijin-San

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Jul 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/10/98
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Tomoyuki Tanaka wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> re: "Tanaka-san"
>
> please do not call me "Tanaka-san" in English speech or text.
> white Americans (e.g. comedians, bigots, smart alecs) often use
> the "-san" ending to make fun of the Japanese and Japanese Americans.
>
> --
> ;;; TANAKA Tomoyuki ("Mr. Tanaka" or "Tomoyuki")
> ;;; http://www.cs.indiana.edu/hyplan/tanaka.html


So in French Japanese you would be sans "-san" ?

Tomoyuki Tanaka

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Jul 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/11/98
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revised --- now v2

contents:
1. analogies
2. white Americans who call me "Tanaka-san" on Usenet
3. a recent comment

====================================================================
intro: don't feel that you need to ask *ME* for more
explanation, etc. many Jp people who have lived in the
USA would understand this. apparently a British guy
named Kaminski understands this perfectly.

====================================================================
1. analogies

In article <35954B...@jin.san>, Gaijin-san <g...@jin.san> wrote:
>...
>but presuming the exchange is
>well-meant, and meant to be respectful, is it still offensive?


short answer: "offensive" would probably be too strong a word.
it's a questionable practice that a careful person
should avoid.


--------------------------------------------------------------------

--- i have several docs in my home page on the subject
;;; http://www.cs.indiana.edu/hyplan/tanaka.html

for many people i would think pondering on the following
analogies is enough.

--- A1. when a white American man A calls a black American man B
(they don't know each other well), "brother" based only on B's
race, but presuming the exchange is well-meant, and meant to be
respectful, is it still offensive?

--- A2. when a white non-Jewish American man A greets a Jewish
American man B (they don't know each other well), "Shalom" based
only on B's ethnicity, but presuming the exchange is well-meant,
and meant to be respectful, is it still offensive?

--- A3. when a white American man A calls a Japanese man B
(they don't know each other well), "XXX-san" based only on B's
ethnicity, but presuming the exchange is well-meant, and meant
to be respectful, is it still offensive?


--- B1. in A1, assume that the white American man A is a school
teacher, and the black American man B is the only black student
in a class. A calls all other students by their first names,
and singles B out by calling him "brother".

--- B2. like A2 but in a classroom teacher/student situation.

--- B3. like A3 but in a classroom teacher/student situation.


====================================================================
2. white Americans who call me "Tanaka-san" on Usenet
====================================================================
http://www.dejanews.com/getdoc.xp?AN=363446365

usually, when white Americans who claim to "respect Japan and
Japanese culture" call me "Tanaka-san" on Usenet, they also call
me "Jap" or exhibit similar behavior.

i'll attach some examples below.

(1), (2) men who like to call me "Tanaka-san" get upset when i
ask them not to.

(3) a man who likes to call me "Tanaka-san" calls us "Japs".

(4) Mr Eicher, who has three Usenet newsgroups named after him.

two are easy to find. can you name the third one?

for bonus points, describe Mr Eicher's actions that caused
these newsgroups to be created.

i feel more comfortable when Mr Eicher tells me,
"Fuck off, Tanaka. You're a corpse-licking scumberbutt"
(1998 6/12), etc than when he calls me "Tanaka-san".
...
[see http://www.dejanews.com/getdoc.xp?AN=363446365]


====================================================================
3. a recent comment

i got this a few days ago.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Wed, 01 Jul 1998 17:56:42 EDT
From: ...
To: Tanka Tomoyuki <tan...@indiana.edu>

Dear Mr Tanaka:

I've read your posts on a newsgroup regarding the use of "-san"
in English contexts. ...

In general, I think you are prefectly correct in your assessment
of the derogatory connotation, although there may be times when
the usage occurs more from a misplaced attempt at courtesy, or
from pure ignorance of the derogatory overtones.
...

Larry Phillips

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Jul 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/11/98
to
Tomoyuki Tanaka wrote:

> i feel more comfortable when Mr Eicher tells me,
> "Fuck off, Tanaka. You're a corpse-licking scumberbutt"
> (1998 6/12), etc than when he calls me "Tanaka-san".

Fuck off Tanaka-san, you corpse-licking scumberbucket.

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