Interesting article by Mike Rogers describing the influence of the popular Japanese TV drama Oshin and mustached Japanese soldiers in Iraq. Also some interesting perspectives about the ability to identify with suffering and Japan's relationship with the Middle East.
Alright, think about Oshin. Think about that story and that kind of suffering. I don't think Americans can relate to that. Of course Japanese can.
And, get this: Oshin has been broadcast in most Middle Eastern countries for at least the last 12 years. Iran? Sure. According to the Nikkei Shimbun News Oshin scores a remarkable 82% viewer rating; Iraq? Of course 76.7%; Thailand? 81.6%; China!? I thought most Chinese people hate Japanese because of the war! Yeah, well, maybe so, but they love Oshin! 75.9% viewer rating in China; Poland? 70%.
Gee, I wonder if the people in the Middle East can relate to this kind of starvation, suffering, and pain? Of course they can.
Which brings me to the next part of this puzzle: The Japanese military has ordered all troops in Iraq to grow beards and moustaches. Weird, eh? Well, no... Smart. Besides understanding the ways of society in the Middle-East, Oshin's husband has a moustache. Don't believe me? Check this out: