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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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Dr seuss goes to war

 


先ほどのNetflixのドキュメンタリーの第二話に出てきたのですが、絵本で有名なスース博士が日本のプロパガンダを描いていたそう。この話はちょうど大原ケイさんが取り上げてくれていました。

りんがる aka 大原ケイ
2021/03/04 17:04

でも実はDr.スースことガイゼルおじさんは、アメリカが第2次世界大戦に参戦しようという時期に、政府に協力してプロパガンダの挿絵を描いていた。もちろん日本は敵国だから、アメリカ国内にいる日系市民を収容する方針にも賛成で、それを促す風刺漫画を描いている。

今回発禁になった本の一冊で問題になったのは日本人らしき人物の描き方です。動画の1分48秒あたりでその絵をみれます。



Two of the six permanently pulled from publication currently rank as the world's best-selling children's books
Author of the article:Tristin Hopper Publishing date:Mar 03, 2021  •  2 days ago  •  4 minute read 

The Cat’s Quizzer, the most recent (and least popular) of the six books appears to have gotten pulled because of a page 11 illustration of a yellow figure in a coolie hat with the caption, “how old do you have to be to be a Japanese?”

“how old do you have to be to be a Japanese?”(何歳から日本人になることが認められますか)という何ともナンセンスな英語。通常はHow old do you have to be to get a credit card?(何歳からクレジットカードの取得が認められますか)のように使われる表現ですが、a Japaneseというのが笑いのオチに使われている。悪気はないが、おちょくる対象になっているというのがSlateの記事の見解です。

Those are the most vivid examples. I was also looking at The Cat’s Quizzer [1976], where there’s a question that goes something like, “How old do you have to be, to be a Japanese?” And of course the premise is, it’s an absurd question, because you don’t have to be any age—the book is all about absurd questions. But you’re using “a Japanese” as a punchline. It’s a trope in Seuss books more generally to treat ethnic and “foreign” others as comic, even if he doesn’t mean it in an aggressively malicious way. He’s not thinking about how making an entire group of people the subject of a joke has that effect.

今回スース博士が取り上げられられたのは、3月がアメリカでは読書月間で、スース博士が推薦書になっていたそうで、協会はスース博士の会社と長い間協力関係にあったとか。

Elinor Aspegren USA TODAY

What is Read Across America Day?
Launched in 1998 by the NEA, Read Across America Day was created as a way to encourage children to read. It later developed into a year-round program, with special celebrations in March.

"This year-round program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources that are about everyone, for everyone," the NEA website for the program says.

How is the day tied to Dr. Seuss?
Since its conception, the annual reading day has been held on or near March 2, which is Dr. Seuss's birthday. This year, it will be held on his 117th birthday.  And for many Americans, Read Across America Day is celebrated alongside his birthday.

Until 2019, when its contract ended, the NEA had partnered with Dr. Seuss Enterprises. 

“One of the reasons we partnered with Seuss 20 years ago in 1997 was to kick-start this program,” NEA spokesman Steven Grant told the School Library Journal in 2017. “That was the strategy up front, so kids would see Dr. Seuss’s 'Cat in the Hat' and spark some attention.” 

子供の推薦書となっているので差別的な表現に気を使うのはわかります。先の本は白人キャラクターが50回登場するのに、日本人が馬鹿にされた形で1回だけ登場だとか。

The Case for Centering Diverse Books

The Cat's Quizzer: Are YOU Smarter Than the Cat in the Hat?
50 white characters; 1 character of color Character of color:
● “Japanese” man wearing a "rice paddy hat" with bright yellow skin. Book text: "How old do you have to be to be a Japanese?" (​stereotypes, exotification, caricature​) (1 character depicted 1 time)



この報告書は次の記事で知りました。日系人としては、戦争プロパガンダで日系人を馬鹿にして書いていた作者を祝うのは複雑ですね。取り上げること自体を禁止することはしないが、It's not about reading or not reading certain books, it’s about raising awareness around the social and systemic bias that such books promote.ということが重要と述べています。

by Grace Hwang Lynch  Sep 11, 2017 | Filed in Diversity

But not all families think the author should be celebrated. In March, two Japanese-American children in South Pasadena, CA, saw their school’s Dr. Seuss Week in conjunction with Read Across America as a chance to educate their classmates about the cartoonist’s role in fanning fears that led to the internment of Japanese Americans.

“Their teachers and administrators shut them down, wouldn’t allow them to hand out the flyers, and told them school was not the appropriate place for that,” says Ishizuka. “To me, this was alarming and represented a serious racial justice issue.”

Ishizuka also points out that black children may feel uncomfortable going to school on Read Across America Day.

“It’s very dehumanizing for black children to be expected to wear one of those hats.”

In April, Ishizuka sent a copy of her 43-page analysis, along with a compendium of diverse books resources, to the NEA, which organizes Read Across America.  

“Last year was the first year in my 14 years [with NEA] that I had seen so much bubble up as far as concerned interests,” says Grant, who praises Ishizuka’s recommendations for suggested authors and partner organizations to bring wider representation to the event. Even before Ishizuka sent the material, NEA’s Read Across America advisory committee (comprised of teachers, education support professionals, librarians, and others) had already been discussing issues surrounding Seuss’ early work, based on Richard H. Minear's 2001 book Dr. Seuss Goes to War, which critiques the cartoonist’s early political drawings, including the anti-Japanese works. Grant adds that that for the past two years, the NEA board has already shifting Read Across America’s mission towards promoting diverse literature and reaching a broader range of readers.

Ishizuka and Stephens emphasize that they’re not trying to ban Dr. Seuss.

“It's not about reading or not reading certain books, it’s about raising awareness around the social and systemic bias that such books promote,” says Stephens. “Dr. Seuss and whiteness is a reflection of the overwhelming silence in literacy regarding matters of race, especially with both young people and white people.”



日本人もいまだに中国人を「〜〜あるよ」みたいに描いてますね。スース博士を白人至上主義と批判するなら、日本でのこういうステレオタイプだって取り組まないといけないかもしれません。
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