Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Disturbed by Remark

November 03, 1996

I picked up "Traveling in Style" magazine (Sept. 13) and was enjoying Evelyn Iritani's article on the Nogi marketplace since I had also traveled to Tokyo years ago.

At the very end, Iritani introduces us to a repellent, junk peddler (my description) who takes her to task for her lack of fluency in the Japanese language. He reproaches her, saying she could be mistaken for a Chinese or Vietnamese refugee. She provides the context for his comments: They are "undesirable" is what he means.

This ending jarred me out of my reverie. It really disheartened me to read of his bigoted comments and how chastened Iritani felt. I too am a Japanese-American with limited Japanese vocabulary who agrees that mastery of the language would be a worthwhile goal. But the casual rendering of refugees as the "other," as "undesirables" by this Japanese vendor deeply disturbed me.

JUDITH KADOYA

Walnut

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|