井の中の蛙

5/5/2009

Dangerous Data

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 11:05 pm

By now most of you have probably heard of the erasure of buraku — the segregated communities of Japanese outcastes — from Google Earth.1 The continuing discrimination against burakumin — hisabetsuminzoku2 is the phrase I was taught to use in the late ’80s, but it doesn’t seem to have stuck — which often uses their unique geographic footprint as a tool for identifying the otherwise indistinguishable burakumin from the rest of the Japanese population was the issue: having the maps on Google Earth made it too easy.

The discussion at H-Japan has been fairly low-key3 and the UCB Library has calmed the scholars’ fears by announcing that the only alterations were made to the Google Earth versions, not to the online digital archive versions. That narrows the problem a bit…
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  1. I got that from a student just before it showed up on H-Japan. []
  2. literally “peoples who have been discriminated against” []
  3. though Paul Stephen Lim’s story of government pressure to downplay burakumin issues is pretty shocking []

Film Festival

Filed under: — Morgan Pitelka @ 3:31 pm

Just received this from friends at the Japanese American National Museum:

The Japanese American National Museum is accepting film & video submissions for their Second annual ID Film Festival, a series of films that challenge and celebrate what it means to be Asian.

To take place from October 1-3, ID Film Fest will showcase both shorts and features to be screened digitally in the Democracy Forum, a state of the art theater in downtown Los Angeles.

ID Film Fest welcomes film and video works of all lengths and genres that challenge and celebrate what it means to be Asian and/or Asian American. Please direct all inquiries to ksakai@janm.org

To see the films that we screened at last year’s festival, visit http://www.janm.org/events/2008/idfilmfest/films/
Please send a one-paged synopsis of the work along with contacts (e-mail, address and phone), a short biography of the filmmaker and a DVD screener to the:

Japanese American National Museum
Attention: Koji Steven Sakai
369 E. First St.
Los Angeles CA 90012

There is no submission fee and no entry form is required. Submission deadline is AUGUST 1, 2009.

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