Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Japanese discipline - should we follow suit?

Coming into London this morning on a graffiti ridden train, through graffiti ridden stations, into a graffiti ridden city centre, I wondered how the "taggers" of London would react if the British government followed the example of their Japanese counterparts who recently traced and prosecuted visitors who had left their mark on a Florence catherdral.

The authorities managed to trace some students through appeals for information in two of Japan's NATIONAL newspapers, with their university offering to send the students back to clear the graffiti off, and pay for the damage.

A more serious fate may yet await a teacher who visited Florence in January, left his mark, and has since been traced and dismissed from coaching his school baseball team, but may yet lose his job.

All this was undertaken as the Japanese government felt the visitors had "....made (the) Japanese lose face abroad." "They offended their hosts - that is to say Italy - and this, for their mentality, is unacceptable".

With respect and honour so valued in the Japanese culture, I wonder if they are suffering any of the current issues British society are?



Anonymous said...

this is such a funny story - I love that the Japanese govt offered to pay for the removal.
Kinda harsh that all the 'taggers' got so severely punished, but I guess if you set that "face-saving" culture works.
If we had more of that community punishment stuff, maybe we wouldn't have so many social problems (knife crime, anti-social behaviour, alcohol abuse).

Anonymous said...

I just came back from Helsinki and I loved the fact that there was no graffiti. The city looked amazing. Does that make me a grumpy old man? said...

Without graffiti we wouldn't have Banksy and without Banksy I wouldn't have made a tidy profit on one of his prints.

Viva vandalism!