Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

A friend of the Kimono counter-protest guy just published a long and extremely calm and reasonable blog post summing up the counter-protesters’ role in the Kimono Wednesdays fiasco. You can find it here.

In case you missed the earlier stories about this event, and that post is tl;dr, here’s the short version:

The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has recently taken to holding ‘Kimono Wednesdays’ – wherein visitors get to try on a kimono like that worn by Claude Monet’s wife in La Japonaise. Every week a selection of social justice types have been turning up to protest because they feel that this is cultural appropriation, orientalist and racist.

Actual Japanese people who have heard about this have been mostly puzzled and a little sad that liberal activists should apparently be convinced that they are being victimised by all this, and feel that the unstoppable progress of the Japanese soft-power juggernaut is actually a reflection of white supremacy. One guy – Timothy Nagaoka – even started showing up in a yukata with his own sign to protest against the protest. He’s on the left in that photo. Ironically, he is the only actual Japanese person in that picture. He is not super happy about the work the activists have been doing to preserve him and his culture from unconscious American racism.

For a great deal more on this, see the blog post above.

ETA: apparently one of the SJWs is Japanese-American too, sorry about that.


6 thoughts on “Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

  1. Thanks for reading!

    FYI, Timothy isn’t the only Japanese person in that photo. One of the protesters is Japanese American.

    “the unstoppable progress of the Japanese soft-power juggernaut is actually a reflection of white supremacy.”
    My sense is that it’s not Japan’s soft power they have a problem with but the MFA’s curation of the event (which was different from the events at the 3 Japanese museums) – that’s the “white supremacy”. The event was initially titled “Camille Monet: Flirting with the Exotic” and they took issue with the fact that the only MFA staff on hand to “throw” the kimono on people were white. And they had a problem with the apparent lack of education (the talk used to be strictly about the painting with no info on the kimonos).In their FAQ they say they have no problem with white people wearing kimonos.


  2. Could you please not use the SJW acronym to describe people with some really weird hang-ups? I don’t think that disliking women being hounded in the tech industry and in gaming is an unreasonable position.


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