• Maebashi, Gunma


I agree with several points made in the June 25 letter “Japanese is just a language.” Specifically, I think the author is right to point out that the Japanese language is incorrectly characterized as “vague,” and that it seems implausible to consider any particular human emotion as unique to a group of people. I also agree that there are many people in Japan who are somewhat naive about what is and isn’t uniquely Japanese. But I think the writer has used an unnecessarily harsh tone in conveying his opinion. His students may not be the only ones who need to learn more about other cultures.

It may be true that this kind of naivete — about what is unique to a country — is more common in Japan than in other countries, but the author, as a teacher, should consider the strength of his words and the age of his students before writing so publicly and harshly about their seeming ignorance.

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