• Fukuyama, Hiroshima

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Regarding Roger Pulvers’ Aug. 9 article, “Humor may be universal, but Japan’s is largely its smut-free own“: I have a few problems with this article. First of all, why write an article about modern Japan using references and examples from history? The writing is far too academic. If you want to prove something about modern Japan, write about modern Japan. Talking about writers from 50-plus years ago is fine if you want to provide a little background, but this article turns into a history lesson with no real reference to the present.

I also disagree with the statement that “the dirty joke is virtually unknown (in Japan).” Does the writer speak Japanese and does he hang out with Japanese friends? If so, he will know how “sexcentric” Japanese jokes can be. It’s true that you don’t hear a lot of racist jokes, but let’s not pretend you don’t hear racist or prejudiced statements. You can turn on the television late at night and see many such jokes on any number of shows.

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