Ah! Another super-late post…I already commented on the dicussion board on chalk, but I’ll take from my notes and things I remember about Nori’s visit.
The thing that really struck me about Nori is that he’s just a little bit older than myself – 22, while I’m 21. That means he went through everything he described to newscasters at the age of 18. What I thought was interesting is that we kept oo-ing and ah-ing over how in Asia Nori was an exceptional young person…but in my mind anywhere Nori’s pretty exceptional. I don’t think I knew anyone in high school who spoke out much against anything, and even in college I don’t know anyone who would take action like that against what’s popular amongst his peers. On top of that, I don’t know anyone who would take Nori’s current perspective. The few “rebels” I know would instantly get defensive and sullen over being attacked verbally the way Nori was online – but instead Nori has sort of molded himself into an amateur social scientist, observing his peers who berate him and attempting to understand their way of thinking. I don’t know if it’s admirable or crazy.
One thing Nori’s visit really did for me was put the current Japanese political climate a little more into perspective. Since I’m going to be teaching in Japan next year, I think it’s probably a good idea that I know just how conservative it is there and the media culture that revolves around the internet.