Japan’s Blackface Racist portrayal of great singer Shuri Eiko

Blackface and anti-black racism are still alive and strong in East Asia. In both Japan and South Korea, as well as in China, blackface is still considered “not racist” and even as television stations have been made to apologize, it continues.

In this video, Shuri Eiko, one of my Japanese singers in Japan when I was growing up there in the 1960s, and who is Black-Japanese, is portrayed (and I would say dishonored and ridiculed) by a singer named Shinotsuka Ayumi on a “monomane” (imitation) program on Japanese national television. Shuri Eiko herself, shows up as a surprise and stands beside her and banters gracefully.

As in South Korea and China, blackface and anti-black racism is taken as normal and in the mainstream, it is still “okay” and not considered racism. Any demand for apologies by the artist or the press or the television stations responsible, is met with “we are honoring them, not making fun of them” and other such stupid and frankly ignorant and arrogant responses.

Addendum: This video is from the 1980s. However there have been further controversies regarding the use of blackface in Japan and South Korea, although they have lessened. The issue is getting better but still quite normalized and continuing. I just wanted to make sure people did not take this video to be recent. But the issue is relevant.

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