SCAPEGOATS

FRANCE AND JAPAN… 1347 AND 1923

JAPAN + KOREA

Relations between Koreans and Japanese are complex and steeped in a long history.
First a military ally, Korea became a Japanese protectorate in 1905 and suffered a very harsh occupation. A Korean workforce emigrated to Japan, sometimes forced by a very demanding Japanese industry. In 1923, it is estimated that there were 130,000 Koreans in the Japanese archipelago, 30,000 in the earthquake region.
Currently, there are 600,000 Koreans in Japan, which has a population of 126 million. The Japanese extreme right periodically demonstrates against the presence of Koreans, but there is also a very strong anti-Japanese feeling in Korea, a complex relationship that is similar to that of the French with the Algerians or the Germans with the Turks.

SCAPEGOAT AND TURKISH HEAD

The expression scapegoat is of religious origin. The Hebrews expiated their sins by symbolically loading them onto an animal, a goat, by the prayer of a priest. The animal was then sent to the desert to disappear there with collective guilt.
The expression Turkish head is more recent, it cites a fairground attraction popular in the 19th century: a fairground dynamometer which made it possible to test one’s strength by tapping with a mallet on a head surmounted by a turban, itself derived from the older expression of strong as a Turk.
The Turkish head therefore rather designates an individual or a group on which another group or individual takes it out on the use of force, while the violence done to the scapegoat is charged with a symbolic power of reconciliation.
It’s hard not to see the scapegoat mechanism at work in the rumors of child trafficking by Roma that circulate occasionally. But any community, young people, homosexuals, migrants, etc. can thus catalyze the anger of a group.

ANTISEMITISM

Before the Black Death, Jews were accused of spreading leprosy. Afterwards they will be accused of witchcraft, treason or conspiracy at different times in history. Let us remember the countless pogroms, the anti-Semitic party of Edouard Drumont, the Dreyfus affair or the extermination of the Jews of Europe by the Nazi regime, not to mention the anti-Semitic acts that we are still witnessing today. We can look for the causes of this animosity towards the Jews: considered by many to be archaic, deicides for Christians, historically associated with the charge of usurer and banker, therefore rich and miserly, communitarians… many are those who have looked into the question, but it is more reasonable to view anti-Semitism as illogical, meaningless and yet tenacious hatred.

SHOWN

Between the Allied landings in June 1944 and the end of 1945, it is estimated that between 20,000 and 40,000 women were shaved in France. Often public, the mowing was sometimes accompanied by insults from the crowd, spitting and even physical violence. Rightly or wrongly accused of having been in the service of the occupier or of what was called “horizontal” collaboration, implying having had sexual relations with a German soldier, these women were publicly humiliated, deprived of their hair, symbol of femininity at the time probably more than now. These women catalyzed the frustrations of a mostly neutral population, sometimes sympathetic to the resistance, often collaborationist if we remember that less than 5% of the French population actively participated in the internal resistance. A typical case of scapegoating on a group that was unlikely to defend itself.

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