Protesters Lecture Japanese People on “Cultural Appropriation” of Japanese Culture at Boston Museum

Protesters have taken it upon themselves to lecture Japanese people about “cultural appropriation” of Japanese culture by whites.

The bizarre interaction took place at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The museum has been holding an exhibit encouraging visitors to wear a kimono to celebrate Claude Monet’s painting “La Japonaise.”

The largely non-Japanese protesters decided that this exhibit was a form of “cultural appropriation” of Japanese culture. They have been protesting the event for weeks, calling the museum “white supremacist” and “racist.”

Now, a counter-protest which includes Japanese women are taking the “cultural appropriation” protesters to task.

The counter-protesters include mostly older Japanese women. They held signs that read, “I am not offended by people wearing kimono in front of French paintings” and “I welcome museum exhibits that share Japanese culture with the community.”
Protesters (left) clash with counter-protesters
Etsuko Yashiro and Ikuko Burns expressed disappointment in the protests, suggesting that youthful ignorance was the reason behind the “cultural appropriation” protests. “I’m a little bit disappointed by the other side,” Ms. Burns said.

Loreto Ansaldo, a Chilean woman who is protesting “cultural appropriation,” said there is a misunderstanding between her and Japanese women. “This is part of the misunderstanding: We never said people who aren’t Japanese can’t wear a kimono,” she said.

Jiro Usui, the Deputy Consul General of Japan in Boston, disagreed, saying, “We actually do not quite understand what their point of protest is. We tried to listen to those people who are protesting, but we think together with the MFA we should encourage that Japanese culture be appreciated in a positive way.”


Founder and editor of the Social Memo

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