A Tumblr post from 2012 was making waves this week when a debate over cultural appropriation went off the rails over the party planners, the Gala Gals, suggesting a Japanese-themed birthday party for children.
The post, titled “Japanese Tea Party,” is illustrated with photos of a young girl and her friends sipping Japanese tea, wearing kimonos, and having their face painted white similar to that of geishas.
However, since the young girls were all white, one Tumblr user deemed them all racists for appropriating culture, writing, “Teach children that this is not ok.”
Another user attempted to debate the accuser, writing, “Teach children that there’s nothing wrong with this.”
The accuser shot back, “I’m really not understanding why you think cultural appropriation would be ok, unless you are assuming that the girl in the picture is part Japanese.”
“Cultural appropriation isn’t a thing, hon,” the user rebutted. “Cultures should be shared by all means.”
The accuser got one more comment to show how racist these little white girls are for their makeup and attire, writing, “I disagree. The makeup is clearly reflective of traditional Geisha makeup which is yellowface and therefore racist.”
That’s when a Japanese user stepped in to shut the user crying “racist” down, writing, “I am Japanese, in Japan at this very moment. The only people who think culture shouldn’t be shared are racists like you.”
The Japanese user then explained that Japanese culture would be nothing if they didn’t borrow customs, traditions, and food from other cultures.
“A vast majority of Japanese people actually enjoy other people making an effort to spread and enjoy Japanese culture, and encourage it,” they wrote. “Basically 80 percent of Japanese customs, traditions, and food, came from other countries. Japanese is an integration of different cultures, like America. Japan takes influences from places like Korea, China, Russia, and Europe. If Japan stuck to itself, there would be no tempura, Japanese tea, tea ceremonies, kabuki, Japanese bread, Japanese curry, j-pop, anime, cars, or modern fishing techniques.”
The Japanese user then wrote, “The only reason you have a problem with this is because that little girl is white and you know that is acceptable on Tumblr to crap all over white people. The only racist here is you.”
Follow the thread of the entire exchange below (via Bored Panda):
And the top comment in reaction to this thread: