"Japanese people have no souls"?

On an episode of South Park a few years back, there was repeated reference to the idea that “Japanese people have no souls.”

I am aware that Trey Parker (one of the SP creators) is a Japanophile, so I’m assuming this theme is meant to mock some real aspect of either Japanese culture, or American perceptions/attitudes toward same. But what? Where does this come from???

Its probably just a juvenile joke, considering its source. Perhaps its a commentary on Buddhism. Buddhism rejects the soul or atman. The only thing that one carries after death is one’s karma, which is not the same as the soul in other religions. So, Buddhists can be seen as not believing in having souls.

Possibly in reference to Japanese atrocities in World War II, or the western perception of Japanese culture valuing the collective good and conformity to the point of disregarding the individual, especially in contrast to the USA valuing individualism.

I think it was just a throw-away line, especially since it was recycled in an episode last series (Cartman declares that “Gingers don’t have souls!”).

But if it was based on anything, I’d say it was the 1980’s stereotype of Japanese salarymen as being essentially interchangeable robots.

Just because Trey Parker likes the Japanese doesn’t mean they have souls. Maybe he has learned the truth from studying them.

I thought it was gingers who had no souls. And the Japanese who had very very small penises. Or don’t the Japanese have souls either?

Maybe the penis is the seat of the soul, so the Japanese just have very, very small souls.

Isn’t Trey Parker’s wife Japanese-American (or just Japanese, I dunno)?

The politically incorrect humor isn’t serious. After all, Matt Stone’s Jewish, but you wouldn’t know it from Eric Cartman’s obsessive disparaging of Jews.

It’s just a joke. It doesn’t mean anything.

By the way, it was from this episode.

Actually I think it’s very pro-Jewish, simply because Cartman is always presented as a buffoon and an idiot and almost always is wrong.

If any of the other characters was anti-Semetic, it wouldn’t be nearly as funny or funny at all.

I doubt this is the source, but when the camera was introduced into Japan, the popular wisdom was that getting your picture taken stole your soul. Considering that there’s probably not a single Japanese person these days who hasn’t had his picture taken, then if they’re own superstitions are right, they’re all soulless.

Of course, so are we all.

one of them does have a japanese wife

Sage Rat writes:

> I doubt this is the source, but when the camera was introduced into Japan, the
> popular wisdom was that getting your picture taken stole your soul.


Some Japanese amputees have no soles.


Sure you would. No show could ever get away with blatant Jew-bashing like that if it wasn’t created by a Jew. If I ever hear a Jew joke cracked on any program, it’s a pretty sure bet the person who wrote it was Jewish.

When Cartman is right, he is right. for instance, he was right about the eating through the ass and crapping out the mouth.

Wow, thanks a lot, Sage Rat. A website in Japanese is obviously going to do me a tremendous amount of good. But, for what’s it’s worth, I put that webpage through an automatic translator. It didn’t say anything about stealing people’s souls (although since it’s an automatic translator it’s not completely accurate). Do you have a cite in English?

It’s an accurate cite for his claim.

So translate precisely what it says into English.