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Membership Drive in Japan

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There are several IOPS members in Japan now.  What can we do to spread the word?  Postcards?  Leaflets?  Posts on progressive web pages in Japan web space?  Any ideas?

One first step will be to translate the basic information into Japanese.  The organizational description has already been translated.  (That translation is at the bottom of the list of categories on the left of the home page for IOPS Japan.)  We're working on setting up a Japanese version of the IOPS web page, as has been done for Spanish already.  If anyone wants to help me with the translation, please let me know.


By the way, my name is Joe Essertier and I have volunteered to be a temporary admin for the IOPS Japan chapter.  I live in Nagoya, so if any of you are on your way through Nagoya, as many often are, and want to get together for a chat, some "tebasaki" (delicious, spicy Nagoya chicken), and a drink, send me a message. 

Any suggestions about how to get some action going on our page, let me know.  One question I have had for the last week is what's the best way to advertise IOPS in Japan.  A newspaper article or a radio interview would be great...

Douzo yoroshiku!

Discussion 9 Comments

  • Kim Keyser 15th Apr 2012

    That's great, Joe! We're really dependent on people like you, who know both languages well. To be honest, I know almost nothing of the left in Japan, due to the vast language barriers (which comes on top of a huge physical distance – I live in Norway)... :/

    I think it'd be a very useful – I'd even say fundamental – step to translate the user interface and some basic texts into Japanese. Once that's in place, it opens up opportunities for others to participate.

    AFAIK no Parecon book has been translated into Japanese thus far, right? (See the first two comments here: http://www.zcommunications.org/origin-and-style-answering-anarchist-critics-part-2-by-michael-albert.) But there should be a market, no?

  • Kim Keyser 15th Apr 2012

    I see that most of the other current members thus far (pr. 15th of April 2012) are not native Japanese – indeed it seems there are only two. Translating the user interface and some basic texts into Japanese, could help with the process I think.

  • Joseph Essertier 15th Apr 2012

    Thanks for the encouragement, Kim. Indeed, we need to "translate the user interface and some basic texts into Japanese." I'm working on the interface, and as you can see on the left side under categories, I posted a translation of the original "Organizational Description." There is much room for improvement, and I'm working on that, too, with native speakers. We need help with that.

    And thanks for the very relevant link,

    I'm glad to hear that Brian Small has paid attention to what has been accomplished as far as the promotion of Parecon ideas in Japan. Indeed, there is very little available in Japanese, and I am not aware of a translation of the book *Parecon* in Japanese, either. I could not find it on "Webcat" in Japan (http://webcat.nii.ac.jp/), so if it has been translated, it is probably not available in any Japanese university libraries. Once a good translation is pioneered, it will be much easier to tell Japanese people about Parecon ideas, and do more translations.

    The criticism of Michael's writing style, in the link you mentioned, is going a little too far, I think: "Criticism: Parecon is presented in a new lefty americano-centric, culturally insensitive language and cultural framework. These ills compromise its substance - rendering support undesirable." But there are English expressions, I think, that are probably unique to the U.S. or not widely understood throughout the English-speaking world, so those should be found and re-worded, as Michael indicates. This issue is inevitable. It's not easy to find a language for new ideas. There is a process of clarifying and making the ideas more accessible that we have to go through, very important if grassroots internationalism is at the core of what we're trying to do. That will make it easier for translators, too. I actually want to propose somewhere that the "Organizational Description" (the "Vision" section on the top page of IOPS) be revised to make it easier to understand and translate.

  • Kim Keyser 18th Apr 2012

    Joseph: "is going a little too far,"

    Hehe... A little? :D

    What you say about "it's not easy to find a language for new ideas" is true though, and I very much agree with this sentiment too: "very important if grassroots internationalism is at the core of what we're trying to do".

    Anyway... In the link I shared above, Michael indicated that he thought a Japanese version was supposed to be published. I think you should ask him on what the status is on that now, and perhaps facilitate the process, if you're able to (often it's just small things that matters). I'm 100% sure there must be some Japanese publisher who'd think it's worthwhile. Do you know of any lefty or liberal publisher who might be interested?

    BTW: If you could make reports – even though they might be both small and infrequent – about the status of IOPS in Japan, I think it would be very useful. At least I know that I'm very curious about what's happening over there.

    • Joseph Essertier 19th Apr 2012

      Kim: "I think you should ask him on what the status is on that now, and perhaps facilitate the process, if you're able to"

      Joe: OK, I'll do that. Yes, I agree that there must be a publisher who will think it is worthwhile.

      Kim: "If you could make reports – even though they might be both small and infrequent – about the status of IOPS in Japan, I think it would be very useful. At least I know that I'm very curious about what's happening over there."

      Joe: I'll keep that in mind. Right now, what's happening in Japan is just me working on translating, and sending emails introducing myself to the Japan chapter folks. More later.

  • James Green 20th Apr 2012

    I`m really happy to see this initiative. Although I`m back in the US now, I`ve been living in Japan and active in activist communities there for the past 10 years. To answer your question Joe, I would say that you have already started the most important step, working on getting some of the core materials translated, and hopefully using that as a tool to create awareness among activists there about IOPS and possibly lead to us building a stronger network with some of the many local activist communities.

    I don`t believe Parecon has been translated. You may already know this, but about 10 years ago there was an attempt to create a Japanese language version of znet. It went defunct, but the site is still online. http://rootless.org/z/ Are you working with people somewhat familiar with the subject? I am still in touch with Japanese activists with the with the appropriate language skills who may be able to help with the translation. If that would be helpful I can try to ask around. Otherwise I look forward to hearing about how things develop.

  • Joseph Essertier 1st May 2012

    Thanks James. Sorry about the slow response. Yes, if you could send me a message...

  • John Goh 3rd Jun 2014

    Hi Everyone,
    I just joined the organization and am living in Japan. I was just curious to see how things are progressing in Japan.

    I know the translation of all the material on this website would be a lot of work, so I am thinking it might be a good idea to pay someone for their time. Maybe even a professional translator. I would be willing to chip in 2万円 for someone to accurately translate the website including the Mission, Vision, Structure and Program, Interim Committee, Getting Involved, Why Join IOPS Q&A, Contact, Membership, and History and Future Hopes tabs.

    I am guessing it would require a native Japanese person with knowledge of political ideas to accurately do the job. I am not connected to anyone like that in Japan, so I was hoping for a little help from someone else.

    Does this sound like a good idea? If this works out, maybe we can progress to translating the one-page flyer, Michael's Parecon pamphlet, Shalom's Parpolity pamphlet, etc. Then we could go to campuses, political events, etc. and try to get some members in Japan.

  • Joseph Essertier 4th Jun 2014

    Welcome to IOPS! Unfortunately, we have not been able to translate very much into Japanese. That's a good idea to pay someone, although those English-speakers who also speak Japanese need to learn the vocabulary necessary to convey IOPS ideas to Japanese people anyway. A few IOPS members and I have been working on that.

    I have translated the Mission and Vision statements, and much of the other interface-related sections of the site. The problem we are facing is getting this up on the site. Could you help with that? In general, we need more womanpower and manpower.