Japanese gratitude towards the US military’s earthquake relief efforts, dubbed “Operation Tomodachi,” has resulted in the flattering image above, prompting a delighted reaction from Americans and a somewhat more mixed response from Japanese…

The original post and a selection of the comments it provoked:


“This was sent to us by a man in Hokkaido. It says, ‘To everybody in the U.S. 7th Fleet: Thank you. The Japanese people will not be beaten.'”

“What is this I’m feeling…..is it….patriotism? How nice.”

“Someone…likes us?”

“Very cool. Also interesting to discover that the Japanese national animal is an owl, if thats the case.”

“Green pheasant is the national bird.”

“Note to self: Do not eat Green Pheasant in Japan.”

“That is seriously….adorable.”

“Great things like this make me proud to be in the Navy, though I only sit around in Hawaii as this goes on.”

The appreciative counter-response from 2ch upon seeing the image and responses it elicited:


“What is up with this toadying picture…”

“A nice picture in great taste!”

“I get the eagle but what the hell is that other bird?”

“Some kind of owl I think.”

“Looks like a sparrow.”

“A pheasant or crested ibis I reckon.”

“This is a kind of irritating picture but we’re all grateful so who cares!”

“Way too sycophantic but a lot of people in Japan fall for that sort of American heroism though.”

“But Hokkaido wasn’t even effected by the disaster…”

“So cool I got wet.””That owl is cute.”

“I’m grateful to the yanks but this is creepy. It looks like it was done by some homosexual who wants an American to do him.”

“Good stuff. You should spread your legs wider and fawn on them more.”

“I’ve never seen a picture depicting so much ass-kissing.”

“For Japanese sensibilities this probably seems too fawning, but you have to remember they are a bunch of idiots and can’t understand it unless you really spell it out for them.”

“Nice pic – GJ!”

“Well, there are masochists in every country.”

“Make us the 51st state please. Our government is just too useless.”

“A lot of people seem to think America’s armed forces are helping us for free. Remember that Japan has to pay for the upkeep of US forces stationed here. Flattering them as our saviours like that is a bad habit of the Japanese.”

“I’m reminded of that photograph of MacArthur and the emperor.”

“Well, America is so widely hated that it’s no wonder they are happy when their little Pochi draws close.”

“This is just the sort of thing which’d appeal to Americans. The artist knew his audience alright…”

“At least it isn’t some creepy moe illustration!”

“They’ll like it, so that’s good enough. They did after all help the victims. But we do have to pay for all those forces in any case…”

“There’s no harm in flattering them. It’ll make sure they realise the Japanese people don’t support the DPJ’s pro-China and anti-US foreign policy.”

“This is pretty creepy. The picture really expresses the servile character of the Japanese…”

“It looks more like the bird is being menaced by the eagle, doesn’t it?”

“Like the bird was the victim of domestic violence but still likes the eagle anyway…”


“America’s national bird is the bald eagle then?”

“A carnivore…”

“But will it be eaten afterwards?”

Japanese can likely be forgiven for taking US aid for granted considering the billions of dollars of their taxes used to support the US bases in Japan, although there is probably no harm in letting Americans think they are being magnanimous all the same.

Japanese can probably also be forgiven for being unable to recognise their own national animal considering how boring and nondescript it is; conversely, Americans tempted to crow about their own majestic choice of raptor should probably consider the scepticism of their own founding father Benjamin Franklin:

“For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country.

He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly.

You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District.”

Franklin considered the turkey a more appropriate national bird for the United States of America…

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    Avatar of cats2
    Comment by cats2
    04:46 05/04/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    What ever happened to that FAQ page that basically said;

    "I'm just some guy running a blog, posting news stories I think are interesting/appropriate to sankaku's theme."

    All the commentary/opinion you throw into stories lately is...

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:16 05/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    Well... US totally coincide with description of bald eagle habits.

    Avatar of Megidola
    Comment by Megidola
    00:25 05/04/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    But in terms of stereotypical appearance the Turkey fits better...

    Avatar of AVEN
    Comment by AVEN
    08:15 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Benjamin Franklin: I TOLD YOU SO!

    Avatar of TheBeast
    Comment by TheBeast
    08:21 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    i think the image is cute and flattering to both the american and japanese people. the eagle is the american symbol, so american's relate, and the owl is a symbol of intelligence. I know there are dumbasses in japan, but i see them as intelligent people as a whole. if something were to happen to america, i don't know if japan has the resources or manpower to help, but i would like to think that they would have us in their thoughts and prayers.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:32 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.1)

    SHH!! This place is only for blind hate and ignorance you fool!

    Avatar of cats2
    Comment by cats2
    12:10 06/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, you havs to types like thiz xD pwn epic ownage uber!!

    Alsos has to jumps ont he USA until a disaster happens and you want their help!!

    Sadly it's pretty much true..

    Avatar of kazaza2
    Comment by kazaza2
    00:56 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wild turkey's are pretty smart and wary birds not to be confused with the dumbass barnyard variety.

    The Bourbon that's named after them is pretty good too! :3

    Avatar of Gitami
    Comment by Gitami
    09:44 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    It conjures up images of bountiful feast. Good for the land of the plenty milk and honey.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:07 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    turkey is delicious for thanksgiving..

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:35 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    "The Bourbon that's named after them is pretty good too! :3"

    Good for getting a headache.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:59 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ben Franklin wanted the Turkey to be the National Bird, instead of the Bald Eagle.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:19 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I can bet you've never hunted wild turkey before.

    Avatar of Shizu's Waki Obsessor: MaidNiac
    02:47 05/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.7)

    I did... in Hunting Unlimited 2008.

    Never even managed to catch one despite all those phoney turkey decoy I set :<

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:11 05/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    i tried hunting turkey before, but the flock ran after me instead -_-

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:48 06/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol beware the turkey lol

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:56 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    "You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him."

    It does indeed sound like the US: a lot lazy people who take advantage of hard-working poor people to become rich and stay rich. Well, the bald eagle is apparently "poor" but I guess rich people are just poor people who've amassed all the other poor peoples' money.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:47 07/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    If aliens landed, forced everyone to start with the same amount of resources (land, water, food, money), in 5 years, almost everyone would be back to where they started.

    Most rich people got rich by busting their ass. Only a few got it from stealing or dishonest means.

    Most poor people stay poor due to the decisions they make and their own money habits.

    Don't buy into the eco-caste BS. Go out and do your own living and watch what people do. You want to get rich? Make cheap stuff people want, or do services for them they are too lazy or unwilling or too untalented to do for themselves. That's how 99% of people get rich. Their kids will blow what mommy and daddy leave them, because the kids have different ideas and expectations for life, and less motivation.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:42 03/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    actually, the vast majority of the 1%ers inherit their wealth.

    this "do services for them they are too lazy or unwilling or too untalented to do for themselves. That's how 99% of people get rich" is a ridiculous myth.

    minimum wage is $7.25/hour.

    construction workers are responsible for about 300 million people in the USA having roofs over their heads. not to mention being responsible for allowing people to live in cities that are not knee deep in human feces. they make 1 - 3 times minimum wage.

    migrant farm workers are responsible for about 300 milion people in the USA NOT starving to death. they get paid about 50% minimum wage.

    first responders (firefighters, et al) are paid about 2x minimum wage.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:37 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's the ignorant opinion of extremist libertarians. Most countries are clearly worse or unwilling to pressure autocratic countries.

    Comment by Anonymous

    I'm a huge faggot, please rape my face. I like to bad mouth the US for no real reason.

    Avatar of Dia
    Comment by Dia
    22:39 04/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.7)

    Aren't the US bases still much cheaper than having your own real army?

    Avatar of 美しい音
    Comment by 美しい音
    22:49 04/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.3)

    Yeah, I agree. Why the fuck would any country build it's own military when they can just use the American military instead?!

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:59 04/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Must be that the American military can say "why the fuck we should do this/that"
    Opposed to own military that doesn't question the reason.

    Avatar of 美しい音
    Comment by 美しい音
    23:20 04/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I loled. So much for global balance of powers...
    Tell me you're trolling, please.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:19 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Dude learn some hsitory ...

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:28 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    It would become a Pax Americana. That's until the American army would start abusing its position and people would get angry at it.

    Just like it happened to Romans.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:18 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    If they are policing the police, who will police the police?
    The coastguard?!

    Avatar of Dia
    Comment by Dia
    23:13 04/04/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Wouldn't that be desirable? If only one army had real firepower, wars would be less destructive.

    Avatar of 美しい音
    Comment by 美しい音
    23:04 04/04/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    I was being sarcastic. If every country would let itself be defended by the American army, then who will the US be defending them from? The earth would just turn into 1 big empire, opening the door to the first in history World Civil War.

    Avatar of Ihmhi
    Comment by Ihmhi
    02:35 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well that's a switch. Someone is outsourcing something TO us instead of from us...

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:32 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Problem is we still pay thru the nose for most of it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:01 04/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Still sucks to depend on someone though. I think Japan's the only country with no army. It's just sad.
    The Japanese were very efficient soldiers, they even beat Russia in the Russo-Japanese war. My great grandfather used to serve the Imperial army during world war 2 and he was a master of Judo, Karatedo and Kendo. They were fucking awesome man. Though he chose to stay here in the Philippines instead of going home.

    Avatar of hugh
    Comment by hugh
    23:50 04/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Not having an army is sad? This may surprise you, but it wouldn't be sad if every country went that route.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:19 03/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    But nobody does that because nobody trusts each other.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:48 04/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    While they indeed defeated Imperial Russia in 1905 when Russia wasn't exactly at its best (remeber, it collapsed mere 12 years later), japanese lost miserably to Soviet Russia a grand 3 times - in campaigns of 1938, 1939, and in august 1945 (loosing 80 000 soldiers KIA and 700 000 MIA vs. soviet losses of mere 15 000)

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:29 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    1945 can hardly be counted as Soviet Russia attacked few days AFTER Japan surrendered.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:56 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    False. Soviets attacked on 8th of August and Hirohito addressed his nation on August 15.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:49 07/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Japanese have an army. They just call it the self-defense force.

    What they have is a constitution that doesn't allow them to utilize their army for military means outside their own borders.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:53 08/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The way it should be.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:47 03/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    canada, u.a.e., and several small euro countries have no armies.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:38 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Plenty of countries don't have a real army. Germany for one...

    Avatar of Ichiro Ino
    Comment by Ichiro Ino
    23:22 04/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Because we got cheap/free Lolis here

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:13 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    there are no awesome soldiers in a war, no glory or grandness, just men and women killing eachother most times at the whim of somebody else who only has his own interests in mind. that goes for any and every country. there is no such thing as war without innocent casualties. because a well trained soldier is a well trained puppet.

    I understand the necessity of being able to defend your country when attacked or threatened, but to make murderers hero's just because it was governmentally sanctioned is both hypocritical and disgusting.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:06 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Thts dumb. War and murder have no common place. Its like saying consensual sex and rape are the same. Soldiers know going in that someone will die and they may kill or be killed; on BOTH sides they know that as fact - Consensual.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:10 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    the puppeteer is the murder? your brother can just be ignorant

    Avatar of Gitami
    Comment by Gitami
    10:02 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The result is murder or killer, that's unchangeable unless you want to say it's legal sanction, which would make Islamic stoners not killers or murderers too.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:25 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)


    Ah so my brother is a murderer, thanks for telling me.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:00 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Note the past tense: Were and Was. The Japanese Army was dissolved and now only exists as a shadow of itself as the Japanese Self Defense Force.

    Avatar of Gitami
    Comment by Gitami
    09:58 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Much like how France had awesome armies before 1850s.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:07 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Costa Rica has no military either.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:37 05/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yep, that's why they had to hire Big Boss

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