Misrepresentation of Japan

The image portrayed in the viral movie Breakfast at Tiffany falsely represents Japan. The Hollywood film produced in the USA casts stereotypes white characters who take a superior role while the nonwhite cast as the inferior. The movie displays the white as an acceptable race while the Asians are seen as illiterate, naturally challenged, instruments of ridicule and incapable race. Hollywood film used Mr Yunioshi, a Japanese character, to make enormous profits by assigning him a shameful role that represents Japan as a country. Although the movie is humorous, the role played by Mr Yunioshi is offensive to the country and proves that the white species is indeed superior. Mr Yunioshi, in the movie, participates as a confused photographer who is mentally unstable and creates endless laughter in the scene.

Japan is represented with an inability to speak English properly. Mr Yunioshi, in the movie, speaks broken English and uses the Japan vernacular accent prompting intense laughter form intended viewers who understand the language better. There is also a noticeable contrast in what the characters say and what he originally meant to convey. The natural appearance of the Japanese is also ridiculed since Mr Yunioshi casts with malformed teeth and tiny eyes. The Japanese are displayed with an inability to see unless aided by glasses. The character in the movie tamps into objects until he gets his spectacle than he seeds. Besides, the character applies make-up on his face to hide identity as an Asian. This suggests that Japanese use such make-ups because of their small eyes and supposedly menacing teeth. It is also evident in the movie that the Japanese were stigmatized due to Yellow peril that was rampant in the media (Rey, 2017). The character was seen as a threat to the existence of the white characters in the film. The movies paint a clear image that the American culture is an example of a morally upright, powerful and progressive culture which is not the case with the Japan culture. The role played by the Japan character is a subject to entire ridicule and humiliation, yet such position is not shown in the white characters.

However, this is a misguiding image of the Japan community that is based on racism and dehumanization. It is wrong to assume that all Japanese are blind due to their small eyes and that they need glasses to see. The fact that the Asian eyeball has excess fatty tissue and a narrow palpebral fissure and gives an impression of tiredness does not limit their vision in any way. It is inevitable to control ones natural appearance, and neither does it limit one’s ability to progress. Also, the majority of Japan citizens can communicate efficiently in English since it is mandatory in the curriculum. Students, as well as adults who can communicate in English, have quickly increased an attribute to the installation of language laboratories and employment of foreign teachers. Japan is also a cultural country that has improved in terms of infrastructure and made remarkable inventions in the world. Japan, for instance, has invented as bullet trains, pocket calculators, blur LED light, walkman and android robots, among others. Also, the levels of crime rates are highly low in Japan, registering close to zero gun homicides. In conclusion, the image displayed Mr Yunioshi misrepresents and insults the Japan community and wrongly defines their character, strength and ability.


Rey, V. (2017, November 12). Racism and Anti-Japanese imperialist propaganda in breakfast at Tiffany’s [Video]. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@valerie.reynoso/racism-and-anti-japanese-imperialist-propaganda-in-breakfast-at-tiffanys-84735f426fb5

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