| JQR Interview

JQR INTERVIEW – Claude Gagnon

My biggest shock:Fukushima

Today’s Japan looks different from what it was in those days, but I find the changes are really quite superficial. It may appear to be spectacularly different, but when you start digging, you find it hasn’t changed that much. Even among the young, I’m often surprised that it’s still the group mentality that dominates––because it’s so reassuring.

I’ve never thought that there is any country that is better than any other. I always tell people that everyone should go and spend a minimum of one year overseas, no matter where. It’s vital to experience something different. From this perspective, there are many things that I love about Japan, and many others that I like a lot less. It’s hard to be an individual in Japanese society. And the individual is badly prepared to go through life smoothly.

What saddens me most––the biggest shock that I’ve experienced during my stay here and the thing that has affected me the most––is Fukushima. On the one hand, I’m bitterly disappointed by the politicians, who lie, who’ll say anything to people––that really makes me sad. And then again, it’s also the lack of reaction among the people themselves. Abroad, when politicians abuse their power, people react. That’s what democracy’ s for––to change governments. When a politician is in favor of nuclear power, and he’s elected not just once but twice––I’m not much into politics as a rule––but that’ s something that I find really appalling. If they open new nuclear power plants, I’m leaving. Even in Okinawa, which is a long way from the closest plant, I won’t stand for it. I’m outraged by the “lack of balls” shown by ordinary people, and how the elites are able to control them so easily–– with TEPCO using its influence with the TV stations and splashing its money around. People are too frightened to say: “We don’t care about the money. Let’s get them!” That’s why Japan hasn’t really changed.

It’s otherness that stimulates me

At the same time, I don’t want to be too negative because Japan is such a paradoxical country that I find so very stimulating. I’m often confronted by something that at first sight makes no sense whatsoever, but when it’s put in the right context, it immediately makes sense. That’s why I always warn foreigners coming here for the first time not to make any hasty judgments. You must never judge a culture you don’t understand. And it was because I was constantly stimulated by new discoveries that my six months stay turned into several years.

I make what I call “mirror movies”: They reflect society without passing judgment on it. It’s up to you to decide whether what I’m showing you is true to life, and whether you like it or not. All my films are based on this type of constant questioning. I’ve spent my life asking myself who I am, and why I am doing the things I’m doing. I’m particularly drawn to human weakness. We all have our weaknesses, no matter how strong we are. I’m more interested in the strong than the weak, but what I’m interested in the most are the weaknesses of strong people, the reasons––X, Y, or Z––that make them break down, mess up, or fall apart. Seeing my life through the lens of Japanese society allows me constantly to ask who I am, about my daily life, and what I choose to do.

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『JQR joint issue project』

We are looking for a partner all of the world !

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JQRの発行人を広く世界に求めます。発行人は任意の価格をつけて販売したり、広告を集めてフリーペーパーとして配布するなど、JQRを利用したあらゆるビジネスを行えます。また、企業の広報誌やPR誌などとしてもお使い頂けます。発行人となる権利は1号につき100ドル。詳しくは諸条件をご確認ください。個人、企業を問わず、誰でもご利用頂けます。

We are seeking the world wide publishers of JQR. Issuers can do any business using JQR, such as selling with a price attached, collecting advertisements and distributing them as free paper. It can also be used as corporate publicity magazines and PR magazines. The right to be an issuer is $ 100 per issue. Please confirm the conditions in detail. Everyone can use it regardless of individuals or companies.

2011年4月にスタートしたJQRは現在26号まで配信中。
英語、フランス語、中国語2言語で、日本の伝統文化を始め、観光、グルメ、ファッション、最新技術などを世界に伝えています。

JQR which launched in April 2011 is now released No. 26. We issue JQR in English, French and 2 Chinese languages.
We are introducing Japanese traditional culture, sightseeing, gourmet, fashion, latest technology etc. to the world.

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『JQR on-demand article service』

You can use articles freely

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JQRの記事を記事単位で利用するサービスです。雑誌やフリーペーパー、広報誌やPR誌などの記事に、また、チラシ、カタログなどのコンテンツとしてご利用頂けます。ご利用料金はページ数にかかわらず1記事50ドルです。詳しくは諸条件をご確認ください。

It is a service that uses articles of JQR for each article. It can be used for articles such as magazines, free papers, public relations magazines and PR magazines, as content such as flyers, catalogs, etc. The fee is $ 50 per article regardless of the number of pages. Please confirm the conditions in detail.

写真やイラストをふんだんに使った美しいレイアウトで内容も多岐にわたります。

Contents are varied in a beautiful layout using plenty of photos and illustrations.

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