APOLOGY DEMAND: China Kung Fu Monks Seek Apology for Insult to Their Honor

As I’ve said before, I generally try to cover actually apologies on Apology Index, rather than demands for an apology. But I am willing to make exceptions … and this is one of them. From AP, via the International Herald Tribune:

Shaolin monks deny online tale of ninja that bested them, demand apology

I am not making this up!

BEIJING: China’s Shaolin Temple has demanded a
public apology from an Internet user who claimed a Japanese ninja beat
its kung fu-practicing monks in a showdown, a lawyer said Friday.

A mere barbarian ninja defeat a monk of the Shaolin Temple? Ha! It is
laughable! He who would say such a thing must drunk or a fool. Shaolin
Temple kung fu is the best! Everyone knows this!

An open letter from the temple posted on the Internet on Thursday
denied the fight ever took place and called on the person who posted
the claim under the name “Five minutes every day” to apologize to the
temple’s martial arts masters.

And what terrible fate awaits the teller of such lies? In what manner will this miscreant be dispatched? The Floating Crane Strike? The Excellent Tiger Claw Blow? The Dance of the Seven Monkey? Perhaps the Five Finger Death Punch?


Monks from the temple, nestled in the Songshan Mountains of central
China’s Henan province, said they will consider legal action if he or
she doesn’t make a public apology.

Indeed. Shaolin law fu is the best! Everyone knows this!

Read for yourself the offensive lies that have precipitated this righteous action:

The posting last week on the “Iron Blood Bulletin Board Community”
described a ninja who challenged the monks of the Shaolin Temple to a
fight in August after practicing boxing at a Japanese mountain retreat
for five years. The Internet user claimed the monks accepted the
challenge and the ninja won, proving the monks are trained to perform
rather than fight.

Absurd! One might as well squeeze green tea from a stone as believe in such a thing!

The Shaolin Temple’s letter said the posting was “evil” and “a pure
fabrication.” It said the account of the ninja’s victory had been
widely commented on and distributed, especially in Japan.

Ninja? Ha! Mere assassins! Common criminals, lurking in shadows like timid mice or other unsavory vermin!

“This extremely irresponsible behavior not only impacts the Shaolin
temple and its monks, but also the whole martial arts community and the
Chinese people,” it said.

Sure the people of Japan do not so delude themselves as to place credence in such an obvious pack of insidious lies? Have they overindulged in their sake beverage?

Fah! Send your finest so-called ninja to us and even our most scrawny novice monk will dispose of him readily!

Shaolin kung fu is the best! Everyone knows this.

Developing …

Apologies Around the World: Japan

This story from Stars and Stripes caught my eye: “Suspect refused to pay $50,000 as apology to throat-slashing victim” I just can’t resist a good throat-slashing apology.

The quick summary:

While under
examination by his defense attorney, Masayuki Akamine, Daniels, 29, a
former Marine married to a sailor, said he at first offered $2,000 in
cash, a wristwatch and a letter of apology to his friend, Bryant White,
23, whose throat was slit in an altercation with Daniels and Marine
Sgt. Michael Avinger, 30.

According to Daniels, White eventually asked for $50,000 and Daniels refused to pay it.

said no,” Daniels said. “I could have paid him the money, but I didn’t
rob Mr. White or stab him. I’m sorry it happened to him. But I thought
it was ridiculous, you know, 50,000 in American dollars.”

In the U.S. legal system we might call offering an extrajudicial payoff to a crime victim bribery, witness tampering or somesuch. In Japan, it is apparently called “Jidan” and it’s part of their system:

Under the Japanese legal system, defendants in criminal cases traditionally offer jidan, or “I’m sorry” money, to the victims as a way of showing remorse.

in cases where a defendant pleads not guilty, an apology is offered to
show sympathy for the pain the victim has gone through. The sincerity
of the jidan carries a lot of weight in the sentencing process.

I am not personally familiar with the Japanese criminal justice system, so I don’t know if defendants are innocent until proven guilty or get pressed under heavy stones until they confess or what. I find it interesting that even if you plead not guilty, you are expected to offer the victim of the alleged crime some of that “I’m sorry” money. That seems bizarre to me … but, then, so does eating sea urchins, which the Japanese apparently find delicious. And don’t get me started on Pokemon.

But rather than blather on in complete ignorance, I found this scholarly-seeming paper on “The role of apology in the Japanese criminal justice system” by Professor Yoko Hosoi and Professor Haruo Nishimura. I will comment further when I get around to reading it.