Dear Tak Toyoshima,
I love your comic, “Secret Asian Man.”
Because you focus on race issues, social misunderstandings and related topics, I am hoping you could provide some wisdom that I could share with national leaders in an ongoing debate.
I am a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture, herbal medicine and massage systems have been lumped under the general heading of “Oriental medicine.” This descriptor has been widely used, since there are many styles of acupuncture/medicine. “Oriental” has been used in state laws, books, national regulatory agencies, state and national professional associations and schools.
Some have objected to the use of “Oriental” as being a slur. As practitioners, we by our nature care very much about other people, and the history and culture of the wonderful medicine that we practice. To further confuse the issue, many of us (including national leaders and scholars) were totally unaware that the use of the term was a problem.
There is discussion of the use of other terms, however, Asian medicine and Chinese medicine have been deemed possibly too narrow in scope, and traditional medicine too broad.
What are your thoughts, and do you have any ideas of a solution to this problem?