How do we talk about sexism, heterosexism, and ciscentrism in anime/manga when it’s part of “their culture”? Can we criticize misogynous, homophobic and transphobic anime/manga without being ethnocentric and arrogant? What’s the best way to address them? Or should we all shut our mouths and let them be? Would that make us anti-feminist and anti-queer? Read more →
Language, culture, and identity——a translation tip that I learned after watching a lot of Doctor Who
Language is a weird thing. It’s external but also integral to our human psyche. By the time you’ve learned to speak, you become situated, recognizably to all including yourself, in the world. But if language has such a formational functionality, it must mean that when we learn a second language, we are to some extent repeating a similar process of… Read more →
Consumers and creators of BL are often the target of online harassment and attacks. But I think there’s misogyny and homophobia behind that. (This video is in Japanese but subbed in English.) Read more →
How do I say “bless you” in Japanese when someone sneezes? Why do Japanese people say “itadakimasu” (I shall take/eat it) before eating something? Well, language and culture are closely tied to each other. And to really speak a second language naturally, you need to learn the culture as well. But, what if that second culture contains something bad, like… Read more →
“Hate crime is nonexistent in Japan,” “Japan only recently started having pride marches,” “homosexuality is accepted in Japan because of the traditional male-male shudo sexual/romantic culture,” “Japanese media are LGBT-friendly,” and “Taiga Ishikawa is the first openly gay politician in Japan” are all false! Read more →
Queer Filmmaker Graham Kolbeins talks about interviewing queer people, funding for queer documentary filmmakers, creative freedom vs focus, the Western gaze, the male gaze, the issue of representation of minorities, and his upcoming project Queer Japan. Read more →
There’s a debate on whether homosexuality is a preference or orientation. But is one better than the other? Let’s take a moment to go back in history to see how the idea of homosexuality was born. Read more →
When someone confronts you and says you’re racist, misogynous, homophobic, ableist, etc…. it’s tempting to say “that’s not what I meant.” But let’s take a moment and think about how discrimination works in a circular structure and how your words and action can constribute to it. In this bilingual (eng/jp) video, I explain why your intention doesn’t matter. Read more →
My Interview on Feminism, Queer Activism, and Representation in Japanese Pop Culture Is Now Online at AniFem
Amelia said she wanted to interview me for the AniFem website, and I agreed, part of the reason being it’s a new website and yet they promise to pay all writers starting 2017. That should not be a big deal, but it kinda is when so many writers around the world are underpaid or not paid at all. That, and I just liked the idea of creating a sort of like an online hub where you can find lots of queer and feminist information, resources, critiques etc. about otaku cultures. Read more →
Although this isn’t intended to be an exhaustive summary of history of LGBT politics in Japan, which I cannot possibly provide given my limited knowledge, I just couldn’t take anymore the shittiness of the news articles written about LGBT politics in Japan.
The most typical, all-too-common article written in English never fails to make the followings clear:
- Japan lags behind the West. There’s nothing legal about gay partnerships, and people there are afraid to come out.
- But things are changing. And such changes are welcomed with enthusiasm by all LGBTs in Japan.
And I say, THIS IS BULLSHIT. Read more →