Vlog

Sexist Anime Is Japanese Culture?

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?

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Vlog

Why You Need To “Unlearn” Your English (or any second language)

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 discrimination? (more…)

By Masaki C. Matsumoto, ago
Blog

Read before you write about LGBT politics in Japan

Edit (May 2): If you are using Google Translate or a similar service in order to read this, please do not trust the translation. If you think that Tokyo Rainbow Pride is the main topic of this article, that is not true. The main topic is English-language LGBT journalism.


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. (more…)