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black & white [Aug. 12th, 2005|10:48 pm]
[Current Mood |depresseddepressed]

I've been reading up on articles on Japanese pop culture - & recent fandom buzz about costume decisions for Awake - Nagoya lives had me hunting around for other articles too. Some people find this talk annoying but I think it's great - We are living in an age of war & destruction with a media that seems to be asleep (perhaps in bed with the powers that be?) ~~ maybe taking a moment to talk about history, war, fairness & OMG there should be a law that Laruku has to wear tailored uniforms & boots everyday

While not quite the same - I found an article that talked about a campaign against Racism against Blacks.

(Mangajin #16)
In 1990, the Association to Stop Racism Against Blacks initiated a campaign to stop the publishing of “racist” manga. This tiny Osaka organization – essentially consisting of Mr. Arita Toshiji, his wife, and his son –was previously instrumental in getting the Little Black Sambo story removed from bookstores, and in discouraging the use of “racist” imagery of advertising.

The Arita family takes the hard-to-dispute position that the Japanese media contains too many negative stereotypes of people of African descent; that they are too often portrayed as grass-skirted, bones-in-noses-cannibals, servants, “jazz musicians,” and so forth, and that in manga they are often heavily caricatured, with rounded faces, fat bodies, big eyes, and thick lips.

Although the Arita family has laudable goals, their approach has unfortunately been rather dogmatic and formulaic. To make an analogy, they have often been like the Japanese censors who scratch out offending Playboy nudes, and ignore the real pornography. First the Arita organization presented manga publishers with strident demands for retraction of what it deemed offending material, and then, after enlisting scores of religious and civil rights groups in the United States in a letter writing campaign, it deluged the publishers. That the letter-writers were outraged was understandable; most cannot read Japanese, but had been shown isolated images taken out of context from long stories, even stories with a strong antidiscrimination theme.

To the shock of Japan, one of the main targets of the campaign has been Tezuka Osamu, the “God of Comics”. Tezuka is beloved in Japan in large part because of his humanism, and his compassion for all mankind. To accuse him of being a racist, it probably seems to many Japanese, is rather like accusing Mahatma Gandhi of being a child molester…..

….Manga artists particularly resent being told what is politically correct to say or to draw, or threatened with anything resembling censorship. In some genres of comics, moreover, the very purpose of the cartooning is to distort, to poke fun, and to ridicule. In this visual world, all the characters, including Japanese people, are drawn in what could be construed as an offensive style.

…The anti-racism campaign may ultimately sensitize the public, but its ham-fisted approach has exacerbated the paranoia many Japanese have of being unfairly criticized.

Little Black Sambo flies off the shelves

I remember seeing clips of popular Japanese acts of the 80s-90's, including some fellow who I swear was in blackface - 2 guys & one was doing the moonwalk thing. You could tell they didn't see this as offensive, it wasn't presented in that way - Well I didn't find them but my google search found a mention of mcvarmazi 's site - (referenced in a thread where Gackt is talked about) It's exceptionaly cringe-worthy but I thought you'd like to know the passing reference. I want to see Gackt naked

[User Picture]From: bijuarukei
2005-08-13 04:42 am (UTC)
I always flinched whenever I saw a really blatent stereotype in Japan, especially when seeing the "black face." It's hard to believe something so taboo in the US can be simply amusing and childish in another country.

Also, I would like to see Gackt naked out of sheer curiosity.
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[User Picture]From: nepenthes59
2005-08-13 04:49 am (UTC)
Yes - those over the top stereotypes make me cringe more then those inane jrockforum. >.>

I was looking at old High School Year books & there were Minstrel shows going on when I was in elem sch. Shows like Dr. Quinn made me cringe too because they were so PC in a non-PC ear

I think I'd rather see Gackt in a uniform ^.~
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[User Picture]From: doap
2005-08-13 12:32 pm (UTC)
hahaha* uniform

Gackt already shoot nude pictures, why do so many pple want to see this again??
i'd vote for Becks & Takki too lol
+ nice poll ^.^

mmm... tricky... different cultures see offense in different things, true
i didn't read that book so i dunno what to say about it but i suppose we should ask Black pple if they feel offended by it, our care about equality is a bit like pity/condescension sometimes, which is bad imo

C Céline**
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[User Picture]From: bijuarukei
2005-08-13 02:54 pm (UTC)
Has hyde sparked a sudden uniform fetish in all of us? (I've always been a closeted uniform fetisher myself.)

I never watched Dr. Q, but I do remember seeing a production of some wild west play where half the cast of cowboys was some type of minority . I'm up for equal oportunity, but Filipino cowboys? I don't know about that...
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[User Picture]From: jinjja
2005-08-13 11:45 am (UTC)
I wish tetsu had been wearing the uniform *O* *has fetish for nazi-type uniforms*
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[User Picture]From: bijuarukei
2005-08-13 02:52 pm (UTC)
He did wear the SS winter uniform in "niji." I think it's more accurate than hyde's summer!Nazi getup, but I don't know of many people who made a big deal out of it because a) it was a long time ago in J-rock fandom years and b) the uniform lacked the tell-tale blitz SS.
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[User Picture]From: faded_poetry
2005-08-13 06:51 pm (UTC)

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[User Picture]From: jmtimages
2005-08-14 03:43 am (UTC)
IIRC, I think there was a skit from the mid-80s with The Tunnels group (I think it was them) doing a takeoff on the "Thunderbirds" TV show called "Thunberdirds" and one or two of their characters may have been in blackface. It's been so long since I've seen that skit (one of the San Antonio C/FO anime club members had it in his tape collection and showed it once or twice at meetings), so I can't remember all of the details....

And, um, no comment regarding Gackt preferences....
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[User Picture]From: faithfulmoder
2005-08-14 04:31 am (UTC)
Yeah, a friend of a friend had cards she'd use when teaching little children over here. They had different characters, one of whom was black, and whenever she showed a card with the black character the kids would all go "Kowaii! Kimoi!" (Scary! Gross! Weird!)

This was last year... It's scary to think this is the future of Japan.

Thanks for the pics, as usual. ^_^
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[User Picture]From: aylengyr
2005-08-14 05:18 am (UTC)
well I think that reality is subjective, depending on the frame of reference of the veiwer, so japan has some really different ideas about whats rude and offensive. Just as the middle east does, like for example they behead people there, here thats abhorrent on a colossal scale, but there, they just shrug it off.
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[User Picture]From: violetcloud
2005-08-14 12:09 pm (UTC)
thanx so much for the article and bringing up blacks and japan.

actually thats one of the things im kinda not looking foreward too if i visit japan... being stared at for being black XD;. i guess im lucky that im pretty light skinned? =/ id hate to see how really dark skinned black people are looked at o_o.
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