[Links] 9-15 August 2017

The Utena anniversary chapter, photos of LGBTQ Japan, and misogyny against Japanese politicians.

AniFem Round-Up

[History] Why we call it “Yuri”

Okazu’s Erica Friedman traces the lineage of how the f/f romance genre was named.

[Discourse] Fanservice and the Female Viewer: Abs for Empowerment

Guest Annie Hackney explores the difference in how “fanservice” is defined when marketed toward an assumed-straight female audience.

[AniFemTalk] Learning From Historical Fiction

What responsibilities are connected to historical fiction, for creators and for viewers?

 

Beyond AniFem

Our Favourite Gaming Art Directors From #VisibleWomen (Kotaku)

Highlighting the work of excellent women in the often misogynistic gaming industry.

Twitter can be full of doom and gloom, so it’s always refreshing when a light-hearted and uplifting hashtag picks up steam. Over the past couple of days on Twitter, female art directors from across the games industry have been showcasing their work under the hashtag #VisibleWomen. After seeing how much amazing art was being shared around, we had to put together a gallery of some of our favourites.

Happy 15th Birthday, Okazu! (Okazu)

Happy anniversary to a great hub for finding yuri content and community news.

What absolute has stayed with me for 15 years as the primary focus on Okazu is this:

Yuri is a way to build a bridge from American lesbian culture to Japanese lesbian culture. It’s true that Yuri is not “ours” as such, having so many owners, but it centers around our stories. That’s really the core concept to me. It’s true that readers, publishers and creators may not be LGBTQ or even interested in telling LGBTQ stories with any sense of  realism or honesty, but in the end, it’s our stories, and our opinions about those stories, that turn Okazu and Yuricon into a community for people all over the world. In 2017, I’d say we’ve been successful. I see more genuinely LGBTQ content in manga and comics and cartoons this year than I ever have before. Anime is still lagging behind, but that’s not all that surprising.

And above all other things, it’s that community that I want to celebrate today. I thank you YNN Correspondents, Guest Reviewers, my staff who travel with me and help keep this place running, folks who comment, folks who correct my mistakes and folks who simply enjoy the posts here – you, the Yuri Network, are the pride and joy of Okazu.

Anime: The Global Medium (The Canipa Effect)

A video on the globalization of anime and its consumption—be sure to check the video description for further reading.

‘Maternity harassment’ still dogs female lawmakers despite government’s empowerment goals (The Japan Times)

Women pursuing political work in Japan can find their careers permanently ended if they get pregnant.

Megumi Kaneko, a 39-year-old House of Representatives lawmaker from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, gave birth to a son in February of last year. A person who saw her cradling her son in her home district in Niigata Prefecture told her, “You’re done as a politician.”

That prompted Kaneko to later say, “In politics, I felt like prejudice remains and that it is something only for men.”

The Mainichi Shimbun reported that Hiromi Suzuki, 33, a member of Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward Assembly, took four months of maternity leave four years ago and again last year. During her first leave, sexually vulgar insults were scrawled over her posters, and she was labeled a “traitor” and urged to “quit” on social media.

Hi, I’m Kat from OWLS (Industry Interview) (Yatta-tachi)

A profile on the head of a group attempting to promote inclusivity within the anime blogging community.

Currently, our big things are our monthly blog tours and our end of the month live streams. As I mentioned before, each month has a different theme and prompt so, for example, our July Tour theme was “Mirror” and the prompt was,

“When we look in the mirror, what do we see? Do we see ourselves or someone we don’t want to be? For this month’s theme, we will be exploring some of our favorite anime and other pop culture media that redefine individual beauty—inside and out. Some topics we may explore are physical appearances, social expectations on gender, and the importance of self-confidence.”

[…] It’s always amazing to see the different directions each creator takes with these prompts! For example, my post dealt with Haruhi Fujioka from Ouran Highschool [sic] Host Club and how she is able to maintain a clear sense of self that is so hard to do (especially in high school). Meanwhile, Gigi from Animepalooza on YouTube created a video right before mine discussing Peach Girl and the scary world created by slut shaming. Same prompt, different directions, and both pretty darn cool!

What Hair Love Means to Me (Black Girl Nerds)

A celebration of Black hair from a collection of different voices.

Keisha: “My natural hair makes me happy and I know that sounds basic but… I hadn’t seen it since I was a little girl. My mom and I, as I got older, wanted manageable and that came with a perm and when your natural hair comes through, it feels like too much, but as I got older I wanted to see that I was concerned and scared of. I wish I had done it sooner. I love my curls, the way they twist and move, I got to discover a whole new sense of pride in the way I look, that’s straight from me, that makes me happy. It lets me know there is even more of me to discover.”

Revolutionary Girl Utena 20th Anniversary Manga: After the Revolution (少女革命ウテナ20年記念日新作) (Okazu)

A summary of the new Utena Anniversary chapter, the first in a series of indeterminate length.

This chapter was perfect. This story cannot possibly begin with Utena and Anthy. It will, I hope, end with them. But it could not possible have begun with them. (I submit almost all my own fanfic as a corroborating witness. )

We’ll be getting a second chapter in the winter, and, if my guess is good, it will follow Juri and Miki as they remember. I hope so, at any rate.  But it still won’t follow Anthy and Utena. Not yet…maybe not ever. Their absence is the story.

Internal affairs minister Noda eyes telecommuting to boost women’s empowerment (The Japan Times)

Seiko Noda hopes that being able to telecommute will offer women with children a chance to more easily balance work and family.

Noda, who doubles as minister in charge of women’s empowerment, said she will continue her efforts to increase the proportion of female lawmakers in Japan’s male-dominated political hub at Nagatacho.

“It’s been more than 70 years since women gained suffrage in Japan. Still, women account for less than 10 percent of the Lower House,” Noda lamented. “Women still are minorities in the world of politics.”

Currently women account for a mere 9 percent in the powerful 475-seat Lower House.

Love Island! LGBTQ Japan – in pictures (The Guardian)
A selection of photos from a larger collection focused on various kinds of queer life in Japan.

Ai Haruna is a civil rights activist and pop idol. She started as a drag queen in small clubs, then became a singer and guest on television and radio talk shows. She is now a host of Barrier Free, a primetime TV show about fighting prejudice. Ai Haruna is a trans woman – also known in Japanese as a “newhalf”. Her chosen name, Ai, means love in Japanese. A rare positive role model in contemporary Japanese queer culture, she works to help people challenge sexual and gender norms.

 

AniFem Community

This week’s talk led to some great recommendations for series (both in terms of quality and potential discussion). Also, since no one else brought it up, Vrai would highly recommend Barefoot Gen, as well as Keiji Nakazawa’s writings about facing ostracization and discrimination in Japanese society as a Hiroshima survivor.

tweet: Shigeru Mizuki's WWII tales including "Hitler" and "Onwards Toward Our Noble Deaths" are a raw and good read.
(Reproduced with permission)

 

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