Weekly Round-Up, 14-20 December 2022: Millennium Actress, Racial Profiling Investigation, and Ooku Live-Action Adaptation

By: Anime Feminist December 20, 20220 Comments
Bocchi's heart beats out of her chest

AniFem Round-Up

Revisiting the Popularity and Cultural Context of Vampire Knight

Kennedy looks back at a gothic shoujo love triangle that borrowed from everything popular at the time, rose to fame, and is barely talked about today.

The Beautiful Masculinity of Mob Psycho 100

Over and over, MP100’s storytelling rejects shonen’s “be the strongest” narrative and emphasizes compassion, community, and the importance of not bottling up your emotions.

What’s your favorite anime-related memory?

Let’s look back on the times anime’s brought us together.

Beyond AniFem

Revisiting The Timeless Millennium Actress (Anime News Network, Steve Jones and Monique Thomas)

In celebration of possibly Kon’s best film being made available on Crunchyroll.

Steve: It’s a narrative you can easily imagine turning cynical at any moment, but it never does. That’s also not to say it turns a blind eye to the struggles and injustices of its subject. Chiyoko fights against jealousy, betrayal, fascism, abuses of power, and Nature itself. In the context of the film, though, these pitfalls only deepen her resolve and the romanticism of her long journey.

In other words, it’s a movie that’s aware of the industry’s fallibility but also in love with the art it produces. You see that, especially in the fidelity of its references, which span the history of Japanese film in the mid-20th century. Look at these gorgeous allusions to Throne of Blood, for example.

Nicky: And similar to how Kurosawa saw distinct sociological parallels with Scotland portrayed in Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Middle Ages Japan that viewers could take lessons from, Millennium Actress intentionally parallels all its stories in a way that reflects how the outer world impacts Chiyoko’s life. Japan’s history is no stranger to war and unrest, but these stories equally reflect her desire to go beyond her role as a woman and how restrictive that’s always been, forcing her to find power and agency.

Racial profiling, discrimination in Japan far more serious than stats reported by police (The Mainichi, Jun Ida)

Investigative reporting delving further into the report earlier claiming only six cases of racial profiling by police. Includes replicated reports of racial harassment.

The six incidents of racial profiling were acknowledged in a report announced by the National Police Agency (NPA) in November. The officers involved were from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) in Tokyo, as well as the prefectural police forces of Miyagi, Kanagawa, and Osaka. In one case, a biracial man in his 20s with Japanese and Black roots was approached by a police officer who searched his belongings. The officer apparently said, “Based on my experience, there are many cases where a stylish person with dreadlocks like yours has drugs.”

Meanwhile, the Tokyo Bar Association carried out a survey between January and February this year targeting foreign residents and those with foreign roots. According to the results disclosed in September, of the 2,094 valid responses, 62.9% said they had been subjected to questioning by police in the past five years. Among them, 85.4% said that officers approached them while acknowledging that they were someone with foreign roots based on “physical features” and other factors. Among those who had been questioned, 76.9% believed that there were no other factors than them being “a foreigner or someone with foreign roots” that prompted the police officers to approach them.

Lawyer questioned attacker’s liability to sexually assaulted ex-Japan SDF member’s face (The Mainichi, Toshiaki Uchihashi and Kotaro Adachi)

The article includes explicit description of the harassment Gonoi faced.

Gonoi explained at the Dec. 19 news conference that the three now former GSDF members offered some 300,000 yen (about $2,300) each as settlement money. When the attorney was presenting her this offer, they reportedly said it was “questionable whether the personnel could be held liable individually” over the assault.

Gonoi said, “I was ready to accept the offer but more than the amount of settlement, I was surprised by this comment, which made me think they are not taking (the damage they have caused) seriously.”

In response, Gonoi said she had asked the accused men how they were facing their actions and how they were taking responsibility, and is waiting for their reply. She also stated that she was considering suing the national government for damages.

Gonoi also revealed that around the time she started coming forward about the sexual assault on a video sharing site after she left the GSDF in June, anonymous social media users posted defamation and false claims about her. She said she has filed reports with police over malicious posts.

Japan care home requires sterilization of mentally disabled couples (The Mainichi)

Involuntary sterilization of disabled individuals was outlawed in Japan in 1996.

The facility operated by Asunaro Social Welfare Service Corporation in Esashi, Hokkaido, has made sterilization a condition for mentally disabled couples for more than 20 years.

It said eight such couples had agreed to the treatment, in which men had to undergo a vasectomy and women had to wear a contraceptive ring.

Those who refused the treatment were asked to leave the facility, and job assistance was terminated, which could constitute a violation of reproductive rights or the right to decide whether to bear and raise children.

New Live-Action Ōoku: The Inner Chambers Series Reveals 4 Additional Cast Members, Video (Anime News Network, Alex Mateo)

Yoshinaga Fumi’s historical AU manga about a women-led shogunate is getting a new adaptation.

 The series will premiere on NHK on January 10, 2023. Yoshiko Morishita (live-action JIN) is penning the scripts for the show. The series will primarily center on the Iemitsu, Tsunayoshi, Yoshimune, and Imperial Restoration arcs. Kohta Yamamoto (Attack on Titan The Final Season, Kingdom) will compose the music. Lilas Ikuta will perform the theme song “Tanpopo” (Dandelion).

Viz Media publishes the manga in English, and it describes the story:

In Edo period Japan, a strange new disease called the Red Pox has begun to prey on the country’s men. Within eighty years of the first outbreak, the male population has fallen by seventy-five percent. Women have taken on all the roles traditionally granted to men, even that of the Shogun. The men, precious providers of life, are carefully protected. And the most beautiful of the men are sent to serve in the Shogun’s Inner Chamber…

Basics for studying Zainichi society 1/n (Sayaka Chitani)

Start of a blog series with beginner info for researching Zainichi communities in Japan.

As often said, Zainichi Korean society today is very diverse. I am not even sure if “society” is a fitting term to describe Zainichi people any more. You will meet Zainichi Koreans of all sorts of identities, occupations, and backgrounds in Japan. But even then, major groups and gatherings still have some connections with one of the two organizations, Chongryon (Sōren 総連) or Mindan 民団. This might not be obvious because most of them do say they are open to all Zainichi Koreans (and they are indeed available to all Zainichi Koreans). The first step to identify groups’ general orientations is to look at their names and see what letter or word they use to describe “Korea.”

「韓」 means South Korea, 韓国. This usually indicates a stronger identification with South Korea and/or Mindan.

「朝」has a little more complicated meaning coming from the term 朝鮮. It is supposed to indicate the entire Korean peninsula. Many Japanese tend to avoid the word 朝鮮人 (Chōsenjin), however, because the sound of it reminds them of the derogatory use of the word widely seen in Japan’s modern history. But Chongryon people take pride in being 朝鮮 saram (person), and usually use the letter 「朝」. If you see 「朝」in the group’s name, by the fact the group did not choose「韓」and is comfortable using「朝」, it most likely indicates a Chongryon-leaning group.

VIDEO: Reflection on the recent progress made in gaming accessibility.

THREAD: Announcement of new academic publication, Queer Subjects in Modern Japanese Literature.

THREAD: Trans architectural designer and model Sari Kaede points out that new uniform options only matter if they exist in an environment where students feel safe to wear them.

TWEET: Farewell letter from longtime head of Right Stuf Shawne Kleckner.

AniFem Community

Sometimes anime is good, huh?

Anime plays a very important role for me growing up. As a trans non-binary person that grew up in conservative and religious household, my experience and identity always denied by others, and because I grew up as an AMAB, there were some expectations that the society expected from me. Because all of those reasons above and with how badly people around me treat queer people, I internalized queerphobia and tried to hide my queer identity by performing heteronormativity, and of course I failed and people treated me badly because of that. Later on in life, I discovered anime and I found myself rotating towards anime that consists with some queer elements in it, and that was help me a lot in embracing my queer identity. Shows like Yuri On Ice, Wandering Son, Tokyo Godfathers, heck even Steins;Gate really help me to overcome my internalized queerphobia and accept my queer identity. I could live my authentic self now because of anime and I always thankful for that and I wish anime would give more positive queer representations in the future.

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