Teresa Navarro looks at two of Okazaki Kyoko’s most famous josei series and how they break “acceptable” roles for manga heroines.
Mo Black unpacks the implications of MHA counting the marginalized among its irredeemable villains while handing out redemption to Endeavor simply because he’s on the “hero” side.
Peter, Chiaki, and special guest Faye talk about the recent JUMP series that haven’t yet received anime adaptations.
Info on Black Lives Matter and other marches opposing police brutality in Japan.
Chihayafuru Creator Yuki Suetsugu Also Speaks Out in Support of Black Lives Matter Movement (Anime News Network, Kim Morrissy)
The manga author tweeted her support publicly and since then has been sharing resources related to BLM.
Her first tweet is translated as follows: “I seriously hate them. ‘Who do you hate?’ you might ask, and the first thing I’ll answer with is, ‘Bigots.’ I hate them so much I can’t stay calm. Why does this kind of thing still exist in our world? Because humans are creatures that just love discriminating. Because they want to own slaves. Because they’re pathetic creatures that say it’s easier to judge people by group.”
She went on: “There are protests in America where people are saying to stop the discrimination happening against Black people right now. Anyone who doesn’t encourage the protesters is standing for bigotry. (Bandwagoning the movement to do looting is a separate matter.) We might not be directly involved, but it’s very important even for people who aren’t involved to raise their voices. It’s a problem that affects all humans, after all.”
Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka speaks out for Black Lives Matter, faces backlash (The Washington Post, Simon Denyer, Akiko Kashiwagi, and Min Joo Kim)
Osaka, who has faced many racist comments during her career, had yet more flung her way after speaking out in favor of protesters.
Activists say police routinely target foreigners in Japan for random checks — although seldom white Westerners — and inflate or massage crime statistics ascribed to immigrants to exaggerate the threat and justify their actions, with domestic media all too willing to play along.
Protesters marching through Tokyo’s central Shibuya district were incensed after video emerged last month of police manhandling a 33-year-old Turkish man of Kurdish origin in the capital after pulling his car over.
The man’s attorney, Yasuaki Nara, said his client has filed a criminal complaint against the police for causing him neck and back injuries while forcing him to the ground.
Police declined to comment on the case, but a police official told the Mainichi newspaper that the man had been speeding and had refused to present his driver’s license and that police restrained him only because traffic was heavy and the situation was dangerous.
Japan’s public broadcaster condemned over ‘offensive’ BLM anime (The Guardian, Justin McCurry)
The clip included caricatures of Black protesters and made no mention of police brutality.
The clip, made for a programme that aims to explain world events to children, made no mention of George Floyd, whose death while in police custody sparked the protests, or police brutality.
Social media users condemned the video for perpetuating stereotypes of African-Americans. Others pointed out that all of the protesters in the clip were black, even though people of all races have been taking part the protests, which have spread to other countries, including Japan.
Joseph M Young, the chargé d’affaires ad interim at the US embassy in Tokyo, tweeted: “While we understand @NHK’s intent to address complex racial issues in the United States, it’s unfortunate that more thought and care didn’t go into this video. The caricatures used are offensive and insensitive.”
The Feminist Movement in Japan: 1980s to Present (Unseen Japan, Alyssa Pearl Fusek)
A very brief primer on Japan’s feminist movement over the last 40 years. Part three of a series.
Amid reforms in the workplace and home, feminists began throwing around the term jenda furi (ジェンダーフリー). They interpretated jenda furi as “free of gender bias and discrimination” and “not bound by one’s gender.” Perhaps inevitably, conservatives didn’t take too kindly to this idea, believing it to be too radical. They blew the definition out of proportion, complaining that jenda furi ideology would lead to unisex bathrooms and legal provisions for LGBTQ+ people. The 1999 Basic Law for a Gender-Equal Society came under fierce attack, despite having a hand in its formation. It didn’t help that at this time women were scrutinizing Article 750 of the Civil Code, which stated married couples had to adopt the same surname, usually the husband’s name.
The conservative panic over genda furi carried well into the 2000s, fueled by continued misinterpretations of the term and its usage. As a result, feminists were caught in a furious backlash. Ueno stated in an interview that “[the backlash] turned out to be a lot fiercer than we expected and it actually did quite a lot of damage.” Lectures were canceled, funding for women’s centers was pulled, and feminists faced harassment and belittlement.
VIDEO: A report from one of the organizers of the BLM Kansai March
THREAD: Translation of an article regarding a gay man being denied spousal rights when his partner was murdered.
TWEET: Announcement of a new site that aggregates anime podcasts with Black hosts.
TWEET: Cosplayer discusses her experiences with fandom racism. (CW: slurs)
TWEET: Intro tweet for cosplayer/activist Ebby.
THREAD: Links to Black artists and creators in various industries and how to support them.
Here are some additional resources and updated information regarding marches and possible donations. Stay safe, AniFam, whether on the march or at home.
THREAD: List of Black LGBTQ+ organizations in need of support.
TWEET: Information on a BLM march in Fukuoka.
THREAD: Info and links on the future importance of having strong pro-bono legal resources for protesters.