Hanzo and Genji Shimada Meta Post + E. Asian Cultural Notes

I saw a post about Japanese stoicism in relations to Hanzo, and while that’s a completely valid point to make about Hanzo and his behavior, I also want to talk about male expectations, and how men are coddled in E. Asian society.

There are a lot of expectations on men in E. Asia, this is definetely! A huge thing! And they are often discouraged from being too emotionally vulnerable and open. But this is actually an old, traditional stereotype that is slowly dismantling itself as the generations go on!

What I want to discuss is that men in E. Asia are extremely coddled. They are allowed to get away with ASTRONOMICALLY bad behavior as long as they brush up in school, get a good job, and provide for their family and elders. Hanzo and Genji are actually a great reflection of that, especially since Genji was the spoiled 2nd son who was allowed to do whatever he wanted and got away with it, which is. Pretty typical in Asia.

Hanzo had all of the expectations placed on him as the male heir. But men are allowed an inherent amount of whatever the fuck they want just bc they’re male, and this is becoming a trending issue in E. Asia, esp as women are growing financially and culturally more independent and not marrying young like they used to. A lot of families are babying their sons and allowing them to get away with so much because of a lot of cultural, economic, and social changes affecting genders norms and how the Asian nuclear family dynamic is falling apart.

To me as an E. Asian, a lot of Hanzo’s anger and guilt screams very “self-righteous, first male son” and it’s just. Baffling. That not a lot of people talk about it, esp in Western portion of fandom. Even Asian fans, but this is a culture thing tied stronger to a certain sect of native ethnic E. Asians and a percentage of first immigrants.

Hanzo has a lot of reasons to act the way he does, and his story and character is more nuanced and complex than given, but also. Blizzard didn’t mean to write such a complex story on purpose, and their depiction of the Shimadas are outdated and based on mystical stereotypes that is tiresome to see.

I read Hanzo as way more sociopathic and unable to fully comprehend the amount of damage and trauma he inflicted on Genji.

So, for all Asian society dictates you listen to your elders, but it also dictates that immediate family is important, that your sibling is important. Especially since Genji was Hanzo’s only immediate sibling.

TL;DR: OVW fandom’s treatment of Hanzo bores the fuck out of me bc they’re completely gloss over E. Asia culture and the way it affected Hanzo’s behavior and how HANZO KILLING GENJI IS ON HIM AS MUCH AS IT IS ON THE ELDERS WHO PROB MANIPULATED HIM LMAO…Listen if y'all believe that E. Asians will do anything and everything as long as their elders told them to, you’ve got another thing coming EVEN IF THEY’RE PART OF ORGANIZED CRIME LIKE M'DUDES. ???????

-@thedreamcreek on Twitter



photo by 2.2momo

traditional japanese tea “梅茶 umecha (japanese apricot tea)“

I don’t understand people who say “Nintendo is so homophobic and racist because they never put POC or LGBTQIAP++ characters in their games!”

First off, gay marriage is still illegal in Japan. There are Japanese games that focus on gay characters, but Nintendo is a family-friendly general appeal kind of publisher.

And as for characters of different ethnicities, Japan is one of the most racially homogenous countries in the world. Almost 99% of the population is Yamato Japanese. A black person in Japan is an incredibly rare sight.

In fact, most other countries aren’t as racially diverse as the US.

If an American looks at a piece of Japanese media and sees a sea of Caucasians (and afterwards complains about a lack of PoC), he is projecting his own views and biases onto the work.

In its country of origin, the cast would be seen as Japanese without question. Anime characters who are meant to be white have both blond hair and blue eyes, as well as features like a large nose, because that is how white people are generally perceived in Japan.

I’m not saying a particular culture is right or wrong. But when examining media we have to remember context and be aware of our biases.

Stop judging international media by US standards and then complaining that it doesn’t live up to them.



by kazunawada

traditional japanese cuisine “うどん udon“

three kinds of veggie-kneaded udon noodles

carrot udon noodles, spinach udon noodles and pumpkin udon noodles

Me (to older brother/little sister kindergarten students): 将来に何になりたい? / What do you want to be when you grow up?
Older Brother: やっぱりお医者さん!/ Of course I want to be a doctor!
Me: いいね!私の父もお医者さんだよ!◯◯ちゃんは? / That’s good! My dad is also a doctor. (Name of little sister)-chan, what about you?
Little Sister: えぇ?わからん!/ Huh? I don’t know!
Older Brother: お嫁さん?/ A bride?
Me: ◯◯ちゃんもお医者さんになったら? / How about (Little sister’s name)-chan became a doctor also?
Older Brother: えぇぇ!?(笑)Ehhh!? (Laughs)
Little Sister: 嫌だ!だって気持ち悪いもん。/ Ew! But their job is so gross!
Me: 慣れるよ!みんなも、最初気持ち悪いけど、時間経つと慣れるよ。/ You get used to it! Everyone is grossed out by it at first, but as time passes you grow accustomed to it.
Little Sister: さあ、どうかな〜 / Hmm… I wonder~

And if you think this is an isolated incident, it’s not. This is sadly an extremely common experience. I often street pass (wireless program on the Nintendo 3DS) little girls and I am often able to see what they have listed as their future aspiration. More times than I can count I have seen “将来の夢はお嫁さんになること” (My dream is to become a bride!) In fact, it is the most common future aspiration I have seen listed for young girls. I am the only girl I have ever seen list their dream as wanting to be a “boss” (将来の夢は社長になること). 

And even the teaching materials I have to use to teach my students English present women as having an expected gender role (housewife) and men are expected to work:

And it goes on to say that, “My brother likes soccer. My brother is an athlete. My brother is active.” And then about his little sister, “My little sister has long hair. My little sister is cute.” Women are valued for their appearance and when they grow up they become housewives. Men are valued for their skills and when they grow up they can become whatever they want. This is not an isolated incident; all of my teaching materials reflect these prehistoric gender roles. 

I live in very rural Japan, where I have heard husbands call their wives 家内(outdated term to refer to your wife that literally means ‘inside the house’ and is considered to be quite sexist). And, when talking to a student, they said it is still normal for men to propose to their wives by saying: “毎日俺のご飯を作って下さい” (Please make my food everyday.) 

Anime for children also reflects these ideas, and from early on teaches women that they exist to bask in the male gaze (so many idol animes), where as men are taught that they are adventurers, sports players, etc. It is really incredibly depressing to watch. 

Pornographic magazines are displayed in broad daylight - portraying the idea that women exist for men’s enjoyment 24 hours a day. If they really must have those magazines on clear display of women in very degrading positions, why is there not a male equivalent!? Children are able to see those magazines as well, and can come to their own conclusions.

Japan is the third-largest economy in the world, and yet it has the OECD’s second-highest gender pay gap. In Japan, full-time working women earn nearly 28% less than their male counterparts. And, pregnancy leave for women rarely even exists. When women take time off work to have a child, they have to reenter the company at an entry level position.

In short, I am extremely irritated at the amount of people I have seen arguing that Japan is in any way a progressive society for women. It is not. Please stop romanticizing the way this society treats women.

“Harajuku Girl”, Trademark Gwen Stefani

I don’t like getting involved in Cultural Appropriation arguments, because there are so many different views and no one ever agrees. But this case is a bit different from the usual “Can non-Japanese people wear kimono?” battles.

Gwen Stefani, a rich American celebrity, has trademarked the term “Harajuku Girl”. Why does that sound crazy? Because there are real Harajuku Girls in a real place called Harajuku, Japan. Harajuku culture has been around for decades - long before Gwen Stefani ever heard of it.

Does it seem a little strange for someone to claim the exclusive legal right to use the term “Harajuku Girl”, when the term has been around for decades, and it refers to a culture that she has never been part of? In addition, the trademark will likely be used to market goods that will, by their very name, misrepresent the real Harajuku culture to the world.

Not sure what it all means, but we deal with real Harajuku girls (and boys) every day, so thought I’d mention it at least.
When in Japan...

…and you’re in the bathroom and someone knocks to see if someone is in there, it’s not like America or other western countries. You don’t reply back with with words or anything, that’s considered rude and may startle the other person. Instead, you simply knock back on the door, imitating their knock. I learned this from my wonderful co-worker today and thought some of you might like to know!