Category Archives: Japan

Brian Ashcraft, let me do your homework for you

In Kotaku’s grand tradition of shoddy reporting and lack of any decent research, Brian Ashcraft has written an impassioned but so supremely hypocritical article on the RapeLay controversy (link roundup) that I felt compelled to briefly bring this blog temporary … Continue reading

Posted in Abuse, rape, and domestic violence, Japan, Pornography, Sex, sexuality, and sexual politics, The Evil -ism's, Video Games | 11 Comments

At this rate, there won't be any games left for me to play

I have been feeling rather unhappy with Capcom for a while, but this takes the cake: Resident Evil 5 producer Jun Takeuchi tells Kotaku that calls of racial insensitivity haven’t affected the game’s design. Takeuchi tells the site that the … Continue reading

Posted in Companies Behaving Badly, Japan, Privilege, Racism, Video Games | 16 Comments

They're called "hosts", tyvm

When Jill linked to an article on “geisha guys” in a recent link roundup, I thought to myself, “I bet they’re talking about hosts. I mean, what would an article about Japan be without using Othering terminology to emphasize how … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Media and journalism | 8 Comments

Japanese women are the biggest users of Wii and DS… ORLY?

From Nintendo’s women gamers could transform market: Japanese women have overtaken their male counterparts to become the biggest users of Nintendo’s Wii and DS machines in a seismic shift that the company said would “transform the video games industry”. This … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Video Games | 5 Comments

Report on Violence Involving Sexual Minorities in Japan

I was recently made aware of a report from the Institute for Global Health by Anthony S. DiStefano documenting violence involving sexual minorities in Japan in 2003-2004. The report, entitled Report on Violence Involving Sexual Minorities in Japan, is available … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Queer Issues, Sex, sexuality, and sexual politics, Studies | 2 Comments

Short post on disability and my school

As some of you may know, I’m currently attending language school in Japan. There is a student dorm, but most of the housing is apartments rented out to students. When I first got here, I was a bit surprised to … Continue reading

Posted in Companies Behaving Badly, Japan, Personal, The Evil -ism's | 5 Comments

Japanese Beauty, Indeed

Japanese Beauty, Indeed As all of you know, I was in Tokyo last weekend (it was a fun trip; thanks for asking!). There was an advertising campaign that I saw on the train whose tagline was “Japanese Beauty.” The first … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Multiculturalism | 3 Comments

Because sexual harassment is hilarious

I’m not sure what bothers me more about 行殺! Spirits (“Line-Kill Spirits”): the game itself or the response to it.

Screenshot from Line-Kill SpiritsLet’s start with the game itself. It seems like a typical cutesy all-girl fighting game. The art style employed is one that is generally associated with pre-adolescence – it tends to be used in children’s manga and lolita porn. I’d put the girls at middle school at the latest, personally. Still, that sort of thing isn’t unusual; I’ve known plenty of fighting games that employ those marketing tactics.

What is unusual, however, is an added game element: picture taking. Not just any kind of picture taking, however, panty shot pictures. As anyone who has watched anime knows, there is a seemingly cultural fixation in Japan on women’s underwear. In particular, men and boys lifting up unwilling women’s skirts to look at their underwear. I can’t speak for how common it is in real life (not being a Japanese woman, nor living in Japan), but I do know that harassment is a part of women’s daily life there. One example of this is the women-only trains that companies began to run because of the unnervingly high instance of sexual assault (groping, mostly, but I’ve heard stories about men using women’s asses for masturbation aids).

To add fuel to the fire, it is not creepy old men taking these pictures (which would be bad enough), but the other girls themselves doing it. Showing women participating in their own objectification (ala. Levy’s “raunch culture”, girly kissing culture, etc) only serves to normalize the behaviour. After all, if the girls are willing to do it then it must be okay, right? While I wouldn’t think that anyone would confuse LKS with reality, having the girls do it to each other rather than a man doing it to a girl undoubtedly helps the players to rationalize the game as “harmless fun”. Continue reading

Posted in Abuse, rape, and domestic violence, Companies Behaving Badly, Japan, Pornography, Sex, sexuality, and sexual politics, The Evil -ism's, Video Games | Comments Off

In Support of an Empress

This has been in the works for a while, but apparently the cogs of bureaucracy have started moving: The panel last week recommended revising Japanese law to give an emperor’s first-born child of either sex the right to head the … Continue reading

Posted in Gender issues, Japan, Politics | 2 Comments

On "sick" states and birthrates

So, I was over at Amptoons reading a thread entitled Even For Pro-Lifers, Banning Abortion Makes No Sense, in which Amp makes a bunch of points about reducing the number of abortions that I couldn’t agree more on. Read it, go, I command you. Anyway, I went through the comments and ended up writing a response. Due to my bombastic nature, I decided to cut out one part entirely ’cause it was off on a tangent that deserved more than the page it already had. Ergo, I’m posting it here for your viewing pleasure.

So, first of all, some stats. Continue reading

Posted in Childfree Issues, Japan, Politics, Reproductive Rights | Comments Off