“Idoru Fantasy”

Japan's Idolization of Children: A Cautionary Tale

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“The Dark Side of Kawaii” A YouTube Plea Against the Normalization of Children Portrayed as Sex Objects in Japan

As the ex-wife of a Japanese man with a "lolita complex" and the author of "The Six-Foot Bonsai," I'm always on the lookout for articles and stories that support my position that the idolization, commodification and sexualization of Japanese young girls is a serious cultural issue. The video linked below is a candid but measured … Continue reading “The Dark Side of Kawaii” A YouTube Plea Against the Normalization of Children Portrayed as Sex Objects in Japan

The Social Blindness of Anime Fandom

Anime fans around the world hold more power than they might imagine.  They are spending big money and Japan is raking in.  As potential movers and shakers in the world of popular culture, what then should these fans do with their strong influence?  Ask for more and better quality anime? It seems so. Recently I … Continue reading The Social Blindness of Anime Fandom

The Proper (Japanese) Way: PART II

"The Proper (Japanese) Way" is the manner by which this or that action is to be effectively carried out in Japanese social contexts.  The prescribed method is most often an aesthetic etiquette that sometimes has practical applications in that it can facilitate the action being accomplished efficiently well or "lean" as they say in business environments. … Continue reading The Proper (Japanese) Way: PART II

The Curious Old Country Women of Japan

Nakagawa-san was one of the “bent people.”  When she stood the upper part of her body was parallel to the floor.  And when she walked you generally could not see her face.  To navigate her small world, Nakagawa-san had to periodically stop, lean on her staff, and tilt her neck backwards. She was a perfect … Continue reading The Curious Old Country Women of Japan

500 Years to Ashes: The Death of a Family Line

Toyo was his idol.  Barely able to speak since the onset of something resembling dementia, her grandson relied on the old woman's expressive eyes to understand.  With telepathic abilities he knew when she needed a softer floor cushion and dialed the TV to her favorite sport sumo. "Right Man," the justified but unjustifiable name given … Continue reading 500 Years to Ashes: The Death of a Family Line

Shame vs. Guilt: Japan’s Missing Boy

Yamato Tanooka-chan, the dear seven year-old boy who was “fake-abandoned” as punishment for God only knows what indiscretion, was undoubtedly being shamed when he was left on the roadside. Berating and belittling drives conformity and is inherent in the Japanese way.  Anthropologist Ruth Benedict described the important difference between "shame" and "guilt" cultures in her 1946 … Continue reading Shame vs. Guilt: Japan’s Missing Boy