Japanese Culture

/Tag:Japanese Culture

In many ways Japanese culture challenges Western culture. This series examines how.

A Day Trip To Bendigo Art Gallery

I'm on holidays. The perfect time to take day trips. This one has been on my wish list for some time. The Bendigo Art Gallery is perhaps Australia's best regional gallery and it's not too far from Melbourne (non-stop once you get on the Citylink freeway). Built during the time of the Victorian gold rush, it is home to an interesting collection of 19th century European and Australian art, but it also maintains a very good modern collection. Given the theme of the naked child in art there are two European works worth mentioning - although I cannot find any [...]

The Theology Of The Child And Adulthood

I think it's important to note that the theology of the child also makes a statement about the nature of adulthood. Rooted in the Puritan work ethic, the myth of childhood innocence necessarily includes a corresponding myth of adult 'responsibility'. If childhood is a time of play, then adulthood is serious and businesslike. In this world adults must work hard and deny themselves both play and pleasure. In fact we could propose a relationship: the more adults feel pressured by all the demands placed on them, the more they insist on childhood innocence. Interestingly, the most overworked and stressed people [...]

The Museum Of Erotic Art

I had my reservations about visiting the Museum of Erotic Art in Paris, mainly because of where it is - close to the Moulin Rouge and surrounded by porn shops. Guilt by association might suggest it would be tacky, seedy even. It was a pleasant surprise. The museum grew from a private collection. What I hoped was that it was a reasonably comprehensive collection from around the world. It was. The lower levels are dedicated to the erotic art from cultures around the world, Africa, South America, etc, with particular attention paid to India, China and Japan. The upper floors [...]

Baby Metal

This deserves a separate entry. Baby Metal are a manufactured 'idol' group. They perfectly demonstrate the way Japanese culture takes Western memes and reinterprets them. In this case Western Heavy Metal is combined with Asian pop, the girls are dressed in a style called Loli-Goth, yet it is still very kawaii -even the way they misuse the Heavy Metal finger salute. No doubt many a Western Heavy Metal purist will shudder at such sacrilege, but we should not assume that the Japanese really get Heavy Metal. To them it's just another meme they can borrow and play with. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QbAXXXOJF8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXnMrqMqTyA&feature=related [...]

Junior Idol, Sexualisation, Kawaii And The Clash Of Cultures

My third novel is concerned with the clash of cultures, east vs west. With the decline of America and Europe, Australia is increasingly turning to Asia. As a result there has been a corresponding increase in Asian immigration and therefore an increase in the popularity of Asian culture. As I write this my TV is tuned to SBS's Pop Asia which showcases, as the name suggests, pop music from Japan, Korea and China (especially Taiwan). A good example is Korean girl group Miss A, Bad Girl, Good Girl. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RCYNBCsWuo The growing influence of Asian pop culture poses an interesting problem [...]

Dr Emma Rush (2): Silencing The Erotic Imagination

Some argue that the first novel was The Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatan) written by an 11th century Japanese noblewoman called Murasaki Shikibu. It has been praised as a book of great subtlety and psychological insight. Yet it is also porn. It was written as a series of installments and read to the women of the court to entertain and to titillate. Some of the detail is quite shocking. One of the major plot lines involves Genji's attraction to a beautiful 10 year-old girl who bears the same name as the author, Murasaki. He kidnaps her to train her as [...]

Korean Boy Bands

One of the problems with the sexualisation debate is that is so white and middle-class. As Australia turns towards China and Asia, and as Asian immigration increases, it is quite natural that we begin to see the influence of Asian culture. Asian Pop is starting to be noticed in Australia and SBS now runs a program dedicated to Asian pop music. I've already mentioned the way that Japanese pop culture selects certain Western themes (and memes) and twists them in unique ways. And whilst the moral conservatives panic about the influence of Black and Latino music on white, middle-class girls [...]

Female Shredder: Shotaro Nakamura

Or is she? This one is a bit odd because some have questioned if Shotaro (nikumanguitar)  is really a male who enjoys female cosplay. The controversy was sparked by the fact that Shotaro first posted her clips without showing her face, then she wore a surgical mask to hide her features. Weird. Anyway, her more recent clips show her (or his) face. I'm also fascinated because she chooses a fashion style called Loli-Goth (see here). So here it is, kawaii shredding (transexual or otherwise). I can't say I'm a fan of her style though. It's very cold and technical. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqYpeULHffU&list=PLA7F75B2FF6A42E29&index=1 [...]

Phalli In Bhutan

The last post on a post-porn society reminded me of the phalli of Bhutan. Bhutan is an interesting example because it is much admired for its philosophy of measuring its economy in terms of gross national happiness. But it also turns out that the national saint, Drukpa Kunley was a drunken womanizer. He has been called 'the master of 5,000 women'. Anyway, back to those phalli. What's interesting is that the Romans used the phallus in a similar way. And the Japanese too! All terribly 'pornographic' of course. Somebody should put a stop to [...]

Tomoe Gozen

Tomoe Gozen is another famous samurai woman. She was said to be an excellent horsewoman, swordswoman and archer. Tomoe was especially beautiful, with white skin, long hair, and charming features. She was also a remarkably strong archer, and as a swordswoman she was a warrior worth a thousand, ready to confront a demon or a god, mounted or on foot. She handled unbroken horses with superb skill; she rode unscathed down perilous descents. Whenever a battle was imminent, Yoshinaka sent her out as his first captain, equipped with strong armor, an oversized sword, and a mighty bow; and she performed [...]