Why do the Japanese draw themselves as white?
By Julian Abagond
Why do the Japanese draw themselves as white? You see that especially in manga and anime.
As it turns out, that is an American opinion, not a Japanese one. The Japanese see anime characters as being Japanese. It is Americans who think they are white. Why? Because to them white is the Default Human Being.
If I draw a stick figure, most Americans will assume that it is a white man. Because to them that is the Default Human Being. For them to think it is a woman I have to add a dress or long hair; for Asian, I have to add slanted eyes; for black, I add kinky hair or brown skin. Etc.
The Other has to be marked. If there are no stereotyped markings of otherness, then white is assumed.
Americans apply this thinking to Japanese drawings. But to the Japanese the Default Human Being is Japanese! So they feel no need to make their characters “look Asian.” They just have to make them look like people and everyone in Japan will assume they are Japanese – no matter how improbable their physical appearance.
You see the same thing in America: After all, why do people think Marge Simpson is white? Look at her skin: it is yellow. Look at her hair: it is a blue Afro. But the Default Human Being thing is so strong that lacking other clear, stereotyped signs of being either black or Asian she defaults to white.
When you think about it there is nothing particularly white about how anime characters look:
- huge round eyes – no one looks like that, not even white people (even though that style of drawing eyes does go back to Betty Boop).
- yellow hair – but they also have blue hair and green hair and all the rest. Therefore hair colour is not about being true to life.
- small noses – compared to the rest of the world whites have long noses that stick out.
- white skin – but many Japanese have skin just as pale and white as most White Americans.
Besides, that is not how the Japanese draw white or even Chinese people. The otherness of foreigners is clearly marked by physical stereotypes – just as Americans do with people of colour. In anime White Americans are stereotyped as having yellow hair, blue eyes and a long or big nose:
Gone are the big round eyes and the strange hair colours. Because those things have nothing to do with whiteness.
Note that the Japanese drop the markings of otherness if the action is set in a foreign land, like China or America. In that case the characters are drawn in the regular anime style. Because for that story the Default Human Being is understood.
Some Americans, even some scholars, will argue against this view of anime. They want to think the Japanese worship America or worship whiteness and use anime to prove it. But they seem to be driven more by their own racism and nationalism than anything else.
All images are from Google images; Abagond retains no rights.
Julian Abagond is a middle-class, West Indian, New Yorker; he is also a computer programmer who enjoys ancient Greek. He writes whatever he wants at his blog.
I could easily read Marge Simpson as a light-skinned black woman… but then, there’s Carl.
Michiru, the uncornerable
reasons why you shouldn’t just send actors other people’s fanart without credit on twitter:
- it’s not yours
- you don’t even know if the artist was comfortable with having their art shown to the actors in the first place
- if they did they could’ve done it themselves and be properly credited for their work
- if the actor retweets/responds to your tweet without credit more people will see it and repost it without credit
- it’s disrespectful to the artist
so next time you wanna save a fanart you saw on tumblr and tweet it to an actor you stop, think about it, and don’t fucking do it
sure everyone says theyre excited about ‘spirit week’ but the minute i awaken a few ancient spirits and raise the dead suddenly im a ‘witch’ and ‘ruining homecoming’
Two MSU basketball players raped a woman in the dorms then one admitted to it. Their only consequence was that they had to move out of the dorms. This picture is of me and one other woman holding up this banner during Midnight Madness. Two other brave souls had a banner on the other side for a while before some jerk started playing tug or war with them over it. This was taken before we got booed at by 10,000 people and police escorted from the stadium.
How screwed up are people to boo at this?
Let’s keep reposting this. Rapists should be charged.
how is sport more important than the lives of women?
like honestly baffling
Steve Rogers did, in fact, realize that something was off when he saw the outline of the woman’s odd bra (a push-up bra, he would later learn), but being an officer and a gentleman, he said that it was the game that gave the future away.
No, see, this scene is just amazing. The costume department deserves so many kudos for this, it’s unreal, especially given the fact that they pulled off Peggy pretty much flawlessly.
1) Her hair is completely wrong for the 40’s. No professional/working woman would have her hair loose like that. Since they’re trying to pass this off as a military hospital, Steve would know that she would at least have her hair carefully pulled back, if maybe not in the elaborate coiffures that would have been popular.
2) Her tie? Too wide, too long. That’s a man’s tie, not a woman’s. They did, however, get the knot correct as far as I can see - that looks like a Windsor.
3) That. Bra. There is so much clashing between that bra and what Steve would expect (remember, he worked with a bunch of women for a long time) that it has to be intentional. She’s wearing a foam cup, which would have been unheard of back then. It’s also an exceptionally old or ill-fitting bra - why else can you see the tops of the cups? No woman would have been caught dead with misbehaving lingerie like that back then, and the soft satin cups of 40’s lingerie made it nearly impossible anyway. Her breasts are also sitting at a much lower angle than would be acceptable in the 40’s.
Look at his eyes. He knows by the time he gets to her hair that something is very, very wrong.
so what you are saying is S.H.E.I.L.D. has a super shitty costume division….
Nope, Nick Fury totally did this on purpose.
There’s no knowing what kind of condition Steve’s in, or what kind of person he really is, after decades of nostalgia blur the reality and the long years in the ice (after a plane crash and a shitload of radiation) do their work. (Pre-crash Steve is in lots of files, I’m sure. Nick Fury does not trust files.) So Fury instructs his people to build a stage, and makes sure that the right people put up some of the wrong cues.
Maybe the real Steve’s a dick, or just an above-average jock; maybe he had a knack for hanging out with real talent. Maybe he hit his head too hard on the landing and he’s not gonna be Captain anymore. On the flipside, if he really is smart, then putting him in a standard, modern hospital room and telling him the truth is going to have him clamming up and refusing to believe a goddamn thing he hears for a really long time.
The real question here is, how long it does it take for the man, the myth, the legend to notice? What does he do about it? How long does he wait to get his bearings, confirm his suspicions, and gather information before attempting busting out?
Turns out the answer’s about forty-five seconds.
Sometimes clever posts die a quiet death in the abyss of the unreblogged. Some clever posts get attention, get comments, get better. Then there’s this one which I’ve watched evolve into a thing of brilliance.
ppl wax poetic about hawke being related to amell warden but nobody’s talking about dwarf inquisitor being related to shale like cmon people
who doesn’t love shale
we all love shale
imagine the family reunion
"i cannot be related to this thing it is far too squishy and vulnerable"
"HUG ME SALROKA!!"
"no if i did i would crush it like a pigeon"
i am firmly pro selfie. i am firmly pro millennial. i am firmly pro any topic or issue that gets baby boomers to write pissed off articles in salon or slate or the guardian about how the millennial generation is fucked up and narcissistic and lazy and will never be taken seriously by established powers.
J. Bone redesigns Superman so that he can best use his solar-based powers.
Holy shit, that looks so much better than on 360. ._.
oh this…oh my heart
I like big boats, I cannot lie.
I polled my followers to see their favorite Bioware companions, and who they would like me to do next.
I’ve already done the winner, Morrigan, and here is 2nd place (1st in my heart) Isabela! It’s transparent too, because I like the shape of her hair.
Thank you all for sticking with me :)