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The West’s Tolerance for Violence, and Japan’s Tolerance for Girls

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[Editor’s note: every Saturday at midnight in Japan, an episode of video games show Yasuda Yoshimi and Hirabayashi Hisakazu’s All Game Nippon airs. This is a direct translation of their eleventh episode.]

Guests: Yasuda Yoshimi, Hirabayashi Hisakazu

Our topic for this episode is tolerance for representation of various things. Speaking generally, in Western games the representation of violence is far more severe than in Japanese games. On the other hand, in Japanese games the visualization of girls and women raises foreigners’ eyebrows as they regard them. We can explain these differences using myths.

mortal kombat x 02-25-15-1

Yasuda: Last time, we used Mortal Kombat as a sample American game where you could clearly see cruelty on display. The sensitivity of the Japanese is very resistant to that kind of thing, as Hirabashi observed.

Hirabayashi: Yes.

Yasuda: The opposite is true. According to the value systems of America and the Western countries, the representation of women in anime and manga, especially the depiction of girls, meets with strong resistance. People working in Western game companies have often commented on this.

Hirabayashi: That’s right. I’ve experienced the same thing. There’s the old story of how Japan was loose in its regulation of juvenile porn. Those discerning eyes were strict. That said, of course, I condemn juvenile porn as well. However, I think the regulations of foreign countries are too severe. If I remember correctly, in England, saving pics on your computer of your grandchildren swimming in the water could be dangerous. If they got out, say for when you took the computer in for a repair, you could be arrested for possessing juvenile porn, even though you’re their grandfather.

Yasuda: Ah, yes. That was a subject on the news.

Hirabashi: After that, some friends of mine who’d been living overseas for a while wrote a warning on the Dept. of Foreign Affairs’ Safety Notes for Foreign Countries page.

Yasuda: What happened?

Hirabayashi: It seems a Japanese man living in a foreign country became subject to harsh treatment. Anyway, here’s the warning from the website:

A Warning To Japanese people residing in advanced countries:
In one school where she was commuting, a daughter wrote in a school essay, “It’s fun to be with Daddy in the bath.” The school tipped off the police. The father was arrested on suspicion of sexual abuse.

[Translator’s note: “In Japanese homes with larger bathtubs, it is not uncommon for family members to bathe together. Typically one or both parents will bathe with babies and toddlers, and even as children grow older they may still bathe with one of their parents.” – Wikipedia, Etiquette in Japan.]

If you took photos with your family on film and then had it developed, and photos of your own kids bathing happened to be in the film roll, it might be reported to the police and then you could be asked to explain things downtown.

If we talk about this in global terms, this kind of sensitivity is totally surprising to the Japanese, and even if they are aware of it, they may not fully understand the ramifications.

In total opposite to Japan’s limited tolerance for violence, the representation of girls is extremely strict in the West. Is it Western morals?

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Yasuda: Setting aside this Japanese-style representation of girls, it seems that for Japanese folks, this look for women is perhaps one of our unique characteristics. In foreign countries this is very different, isn’t it?

Hirabashi: Perhaps the most symbolic woman in our art was Amaterasu. The greatest divine being in Japan was a woman. I’ve heard this kind of thing was very rare in other countries.

Yasuda: As we are talking about showing respect to women, the men appearing on stage together with those women occupy very different positions in the myths. The myths of ancient times show that men shouldered many faults. These men were childish and cute. Superheroes wouldn’t show up. It’s been said that, in ancient times, society was driven by matrilineal lines, which reveals that women occupied a key point in society, and they most likely were the lynchpins of the family.

Hirabayashi: Now that you talk about that, I’m reminded of Hollywood movies. Macho and invulnerable superheroes wouldn’t fit into Japanese myths.

Yasuda: If you read the Kojiki, one being among the plethora of heavy gods is Oukuninushi (Great Land Master). He has a splendid, respectable name. But if you look at his childhood, you’ll see that he was always being bullied by his brothers. Among the 80 gods that comprised his brothers, he had a peculiar task: whenever they needed to go somewhere far away, Oukuninushi had to carry all their luggage.

Hirabayashi: This sounds like the origin of the person who is made to do or get things for someone else.

Yasuda: Carrying around the luggage wasn’t easy. They didn’t treat him well. As an example, when his brothers climbed a mountain, they lit fire to a large rock that looked like a wild boar. They waited for it to be heated to a bright red, and then rolled it towards Oukuninushi from the top of the mountain.

Hirabayashi: How cruel.

Yasuda: Oukuninushi, being straightforward and honest, tried to battle the “wild boar” after his brothers told him to. He faced it straight on, and died.

Domoto: He died?

Yasuda: Indeed. However, his mother, lamenting the loss of her son, went to the heavens, and consulted with Kami-Musubi (a creator deity) to procure medical treatment for her son and revive him.

Hirabayashi: What about the hamaguri clam shell?

Yasuda: Kami-Musubi sent out two clam goddesses, Kisagai-hime (who personifies the ark-shell [akagai]) and Umugai-hime (a personification of the cherry-stone clam [hamaguri], to restore him.

Domoto: He came back to life. That’s good.

Yasuda: And even after that his brothers were still bad to him. This time they tricked Oukuninushi and took him to a mountain. There, they felled a huge tree, and Oukuninushi was crushed by it and died again.

Domoto: That’s not good.

Yasuda: He was someone who’d endured harsh bullying. His mother revived him again. And again, and again, he went through hard times. He grew to adulthood while getting help from his mother.

Hirabayashi: This feels like it was explored in Dragon Warrior III‘s story. The mother in that work would sometimes give hints to her hard-working son or restore his Hit Points.

Yasuda: That’s right. The story of Oukuninushi in the Kojiki is a story of a mother and her son maturing.

Hirabayashi: It’s been said there’s an incompatibility with Japanese depictions of girls in the eyes of those from the West, and the same is also true for the depiction of mothers and sons. I can’t think of an example offhand, but I’ll reuse my example of the relationship between the son in Dragon Warrior III and his mother. I think that in the West, that would have been perceived as too strong and overdone in general.

Yasuda: If we think about how movies and games are from a Western context, we think about flawless and powerful men rescuing weak women. This seems very natural from their perspective. Perhaps we can’t get them to understand the tale of the bullied god Oukuninushi, who was always receiving help from his mother goddess.

TO BE CONTINUED …

Participants in the discussion
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Yasuda Yoshimi
Kadokawa Games’ representative director, FromSoftware‘s representative company director, Nihon Kogyou Ginkou, former CEO of Tecmo, and a co-founder of Kadokawa Games.
After working as a manager on various projects, he was actively involved as a game producer, and worked on Lollipop Chainsaw and Demon Gaze. He is currently working on Projectcode, a dungeon-crawling RPG game with two entries, one focusing on Cthulhu Mythos elements, and the other focusing on Japanese myth.

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Hirabayashi Hisakazu
InteractKK‘s representative director. From the dawn of games, he’s worked as an editor for game-related publications. He’s unique in Japan as a game analyst and critic. He does analysis of the multifaceted game industry and its planning of merchandising and other activities. Some of his works include The Current Problems of Games, and Game Daigaku, a text which he co-authored. “To Understand Games, You Need to Understand Japan” is one of his pet theories.

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Claude Smith

About

I cover all manner of unusual games and other media from Japan. I love anime, manga, light novels, and games and am happy to be a part of the fun here at nichegamer.




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120 comments
  1. Sarracenia
    Sarracenia
    February 25, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this. It’s interesting to see from the inside like this, rather than looking in from outside like we normally do.

  2. JackDandy
    JackDandy
    February 25, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    This was pretty damn interesting. I wish western (mainly American) audiences would be more open-minded when it comes to these sort of things.

  3. Lucas
    Lucas
    February 25, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    Fantastic !

  4. Reny Ramos
    Reny Ramos
    February 25, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    That was a really great read.

  5. Guest
    Guest
    February 25, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    Very interesting, thanks for posting this

  6. Siveon
    Siveon
    February 25, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    Yeah, good read.

  7. Siveon
    Siveon
    February 25, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Just noticed that one of the guy’s was from From Software. Love them to death.

  8. dsadsada
    dsadsada
    February 25, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Western audiences would probably just call Oukuninushi a momma’s boy or something.

    Looking forward to the continuation.

  9. Zanard Bell
    Zanard Bell
    February 25, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    So that explains Hard Gay. When I first read about how Japan treats the ‘macho’ persona as something ‘gay’ in nature, I was surprised, obviously. The ideal man for a Japanese gal is somewhat ‘feminine’ in nature, but not enough as to be metrosexual.

    I could be wrong, though.

  10. Siveon
    Siveon
    February 25, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Same could be said for any culture really. The fear of the unknown is strong in the common man.

    Or something like that.

  11. landlock
    landlock
    February 25, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Even in anime’s like JOJO when the man are “Macho” you always get a feeling that the gayness is about to burst out.

  12. Nin
    Nin
    February 25, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Very interesting. The difference in values is definitely something that should be discussed and indicates that both views need to be evaluated to some extent at least. (The West more than Japan in this case, but that’s just my opinion.)

    Just to drive home the point to how negatively the West views sex, in California, public urination means that you have to register as a sex offender and are pretty much forced to live in the middle of nowhere. Hence why I stay indoors most of the time, kek.

  13. Carl B.
    Carl B.
    February 25, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Just goes to show you, ethnocentrism is bad. Don’t judge another culture using your own culture’s norms as a guideline.

    Shame that a lot of the self-righteous folks don’t understand this.

  14. landlock
    landlock
    February 25, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Are Japanese audiences that resistant to violence though because while Mortal Kombat is violent. I’ve seen much worse in Japanese videogames and especially live-action movies.

  15. Nin
    Nin
    February 25, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Hard gay also exists in Western culture, but it’s definitely a much less common stereotype than girly gay. The first thing that comes to mind are bikers.

  16. landlock
    landlock
    February 25, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Lesson don’t get drunk and piss in the street I guess.

  17. GodHand
    GodHand
    February 25, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Cool article.

  18. Nebbyn
    Nebbyn
    February 26, 2015 at 12:04 am

    Excellent work, Claude. This is the kind of stuff I like to see/read. Can’t wait for the next part. And more of your work. Doing a great job.

  19. Nonscpo
    Nonscpo
    February 26, 2015 at 12:21 am

    Great article Claude and agreed cultural practices in different regions is going to affect different perspectives.

  20. Crylic
    Crylic
    February 26, 2015 at 12:47 am

    Very interesting read.

  21. Wrathful
    Wrathful
    February 26, 2015 at 12:58 am

    As a guy in Asian background, I’m just as confused at prudish nature of Western culture in particular, the politicians and parents. They go out of their way to chastise the objectification in video games when in real life, I see half-naked girls all the time in the beach.

    And I applaud this type of article discussing the difference of culture in depth, something Kotaku cannot ever write despite their obsession with Japan not in million years. I guess this is why I visit the niche gamer frequently, not just for the news but for insightful article like this.

  22. Holyfox25
    Holyfox25
    February 26, 2015 at 1:03 am

    Very fascinating and enlightening article. I didn’t know about the bathing thing in Japan, even though I have seen it in anime and other Japanese media. It just goes to show that the Japanese have a very different, but reasonable view on that kind of stuff.

  23. Random Dude
    Random Dude
    February 26, 2015 at 1:05 am

    I think its more like Asian thing, not only limited to japan. I remember bathing with my mom when I was 5. (from Indonesia)

  24. Holyfox25
    Holyfox25
    February 26, 2015 at 1:09 am

    Ah, interesting. My bias was showing; Japan was my only frame of reference on that kind of thing.

  25. sanic
    sanic
    February 26, 2015 at 1:43 am

    In western china they play a sport where you have a tug of war over a decapitated goat while on horses, you need to bring the body to the goal which is the goats head.

    It was awesome, I worry what will happen to these things with continued globalization.

  26. Reset Tears
    Reset Tears
    February 26, 2015 at 2:03 am

    There are plenty of Japanese stories in various media that are quite violent and gory. (Not to mention plenty of violent Japanese myths, if we’re going to discuss folklore!) On the flip side, there is certainly no dearth of sexual content in Western media. (Scantily-clad women is one of Hollywood’s favorite things, right?) Does this issue simply boil down to the age of characters being presented? (It’s amazing what a difference two or three years can make for a character’s age, ha ha.)

    Perhaps it’s a matter of how things are presented that makes the biggest difference from culture to culture? I feel like this article is showing a couple examples of things, but it wouldn’t be very difficult to provide strong counter-examples. But at the same time, there certainly does seem to be some degree of more tolerance for various things in one place compared to another, so I’m not sure where the line is drawn for what’s acceptable and what isn’t.

  27. Anonymous
    Anonymous
    February 26, 2015 at 3:01 am

    This is an amazing thing to read thanks nichegamer.
    A lot of “WOW” eye opening moments there.

    It really makes the west looks like the crazy weird one in many ways.
    The lack of relevant females and the classic macho hero appeal and the million taboos related to girls or how different families and mothers and sons seem to get along.
    And how unusual it is to see someone point out the level of really sadistic violence easily tolerated in the west, which we just take for granted.

    Reading this does make me sad though, I am very scared that they’ll think that all people in the west are as close minded.
    Seeing them say “Over there in the west representation of women is heavily repressed” worries me that they’ll think all of us are like that.
    Yeah, there’s people with a very close minded set of morals that want repression and censorship but we are not all like that.
    I wish they knew that.

  28. Anonymous
    Anonymous
    February 26, 2015 at 3:04 am

    Yeah and it’s sad, what’s wrong with letting family help each other?
    Just because it’s her mother, or because she’s a woman, she shouldn’t be allowed to help those she cares about?

  29. Mr0303
    Mr0303
    February 26, 2015 at 5:20 am

    This is the kind of discussion I like to see about sexuality and violence in video games and not the general Lovejoy hysteria most western sites seem to have.

  30. Joel Leonheart
    Joel Leonheart
    February 26, 2015 at 5:38 am

    Well thankfully in Finland (my country) we mostly have similarities to Japanese culture (Be it bathing with family or mother’s helping son’s) But yeah these days thing’s are getting very obscure with western influence.. And I don’t like it :/

  31. Ellen J Miller
    Ellen J Miller
    February 26, 2015 at 8:32 am

    This was a damn great read. Looking forwards to more on this.

  32. MasterV
    MasterV
    February 26, 2015 at 9:50 am

    While I find the subject fascinating, I can’t help but feel sad about all this because I’m sure there wouldn’t even be a discussion if it weren’t for the constant childish complaints from certain people in the games industry and media. For this reason, it feels more like an apologetic than anything.

  33. MaidKillua
    MaidKillua
    February 26, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Interesting read. Personally I hate all that lewd stuff just because I hate sexual content in general so I don’t really see it from either of the points of view mentioned here though. lol

  34. DariusQ
    DariusQ
    February 26, 2015 at 11:40 am

    One thing which bugs me about Western shaming of other cultures is that it clearly comes from a place of ignorance. Radical socialists condemn all kinds of things without any research or even impetus to conduct any. The irony is that these people assert themselves as academics.

  35. The Gamer Of Ages
    The Gamer Of Ages
    February 26, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Very good argument presented and it’s true! We shouldn’t judge a cultures norms using our own as a guideline.

  36. patyos
    patyos
    February 26, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Yah i would love it if games stopped getting censored when they come to western audiences

  37. Fenrir007
    Fenrir007
    February 26, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Very, very interesting indeed – I hope we get more of those japanese translations of “shows” or even articles.

    I wonder about who they are talking about when they mention the resistance to certain sexual themes. Is it the gaming press? Publishers? General population? All of the above?

  38. Spokker
    Spokker
    February 26, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    It depends on the culture. It’s much easier to defend Japanese culture than the real anti-women cultures in The Middle East where women cannot get drivers licenses and are stoned for being raped. I’m not going to refrain from judging that.

  39. dsadsada
    dsadsada
    February 26, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    I don’t think they’re averse to it but I feel they usually treat violence as either very seriously or in a ridiculous manner. Or they treat it so seriously it becomes ridiculous and melodramatic.

    On the other hand, the west usually treats it as something glorious whenever the main character/s takes part in it. It’s why I like Saving Private Ryan so much. The violence is realistic and it’s almost never glorified.

    Just my perception of course but I could be entirely wrong.

  40. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    February 26, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    It’s astounding how certain people in the US (you know the type) don’t understand these cultural differences. They’ll rant and rave about how Japan’s representation of women is offensive and reprehensible, but if a Japanese person suggested that a game like Assassin’s Creed or Far Cry was offensive and stupid for all the violence said American would defend the game vehemently. Hypocrisy at work.

  41. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    February 26, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    It’s religion. It’s always religion.

  42. undub lover
    undub lover
    February 26, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Thanks for translating this.

    But also maybe I’m alone in thinking how weird it is that violence is widely acceptable in western society but have some some tits and ass showing then it’s seen as the worst kind of evil.

    It’s this stupid mentality that is keeping games from becoming art, seriously if you think fan service is wrong but shooting people in the head is okay then you are issues.

  43. Andrew
    Andrew
    February 26, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Makes me so angry the narrative of father and child so he must me a pedophile. just so depressing

  44. Andrew
    Andrew
    February 26, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    It’s Radical Feminism.

  45. dsadsada
    dsadsada
    February 26, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    Also, every time I look at that Mortal Kombat image, the following conversation keeps playing in my head.

    Kotal: Hey Scorpion, you’ve got a pretty big ketchup stain on your shirt.
    Scorption: What, this? No, somebody just cut me again. I’m used to it.
    Kotal: A cut that big can’t possibly be good.
    Scorpion: It’s just a small gash. The other day I got eaten by a tree.
    Kotal: Look, I can stick my finger in there. Seriously, that cannot possibly be good.
    Scorpion: It tickles when your finger wiggles between the ribs.

  46. Barret Somerville
    Barret Somerville
    February 27, 2015 at 8:49 am

    that was really awesome I cant wait for the rest.

  47. Cole Pram
    Cole Pram
    February 27, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Very insightful conversation. I really enjoyed reading that. I love myths from other cultures and how they shape them.

  48. keb
    keb
    February 27, 2015 at 9:59 am

    It’s Obama.

  49. Chris Charabaruk
    Chris Charabaruk
    February 27, 2015 at 10:01 am

    That’s pretty much a religion, itself.

  50. Batora
    Batora
    February 27, 2015 at 10:05 am

    I’m very interested in Hirabayashi’s work.
    Any way to get that in English?

  51. keb
    keb
    February 27, 2015 at 10:08 am

    As much as your comment sounds right and “tolerant,” it’s actually pretty ridiculous. There is tons of inherent value in cultures examining and critiquing each others traditions and norms in the same way there’s value in critiquing someone’s ideas, artwork, research, etc. And just because something is the norm in one culture does not inherently make it O.K. to propagate (as another poster below mentioned with some Middle Eastern norms). The rhetoric you use is actually pretty similar to that used by some religious extremists who defend things like subjugation, genital mutilation, or arranged underage marriage as just part of their culture.

  52. keb
    keb
    February 27, 2015 at 10:13 am

    I would also like more huge bouncy anime tits in my American games!

  53. Jake Martinez
    Jake Martinez
    February 27, 2015 at 10:25 am

    It’s easier to “defend” Japanese culture for the precise reason that their form of government is a Liberal Democracy that guarantees the rights of all it’s citizens.

    Look at how successful Liberal Feminism was in the United States up until the 1980’s. They won the right to vote and equal treatment under the law due to the fact that these things are enshrined within classical Liberalism (individual rights, universal suffrage, free speech, equality before the law are all Enlightenment and classical Liberalism ideals). Hell, this is the reason why they are called Liberal Feminists – not because in the United States the Democratic party has been erroneously labeled as “The Liberals” (there have historically been Liberals of all stripes in all major parties – rockafeller republicans, goldwater supporters, and of course libertarians follow classical Liberalism as a philosophy), Parties are not usually political philosophies – they are groups to agree on policy and they often contain people of a variety of different philosophical views, but similar policy views.

    Anyway, my point being here – in Japan or any Liberal Democracy, no one is legally subjugated and as much as that might annoy people who feel that there are still distasteful societal opinions, it’s the best defense against someone infringing on your rights. Not trying to draw nebulous links between your treatment and media, after all – media is merely a reflection of culture, not the cause of it.

    In places like the “middle east” as you say, their problems are simple – They do not have governments that function on the same premise as ours. Women are absolutely treated horrifically over there but this is less a cultural thing, than it is just their form of governance is not based off our views of natural rights and how to apply them.

    As much as I deplore the concept of spreading Democracy and Liberal ideals through military intervention, the ONLY cure that we know “works” for the issues that these people are facing is our form of government. The alternative is merely trying to eradicate ideas and attitudes – which frankly, we should all know is impossible. You might as well try to eliminate concepts like “Good” or “Evil” from human beings.

    I don’t know exactly where I’m going with this, just that I find all these people fretting about “culture” to mostly be wasting their time. I can’t fathom how you get rid of “negative ideas” as we’ve never seen that work in history, ever so I find “culture warriors” on both sides to be mostly idiots.

  54. Demetirus
    Demetirus
    February 27, 2015 at 10:45 am

    This was a great read! While I don’t entirely agree with their assessment of western culture as it currently stands, I think it’s overall pretty spot on. Though I think that the view that they have of us is getting a bit dated. At this point, people in the west are getting more and more open to the ideas and imagery from Japanese media/culture, so much so that sites (such as this one) that display it and discuss it are often quite successful! Kotaku, before it became.. whatever it is now, built its success on this sort of thing. I can recall anime clubs even as far back as my high school years, something 20+ years past at this point.

    A lot of commenters seem to share my view here: There can only be a benefit to us all by sharing our cultures. The critique and sharing of ideas will only lead to better ones and honestly, I feel that Japan has a lot of views that really should be considered by the west, particularly those of us in North America. I also feel that they could really gain from our culture too and really hope that people will take this as a great chance to show them that their fear of us not being able to even understand or grasp their mythology is unfounded.

    Anyway, can’t wait for the next part of this! I really look forward to what they have to say! Thanks, Claude!

  55. courier69
    courier69
    February 27, 2015 at 11:02 am

    I see what you mean. I suppose the spirit of the OP was more of a “don’t force your values and ideas on one another” rather than “don’t critique others opinions” . It’s a bit easier to think about this on an individual level, but politics and power make this dangerous to do on a national level. “a disagreement” between two individuals in comparison can become political tension (cold war) or worse, war (pretty much any civil war) for two countries, where the innocent and unaware always become caught in the crossfire.

    There are reasons why counties in power don’t just straight up invade others who they seem is in the morally wrong.

  56. Dale Rice
    Dale Rice
    February 27, 2015 at 11:03 am

    The real problem is that when it comes to sexual crimes we tend to put the noose before the gavel. If you get accused of anything of that nature, even if you aren’t actually charged or convicted, you can still suffer from serious impacts on your later life.

  57. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    February 27, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Not really. There’s actual variety of how much sexuality is accepted even amongst radical feminists. You have your Anitas who are sex negative and your Quinns who think you should be able to have sex with whoever you want whenever you want.

    Religions are overwhelmingly sex negative though, and that’s where most of these attitudes come from.

  58. Johnny Badhair
    Johnny Badhair
    February 27, 2015 at 11:14 am

    In the race for quality and quantity in female characters, Japan is already beyond the horizon while the West has tripped and fallen down right after the starting line, and is now rolling around in the gutter mumbling about how progressive and egalitarian it is compared to those dirty Japs and their soggy knees.

  59. Reddly_Iconomopolus
    Reddly_Iconomopolus
    February 27, 2015 at 11:16 am

    “They go out of their way to chastise the objectification in video games when in real life, I see half-naked girls all the time in the beach.”

    Half naked people at the beach is not objectification. You’re confusing nudity with sexualisation. Objectification is when a person is essentially treated like an object.

  60. Ryan Silva #2416
    Ryan Silva #2416
    February 27, 2015 at 11:42 am

    “b-but think of the women!”
    shout the Greeks to Darius

  61. Lucas Osse
    Lucas Osse
    February 27, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Personally I think globalization will only ensure that those sort of things are popularized and open the minds of everyone, I noticed that as far as generations go, the next is always more open minded than the previous one.

    I have faith the one after us will be even more amazing and open to these sort of crazy things, they grew up with the web after all.

  62. Dimi Gronnings
    Dimi Gronnings
    February 27, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    I’m currently playing a (Japanese) game I’m reviewing called Rime Berta in which every character so far is a woman, and none of them are sexualised. Are we going to read about it from Kotacky and Co? Nope.

  63. Audie Bakerson
    Audie Bakerson
    February 27, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    It’s nice to see the Nipponese talk prospective in general (instead of for a single thing that hit the media) for once.

  64. W. Y.
    W. Y.
    February 27, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    OK, I’ll be the anglosphere asshat. If they want to talk about mythology, America’s not the best place; It’s only 200 or so years old. If it’s just general western mythology, my rebuttal would be most Greek/Roman legends. The number of them that didn’t have bad ends could probably be counted on one hand. Yeah there’s a good chunk of what they’re saying. Big guys doing big guy things and saving damsels. But there’s another thing that’s shown: Human faults. Want to see what happens when someone’s too prideful? Almost everything the gods did. Achilles being an idiot and leaving a war, coming back when a close friend dies. You know, one that wouldn’t have been in such a tight spot if Achilles hadn’t left for a petty reason: Someone took the shit he was going to steal. The entirety of Medea’s life. Jason being a dumbass and, in the end, earning a bad end for it, also starting the whole “Medea” merry go round. Orpheus being the ancient incarnation of “You had one job”. And to go back to pride, Bellerophon, Odysseus, and a whole laundry list of others blowing out their egos and getting bowled over for it. Every great man has very human faults, which can screw them very easily. Every mythology’s got a few lessons if you take your time and look into them.

    There’s my rant. tl;dr, Romans/Greeks didn’t like happy endings

  65. Mahamed Abdul Haleem
    Mahamed Abdul Haleem
    February 27, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Generalization is not good Spokker.
    There are 24 countries in the Middle East and as for as I know, only Saudi Arabia that doesn’t allow Women to drive, not to mention that stoning only happened in Afghanistan which is politically very unstable.

    There several liberal countries in middle east that promote equality and judging a whole region because of one country doing, is wrong.

    By the way I’m Egyptian and my sister is Neuropsychiatric and she drivers her own car, Of course I can’t deny that still there sexism in my country and other middle eastern countries but in no freaking way we stone women for being raped.

  66. Andrew
    Andrew
    February 27, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    I’m not talking about the opinion of sex, I’m talking about the narrative of men as fathers. For instance mothers are looked at as teachers and care givers. However men are looked at as dangerous predators. Which is constantly spammed in the media. Just look at the semantics. Women are ‘seducers’ men are ‘rapists’. This isn’t a religious thing, it’s a feminist thing.

  67. Guest
    Guest
    February 27, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    One easy solution would be not buying Nisa products

  68. Wand
    Wand
    February 27, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    One fast and easy solution would be to stop buying Nisa products

  69. Wand
    Wand
    February 27, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Because it’s not famous, therefore does not create buzz does not help their agenda. Pathetic internet influencers such as Anita can’t really talk abouth things like these.

  70. Wand
    Wand
    February 27, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    The westerners are Oukuninushi’s brothers.

  71. Superscooter
    Superscooter
    February 27, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Can you guys get an interview with the producer of Senran Kagura? That’s be amazing

  72. メタラーにゃあ~
    メタラーにゃあ~
    February 27, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    “Seeing them say “Over there in the west representation of women is heavily repressed” worries me that they’ll think all of us are like that.”

    They already think like that. See all those eroge websties that blocked foreign IPs.

  73. メタラーにゃあ~
    メタラーにゃあ~
    February 27, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    “Mother Earth, raped again. Guess who?

    ‘Hey, she was asking for it.'”

    ~ George Carlin

  74. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    February 27, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Again, you’re talking about sex there, not parenting.

  75. ThatOneGuyYouSeeEverywhere
    ThatOneGuyYouSeeEverywhere
    February 27, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    All ways cool to learn new things.

  76. Medo
    Medo
    February 27, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    I never said we are perfect liberal utopia, I know some Egyptian atheist in my college days. (Note Atheism is not illegal in Egypt, and the guy wasn’t arrested for Atheism but because of “”Defamation””, he wasn’t sent to jail, he had to pay $142 dollar bail).

    Yes, it is sucks that happened, and I believe in freedom of speech.

    That why 25 January happened, so people don’t go to jail for expressing different opinions regarding politics or religion.

    Egypt’s revolution Calls for freedom have yet to be realized, but eventually we will get there.

    Still, I don’t get what point you are trying to make ?
    Are you comparing stoning women to death for being raped with paying $142 dollar bail ?

    Are you trying to make point that the west is better than the middle east ?

    Nobody, can deny that but it took years of countless revolutions and social movements for the west to reach this level of freedom,
    hopefully will not take long to catch up and the Arab springs is the first step toward that.

  77. Fatherless
    Fatherless
    February 27, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Like goombas?

  78. Vinzenz Stemberg
    Vinzenz Stemberg
    February 27, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Not to mention that sort of attitude discounts when they make advancement. Such as when Iran, before the revolution, was becoming very ‘westernised,’ and of course we have our own Partisangirl to look at when it comes to Syria, outspoken social critic, chemist, and not wearing any traditional clothing!

  79. Vinzenz Stemberg
    Vinzenz Stemberg
    February 27, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    I think it’s more that there’s a certain ‘spike’ in the globalist community mindset when cruelty graduates to comedy. Most extreme comedy groups exist to capitalise on this line.
    Tricking someone into grabbing a cactus like a joystick? That’s a real dick move.
    Encouraging someone to EAT the cactus? Now it’s funny.
    I wager there’s a lot of overlap between the people who would find that sport funny, but balk at how they prepare animals for cooking, or having to watch bullfighting clips.

  80. Vinzenz Stemberg
    Vinzenz Stemberg
    February 27, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Sorry! MK’s developers say this is not progressive-minded enough!
    Back to the re-education camps with you! But pulling them apart like toy dolls is A-OK. AMERICA!

  81. Vinzenz Stemberg
    Vinzenz Stemberg
    February 27, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    That’s because Kotaku regularly shits all over their games and their nationality, they wouldn’t feel safe engaging in these sorts of frank discussions over there, always aware they might ‘trigger’ the interviewer.

  82. Vinzenz Stemberg
    Vinzenz Stemberg
    February 27, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    When can we make Raelianism the official US religion?

  83. Andrew
    Andrew
    February 27, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    The father was taken from the kid because the father was in the bath with the kid. Would it have happened if it was the mum? It’s to do with the view of male vs female in culture. It’s all related. Feminism wants to corrupt the view of the male parent. he was being a good parent whether or not you see the relation of the bath time. The perception of ‘man bad’ impacts culture. It’s not sex, sex has nothing to do with it.

  84. Vinzenz Stemberg
    Vinzenz Stemberg
    February 27, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    hell, they ignored a WESTERN example of that for a decade.
    From 2003-2013 the only publications that covered Hanako Games were Siliconera and Britishindie.
    And even once they covered ONE of their dozen+ games…it was the romance one. NO STEREOTYPING HERE, NOPE

  85. Vinzenz Stemberg
    Vinzenz Stemberg
    February 27, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    also quite ironic that they will condemn slightly less progressive first-world governments, but then turn around and uphold a tribalistic society such as the Kalihari as one to aspire to, just because they have ‘equal sexual distribution’ in this or that unimportant facet of life.

  86. Andrew
    Andrew
    February 27, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    Lol, he was elected because white people wanted to prove they weren’t racist whitch paradoxically made them racist. Noble but comical. Vote on politics, not colour people! ;)

  87. Dimi Gronnings
    Dimi Gronnings
    February 27, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Yet Schreier was happy to cover Dragon’s Crown. It’s not that the game isn’t famous, it’s that it’s not a “negative” example.

  88. Lucas Osse
    Lucas Osse
    February 27, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    There will be enough support from the world to keep the tradition going regardless of outrage, just look at gamers as an example of that.

  89. Vinzenz Stemberg
    Vinzenz Stemberg
    February 27, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    There’s actually an odd societal taboo at work behind the lack of that in Japanese games, I forget how it’s phrased but for the most part, the removal of limbs or mutilation in general are frowned upon, even in a game that’s practically a ‘torture game’ itself like the Deception series, Samurai Shodown, No More Heroes, Resident Evil, and Ninja Gaiden being the most visible exceptions to the rule. It’s kinda like how hentai artists continue to censor, even though the law is long dead. Heard that it has its roots among Noh theatre although that was just a couple random VIPPERs discussing the phenomenon.

    So you wind up with people in Japanese-made games getting slashed to bits then run through with no visible damage, until you activate the ‘standard death animation’ by knocking them to 0. Generally speaking they will fall more along the lines of say, a sudden spray of blood, then toppling over or disappearing, ala Vandal Hearts, or vanishing into coloured mists/explosions like SoTN, Run Saber, Strider

    Anime is slightly less policed, but still follows that tendency, even in say, Elfen Lied, Blood+, Claymore, etc which have decapitations and limb loss, but everyone in the show seems to be made of ketchup. It was really only in the early 90s that anime went all out nuts with western-style violence, because so many underground and foreign-educated artists were involved at the time. Although 80s-themed anime will likely follow suit just because the creator was a fan of something like Angel Cop, Wicked City, 8-man or The Guyver.

    This is why the only games with limb loss during 80s-2000s involved robots or monsters, even when system/artist capabilities allowed for such a thing to happen, and things that were ported like Soldier of Fortune might have them removed. The only gory recent anime I can think of is Corpse Party. Everyone else just plays tricks with ya on the sound and close-up visuals. Higurashi was the worst offender IMO, especially that scene with Mion and Satoko. Sounds like Satoko should be in pieces halfway through but all she has is little nicks on her arm. I LOL’d hard at that. People in modern violent animes got no dang bones or organs I swear.

  90. Vinzenz Stemberg
    Vinzenz Stemberg
    February 27, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    eh, I think you would also need to make determinations about whether those heroes were western-influenced or not which would cut down quite a few (ie Guts from Berserk). And a good load of those running around today are ‘legacy characters’ like Chirico and Kenshiro, who started long before the Moesplosion and softening of shounen heroes. Mid-90s onwards there was a definite shift in tone of Japanese heroes, growing younger and more forgiving towards their opposition.

  91. Vinzenz Stemberg
    Vinzenz Stemberg
    February 27, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    I’ve heard Noh theatre, Imperial culture, and Kurosawa is at fault for most of that. Noble glorious sacrifice and all.
    Area 88 and Votoms are two good series I’ve seen that treat war realistically though.

  92. grimgriefer
    grimgriefer
    February 27, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Kotaku linked me to this article, on what was then their top story.

  93. Phasmatis75
    Phasmatis75
    February 27, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    You’d be amazed what has been left out of our education because he counters this narrative.

  94. Feniks
    Feniks
    February 27, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Culture can only be changed from the inside. Just as in America a bunch of Japanese women started to write books, demonstrate and go to university. A lot has changed in the last 50 years and a lot will continue to change.

  95. Feniks
    Feniks
    February 27, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    Sorry anime tits is gateway drug to becoming a serial murder.

  96. Feniks
    Feniks
    February 27, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    At least you have the Pacific. Think of those poor Arizonians!

  97. Jake Martinez
    Jake Martinez
    February 27, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    You seem to have misunderstood my point. Any sort of change in culture in this regards is DIRECTLY because of the nature of Liberal Democracies, and not because of repressive movements or activism to change and manipulate society or otherwise engineer cultural change. Liberalism has long been the single most powerful force for equality on the planet because it applies actual legal protections for the rights of the individual.

    However this also means that you will never be able to eliminate ideas that you don’t like, or media that you don’t like, or otherwise control the thoughts of other people and their attitudes through force or activism. Instead the famous quote of “the only cure for speech you don’t like, is more speech” applies here.

    By all means people should be free to speak their minds and deride the behavior of others, but when they band together to suppress the speech of others, regardless of how moral they think their goals are, they are unwittingly attacking the foundation of the very mechanism and philosophy that gives them the right to their own opinion.

    If anyone thinks that such a tactic is benign or harmless just because it’s being used against people they dislike, then they are fooling themselves. History is replete with examples of purported tools of “justice” being turned against their practitioners in this way. What does one suppose is the meaning behind the phrase, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions?”

  98. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    February 27, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    Maybe, but that has little to do with the western vs japanese view on sexuality of women, which is what we’re talking about herem, remember?

  99. Miguel Angel Opazo Arancibia
    Miguel Angel Opazo Arancibia
    February 28, 2015 at 12:33 am

    Quite interesting. Can we find a book on the subject ?

  100. 33
    33
    February 28, 2015 at 9:22 am

    You should probably watch the Danish film ‘The Hunt’, it’s a teacher getting falsely accused and it plays out exactly as you would expect. Not exactly a light watch but a very good film.

  101. Juan Andrés Valencia
    Juan Andrés Valencia
    February 28, 2015 at 9:56 am

    The most extreme and violent films I’ve ever seen come from Japan. The Guinea Pig series, Kichiku Dai Enkai, Ichi The Killer, All Night Long, etc. The line seems to be shorter in gaming, at least in console games.

  102. David Weizades
    David Weizades
    February 28, 2015 at 10:47 am

    I think it’s going to take a lot for many western cultures to change their almost puritanical stance on sexuality in entertainment. Here in Sweden that view is pretty recent, the early to mid 70s roughly.

    Before that changed we were known for “The Swedish Sin”. Big movies like “I’m curious (yellow)” that featured full nudity, intercourse and a penis being kissed were shown in cinemas. A film made by the Swedish Film Institute btw. We were known for being adventurous and trying new things. I wasn’t born yet but I imagine that it made people more relaxed and open around those topics.

    But since then we’ve regressed at an alarming rate, For instance today even the idea of sun-bathing topless is unthinkable, even criminal depending on location.

    A translator of a manga was charged and convicted for possession of child porn because of the drawings loli style.

  103. David
    David
    February 28, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Well i see what they are trying to say but its also good to know that in real life a women in japan can not work if she has a child because its the mothers job to take care of the kids that is also why they have a serious problem with their population because women dont want to stop working they are the only place in the world that 32% of women ages 18 to 33 are virgins

  104. Kiryu
    Kiryu
    February 28, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    Yeah it’s a real shame these folks don’t get it,to me it sounds like extreme arrogance,our culture is better more moral then theirs stuff.

  105. Kiryu
    Kiryu
    February 28, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    As time passes we lose more and more of our liberties and yet people think we live in a democracy.

  106. Kiryu
    Kiryu
    February 28, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    You can thank feminists for that.

  107. Kiryu
    Kiryu
    February 28, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Even if numbers show that most child abusers are women but that is taboo to talk about.

  108. keb
    keb
    March 4, 2015 at 10:48 am

    You talk a whole lot without actually saying much.

  109. Blood__Raven
    Blood__Raven
    April 20, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    The mainstream Japanese media is denouncing #GamerGate; can’t anyone with connections to Japan try and change this?

    The yellow media in Japan blames & ridicules otaku all the time.

  110. Blood__Raven
    Blood__Raven
    April 20, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    What is this western freedom that’s so better than what Arabs have? Abortions and buttfucking? No thanks.

    Every so often here a 20 year old gets sent to prison for str8 sex with a 15 year old, something harmless like that. And there’s not the slightest objection from people who support gays and interracial. Things that were illegal decades ago but became sacred cows overnight. Even though the acts & their consequences didn’t change, only how the media told people to think about them.

    Point is, there’s no society is ‘free’, all societies think of themselves as ‘free’. All societies have hypocritical double standards, that means all ‘free’ societies have people who win and others who lose out because of the arbitrary rules. Which differ across time and place, but none is better than any other. The ancient Romans would have seen us as degenerates.

    On the whole, I prefer Moslem freedom to its two-faced western counterpart. People don’t live under hate speech laws in Moslem countries, at least. Remember just days after the Hebdo massacre, French authorities arrested a black guy named Dieudionne for expressing himself (the charge was ‘anti-Semitism’ but its OK to be anti-Christian & of course anti-Moslem). As a cartoonist myself, I learned there are subjects you can’t make fun of – in Moslem countries where people can’t make fun of Mohammed, people actually get censored for LESS reasons.

  111. Blood__Raven
    Blood__Raven
    April 20, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Tantra is sex-negative?
    This is grossly oversimplified.

  112. Blood__Raven
    Blood__Raven
    April 20, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    Also in manga & anime with an added twist that females in shounen & seinen shows are bolder and more empowered than those in franchises directed at females.

    Think of Black Lagoon, Claymore etc and compare the females to the insufferable weak-willed shites in a shoujo manga.

  113. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    April 20, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    That’s not exactly what people think of when you say “religion” and you know it.

  114. Brandon Shorter
    Brandon Shorter
    December 11, 2015 at 6:08 am

    eh yeah Americans are Xenophobic idiots who refuse to hear anything outside of there own view point while screaming about diversity and freedom

  115. Brandon Shorter
    Brandon Shorter
    December 11, 2015 at 6:23 am

    also the other thing to keep in mind is ignoring all the violence brutality and monster US (WESTERN) Support to this day at the very moment I speak then in one breath talk about human right while there military bomb and support the very criminal they condemn . Not to mention the Overthrow of Iran . It bizzare we rant on about this we have been in 232 Wars , and have more people in prison than china . We are the last people to lecture Anyone on morality .Even when people do commit horrible crimes , somehow where right there giving guns and rockets and jets and backing terrorist groups . lol. we ignore this go back to the captin american stories about how we save the world saved the indian and brought enlightment .