Cultural Appropriation or Sharing Cultures

⚠️WARNING ⚠️ If your triggered by debates on race and culture you may want to skip this post… I feel as a blogger about Japan Life, I can’t be silent on this topic. It’s a very complex problem; as human beings are complex and our societies but here is my attempt to answer this age old question in 2017.

PublicServiceDay! (2)

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Someone Called This Girl’s Japanese Tea Party Racist, But Then This Japanese User Stepped In

In response to this Bored Panda article…..
I live in Japan and everything she said is accurate for the culture here you can go to Harajuku and dress up in kimono to rent and walk around town in, its big business many Japanese people are happy to share their culture…

however, viewed though the lens of the USA and its past/present, its not as simple as being able to share cultures, when its been so horrendously used and abused here. I bet a Japanese American would think differently. In Japan, they dont have the same social problems, such as feeling like you have to conform to the dominate society, or being mocked for celebrating your own culture only to have it stolen and re purposed and made to be edgy or a cool new trend to try and discard…..

This is why you see people feeling upset over this tea party, this article clearly missed that point; instead they want to be able to justify their actions with the old adage ” Japanese people in Japan say it’s okay so…it’s okay.”

This article didnt even try to understand. They just want to dismiss people who live in the US’s feelings as trivial, and irrelevant, leading their readers to cry “reverse racism” , calling people SJW and snowflakes…

It’s important to see things from others perspectives and why something may be seen as offensive in one place and not the other.

This happens a lot in cosplay and casting white actors for asian roles in hollywood.

I just want to add that I think its wonderful that this mom made the effort to teach her child about Japanese culture and hopefully many others as well, the USA education system is sorely lacking in this area.

maybe all the outrage would be greatly reduced if they did.

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AND then you have this ….

In response…

Kawaii culture is relatively recent, if in Harajuku they have kawaii Ambassadors like the lovely Misako and Kyari Pamyu who’s job it is , is to travel around the world to promote Kawaii culture in order to bring people together… Can Japanese Americans cry fowl when it’s used?

I think it’s silly to say we can’t share aspects of other cultures. There would be no Lolita fashion without Victorian England. Many of the fashion, clothing, music we all enjoy today originated elsewhere, we live in a global society it’s  sometimes impossible to separate where something even came from.

The other day I walked by a Sherlock Holms bar in Tokyo, where they were having a jazz night complete with Japanese girls as lounge singers in Afro wigs and sparkling dresses , maybe they even got tans… I was amused at first and then US society tells me, I should probably feel outraged.  So, I left feeling some kinda way, after all we are not a costume.

After some  reflection, I see it was for the love of the culture. I know I have been dressed in Yukatas for summer festivals here in Japan and everyone was super kind about it. It wasn’t about me trying to be something I’m not but about having fun celebrating a beautiful culture. I probably wont be wearing my Yukata out in America though as the culture is different, but I can go to Sakura Matsuri in D.C and enjoy the festivities.

When in Rome…

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This is a complex topic and it’s super hard to separate the two, it becomes a never ending cycle of hurting with both sides losing out  …
but in the end we are all looking to feel unique but accepted, valued, appreciated and loved ❣️

Our media today needs to step up to the plate and be more balanced instead of trying to slam/shut down the other sides arguments.

We can do our part be being more mindful of what we post, like, share and subscribe to.

We need to make amends for the actual wrong doings of the past so they don’t poison our future.

世界に壁は無い🌏 こころの色はみんな同じ❤️

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Its important to keep the conversation going

what are your thoughts?

leave a comment below

* I will approve all comments that are constructive to the dialogue , that means no trolling, cussing, or name calling

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2 comments

  1. I saw this on a lolita thread earlier today and I honestly didn’t read that post from tumblr, all I needed was to read the comments and I got the gist of it. Now reading the actual tumblr post just made me angry at some whiny person. sorry not sorry that I actually engage in the language, culture etc and feel a deep connection to Japan. I know full well I am not Japanese, I am proud Latina lol . I do appreciate the OP concerns but I feel like she/he doesn’t completely understand kawaii culture to begin with lol

    • I agree ☝️ ,they seem like they really haven’t done their homework on what kawaii culture really means in Japan, it sounds like they were trying to make it out to be more complex than it actually is here… then I see the Wonder Women trailer get the kawaii treatment as they do and I’m all like Nooooo !!!! 😂

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