Why should I enhance and accentuate my “natural” beauty? On “almond-shaped” eyes

Why should I enhance and accentuate my “natural” beauty? On “almond-shaped” eyes, on JAPANsociology

by Chelsea Mochizuki

I’m sure you’ve seen them at one point in time, displayed along the aisle shelves of drugstores in cultural and “racial” melting pots like the United States—makeup and hair products marketed to “enhance” and “accentuate” the “natural” features of certain races. However, there is no one physical trait that all members of a racial group share; all “Blacks” do not have x amount…

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The Portrayal of Black People in Manga and Anime

The Portrayal of Black People in Manga and Anime, on JAPANsociology

by Allan Kastiro

UntitledI have been a big fan of Manga and Anime for as long as I can remember. I always admired how the Japanese style of drawing cartoon characters was different from that of popular western comics and animations. The characters in Manga and Anime have always stood out because they are unique. That is, many of them have exaggerated and flamboyant features and this always stood out…

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Constructing the Standard of Beauty

Constructing the Standard of Beauty, on JAPANsociology

by Wang Yang

In the section “Does Sailor Moon ‘look white’?” of Terry Kawashima’s article “Seeing Faces, Making Races: Challenging Visual Tropes of Racial Difference”, Kawashima argues that facial features and skin color commonly found in the Shojo Manga characters should be understood as “an assertion of a certain kind of aesthetic promoted in contemporary Japan”. Whiteness, as well as those…

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Do manga characters seem white to you?

Do manga characters seem white to you? on JAPANsociology

by Agathe Schwaar

1337781095390Manga are a topic that has been well-researched in  Japanese Studies. However, when it comes to racial identity, we can see strong wonders about the racial identity found in the manga characters. On the one hand, if you search on the internet the question in English “Do Manga look like white people”, you have 14,000,000 results. On the other hand, if we do the same search in…

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What It’s Like To Be Half-Japanese

An interesting and engaging take on the experience of being half-Japanese, by Michelle Reimann.

What It’s Like To Be Half-Japanese

An interesting and engaging take on the experience of being half-Japanese, by Michelle Reimann.

The Inherent Sexism of Low Expectations

The Inherent Sexism of Low Expectations, or do we need a plot to explain women’s success? on JAPANsociology

by Robert Moorehead

The fall semester started just a week ago, and after class today a student nervously asked me if we could talk in private. We waited for a few students to grab their bags and head out the door, and then he apologized, saying that he had heard rumors from other students and he wanted to know if they were true.

He then explained that some students were saying that it would…

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Beautiful video “Summer in Kyoto” by Aya Moorehead, capturing the sights of a Kansai summer

My daughter, filmmaker Aya Moorehead, recently posted a video on summer in Kyoto and Osaka on Vimeo. Enjoy!

The sociological context of urban ethnography

The sociological context of urban ethnography


An interesting look at the common practice of packaging the depiction of the ‘other’ in getting ethnographic work published. As I figure out how to generate interest for ethnographic work on relations between Japanese and Peruvians in Japan–a setting that might sound exotic to some of my colleagues at ASA but to me and my informants is familiar and everyday–I feel pulled between…

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An unexpected “gaijin moment”

An unexpected “gaijin moment” when out for karaoke and drinks with colleagues in Japan

English: Signage for hostess bars in Kabukicho...

English: Signage for hostess bars in Kabukicho, Tokyo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

by Robert Moorehead

At the beginning and end of each semester, my college faculty and staff gather for a fancy meal at a restaurant before a smaller group moves on to an Irish pub for a nijikai (second round of drinking). The nijikai crowd eventually shrinks down to a smaller group that heads to a third bar, for a sa…

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Precarious Japan and Tokyo Sonata

Tokyo Sonata

Tokyo Sonata (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

by Kota Yanagidani

In her book Precarious Japan, Anne Alison discusses the depiction of precarious life in the film “Tokyo Sonata.” In the ensuring paragraphs, this paper introduces “Tokyo Sonata” first, and after that, Allison’s view of “Tokyo Sonata” is analyzed, and my opinion on the movie and Allison’s view comes in the final part.

First of all, this…

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