The Other Side of Lost in Translation


gender bending culture in Japan part 1

In Japan, there is a very famous
all female musical troupe called TAKARAZUKA
which has nearly 100 years history.

This is wiki's entry Takarazuka revue.
And this is their English site, Takarazuka.

All female means that girls play male roles.
And yes, they do "love scenes"

Of course, the other famous mono-gender troupe is
Kabuki which is all male and has 400 years history.

Not only in these troupes
but also in many other forms of entertainment,
gender bending has been prominent in Japanse culture
and not considered abnormal unlike in U.S.
because Japanese thinks it is nothing to do with
Is that true?
To some extent, yes.
And to some extent, no.

This is the clip that
the legendary singer, Misora Hibari,
performing one of her most popular song
called "柔 Yawara" means Judo 柔道, way of Yawara,
Japanese martial art, in DRAG.
This song is about the spirit of performing Judo
and how a man should pursue for the manly way to live his life.
And a manly man should not fall in love with a woman.
If he does, he should throw that away, shake that way,
dump that away without any mercy even hiding his tears
in the sake of pursuing for the manly way to live.
It is very bizarre concept
especially considering a woman singing this song
but Japanese do not think so.

This idea is very very prominent in Samurai(and Yakuza) films.
Samurais were supposed to be manliest men of all
and they should not fall in love with women
because romance is meant be for the weak minds like women,
not for manliest men like Samurai.
They better pursue the manliest way to live,
which is to be a great worrior with an iron mind
Women have to endure any pains caused by that
and do their best to support men to reach their goals.
This is the extream case of gender role playing
and also the sexism.

This mentality is still very much evident
in the modern Japanese society
though younger generation are changing.
Men are supposed to work so hard,
almost dedicate their lives for their companies
which replaced Samurai masters
that they should choose work over their families.
Since this leaves many Japanese women emotionaly unsatisfied,
they need some sort of outlet.
when I was a kid,
I saw three wives of famous authors chatting on TV
and one of them said
"After the marriage, a son is a woman's lover"
two other wives nodded.
Because Japanese women tend to love their sons too much,
many Japanese men has a strong tendency of oedipus complex.
That works as one outlet for women.
But there are many others and one of them is Takarazuka
where men are pretty, men do not smell,
men do not have hairy legs, men whisper sweet words,
men cry for women, men understand women
and men think women are the best thing in the world.
So Takarazukais like romance novels
that many American women love to read.
In Takarazuka, women creat ultimate fantasy of ideal men
for women.
So Takarazuka has nothing to do with homosexuality.
Do you believe that?
If you say yes, you are too naive.
even it is not very obvious and upfront,
there is definitely undertone of fascination
for homosexulality in Takarazuka.

Next time I will talk about
this undertone of homosexuality and homophobia
in Japanese culture.

To be continued

In a mean time, please enjoy
this fantastic performance by Tamasaburo
the best Kabuki female role actor.

ラベル: ,

0 件のコメント:


<< ホーム