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Question for my story that has Japanese related characters in it

Discussion in 'All Things Japanese' started by SilentWind5, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. SilentWind5

    SilentWind5 Kouhai

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    Hi everyone! I'm new to these threads and I would love it if I can get an opinion from someone who's from Japan or at least has been to Japan and understands Japanese culture very well.

    I'm hard at work on my story novel which stars my main character who is a samurai set in a futuristic timeline with high technology. At first I was going to make him and his family Japanese but then I thought of making him half caucasian half Japanese. My question is would it be offensive if his mother was a Japanese business leader antagonist and the father as an American business leader antagonist? Is it insulting to Japanese culture if a woman was in charge of a business corporate in Japan? Or would it be offensive if the father was a Japanese business leader antagonist and the mother was one of the father's mistresses that happened to be white? Is it also offensive if my main character has other Japanese family members and the entire family fight eachother?

    If any of this sounds offensive or disrespectful, I will definitely consider changing it up to a alternative scenario. I appreciate anyones feedback or criticism.
     
  2. Mike Cash

    Mike Cash 骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう

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    Why on earth are you so concerned with whether it is offensive or disrespectful or not?

    Offensive or disrespectful to whom?
     
  3. Lothor

    Lothor Sempai
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    In Japan, people of different races marry, women run businesses, people in families fight, and people have children out of wedlock, so none of the scenarios are 'offensive' par se. Nor is there a single monolithic entity called 'Japanese culture' that can be offended, even if some of the more nationalistic members of Japan think there is. Some people might be sniffy about a mixed-race samurai, but that's their problem.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Mike Cash

    Mike Cash 骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう

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    I've never understood why so many people seem to think Japan is a nation of snowflakes walking around constantly looking for something to feel offended, disrespected, or dishonored about.
     
  5. SilentWind5

    SilentWind5 Kouhai

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    I'm concerned if it's disrespectful to Japanese people. It's because I have a lot of Japanese antagonist and relatives within my main characters family that are all basically, or at least most of them are a very dysfunctional family that try to kill each other all the time (similar to in Greek myths of how family gods and goddesses try to kill and fight eachother all the time) and I hope I'm not making those of Japanese heritage look bad.

    Yes that is true. But my main MC's family are very dysfunctional. His father is a corrupted Japanese corporate leader who had a one night stand with an American woman who is the main characters mother and the corrupted father also had maybe two or three more children with his other women, which is the MC's half siblings and they all hate each other. The MC's other main character cousin is a futuristic ninja and his mother is a corrupted Japanese corporate leader and his father is a corrupted U.S corporate leader, and both parents have two other children fro different spouses and they all hate eachother, including the grandfather of the family. they are basically one big hating family that battle eachother, similar to Zeus and his dysfunctional family in Greek myths. Someone told me this could be disrespecting or making Japanese people look bad.

    Someone also told me it would be very rude to Japanese within their culture if I had a female Japanese corporate leader because they told me in Japan, it's not common or believable for a woman to be head of a business organization. He said I would get lots of hate mail lots of disrespect for doing that.

    Is any of this true? Thanks
     
  6. SilentWind5

    SilentWind5 Kouhai

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    It's not that I believe in that way. It's just that someone told me my story would get hate mail and probably shut down if I made a female business leader from Japan, cause he said it's mainly male dominated business leaders. I don't think anyone would really be that offended, just that he kind of scared me with that comment and I wasn't sure if it was really true. Sorry if I sound like I'm overthinking this :emoji_frowning2: I just need to be sure from others opinion on this if making a female leader in Japan is taking a risk. Thank you.
     
  7. Mike Cash

    Mike Cash 骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう

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    If you're that wussy about it then maybe you ought to write something else.

    Who is the nimrod that told you all that nonsense?
     
  8. SilentWind5

    SilentWind5 Kouhai

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    #8 SilentWind5, Mar 31, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018
    Someone from a website told me. He said I better research Nihonjin culture before I write something like this and that it would be highly inappropriate for a female corporate leader to exist in my story, even if it's in the future. Another guy that was supposed to be helping me get my story published told me Japan wouldn't like it if I created a female Japanese business corporate leader. He said women wouldn't be able to and that it sounds silly like in Kill Bill.
     
  9. Lothor

    Lothor Sempai
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    "Japan wouldn't like it" - as I said before, there's no single monolithic entity called 'Japan' who likes and dislikes things. On the subject of words, do you mean protagonists rather than antagonists?

    Female bosses are unusual, but apart from a tiny number of hidebound old men who would like to reintroduce prewar ideals into Japan (who are highly unlikely be reading novels in English anyway!), nobody is going to be offended by you having a female boss.

    My father is an amateur playwriter and has even on occasion introduced Japanese people into his plays despite a limited knowledge of Japanese culture. I always read them at an early stage and give him feedback on what is believable and what isn't and what may offend. I suggest you do the same - if you think you have a good enough plot to write a book, then write it and then get people to criticise it and make adjustments as necessary.
     
  10. SilentWind5

    SilentWind5 Kouhai

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    It's both protagonists and antagonists that will be dysfunctional this way. Like one big hating family. As long as it is not offending to those of Japanese ethnicity and for being created by a non Japanese such as myself.

    The guy from that site told me that most people in Japan, especially the older crowd if they found out about it, would be extremely offended by a female corporate boss as it's not accepted in their culture. I tried to explain to him that it is set in the future as a science fiction story so that should give me some leeway. But like you said, maybe the older crowd would not care so much about this, as it's a sci-fi story anyway.

    I will do that. The more knowledge the better and the more right choices I can make. So if a female corporate boss can be believable, would it be believable for a Japanese corporate boss to have gotten with one of his mistresses, an American white woman, which she ran off to raise her unborn son in a new place away from Japan? Does that sound somewhat insulting and inappropriate as I'm making a Japanese boss leader look bad?
    Thanks so much for the help.
     
  11. Habaek

    Habaek 後輩

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    Antagonists are antagonists, it doesn't matter what race they are.
     
  12. Lothor

    Lothor Sempai
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    A brief read of the main headlines of Japanese news over the last few years will tell you that Japanese bosses are perfectly capable of making themselves look bad! :emoji_smiley:

    More seriously, write the story, then get feedback from others as to what is unbelievable and insulting then modify. It's also likely the tone you take is going to make the reader decide whether you are being insulting or not. If you give perfectly good reasons why the woman wishes to raise her child away from Japan and don't make cheap cracks at the Japanese (like I did just now at Japanese bosses!) then it's unlikely to be offensive.
     
  13. Mike Cash

    Mike Cash 骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう

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    This country had a centuries long history of backbiting, in-fighting, civil war, family feuds, intrigue, etc.

    You may have heard of it. Its the era your samurai came out of.

    Forget all that horse manure you heard from those idjits. Sound like a couple of know-nothings to me. Give us a link so we can go read it for ourselves instead of playing twenty questions with you.

    What is really insulting to Japan is not the kind of things that you're trying to avoid....it is that you think they're so delicate that you have to coddle them and do absolutely nothing whatsoever that might make somebody offended. That's extraordinarily patronizing and condescending.

    1. The Japanese are made of sterner stuff
    2. None of them are going to read it anyway.
    3. Judging by all the other authors we have fielded inquiries from over the years, chances are you'll never finish it and it won't be published even if you do.
     
  14. Glenski

    Glenski Just me

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    You're writing fiction. Who cares?

    And in all honesty, choose a woman corporate leader, by all means. It will be more appealing to female readers, for one. Just do a little research on personalities of real Japanese women who have succeeded in that role. THAT'S what will make it more believable.

    Good luck.
     
  15. SilentWind5

    SilentWind5 Kouhai

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    That is true.
    Oh definitely, in fact I plan to stray completely away from cheap cracks and stereotype jokes at Japanese characters in my story, which I think has been heard enough of in 80s films :emoji_stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Mine will be more serious and have explanations for what happens, just like in any story. They just happen to have a Japanese background.

    You mean during the feudal ages right? Cause my samurai takes place in the future.

    The guy was from the Deviant site and yeah, he did seem a little over line, saying that creating a lead boss Japanese businesswoman would get me hate mail and death threats. Same with the other guy and I don't think they are Japanese at all.

    You're right, otherwise I seem like I'm being more offensive if I keep worrying about being offensive. I've spoken with a few guys before thst would tell me "this is offensive to Japanese people" and "that is offensive, etc" and they're not even from Japan. I always wondered why some people, like in the U.S are so sensitive and would get so easily offended over these things, more so than those from Japan who are more cool about it?
    Well hopefully I'll get it done soon and find the right publisher, hopefully.

    I think that's the idea I'm going to go with. I don't know why that guy was telling me how I'd be making a mistake with a Japanese boss leader as female, would create so much hate and controversy, angering others in Japan. I hope he's wrong.
    Thanks!
     
  16. Mike Cash

    Mike Cash 骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう

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    Tell him there are a couple of newly appointed female police chiefs in Osaka who might like a word with him.

    大阪府警に初の女性署長が誕生|NHK 関西のニュース
     

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