Iku Okada
Iku Okada
Apr 22, 2017 · 3 min read

First of all, I am grateful that Minovsky and Hannah Cairns gave me this opportunity. As you see I was too lazy to keep this Medium alive, but now it’s time to write something much longer than my tweets.

Since yesterday Minovsky posted these tweets below. Hannah asked my opinion about it:

“Why criticize sexism/racism/homophobia in Japanese media? That’s their culture,” as if there aren’t also voices in Japan challenging these.

I’m on the lookout for other counter-culture voices in Japan with full confidence that they exist. I’ll link as many as I find.

Some Americans believe that there are no Japanese people who have problems with the way manga is. It’s good to know a JP critic who does.

and I answered:

True. We Japanese have a long history of the quiet, invisible war against gender inequality. It might not seem like actions, but exists.

As one of Japanese high educated women, and as an otaku/fujoshi and proud, I really felt it necessary to express my complex feelings for Shonen/Shojo Manga. So this article series gonna be like a never-ending real-time draft, just preparing for the logical explanation. I’ll keep trying.

Let me introduce myself. I’m originally from Tokyo, born and raised, graduated and worked there for years. I authored two autobiographies and one co-authored book. Now I moved to New York City and working as a graphic designer, struggling with my terrible English in every single moment.

Our co-authored book Otoko No Karada Ha Kimochi-Ii (Males, enjoy your sexualities) is a casual approach for gender studies through Pornography in Japan. One of my co-authors Hitoshi Nimura is a famous game-changing adult movie (=porn) director. The other, Junko Kaneda is a sociologist/feminist and the most trustworthy expert of the Yaoi/Boy’s Love field. We three also interviewed a couple of gay people living their real lives in Japanese society.

Otoko No Karada Ha Kimochi-Ii; Nimura, Kaneda, Okada; 2015; KADOKAWA

Discussing gender issues is not only for feminists who clearly know what is the matter and why, but also for any other people who never imagined that by their own. So in this book we discussed about sexism, sexual inequality, homosociality, Yaoi fandom as a counter movement for men’s stories, exchangeabilities of gender roles, etc. Japanese males often say that it’s uncomfortable to being watched at as objects of desire… while many of them love Hentai porn and treat females like things. If this unbalance happens because of masculinities, we must release our minds together from the same prison of sexism. Hope our book will be published worldwide and become an eye-opener to you.

Well, I’m not a researcher, or a critic for this field. I don’t know much about what I don’t know. And of course, my opinion doesn’t represent all female Otaku in Japan. Truly.

I just express myself. I just speak a lot about what I love, and who I am. My complex feelings. My love and hate for Shonen/Shojo Manga stories. Internal argument why I love “Bromance” so much and at the same time hate “Homosociality” so much. My little experience for searching my own sexuality. Or how I conquered my trauma to dress feminine. What to say when people surprised at me enjoying Boy’s Love along with my male spouse. Once in my childhood I wanted to be a boy, but now I found it was not true. I’m just a female Otaku, not a girl, not yet an old lady, love to be a loud-speaker to public.

We Japanese have a long history of the quiet, invisible war against gender inequality. It might not be seen like actions, but exists. Next I’m going to write about my personal experience since childhood, through my favorite Manga contents; Osamu Tezuka, Year 24 group, The Rose of Versailles, Saint Seiya and other Weekly Shonen Jump comics, CLAMP and 1990’s culture, and so on. To describe a part of “The quiet invisible war”.

Thank you for reading!

Otaku Girl And Proud

A female/otaku/fujoshi, born this way. I have my own voice, even if it doesn’t make any sense.

Iku Okada

Written by

Iku Okada


Otaku Girl And Proud

A female/otaku/fujoshi, born this way. I have my own voice, even if it doesn’t make any sense.

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