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Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Monday, November 04, 2013


Japanese Men's Pants are Colourful, Feminized

Japanese Men's Pants are Colourful, Feminized by timtak
Japanese Men's Pants are Colourful, Feminized, a photo by timtak on Flickr.

These Gunze pants are for men and are very colourful. They were advertised with copy a "Beautiful body, Wild heart." You can see the video of beautiful men wearing colourful pants here. Matriarchy that it is, Japan converges upon femininity. While they still like to differentiate themselves here by being more "wild," there are plenty of cosmetics for men, there are even man bras .

Some commentators see this feminization of the male form as a recent phenomena (Kuon, 2011) but there is a long tradition of Japanese men dressing in what might be termed feminine clothing. Rearing red underwear recently saw a boom among both men and women, since it was claimed that doing so warmed people up and improves their health and luck (see this online retailer). Japanese men have long been inclined to wear red underwear to battle in pre-modern Japan, and to competitions recently such as when Kouji Yamamoto, the coach of the Japanese World Baseball Classic team, wore red underwear to the WBC tournament - indeed it is said that all the coaches did so (Takayama, 2013).

In Japanese mythology, Japanese heroes and gods have a tendency to cross dress. Amaterasu, the sun goddess dresses as a man, Yamatotakeru, the brave of Japan, dressed as a woman to kill one of his enemies, and Susano'o, the original warrior god, may have dressed as his bride to be (according to one, persuasive reading) to kill the Eight-Forked Serpent, Yamata-no-Orochi. It should also be noted that the Japanese are handed their reflections by the sun goddess - a woman - whose mirror is said to be in all of their minds. That the Japanese do have a mirror in their minds, or heads, has been demonstrated experimentally (Heine et al. 2009).

The feminization of the Japanese male clothing also finds expression in the way in which the soul of Yui Ikari remains in the Eva robotic suit that her son Shinji Ikari controls in the popular anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. Evangelion explains itself by reference to Lacanian theory - "Mother is the first other," which holds that the first intra-pschic other that is an ontic necessity for the creation of self (see Boszormenyi-Nagy & Framo, 2013 p33 for an overview of similar theories), is an internalisation of mirror which is mother. This blog argues, Nacalianly, that for the Japanese, the mother/mirror is the last other, the one that they take into the world and make their mirror, suited, red-pants wearing selves with.

I don't mean to suggest that Japanese men are any more feminized than Western men, who have a different type of helper.

Boszormenyi-Nagy, I., & Framo, J. L. (2013). Intensive Family Therapy: Theoretical And Practical Aspects. Routledge. Google Books
Heine, S. J., Takemoto, T., Moskalenko, S., Lasaleta, J., & Henrich, J. (2008). Mirrors in the head: Cultural variation in objective self-awareness. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(7), 879–887. Retrieved from www2.psych.ubc.ca/~heine/docs/2008Mirrors.pdf
Kuon, S. 久遠さら. (2011). なぜ今どきの男子は眉を整えるのか. 幻冬舎ルネッサンス.
高山通史. (2013, February 28). 浩二ジャパン首脳みんなで赤パン/WBC. nikkansports.com. Retrieved 4 November 2013, from www.nikkansports.com/baseball/wbc/2013/news/p-bb-tp0-2013...

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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.