J a p a n e s e    C u l t u r e

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, April 07, 2014


Snow Woman Comes Out 雪女のカミングアウト

The Japanese version of "Let it Go," the theme tune of the Disney blockbuster feature length animation, Frozen, is great. The coming out of the 'Snow Queen', or Snow Woman, is also a lot more pertinent in Japan where women, rather than 'gentlemen', are meant to be the perfect, repressed, guardians of the secrets and the horror that holds Japanese society together.

In Japnaese legend, Snow Woman (Yukionnna 雪女) is the Japanese equivalent of Dracula. She, Sadako,Barutanseijin (バルタン星人), and many other Japanese monsters kill their victims by freezing them or drag them into images, mirrors, developer liquid, or reflective pools of water. I interpret this to mean that these female monsters return their victims to the world of the image, which since the Japanese have "mirror stage" selves, is all the Japanese ever were. The woman that looks from within, most prototypically Izanami and Amaterasu, must remain hidden for the Japanese to keep being how they are.

So this Disney Snow Woman singing "the cold never bothered me anyway," in Japanese, in Japan may be a bit like the equivalent of Dracula coming to terms with his need for blood, singing "bloodless virgins never bothered me anyway!"

My Japanese children were terrified. I had to take one of them (May aged nearly four) out of the cinema crying. The rest of the cinema goers, where I saw it in Japan, were enraptured with almost no one leaving the theatre until the very end of the credits.


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