Sunday, June 06, 2021
Superhero Secret Identity Collectivism
This is our (Nishioka & Takemoto, 2021) survey that attempts to prove that while Western Heroes go from a "mild mannered" secret identity to an individualistic "man of steel" Japanese superheroes often start as odd-balls in their non-super form, and change to upstanding members of the community. Japanese super-hero "secret identities" are not secret. They transform to become strong, not to hide. It seems to me that additionally, the individualism espoused by Westerners and exemplified by their heroes, and the polysemic wa, which means acceptance of difference at least as much as it means conformance, are a sort of camouflage for the odd-ball and mild-mannered reality of Japan and anglophone West respectively.
The images of Kamen Rider Forze before and after transformation and Christopher Reeve (RIP) as Clark Kent and Superman are copyright their respective copyright holders and used for illustrative purposes. If you wish that I cease and desist, please leave a comment below or contact me via the email link on my homepage, nihonbunka.com. We will be collecting Japanese data soon.
This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.