Remember how I said I hadn’t watched the Queer Eye Japan episodes critically yet? Here is a great article to read alongside your viewing: My Culture is Not Your Toy: A Gay Japanese Man’s Perspective on Queer Eye Japan
It highlights many issues with the show’s oversimplification of the Japanese culture. “While viewing, I understand that the lens created for me is a primarily white western one. While it is likely asking too much of a single show to present such a deeply nuanced picture of any one person’s existence in less than an hour, this article points out places where they could have done better, not only for the folks they are working with but the audience as well.
My focus for today’s thoughts is this quote:
“Expressing love primarily through touch and verbal affirmation is largely a western concept. In many Asian cultures, family members often show their love through acts of service. “I love you” appears as cooked meals, taking care of errands, and buying thoughtful gifts. By blaming the issues between Kae and her mom on Japanese cultural norms, the show further reinforces the toxic belief that the Japanese way of showing affection is incorrect. Growing up, my family never said, “I love you,” but I never felt the lack of love. They sacrificed their energy for me, fed me, clothed me, and showed up for me whenever I needed them the most. Antoni is calculating love in a Japanese context using his western measuring stick and applying western cultures and values wherever he sees a deficit.”
The article is definitely worth reading in its entirety!
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Works in Progress:
Koro Koro by Olga Buraya-Kefelian in Hedgehog Fibers Merino DK in Film Noir and Construct
A Good Vintage Cardigan by Fran Morgan in Handspun dyed by Hello Yarn, HIpString Buoy, Leading Men Fiber Arts, and MadelineTosh
Azore by Orlane Sucche in Barret Wools Wisconsin Woolen