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ShgnLW
January 18, 2007, 03:08 PM
For a rather long time, I was wondering why there are no "colored" shinobi, or other "colored" people living in the world of Naruto.

Before starting this discussion, I want to say something small: I am a mix between an white father and black mother and have been grown up by both principles, I can talk with everyone about these sensitive topics. Words as discrimination do not excist for me, because if someone offends me about my background, they just offend themselves really. The last time I wrote this topic I was a little bit ehm... over-enthusiastic D (major excuses for my language and remarks the previous time). For my swearing (F-word etc.) I really have no excuse for, just plain dumb of me.

By making this topic, I want to create a serious discussion without offending anybody, because when I offend someone I actually offend myself.

So, there could be a few reasons why there are no colored people living in the Naruto world, starting with the "money" reason, but also other "political" reasons:
- A comic with white people with blond hair somehow "attracts" more people than a comic with more colored persons and diversity.
- Sensitive reasons: A colored shinobi may look at something what caused harm to the western world, as well as the eastern world, especially when only the eyes are visible (Kakuzu). This is, according to a dutch investigation (in Holland, it is thus not representative for the whole world, but applicable for most european countries), the common view people has towards a certain kind of collored people, and to be rude, Muslims. (Any mod can delete this phrase if not appropriate). I don't mean that all are the same, frankly 10% of all muslim people in the world just screws it up for the rest.

But in my eyes, the adding of colored shinobi or just civilians in the world of naruto should be a good developement in the whole manga world, and generally also for the rest of the comic and tv industry. Here in Holland, were people are very open for other races and very tolerant against it, we had once a discussion about the fact that there are hardly no colored people on tv, or in comic books.

Adding more color in Naruto (or all manga) can help raise the tolerance against other races in this world.

manu
January 18, 2007, 03:27 PM
Ever hear of a black ninja? Naruto is based of the Japanese culture, and well the Japanese love to change their hair and eyes. What they don't do is change there skin.

fyi I'm black and right now I really appreciate Tite Kubo for actually drawing different ethnicities, and acknowledging them. i.e. Chad is actually proud of his Latino heritage.

shelltoes
January 18, 2007, 03:32 PM
I don't think he's drawing, as you say, "white shinobi." But more accurately, drawing "Japanese Shinobi." The fact of the matter is, Naruto is set in a feudal-esque Japan where kids have Blonde Hair and TV exists as do Movie Theatres (not canon, but worth mentioning) and other things that don't really fit into that montage. Despite Naruto himself having blonde hair, TV existing among other electronics, Kishimoto still has his stories reflect on Japanese lore in a sense, and nowhere in lore are there black Ninja. In fact, I say this as a Black man myself, I don't really want to see a Black Ninja at this point, because I'd feel that Kishimoto did it only to fill a quota, an unneeded quota at that. Do I think that Kishimoto is racist or afraid of Black people? Nah, not at all, in fact, his brother's manga (though they probably don't share the same views, but they grew up together, that's got to count for something) 666Satan has the antangonist's sidekick as a black person who constantly utters "yo" at the end of his sentences.

So, in short, I don't think Kishimoto doesn't have black people in his manga because he's racist, but because it wouldn't seem right with a black person roam around in the background just to fill a quota and seem out of place, I don't think it's needed. Not to mention, Asuma and Sarutobi were black enough to begin with, the fact that they were killed off shows that they ate grits and enjoyed rap and R&B respectively. (haha, look at my joke. ;])

ShgnLW
January 18, 2007, 03:38 PM
I too am black (well, half actually) and I really don't care whether or not there will be black shinobi in the manga.

However, I just think that it is a good thing if drawers of manga add more "etnicity" to the manga, to make it more realistic and less "Nationalistic" as we can interprete the fact that no "foreign" etnicities comes up in the manga(s). I think this is a general remark to all mangas, however I must say that I only read Naruto.[br]Posted on: January 18, 2007, 03:35:19 PM_________________________________________________Maybe black shinobi is going to far, bad some more black "clients" for example is welcome.

I know, drawing white people with blond hair makes more money, only there is also something called "social responsibility" and that's which point I like to make (too).

Currently, or let's say in the past there was a discussion about this in our country (more colored people on tv). I really don't care because I am more 'white" orientated but sometimes I do ask questions about "why" is there hardly any (or none) colored or black people on tv/ drawed etc.

Alexis
January 18, 2007, 03:59 PM
Well black people don't seem to be a preference in most manga/anime/tv shows, or whatever, as I'm sure most people are aware of. Whatever the reasons behind it may be. But when it comes to Naruto, I get the sense that compared to our world it takes place in some asian like continent, with technology that would suggest it's set in the feudal oriental timeline. (except there are some gadgets here and there from our own time)
But with no airplanes, and seemingly weak communications between countries, I don't see it very plausable for a lot of mass imigrations to start happening. So those living in the Africa like countries (if they even exists in the Naruto world) might be sticking to their own regions.
And that an African like country doesn't even exist in Naruto is also to take into concideration. But I think Naruto is just sticking to the asian ninja concept, which is only natural.

ShgnLW
January 18, 2007, 04:03 PM
I don't only talk about Africa, but Latin America, india, Bangladesh, and countries like that. They are relatively close, and were there is water there are boats, so that is no excuse whatsoever to deny that people stick to their own regions, especially because people have always been curious through all ages, and that exploration is something what almost everyone has (who doesn't want to explore their new neighboorhood, why else are we gonna go on a vacation).

Bresakar
January 18, 2007, 04:06 PM
Japanese Ninja, feudal Japan-like world, feudal Japan = no black people at that time which Naruto is based on. I think that is a explanation for it.

Alexis
January 18, 2007, 04:09 PM
Well I don't think there have been any black ninjas in history. I remember the movie Shogun even made a big fuss about a "white" Samurai. So if it never happened in our time, then maybe it's not so strange not to see black shinobi in Naruto.
We still don't know what the worldmap in Naruto looks like. It could all be Asian-like countries for all we know.

gao_dargon
January 18, 2007, 04:11 PM
why do you focus on the money so much¿?¿? i just think kishimoto sensei, dont draw black ppl cuz he don't really see them as being shinobi wich is a Japanise "job" per say, i not anything against black ppl (or i like to thing that way,cuz i hate discrimination and rasisim) but im almoust shure its not about the money, its more about not ever bieng black shinobi and i dont really think he has contact with that many black ppl, i live in mexico and i rearly get to see a black person myself even do i live in a touristic beach (puerto vallarta) imagine Nihon ppl that just stays drawing, i mean i dont think is neather rasisim nor money issues

kyubisharingan
January 18, 2007, 04:19 PM
Japanese Ninja, feudal Japan-like world, feudal Japan = no black people at that time which Naruto is based on. I think that is a explanation for it.


i agree. im black yes, but, there have been times i've wondered about this problem. But, Ninja's are from japan, and im sure no black ppl were there at that time. Unlike bleach, it can be anyone who is a shinigami. anyway, those r my thoughts. and this thread dosent need to b stickied

jerger
January 18, 2007, 05:00 PM
Hmm, isn't refering people by color kind of dated? I just find it odd, that there are two colors, black and white. Then there is a contenent to describe over 100 ethnic groups... Asian. Then we have "hispanic" which was a racist term created by the US government in the early 1900's to exclude latinos or mexicans from census limitations on immigration.

Anyways, I do not remeber alot of African samurais in Japanese history, do you guys?

When westerners first began exploring Japan and trying to westernize it, they often made fun of japanese for being white! There are many primary sources where europeans made fun of japanese for their white skin color. Its rather funny, because wetserners today often like to refer to themselves as White, rather then Euroamerican or Irish or German etc.

So, if they have white color in appearance, it is often the color of skin Japanese see themselves having (or tan, since some regions get alot of tans and farmer tans)... yellow, is a racist skin color that westerners used to belittle their ethnicity.

Shew... let artists do their work and dont complain. If you want a strong African American manga/anime, then someone needs to create it. But to critizize a Japanese anime about ninjas is rather silly. Thats like Akatsuki complaining there are not enough Shark people.

Uchiha Slayer
January 18, 2007, 05:10 PM
I'm black as black can be, but I see no problem with Kishi views. It's not common to see black Japanese based ninjas. Also think about this, the series is far from over so you never know. Just give it some time to see if Kishi adds any black people in the manga and at the end of the series speak your mind on the issue if he hadnt put any in.

Kishi is a big fan of Dragonball and the new Buu was black( I forgot his name), so just give it some time to let the manga work itself on the issue.

kadoman
January 18, 2007, 05:13 PM
Let's not forget that Naruto is drawn and written with a Japanese readership in mind first and foremost. It has only been very recently that a more 'global' readership might even be considered. Probably in the near future, there will be a variety of races represented in manga, gradually.

As others have already said, I doubt very much that Kishi is racist, but when he began the manga, 6 years ago, the rest of the world (reading manga) wasn't as much of a concern as it has become recently. That, and the fact that Japan is a fairly homogeneous population - meaning, unlike America, it is overwhelmingly of one race - Japanese. We can hardly hold their own ethnicity against them. :amuse

NB. In anime, the use of black characters is more prevalent, I suppose. Well, look, there is Afro Samurai with Samuel L. Jackson! Peacemaker Kurogane featured an 'American' samurai who spoke Japanese (they even commented on his 'funny accent'). Those are just two off the top of my head. Didn't Cowboy Bebop feature a black character as well?

Yondaime Uzumaki
January 18, 2007, 05:25 PM
Okay, first of all I lived in Japan and I have never seen a natural blond haired, blue eyed japanese kid. Naruto is a white kid, there's no doubt about it. I don't really care that there isn't any black shinobi but I do wonder why naruto has natural blond hair and blue eyes.

kyubisharingan
January 18, 2007, 05:55 PM
Okay, first of all I lived in Japan and I have never seen a natural blond haired, blue eyed japanese kid. Naruto is a white kid, there's no doubt about it. I don't really care that there isn't any black shinobi but I do wonder why naruto has natural blond hair and blue eyes.


well, thats wat alot of japanese mangaka do, use western style influences....that they mostly see. maybe later on, he will add a dark skined character but not really black. but as said before, japan+ninjas=japanese people not black

ShgnLW
January 19, 2007, 06:35 AM
I hear a lot of people say that the story of Naruto takes place in a feudal age- something time, with radio, television, walky talky, "modern" kitchen etcetera, why is it so difficult then to add some colors to the people? Okay, maybe because it is written in the Nationalistic style of Japan, like Yondaime Uzumaki said, no one there is natural blond, and Naruto is a white kid, so that means that there are a lot of western influences (like Hinata's lover said) in the manga. So, the step to add some more colored persons should not be so hard, if you take into account that black/colored people are coming more and more on tv lately (positively as negatively). And at a sidenote: maybe America will have a black colored president in the near near future :D that will restore some things in the world. Politically, that would be the best...

ON TOPIC: BTW> aren't japanese people, as well as chinese people etc. also Colored? That makes me wonder... Japan has always been a country driven by nationality, and history. The only reason I can think of why they don't include colored people, is the money aspect... because it then would appeal to a larger public...

It seems more realistic to me, when also the world of Naruto would be more colored. Not only for the realistic part of it, but also the moral side of it. The world is changing into one multicultural society after all.

deadpool002
January 19, 2007, 08:21 AM
I have a friend who is teaching English over there at the moment, and one thing that she has noticed is that the schools have a strong emphasis on nationalism (Def: Pride in ones country.) Even when teaching English the books will make notes on why Japanese is better than English. The example she gave was Mr. and Mrs. said before a person name was a sign of respect similar to "-san" but the japanese way was superior because it covered both genders with one term instead of two.

Another thing she noted was that no matter how well you spoke the language or understood the culture if you weren't Japanese you were an outsider. Japan may be as modern as the USA when it comes to technology, etc. , but they aren't as open when it comes to multi cultural thinking. Another example is my sister's friend is from Korea. Her grandfather was the first(and only I think) Korean lawyer to be able to practice in Japan, and he spent his whole life getting Korean rights (rights for better jobs and not just service jobs like gas station attendant, etc.) in Japan.

True some manga-kas may have added multiple races in their manga but is doesn't mean every manga artist thinks about being PC. The term PC doesn't exist.


This isn't to say that every person in japan is a racist, there are probably those are thinking global but in a country where the mix of different races is small and national pride is high, it's not so surprising that most mangas don't have a multi cultural setting.

kadoman
January 19, 2007, 10:18 AM
I have a friend who is teaching English over there at the moment, and one thing that she has noticed is that the schools have a strong emphasis on nationalism (Def: Pride in ones country.)

Thanks for sharing. This is true as far as my experience of Japan goes, including my observations of Japanese students I come into contact with here, in England, and from feedback I have recieved from friends of mine who are also teaching over there. This isn't a bad thing - it's just the way it is and as I said before, probably goes some way in explaining why there isn't a tremendous amount of racial variety in manga. It would be good to get Winny's thoughts on the matter as well, just for another perspective.


True some manga-kas may have added multiple races in their manga but is doesn't mean every manga artist thinks about being PC. The term PC doesn't exist.

Good point. It's not like they are obligated to make their mangas more apealing to a wider or global audience. They don't have to have 'us' in mind at all. They write their manga for a Japanese audience. Some more recent anime have certainly been produced with a more global, or at least American audience in mind though.


This isn't to say that every person in japan is a racist, there are probably those are thinking global but in a country where the mix of different races is small and national pride is high, it's not so surprising that most mangas don't have a multi cultural setting.

Those are my thoughts on the topic as well. Japan is not as multi-cultural as some other countries and therefore they just don't think about writing their manga that way. It's not because they are inherently racist.

Thanks for your mature contribution deadpool! It was very interesting to read. :amuse[br]Posted on: 19 January 2007, 10:12:12_________________________________________________

It seems more realistic to me, when also the world of Naruto would be more colored. Not only for the realistic part of it, but also the moral side of it. The world is changing into one multicultural society after all.


I can definitely see where you are coming from, but not all countries are as multi-cultural as some and therefore, writing multi-culturalism into their literature isn't realistic from their point of view. For exampe, my homeland Australia is overwhelmingly white (due to something we had called the White Australia Policy which excluded non-white immigrants right up until the 1970's.). They don't have that policy anymore, thankfully, but it is going to take quite a few generations to see the change. When I went to Japan, the population was overwhelmingly Japanese and we stood out like sore thumbs! We attracted a lot of attention (which was both funny and unnerving). So writing black characters into their manga isn't that realistic for them.

WinterLion
January 19, 2007, 10:54 AM
There's not much that I can add to this that hasn't already been covered. :p

But yes, Japan as a country is very high on "nationalistic pride" and it's emphasized very much by the government and in the textbooks of schools.

Part of the non-mixing of racial ethnicities in Japan has to do with the fact that Japan was closed to all outsiders until the end of the Edo era (1867) and even after that while foreign trade started and foreigners were very rare. It wasn't until after WWII that Japan started to become more open to foreigners and the progression was slow and gradual. Now, there are more foreigners in Japan, but mostly the foreigners (in my experience) have been white. And currently still a majority of the Japanese people have no exposure to foreigners, and especially not black people. So it's not that the mangakas are racist, but because they are authors and they take their material from what is around them, based on their exposure level to foreigners, they may or may not include other races/ethnicities. And it's probably not something that is done on a conscious level, but is just drawn from what they're used to.

I think as Japan progresses into a more multi-ethnic country, gradually these changes will be reflected in the works of the mangakas as well.

ShadowStrike
January 19, 2007, 12:45 PM
I think you should analyse Kishi's environment and Japanese culture before saying there are no black ninjas. It's just his context and he probably wasn't thinking too far obviously. Maybe he's narrow in this sense, but i don't think he's a racist.

Toad Sage
January 19, 2007, 05:37 PM
I've seen depictions of blacks in manga that would be fairly controversial if they were published in the west. One piece, for instance, I thought had some art work that looked like the minstrel drawings one might find in Marvel comics circa 1950's. I'm not sure if this reflects an inherent prejudice overseas, or a different cultural perspective.

My impression is that Japan, despite its alleged xenophobia or nationalism, I suppose, is extremely open to foreign influences. Someone earlier brought up the Edo period, and to that I would add that, if my history is correct, the Meiji restoration following the edo period was characterized by an intense learning from abroad and trying to incorporate the ideas they found into Japanese society. That said, I'm more inclined to think that unflattering depictions of race and the lack of racial diversity may have more to do with misunderstanding western perspectives on race, in particular the importance we place on diversity in media, than an out right prejudice. If I am correct, then I would also argue that Kishimoto is just a part of what I perceive as a dissonance between the east and the west on matters of race.

So determining whether Naruto is racist for excluding in this case black characters really depends on how absolutely one tries to apply the concept of racism. Is it racist for someone to act in accordance with the conventions in their society? That's a tricky question because, for example, if we say no, then one might be led to arguing that the status quo in America prior to the Civil Rights movements was acceptable. Or for that matter that tacit approval of Nazi occupation was all right for the regular citizens participating in the holocaust. On the other hand, to say yes would be tantamount to attributing qualities to a large group of people which aren't necessarily accurate. After the Civil Rights example, I can think of many people in America that weren't racist at all yet did nothing to overtly change the prevailing social structure. I don't think many people would intuitively label these individuals as racists.

It's a complicated isssue! And on that note, I'm sort of curious why everyone assumes the Naruto world people are even white. I kind of figured they were like elves or something, given the fact I know zero white people that have strangely shaped hair who are capable of leaping over tall buildings and summoning frogs. Maybe that's just me...

aznhotbod
January 19, 2007, 07:08 PM
maybe im totally wrong or off topic here, but I always thought that there are a few different ethnicities in Narutoverse, but mostly/primarily Japanese related cultures.

Hyuga clan IMO has definitely lots of Chinese elements (their jyuuken fighting style and internal body part damage has been well portrayed in many Chinese mythology/martial arts stories).

Others with diferent hair colors can be people from different ethnic groups, such as both ino and her father bear blonde hair, seriously, i doubt there's naturally blonde Japanese/Asian cultures.

also, drawing those shonen mangas sometimes authors deploy many different styles. I mean, Toriyama's DBZ only had 1 black character, who was a general of the Red Ribbon army (no, Mr Popo does not count).

Raine_Joybringer
January 20, 2007, 08:35 AM
I have to say that there are some good points of interest in this topic, educational too. I think it's a shame there isn't more of a diversity of races in manga, unlike its western counterparts (I know that it creates quite a lot of problems and arguments in the cosplay world unfortunately).

Still, there's hope for the future. From what I understand, there's a guy out there named Austell Callwood who's trying to help with that. I don't know much else though.

RaZe
January 20, 2007, 07:09 PM
meh, i don't find it overly surprising that ethnic diversity is limited. [why would someone cross a couple continents to hire out a small group of ninja who... would have to cross the continents again to do the job?] although, i originally thought of baki as caucasian [since he seemed arabic]. :P

is kishi racist? heck no, anyone who thinks so, hasn't read the manga.

I mean, the opening storyline is a kid who looks white, who is separated by his peers as being "different" and "not normal" and eventually overcomes these obstacles to become recognized and accepted.

i mean, I'm not well versed in Japanese culture, but this seems like a flat out smack-down on this "gaijin" culture i keep hearing about. >.> [although my interpretation could be flawed].

Tailsnake
January 20, 2007, 08:45 PM
I think that there is a certain amount of racism in Japan in general. It has nothing to really do with the people living there, there is just no real contact with the racial variety we have in the west. Japanese acceptance of Caucasians is far beyond how they deal with the other races, a lot of Japanese produced media (Manga, Anime, and Video Games) portray characters who are either white or that do not look characteristically asian while at the same time middle eastern, Latin, Caribbean, and African races are either completely absent or complete stereotypes.

I personally wouldn't want mangaka's to bring races they aren't comfortable with into their mangas, they generally end up being stereotypes (One Piece and it's Davy Back Arc, FFVII and Barret, etc). I would rather have a manga that ignored my race than one that insulted it.

aznhotbod
January 20, 2007, 10:15 PM
racism might be a tricky word; what about xenophobia, not so much as hate, but reluctance to accept/adapt/etc??

ShgnLW
January 21, 2007, 04:48 PM
I personally wouldn't want mangaka's to bring races they aren't comfortable with into their mangas, they generally end up being stereotypes (One Piece and it's Davy Back Arc, FFVII and Barret, etc). I would rather have a manga that ignored my race than one that insulted it.


You're right about the stereotype thing. Last night I had this talk with a friend of mine about this topic (not involving Naruto, but races in magazines, comics, television etc). He told me something rather interesting. We were talking about an ice show which is currently aired in our country (dancing on ice; that's a program were dutch stars are thought to dance on ice, a variant of that was also on the US television I think). The next quote is translated by me, but also a bit modified).


People in the media are generally trying to appeal to a certain type of public and try to make things hilarious. For example, John Williams (A Surinam, colored presentator) presentates that ice show and Regilio Tuur (also surinam, famous boxer) is one of the contestants. They only do that because people rarely see black people on ice and they think it is hilarious).


That;s quiet right, actually, it is funny to se a black guy on skates on the ice, however, whenever there is ice here (almost never), I skate the whole day, and some colored/black friends of me too. So indeed, it is just a stereotype that a certain race has.

Oh yeah, for the record: I don't think Kishi is a racist, I honestly know for 100000% sure he isn't one. It just has to do with the things aznhotbod says, acceptance and adaptation. It does not have to do with the storyline, because you can always tamper with it and such a character does not influence the whole storyline (depending on the role). I do not say that Kishi has trouble accepting a colored character in his story, but more do the READER accept that fact.

A nice next question perhaps? If Kishimoto introduces a colored character in his next chapter (whether or not it is a shinobi, which is definitely not weird in my eyes), will you accept that in terms of storyline, feelings, if it fits into the whole thing...

frostious
January 22, 2007, 08:27 AM
ON TOPIC: BTW> aren't japanese people, as well as chinese people etc. also Colored? That makes me wonder... Japan has always been a country driven by nationality, and history. The only reason I can think of why they don't include colored people, is the money aspect... because it then would appeal to a larger public...

They're "coloured" only because they've been labelled as such by "non-coloured" people - I doubt the Japanese think of themselves as "coloured", since coloured usually equals dark-skinned, which Japanese are not.

Anyway, who says the world shown in the series is the whole Naruto world? There might be different continents and countries that we haven't seen, ones that have people of different skin-tone, culture etc. Maybe what we've seen in Naruto has all been just one continent, in which case it would make sense that all the people "look the same" (ie. no other races), since they're all people of the same one country.

Alexis
January 22, 2007, 09:36 AM
Like I said before, the Naruto world seems a bit closed off as it is, because there are no airplanes, or easy ways for travelers from other continents to just take a job over at another continent. They probably stick to their own mostly.

By the way, that fish guy with Itachi (forgot his name) doesn't he count as another etnic group?
He does seem to belong to a different race of people.

Yondaime Uzumaki
January 22, 2007, 10:09 AM
Well as a black person that lived in japan, I don't think Kishi is racist at all. Actually, I got more respect from the people in Japan than I ever got in the United States. I think we just have to remember that this is an anime/manga.

kadoman
January 22, 2007, 11:19 AM
They're "coloured" only because they've been labelled as such by "non-coloured" people - I doubt the Japanese think of themselves as "coloured"

Very good point!


Maybe what we've seen in Naruto has all been just one continent, in which case it would make sense that all the people "look the same" (ie. no other races), since they're all people of the same one country.


Just want to point out that in real life, different races do appear on one continent – Europe for example is one continent that is home to many different countries and hence, many ethnic races. For a quickie example - the Greeks are different from the Croats who are different again from the Swedes. Australia is the only continent that is also a single country and even that contains different races. Useless bit of trivia there... :amuse

Kusachu
January 23, 2007, 02:04 PM
Okay, i haven't read all the way through this topic, but felt like adding my 2 cents worth. I have a black friend who was wondering about the lack of ethnicity in Naruto as well, simply because he and i were going to cosplay and he was all "Well, there isn't any black ninjas so...erm..."

I don't think that the issue of race is one that Kishimoto actually thought too much about. Japan's native population is about 99% Japanese. The majority of other ethnic groups is Chinese and Korean. So, it is a rare thing to see even white people in Japan, and even rarer to see black people. I think it is just a matter of him rooting his story on Japanese culture (which Kishimoto has said that he thinks he has overdone). The fact that Naruto is blond haired and blue eyed could simply be to appeal to a western audience (which many mangaka try to do), or it could be that Naruto himself began as an "outsider". But honestly, Naruto is pretty dark skinned for "white boy". He kind of looks like a "surfer boy" to me. :p[br]Posted on: January 23, 2007, 01:36:38 PM_________________________________________________

maybe im totally wrong or off topic here, but I always thought that there are a few different ethnicities in Narutoverse, but mostly/primarily Japanese related cultures.

Hyuga clan IMO has definitely lots of Chinese elements (their jyuuken fighting style and internal body part damage has been well portrayed in many Chinese mythology/martial arts stories).

I have always thought of Uchiha as being of "Japanese" ethnicity. XD


Others with diferent hair colors can be people from different ethnic groups, such as both ino and her father bear blonde hair, seriously, i doubt there's naturally blonde Japanese/Asian cultures.




Actually, from what i have read, ancient Japanese were of more caucazoid stock and picked up the "asian" characteristics when China and Korea entered Japan. This doesn't mean that they were "blond" per se, but their ethinic origin was more like that of Russia. However, their have been studies that have shown different findings (i.e. they do not contain common traites that are inherrant in caucasion DNA). Regardless, the majority of what i have read on the topic suggests that the ancient Ainu people were more caucasion than asian.


and a final note: somewhere along the way i read an article about why Japanese charaters have weird unnatural hair and such and the answer given was that they often just did that to make it easier to distingush the unique characters. It would be sort of difficult to come up with unique characters if one limited one's self to black or brown hair. An interesting case in point is the stiking resemblance between many of the characters of Naruto who are (as of yet) not related, such as Naruto and Tsunade's brother (even though that was supposed to be an intentional likeness) and many of the fodder characters that are just there to take up page space. I know *I* couldn't come up with like 50 characters that all looked noticably different and still have the same basic characteristics. But then i do tend to appreciate it when i see it done (though it has been rather rare, and usually is in period pieces about Japanese history or culture).

Okay. Rant done. XD

ShgnLW
January 25, 2007, 05:52 PM
Just on the sidenote:

I just saw the official colors of Kakuzu and he seemed rather "dark" to me.

Anyone agrees, or is it just my imagination?

http://img54.imageshack.us/my.php?image=naruto36000yl7.jpg

Kusachu
January 25, 2007, 07:01 PM
Just on the sidenote:

I just saw the official colors of Kakuzu and he seemed rather "dark" to me.

Anyone agrees, or is it just my imagination?

http://img54.imageshack.us/my.php?image=naruto36000yl7.jpg


I agree. He's got a darkish skin tone. XD But then, erm...Kisame has a rather blueish skin tone...it could be an akatsuki thing? lol And just where the heck did Orochimaru come from? Is his family from Konoha? He's the whitest mofo i ever seen!!

It would be cooler if some folks from Hidden Falls (isn't that where Kakuzu from?) had the same type of skin.

grim jao
January 28, 2007, 03:04 PM
So, in short, I don't think Kishimoto doesn't have black people in his manga because he's racist, but because it wouldn't seem right with a black person roam around in the background just to fill a quota and seem out of place, I don't think it's needed. Not to mention, Asuma and Sarutobi were black enough to begin with, the fact that they were killed off shows that they ate grits and enjoyed rap and R&B respectively. (haha, look at my joke. ;])
well japanese people have a serious problem with racism (not so much with the younger generation but more so with older people just like most of the countries that have similar problems with racism) i know because my uncle was called in to a japanese oil company to teach the workers about whats racist and whats not so the company wouldn't get sued by the non japanese workers


of course the reason for thier attitude to non japanese people is from WWII when the military brain washed thier soilders into thinking that the japanese were a superior race

also their not just racist towards white or black people but even chinese and koreans
so it probably wouldnt be surprising if some of the older mangaka were racist or bias

Toad Sage
January 28, 2007, 03:45 PM
If you're going to use anecdotal evidence, my friends teaching English in the JET program claim that as a population the Japanese are overwhelming accepting of caucasians. He's even gone so far as to say dating someone of European descent is a status symbol in the party areas of Tokyo, like Roipingi (I probably totally screwed that spelling.) Whether or not this is true I cannot say as it is just his testimony, but it certainly contradicts Japanese are "racist" towards whites if it is accurate.

Not to sound like a broken record here, but I thought the issue was really foreigners versus natives, not Japanese versus other ethnicities.

And since you brought up WW2, as far as I know the military surrender was accompanied by a period of encouraged cultural mixing from 1945 to 1951. I know General MacArthur handled integrating Japanese locals and Western soldiers in a way far more positive than how it was handled in Germany (where, for instance, you could be court marshalled for dating a German.) For a period contact between the two factions flourished under military occupation. Yet, I don't know how the story ends because I only know some of the details related to war history :) But I don't see any reason to believe some kind of superiority complex persisted based upon my above anecdote.

kadoman
January 28, 2007, 04:09 PM
And just to add to Toad Sage's comment: Grim Jao and all members, please think about your choice of words before you hit the post button.

This is an interesting topic, even if it's a tad risky, so please don't invite trouble (even if you don't mean to) by using words and phrases that our Japanese members (or any members) might find offensive.

Remember that the topic focuses on manga and ethnicity, not on whether or not Japanese are racist. Everybody so far has handled the topic really well and been very calm and sensible about it. We'd like to keep it that way.

grim jao
January 28, 2007, 09:53 PM
And just to add to Toad Sage's comment: Grim Jao and all members, please think about your choice of words before you hit the post button.

This is an interesting topic, even if it's a tad risky, so please don't invite trouble (even if you don't mean to) by using words and phrases that our Japanese members (or any members) might find offensive.

Remember that the topic focuses on manga and ethnicity, not on whether or not Japanese are racist. Everybody so far has handled the topic really well and been very calm and sensible about it. We'd like to keep it that way.
i was just pointing out a few things that might contribute to why japanese mangaka often draw people of a differnt race in a streotypical way especially native americans and as a native american it can be pretty offensive to see that

also there were some european looking people in the second movie i dont know if that counts

Toad Sage
January 28, 2007, 10:00 PM
The point is that you are trying to deduce that mangaka are racists because ALL Japanese are racists. Whatever racism is, it certainly includes broad generalizations about an ethnic group, and your suggestion that mangaka draw people of different races in a stereotypical way because ALL Japanese are inherently racist is such a generalization. Kadoman was trying to encourage you to not make such remarks because they are potentially inflammatory in this thread. So the problem isn't our inability to apprehend your point, but your willingness to post comments that could piss people off. Clear?

Furthermore, you're not helping your case by chiming in with more such "observations."

Raine_Joybringer
January 29, 2007, 05:57 AM
If you're going to use anecdotal evidence, my friends teaching English in the JET program claim that as a population the Japanese are overwhelming accepting of caucasians. He's even gone so far as to say dating someone of European descent is a status symbol in the party areas of Tokyo, like Roipingi (I probably totally screwed that spelling.) Whether or not this is true I cannot say as it is just his testimony, but it certainly contradicts Japanese are "racist" towards whites if it is accurate.


Hm, it's funny but somewhat true about the dating thing. I know that there are quite a few number of guys who think dating a Japanese girl is... hm, like a status symbol like what you mentioned.

I also noticed a trend in the advertising business with using caucasians (or cute furry mascots) because overseas products are a big thing. The whole consumer culture over there fascinates me. I'd go to Japan just to be able to go shopping, that's for sure. XD

amphreded
February 02, 2007, 09:28 PM
A Japanese might have a lot of pride in his nation, but that does not mean he is a racist. True he might feel 'superior' to the Americans in term of their rich culture, but there's a difference between racism and nationalism. Also it might be harder for a foreigner to live in Japan when compared to the U.S., but that's because Japanese's social security for its own people is more emphasized than the U.S. where the latter tends to welcome foreign employments.

starfall856
February 21, 2007, 05:06 PM
i never thought about racism and Naruto...
i just kinda thought....hey wait a minute aren't they like supposed to be Japanese?[br]Posted on: February 21, 2007, 05:02:51 PM_________________________________________________wait that didn't come out right....
i meant to say like there all white n have like blonde/black/colored
aren't they supposed to be Japanese?
they dont really look like it they kinda look like Americans minus people of color
but something in me still doesn't think its racist

Black/Light
February 21, 2007, 08:14 PM
I would first like to say good job everyone! You wouldn't believe how disgustingly racist I has seen whole forums get on the subject of race in anime/ manga/ games.

But on the topic at hand, I have read this thread and I have some in-put I would like to share. . .

Someone said something about the creature of Naruto having some DBZ influnce and that Buu was brung back as a black character in DBZ. That character's name is Uub.

Also, to the person who said that "Naruto shouldn't have to full a quota" I dissagree with the "quota" part. Yes, there are tv shows in the US that only have a full characters of different races just because they want to full a quota but thats not the case in Japan. In Japan over 90% of the people are Japanese so theres not going to be alot of people asking "why arnt there any [insert race] characters in [insert manga]?" because they don't live in a land that has many people of different races to which the makers may aim to please there for theres no "quota" to full. If a character of a different race is added it's because the artist wanted said character in.

But back to the point, races in Naruto. This is actually something I wouldn't have thought much about had I not seen Bleach and/ or E7 along with a number of subbed Japanese animes/ mangas like (US name) Battle Vexans, Air-master etc that have very strong, well made different race characters that are in noway "odd/ out of place" and are not degrading to people of their race in real life.
It seems that the idea of different races becoming main/ supporting or major character characters in anime/ manga seems to be working it's way into the minds of artist now a days.

Just look at Afro Samurai. . . .it was made IN Japan about a Black Samurai in the futuristic yet feudal Japan out to avang his dead daddy by a artist named Takashi Okazaki. This manga is VERY bloodly and has a VERY mature anime out for it on Spike TV that Gonzo made (The game will be made by Namco. . . .has been in work from 2005 till now). It's a international hit which is why it got picked up in the first place.

I would have just said that "They are Japanese in a Japanese area. . . so-on-and-so-on and Japan is 90%+ Japanese so hat = lil exposure" but these series (and more) show that they are actually becoming more open to the idea and it it being handeld in a mature, non-racist manner (but than you have One Piece and so on that do the opposite). But thats not to stay that Kish has to do what they are doing, just that a black character wouldn't hurt or be out of place if they are included soley because he wanted to add them as a character.

I wouldn't mind seeing my race repped in Naruto by, say. . . a lone black Ninja from a African clan that started their own lil town in Japan after coming over in a large boat of some kind. He and his clan could practice Capoeira as their main fighting style :smile-big.

Raine_Joybringer
February 22, 2007, 12:57 AM
Those are some good points, Black/Light. It stands to reason that Japan isn't as multi-cultural a nation as say, America or Australia and thus doesn't exactly have to cater to a wider-range of people. It's really by choice if a mangaka places a non-Japanese-type character in a manga... but it's great when that choice is made.

kadoman
February 22, 2007, 07:28 AM
Heh...Raine, your comment about Australia being multi-cultural brought a smile to my face. I always thought it was too before I moved to London, but holy heck, it ain't by comparison! I'll never forget my first trip back home after a year in London and I arrived at Sydney and couldn't believe how 'white' it was. :amuse It's funny how your perception changes over time (and distance). But that's going off topic...

On topic:

Hey, Black/Light thanks for the compliment you paid everyone who has contributed to this thread - that is really decent of you and I also agree that considering the subject matter, everyone has been sensible about it.

And yeah, Afro Samurai is quite a revolutionary anime (I didn't realise it is also a manga) and voiced by Samual L Jackson :nuts and I really do think that we'll be seeing more of this kind of 'global' anime/manga. It just takes time and a few generations.

We have to remember that manga reading/anime watching has for the past 20 years been an obscure and little heard of activity. It has only been in the last 5 years that it has started down the road of 'mainstream'. Therefore it's only natural that incorporating a more global audience will take time.

Raine_Joybringer
February 22, 2007, 07:37 AM
Heh...Raine, your comment about Australia being multi-cultural brought a smile to my face. I always thought it was too before I moved to London, but holy heck, it ain't by comparison! I'll never forget my first trip back home after a year in London and I arrived at Sydney and couldn't believe how 'white' it was. :amuse It's funny how your perception changes over time (and distance). But that's going off topic...


(I think it's because people from different cultures seem to move into certain areas together and don't go out of them more often. But that happens all over the world... I'm sure there's someplace in London nicknamed 'Kangaroo Court' or something where a lot of Aussies have moved into)

That's probably true of Sydney and I've never lived there, so don't know the nature of its population. I think it's a matter of population size too, like Australia is multi-cultural for its size, whereas London's population is obviously greater, so its ethnicity is going to stand out much more - I think one third of its population is from outside of the UK - so although ethnic communities tend to have a 'base', there isn't much room to hide! :amuse And the Aussies famously used to congregate at Earl's Court but got priced out years ago! :D

Ulgen
December 03, 2007, 06:30 PM
It quite normal that there are only white Shinobis because this manga has its roots in the japanese culture! If you look at the names of the characters etc... it is completely a japanese manga. The people in the manga are not actually europeans or western people. I think it is a combination of the modern urban culture in which people love to change their hair and eye colour! And if you try to mention that they have round eyes or something... If you look at the environment in japan or only people with slanted eyes! And so for them the people in the manga do not acutally have slanted eyes cause they're used it.

Ziazan
December 03, 2007, 09:38 PM
It seems like in the naruto world, that most continents seem to keep to themselves. But I mean, I've seen a couple dark skinned people here and there. Asuma wasn't black, but you sure couldn't call him east asian either. I personally though don't think I'd like to see a african like person in naruto(keep in mind that I myself am a person of color) because they might make them really stereotypical, but who knows they could be a totally kickass character. I've actually wondered this myself though, and came to the conclusion that it doesn't matter what the skin type of the character is, but the personality of said character.

Kusachu
December 03, 2007, 11:41 PM
It seems like in the naruto world, that most continents seem to keep to themselves. But I mean, I've seen a couple dark skinned people here and there. Asuma wasn't black, but you sure couldn't call him east asian either. I personally though don't think I'd like to see a african like person in naruto(keep in mind that I myself am a person of color) because they might make them really stereotypical, but who knows they could be a totally kickass character. I've actually wondered this myself though, and came to the conclusion that it doesn't matter what the skin type of the character is, but the personality of said character.


Not only Asuma, but Sarutobi and Naruto both have very dark skin compared to most other characters.

As far as population variation goes, (from what I've read) the native population of Japan is about 99% Japanese, with the highest numbered minority being Chinese at about .4% followed by Korean, then every other ethnicity. So I really don't expect to see much diversity when reading manga as when reading a western comic. But there have been mangaka who do incorporate other ethnicities into their work, such as Bleach's Sado who from what I recall is supposed to be Latino, Chiba from Beck who was at least half black, and I think I'm wrong, but I always thought that Aizawa from Death Note was black too (at least until the anime where he doesn't appear to be so). It may just be that mangaka (or Japanese people in general) don't really have much opportunity to interact with other ethnicities and don't incorporate them into stories for the fear of being stereotypical, as can be seen in shows like Dragonball where black people (as well as other ethnicities) have a very distinctive, stereotypical look and manner. Maybe??:blink

Daedalus75204
December 04, 2007, 01:14 AM
well, thats wat alot of japanese mangaka do, use western style influences....that they mostly see. maybe later on, he will add a dark skined character but not really black. but as said before, japan+ninjas=japanese people not black

I am highly offended at this ridiculous logic. I as a Black man who has lived in Japan for years and work in the Entertainment Industry dealing with Asian culture consistently find this to be one of the most ignorant comments I've ever read.

1st of all who knows what ninja looked like? this is a fantasy world where characters can fly through trees, snakes shoot out of people's mouths and yet this one wise scholar is going to advise that blacks cannot exist in naruto because only Japanese are ninjas and dark skinned people are not.

Yeah okay.

Likewise, I also think that while this entire discussion is a good one because racism exists far too much in Mnaga (considering how poorly games and manga are selling in Japan and yet how amazingly well they are selling in the western world one would think that the japanese who already rip off african american fashions and musical tastes had better get a clue and start including more racially diverse heroes in their stories). It's a shame really that the Japanese romanticize white people and give them Japanese names (I love the one poster who explained that Japanese often color their hair thus making manga starrring obviously white kids like Naruto as being 'justified' -- that is crazy--obviously u've never been to Japan..the most bleached Japanese kid still looks nothing like a white person and likewise the mixed kids are called Happas and they don't even look white--just moreso half asian).

I love Naruto and love Manga but I do find the mangaka's ignorance of their own culture and of the larger world to be a sad statement. There is nothing at all wrong with Black ninja kids and likewise, nothing wrong with Naruto being made ot actually look like a Japanese. The fact that naruto is blond hair and blue eyed is that Kishimoto knew even then that his manga to appeal to the west would need to ape white people which is sad but look at One Piece where Luffy is clearly Japanese and is not as popular here in the west (even tho Naruto is a much better manga imo).

I'm hoping to one day create my own manga and destroy these stereotypes as I find it a smack in the face of american fans who support this work and have be disrespected by a disregard while young white kids who could care less about Naruto get to envision themsleves as not just a character but as the star because the mangaka feels his culture is secondary.

Sad.
[hr]

It quite normal that there are only white Shinobis because this manga has its roots in the japanese culture! If you look at the names of the characters etc... it is completely a japanese manga. The people in the manga are not actually europeans or western people. I think it is a combination of the modern urban culture in which people love to change their hair and eye colour! And if you try to mention that they have round eyes or something... If you look at the environment in japan or only people with slanted eyes! And so for them the people in the manga do not acutally have slanted eyes cause they're used it.

That's not true---and is the sort of justification that leads to the sad and somewhat racist system of mangas/ animes/ games development in japan. The truth as told to me by a Producer on an anime that many people here have seen atleast 15 yrs ago was that and I paraphrase, " We like to represent western looks for japanese characters because they are so beautiful--much more beautiful than Japanese".

Now at the time I heard that I was much younger than I am today and anime/ manga to this african american in Japan was a newfound experience but you can look at the billboards on Akihabara or any major district or prefecture and see that Japanese love Western culture..but while they promote/ love and steal from African American clothes, music and attitude..they simply refuse to use characters as leads like they would the typical blong haired blue eyed japanese named man or woman in a major work. It's sad but true..this has nothing to do with geography...seriously..the posts where some of you try to find logic like "oh it must be sydney or parts of europe" is just bizarre and strange..hage any of you been to Japan? Trust me the Japanese know the difference between Europe, Australia and America..but they simply choose to believe that white characters with asian names are acceptable and the truth is that there are many younger japanese ironically who are as disturbed about it as I am...they feel that japanese (all black hair, squinty eyes, pale to medium complexion) can fill up an entire manga just like they can and do fill up -jdramas.

Please stop making excuses or speaking from ignorance. This is a silly tactic mangaka use and it is deliberate to exclude african americans.

The Noobslayer
December 04, 2007, 02:18 AM
If I recall correctly, the animators included a puppet of a former shinobi of Sasori's that was black, from the fight with Sakura/Chiyo. He had a nosering, and red eyes...if I also recall correctly it was Alexis that posted it. Yes, it was in the anime and possibly not the manga, but remember the animators still consult Kishi while also sticking within the Narutoverse.

Rahan
December 04, 2007, 02:41 AM
The Narutoverse is very small. They cross it in a few days/weeks WALKING. How can one expect to see a lot of different ethnies in such a small world ?
Anyways, in our world, immigration in a newly found country / emigration from a very poor country.
Let's say the Narutoverse hadn't any unknown country nor very poor countries. Then every ethnic groups stay home and since the characters don't travel very far (once again, only a few days walking), you won't see the other ethnic groups.

radical3113
December 04, 2007, 11:28 AM
it would only be a question of money when it comes to the main character. for example naruto looks american not japanese (whereas sasuke looks japanese), ichigo from bleach looks american not japanese (whereas ishida looks japanese) most mangas have the main character looking american and not japanese full metal alchemist, ghost in the shell, cowboy bebop etc you name it.mangas and animes are mainly sold to america and europe and not africa so characters are gonna look more european and asian rather than african. (money talks)

im black, yes, and i do enjoy a couple black side characters from time to time.but you may say that naruto is based at a time when black people were NOT in japan. but, then again, naruto himself dont look japanese,i mean, i got a couple japanese friends, non of them have blue eyes and blonde hair, tsunade dont look japanese, neither does sakura (her eyes not her hair), and a couple other characters i cant remember right now. but then again kidomaru(img) (http://mangaddict.unblog.fr/files/2007/06/63.jpg) ("spiderman") was pretty dark skin to be fully japanese but then again it could have been the curse seal.
the only way your gonna get black people in naruto is if their ganguro(wiki) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganguro)chicks lol( or gyaru(youtube) (http://youtube.com/watch?v=HPhqO82yJqU))
http://j-walkblog.com/blog/images2/ganguro06.jpg~Japanese Ganguro Girl~

it dosent really matter anyway about black, or latina , or indian , or european etc these days there so many mixes you cant distinguish between black and white soon everyones gonna be grey ( like zabuza(img) (http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j108/Lilinu15/zabuza2.jpg) lol)
http://www.trendhunter.com/images/phpthumbnails/7258_1_120.jpeg~Afro-asian girl~

originally posted by "Daedalus75204"
Now at the time I heard that I was much younger than I am today and anime/ manga to this african american in Japan was a newfound experience but you can look at the billboards on Akihabara or any major district or prefecture and see that Japanese love Western culture..but while they promote/ love and steal from African American clothes, music and attitude..they simply refuse to use characters as leads like they would the typical blong haired blue eyed japanese named man or woman in a major work. It's sad but true..this has nothing to do with geography...seriously..the posts where some of you try to find logic like "oh it must be sydney or parts of europe" is just bizarre and strange..hage any of you been to Japan? Trust me the Japanese know the difference between Europe, Australia and America..but they simply choose to believe that white characters with asian names are acceptable and the truth is that there are many younger japanese ironically who are as disturbed about it as I am...they feel that japanese (all black hair, squinty eyes, pale to medium complexion) can fill up an entire manga just like they can and do fill up -jdramas.

Please stop making excuses or speaking from ignorance. This is a silly tactic mangaka use and it is deliberate to exclude african americans.

you make a good point especially since you've lived in japan. african american culture is pretty big in japan in fact i listen to loads of japanese rappers and r'n'b singers.for example....
http://i.listen.jp/img/artists/1104484.jpgnitro microphone undergroundsigned to def jam japan. heres their music videos on youtube (http://youtube.com/results?search_query=nitro+microphone+underground&search=Search)

"Daedalus75204" said something about naruto looking american and luffy looking more japanese and one piece being less popular than naruto (i cant really argue it is less popular than naruto), that may be true but its bordering on the basis of saying something like " if yoruichi, tousen, and yammy from bleach were as white as the other characters bleach would be more popular" which is obviously BS.

modern japan has a lot of multicultural influences but at the end of the day anime characters have always tended to look more "american " than anything else. you can date this back to animes as early as Akira (wiki) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akira_%28film%29) or sailor moon (wiki) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailor_moon) or even back to lupin the third which ran in 1967(wiki) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lupin_III)

quick_al
December 04, 2007, 01:05 PM
Well this topic is very tricky topic but after reading almost 90 percent of the post here is my two cents on the matter.

I think that reason naruto lacks other "Ethnicity" is because of audience. This manga is a japanese manga and animie. The only reason we, refering to everybody out side of japan can see it is because there are people who trasnlate it for us so we can understand it. We are not the intended audience we are just a bonus, becasue of this i do not think that kishimoto is doing anything wrong or is being racist. to tell you the truth, if you go read like full metal panic, eyeshield 21 there are characters in there that are african but those manga's go outside of japan. I do not think manga in general is racist but its slowly evolving to be multi-national thinks to the internet and if it where not for the internet we would not have naruto since we could not get it with out going to japan.

I hope i did not upset anybody, if i did i appoligize ahead of time.

P.S. I can not spell if my life depened on it

Daedalus75204
December 04, 2007, 02:09 PM
it would only be a question of money when it comes to the main character. for example naruto looks american not japanese (whereas sasuke looks japanese), ichigo from bleach looks american not japanese (whereas ishida looks japanese) most mangas have the main character looking american and not japanese full metal alchemist, ghost in the shell, cowboy bebop etc you name it.mangas and animes are mainly sold to america and europe and not africa so characters are gonna look more european and asian rather than african. (money talks)

Again brother..this is the cage of ignorance. I work in entertainment and can promise you anime is very big in markets that you didn't know or you would have mentioned them. egypt and parts of the middle east are emerging (which includes north african nations like kenya, djibuti and so on) and latin american like Brazil and Peru are the BIGGEST growth markets. So what u're saying isn't true and we've got to stop making excuses seriously. Besides by your logic then why are the Japanese running around in black face, with black hair styles, black fashions saying black phrases listening to and performing in black rhythyms??? Come on brother that's a slave mentality...the Japanese know damn well that African Americans are a huge global market and a huge part of AMERICA and the mangaka choose not to involve us in their works..it's their stereotype not any money issues. Go to an anime convention and see how many fat white women, chunky asian guys and normal brothers/sisters are there..it's all alot and yet very few of those characteristics find their way into anime/ manga--and by your logic that's all that would be in the mangas/animes--because they are clearly spending most of the money on anime/manga in america and not the cool young, athletic, blond hair blue eyed all american football star named jimmy (not named Naruto lol)

im black, yes, and i do enjoy a couple black side characters from time to time.but you may say that naruto is based at a time when black people were NOT in japan. but, then again, naruto himself dont look japanese,i mean, i got a couple japanese friends, non of them have blue eyes and blonde hair, tsunade dont look japanese, neither does sakura (her eyes not her hair), and a couple other characters i cant remember right now. but then again kidomaru(img) (http://mangaddict.unblog.fr/files/2007/06/63.jpg) ("spiderman") was pretty dark skin to be fully japanese but then again it could have been the curse seal.

Brother I'm confused..you enjoy a few black side characters??? WTF? I'm not a militant but what does that mean? I'm black and I enjoy manga but I LOVE seeing my people represented and represented correctly. As for the argument about a time when Blacks weren't in Japan..this is another excuse argument. What time with flying ninjas, computer monitors, nine tail fox demons did black people not exist and white kids with japanese names do??? come on man. Lastly, that's an insult that kidomaru looked Japanese..that's how starved and confused manga fans are that they're willing to except orange colored characters in an anime with non-afro american features as 'kinda black'. How bout a heroic black character who is just black??
the only way your gonna get black people in naruto is if their ganguro(wiki) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganguro)chicks lol( or gyaru(youtube) (http://youtube.com/watch?v=HPhqO82yJqU))
http://j-walkblog.com/blog/images2/ganguro06.jpg~Japanese Ganguro Girl~

it dosent really matter anyway about black, or latina , or indian , or european etc these days there so many mixes you cant distinguish between black and white soon everyones gonna be grey ( like

Another excuse but considering everything else you've said I'll assume that's a compliment..but then if that's the case Naruto should have kinky dark hair and dark skin.

zabuza(img) (http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j108/Lilinu15/zabuza2.jpg) lol)
http://www.trendhunter.com/images/phpthumbnails/7258_1_120.jpeg~Afro-asian girl~

originally posted by "Daedalus75204"

you make a good point especially since you've lived in japan. african american culture is pretty big in japan in fact i listen to loads of japanese rappers and r'n'b singers.for example....
http://i.listen.jp/img/artists/1104484.jpgnitro microphone undergroundsigned to def jam japan. heres their music videos on youtube (http://youtube.com/results?search_query=nitro+microphone+underground&search=Search)

"Daedalus75204" said something about naruto looking american and luffy looking more japanese and one piece being less popular than naruto (i cant really argue it is less popular than naruto), that may be true but its bordering on the basis of saying something like " if yoruichi, tousen, and yammy from bleach were as white as the other characters bleach would be more popular" which is obviously BS.

Wrong young Brother..Yammy, Yoruichi are not the STARS of the manga -- this is about the stars or main characters --not the side characters you love so much. If that's the case by your logic..then Ewoks should be more popular than chewbacca. One Piece is fact--Luffy is MASSIVE in Japan and is unquestionably Japanese..same with Dragonball..whereas in America..aside from the blip that was DB--One Piece is marginal at best and naruto is a MULTI-BILLION business. I can only assume that it would be even bigger if Kishimoto san had put more 'side' characters in as african america, latino and so on.

modern japan has a lot of multicultural influences but at the end of the day anime characters have always tended to look more "american " than anything else. you can date this back to animes as early as Akira (wiki) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akira_%28film%29) or sailor moon (wiki) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailor_moon) or even back to lupin the third which ran in 1967(wiki) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lupin_III)

You are showing your age. This isn't true and again..is my beef about this argument is that this is being accepted by Mangaka and anime makers because the fans make excuses for the racism through sheer ignorance. I must be older than you because the 1st anime I remember and that were in existance were Gigantor, Mighty Atom and Speed Racer..all featuring dark haired, pale and seemingly asian men and women. Starblazers was the 1st major US successs and Rick Wildstar was very japanese looking as was his sidekick..everyone else was american even in the Japanese original. If you're going off Sailor Moon then you're talking late 80's and early 90's and this is unfortunately why you're accepting a level of racism being thrown directly at you and not even realize you're being insulted. Shame..Lupin and Akira are as japanese as you get in fact Akira is all japanese cast dude...what are you smoking. Get to a african american heritage store quickly!!
[hr]

Well this topic is very tricky topic but after reading almost 90 percent of the post here is my two cents on the matter.

I think that reason naruto lacks other "Ethnicity" is because of audience. This manga is a japanese manga and animie. The only reason we, refering to everybody out side of japan can see it is because there are people who trasnlate it for us so we can understand it. We are not the intended audience we are just a bonus, becasue of this i do not think that kishimoto is doing anything wrong or is being racist. to tell you the truth, if you go read like full metal panic, eyeshield 21 there are characters in there that are african but those manga's go outside of japan. I do not think manga in general is racist but its slowly evolving to be multi-national thinks to the internet and if it where not for the internet we would not have naruto since we could not get it with out going to japan.

I hope i did not upset anybody, if i did i appoligize ahead of time.

P.S. I can not spell if my life depened on it

You didn't upset me at all and of all the apologetic responses on here I think yours was quite intuitive. I agree that Americans are not the Primary market but I do think they are a factor in the minds of the creators. Clearly, otherwise-- why would Naruto be blond hair blue eyes. One Piece isn't and it's mega popular in Japan and not worldwide whereas Naruto came out many years after One Piece and it's success dwarfs One Piece in america and beyond and runs a distant second in Japan. Eyeshield 21 is a great example of responsibility...while there have been some stereotypical moments..for the most part..they acknowledge the star power of African Americans in football and in American culture overall while showcasing the Japanese view of it and I think they succeed..but where I have the issue is the fact that black characters are marginalized so greatly because the Japanese view us as ugly or not worth depicting in their works. That' racist I'm sorry but it is.

Kusachu
December 04, 2007, 06:57 PM
You are showing your age. This isn't true and again..is my beef about this argument is that this is being accepted by Mangaka and anime makers because the fans make excuses for the racism through sheer ignorance. I must be older than you because the 1st anime I remember and that were in existance were Gigantor, Mighty Atom and Speed Racer..all featuring dark haired, pale and seemingly asian men and women. Starblazers was the 1st major US successs and Rick Wildstar was very japanese looking as was his sidekick..everyone else was american even in the Japanese original. If you're going off Sailor Moon then you're talking late 80's and early 90's and this is unfortunately why you're accepting a level of racism being thrown directly at you and not even realize you're being insulted. Shame..Lupin and Akira are as japanese as you get in fact Akira is all japanese cast dude...what are you smoking. Get to a african american heritage store quickly!!



You didn't upset me at all and of all the apologetic responses on here I think yours was quite intuitive. I agree that Americans are not the Primary market but I do think they are a factor in the minds of the creators. Clearly, otherwise-- why would Naruto be blond hair blue eyes. One Piece isn't and it's mega popular in Japan and not worldwide whereas Naruto came out many years after One Piece and it's success dwarfs One Piece in america and beyond and runs a distant second in Japan. Eyeshield 21 is a great example of responsibility...while there have been some stereotypical moments..for the most part..they acknowledge the star power of African Americans in football and in American culture overall while showcasing the Japanese view of it and I think they succeed..but where I have the issue is the fact that black characters are marginalized so greatly because the Japanese view us as ugly or not worth depicting in their works. That' racist I'm sorry but it is.

I thought that the issue was not in the depiction of "African Americans" but "people of color" in general. Not all people of color are "American" of course. What I was trying to say before is that those of African decent are very very rare to see in Japan and their view of black people in Japan is in fact very stereotypical simply because many Japanese probably only know of black people filtered through American media which itself is still quite stereotypical. And as far as the issue with African Americans goes, I would think that it is even more unlikely for a Japanese person to have contact with an an actual African person as opposed to an African American.

My point is, writers of any race or creed write about what they are familiar with. It's a basic in any type of writing, you write what you know. I think it would be extremely difficult to depict a character appropriately if one knows nothing about that particular culture, be it African, African American, Spanish, Mexican, Portuguese, Italian, French, English, Caucasian American or any other cultural group.

Since you are apparently African American, try sitting down and designing a fully realistic non-stereotypical character that is, I don't know, Inuit? Or possibly even a Navajo, or a Venezuelan, or Moroccan, or Arabian, given that you have no contact with that native culture and see how well you accomplish that task.

On the issue or beauty, in Japan in the 19th century the Japanese viewed big-breasted blond women as ugly because the ideal notion of beauty intrinsic to the culture of the time dictated that women should be flat-chested with straight, dark hair. That and the contact they had with non-Japanese women was nearly non-existent.

In terms of the look of anime characters, Japan took the "big-eye" thing directly from American Disney films because they thought it looked cute, and it has carried on from then. The reason their characters have odd colored hair is to make it easier to distinguish between them and to give them variety.

But if I remember correctly, Kishimoto DID say in an interview that he made Naruto blond with blue eyes specifically to appeal to an American audience. I don't think his decision was particularly an issue of race necessarily, but an issue of capitalism. He wants to make money, so he desinged his character to appeal to a mass market. A common stereotype of Americans in general in Japan is that we are "blond". A point seen in one instance where a translation of a character's dialog describes a character that went to America as having "a blond girlfriend", and the line when spoken in English was changed to "an American girlfriend". It's an equivocation that seems silly because there are blond people all over the world, but in it's original context the phrase "blond girlfriend" sufficiently equated to "American girlfriend".

I myself, have never been to Japan, so all of my points are based on readings, statistics, and the accounts of others. However, It is not my intention to broadly generalize anybody, or to offend, but I truly believe that what Americans might see as a racial issue simply would not be seen as such in Japan because they are not a "melting-pot". They do not have the racial issues we have in America and would not even think that they were being racist at all because the vast majority of Japan is Japanese and what little minority they do have is also mostly Asian.

As a culture, they don't have diversity, so why should we expect it from their media? The issue only arises when one takes an ultra-popular icon and transplant it into multinational audience. I haven't ever heard of any other ethnicity complain that they were misrepresented or even underrepresented in Japanese media (not to say that it has never occurred), but it is commonly noted how there are not many black people in anime and manga and the ones that are are usually misrepresented. But is this truly an issue that the Japanese should address just because we chose to partake in their media? Perhaps, but is it also an issue that would arise anywhere outside of America? Perhaps not. I myself have never heard anyone complain about the lack of African Americans or even Caucasians on Mexican television. But then again, I don't watch enough Mexican television or know enough about Mexican culture to make claim.

If something I have said is blatantly wrong or misguided please point it out so I can reexamine the issue and correct my ignorance.
[hr]
A note: My previous statistics about national ethnic breakdown were based off of statistics taken from a book and are only the numbers from the native residents of Japan. They do not reflect the numbers of foreign-born residents.

By that token, I've found this article that might be interesting to explore:

http://ojr.org/japan/research/1099706235.php

I was wrong!! My memory did not serve me (give me a break it was over a year ago)!! Korean is the second largest minority at .5% and Chinese is third with .2%, all other minority groups share the last .2%. Though, I believe that number does not reflect the tiny percentage of those that might be of other races that identify themselves as being say, "Korean" from Korea etc...i.e. there may be a Caucasian, Latino, or African-Korean from Korea, who is technically considered Korean, living in Japan.

Basic Japanese statistics can be found here:

http://www.populstat.info/Asia/japang.htm

radical3113
December 04, 2007, 07:20 PM
ive never been to japan whereas you have been to japan and you are african american (whereas im an ordinary african or british-african or whatever)plus your older than me. so i pretty much dont really have much of an argument .

there are a number american cartoons in which the stars are not american, such as proud family, maya and Miguel etc. even captain planet was extremely multicultural and that did really well .but im pretty sure not only white people were involved in the making of those,i dont know if all mangaka are japanese or at least asian, that MAY be an explanation.

but that might be a bit too naive after all im sure you have heard of the racist japanese manga hate the korean wave (wiki) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manga_Kenkanryu) The Japanese characters of the book are drawn with Caucasian features, while the Koreans are drawn with more Asian features. There are numerous negative statements regarding Korean culture that do not bear repetition. and theres also a sequel called an introduction to china. hate the korean wave sold hundreds of thousands of copies (in japan) and caused outrage in and out of japan.

dragon ball z -also mr popo from dragon ball z had to be edited before it reached america to reduce the size of his lips(can you believe it?), so id probably be an idiot to say that racism dosent exist in manga, and create an excuse for why there is no ethnicity.

eyesheild 21-i remember Daedalus75204 say something about eyesheild 21 showing black people as good sportsmen or something like that, but whaddya know theres a bit of racims in there as well (im not even gonna post the picture) check this out (http://comipress.com/article/2007/01/25/1399)

pokemon-but the racism i guess goes two ways for example in pokemon ash and his buddies often eat onigiri a small snack made up of rice and something sweet in the middle, but the network 4KIDS have an erasure of japanese culture in their programing so they keep calling it sandwiches or donuts or elcairs , or basically anything western . i could give a whole page of this racist stuff , but what am i gonna prove.

maybe an ethnically balanced manga will appear maybe not , naruto can bring gaara back from the dead but they cant put other ethnicities in the cast , if that bothers people who are not Caucasian then its racist, if it dosent then its not i guess.




Kusachu said
As a culture, they don't have diversity, so why should we expect it from their media? they may not have a diverse culture but their media is diverse a good example are musicians, tokyo is a serious party zone and record labels make sure to send their musicians to japan. go to youtube and type something like destinys child in japan and you will get an interview. there may not be buckets of black people running around japan but its all over the media, and if you look at the japanese rappers i posted earlier you will see it dosent go unnoticed,(btw their not the only japanese rappers) its obviously emulated, why no representation in manga? thats the question.


My point is, writers of any race or creed write about what they are familiar with. It's a basic in any type of writing, you write what you know. I think it would be extremely difficult to depict a character appropriately if one knows nothing about that particular culture, be it African, African American, Spanish, Mexican, Portuguese, Italian, French, English, Caucasian American or any other cultural group.

well that would be true 50 years ago but today, i can easily go to wikipedia and read about japanese culture, go to amazon and buy books on japanese culture , would i not then be familiar with japanese culture , i could then write about a japanese character and not be ignorantly/accidentally racist.is that not true.


They do not have the racial issues we have in America and would not even think that they were being racist at all because the vast majority of Japan is Japanese and what little minority they do have is also mostly Asian

thats very true , maybe for an ordinary guy in japan, but the big people at the top who publish these comics and trade them worldwide are obviously gonna have regular contact with loads of ethnicities so im not sure if that would apply to them,japan trades more with america than any other country (correct me if im wrong) im sure important issues such as race have rubbed off on the "big-wigs" at least. but the lack of multiculturalism in japan is a good point though, 99% Japanese .....wow. (wikipedia backs that up)

gdupninja
December 04, 2007, 07:29 PM
Wow good observations Radical. One manga I could think about that has people of all races is Onepiece. They have all types of europeans, black people, white people, asian people, people that look like monkeys, people that have green afros,. One Piece is the best manga.
But yeah Naruto is like the closest thing to someone who isn't asian in his manga. Tenjho Tenge got a few people of different ethnicites.

Kusachu
December 04, 2007, 08:03 PM
@Radical

Your post was informative and I thank you for your perspective. I haven't ever heard of the the Hate Korean Wave thing, and I don't read Eyesheild, so I was unaware of those particular issues. I was aware that Japanese people often harshly stereotyped other Asian cultures such as Chinese or Koreans though. That doesn't make it "right" on a global scale, but it may be a normative occurrence that would not be taken seriously within Japanese culture because of the small percentage of the minority voice.

The issue regarding Eyesheild I can totally understand because of it catering to the international market, America in particular. That is an issue of censorship. Should Viz have altered the content of the manga to be "Politically Correct"? That's a sticky issue that deals with artistic expression and how Americans regard censorship. I don't even want to tackle that subject. Do I think that image was racist? Yes. From my American perspective I believe it is, but I also believe that the image may not have been based on ill intent, but ignorance of the culture it represented. Not having any information of the series, I cannot offer an informed argument, but on the surface it seems that the story is about American football (whether it is set in Japan or America is something I don't know), and it seems logical to me that the mangaka based his representation on what he believes he knows about black people in general. Was he intentionally being racist with his design scheme? I don't know.

So with issues like this coming up, is it any wonder why Masashi Kishimoto has chosen not to include cultural issues that might cause people to not want to buy his book? He has said that he thought Naruto was too centered on Japanese culture, but he hasn't made any attempt to change it either. Did he exclude black people from his book because he didn't want to stereotype or misrepresent? Possibly. Is that racist? That's possible too. You are right. It is a matter of perspective.

radical3113
December 04, 2007, 08:42 PM
another thing i read from Kusachu is about kishi's interview and how he made naruto a blonde hair and blue -eyed japnese kid to apeal to america. not really , you see american culture has affected most of the world, i was living in Ghana when i watched independence day in the cinema, the whole, "world getting taken over by aliens and americans save the day kinda BS" is the kind of stuff thats popular (hey i watched it didnt i and you probably did too)and dont say its not because practically everyone watches hollywood films, their the most translated films.

so when kishi made naruto Caucasian with blue eyes and spikey blonde hair and a bit stupid (ahem ......bart simpson breed anyone?) he didnt do it because he wants to sell it in america but worldwide beacause that kinda stuff will sell in (nearly) any country. or am i wrong? please correct me.

Daedalus75204
December 04, 2007, 09:21 PM
I thought that the issue was not in the depiction of "African Americans" but "people of color" in general. Not all people of color are "American" of course. What I was trying to say before is that those of African decent are very very rare to see in Japan and their view of black people in Japan is in fact very stereotypical simply because many Japanese probably only know of black people filtered through American media which itself is still quite stereotypical. And as far as the issue with African Americans goes, I would think that it is even more unlikely for a Japanese person to have contact with an an actual African person as opposed to an African American.

<Daed> I don't disagree at all about people of color benig mistreated in anime/ manga..I couldn't agree with you more actually. U r right. Indian americans, latinos are largely ignored. That said, the image of blacks are always inferior which imo is worse because when they do show us in a scene the white person has to be superior and black inferior..think Blood, Think the opening of the SF2 videogame..it's all pretty racist bs. As far as your logic about African and AA meeting normal Japanese..you're making excuses..I see plenty of AFRICANS in Tokyo..they invest rather heavily there and/or work for major companies..likewise, even the most 'bama' or country hick Japanese knows about Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, Chris Rock, Wu Tang Clan and so on...if u think japanese don't know african americas you're dreaming. If anything what they know are the successful ones so why then are we not in the manga!! <daed>

My point is, writers of any race or creed write about what they are familiar with. It's a basic in any type of writing, you write what you know. I think it would be extremely difficult to depict a character appropriately if one knows nothing about that particular culture, be it African, African American, Spanish, Mexican, Portuguese, Italian, French, English, Caucasian American or any other cultural group.

<daed> I doubt Kishimoto has ever lived as a woman and he has stated he only has a brother and yet I find his female characters in Naruto to be insightful, brave, intelligent and still feminine. I don't understand this predisposition to make excuses for these creators...they make fiction. They think of ideas and make them..why can't they do these ideas with diverse races and ethnicities involved..particularly when they are specifically targeting other markets like US. <daed>

Since you are apparently African American, try sitting down and designing a fully realistic non-stereotypical character that is, I don't know, Inuit? Or possibly even a Navajo, or a Venezuelan, or Moroccan, or Arabian, given that you have no contact with that native culture and see how well you accomplish that task.

<Daed> I am African America..I said earlier my plan is to write a work of fiction manga one day (soon I hope) and it will indeed feature people of various races/ ethnicities as key characters. It's not hard..it's called research. <daed>

On the issue or beauty, in Japan in the 19th century the Japanese viewed big-breasted blond women as ugly because the ideal notion of beauty intrinsic to the culture of the time dictated that women should be flat-chested with straight, dark hair. That and the contact they had with non-Japanese women was nearly non-existent.

<Daed> I'm not sure if that's true but surely you'll admit that today they love a big tittied white woman with a japanese name <daed>

In terms of the look of anime characters, Japan took the "big-eye" thing directly from American Disney films because they thought it looked cute, and it has carried on from then. The reason their characters have odd colored hair is to make it easier to distinguish between them and to give them variety.

<Daed> Stop with the excuses. I know exactly why they did it-that's been discussed by Tezuka back in the 50's---that said...the diverse thing is a misnomer. They find western looks attractive..western white looks..if they wanted to diversify and tell characters apart from one another then why not make some black or indian or latina??? Why? because they don't find them attractive...that's called racism and self-hate at that. Identifying with white people because too many brunette japanese women and men is boring. Lord knows. <daed>

But if I remember correctly, Kishimoto DID say in an interview that he made Naruto blond with blue eyes specifically to appeal to an American audience. I don't think his decision was particularly an issue of race necessarily, but an issue of capitalism. He wants to make money, so he desinged his character to appeal to a mass market. A common stereotype of Americans in general in Japan is that we are "blond". A point seen in one instance where a translation of a character's dialog describes a character that went to America as having "a blond girlfriend", and the line when spoken in English was changed to "an American girlfriend". It's an equivocation that seems silly because there are blond people all over the world, but in it's original context the phrase "blond girlfriend" sufficiently equated to "American girlfriend".

<Daed> Finally, you're speaking truth. I didn't mention this b/c it was too easy but Kishimoto did INDEED state that. He even stated Sakura should be played by a British girl (WTF??? Where did he pull that out of?? British girls have pink hair?/>> In fact just in his comments about a live action Naruto is where everything I've told u is exposed..here is a Japanese man..young btw, who clearly creates Naruto in a hip hop flavor..very baggy clothes and loose fit cuts, who envisions his star being a white kid from america, his co-star a british girl and one of the three specifically Japanese (sasuke). Yes you are finally speaking truth and you;re making my point..this wasn't because kish didn't know black people..he conciously chose what he wanted. I don't think the man is a KKK member..but it's subtle racism at best. <daed>

I myself, have never been to Japan, so all of my points are based on readings, statistics, and the accounts of others. However, It is not my intention to broadly generalize anybody, or to offend, but I truly believe that what Americans might see as a racial issue simply would not be seen as such in Japan because they are not a "melting-pot". They do not have the racial issues we have in America and would not even think that they were being racist at all because the vast majority of Japan is Japanese and what little minority they do have is also mostly Asian.

<Daed> That's a misreading of Japanese culture. I deal with them everyday and they certainly regard race as important..it's just put through the filter of asian being the master race, white people being the dominant race and all other races not mattering except for what elements they can lift from it. Japan is not a melting pot in terms of lifestyle but in terms of culture..music, fashion, slang, sports..they are undeniably affected by African Americans!<daed>

As a culture, they don't have diversity, so why should we expect it from their media? The issue only arises when one takes an ultra-popular icon and transplant it into multinational audience. I haven't ever heard of any other ethnicity complain that they were misrepresented or even underrepresented in Japanese media (not to say that it has never occurred), but it is commonly noted how there are not many black people in anime and manga and the ones that are are usually misrepresented. But is this truly an issue that the Japanese should address just because we chose to partake in their media? Perhaps, but is it also an issue that would arise anywhere outside of America? Perhaps not. I myself have never heard anyone complain about the lack of African Americans or even Caucasians on Mexican television. But then again, I don't watch enough Mexican television or know enough about Mexican culture to make claim.

<daed> Again..Akira is considered a masterpiece as is Ghost In the Shell (film) and yet neither feature african americans..but oh yeah..neither feature caucasians either..the characters are all distinctly japanese (with exception of Togusa\ who looks like a Billy ray cyrus wannabee) so I reject the idea that we're taking a popular icon and trying to find meaning...japan has had plenty of icons that have come over and maintained a truth about Japanese culture. I don't complain about Telemundo because they have no shows I care about and are not marketed to Americans of all cultures..Naruto is. I'm pretty sure if we took out the latino and black purchases for Naruto games, dvd's and such Naruto wouldn't be the billion dollar juggernaut that it is.<daed>

If something I have said is blatantly wrong or misguided please point it out so I can reexamine the issue and correct my ignorance.

<Daed> U're not ignorant my brother..just stop making excuses for these people. Entertainment is not art..art is art..if kishimoto stated he created naruto that way to amke a point and doesn't give a damn about my money then I would say to him..go head brother..bottom line is that he is creating entertainment and is gettng rich by selling it to many people..so I expect to be entertained in a respectful way..if he wanted to sell manga out of his garage and never feature a black character then go ahead but when he supports huge campaigns at wal mart and borders in this country and cannot even be bothered to feature an african america in his work then he deserves my commentary. <daed>
<hr noshade size="1">

A note: My previous statistics about national ethnic breakdown were based off of statistics taken from a book and are only the numbers from the native residents of Japan. They do not reflect the numbers of foreign-born residents.

By that token, I've found this article that might be interesting to explore:

http://ojr.org/japan/research/1099706235.php

I was wrong!! My memory did not serve me (give me a break it was over a year ago)!! Korean is the second largest minority at .5% and Chinese is third with .2%, all other minority groups share the last .2%. Though, I believe that number does not reflect the tiny percentage of those that might be of other races that identify themselves as being say, "Korean" from Korea etc...i.e. there may be a Caucasian, Latino, or African-Korean from Korea, who is technically considered Korean, living in Japan.


<daed> amazing..you did all that and in the end it proved one thing.//white people are as rare in japan as blacks and yet they are in 90% of all manga/anime..sounds pretty racist to me <daed>


Basic Japanese statistics can be found here:

http://www.populstat.info/Asia/japang.htm

yeah

Kusachu
December 05, 2007, 01:45 AM
another thing i read from Kusachu is about kishi's interview and how he made naruto a blonde hair and blue -eyed japnese kid to apeal to america. not really , you see american culture has affected most of the world, i was living in Ghana when i watched independence day in the cinema, the whole, "world getting taken over by aliens and americans save the day kinda BS" is the kind of stuff thats popular (hey i watched it didnt i and you probably did too)and dont say its not because practically everyone watches hollywood films, their the most translated films.

so when kishi made naruto Caucasian with blue eyes and spikey blonde hair and a bit stupid (ahem ......bart simpson breed anyone?) he didnt do it because he wants to sell it in america but worldwide beacause that kinda stuff will sell in (nearly) any country. or am i wrong? please correct me.

I don't think you're wrong at all. It's true that I got caught on the selling to "America" thing. I'm sure he is marketing to the whole world, and in doing so has apparently targeted a white audience as opposed to other ethnicities. I've really been trying to look at the issue from a global perspective, but it's hard because as an American, ethnocentric views are often go unrecognized at a glance. I'm of the opinion that America as a culture is extremely arrogant in general and I'm really curious to know how the rest of the world views things. The issue of race is a prominent hot button in America and I think it is a good thing that outdated modes of thinking are so often questioned, in America and throughout the rest of the world.

It is a good point to note the affect that American pop culture has had on the world, including Japan. Hollywood films (and Icons) reach around the world, and are one of the means through which those of other countries familiarize themselves with American culture, but how are Americans represented in films? Or in another case, music? How do Americans project ethnicity in America to the world through these channels?

I personally would enjoy more diversity in the Narutoverse, or more in-depth cultural context, but I think that it is an undertaking that requires a lot of care when dealing with realistic portrayals of culture, and Naruto is targeted at young boys, so disappointed as I am at the lack of ethnic diversity, I am of the understanding that those issues might not be considered appropriate for the target audience, or that Kishimoto might not feel comfortable enough or well equipped to deal with those issues.

And in thinking about the multinational Naruto cash-cow, Kisimoto probably has to answer to a lot of people and probably doesn't have complete artistic control even though it's his name on the book. Maybe it isn't just him that is shying away from the addition of black ninjas? :blink

radical3113
December 05, 2007, 08:35 AM
I don't think you're wrong at all. It's true that I got caught on the selling to "America" thing. I'm sure he is marketing to the whole world, and in doing so has apparently targeted a white audience as opposed to other ethnicities. I've really been trying to look at the issue from a global perspective, but it's hard because as an American, ethnocentric views are often go unrecognized at a glance. I'm of the opinion that America as a culture is extremely arrogant in general and I'm really curious to know how the rest of the world views things. The issue of race is a prominent hot button in America and I think it is a good thing that outdated modes of thinking are so often questioned, in America and throughout the rest of the world.

well its not really you who got caught in the "selling to america" thing it was kishi who said it.

race is a prominent hot button, over here in britain there was a reality tv star, the biggest reality tv star in britain who had been so for years, and she decided to do "big brother" again, a celebrity version her name is Jade goody (google it). in the house her and two other white girls including a memeber of a band (which broke up some time ago) called sclub7 (her name's Jo O'meara)ganged up on a indian film star shilpa shetty and started saying racist things and limericks (can you believe it?) smack bang on tv , everyone went crazy, so did the press. when jade goody came out, she lost all her "industry connections" she aint been on tv since, she's been the butt of all jokes, the press ripped her to shreds, her magazine fired her(she wrote a coloumn for a mag like "dirtnow") and put her on the cover saying "we hate you racist " or something like that.(in the big brother house guess whet they were arguing over............. a stock cube)race issues are no joke in Britain, under different circumstaces jade goody could have spent time in prison. read this wikipedia page about "ethnic issues in japan" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_issues_in_Japan) it dosen't mean japan is racist NOOO it just tells you how ethnicity is dealt with in japan, it might allow you to understand a bit about why manga is the way it is.(maaan this is a huge paragraph)


It is a good point to note the affect that American pop culture has had on the world, including Japan. Hollywood films (and Icons) reach around the world, and are one of the means through which those of other countries familiarize themselves with American culture, but how are Americans represented in films? Or in another case, music? How do Americans project ethnicity in America to the world through these channels?
yeh your right even the film i mention(independence day) had multiple stars sharing equal limelight and will smith was one of the main guys. yeh so america saved the day big yay, but they did it ethnically "balanced" lol. thats the kind of stuff were used to isnt it?take a look at heroes


I personally would enjoy more diversity in the Narutoverse, or more in-depth cultural context, but I think that it is an undertaking that requires a lot of care when dealing with realistic portrayals of culture, and Naruto is targeted at young boys, so disappointed as I am at the lack of ethnic diversity, I am of the understanding that those issues might not be considered appropriate for the target audience, or that Kishimoto might not feel comfortable enough or well equipped to deal with those issues.
maybe but kishimoto dosent really make the final choice on his manga as people think the producers (who are the ones squeezing money from it) will often try to do certain things to get that "wider" viewing audience, look at the mountain of anime fillers, and also like Daedalus75204 said "he's never been a woman and only has one brother so how come there are so many girls in naruto who remain strong,respected, powerful and still feminine" if he wants to know about a culture just google or wikipedia it like everyone else
theres too much free information these days the claim "lack of understanding" besides naruto is a fiction if he gets the background of a non-Caucasian character wrong it could be seen as part of the plot, like you said its targeted at young boys its not meant to be educational.


And in thinking about the multinational Naruto cash-cow, Kisimoto probably has to answer to a lot of people and probably doesn't have complete artistic control even though it's his name on the book. Maybe it isn't just him that is shying away from the addition of black ninjas? :blink

probably, yeh your probably right, (dont foget this isnt just about black people its about the lack of all non-caucasions shinobi)

Daedalus75204
December 05, 2007, 12:18 PM
well its not really you who got caught in the "selling to america" thing it was kishi who said it.

race is a prominent hot button, over here in britain there was a reality tv star, the biggest reality tv star in britain who had been so for years, and she decided to do "big brother" again, a celebrity version her name is Jade goody (google it). in the house her and two other white girls including a memeber of a band (which broke up some time ago) called sclub7 (her name's Jo O'meara)ganged up on a indian film star shilpa shetty and started saying racist things and limericks (can you believe it?) smack bang on tv , everyone went crazy, so did the press. when jade goody came out, she lost all her "industry connections" she aint been on tv since, she's been the butt of all jokes, the press ripped her to shreds, her magazine fired her(she wrote a coloumn for a mag like "dirtnow") and put her on the cover saying "we hate you racist " or something like that.(in the big brother house guess whet they were arguing over............. a stock cube)race issues are no joke in Britain, under different circumstaces jade goody could have spent time in prison. read this wikipedia page about "ethnic issues in japan" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_issues_in_Japan) it dosen't mean japan is racist NOOO it just tells you how ethnicity is dealt with in japan, it might allow you to understand a bit about why manga is the way it is.(maaan this is a huge paragraph)


yeh your right even the film i mention(independence day) had multiple stars sharing equal limelight and will smith was one of the main guys. yeh so america saved the day big yay, but they did it ethnically "balanced" lol. thats the kind of stuff were used to isnt it?take a look at heroes


maybe but kishimoto dosent really make the final choice on his manga as people think the producers (who are the ones squeezing money from it) will often try to do certain things to get that "wider" viewing audience, look at the mountain of anime fillers, and also like Daedalus75204 said "he's never been a woman and only has one brother so how come there are so many girls in naruto who remain strong,respected, powerful and still feminine" if he wants to know about a culture just google or wikipedia it like everyone else
theres too much free information these days the claim "lack of understanding" besides naruto is a fiction if he gets the background of a non-Caucasian character wrong it could be seen as part of the plot, like you said its targeted at young boys its not meant to be educational.



probably, yeh your probably right, (dont foget this isnt just about black people its about the lack of all non-caucasions shinobi)

Radical..amazing commentary..I had heard about the Indian Actress (same who kissed Richard Gere right?) and was appalled by what was done to her. I have much respect for your insight and appreciate the enlightenment...funny was just watching Heroes last night in US and love that Mohinder is a great character as are Micah and the Hiro.. imagine how great the world would be if all entertainment made an effort to show the world as it really is.

radical3113
December 05, 2007, 01:19 PM
yeh heroes is a "good"(not perfect) example of what the world really looks like today.

i dont wanna get off the topic of "the naruto ethnicity" and this has been a bit of a three way convo for a while, i wanna hear what other people here think, so im gonna open a question that would relate to this thread.

okay we understand that naruto is not ethnically balanced, okay, but how come there are no characters in naruto with asian features, okay before you shoot me down and say "YOUR WRONG, sasuke is obviously the japanese protagonist in the story along with many others that look more japanese than naruto", stop for a second.............imagine you had never seen or heard of manga in your life and someone showed you a picture of sasuke, would you say "hey thats a Japanese kid".
you wouldnt would you? black hair dosent mean Japanese, loads of Caucasians have black hair, even black people have black hair, singer rihanna has straightened hers and it resembles shizune's hair style. http://newsday.typepad.com/impulsemovies/images/2007/06/15/rihanna.jpghttp://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g171/Inuzuka_Kiba_chunin/Shizune.jpg
that makes it obvious that hair is not enough. im sure a lot of people here are fans of bruce lee, jackie-chan, jet li, and lone wolf from shogun assasin etc. lets not be silly we all know what asian people look like, and their popular, so.....why so little Asian depictions in manga?

heres what im talking about, look under the spoilerhttp://i233.photobucket.com/albums/ee179/radical3113/18_035.png
that image was taken from blade of the immortal chapter 115 front cover.
if sasuke looked more like her i wouldnt have an argument would i?

feel free to shoot me down if im wrong

lazyboyrod
December 06, 2007, 03:15 PM
And theres no black kids in Nartuo

Kusachu
December 06, 2007, 06:24 PM
I actually typed this up a couple days ago but when I went to post it MH was down. So since I went to all the trouble I’ll go ahead and post it.



<Ku>I thought that the issue was not in the depiction of "African Americans" but "people of color" in general. Not all people of color are "American" of course. What I was trying to say before is that those of African decent are very very rare to see in Japan and their view of black people in Japan is in fact very stereotypical simply because many Japanese probably only know of black people filtered through American media which itself is still quite stereotypical. And as far as the issue with African Americans goes, I would think that it is even more unlikely for a Japanese person to have contact with an an actual African person as opposed to an African American.

<Daed> I don't disagree at all about people of color benig mistreated in anime/ manga..I couldn't agree with you more actually. U r right. Indian americans, latinos are largely ignored. That said, the image of blacks are always inferior which imo is worse because when they do show us in a scene the white person has to be superior and black inferior..think Blood, Think the opening of the SF2 videogame..it's all pretty racist bs. As far as your logic about African and AA meeting normal Japanese..you're making excuses..I see plenty of AFRICANS in Tokyo..they invest rather heavily there and/or work for major companies..likewise, even the most 'bama' or country hick Japanese knows about Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, Chris Rock, Wu Tang Clan and so on...if u think japanese don't know african americas you're dreaming. If anything what they know are the successful ones so why then are we not in the manga!! <daed> By Blood, are you referring to Blood: The Last Vampire? I’m not sure what instance you are referring to if you are, but from memory, that story was set on an American military base in Okinawa (?) in the late 1940’s or the 50’s, before the American Civil Rights Movement, so it would be historically accurate to portray racism in that context. Granted, it doesn’t make it “right”.

And as far as SF2, I am assuming you are referring to Street Fighter 2, be it the video game or the animated movie or the animated series (I’m not sure which, but am familiar with all three). Are you referring to the portrayal of the character that is called Bison in Japan? Wasn’t his name Balrog in America? I know that the boxer was called M. Bison in Japan and was named as such because he was based on the African American boxer, Mike Tyson. You note that Japanese people have lots of contact with African Americans and you cite many media icons as proof, but let’s consider that.

I was referring to average Japanese people having contact with average African Americans or even average Africans, not the representations of those cultures which they receive only from the media. Is it logical to assert that the image Japanese people might have received from American media might be that Mike Tyson is among other things a rapist and a cannibal? Regardless of the fact that that those events took place after SF2 was created, what other broad generalizations could be drawn about that particular person based on the image America has broadcast about him internationally?

Let’s look at the other people you cited. Michael Jackson? He could be seen as a child molester who wants to be white. Chris Rock? Perhaps they see him as a man who makes his living making racist comments? Michael Jordan? How much do they know about him outside the fact that he is good at basketball? The same could be asked of American football players. As far as Wu Tang Clan goes, I’ll use the example of Ol’ Dirty Bastard (though I don’t want generalize the entire group). Could he be seen as a deadbeat dad, drug addict and thief, among other things? What is the image of African American culture that America is sending to the rest of the world? Through music in particular?

(Would you mind expanding or clarifying the specific examples you were talking about so I can understand what you meant better? As far as Blood and SF2 are conserned.)


<Ku> My point is, writers of any race or creed write about what they are familiar with. It's a basic in any type of writing, you write what you know. I think it would be extremely difficult to depict a character appropriately if one knows nothing about that particular culture, be it African, African American, Spanish, Mexican, Portuguese, Italian, French, English, Caucasian American or any other cultural group.

<daed> I doubt Kishimoto has ever lived as a woman and he has stated he only has a brother and yet I find his female characters in Naruto to be insightful, brave, intelligent and still feminine. I don't understand this predisposition to make excuses for these creators...they make fiction. They think of ideas and make them..why can't they do these ideas with diverse races and ethnicities involved..particularly when they are specifically targeting other markets like US. <daed> But Kishimoto has had intimate relationships with women. Even if he may not understand how women are, he has his own understanding of women based on his own personal experience, whereas he probably doesn’t or didn’t have many close, personal relationships with African Americans. And many a feminist could argue that his depiction of females is extremely sexist. (Note that the strongest female character on that show happens to be big-titted white woman with drinking and gambling problems.)


<Ku> Since you are apparently African American, try sitting down and designing a fully realistic non-stereotypical character that is, I don't know, Inuit? Or possibly even a Navajo, or a Venezuelan, or Moroccan, or Arabian, given that you have no contact with that native culture and see how well you accomplish that task.

<Daed> I am African America..I said earlier my plan is to write a work of fiction manga one day (soon I hope) and it will indeed feature people of various races/ ethnicities as key characters. It's not hard..it's called research. <daed> But you will probably be working from a perspective that is familiar with people of other cultures through close personal relationships. You’ve obviously been exposed to diversity, and my argument is that Kishiomoto may not have been. By the way, I hope you do succeed. I think it would be great thing if you achieve your goal.


<Ku>On the issue or beauty, in Japan in the 19th century the Japanese viewed big-breasted blond women as ugly because the ideal notion of beauty intrinsic to the culture of the time dictated that women should be flat-chested with straight, dark hair. That and the contact they had with non-Japanese women was nearly non-existent.

<Daed> I'm not sure if that's true but surely you'll admit that today they love a big tittied white woman with a japanese name <daed> Who DOESN’T love a big-titted white woman? She doesn’t need to have a Japanese name for half of the world to gravitate to that ideal. That ideal has been put forth, at least in America, as the standard ideal of beauty. And by that token, isn’t a fashion in America to have Japanese girlfriend (or boyfriend)? And hasn’t that stereotype been at least in part fueled by anime and (for lack of a better term) Kung-fu culture? It can also be argued that the desirable trait an American would see in an Asian woman would be her stereotypically submissive demeanor, since she most likely does not have huge tits. But this is about race, not sex.


<Ku>In terms of the look of anime characters, Japan took the "big-eye" thing directly from American Disney films because they thought it looked cute, and it has carried on from then. The reason their characters have odd colored hair is to make it easier to distinguish between them and to give them variety.

<Daed> Stop with the excuses. I know exactly why they did it-that's been discussed by Tezuka back in the 50's---that said...the diverse thing is a misnomer. They find western looks attractive..western white looks..if they wanted to diversify and tell characters apart from one another then why not make some black or indian or latina??? Why? because they don't find them attractive...that's called racism and self-hate at that. Identifying with white people because too many brunette japanese women and men is boring. Lord knows. <daed>

Okay, that can be argued, but in that vain, why are so many African American men attracted to white women exclusively? Is that an issue of racism and self-hate? I’ve heard many an African American woman complain that is the case.

The answer to your question as to why they don’t show other nationalities for diversity is the reason why we’re here. I don’t think anyone can give a simple definite answer. Your ultimate answer to this is racism. I’m just trying to explore different perspectives, and if the issue is racism (which no doubt does play a large role), then what factors influence it? Why are some stories so tastefully diverse and some stories so blatantly stereotypical?


<Ku>But if I remember correctly, Kishimoto DID say in an interview that he made Naruto blond with blue eyes specifically to appeal to an American audience. I don't think his decision was particularly an issue of race necessarily, but an issue of capitalism. He wants to make money, so he desinged his character to appeal to a mass market. A common stereotype of Americans in general in Japan is that we are "blond". A point seen in one instance where a translation of a character's dialog describes a character that went to America as having "a blond girlfriend", and the line when spoken in English was changed to "an American girlfriend". It's an equivocation that seems silly because there are blond people all over the world, but in it's original context the phrase "blond girlfriend" sufficiently equated to "American girlfriend".

<Daed> Finally, you're speaking truth. I didn't mention this b/c it was too easy but Kishimoto did INDEED state that. He even stated Sakura should be played by a British girl (WTF??? Where did he pull that out of?? British girls have pink hair?/>> In fact just in his comments about a live action Naruto is where everything I've told u is exposed..here is a Japanese man..young btw, who clearly creates Naruto in a hip hop flavor..very baggy clothes and loose fit cuts, who envisions his star being a white kid from america, his co-star a british girl and one of the three specifically Japanese (sasuke). Yes you are finally speaking truth and you;re making my point..this wasn't because kish didn't know black people..he conciously chose what he wanted. I don't think the man is a KKK member..but it's subtle racism at best. <daed> Kishimoto described Naruto’s personal style as being something that is not “in fashion”, but rather “out of date” as a reflection of his own mode of dress, because the character of Naruto was originally an outcast, loser, or in simple terms, a dork. I don’t know about the whole cast’s fashion, but from what I know of hip-hop fashion, there is no fishnet. Do you know any African American males who would feel comfortable wearing fishnet on a regular basis? To my mind the primary dress in Naruto is mostly based on form following function. The clothes are baggy because a guy would get his nutts squished if he tried to do martial arts wearing tight pants. At least that’s my general logic. Sure, some of his styles are probably modeled after contemporary Japanese fashion, which is in turn probably highly influenced by Western fashion, but in my mind there really isn’t much reference specifically to hip-hop culture. And I agree with you that Kishimoto displays the psychological form of racism, but I don’t necessarily think he has chosen specifically to be a racist (but that is also a real possibility). What I’m arguing is that he is merely a product of his culture.


<Ku>I myself, have never been to Japan, so all of my points are based on readings, statistics, and the accounts of others. However, It is not my intention to broadly generalize anybody, or to offend, but I truly believe that what Americans might see as a racial issue simply would not be seen as such in Japan because they are not a "melting-pot". They do not have the racial issues we have in America and would not even think that they were being racist at all because the vast majority of Japan is Japanese and what little minority they do have is also mostly Asian.

<Daed> That's a misreading of Japanese culture. I deal with them everyday and they certainly regard race as important..it's just put through the filter of asian being the master race, white people being the dominant race and all other races not mattering except for what elements they can lift from it. Japan is not a melting pot in terms of lifestyle but in terms of culture..music, fashion, slang, sports..they are undeniably affected by African Americans!<daed> Actually, I half agree with you there. Japanese people are extremely nationalist and view their own culture as superior (so do Americans), but I was under the impression that they generally dislike other Asian races. They are a culture that borrows heavily from other cultures and assimilates those elements into their own culture in their own unique way. They see themselves as an innovative culture, so to me, that implies that in the act of assimilating other cultures they believe they are improving upon that cultural element by taking that element and making it “Japanese”. Am I at least a little right in my line of thinking? Is that not the dominant mentality in the Japanese business world? Using the example of technology, they would take an American technology, such a car, innovate it, and then sell back to us. Is that racist? It’s capitalist. Expanding on that, is capitalism racist? I believe capitalism is an intrinsic quality to the problem of racism. So animation is a thing the Japanese borrowed primarily from America, assimilated it into their own culture, and now they sell it back to us and we buy it. Is THAT racist?


<Ku>As a culture, they don't have diversity, so why should we expect it from their media? The issue only arises when one takes an ultra-popular icon and transplant it into multinational audience. I haven't ever heard of any other ethnicity complain that they were misrepresented or even underrepresented in Japanese media (not to say that it has never occurred), but it is commonly noted how there are not many black people in anime and manga and the ones that are are usually misrepresented. But is this truly an issue that the Japanese should address just because we chose to partake in their media? Perhaps, but is it also an issue that would arise anywhere outside of America? Perhaps not. I myself have never heard anyone complain about the lack of African Americans or even Caucasians on Mexican television. But then again, I don't watch enough Mexican television or know enough about Mexican culture to make claim.

<daed> Again..Akira is considered a masterpiece as is Ghost In the Shell (film) and yet neither feature african americans..but oh yeah..neither feature caucasians either..the characters are all distinctly japanese (with exception of Togusa\ who looks like a Billy ray cyrus wannabee) so I reject the idea that we're taking a popular icon and trying to find meaning...japan has had plenty of icons that have come over and maintained a truth about Japanese culture. I don't complain about Telemundo because they have no shows I care about and are not marketed to Americans of all cultures..Naruto is. I'm pretty sure if we took out the latino and black purchases for Naruto games, dvd's and such Naruto wouldn't be the billion dollar juggernaut that it is.<daed> I thought that part of why Akira was so huge was because it was the first Japanese movie to actually take the time to animate the characters specifically to the dialogue, as American films do, and also because it was a strong social commentary on the human condition skewed through the lens of the only culture on Earth which is truly post-apocalyptic, not to mention the extraordinary quality of the animation, voice acting, and original score. The reason the characters were mostly Japanese was because the creator was probably attempting a world that could be the real future, a future in which Japan is still not culturally diverse. The same goes for Ghost in the Shell. That is supposed to be Japan in the future, not some fictional ninja-land, or whatever else. Those movies do effectively communicate the social context under which they were created. Yeah, you could say it was racist that they didn’t include token ethnic characters in the main cast, but are those characters necessary in depicting the actual cultural make-up of the nation? I can’t answer that with any certainty. Though I certainly wouldn’t have though less of either film if they did include them.




<Ku>If something I have said is blatantly wrong or misguided please point it out so I can reexamine the issue and correct my ignorance.

<Daed> U're not ignorant my brother..just stop making excuses for these people. Entertainment is not art..art is art..if kishimoto stated he created naruto that way to amke a point and doesn't give a damn about my money then I would say to him..go head brother..bottom line is that he is creating entertainment and is gettng rich by selling it to many people..so I expect to be entertained in a respectful way..if he wanted to sell manga out of his garage and never feature a black character then go ahead but when he supports huge campaigns at wal mart and borders in this country and cannot even be bothered to feature an african america in his work then he deserves my commentary. <daed>
<hr noshade size="1"> Thank you for taking my comments seriously and for replying. It is a time consuming task if nothing else, and I appreciate your opinion and perspective. But I’m actually not a “brother” (as can be seen by the little pink cross thing by my avatar), and as culturally biased as my perspective might be at times, I try very hard to be open-minded and accepting of others as human beings above all else and I take great pains to see things from others’ perspectives (many times at the expense of showing my own blaring American ethnocentric ignorance). As a matter of fact I’m an artist and student of Art History, so issues like this are intrinsic to all of my work and studies. On that note, I have to disagree with you about entertainment not being art. Commercial art and fine art are different breeds, but they are the same species. I say this because I gave up commercial art (animation actually) for fine art, and am relatively familiar with the principals and contexts of both worlds. Might I just say that both of those things in modern (or postmodern) society are largely driven by the exploitation of culture for capital gain.



<Ku>A note: My previous statistics about national ethnic breakdown were based off of statistics taken from a book and are only the numbers from the native residents of Japan. They do not reflect the numbers of foreign-born residents.

By that token, I've found this article that might be interesting to explore:

http://ojr.org/japan/research/1099706235.php

I was wrong!! My memory did not serve me (give me a break it was over a year ago)!! Korean is the second largest minority at .5% and Chinese is third with .2%, all other minority groups share the last .2%. Though, I believe that number does not reflect the tiny percentage of those that might be of other races that identify themselves as being say, "Korean" from Korea etc...i.e. there may be a Caucasian, Latino, or African-Korean from Korea, who is technically considered Korean, living in Japan.

Basic Japanese statistics can be found here:

http://www.populstat.info/Asia/japang.htm


<daed> amazing..you did all that and in the end it proved one thing.//white people are as rare in japan as blacks and yet they are in 90% of all manga/anime..sounds pretty racist to me <daed> Seems more like the Japanese just cater to the patrons, which unfortunately in America happens to be the majority, who happen to be a bunch of rich, white consumers (and their kids). Is that racism? You bet there’s racism in there somewhere, but is it in the individual, or is it in the culture, or both? How can we as individuals effect and change culture? I think you’ve already got the right idea with your comic.

Oh and then after all that I went and found this:

http://www.japantraveler.com/issues/0005/racism.html

It’s really f*cking sad.

On that note, I’ve read a bunch of the links you guys have provided and found a bunch of stuff on my own, and honestly until now I didn’t really have a very good grasp on how bad the issue of race was in Japan. I knew that they didn’t really have any qualms about displaying racist stereotypes, but holy shit! Now I can see why! I thought that America had a long way to go concerning racial equality, but Japan! Good grief! No wonder why Akira Toriyama was allowed to be so racist with Dragonball!

Oh and forgive the huge post. I had my sociology hat on. XP

weixiaobao
December 06, 2007, 06:48 PM
I dunno if the creator of this thread still participate in this thread anymore (since this is quite old) but i remember the time where the pokemon (jynx) who is suppose to be somehow offended African American so they recolored it purple.. Mr. Popo from dragonball z also offended African American.. I dunno ..

Or Maybe it just didn't cross his mind that he need or want to draw different characters of another race ..... And at a lot people point out this seem to took place in Japan..

Kusachu- your comment about how japanese's view of their own culture is superior. It was truth, but may have change ... Indian and Chinese have that same view at some point in their history also..,,,

Kusachu
December 07, 2007, 12:45 AM
I dunno if the creator of this thread still participate in this thread anymore (since this is quite old) but i remember the time where the pokemon (jynx) who is suppose to be somehow offended African American so they recolored it purple.. Mr. Popo from dragonball z also offended African American.. I dunno ..

Or Maybe it just didn't cross his mind that he need or want to draw different characters of another race ..... And at a lot people point out this seem to took place in Japan..

Kusachu- your comment about how japanese's view of their own culture is superior. It was truth, but may have change ... Indian and Chinese have that same view at some point in their history also..,,,


It is true that it may not be that way so much now, but I can't say, having never experienced the culture first hand. And it really shouldn't be said that all Japanese actually feel that way, but when I speak of it I mean on a national scale it is (or was) a prevailing idea. A part of the collective consciousness so to speak. Many nations are or have been like that in the past. It seems to be human attitude. Not a good one, but a real one none the less.

Daedalus75204
December 07, 2007, 04:02 AM
Long responses..my new ones have the Daed designation. read on my brothers.


Quote:
<Ku>I thought that the issue was not in the depiction of "African Americans" but "people of color" in general. Not all people of color are "American" of course. What I was trying to say before is that those of African decent are very very rare to see in Japan and their view of black people in Japan is in fact very stereotypical simply because many Japanese probably only know of black people filtered through American media which itself is still quite stereotypical. And as far as the issue with African Americans goes, I would think that it is even more unlikely for a Japanese person to have contact with an an actual African person as opposed to an African American.

<Daed> I don't disagree at all about people of color benig mistreated in anime/ manga..I couldn't agree with you more actually. U r right. Indian americans, latinos are largely ignored. That said, the image of blacks are always inferior which imo is worse because when they do show us in a scene the white person has to be superior and black inferior..think Blood, Think the opening of the SF2 videogame..it's all pretty racist bs. As far as your logic about African and AA meeting normal Japanese..you're making excuses..I see plenty of AFRICANS in Tokyo..they invest rather heavily there and/or work for major companies..likewise, even the most 'bama' or country hick Japanese knows about Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, Chris Rock, Wu Tang Clan and so on...if u think japanese don't know african americas you're dreaming. If anything what they know are the successful ones so why then are we not in the manga!! <daed>


By Blood, are you referring to Blood: The Last Vampire? I’m not sure what instance you are referring to if you are, but from memory, that story was set on an American military base in Okinawa (?) in the late 1940’s or the 50’s, before the American Civil Rights Movement, so it would be historically accurate to portray racism in that context. Granted, it doesn’t make it “right”.

<Daed> I’m more so responding to the fact that the black men are demeaned (the partner government agent is nearly mauled by Saya despite being innocent in his interaction with her unlike the white superior guy (I forget their names) and then the black chubby American GI is viciously killed by the chiropeteran. Granted, these African Americans were not in anyway presented as negative but I just find it awkward that when African Americans are granted supporting roles they still have to suffer some indignity while great care is given to treating the white characters (non-Japanese white) with levels of respect and overt platitudes. It would be one thing if the characters I described in Blood were white but the fact that we rarely see African Americans in any role in Anime and that in those cases they both were dealt with harshly just strike me as disturbing. <daed>

And as far as SF2, I am assuming you are referring to Street Fighter 2, be it the video game or the animated movie or the animated series (I’m not sure which, but am familiar with all three). Are you referring to the portrayal of the character that is called Bison in Japan? Wasn’t his name Balrog in America? I know that the boxer was called M. Bison in Japan and was named as such because he was based on the African American boxer, Mike Tyson. You note that Japanese people have lots of contact with African Americans and you cite many media icons as proof, but let’s consider that.

<Daed> I was indeed referring to SF2 the game and quite frankly that’s something that even Capcom US is embarrassed by. Dhalsim, Balrog are all horrible stereotypes. Dee Jay is a horrible stereotype and the best part is the opening scene of SF2 where the logo appears..it’s a white blond hair blue eye guy and a black guy and the scene ends with black guy getting punched. For a game made by the Japanese with the stars being Japanese (or half in Ken’s case) it’s far than a coincendence. <daed>


I was referring to average Japanese people having contact with average African Americans or even average Africans, not the representations of those cultures which they receive only from the media. Is it logical to assert that the image Japanese people might have received from American media might be that Mike Tyson is among other things a rapist and a cannibal? Regardless of the fact that that those events took place after SF2 was created, what other broad generalizations could be drawn about that particular person based on the image America has broadcast about him internationally?

<daed> I’m not sure I’m following you. There are legions of examples of African Americans who are world renowned from Marther Luther King to James Brown to Beyonce..so while I have issues with the American media…the idea that the Japanese are not exposed to positive examples of African Americans is a joke. I’m offended quite honestly that you’re trying this hard to justify their behavior. Mike Tyson is a cannibal? Really? Likewise, where was Michael Jordan in your attempt to blame American Media? Eddie Murphy? I mean there are so many more but I’m trying to stay in 80’s for your references likewise, whatever Mike Tyson ended up as the Japanese loved him..he starred in a quite legendary Nintendo game. The idea that he was a thug and criminal was crafter by Capcom long before Mike Tyson’s public troubles began. He couldn’t just be a successful boxer ala Nintendo’s version he had to be a criminal via Capcom <daed>

Let’s look at the other people you cited. Michael Jackson? He could be seen as a child molester who wants to be white. Chris Rock? Perhaps they see him as a man who makes his living making racist comments? Michael Jordan? How much do they know about him outside the fact that he is good at basketball? The same could be asked of American football players. As far as Wu Tang Clan goes, I’ll use the example of Ol’ Dirty Bastard (though I don’t want generalize the entire group). Could he be seen as a deadbeat dad, drug addict and thief, among other things? What is the image of African American culture that America is sending to the rest of the world? Through music in particular?

<Daed> This is the stupidest thing you’ve read on this subject yet. U don’t want to generalize Wu Tang Clan but you’re willing to do that with the rest of black culture by pointing out some very far fetched notions of black celebrities? There is too much here to even begin to address on an anime forum but I’m beyond offended at your complete edification of Japanese racism to African American culture. I would assume the Japanese knew quite a lot about Michael Jordan considering that his shoe was and is one of the best selling shoe lines in japan and that he was a frequent interviewee and profiled on tv (wife, kids, his endorsements of candies and shopping stores)—not to mention that Michael Jordan never had any issues with negative press in American and most certainly not in Japan that I’m aware of. Chris Rock makes racists comments? Perhaps that’s how you view him but most people around the world renown him for being a satirical social critic..if that’s how you judge him then the Japanese must totally be fearful of the British whose comedians are far more abrasive about women, religion and race. As for your last point..the image of African American culture is not something to be distilled down to a sound bite. It’s evident in everything. The music u listen to. The stop lights you observe on the way home, the peanut butter u eat, the vast majority of music and athletics you enjoy (unless you’re a rugby cricket man). I’m really appalled at your ignorant comments. Trying to justify the Japanese is one thing..playing an ignorant devil’s advocate is just embarrassing. Seriously, you seem awfully desperate to cut the Japanese mangaka some breaks and going very far out of your way to condemn African Americans for their depiction or non-depiction in manga..are you serious or joking? <daed>

(Would you mind expanding or clarifying the specific examples you were talking about so I can understand what you meant better? As far as Blood and SF2 are conserned.)

<daed> I did..it’s spelled concerned by the way <daed>

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<Ku> My point is, writers of any race or creed write about what they are familiar with. It's a basic in any type of writing, you write what you know. I think it would be extremely difficult to depict a character appropriately if one knows nothing about that particular culture, be it African, African American, Spanish, Mexican, Portuguese, Italian, French, English, Caucasian American or any other cultural group.

<daed> I would like to agree with you but I just can’t. You’re making excuses for people. If this were the 50’s and black men were being lynched would you be the one saying..”man, that’s brutal and inhuman but I wonder what that negro did to deserve this? How could anyone do this to another human being WITHOUT a reason?” I feel that’s what your’re doing. I mean, here you are suggesting a technological superpower like japan—for asia it was the second biggest economy after America and yet these people are incapable of depicting characters of other races without needless racism and/or buffoonery? Come on man, you’re not really saying that are you? Not to mention that yet again, I keep giving you a pass and I don’t know why..but I’ve lived there..I KNOW what the Japanese see and experience and know that u’re speaking from a point of fantasy. <daed>

<daed> I doubt Kishimoto has ever lived as a woman and he has stated he only has a brother and yet I find his female characters in Naruto to be insightful, brave, intelligent and still feminine. I don't understand this predisposition to make excuses for these creators...they make fiction. They think of ideas and make them..why can't they do these ideas with diverse races and ethnicities involved..particularly when they are specifically targeting other markets like US. <daed>


But Kishimoto has had intimate relationships with women. Even if he may not understand how women are, he has his own understanding of women based on his own personal experience, whereas he probably doesn’t or didn’t have many close, personal relationships with African Americans. And many a feminist could argue that his depiction of females is extremely sexist. (Note that the strongest female character on that show happens to be big-titted white woman with drinking and gambling problems.)

<Daed> Again, you’re gleefully speaking from ignorance. U’ve never heard me say that Kishi has never interacted with African Americans or Africans. I don’t know and I know u you don't know so your point is invalid. You’re dead on though about sexism in manga which is a whole other thread. Likewise, Tsunade misses the point..because she is meant to be Japanese while looking white which goes back to my self-hate argument so that’s not really anything to be proud of. Likewise, her drinking and gambling while vices sure..are surely negated by the fact that there are several women in Naruto that represent strong portrayals and not sexist silliness. We wouldn’t be discussing this if the same existed for miniorities in Naruto. If we were only talking about the silly black kid in Naruto while acknowledging the strong and well depicted latino kid..there wouldn’t even be a thread. So again..I’m not sure what you are getting at except making useless excuses. <daed>

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<Ku> Since you are apparently African American, try sitting down and designing a fully realistic non-stereotypical character that is, I don't know, Inuit? Or possibly even a Navajo, or a Venezuelan, or Moroccan, or Arabian, given that you have no contact with that native culture and see how well you accomplish that task.

<Daed> I am African America..I said earlier my plan is to write a work of fiction manga one day (soon I hope) and it will indeed feature people of various races/ ethnicities as key characters. It's not hard..it's called research. <daed>

But you will probably be working from a perspective that is familiar with people of other cultures through close personal relationships. You’ve obviously been exposed to diversity, and my argument is that Kishiomoto may not have been. By the way, I hope you do succeed. I think it would be great thing if you achieve your goal.

<Daed> You actually make my point for me….I want to tell stories about a variety of races becauses I think it supports my fiction to tell of a world that is connected and likewise will help me sell my vision worldwide…the Japanese mangaka share this except they stop with he white folk. You’re making excuses but re-read what you wrote..how the hell would I know anything about inuit people???? But, you surely seem to acknowledge both my desire and my ability to learn about them. This is what is missing with the Japanese and this is what I object to. It’s silliness and racist. <daed>


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<Ku>On the issue or beauty, in Japan in the 19th century the Japanese viewed big-breasted blond women as ugly because the ideal notion of beauty intrinsic to the culture of the time dictated that women should be flat-chested with straight, dark hair. That and the contact they had with non-Japanese women was nearly non-existent.

<Daed> I'm not sure if that's true but surely you'll admit that today they love a big tittied white woman with a japanese name <daed>

Who DOESN’T love a big-titted white woman? She doesn’t need to have a Japanese name for half of the world to gravitate to that ideal. That ideal has been put forth, at least in America, as the standard ideal of beauty. And by that token, isn’t a fashion in America to have Japanese girlfriend (or boyfriend)? And hasn’t that stereotype been at least in part fueled by anime and (for lack of a better term) Kung-fu culture? It can also be argued that the desirable trait an American would see in an Asian woman would be her stereotypically submissive demeanor, since she most likely does not have huge tits. But this is about race, not sex.

<Daed> Again, excuses. 1st of all I think most men like me atleast love ANY HOT BIG TITTIED WOMAN! Hell she could be purple with greenish afro puff and I would think she’s hot. So, I don't understand your point. Likewise, as an American I can honestly say that asian women fantasies are not as prevalent as you think – while it seems to be a fantasy for middle aged white men most men I know of all races prefer tanned white women, Latina or lighter skinned African Americans. This isn’t conjecture..look at models and singers and actresses in America..name me 1 asian who is a star for every 4 non-asian celebrities I name. And as for Japanese men..even though I have many Japanese male friends here (moreso than female unfortunately) I think even they would tell you that there is no fantasy they’ve been blessed with where women desire them over other races. Black men however..well hell, white women, Latina and so on seem to crave it here. And the same in my travels in Europe I might add. Hell go to blackplanet.com sometimes and be educated my brother..it will blow your mind the amount of interracial interest that exist worldwide. But I digress <daed>

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<Ku>In terms of the look of anime characters, Japan took the "big-eye" thing directly from American Disney films because they thought it looked cute, and it has carried on from then. The reason their characters have odd colored hair is to make it easier to distinguish between them and to give them variety.

<Daed> Stop with the excuses. I know exactly why they did it-that's been discussed by Tezuka back in the 50's---that said...the diverse thing is a misnomer. They find western looks attractive..western white looks..if they wanted to diversify and tell characters apart from one another then why not make some black or indian or latina??? Why? because they don't find them attractive...that's called racism and self-hate at that. Identifying with white people because too many brunette japanese women and men is boring. Lord knows. <daed>

Okay, that can be argued, <daed> not it really can’t<daed> but in that vain, why are so many African American men attracted to white women exclusively? Is that an issue of racism and self-hate? I’ve heard many an African American woman complain that is the case.

<daed> flip that question as ask how come so many white, asian, Latina and African American women love black men?? I don't know. But in my travels it certainly is a worldwide phenomenon and yet in japan it’s not??? I can tell you it most certainly does exist there too and yet the mangaka—majority males…seem to represent blacks as non-existant or buffoons despite much evidence to the contrary. <daed>

The answer to your question as to why they don’t show other nationalities for diversity is the reason why we’re here. I don’t think anyone can give a simple definite answer. Your ultimate answer to this is racism. I’m just trying to explore different perspectives, and if the issue is racism (which no doubt does play a large role), then what factors influence it? Why are some stories so tastefully diverse and some stories so blatantly stereotypical?

<daed> I wish you had said this in the beginning because your individual points come off as smarmy and dismissive of African Americans. Likewise, I think the perspective that’s worth hearing is from a Japanese mangaka and or from other races who feel slighted or not but not from a non-party of either side throwing barbs as to why the African American culture is being slighted (actually in some of your comments it seems like u question if they are even being slighted). <daed>

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<Ku>But if I remember correctly, Kishimoto DID say in an interview that he made Naruto blond with blue eyes specifically to appeal to an American audience. I don't think his decision was particularly an issue of race necessarily, but an issue of capitalism. He wants to make money, so he desinged his character to appeal to a mass market. A common stereotype of Americans in general in Japan is that we are "blond". A point seen in one instance where a translation of a character's dialog describes a character that went to America as having "a blond girlfriend", and the line when spoken in English was changed to "an American girlfriend". It's an equivocation that seems silly because there are blond people all over the world, but in it's original context the phrase "blond girlfriend" sufficiently equated to "American girlfriend".

<Daed> Finally, you're speaking truth. I didn't mention this b/c it was too easy but Kishimoto did INDEED state that. He even stated Sakura should be played by a British girl (WTF??? Where did he pull that out of?? British girls have pink hair?/>> In fact just in his comments about a live action Naruto is where everything I've told u is exposed..here is a Japanese man..young btw, who clearly creates Naruto in a hip hop flavor..very baggy clothes and loose fit cuts, who envisions his star being a white kid from america, his co-star a british girl and one of the three specifically Japanese (sasuke). Yes you are finally speaking truth and you;re making my point..this wasn't because kish didn't know black people..he conciously chose what he wanted. I don't think the man is a KKK member..but it's subtle racism at best. <daed>

Kishimoto described Naruto’s personal style as being something that is not “in fashion”, but rather “out of date” as a reflection of his own mode of dress, because the character of Naruto was originally an outcast, loser, or in simple terms, a dork. I don’t know about the whole cast’s fashion, but from what I know of hip-hop fashion, there is no fishnet. Do you know any African American males who would feel comfortable wearing fishnet on a regular basis? To my mind the primary dress in Naruto is mostly based on form following function. The clothes are baggy because a guy would get his nutts squished if he tried to do martial arts wearing tight pants. At least that’s my general logic. Sure, some of his styles are probably modeled after contemporary Japanese fashion, which is in turn probably highly influenced by Western fashion, but in my mind there really isn’t much reference specifically to hip-hop culture. And I agree with you that Kishimoto displays the psychological form of racism, but I don’t necessarily think he has chosen specifically to be a racist (but that is also a real possibility). What I’m arguing is that he is merely a product of his culture.

<daed> I’m not sure I can argue with you. Hip Hop to me is very evident in baggy looks. If it was an egalitarian (used for missions and stuff) then I find it interesting that before hip hop came along..ninja were always represented with form fitting clothes, never pockets and never timbaland like shoes and or cut shorts. I know you’re trying to play devil’s advocate but it’s examples like this where you just go off the deep end and ignore reality that I find most disturbing. Western culture of baggy clothes is most certainly influenced by hip hop from kid and play to krisskross (look em up). I totally agree Kish is a product of his culture..japanese love black culture..they just refuse to acknowledge it with any respect. This is nothing knew…Elvis wouldn’t even exist if white people in the 50’s didn’t want white kids dancing to chubby checker and Motown. Nor would Nsync in the 90’s.

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<Ku>I myself, have never been to Japan, so all of my points are based on readings, statistics, and the accounts of others. However, It is not my intention to broadly generalize anybody, or to offend, but I truly believe that what Americans might see as a racial issue simply would not be seen as such in Japan because they are not a "melting-pot". They do not have the racial issues we have in America and would not even think that they were being racist at all because the vast majority of Japan is Japanese and what little minority they do have is also mostly Asian.

<Daed> That's a misreading of Japanese culture. I deal with them everyday and they certainly regard race as important..it's just put through the filter of asian being the master race, white people being the dominant race and all other races not mattering except for what elements they can lift from it. Japan is not a melting pot in terms of lifestyle but in terms of culture..music, fashion, slang, sports..they are undeniably affected by African Americans!<daed>

Actually, I half agree with you there. Japanese people are extremely nationalist and view their own culture as superior (so do Americans) <Daed> I hate to be all nationalistic here but as much as I hate bush and loathe republicans I can assure you Americans are nationalistic for very different and very good reasons..our country is great for many reasons that far exceed this situation of Japanese mangaka ripping off black culture and not giving equal due to other races<daed>, but I was under the impression that they generally dislike other Asian races. <daed> very true..u speak truth here..but Chinese show up quite frequently in manga <daed> They are a culture that borrows heavily from other cultures and assimilates those elements into their own culture in their own unique way. They see themselves as an innovative culture, so to me, that implies that in the act of assimilating other cultures they believe they are improving upon that cultural element by taking that element and making it “Japanese”. Am I at least a little right in my line of thinking? <daed> to some degree I can’t argue that logic. <daed> Is that not the dominant mentality in the Japanese business world? Using the example of technology, they would take an American technology, such a car, innovate it, and then sell back to us. Is that racist? It’s capitalist. Expanding on that, is capitalism racist? I believe capitalism is an intrinsic quality to the problem of racism. So animation is a thing the Japanese borrowed primarily from America, assimilated it into their own culture, and now they sell it back to us and we buy it. Is THAT racist? <daed> interesting point..and a timely one. Read Thomas Friedman’s book the World is Flat. Bottom line is that that is capitalism and an old version of it. In today’s world and tomorrow..your socialist medicine system in Europe and our crumbling one in America will require a globalist view and support from countries as diverse as Ecuador to Qatar because our economies are becoming intertwined. In a nutshell, the business sense with these mangaka BETTER be to adapt other cultures…because the world is becoming critical..no longer can we state..it’s just for this group and expect to survive..the manga market in japan is declining every year…and Kishi wouldn’t be as rich as Oda san if America didn’t love Naruto..the next Kishi work, the next Oda work and/or the next mangaka period will probably HAVE to have American support fi they want to make any real money. And that’s what makes this ignorant or racist approach of the mangaka..so so bad. <daed>

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<Ku>As a culture, they don't have diversity, so why should we expect it from their media? The issue only arises when one takes an ultra-popular icon and transplant it into multinational audience. I haven't ever heard of any other ethnicity complain that they were misrepresented or even underrepresented in Japanese media (not to say that it has never occurred), but it is commonly noted how there are not many black people in anime and manga and the ones that are are usually misrepresented. But is this truly an issue that the Japanese should address just because we chose to partake in their media? Perhaps, but is it also an issue that would arise anywhere outside of America? Perhaps not. I myself have never heard anyone complain about the lack of African Americans or even Caucasians on Mexican television. But then again, I don't watch enough Mexican television or know enough about Mexican culture to make claim.

<daed> Again..Akira is considered a masterpiece as is Ghost In the Shell (film) and yet neither feature african americans..but oh yeah..neither feature caucasians either..the characters are all distinctly japanese (with exception of Togusa\ who looks like a Billy ray cyrus wannabee) so I reject the idea that we're taking a popular icon and trying to find meaning...japan has had plenty of icons that have come over and maintained a truth about Japanese culture. I don't complain about Telemundo because they have no shows I care about and are not marketed to Americans of all cultures..Naruto is. I'm pretty sure if we took out the latino and black purchases for Naruto games, dvd's and such Naruto wouldn't be the billion dollar juggernaut that it is.<daed>
I thought that part of why Akira was so huge was because it was the first Japanese movie to actually take the time to animate the characters specifically to the dialogue, as American films do, and also because it was a strong social commentary on the human condition skewed through the lens of the only culture on Earth which is truly post-apocalyptic, not to mention the extraordinary quality of the animation, voice acting, and original score. The reason the characters were mostly Japanese was because the creator was probably attempting a world that could be the real future, a future in which Japan is still not culturally diverse. The same goes for Ghost in the Shell. That is supposed to be Japan in the future, not some fictional ninja-land, or whatever else. Those movies do effectively communicate the social context under which they were created. Yeah, you could say it was racist that they didn’t include token ethnic characters in the main cast, but are those characters necessary in depicting the actual cultural make-up of the nation? I can’t answer that with any certainty. Though I certainly wouldn’t have though less of either film if they did include them.

<daed> That would be a ‘Hell No’ on your comment of Akira.Maybe they noticed that in Europe but here….most people I know couldn’t even tell you what the film was about but it looked great and had great music and action. So again, no one was finding ‘meaning’ in Akira and it’s success was in spite of having non-western characters so why does Naruto HAVE to look white to be strong in America? Again. It’s not that it’s necessary for blacks to be in anime/manga but it’s the question of why white when neither are Japanese? It’s a conscious decision and one that inherently is racist on some levels. <daed>

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<Ku>If something I have said is blatantly wrong or misguided please point it out so I can reexamine the issue and correct my ignorance.

<Daed> U're not ignorant my brother..just stop making excuses for these people. Entertainment is not art..art is art..if kishimoto stated he created naruto that way to amke a point and doesn't give a damn about my money then I would say to him..go head brother..bottom line is that he is creating entertainment and is gettng rich by selling it to many people..so I expect to be entertained in a respectful way..if he wanted to sell manga out of his garage and never feature a black character then go ahead but when he supports huge campaigns at wal mart and borders in this country and cannot even be bothered to feature an african america in his work then he deserves my commentary. <daed>

<hr noshade size="1">
Thank you for taking my comments seriously and for replying. It is a time consuming task if nothing else, and I appreciate your opinion and perspective. But I’m actually not a “brother” (as can be seen by the little pink cross thing by my avatar), and as culturally biased as my perspective might be at times, I try very hard to be open-minded and accepting of others as human beings above all else and I take great pains to see things from others’ perspectives (many times at the expense of showing my own blaring American ethnocentric ignorance). As a matter of fact I’m an artist and student of Art History, so issues like this are intrinsic to all of my work and studies. On that note, I have to disagree with you about entertainment not being art. Commercial art and fine art are different breeds, but they are the same species. I say this because I gave up commercial art (animation actually) for fine art, and am relatively familiar with the principals and contexts of both worlds. Might I just say that both of those things in modern (or postmodern) society are largely driven by the exploitation of culture for capital gain.

<daed> we’re all brothers in human spirit my brother. Stay vigilant. And Good luck on that artwork. I look forward to more spirited and enlightening discussions on other topics. Bottom line, we’re both doing this because we love the medium!<daed>

warbandit66
December 07, 2007, 02:55 PM
I've thought about the lack of ethnicity and use of negative stereotypes in anime and manga but never as deeply as has been discussed here, with all this in mind I'm not sure that I want to be reading manga or watching anime anymore considering the connotations behind it, it actually makes me quite angry when I think about it since I've been a fan of these forms of entertainment for quite some time. On the point of Manga and Anime being marketed primarily to predominantly white American audiences, I think it's rediculous, I read somewhere that the primary readers of American comics are young black, Jewish and homo-sexual men, and I'm quite sure this applies to manga and anime too, most black people I know, including myself read manga and enjoy anime, more so than many white people I know. I don't think that ignorance can be excused no matter who you are or where you come from especially not in the world we are all living in today.

weixiaobao
December 07, 2007, 04:07 PM
I've thought about the lack of ethnicity and use of negative stereotypes in anime and manga but never as deeply as has been discussed here, with all this in mind I'm not sure that I want to be reading manga or watching anime anymore considering the connotations behind it, it actually makes me quite angry when I think about it since I've been a fan of these forms of entertainment for quite some time. On the point of Manga and Anime being marketed primarily to predominantly white American audiences, I think it's rediculous, I read somewhere that the primary readers of American comics are young black, Jewish and homo-sexual men, and I'm quite sure this applies to manga and anime too, most black people I know, including myself read manga and enjoy anime, more so than many white people I know. I don't think that ignorance can be excused no matter who you are or where you come from especially not in the world we are all living in today.

warbandit- please don't think too much of this .. it is a form of entertainment that is much cleaner than a lot of western cartoons and stand up comedy...

and maybe because not a lot of white American read it that could be the reason why they want to target them since the population is quite large.. but half or most of the things discuss here could be base just on guesses, hypothesis, and personal theories which could be all false... so enjoyed it as an art and not as a form this thread making it to be...

radical3113
December 07, 2007, 06:24 PM
warbandit- please don't think too much of this .. it is a form of entertainment that is much cleaner than a lot of western cartoons and stand up comedy...

and maybe because not a lot of white American read it that could be the reason why they want to target them since the population is quite large.. but half or most of the things discuss here could be base just on guesses, hypothesis, and personal theories which could be all false... so enjoyed it as an art and not as a form this thread making it to be...

i agree with you , that its a cleaner form of entertainment, and such , im black myself, and have know some of these things and have read many cited documents online concerning the matter. but in the end i really like manga and anime and am not going to ever think about giving it, because of these problems.

but weixiaobao, a lot of what was stated was not "based on GUESSES,hypothesis, and personal therories", well at least most of what has been stated by <daed> in his collection of posts, he's experienced japanese culture first hand, not to mention works in the entertainment industry, it would be a bit rude to dismiss a lot of his post as "based on GUESSES,hypothesis, and personal therories" if you type "racism in anime/manga" into a search engine, you'll soon find articles by the NYT (new York Times)touching on this topic.not to mention many other other articles and other forums which to my surprise state a lot of things which were stated here. i myself stated in a previous post about the blatantly racist manga hate the korean wave (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manga_Kenkanryu) which sold nearly half a million copies in japan and has a sequel . im sure if you check out the page you wont call it a personal theory, dont make excuses for reality.

i love manga, im sure you love manga, this is a great thread, and i really enjoyed reading the whole thing ( even though it was kinda massive:tem ) but i think its unfair to dismiss peoples arguments without at least coming up with your own dont you agree?
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weixiaobao
December 07, 2007, 07:42 PM
radical- sorry about my statement but i did thought about it while i type it that is why i didn't said all the comments (because i didn't read all of them and i am pretty sure that some that i am wrong about)

I am not meant to diminishing others' stament but the point i was try to made is that some of the manga or anime is just meant to be entertainment and goes no farther than that ...
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I am from vietnam, and about 5 to 6 years ago when i am back in vietnam, school taught me alot of anti-American stuff as in (war lit that was written during the war era) (which is understandable) but we always made the American as about highest Customers (for the money upcourse, and most of the stuff in USA are imported)

Back when i am in Vietnam i learn "nothing" about the African (in America, Haiti, Africa, or Jamaica, etc.) until i came to the Usa that more expose to the cultures (:rofl i use to thoughts Latinos I upset my friend Mugen about this word but at the moment i can't think of another word, so sorry are from Asia)... Because i am from an Asian country that i do know of the nationalism in Asia (china, japan, vietnam, etc... ) Racism as in prejudice are everywhere and in every person (even though they are amit not, though the level and the way people express/ and deal with it are varies)

I have my share of that, some of my people speak ill of other because they saw example that may not represent the whole culture of a race.. But i also have my share of that, one of my fellow classmate just come up to me one day and said "you people (as in vietcong) killed my uncle :rofl " or "What's wrong with your country, why there are so many atheist (well a statistic show that 81% of vietnamese are atheist, Japan is second after that) but they don't ask the reason why or for what reason...

stuff like hate the korean wave only comfirm my long held belief of racism in everyone.... and it pretty crazy here too in America.. These thing to me are common senses.. though you may like something because it racist or u may like it for another reason not that u may support its racist promotion thing...

I am afraid however that these talk may influence people in a bad way.. like i was talking about anti-American war lit that was written during the war.. could influence a student in my school to hate American (but its purpose was to educated that was the kind of stuff that was written in that period of time and show nationalism in the war...)

Sorry for the bad grammars and spellings...

warbandit66
December 07, 2007, 07:43 PM
well I have read many manga and watched many anime that actually depict people of colour in a possitive light. I do really love manga and anime but it would really be nice to see people represented realistically for a change and not just for a marketing

weixiaobao
December 07, 2007, 08:03 PM
warbandit-
there are alot of recent anime that do it quite realistically (Samurai Champloo, Blood+) but that is depend on the author choice ...

and manga is black and white ... and i remember when one of the minor character of one piece was black and before they broadcast here in America, the American change it into slight Brown or pink (dont remember exactly) .. It is partly the West's fault for being so sensitive also ...

radical3113
December 07, 2007, 08:12 PM
well I have read many manga and watched many anime that actually depict people of colour in a possitive light. I do really love manga and anime but it would really be nice to see people represented realistically for a change and not just for a marketing

it would be nice if you stated a couple of titles ( even though i know the people of colour arent the stars in the those manga ang just side characters) ,either way, by your comment i can tell you didnt really go through daedalus and kusachu's argument from the begining. you live in the uk like me you've seen a lot of shows/films on tv that has stars which arent caucasian, i dont even have to list the shows it would be patronizing to do so, you and i and the guys here from America (and other countries alike) , live in a country with very different views to japan.

im still gonna read manga and enjoy it and you should too, but dont dilute reality.

warbandit66
December 07, 2007, 08:21 PM
Sorry I was a bit vague with my previous statement. Anime series such as Samurai Champloo, Afro Samurai, Planetes, Cowboy bebop, Bleach and plenty of others. I was probably going too deep into the whole race thing before and got a bit angry, really made me think though, this is a very good discussion topic. And I will continue to read manga and watch anime.

JioFreed666
December 08, 2007, 12:14 AM
I can explain this scientifically there are not dark skinned Shinobi because we haven't been all over the globe in the universe of Naruto, only the small ninja part of it and being of darker skin has something to do with the climate. Being in an area that the sun is close to for 365 days of the year like Africa the pigments of your skin become darker over many generations especially if your out in the sun most of the day. there has never been an area like that in all know Naruto the reason why people in Suna aren't dark is because they live in shelter and if you don't believe me look at Egyptians , which Egypt is located in Africa, who very much lighter then the rest of Africans.

And as for Ethnicity it would just depended on where you come from(Land of Fire, Land of Water, Land of Wind yada yada yada) not your skin that is just a genetic trait because I'm black but my Ethnicity is yes African decent but I'm a BORN native of the Americas since I wasn't born in Africa

and if you really want to get technical we're all some how African since it's proven that at one time Africa was the cradle of life and some of the oldest Humanoid fossils have been found in Africa.

Jetsu
December 08, 2007, 01:13 AM
I have no problem with kishi using the characters that he wants for his manga, but they is no good reason why he cant use black people in it.

1 First of all its a fantasy, its not history.
2 Second, he created a world with lots of Island, black people have been around for a long time.
3 Third, some characters want to conquer the world. I think there have been black people way back during the time Japan had ninjas.
4 Forth, Kishi make Konoha a melting pot, ninjas from all over the world lives there.
5 Fifth, if he was concern about been accurate, I don't think Naruto hair would be orange.

Again Kishi can do what he wants, but saying that there were no black ninja at that time is not a good excuse. It might be to late for him to introduce new race in the manga, it will just look to fishy after all these years.

It could just be that he is not familiar with black people.

Am sure Japanese watch lots of Hollywood movies.

I just thought about sumo wrestling, Its big in Japan, and one of the biggest star is/was black.

JioFreed666
December 08, 2007, 02:03 AM
He dosen't need to make black people it's an easy statement that the Geography of the Naruto world wouldn't make people with dark skin

anyway this isn't japan this is a random world where Geography wouldn't cause people to have darker pigments of skin it easy as that

I'm black I'm not complaining it dose seem racist that he dose have a perfectly tan skinned blonde hair blue eyes white kid as the lead character but at the same time it dosen't you know why because blonde hair and blue eyes are more common with the type of geography.

it's not a matter of people with darker or lighter skin it's a matter of geography so it might have slipped his mind it might just be because of geography or it might be because it's hard to do some one with dark skin in black white and grey because you would need lots of detail to make features(His brother has nearly a month he has little under a week)

So stop defending reasons why he might and might not it's his creative property if he's plain racist, he is, if it just slipped his mind which isn't uncommon since white people in America (which he partly made naruto for american people) are portrayed more in media and if black people are portrayed it's usually white people who are better represented as a whole. but he did kind of jab at white people's gut by making Naruto loud mouthed rude and very cocky like the United States

and it's blonde not orange if you look at a picture of naruto colored and a picture of Pein color you can see naruto blonde Pein orange

ornis
December 08, 2007, 03:13 AM
I've thought about the lack of ethnicity and use of negative stereotypes in anime and manga but never as deeply as has been discussed here, with all this in mind I'm not sure that I want to be reading manga or watching anime anymore considering the connotations behind it, it actually makes me quite angry when I think about it since I've been a fan of these forms of entertainment for quite some time. On the point of Manga and Anime being marketed primarily to predominantly white American audiences, I think it's rediculous, I read somewhere that the primary readers of American comics are young black, Jewish and homo-sexual men, and I'm quite sure this applies to manga and anime too, most black people I know, including myself read manga and enjoy anime, more so than many white people I know. I don't think that ignorance can be excused no matter who you are or where you come from especially not in the world we are all living in today.



warbandit- please don't think too much of this .. it is a form of entertainment that is much cleaner than a lot of western cartoons and stand up comedy...

and maybe because not a lot of white American read it that could be the reason why they want to target them since the population is quite large.. but half or most of the things discuss here could be base just on guesses, hypothesis, and personal theories which could be all false... so enjoyed it as an art and not as a form this thread making it to be...

I've grown honestly colder to the very manga that helped me find an outlet from day to day hassles, and at last I have a chance to accept it for what it's worth: a monetary illusion to ship out and get lost in... for at least just that minute break I get everyday. It's a concept to me that I always looked forward to, this medium of entertainment... but it's less of a comfort for me now; though it has slowly been reaching this point... and I feel as though I'm dragging along, just with it, until it ends.

I'm not satisfied. Well, I should move on, eh? But there's that satisfaction to try to satisfy... all over again. What is there to gain from this? I could just laugh with it and cope. I could laugh it off and move on. ...why does a simple laughter do any good? What if we just laughed at everything? Why do I take it to that extreme? Well what about war, it's "not" a laughing matter, but there's always the chance that nothing is far from comedic, tickling, no matter how sinister.... those are mere opinions, right? Just because one person finds a sense of accomplishment through genocide, doesn't mean I have to take it that way. I'm probably impeding on the freedom of that person to express how he/she feels (about why a genocide occurred)... if he/she is in America. And the feeling is that a goal has been achieved.

I prefer to arouse some substantial reflection if just once, as I've seen recently in this thread.

Aren't we just interested in the gain? What gain? You tell me. What do we gain from this outlet, from reading this manga? Where's the benefit? Is it only sociological in a study or stagnant theory? Does it just allow us to critique cultural happenings (i.e., inclinations; influences; assimilations; etc.) Is it an active gain? Is it moreover monetary, "because there's a need to bank on it"? What is the benefit?

Now, what's the price?

A good share of diverse ethnicities can't be found to suit all desires.... What's the price of that? Beyond money, beyond racism, what sacrifices, even unwillingly?

JioFreed666
December 08, 2007, 03:21 AM
okay dude wtf was that rant's point I at least said something about something beside my opinion why there might not be different ethnicities in naruto

Daedalus75204
December 08, 2007, 03:51 AM
warbandit- please don't think too much of this .. it is a form of entertainment that is much cleaner than a lot of western cartoons and stand up comedy...

and maybe because not a lot of white American read it that could be the reason why they want to target them since the population is quite large.. but half or most of the things discuss here could be base just on guesses, hypothesis, and personal theories which could be all false... so enjoyed it as an art and not as a form this thread making it to be...

Uh...I'm not sure if that's a slight against me or the people who have so diligently contributed to this post but I would just suggest that the post is real and the topic is a reality. How people choose to deal with it for themselves is certainly their option but please do not phrase my comments as guesses..they are an informed opinion but I have far too little interest in guessing. R u guessing?
[hr]
You make great points brother..thank you for contributing to this post. You're making legitimate observations and it's a shame it has to be dismissed as guesses by weixiabao.

JioFreed666
December 08, 2007, 03:51 AM
damn it stop the fight now or do I have to a get a Mod on this

radical3113
December 08, 2007, 08:15 AM
@JioFreed666 its not a fight at all, if you read everypost starting from daedalus's first post up till now you will see exactly what happened, the problem is people read the last post and base their response on that not realizing that their response goes against many cited, and fact based opinions which were in the previous post , its not weixiaobao's fault ,its natural to read the most recent post alone. if he had read everything he would have realised that the anime's he named as being with people of colour have already been touched on.

samurai champloo- i mentioned myself , it stole a lot of hip hop culture, the main title scene was even rapped (much like the first naruto shuppuuden opening) there were graffiti artists , and even a rapping samurai, even the way some side characters spoke in japanese you could tell in the sub and in the dub it was hip-hop-ish kinda talk, despite this very few people of colour were in the storyline.

afro samurai- i dont know if it was made solely by japanese mangaka's trying to broaden their horizon's or maybe by a western superpower who were able to get a star as big as samuel.l jackson to be the voice actor, eitherway it was a very brief anime series(5 episodes wasnt it) im not gonna call it racist or token , but we also dont know who was really behind it. nor was it an ongoing anime, usually ongoing animes like, dbz, one piece,naruto, bleach, are the ones which really see success, and acceptance by an audience. if afro samurai went on for 200+ episodes and a time skip, we could have judged it properly, its so brief we can only base an argument of it on opinion. *shrugs*

cowboy bebop- one of my favourite animes had only one real black person (the guy who was the assassin for the syndicate) and he played a very brief role . there were also some people of color in episode 17 mushroom samba but they were very brief again.(TRIVIA- the black guy in this episode who was pulling a coffin his voice actor was the guy who plays jiraiya in naruto). although brief entrances of people of color was present, their combined screen time was probably about 4 or 5 minutes.jet wasnt black nor was his friend at ISSP.

bleach - yes, people of color play a more useful role, let me put it to you this way coz its far too clear you haven't read all the points made in previous posts, america although has produced a lot of cartoons about as ethnically balanced as your average anime, they have also taken time to produce loads of ethnically balanced cartoons like, proud family, maya and miguel and that other cartoon (i forget) with the black girl and the mummy. even captain planet was unbelievable ethnically balanced and was a huge hit being sold to masses of countries. even Disney had the likes of Aladdin, Mulan, Pocahontas, lilo and stitch need i go on. you see that even america has a ratio of predominantly Caucasian animation to predominantly non-Caucasian animation, whereas japanese anime dosent .

@weixiaobao-your idea on america taking out black characters, to make anime more white, dosent stand up against what ive just stated (the argument under bleach), ive also previously stated that america had to step in and tell the makers of dbz to reduce the size of mr popo's lips (can you believe it)before it was aired (and you can google it and check)

note that most what ive said is mainly just an argument made by deadalus which ive just recycled, some points were from my previous posts as well but this is basically just repetition, for those who be bothered to read everything starting from post #55

@ornis- dont give up anime/manga coz of race, i understand we dont get anything but entertainment out of it, whereas mangaka get rich and famous whilst largley ignoring ethnicity.but ......................erm ..............err.........actually i ......i....cant give .....you a reason.......to keep watching it. flip a coin i guess.

ornis
December 08, 2007, 03:22 PM
That's why I try not to talk about the issue that much. Fliping a coin kind of sums up the way I'd choose to read or not if I dissect the issue while irritated. Naruto's got a weird way of "helping" and "hurting" at the same time... depending on the perception of it. Plus it's a fictional story with Asian roots. What comes to mind now is another fictional story with Asian roots: The Avatar. That is hardly based on anything American/Canadian, but it's produced by Nickelodeon. So, what about its ethnic subject?

We just have to weigh a fantasy for its purpose, and maybe I could dig too deep to use the racist ways of a culture to attempt to define the intent of a mangaka that features no dark skinned people in his manga. We could also limit the aim of The Avatar's producers in the same manner. The different angle is that Chinese research is the only guide to the Asian likeness/taste in the story... the creator of the Avatar isn't Chinese. So, is there really ignorance to blame?

I demonstrated a pretty weak distaste previously. Of course money is a goal, but that's only a part of it, it's not the whole gig.

We could critique our own understanding of culture and question if a cultural preference always has to be the issue.
[hr]
And I mean a specific, likely arrogant preference.

weixiaobao
December 08, 2007, 06:13 PM
i choose not to response to most of the posts above me, because as it seem my limit in the written languages could be misunderstood as i did to others post and as people to my posts... PS... I didn't read all the posts above me since the first post ...

but there are mangas that centered about more than one cultures such as
-Shaman King - one of the main characters are African American
-or Blaster Knuckle - about African American and the KKK

and mr. Daedalus75204, people made mistake and i am but a human and i believe i did apologized ... i will PM you for further comment but I didn't read any your early posts at all... my point was that it must be guesses that the author of Naruto didn't made any black characters because he is racist or etc since we are not him but i didn't know this thread was so off topic that it revolve entirely about how racist are anime and manga, for i am grew up with manga and never consider anything about that.........

JioFreed666- don't worry up until this point my comments was try to persuade warbandit from not to stop reading manga and watching anime plus post my opinions and was not a fight at all since i didn't read any post from the earliest posts...
[hr]
i choose not to response to most of the posts above me, because as it seem my limit in the written languages could be misunderstood as i did to others post and as people to my posts... PS... I didn't read all the posts above me since the first post ...

but there are mangas that centered about more than one cultures such as
-Shaman King - one of the main characters are African American
-or Blaster Knuckle - about African American and the KKK
-Edit: Eyeshield 21

and mr. Daedalus75204, people made mistake and i am but a human and i believe i did apologized ... i will PM you for further comment but I didn't read any your early posts at all... my point was that it must be guesses that the author of Naruto didn't made any black characters because he is racist or etc since we are not him but i didn't know this thread was so off topic that it revolve entirely about how racist are anime and manga, for i am grew up with manga and never consider anything about that.........

JioFreed666- don't worry up until this point my comments was try to persuade warbandit from not to stop reading manga and watching anime plus post my opinions and was not a fight at all since i didn't read any post from the earliest posts...

is it me, or none of the African American authors ever write about Asian people ?

even Dr King (whom I deeply respected)
"And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

didn't mention Asian American eventhough this happen during the Vietnam War, and Asian American was suffer racism though not as much...

But I understand why he didn't because it may not cross his mind then since he had his limit as a human, and beside Asian was not the topic, the main point was AFrican American and civil right movement...

EDit:
i didn't read many AFrican America's writings so my view is limited
secondly, the fact that people getting angry in this thread show that people really care about this topic which i think it is a good thing and could be a bad thing also...

radical3113
December 08, 2007, 06:50 PM
even Dr King (whom I deeply respected)
"And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

didn't mention Asian American eventhough this happen during the Vietnam War, and Asian American was suffer racism though not as much...

But I understand why he didn't because it may not cross his mind then since he had his limit as a human, and beside Asian was not the topic, the main point was AFrican American and civil right movement...

first you said he didnt mention Asian people (even though he meant everyone, as you can tell by the way he carries on) then you go on to say Asians weren't the topic it was about black civil rights, thus killing your own argument, what was the point of that????????

aww man wheres daedalus when you need him.

i think you should go to the previous posts starting from the number #55 , don't read the whole thing just click on the links that people have posted, read them, and im sure you will be singing a different tune.

you also said it is only guesses, that the author of naruto not adding people of color makes him racist. have you made any guesses on this subject? or any opinions based on fact?
-heres a fact there are over 40+ naruto characters who actually contribute or have contributed to the storyline,bleach has less characters but three are black (yoruichi, tousen, maybe yammy)one is Latin american (sado) .
why dont you give me an opinion based on that, which is fact. anything else i add to this post will just be repetition.

and to stick to the thread title :Ethnicity in the Naruto world
its non-existent, and it never will be ethnically balanced, but im still gonna read/watch it.

weixiaobao
December 08, 2007, 06:56 PM
:rofl my argument was that if i can understand why Dr. King didn't said anything about Asian than why can u not seeing the same thing about kishimoto ... well will read this thread as suggested by radical ... my point is not to argue but to defend that naruto series isn't meant to be racist..

EDit; after glancing from the beginning the thread.. as it seem most of my examples had already brought up by radical... and to answering radical's ?, most of my post based on my experiences and guesses :rofl yes i am not hypocrite . ...

as for Daedalus75204's super long post, i didn't read it this time around because it look confusing..

and to not confused myself farther what is our argument ????

and i have always agree with u (though may not had post it) that there is no ethnicity in Naruto except for sand people, or fire people, or whatever people.. but please don't think kishimoto-sensei is racist base just on that...

and as far as i know manga are drawn characters with big eyes, and white on black and white paper... as for sasuke- he looks japanese to me and naruto... hmmmm.. he don't really look like any race.. maybe irish with his orange hair..

JioFreed666
December 08, 2007, 08:24 PM
why are we talking about something that dosen't have an affect on Asian culture aka the African Amercian point of view on the civil rights movement which didn't affect japan since japan is it's own country with it's own laws


Look I'm really wondering why everyones skipping my points and not just ending it their like I said before and will say now

either he's racist or it just slipped his mind
-and if he is racist that's his own thing
-if it slipped his mind he can add black people in at any time since the worlds that big

maybe he just dosen't want black people in the manga
-if he dosen't want black people in there it could because of artistic reasons(such as it's hard to do black people with the correct amount of detail in the time constrain he works in)

and especially like I mentioned before it could because he goes off popular media which shows black people in a less in general and in a less positive light then white people if it dose show them

Plus I have never heard of a real pre or post edo era ninja when Koga and Iga rivalry was happening, because usually clans never go outside their trusted circle of family and friends to recruit

so all of those are valid reasons and the only reasons that would be the ONLY REASONS so stop discussing this and if anybody get's an interview ask him so we can put a bullet in this things head this is coming from an African american who is done talking about Ethnicity

Daedalus75204
December 09, 2007, 02:06 AM
Brother, I wasn't responding to your points because I hadn't really seen them and in one of them I thought you were being facetious. My mistake since you are clearly passionate about your view. I'll take a minute and respond to your comments since you are clearly wanting to have some debate for your point of view:



why are we talking about something that dosen't have an affect on Asian culture aka the African Amercian point of view on the civil rights movement which didn't affect japan since japan is it's own country with it's own laws

<daed> I'm not even sure what you are stating here. Without the civil rights movement many races would not have had the same voice in American/ West popular culture which in turn is the WORLD's culture and therefore the japanese owe a huge ass gratitude to the African American as much as anyone else. Perhaps they enjoyed constantly being shown in american movies snapping pics or being withheld on an island in san francisco during the 40's but the civil rights movement is recognized by the world as a history defining event..your comment speaks of sheer ignorance that you as a black man fail to see how the japanese cannot appreciate that. Besides, african american culture absolutely has affected Japanese culture in music, character designs and so on--I can't believe your're stating that it hasn't. Perhaps you believe High School Musical would exist without the popular hip hop culture as well? Black culture is one of the most copied and appropriated elements in human history..it's evident in naruto and while they continue to make money from brothers like you it's a shame that you don't demand more of your entertainment. Try telling that to the families who are giving Mattel hell right now and China for selling them goods that were made so cheap that they feature negative elements. If Kishimoto expects or desires to be popular around the world then he deserves the criticism from those of us who wonder why he doesn't feel the need to address a portion of his fans. He certainly needed no inspiration to make naruto white and yet I don't see you complaining or justifying that.<daed>


Look I'm really wondering why everyones skipping my points and not just ending it their like I said before and will say now

<daed> based on what I responded to at the top I think it might have something to do with your dismissal of this being an issue. You just don't seem to be serious about this which begs why are you on this thread if as black man you enjoy naruto with no mention of your own ethnicity in an otherwise marvelous fantasy world. <daed>

either he's racist or it just slipped his mind
-and if he is racist that's his own thing
-if it slipped his mind he can add black people in at any time since the worlds that big

<daed> I've stated before I believe that Kishi suffers from the same sort of racism that most japanese and unfortunately some others on this board of 'I don't think of blacks, latinos or others with any special thought but I do think of white people and asian people and therefore it's all good'. I and a few others contend that we should all be open to, cognizant of and appreciative of all cultures. On your last point, I actually am with you on this-- Kishimoto like all mangaka should be asking themselves how to improve their product's opportunities overseas and as a result add in more minority characters. The comments from some of this board that somehow naruto exists in a part of japan where there are no blacks or that they grey skinned people are black (wtf????) or that the region doesn't have blacks but others do...they are all incredibly embarrassing comments but the fact that this is a fantasy book does mean Kishi can change it..remember Lucas added Lando Calrissian after MUCH negative feedback. <daed>

maybe he just dosen't want black people in the manga
-if he dosen't want black people in there it could because of artistic reasons(such as it's hard to do black people with the correct amount of detail in the time constrain he works in)

<daed> This is just ignorant. You seriously need to attend a class on self respect. If he doesn't want to ..then he's a racist. Likewise, then if every black person stopped supporting his work and he started watching those checks get smaller maybe he would change his mind and lastly, uhhhh....it's easy to draw white people, women with big breasts, snake creatures, summons creatures, konoha, a cast of 100's in a week's time but not blacks or latinos or middle easterners or indians? And you've been wondering why no one takes you seriously? I'm almost embarrassed for you.<daed>

and especially like I mentioned before it could because he goes off popular media which shows black people in a less in general and in a less positive light then white people if it dose show them

<daed> Again, someone needs to stage an intervention with you. Do you have black friends? Black parents? Black family? Black girlfriends? Do people treat YOU differently because of the less than favorable response of blacks? Do you watch any tv shows with good representations of Black? Does Barack Obama embarrass you? Does Martin Luther King embarrass you? You have truly gone over into tom territory brother. I am amazed that you would even suggest that that is the case. Again, as someone who has been to japan. lved there, worked there, have friends there, hosted students from there and dated japanese women..I am amazed at the apologist, self hatred or bigoted comments on this board from people who are not japanese, do not live there and do not work in anime/manga or gaming? You can have your opinions--and lord knows share them but when you speak from such unbelievable ignorance you should truly do some soul
searching. <daed>

Plus I have never heard of a real pre or post edo era ninja when Koga and Iga rivalry was happening, because usually clans never go outside their trusted circle of family and friends to recruit

<daed> Your point is what? U question black culture's relevance and portrayal in the media yet you are an expert on post and pre era edo period ninja and how that relates to a fantasy world where characters speak in slang, have blond hair, baggy clothes and technology?? Sad. <daed>

so all of those are valid reasons and the only reasons that would be the ONLY REASONS so stop discussing this and if anybody get's an interview ask him so we can put a bullet in this things head this is coming from an African american who is done talking about Ethnicity

<daed> You've not said anything that was interesting except that you are black and clearly could care less about your black heritage that you're willing to not be bothered about a fantasy manga not featuring ethnicity of any stripes and trying to justify it by suggesting blacks possibly deserve it since civil rights wasn't anything special to the world, our media images is all negative and that clans don't interact with one another in a real ninja period vs. a fake one. I'm officially reposting your post and that of some others.,.in one called "naruto fans whose worldview is far more unrealistic than naruto ever was"

One last thing jio (btw -- I do not understand why that manga is popular..it's a rip of Naruto) I just got done reading your posts and when you threaten to shut down a whole thread by calling a mod because people don't listen or agree with you then you are not worth responding to. Clearly it is a sad state of affairs that you're worked up about not being listened to, making points that I find outrageous (definitely the trying to find logic in Naruto like where blacks might live and their skin tone in a fictional world as opposed to Kishi's possible desire to just not have blacks in his work) and threaten to shut it down. Do something else if this thread bothers u.

Have a good night brother.

<daed>

radical3113
December 09, 2007, 04:56 AM
that post unbelievable hit the point, and summarized well what has been touched upon in this thread so far. (as expected of deadalus)

for those who hate reading long posts heres a summary

-civil rights movement was recognized by the WORLD and its effect went beyond blacks alone, and changed the face of the west (to an extent)

-black culture is one of the most copied and appropriated elements in human history.

- even high School Musical wouldn't exist without the popular hip hop culture.

-If Kishimoto expects or desires to be popular around the world then he deserves the criticism from those of us who wonder why he doesn't feel the need to address a portion of his fans

-Kishimoto like all mangaka should be asking themselves how to improve their product's opportunities overseas and as a result add in more minority characters.

-if every black,latino,middle eastern,indian(etc) person stopped supporting his work and he started watching those checks get smaller maybe he would change his mind (kishi)

-it's easy to draw white people, women with big breasts, snake creatures, summons creatures, konoha, a cast of 100's in a week's time but not blacks or latinos or middle easterners or indians (etc)?

this is a very brief summary as most of the post was a response directed at JioFreed666.

note: this is not meant to point a finger at kishimoto alone, its basically just a reality check for those making excuses for the lack of ethnicity in the naruto world.

nahkampfbiber
December 09, 2007, 02:32 PM
I always thought Konoha's Matsuri was "black" or at least "half black"... Just because of her hair. ^^ (btw. is "mulatto" actually a discriminating term in english?)
http://groups.msn.com/NarutoMangaReturns/rvolume11.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=31831
(Not that hairstyle means anything... Dreadlocks are just typically viewed to be connected with african heritage...)

But the Anime team colored her differently than I thought, so maybe it's their fault we haven't seen "black" people in Naruto yet. oO

It doesn't really matter to me personally, though. Different ethnical groups are rarely seen in anime and manga anyway. So if it's a problem at all, it's a problem of all anime/manga in general, rather than a Naruto-specific one. (And should be debated in the general forum.)

(Naruto himself doesn't look "european" to me either. Especially not if he's walking next to a pink-haired girl. oO)

Daedalus75204
December 09, 2007, 04:33 PM
I always thought Konoha's Matsuri was "black" or at least "half black"... Just because of her hair. ^^ (btw. is "mulatto" actually a discriminating term in english?)
http://groups.msn.com/NarutoMangaReturns/rvolume11.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=31831
(Not that hairstyle means anything... Dreadlocks are just typically viewed to be connected with african heritage...)

But the Anime team colored her differently than I thought, so maybe it's their fault we haven't seen "black" people in Naruto yet. oO

It doesn't really matter to me personally, though. Different ethnical groups are rarely seen in anime and manga anyway. So if it's a problem at all, it's a problem of all anime/manga in general, rather than a Naruto-specific one. (And should be debated in the general forum.)

(Naruto himself doesn't look "european" to me either. Especially not if he's walking next to a pink-haired girl. oO)

I don't find that mulatto is a discriminating term...I do find people trying to equate a color palette on a cartoon character where there are clearly no African American features as being 'black' or 'mulatto'. If I saw a picture of your mother wearing a hat and sweatsuit and said 'is that your dad'--I think you would be offended. So, it's time we stop making excuses or being so blind to reality. There are no other ethnicities in Naruto aside from White and Asian and the people here who are disappointed in Kishimoto have made themselves quite clear about this. If it doesn't bother you personally..so be it but stating to me that Naruto walking next to a pink haired girl doesn't make him european is strange. It certainly doesn't make a blond haired blue eyed white kid a japanese person either.

Go back and re-read the thread or the portions by Radical...and I think you will see why Naruto is the perfect place for this--although I couldn't agree more about the fact that all of anime/ manga shows this blatant disrespect to African Americans.

weixiaobao
December 09, 2007, 06:21 PM
i break my wow (not posting in this thread anymore, only reading) by posting something could be consider relevant or irrelevant to the topic:

1st. I hope kishimoto didn't do his work out of just money and popularity, i hope that he did his work mostly (not 100%, but mostly) out of love and passion....

2nd if anyone of the people above me write or made anything that similar like naruto with alot of ethnicities, i will support it 100%.... until then... ..................... *a moment of awkward silent*

marte1980
December 10, 2007, 05:19 AM
I think that maybe it's just what japanese culture prefers. I mean, after all none of the mangas that I've ever read has really drawn characters as if they were really asiatic. They're always japanese speaking caucasians(ie. european or north-american white people). Maybe they don't like themselves, or whatever.

radical3113
December 10, 2007, 07:23 AM
maybe, in kinda agree.(70%)
BUT i dont think every japanese person is happy about the way mangas are drawn, i mean daedalus said manga sales are declining in japan. maybe its a majority thing. but a sweeping statement like "Maybe they don't like themselves, or whatever." that may be a bit rough dontchya think?

marte1980
December 10, 2007, 07:22 PM
maybe, in kinda agree.(70%)
BUT i dont think every japanese person is happy about the way mangas are drawn, i mean daedalus said manga sales are declining in japan. maybe its a majority thing. but a sweeping statement like "Maybe they don't like themselves, or whatever." that may be a bit rough dontchya think?
I don't think that was rough.I've never said that I don't like asiatic people; that phrase "Maybe they don't like themselves" is just something that anybody can argue from the fact that they don't ever draw japanese people in mangas as if they were really japanese,and instead as caucasians. I can't see any other possible reason.But if it's true, it's their problem not mine,because personaly I wouldn't have absolutely any problem if they drew characters in mangas with true asiatic characteristics.

radical3113
December 10, 2007, 07:36 PM
a much more coherent point which i definitely agree with.

marte1980
December 10, 2007, 08:07 PM
Go back and re-read the thread or the portions by Radical...and I think you will see why Naruto is the perfect place for this--although I couldn't agree more about the fact that all of anime/ manga shows this blatant disrespect to African Americans.
You american people should stop thinking about the world as something like your garden. "dirsrespect to African Americans"? Look, if you had said "disrespect to Africans" or "disrespect to black people in general" I could have understood.African american is not a race/etnic group, it just means african people that lives in America.I wouldn't have agreed with you anyway, because I don't think that mangas or animes should be concerned with this kind of problems.And after all, why should they portrait black people and not also Indians, Mid-Orientals, Inuits,or any other Race/Ethnic group?So to be fair they should think about putting at least one element of every ethnic group of the world, but even at that point you could say that someone may not agree on the hero being of one particular ethnic group. They simply talkabout their culture,as it's normal. The only strange thing is that they draw them as caucasian people instead.

kyubisharingan
December 10, 2007, 08:58 PM
why is everyone making this centered around "black" or "african american" people? its ethnicity in general. im also black but this thread is about race all together. i mean, its mostly Caucasians that have influence in japanese culture, your more likely to see a white person on the streets in japan than a black person(yes i know, i used to live in japan). So, maybe the reason is becuase white people seem to be more common than other ethnicities. It also depends on kishimoto's experiences. Such as Kubo from Bleach, hence his use of spanish terms in his work. i think it all depends on where you have been in life, and experiences

radical3113
December 10, 2007, 09:12 PM
@marte1980 and kyubisharingan--that shows you havent read this thread from the start,and only read the posts on this page which are nothing more than large bullet points from the previous pages. so far your like the 2nd/3rd person(s) to jump in halfway and say things which have already been answered. im not gonna repeat anymore stuff nether should daedalus(whose contributed from first hand experience), read everything in this thread if you cant be bothered to do that then dont bother yourself to post. p.s start from post #50

sorry if i come off a bit rude, but i do need to inform you your points have already been touched upon.btw im black but im not american.

marte1980
December 10, 2007, 09:24 PM
why is everyone making this centered around "black" or "african american" people? its ethnicity in general. im also black but this thread is about race all together. i mean, its mostly Caucasians that have influence in japanese culture, your more likely to see a white person on the streets in japan than a black person(yes i know, i used to live in japan). So, maybe the reason is becuase white people seem to be more common than other ethnicities. It also depends on kishimoto's experiences. Such as Kubo from Bleach, hence his use of spanish terms in his work. i think it all depends on where you have been in life, and experiences
Yes, in fact to answer to the other guy I talked about all the ethnic groups in general.
<hr noshade size="1">

@marte1980 and kyubisharingan--that shows you havent read this thread from the start,and only read the posts on this page which are nothing more than large bullet points from the previous pages. so far your like the 2nd/3rd person(s) to jump in halfway and say things which have already been answered. im not gonna repeat anymore stuff nether should daedalus(whose contributed from first hand experience), read everything in this thread if you cant be bothered to do that then dont bother yourself to post. p.s start from post #50

sorry if i come off a bit rude, but i do need to inform you your points have already been touched upon.btw im black but im not american.
It's obvious that I didn't read all the posts this far!If I had to follow that rule I wouldn't have posted even a single time in this board.I've answered to a particular phrease that I quoted on my post, but if the concepts there expressed were already expressed elsewhere who cares? I certainly don't pretend to think something that nobody else on the planet thinks,there are too many people around the world for that to be feasible.
About the rudeness you were talking about, I couldn't care less about that.Actually I'm more pissed off when the rules are too strict, I prefer when we talk more freely.

Daedalus75204
December 10, 2007, 09:51 PM
You american people should stop thinking about the world as something like your garden. "dirsrespect to African Americans"? Look, if you had said "disrespect to Africans" or "disrespect to black people in general" I could have understood.African american is not a race/etnic group, it just means african people that lives in America.I wouldn't have agreed with you anyway, because I don't think that mangas or animes should be concerned with this kind of problems.And after all, why should they portrait black people and not also Indians, Mid-Orientals, Inuits,or any other Race/Ethnic group?So to be fair they should think about putting at least one element of every ethnic group of the world, but even at that point you could say that someone may not agree on the hero being of one particular ethnic group. They simply talkabout their culture,as it's normal. The only strange thing is that they draw them as caucasian people instead.

Marte--I actually do agree with you -- it is a typical American response to always refer to it as AA--I just got lazy from typing people of African descent. As Radical said however..if youu actually were to READ my points in full you would see that I have spoken about people of all races needing to be in Naruto quite frequently. That said, the intrinsic point about African Americans is that our culture is rather wide and diverse and permeates sports, fashion, music, movies, comedy, social critique and inventions and the fact that naruto features so many of them and has no characters of AFRICAN AMERICAN descent specifically is quite concerning. Likewise, you hit the nail on the head--we can all agree or should be able to that Naruto goes out of its' way to support white people with japanese names. Why them and no one else?
[hr]

why is everyone making this centered around "black" or "african american" people? its ethnicity in general. im also black but this thread is about race all together. i mean, its mostly Caucasians that have influence in japanese culture, your more likely to see a white person on the streets in japan than a black person(yes i know, i used to live in japan). So, maybe the reason is becuase white people seem to be more common than other ethnicities. It also depends on kishimoto's experiences. Such as Kubo from Bleach, hence his use of spanish terms in his work. i think it all depends on where you have been in life, and experiences

Couldn't agree more but I do think people like yourself are living in a fantasy land (especially you brother if you've lived in Japan like you claim) to assume that Kishimoto, at best 33 yo, has grown up in Japan..in any prefecture and never encountered cool black/ african american culture in his daily life--be it watching american baseball, basketball or football stars or listening to black music, watching black music vidoes, going to black concerts, seeing black celebrities on commercials/tv or the hollywood movies which come there--I mean seriously...STOP THE IGNORANCE!!!!!!!

U really beleive that Kishimoto didn't know about blacks or were not exposed to blacks enough to put them in the manga but that he was such good friends with the roughly 2% of caucasians that live there that he was inspired to make Naruto and Sakura (two of the main 4 characters) glaringly--white??? funny that asuma, rock lee, might guy, neji, hinata, kiba, choji all posses very japanese characteristics but not one other character can showcase latin or black??

STOP THE IGNORANCE!!!

WAKE UP!!!

MegaX
December 10, 2007, 09:55 PM
I never understood why the lack of inclusion indicated racist sentiments. I mean, Kishi could feel that he couldn't do them justice, or he could be afraid that if he put a black person in, that someone would call him racist for a stereotypical portrayal regardless of whether one was intended or not.

Granted, I probably wouldn't put in many black or dark-skinned people in a manga if I was doing one, but that has more to do with how annoying shading in the skin would get after a while. But since I suck at drawing, that's a non-issue.

marte1980
December 10, 2007, 09:59 PM
Marte--I actually do agree with you -- it is a typical American response to always refer to it as AA--I just got lazy from typing people of African descent. As Radical said however..if youu actually were to READ my points in full you would see that I have spoken about people of all races needing to be in Naruto quite frequently. That said, the intrinsic point about African Americans is that our culture is rather wide and diverse and permeates sports, fashion, music, movies, comedy, social critique and inventions and the fact that naruto features so many of them and has no characters of AFRICAN AMERICAN descent specifically is quite concerning. Likewise, you hit the nail on the head--we can all agree or should be able to that Naruto goes out of its' way to support white people with japanese names. Why them and no one else?
I think the obvious answer is because japanese people like caucasian people, so authors use those characteristics because they know that. This is what I can argue with what I know. To confirm this you should ask japanese people why.
Personally I don't have any problem with the ethnic groups of mangas' characters, but for example I have some problems to feel connected with female heroes. I'm not sexist, nor do I tnink that female people should act in one way or another,they're free to do what they want.It's just that when I see a film or an anime or I read a manga, I prefer the hero to be a male one.It's not something thought out, it's just something that I feel.

Daedalus75204
December 10, 2007, 10:22 PM
I never understood why the lack of inclusion indicated racist sentiments. I mean, Kishi could feel that he couldn't do them justice, or he could be afraid that if he put a black person in, that someone would call him racist for a stereotypical portrayal regardless of whether one was intended or not.

Granted, I probably wouldn't put in many black or dark-skinned people in a manga if I was doing one, but that has more to do with how annoying shading in the skin would get after a while. But since I suck at drawing, that's a non-issue.

I think it is a subtle form of racism..the man probably doesn't know how to draw white people or fat people or giant toads or characters with bones shooting out or any of the other fantastical things we see in Naruto but he certainly seems able to pull them off. So, it's easy to find excuses for why he doesn't have blacks in there to make ourselves and maybe him feel better but the bottom line is if you think about it just a little bit..you see how absurd it is that Kishi can exercise such artistic passion for unique women, toads, dog ninja's, tons of unique japanese characters, villages, summons creatures, curse maked sound four ninjas and yet that most basic of images--hispanic, black, indian men and women..cannot make it into the manga...I shouldn't have to say this but 'come on man'!!

Spike Spiegal
December 11, 2007, 01:52 AM
I haven't read any of the previous posts but I would like to put my 2 cents in.

I'd first like to say that I don't think that Kishi is a racist because he doesn't draw/include black or any other races in his manga.

also, though very far away from completing it, I am working on a manga of my own.

Too me traditional anime/manga aren't a specific race, their kind of in a group by themselves, so I don't see the characters of Naruto as a race that exists anywhere,
It's simply that this is what Japanese manga/anime drawings have evolved into.
You can say that Kubo Tite has black people in his manga why doesn't Kishi?
It could be millions of reasons, but personally I think he's more traditional compared to Kubo who loves style and diversity.

Take my personal favorite anime director Shinichiro Watanabe, he thrives on music and cultures of all kinds and you see that in his anime, you see multitude of people with different looks,races etc.

Myself, I thrive on music and the fluidity of tempo and motion. I have already designed my main cast of characters and have no race in my manga, all I have is people drawn the way I grew up watching anime/manga with style from my favorite artists mixed with my own personal style. I never once thought to include blacks or Hispanics(I'm Hispanic) in my manga and I don't see myself changing that at all. My thought is that I'm not going to include race in my manga just to do it. I think if race is something that your trying to convey(like Watanabe) than you do it, but I don't thank race would help if it's not something your passionate about, I won't stick anything in my manga that's not necessary or I don't fill will help my story. Also, I know it's not a legit reason but, Im not great at drawing "real" people, I can but I couldn't adapt them to manga/anime format.
Kishi has Ninjas toads and beasts in his anime because that's what he grew up loving/drawing, and helps to tell his story.

I love all races, my little bro is half black. Kishi may feel the same way as me and doesn't think of race at all, and just draws in the style that he has.

MegaX
December 11, 2007, 02:38 AM
I think it is a subtle form of racism..the man probably doesn't know how to draw white people or fat people or giant toads or characters with bones shooting out or any of the other fantastical things we see in Naruto but he certainly seems able to pull them off. So, it's easy to find excuses for why he doesn't have blacks in there to make ourselves and maybe him feel better but the bottom line is if you think about it just a little bit..you see how absurd it is that Kishi can exercise such artistic passion for unique women, toads, dog ninja's, tons of unique japanese characters, villages, summons creatures, curse maked sound four ninjas and yet that most basic of images--hispanic, black, indian men and women..cannot make it into the manga...I shouldn't have to say this but 'come on man'!!

Not really. It's hardly out of the question that Kishi is in fact, so excited about drawing those unique things that he hardly feels really inclined to draw those most "basic images".

bigtymer32
December 11, 2007, 03:01 AM
i as a black man dont really care whether or not the naruto world has them.naruto is based more toward Japaneses influence .

when i make my anime/manga it have every race represented :)

radical3113
December 11, 2007, 07:29 AM
see this is the reason why i keep telling people to read the previous posts or at least flick through from #50.

a lot of the stuff your saying though it may seem quite good an new to you. people have already said those things, including myself, and they have already been contested, i was hoping you guys would touch on something new to get me exited again, but reading you guys posts is like watching a re-run.

im black, and i WAS thinking what a lot of things your saying, but i was in this thread before #50
and have been reading up to now and everything has completeley changed, i have daedalus to thank for that. heck if i hadnt been here since #50 i would be saying the same stuff as you guys are saying now.

check out this wiki entry on ethnic issues in japan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_issues_in_Japan) only 1.6% of the japan population is made up of foreign nationals and only 2.5% out of that 1.6% is made up of americans 28% out of korean 26% out of chinese 15% out of brazilians, i mean the link is there take a look for yourself.

sorry but this has to be said.
spike spiegal- there is no such thing as NO RACE. i dont know why you would think that.:huh
to me it seems you think of Caucasians in animations as the default. even Caucasians dont think like that.check out disney's Aladdin,Pocahontas,mulan,lilo 'n' stich, and others i cant remember right now. its clear where manga/anime got its wide-eyes from, and was influenced by, they themselves choose not to add ethnicity,animated characters have race if not then what the hell is kubo tite doing (as you did refer to him)

weixiaobao
December 11, 2007, 04:19 PM
since this thread is probably taken over by radical and Mr. Daedalus75204 so i like to ask their opinion...
1) how have you support naruto already? did u buy anime or manga?
2) what do u want to change? if there is other race add in but still no blacks then how would you react?
3) If kishimoto draw another manga with more diversities? and it turn out that he was never a racist in the first place, how would you react innerly?
4) have you tried to contact kishimoto or anyone relates to offer them advices or whatever?
5) can you summarize your entire view about this topic/ manga and anime/ japanese as a whole?
6) can you summarize some of the view (as you interpret) from some of the frequent posters here?

EDIT:
7) if you guys really strongly believe in your view i suggest that u guys not to be a hypocrite and stop reading naruto all together online or not... If you have some room to look other way then appreciate it as an entertainment.
8) well, that show the Boondocks, though i maybe wrong, have yet show a single Asian characters beside the fact that it take place in the USA and was inspire somewhat by so call japanese animation namely samurai champloo and cowboy bebop... i never yet considered it racist.. but what about you guys?

EDIT2:
9) can you list some characters and classify them either asian or white?
10) some older manga like sailor moon (i never read it) with all these girls with different hair colors and seemingly white? why are they japanese? Do you think the east upset to be white? or just to be colorful? or just typical anime characters?

*this will help new posters understand what they are up again
*second it will help me to come to understand how you have the opinions as you did...

PS... disney did influenced somewhat about manga? but manga had a history since 1814.. and disney well a bit later than that...

Spike Spiegal
December 11, 2007, 05:38 PM
see this is the reason why i keep telling people to read the previous posts or at least flick through from #50.

a lot of the stuff your saying though it may seem quite good an new to you. people have already said those things, including myself, and they have already been contested, i was hoping you guys would touch on something new to get me exited again, but reading you guys posts is like watching a re-run.

im black, and i WAS thinking what a lot of things your saying, but i was in this thread before #50
and have been reading up to now and everything has completeley changed, i have daedalus to thank for that. heck if i hadnt been here since #50 i would be saying the same stuff as you guys are saying now.

check out this wiki entry on ethnic issues in japan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_issues_in_Japan) only 1.6% of the japan population is made up of foreign nationals and only 2.5% out of that 1.6% is made up of americans 28% out of korean 26% out of chinese 15% out of brazilians, i mean the link is there take a look for yourself.

sorry but this has to be said.
spike spiegal- there is no such thing as NO RACE. i dont know why you would think that.:huh
to me it seems you think of Caucasians in animations as the default. even Caucasians dont think like that.check out disney's Aladdin,Pocahontas,mulan,lilo 'n' stich, and others i cant remember right now. its clear where manga/anime got its wide-eyes from, and was influenced by, they themselves choose not to add ethnicity,animated characters have race if not then what the hell is kubo tite doing (as you did refer to him)


In anime/manga their can be no such thing as race, if no emphesis is put on what race they are, you can't just assume their caucasians or even humans, though some writers would assume you would think their humans.
Since when are anime/manga characters caucasian anyway, you assume to much, nobody from Naruto looks like any caucasian I have ever met.

If you read my post carefully, I've basically explained this but I'll go more in-depth.

When manga origainated it probaably did get some of it's inspiration from western culture(Mickey Mouse and what not) but it kept evolving into what it is right now.

I would think,as I have myself, he was inspired as a kid to draw the way he does now by artist he admired, this is how all mangaka start out, Kubo has a fascination with drawing different race/color and clothing designs, that's why you see that in his anime,It's not because he's not a racist or he wants to satisfy anybody, it's because he was inspired at a young age to do say and it helps to tell his story. Kishi drawing color people wouldn't help his story and it wouldn't in mine either, that's why I didn't include it (or even thought of race at all for that matter).

The reason I'm saying all this is because I to have no colored people in my manga and I'm definately not a racist, so I can see how many mangaka including Masashi Kishimoto aren't as well.And to say because statistics say this, Kishi's a racist is nonesense , and throwing Disney movies in the arguement is worse. Mulin was set in China, Aladdin was set in Arabia(Fictional Agraba), Lilo and Stitch was set in Hawaii(though I've never seen it) that was puposely done that way so of course their going to have their respective races in each. Naruto isn't set in Japan or anywhere else for that matter, it is a world Kishi has created himself. Yes it has things Kishi is fimiliar with: Japanese meals, language and traditions, but that is what kishi knows and has incorporated in his "world".

This thread has got too much attention, and I am not going to say anything else here, it's futile when people have their minds set on an answer, because they close off to anything else. Get a better understanding of Manga, their not caucasians their manga characters.

radical3113
December 11, 2007, 07:07 PM
you know i would reply seriously to your statement that cartoons and comics arent based on humans thus need no race or ethnic diversity, but i dont think anyone here is gonna back up your argument, or actually believe your being serious. your obviously used to seeing manga/and anime the way it is thus think its perfectly fine.but heres a couple questions i'll give you.
if naruto was made into a live action film , and every one in the film was indian ,would you have expected them to be caucasians? (despite them not being humans at all)

In anime/manga their can be no such thing as race, if no emphesis is put on what race they are, you can't just assume their caucasians or even humans

not humans?eyes,nose,ears, mouth, two arms, two legs, torso, yeh were waaay off arent we?yes i assumed they were caucasians, why?was it because of the color of their skin, blue eyes, and sometimes even blonde hair, yeh Caucasians dont look like that do they? besides those features dont put emphasis on race everyone looks like that dont they?


and throwing Disney movies in the arguement is worse. Mulin was set in China, Aladdin was set in Arabia(Fictional Agraba), Lilo and Stitch was set in Hawaii(though I've never seen it) that was puposely done that way so of course their going to have their respective races in each

races in each? but i thought they weren't human? agraba is fictional, and konoha is real? "that was purposely done that way" how does that help your point?


I would think,as I have myself, he was inspired as a kid to draw the way he does now by artist he admired, this is how all mangaka start out, Kubo has a fascination with drawing different race/color and clothing designs,

so you know how all mangaka start? here you are using the word race again but you dont believe he draws humans do you?.


i mean i could go on and on but whats that gonna do your obviously well entrapped in this way of thought,"people drawn in manga/disney(whatever) are not humans"(despite clearly being humans)

look, im not your enemy neither is anyone here, but some people could find it a bit offensive that you've brushed ethnicity aside like this,and replaced it with "their not human" their not drawn exactly like live action humans, but their not supposed to be, its just the genre, ask any mangaka and im sure they would say "obviously im drawing humans".most seinen mangas draw much, much, more realistic looking characters, why? because of the genre. i mean what if some one drew a dog , would that be a dog? :huh

i and many other people (all over the world) would be ecstatic to read a manga based on hispanic's (and written by one)EVEN IF YOU DONT WANT THEM TO BE HUMAN , say their aliens or whatever i dont mind , just make your characters look hispanic please.

p.s how far have you gotten on your manga?

gdupninja
December 11, 2007, 07:16 PM
Base your main character off me. A Puerto Rican kid named Pedro who doesn't speak Spanish. Alright ill stop. Anyway Like Radical said the mangaka intended to drawn them human and intended to draw them a certain way, with a certain skin color, facial feature whatever. In Naruto I can understand because it seems like Miyamoto has made everyone except for maybe Kisame whos a damn shark, Asian. In bleach there is a mexican, and a few other dark skinned characters but in Naruto everyone except for Ten-Ten, Guy and Lee all have Japanease names and everyone is basically the same ethnicity. Thats how I see it. It's not set in Japan or anything so I dont see why he can add another character with different colored skin.

warbandit66
December 11, 2007, 07:23 PM
In anime/manga their can be no such thing as race, if no emphesis is put on what race they are, you can't just assume their caucasians or even humans, though some writers would assume you would think their humans.
Since when are anime/manga characters caucasian anyway, you assume to much, nobody from Naruto looks like any caucasian I have ever met.

If you read my post carefully, I've basically explained this but I'll go more in-depth.

When manga origainated it probaably did get some of it's inspiration from western culture(Mickey Mouse and what not) but it kept evolving into what it is right now.

I would think,as I have myself, he was inspired as a kid to draw the way he does now by artist he admired, this is how all mangaka start out, Kubo has a fascination with drawing different race/color and clothing designs, that's why you see that in his anime,It's not because he's not a racist or he wants to satisfy anybody, it's because he was inspired at a young age to do say and it helps to tell his story. Kishi drawing color people wouldn't help his story and it wouldn't in mine either, that's why I didn't include it (or even thought of race at all for that matter).

The reason I'm saying all this is because I to have no colored people in my manga and I'm definately not a racist, so I can see how many mangaka including Masashi Kishimoto aren't as well.And to say because statistics say this, Kishi's a racist is nonesense , and throwing Disney movies in the arguement is worse. Mulin was set in China, Aladdin was set in Arabia(Fictional Agraba), Lilo and Stitch was set in Hawaii(though I've never seen it) that was puposely done that way so of course their going to have their respective races in each. Naruto isn't set in Japan or anywhere else for that matter, it is a world Kishi has created himself. Yes it has things Kishi is fimiliar with: Japanese meals, language and traditions, but that is what kishi knows and has incorporated in his "world".

This thread has got too much attention, and I am not going to say anything else here, it's futile when people have their minds set on an answer, because they close off to anything else. Get a better understanding of Manga, their not caucasians their manga characters.

You say that you don't feel the need to include different races in your own manga nor have you even considered race, yet your characters probably bear similar characteristics to those of your typical anime or manga characters who although may not be intended to be caucasian bear a much closer likeness to them than asian people. I think it is fairly naive to state that anime and manga characters are completely without race, there are many manga set in the world as it is today or our world in the future where supposedly asian characters possess caucasian characteristics are you trying to say that race doesn't exist in these although fictional real-world scenarios.
I myself am also in the process of of creating a comic book with influences from both manga and American comic books and in my character design have mad sure to include people of all races and cultural backgrounds in my main cast and recurring characters as is the case in real life.
It is obvious that Naruto characters should be asian in appearance as their culture is notably asian yet many of the characters have very few characteristics in common with asian people.

MegaX
December 11, 2007, 07:36 PM
My only fear, is that people will become so bogged down with including every single race and ethnic group and representing them in a positive counter-stereotypical role that they won't even find the time to tell a story. I'm not saying that being multiracial is wrong, just that it isn't the end-all.

gdupninja
December 11, 2007, 07:42 PM
True. You have a good point cause in a story you can whine about how the characters look all you want but what really matters is how they interact with each other, their environment and how they are used to tell the story. Good point MegaX

radical3113
December 11, 2007, 07:55 PM
warbandit66 you are saint *bows down in respect*
shit every ones making a manga and dont want me to know about it lol.

@MegaX true but look how disney did it with Aladdin,Pocahontas,mulan,lilo 'n' stich, they based the story there, so didnt need to include too many races. but i mean two or three separate races is quite alright. ive never heard any one call kubo a racist becuase a black character i bleach is with the bad guys. its only fiction.

@gdupninja "how they are used to tell the story" yup i guess thats pretty much the point if they actually contribute to the storyline in any significant way is a start at least.

Daedalus75204
December 11, 2007, 10:33 PM
Base your main character off me. A Puerto Rican kid named Pedro who doesn't speak Spanish. Alright ill stop. Anyway Like Radical said the mangaka intended to drawn them human and intended to draw them a certain way, with a certain skin color, facial feature whatever. In Naruto I can understand because it seems like Miyamoto has made everyone except for maybe Kisame whos a damn shark, Asian. In bleach there is a mexican, and a few other dark skinned characters but in Naruto everyone except for Ten-Ten, Guy and Lee all have Japanease names and everyone is basically the same ethnicity. Thats how I see it. It's not set in Japan or anything so I dont see why he can add another character with different colored skin.

I was with you up to a point..how did Kishimoto make everyone Asian???? You're being caught in the same level of abject ignorance as the people who believe that grey colored characters in manga are meant to reflect other races or that Naruto who has blond hair, blue eyes in the face of so many characters who have tannish to pale skin BLACK HAIR, specific eye slants like the roughly 90% other Naruto characters (Asuma, Ten Ten, Rock Lee, Sasuke, Neji, Choji (who clearly has colored hair but very Japanese facial features).

Come off it...Kishimoto has already said he based Naruto on a white kid and Sakura off of a British girl (WTF??) So stop the ignorance..you were so right to complain about making manga characters who 'look like you' and then kill it with justifying why characters don't look like you (they are all the same ethnicity???---since when did Japanese names on clearly white people make white people asian or asian white?)
[hr]

My only fear, is that people will become so bogged down with including every single race and ethnic group and representing them in a positive counter-stereotypical role that they won't even find the time to tell a story. I'm not saying that being multiracial is wrong, just that it isn't the end-all.

And I'm only saying that it's thinking like that that allows people who are minorities, women and or different socio economic and/or sexual orientation to be discriminated against. What I always find funny when speaking with white people about Race Matters is how they do not argue against their being better representation in entertainment but that the INCONVENIENCE of it is a bit much.

Well, Radical and I have said consistently from the get go if the roles were reveresed and your little brother/ sister and/or kids were into something with the economic weight of Naruto..the $50 videogames, the lots of various $10 toys, the $25 t-shirts and so on..and not one of them featured a character who looked like you but were all black or puerto rican I bet most white people would completely have a damn fit at the perceived racism going on with the work..and since African American culture touches on so much of world culture as it is--in music, movies, fashion, tv, technology it is a bit of a shame that AA culture has to be devalued because it's just too much work to put other cultures in a work.

You don't complain when Kishimoto draws Shark people, white people,. nine tail fox demons, fat women, japanese diverse characters in the hundreds, Konoha, summons creaturs, the sound four curse seal mode...with all of that creativity..it's too much work to draw blacks, indians and latinos??? R u serious???
[hr]
I promised I wouldn't respond but this thing is full of so much inner hatred that I couldn't let this go for all of the minorities in america and beyond who read and love naruto like the rest of us..come on this board and have to be insulted for simply asking why there is not better representation. If I didn't respond those people may read your post..feel the ignorant hostility and run away in horror.

Let's work.


In anime/manga their can be no such thing as race, if no emphesis is put on what race they are, you can't just assume their caucasians or even humans, though some writers would assume you would think their humans.
Since when are anime/manga characters caucasian anyway, you assume to much, nobody from Naruto looks like any caucasian I have ever met.

<Daed> Just ignorant. I bet Kishame doesn't look like a shark to you in naruto? Does Batman look Black to you or like a huge Bat? How do you expect to come on here and say something deep (which I think you intended to do) and start of with something so strange that you lose any sense of respect off the bat? Since you think Naruto is 'no race' and maybe not even human..then perhaps we should disregard some of what else you say because honestly why would you care what they are? They could have african features, indian features and so on...they're just not from earth.<daed>

If you read my post carefully, I've basically explained this but I'll go more in-depth.

<Daed> No you didn't..but let's go along nonetheless<daed>

When manga origainated it probaably did get some of it's inspiration from western culture(Mickey Mouse and what not) but it kept evolving into what it is right now.

<yes--it's inspiration by all accounts including tezuka (look him up) came from Disney--by your logic..the anime should actually feature talking cats and dogs then..shit..you could be RIGHT! Non--humans in manga/anime--but wait....<daed>

I would think,as I have myself, he was inspired as a kid to draw the way he does now by artist he admired, this is how all mangaka start out, Kubo has a fascination with drawing different race/color and clothing designs, that's why you see that in his anime,It's not because he's not a racist or he wants to satisfy anybody, it's because he was inspired at a young age to do say and it helps to tell his story. Kishi drawing color people wouldn't help his story and it wouldn't in mine either, that's why I didn't include it (or even thought of race at all for that matter).

<daed> He was inspired as a kid...you don't have to think it. 1st of all..here is one complaint I have with a few of you who come on this thread and criticize the rest of us. DO YOU READ MANGA?? DO YOU READ NARUTO?? DO YOU READ THE BIOS OF NARUTO?? Maybe less scanlation and more actually buying the manga and then you can read the actual mini-interviews with the creators and LEARN SOMETHING. Kishimoto did indeed have a fan favorite-- his name was Toriyama--he created Drgonball--a manga featuring NON-HUMAN and very JAPANESE looking characters as the main characters. Not Blond hair blue eyed kids but usually short, all black hair (except bulma who isn't a main character). Secondly, NO ONE HAS SAID KISHIMOTO IS A RACIST. Racist tendencies do not make you racist but they are sad. That Kishimoto looked at his work and figured that his main character must look white and didn't think to add in any other races is a form of discrimnation. He doesn't find blacks, latinos or indians to be of consequence. I work in entertainment..if blacks, indians and latinos stopped buying his manga..he'd be looking like One Piece right about now..decent hit..but certainly not a BILLION Dollar property. Now..as for you-- YOU ARE CREATING A MANGA????? If they don't have talking chairs and teapot that sings and only have white characters..please give me the name of it so I can avoid it like the plague.<daed>

The reason I'm saying all this is because I to have no colored people in my manga and I'm definately not a racist, so I can see how many mangaka including Masashi Kishimoto aren't as well.And to say because statistics say this, Kishi's a racist is nonesense , and throwing Disney movies in the arguement is worse. Mulin was set in China, Aladdin was set in Arabia(Fictional Agraba), Lilo and Stitch was set in Hawaii(though I've never seen it) that was puposely done that way so of course their going to have their respective races in each. Naruto isn't set in Japan or anywhere else for that matter, it is a world Kishi has created himself. Yes it has things Kishi is fimiliar with: Japanese meals, language and traditions, but that is what kishi knows and has incorporated in his "world".

<Daed> You don't have to feel like a racist but if your actions exclude others because of their race or of your feeling that your own and others (I wonder if your manga will have asian looking and white characters -- just no one else huh?) are more important that some cultures then-not a racist but certainly are practicing discrimination. I don't care about where Disney is set---as Radical said..they go out of their way to make work beloved around the world by setting people/ characters/ voices of various cultures in all of their works. And we know for certain that Disney films on their worst day outgross naruto as a whole so maybe this INCLUSION thing is financially a good thing too. <daed>

This thread has got too much attention, and I am not going to say anything else here, it's futile when people have their minds set on an answer, because they close off to anything else. Get a better understanding of Manga, their not caucasians their manga characters.

<daed> It's gotten the right amount of attention...because clearly there are many fans of various ethnicities who enjoy Naruto and yet find it inconcievable that the work doesn't feature minorities. What I think is hilarious is that when the movie gets made (and you know it will) WATCH HOW QUICKLY..HOLLYWOOD SAYS..YEAH THANKS JAPANESE GUY..BUT THIS AMERICA AND WE NEED SOME BLACK, LATINOS IN HERE SO LET'S START CHANGING GAARA, TEN TEN, ROCK LEE AND OTHERS INTO MINORITIES. It's crazy that so many of you live in a colorblind or a one color world. <daed>

SOCKSnTHONGS
December 12, 2007, 02:11 AM
i would highly doubt there is a reason behind the fact that the naruto world has yet to reveal a person of certain skin colour. maybe kishi just wanted those characters to be those colours

Daedalus75204
December 12, 2007, 02:27 AM
i would highly doubt there is a reason behind the fact that the naruto world has yet to reveal a person of certain skin colour. maybe kishi just wanted those characters to be those colours

As this post has shown many times..we can all agree to disagree. I base mine on the logic of what has been made clear by Kishi in written comments and in the work itself. He's chosen to make white people, shark people and others and has clearly not for indian, latino or african american. Whether he is an absolute racist is one thing but the fact that he clearly chose white people and asian and disregarded everyone else seems quite obvious that he does not respect his total fanbase.

I could be proven wrong in a year..Lucas went through same thing wiht inital star wars--but the idea that you can 'highly doubt' something with zero facts is just not substantial to me.

MegaX
December 12, 2007, 03:03 AM
I'd appreciate you not telling me how I would feel if the roles were reversed. Apart from being entirely incorrect, it's also presumptuous.

Daedalus75204
December 12, 2007, 03:16 AM
I'd appreciate you not telling me how I would feel if the roles were reversed. Apart from being entirely incorrect, it's also presumptuous.

You didn't answer any of the points I raised about your fear being unfounded in the wake of a fantasy world where Kishi is inconvenienced by putting in a cast of hundreds, summons monsters, well designed city and so on.

From that standpoint except for assuming you're not a minority I fail to see the presumption nor factual inaccuracy. Would you like to amend your earlier statements?

MegaX
December 12, 2007, 03:30 AM
You didn't answer any of the points I raised about your fear being unfounded in the wake of a fantasy world where Kishi is inconvenienced by putting in a cast of hundreds, summons monsters, well designed city and so on.

From that standpoint except for assuming you're not a minority I fail to see the presumption nor factual inaccuracy. Would you like to amend your earlier statements?

No I would not. You claimed that I would feel differently if the shoe was on the other foot. I said I would not. In your above quote, that my statement regarding your statement about my feelings was wrong, your quote seems to indicate that rather, I am wrong in regards to my own feelings. Unless there is a misunderstanding.

Simply put, I don't think the presence or absence of minorities in a work of fiction is really that significant. And the sentiments expressed by a few come off as sounding like the proper focus to have equal represenation for all, which I feel may possibly divert time and attention away from the plot. I'm not saying it's wrong or that it should be discouraged, but I'm skeptical that it should be pushed as the right way to do things.

Daedalus75204
December 12, 2007, 04:10 AM
No I would not. You claimed that I would feel differently if the shoe was on the other foot. I said I would not. In your above quote, that my statement regarding your statement about my feelings was wrong, your quote seems to indicate that rather, I am wrong in regards to my own feelings. Unless there is a misunderstanding.

Simply put, I don't think the presence or absence of minorities in a work of fiction is really that significant. And the sentiments expressed by a few come off as sounding like the proper focus to have equal represenation for all, which I feel may possibly divert time and attention away from the plot. I'm not saying it's wrong or that it should be discouraged, but I'm skeptical that it should be pushed as the right way to do things.

Well Mega, I can't withdraw my statements. We find ourselves at an impasse. Believe it or not, I respect your beliefs..I just don't agree with them. I think any fiction--be it Seinfeld, Good Times, Final Fantasy and/or Paddington Bear OWE it to the fanbase they've cultivated to show a world that is representative of us all--not a world that shows only that which they want to show. The respect for a TRUE vision of the world (fantasy notwithstanding) is important in that these people are not saying (hell all of you critics FIND ME A QUOTE FROM A MANGAKA THAT SAYS DIFFERENT) I'm creating work ONLY for a Japanese/ White audience...if they were..then I Radical and millions of other fans including Koreans, Indians and so on..would say..peace to naruto. He's not saying that---Viz and Shueisha DAMN SURE are not advocating that to my outrage is justified. He wants my money but doesn't feel the need to show people like me in his work. It's not art unless he doesn't care about getting paid..but it is entertainment..and for that I have every right and he has every responsibility to demand that the work does both.

So again, I am quite confident that my 'presumption' is dead on. Because I have yet to hear from a non-minority if A> Kishimoto has stated that he doesn't want other races within. B. That if the roles were reversed that non-minorities would not question it. C. Why not having minorities as characters is the 'wrong' thing to do and/or a time consuming act?

I'm creating manga and the main characters are latino and african american..that said, white people do not magically disappear from the world (fantasy world) in my manga. Why is this so hard for you to figure out?

MegaX
December 12, 2007, 04:24 AM
I'm actually right about to go to sleep, so I can't address the bulk of your statement. However, I actually do believe that you respect my beliefs, as I respect yours. While we may be at an impasse, I believe that--after I make my full response of course--we may both walk away cordially. Even so, I fear I might not quite be expressing myself well and fully.

gdupninja
December 12, 2007, 04:00 PM
I was with you up to a point..how did Kishimoto make everyone Asian???? You're being caught in the same level of abject ignorance as the people who believe that grey colored characters in manga are meant to reflect other races or that Naruto who has blond hair, blue eyes in the face of so many characters who have tannish to pale skin BLACK HAIR, specific eye slants like the roughly 90% other Naruto characters (Asuma, Ten Ten, Rock Lee, Sasuke, Neji, Choji (who clearly has colored hair but very Japanese facial features).

Come off it...Kishimoto has already said he based Naruto on a white kid and Sakura off of a British girl (WTF??) So stop the ignorance..you were so right to complain about making manga characters who 'look like you' and then kill it with justifying why characters don't look like you (they are all the same ethnicity???---since when did Japanese names on clearly white people make white people asian or asian white?)
<hr noshade size="1">


And I'm only saying that it's thinking like that that allows people who are minorities, women and or different socio economic and/or sexual orientation to be discriminated against. What I always find funny when speaking with white people about Race Matters is how they do not argue against their being better representation in entertainment but that the INCONVENIENCE of it is a bit much.

Well, Radical and I have said consistently from the get go if the roles were reveresed and your little brother/ sister and/or kids were into something with the economic weight of Naruto..the $50 videogames, the lots of various $10 toys, the $25 t-shirts and so on..and not one of them featured a character who looked like you but were all black or puerto rican I bet most white people would completely have a damn fit at the perceived racism going on with the work..and since African American culture touches on so much of world culture as it is--in music, movies, fashion, tv, technology it is a bit of a shame that AA culture has to be devalued because it's just too much work to put other cultures in a work.

You don't complain when Kishimoto draws Shark people, white people,. nine tail fox demons, fat women, japanese diverse characters in the hundreds, Konoha, summons creaturs, the sound four curse seal mode...with all of that creativity..it's too much work to draw blacks, indians and latinos??? R u serious???
<hr noshade size="1">
I promised I wouldn't respond but this thing is full of so much inner hatred that I couldn't let this go for all of the minorities in america and beyond who read and love naruto like the rest of us..come on this board and have to be insulted for simply asking why there is not better representation. If I didn't respond those people may read your post..feel the ignorant hostility and run away in horror.

Let's work.



<daed> It's gotten the right amount of attention...because clearly there are many fans of various ethnicities who enjoy Naruto and yet find it inconcievable that the work doesn't feature minorities. What I think is hilarious is that when the movie gets made (and you know it will) WATCH HOW QUICKLY..HOLLYWOOD SAYS..YEAH THANKS JAPANESE GUY..BUT THIS AMERICA AND WE NEED SOME BLACK, LATINOS IN HERE SO LET'S START CHANGING GAARA, TEN TEN, ROCK LEE AND OTHERS INTO MINORITIES. It's crazy that so many of you live in a colorblind or a one color world. <daed>


Im not gonna argue with you and flame and stuff because that would be kinda pointless and id get in trouble. To be honest with you not having a spanish person in naruto hasn't bothered me at all. I was only talking about the ethnicity thing because i can see where others are coming from. Also i didn't appreciate you calling me ignorant because im not dumb and i never tryed to afend you or anything. When I was talking about a Spanish character based off me I was joking because one of the other guys said he was writing a manga with a spanish dude in it.

nahkampfbiber
December 12, 2007, 04:55 PM
The question is rather: Why should he include blacks, indians or latinos? Why not Mongolians, Kaukasians, Aborigines, Moors, Berbers, Turks, Zulus, Indios, Inuit etc...
You simply can't put everyone in it.

So when it was up to Kishimoto to choose which ethnic groups to include, he simply took the those groups, that are most common in Japan. Chinese and Koreans. Look at Team Gai and there you have them.
Why should he choose the groups most common in America? Blacks or Latinos?
Why should he choose those most common in Europe? Turks, Pakistani, North Africans?

jerger
December 12, 2007, 05:34 PM
as a history teacher....

1. its a japanese show, less then 1% of the people in japan are black, they are not trying to reach a "targeted audiance" like many american shows fake (WB can do this horribly).

2. there is relations between chinese names (ten-ten) and japanese (all the characters have japanese names, almost all, ten-ten is an exception... look at her dress as well)

3. there never was a black ninja, except maybe an "american ninja" sequal

4. the author is trying to revive japanese folklore, not african

5. its not racist... at all. many japanese people view themselves as a creamier shade of white... in the 1800's when americans were envoying to japan... americans often made fun of japanese as "white"... even though they were not. so "White" which you might refer to today, which is a termi find lame and ignorant (for those who say it and are it)... is what they called japanese first!

radical3113
December 12, 2007, 05:53 PM
i dont want to be rude to you jerger but you've jumped in this thread at post #131, everything you've said has already been touched upon. IN DETAIL. i think your the 5th/6th (maybe) person whose done this, go back and read the thread, other wise you will be posting repeated questions. fanx.cool

warbandit66
December 12, 2007, 05:54 PM
Yes but there never was a caucasian/ blond with blue eyes ninja, nor a blue ninja, nor a ninja that could morph into a monster, nor a ninja that could manipulate the elements so why should black ninjas not be included?

And yes the author is trying to revive Japanese folklore, so why do the bulk of the characters appear caucasian?

What you are saying doesn't actually justify much.

MegaX
December 12, 2007, 06:26 PM
Yes but there never was a caucasian/ blond with blue eyes ninja, nor a blue ninja, nor a ninja that could morph into a monster, nor a ninja that could manipulate the elements so why should black ninjas not be included?

And yes the author is trying to revive Japanese folklore, so why do the bulk of the characters appear caucasian?

What you are saying doesn't actually justify much.

The bulk? Very few of the characters really look Caucasian.

Daedalus75204
December 12, 2007, 06:35 PM
as a history teacher....

<Daed> Great..I'll retort as a VP in the Entertainment Business.

1. its a japanese show, less then 1% of the people in japan are black, they are not trying to reach a "targeted audiance" like many american shows fake (WB can do this horribly).

<daed> Because the Manga industry is in a sharp decline in Japan..has been for a few years as is anime..the revenue growth that makes these guys rich is coming from new markets--US, Brazil, UK and so on. If you truly want to impress me..tell me the % of White people in Japan? Once you get that it's also very low..then my question as to how the makeup of a Japanese product that is getting a large % of its' revenue from an international and multiculural consumer base 'decides' to represent one small segment over another. <Daed>

2. there is relations between chinese names (ten-ten) and japanese (all the characters have japanese names, almost all, ten-ten is an exception... look at her dress as well)

<Daed> You are absolutely right. I'm not arguing for Chinese but for African, African American, Indian, Latino and so on. <daed>


3. there never was a black ninja, except maybe an "american ninja" sequal

<daed> That's great facts from a history teacher..can you name for that famous WHITE ninja--NEVERMIND--I FOUND IT!!! -
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y86/vivalabrando/eng_beverly_hills_ninja.jpg

<Daed>

4. the author is trying to revive japanese folklore, not african

<daed> He's reviving it with a white character? <daed>

5. its not racist... at all. many japanese people view themselves as a creamier shade of white... in the 1800's when americans were envoying to japan... americans often made fun of japanese as "white"... even though they were not. so "White" which you might refer to today, which is a termi find lame and ignorant (for those who say it and are it)... is what they called japanese first!

<daed> It's not for me to decide if it's racist and based on your previous comments it's not yours either since you claim to make distinctions of black ninjas affecting fictional worlds or of a ninja saga about a 13 yo white kid who can summon toads and how that is resurrecting japanese culture.

You've been a big help. <daed>

Daedalus75204
December 12, 2007, 06:39 PM
i dont want to be rude to you jerger but you've jumped in this thread at post #131, everything you've said has already been touched upon. IN DETAIL. i think your the 5th/6th (maybe) person whose done this, go back and read the thread, other wise you will be posting repeated questions. fanx.cool

Radical..don't stress yourself. This is the sad aspect of relations whenever Race is the subject..one group is vocal for better representation, one group is vocal about no more representation and a much larger group drowns out both speaking about nothing of any importance. It's screwed up but it is typical and it's why this naruto thread has gone on for 9+ pages.

That said, I do have a belief that Viz, maybe Shueisha and certainly some manga/ naruto fans are reading this and are atleast THINKING about it and that's a small step forward.

ornis
December 12, 2007, 10:40 PM
One thing I'm having a problem with is how this discussion can lead to assumptions about Kishimoto's character. Does anyone here actually know why he chose not to include Africans, Canadians, Columbians, Hawaiians, Indians, etc. in Naruto?

Does anyone know why Naruto is Blonde light-skinned, quite brash, and headstrong?


If I created a world that recycles the traditional concept of a ninja it would have ended up just like all the other ninja manga. I wanted to create a ninja world with a twist, something fresh, so I completely threw out the preconceived notions of what a ninja should be like. Besides, Naruto is a blond-haired ninja wearing yellow clothing, who is supposed to be part of a secret intelligence gathering organization.

-Masashi Kishimoto

Isn't there a chance that Kishimoto chose to have such a main character merely to shake up the traditional perception of a ninja to not only accentuate the reality, that he serves us a fantasy, but also because Kishimoto wanted something that stood out? Frankly, he may have at once went with a white-skinned, blonde-haired, loud kid to accomplish his goal.

If by chance he chose an African main-character to twist up tradition but chose to have only one or two other non-light-skinned people accompany him (Naruto's parents), what would be the gripe then?

When we go to Kishimoto's comments, one of his goals was to be different and focus on that difference with a spotlight on an atypical ninja playing the main character. Why does Naruto have to be dark-skinned for this to be accomplished and why must there be a mesh of races in Naruto to achieve this goal in particular? But there are other purposes---Kishi had different goals in mind. Yet, if he can accomplish them in the way(s) he has and still build interest, he is at first meeting his aims, satisfying his interest---then presenting it to see if it succeeds in attracting others.

Can we not make our questioning of Kishi's act an ego-centric affair? Perhaps we should make our own manga's if we intend to address the lack of coverage many races are getting via the medium, why not do like Daedalus? But how can we call that Kishi's goal? What are we blaming him for?

A bit of our self-interest may have to be ignored to enjoy this medium for what it is. That's what sacrifices. Who are we to define Kishi's intent? Though we may not do this outright we surely focus on what seems to be missing.... was the missing piece meant to be anyway? I merely explore possible reasons for Kishi's effect. If Kishi's work could fail because of its supposed, approximate, or would-be racist undertones, we'd make sense to argue the point... but are we sure this is a racist or highly partial exposition... that will consequently fail, too? Yes, many manga fail to encompass numerous races in their stories or at least base fictional races off of many we have in reality. Maybe Kishi could've chose to model Sakura after a Dominican Republican, maybe, but if he got his job done by painting Sakura after a strawberry-blonde, light-skinned girl how can we call it an unfair approach to featuring races, realizing that his goals are not exactly yours or mine; and when we embrace his work, are we at once digging to find a multicultural smorgasbord... is that the purpose, or at least one of the most important?

Can we not call ourselves representatively slighted all because we help reduce a fictional premise to a preclusion of races and therefore claim certain manga unjust since a fair share of cultures are out of the picture? Why in the world is "everything about race"?

If you work well as a grey-skinned person and a pale-skinned person who has your same character is featured in a movie, can you not feel represented?

Say that person gets treated like you do: the guy or gal is harassed, but the experience that person has involves mocks about his/her straight hair, wearing a shirt inside out, and choosing to have a casual dialect when a formal one is the norm.

But you are hassled for curly-hair, wearing a full outfit tie-dyed, and choosing to refine your dialect when ignoring trained voices is the norm. Why must you feel different if you share the same passion as that other person? WTH is with this reproach of "that's not me"!?

I'm not saying you feel so, but if you do... WHAT!? If one experience causes you to win and another causes another person to win at the same task, why not learn about significant differences in order to see how they run in probability, and use the best mode according to the right circumstance for each? You could just forget about the shirts and colors that seem to tell them apart.

kyuubifrique
December 31, 2007, 02:31 PM
its a fact that art imitates life to some degree. because i am from a cosmoplotan country, i have a lot different ppl around me so that if i were into manga/comics the ppl i would have in my manga/comics would be ppl representing a wider variety of ppl. in japan,it is quite common for a person to dye their hair anything from boring blonde to electric purple (my fave). coloured contacts are quite the norm there too, so it is just a representation of what surrounds Kishi. I have a black friend who went to Japan and they were in awe of him because of how different he was. they may get a lot of white tourists, but black ppl are not quite so common in Japan

radical3113
January 02, 2008, 01:32 PM
ornis posted this:


If I created a world that recycles the traditional concept of a ninja it would have ended up just like all the other ninja manga. I wanted to create a ninja world with a twist, something fresh, so I completely threw out the preconceived notions of what a ninja should be like. Besides, Naruto is a blond-haired ninja wearing yellow clothing, who is supposed to be part of a secret intelligence gathering organization.
-Masashi Kishimoto

but it dosent mean anything, certinatly means nothing about ethnicity.
i know kishi is a god for some ppl here and his word is final , but what did he actually say?
"If I created a world that recycles the traditional concept of a ninja it would have ended up just like all the other ninja manga."
non of the others are ethnically balanced and neither is naruto, so how is it not traditional?
not to mention naruto is very traditional indeed i will explain later.

"I wanted to create a ninja world with a twist, something fresh, so I completely threw out the preconceived notions of what a ninja should be like."
-what are the preconceived notions of what a ninja should be like? before naruto if someone had said "ninja" what would you think of? a japanese guy who hides his face? wears dark clothing? throws ninja stars? and very dangerous? sounds like kakashi to me, not to mention many others. but am i being biased? after all our preconceived notions of ninjas had nothing to do with magical powers.............

-......well not if you lived in japan. its common for a japanese person to have heard of the Nine Finger Cuts or the KUJI IN and KUJI KIRI. these Nine Finger Cuts were hand seals introduced by Tantric Buddhists which gave ninjas mystical powers. so what exactly are these preconceived notions that kishi threw out?


"Besides, Naruto is a blond-haired ninja wearing yellow clothing, who is supposed to be part of a secret intelligence gathering organization."
-blonde ninjas wearing yellow clothing, well its not preconceived is it? but its also not "something fresh" is it ? Caucasian main characters with cosplay-able clothing isnt exactly out of the ordinary when it comes to manga is it? almost every manga character in almost every manga is Caucasian, naruto being blonde dosent really mean anything. if i wanted to throw out the preconceived notions of a ninja id make him come from ...errr....lets say.....england. he would drink loads of tea, eat crumpets, beat people over the head with copies of Shakespeare, it would be a shit manga, but it would definitely throw out all preconceived notions of a ninja wouldnt it?(the example is exaggerated but still true)

-its obvious that this was an interview puppeteered by kishis publicist, and before you say he dosent have one, this guy is worth almost a billion dollars believe me he has one.

apart from snazzy clothing and imaginative jutsus, naruto is not really very fresh and new throwing out all preconceived notions of a ninja, why the hell would i say something like that?
what dose naruto have that make it different , that make it great , that make it what it is?
-nice "copy at home" hand gestures
-mythical creatures
-jutsus/bloodline limits
-sanin (whom the three main characters are mirrored from)

these are the legs naruto stands on , everything else is changeable , but not these. but, are any of them fresh and new throwing out all preconceived notions?
-the hand gestures i explained(briefly) earlier are derived from the Nine Finger Cuts or the KUJI IN and KUJI KIRI, so thats not really fresh and new.
-the mythical creatures are mostly taken from japanese folklores even the nine tails was in pokemon.so thats not really fresh and new.
-the jutsus and bloodline limits, the most famous sharingan/byakugan and its story are way too obviously based on the japanese tengu folklore. peins six eyes are also derived from the budhists six gates something or other, i forget. i remember reading about the chidori on a website, its based on some bird, but i cant remember so i wont add it, i hope most of the jutsus come from kishis own imagination, but you cant rule out them being based once again on fokelore.so thats not really fresh and new.
- the sanin are based on fokelore even their names and their summons are exact to the folk tales, all the way down to jiraiyas white hair (google it or wiki it, and see how similar this one is), and remember these are what the main characters are based on. so thats not really fresh and new

-this is probably why naruto is not really that famous in japan,where its sales are falling.
despite all this , i still enjoy it and i still read it, and watch the anime and buy the games.

-my point being, that quote of kishi means nothing towards ethnicity, and based on what ive just said it dosent even really make much sense. this interview looks suspiciously like what all people do when they are trying to sell something: say what you wanna hear.
like i said kishi is a god to some people here , but all the things i mentioned he drew/wrote about them not me , he knows exactly where he got it from , but then says its new and fresh..............yeh. naruto isnt ethnically balanced because, most other mangas arent but do very well , so it works on a basis of " if its not broke dont fix it" which is sad and un-inventive but true.

ornis
January 06, 2008, 05:00 AM
Kishi may have no intention to concern himself with ethnicity to showcase a change in the genre. There may be no intent to switch from manga that portrays, in certain eyes, chiefly Caucasians, which leaves our affected view of the dearth of certain "colors of skin" to be a preoccupation with nothing out-right important to Kishi's manga. Was that his intent? Does it have to be? Will he make his artistic statement and money by making a rich cultural portrayal of Indians, Africans, non-Caucasians/fair-skins-of -"whitish"-regions? Could he? Does he have to? Did he want to?

If he wants to portray some sense of whites in his manga, so be it; if he wants to portray fair-skinned people acting like certain races though not definitely of those races, why he does it can't be definitively said to have been "puppeteered" by his publicist. Furthermore, "his reason" isn't an automatic sham even if it appears obvious. Where's your proof?

This has much to do with ethnicity because Kishi's commentary may sound unwholesome but it doesn't explicitly offer an ethnic aim. Perhaps ethnicity, when it comes to Naruto, the character, can not be limited to our expectations for his character, our perceptions of what he could define or represent. Even if Kishi said Naruto was supposed to be of a certain ethnicity that isn't of any minority, Naruto is now in an Asian themed world and one fictiously relevant to ours; therein his perhaps stereotypical conveyance of what certain ethnicity he embodies may not have the goal to make pretty the image of his race, what it ought to be to beautify its reality. How is that sad? ...Perchance where we may misalign our sights on a confusion of intentions. Did Kishi ever want to serve any one race with an honest portrayal of a race's various spices?

This is not a slice of life manga... though it doesn't have to be to work like one.... If Naruto is white, why couldn't he be Nordic? What makes a Nordic, Nordic? Couldn't he fail to be the right Nordic to you though, or to me? With generous research if either of us aren't solidly familiar with the Nordic lifestyle, we could determine what makes a Nordic, Nordic, to an objective extent, but to throw our subjectivity out about the Nordic lifestyle, we'd be partial to our own. In a manner that we whether by one or more cultures have found way to making our views something shapely unique to each of us.

Maybe Naruto's his own portrait of Naruto and the racial accent tends to wane. He's a teen and he's doing what teens of different ethnicities may do, go out loud. This has no care for ninja as a static definition but as a part of the overtly candid, go-getter, persona that Naruto makes his own, whether or not it's shared to a point with real people. For certainly, he doesn't define anyone but the character in the manga; like-minded, be anyone else, they aren't fully the Naruto in Kishi's work. (Saying they to not be gender specific) They may feel represented but the person is not Naruto. Just as Afro Samurai isn't a real life person. Just as he doesn't portray a real life person. So how can he be the actual figure of white? White can be mannered, ADHD, passive, passive-aggressive, blue-collar, white-collar, South African, American, bratish, modest.... Naruto is just Naruto.

And this work is Kishi's, done differently well.

Kishi has his imaginative flair in how he gives ancient myths and folktales a spin, but he has his perhaps hypocritical goal to make a non-recycled manga---because he has used motifs and cues of age-old lore to tell his tale. Good point there, Rad. But he's only a hypocrite if we can be so critical to think not-recycling means, say, a complete European (as you have it) needs to be a ninja for Naruto. Or grand twists on myths are issued extensively, or one comes about overtime.... What Kishi has is an honestly simple way of detouring from an idea of commonplace ninja. When you think of the typical ninja's appearance, would a blond haired ninja come to mind? Naruto is one as the main character of a manga shuffling with the idea of "ninja". Don't ninja's recall a figure striking from the depths of stealth or the night? Did they flaunt a bush of yellow hair, a gleam of blue eyes, and purposely work rambunctiously? Did they use surreal clones to surprise opponents? Maybe it seems biased to think ninja appear/act only one way, but they wouldn't run around with magical clones in tow.

There are diversions in Naruto from the usual ninja, maybe not enough for everyone, but they exist. If Kishi just said whatever by the hand of the publicist, it's sad, petty, but because there isn't some strong non-recycling apparent doesn't mean there has to be for Naruto to sell "non-recycled", not-so-usual; whether or not they are Kishi's words, Naruto isn't the usual point made about ninja--he doesn't just simulate one; while being specifically Naruto, he contorts the image and feel of the ninja ideal that you may call stereotypical.

But why critique how ethnicity seems short-handed in an effort to reason how much innovation is missing from the manga and how this could have been "manga's generic leap from imitating certain races only"? I can't find my intake of innovation to really have just a taste for that. I don't say anyone else does either. I just ask, "Is innovation really gone?" What thrill does the public want, and how are they getting it? Is Naruto suffering from any desire where change is compulsory, where Naruto is stale enough to ultimately flop?


Take that if we look at the manga's newest page as if it's new, we don't have to be disappointed. We could appoint ourselves with some rendezvous with nouveau. Plan to be awed by a special treat that's expectantly atypical. How come? Why meet the future as such? We can forgo the reality which is chalked up with expectation. Yeah, just one: innovation is a mother, and we pine for maternal figurines. But mothers dance motherly. Predict as we may, they change for the sake of mothering, and that point reaches a stale length when the mother is done or the attachment goes lame.... Even both. So what could we do? We could redefine the innovation... turn the perceived "waning chum", that used to be so enticing, anew. Turn the usual, fresh. Why not find more things special about the Naruto we know too well? Though no one has to.

Vercingetorix8
August 05, 2008, 05:39 PM
I first want to say thank you to ornis and MegaX for bringing some fresh air into this stale debate. This thread has been getting old and has been dominated by daedalus75204 and radical3113. There are only 141 posts thus far and both of them have written over 1/3 to nearly 1/2. Length wise, they've done even more. This is ridiculous.

As deadalus mentioned earlier:
"The respect for a TRUE vision of the world (fantasy notwithstanding) is important in that these people are not saying... I'm creating work ONLY for a Japanese/ White audience...if they were..then I Radical and millions of other fans including Koreans, Indians and so on..would say..peace to naruto."

How is it that the two people who have been dominating the discussion can suddenly say they speak for millions? Can other people speak up?

Furthermore, the talk has been getting increasingly disrespectful, particularly with radical3113 shutting everyone's views down by telling them to refer to previous posts. This thread may only be 10 pages long, but nearly every post is long and intricate. It took myself over 5 hours to read through it today and I am sure most people don't want to waste their days similarly. Furthermore, this is not court and we do not need to refer to precedent and treat deadalus75204's earlier comments (especially #50) as some commandment handed down by god.Yes he has lived in Japan and worked in the entertainment industry. Good, I will fully acknowledge that he has more experience and wisdom on the topic. That doesn't make him infallible or just plain wrongheaded on some issue and does not give him the right to talk down to others and say that they are just "offering excuses" when they may be valid points. As he stated earlier:

"Radical..don't stress yourself. This is the sad aspect of relations whenever Race is the subject..one group is vocal for better representation, one group is vocal about no more representation and a much larger group drowns out both speaking about nothing of any importance."

"Nothing of any importance"? Real respectful to others. I wish that you would go back and read your earlier entries, because you were a lot better debater then and not stuck in some orthodox worldview immune from other ideas like now.

But back on topic! I am not going to talk too much about ethnicity in Naruto today as I feel that others have given excellent reasons for why black people may be excluded: lack of personal experience (iffy, but not utterly discountable); fear that he might not do justice to a character/get targeted; and to avoid cluttering an action story about personal relationships and decisions. I feel that this last point is especially accuarate. This is not a social commentary and there is no reason why he has to make it one.

Does he want to earn a living and does he pander somewhat? Sure
Is he an utter sell out and does he need to pander to everyone? No, and we can't make him.

This is his story and his universe, not reality. What is the truth in his universe that he must pander to? America and modern day world politics does not exist in it thats for sure. Enought of this "must reflect the truth" crap. If something is fantasy part of the way, unless it acknowledges real world circumstances, it is fantasy all of the way and he doesn't need to explain crap.

Two last comments:

1)
daedalus75204's statement that ordinary japanese people are punishing mangaka and publishers for their views by not buying manga or anime anymore is misleading. He does not present any documents that examines the causes of the trend - which seeing how it is a large industry are bound to exist - but I'd be willing to bet internet piracy plays a large role. I love Naruto and think it is one of the best mangas around and will become a classic, but I'm not planning on buying all 40+ volumes anytime soon or getting a SJ subscription and saving hundreds of copies of it. Perhaps some, but Kishi will not make all he could off me.

Furthermore, nor do I believe that the differing commercial success of Naruto or One Piece is necessarily due to marketing or racial targeting. Having read both, I believe that the plotline of One Piece is simply overly repetitious and not personal enough. It has a good beginning, but the last 300+ chapters have simply been recruitment drives for the crew over and over again. The characters have not really changed psychologically or been seriously impacted by events. It wasn't until Chapter 410 or something that they began thinking, "Hey, this whole fighting thing is kind of leaving Luffy a mess. Things are getting kinda bad." Naruto has been far better than that, breaking out of the linear fight pyramid of most shonen and taking a far more personal and tortuous route where not everything comes out ok.

2)
Japanese people are certainly pro-Caucasian, but I feel that most people haven't given adequate reasons why. It was mentioned earlier that they had a self-image problem, but most people blew it off, erroneously in my view. Japanese people are not only pro-white, but view themselves as white.

Here is my take:

Before the Tokugawa era was Midieval Japan. People did not travel much. They did not take vacations as mentioned by one poster early on. Most were dirt poor subsitence farmers struggling to make ends meet. Like most people in that era in Europe, most did not travel farther than 50 miles from where they were born. China and Korea are ridiculously far away and mysterious to most. For all the influence from aborad, people were Japan-centric.

Then came the Tokugawa era and Japan was cut off from the rest of the world for several centuries. It was immune from immigration of any sort and became high homogenized. People forgot what the outside world was really like and their worldview became like fresh slates for inscription once a few generations passed.

However, when its caccoon was thrown away, it was thrown off by westerners. Moreover, when they looked around the neighborhood, all of their neighbors were taken over by westerners. China was divided by numerous powers, the French dominated South East Asia and Britain controlled India. They were strong and the Japanese thought they should be emulated. Moreover, unlike everyone else in Asia, they stayed independent. They were not weak and were thus more like the West than the East. When they first sent people abroad it was to Western states and they stayed focused on them. Throughout the 20th century, Japan was consistently focused on the West. It had a war with Russia, it tangled with the French and US over resources; none of the other Asian countries mattered. After WW2, they were occupied by the US. Their foreign policy today can still be said to be too Western oriented. The US is their only ally, and is one so strong that they need not cultivate anyone else. It was only until the 1980s when it looked like Japan might overcome the west economically was this focus shaken.

After spending the last 140 years solely focused on adapting good ideas from the West, after their unique experience in resisting imperialism, and after dominating the world economy until the rise of China in the late 1990's. When, until just recently, has it ever been good to be asian? Until now, what was there to admire? People wonder why the Japanese may consider themselves, psychologically, physically, etc, more like Westerners - who were white people, as most colored people were excluded from power until perhaps in the near future (OBama! :D) - than Asians? The problem may not be that Japanese are pro-white, but that they think of themselves as white.

Someone needs to go ask a japanese person if they think naruto, sakura, etc. is japanese. If they think so despite the physical evidence, then everything is explained. A New York Times article comments about this as well when discussing the Japanese backlash against the "Korean Wave":

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/19/international/asia/19comics.html?ei=5090&en=b0d32e601cb39284&ex=1290056400&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all

Perhaps if people looked at history, things would be a bit more apparent and this thread might be shorter.

wildG
August 05, 2008, 07:49 PM
Most mangas/manhwas follow the traditional Asian culture, i doupt you can find a black chineze or a black japanese, you only find yellow people in asia..

Forever_Melody
August 05, 2008, 09:11 PM
Well, Naruto characters are quite diversified in their own way. If it were merely supposed to represent old style Asian culture, everyone would have black hair, brown eyes and so forth. Yet the hero is blond with blue eyes...

It's all up to Kishi to write up what he wants. Different people from different cultures act differently. Maybe Kishi feels he hasn't met or delved deep enough into other ethnicities to portray them properly. I mean, he admits not being able to write females well and all the females in his series subsequently are of lower character importance(they're only there for the sake of gender diversity lol :p).

Likewise, the newest character in the series is portrayed as a colored person so seems Kishi has taken a turn on it at least.

Yondaime Uzumaki
August 05, 2008, 09:31 PM
Most mangas/manhwas follow the traditional Asian culture, i doupt you can find a black chineze or a black japanese, you only find yellow people in asia..


Have any of you actually been to Japan? Japan is highly influenced by the African American culture. This is something I've seen with my own eyes. From afros and cornrows to clothing and music, any idiot that's been there knows this. And as far as black chinese and black japanese, I literally can't count how many asians (both Japanese and Chinese) that I've been with. Everybody knows that it's easy for black dudes to get laid in Asian countries, and you would be surprised at how many black/asian people there are running around. I'm sure I have some little mixed kid in Japan as we speak.

c0nflikt
August 05, 2008, 11:14 PM
I'm a african american, and in my opinion i'm glad kishimoto has created black shinobi because he has created in naruto a world different from ours with different countrys all with shinobi clans supporting them so there should by default be a country somewhere around with dark people and shinobi and i still think kazuku was the first black not the 8tails.


On another note i believe the whirlpool country we haven't heard much about be the narutoverse's version of america, and like people have said that more international readers may make kishi consider make the different villages varying in races.

TheOneElectric
August 06, 2008, 02:39 AM
There is a black ninja in Naruto. He popped up in July. He's extremely powerful. No more details because of spoilers. Read the manga for more info.

/thread

ninjabot
August 06, 2008, 05:04 AM
I'm of afro-american decent aswell, and would love to see more black characters in manga...the thing is, american's aren't originally the target audience of manga-ka, thus, our opinions of the characters mean little until the show or manga actually starts appearing in America. By that time, it's too late to alter the canon to appeal to the masses.

Look at Code Geass: it's a show about a war that spans the entire world, including Africa and America, and we STILL haven't seen a black guy on there throughout both seasons. Why? Because the animators aren't obligated to show characters other than the ones that will draw their target audience to the product. Now, if there're black characters in Naruto, I'm all for it. But I can totally understand if there aren't, since it's a mythical world not based on ours. Africa, nor America, exist in this manga.

wildG
August 06, 2008, 05:09 AM
I'm of afro-american decent aswell, and would love to see more black characters in manga...the thing is, american's aren't originally the target audience of manga-ka, thus, our opinions of the characters mean little until the show or manga actually starts appearing in America. By that time, it's too late to alter the canon to appeal to the masses.

Look at Code Geass: it's a show about a war that spans the entire world, including Africa and America, and we STILL haven't seen a black guy on there throughout both seasons. Why? Because the animators aren't obligated to show characters other than the ones that will draw their target audience to the product. Now, if there're black characters in Naruto, I'm all for it. But I can totally understand if there aren't, since it's a mythical world not based on ours. Africa, nor America, exist in this manga.

yes afterall we can't force mashasi to put africans or even oil skinned Greeks in his manga, mangakas are making characters based on the enviroment they have grown ( Japan, USA, etc)

weixiaobao
August 06, 2008, 03:59 PM
There is a black ninja in Naruto. He popped up in July. He's extremely powerful. No more details because of spoilers. Read the manga for more info.

/thread

this is what i really angry about ... these people who accuse kishimoto of stuffs didn't even give him a chance to add a characters... wonder if they feel like a jackass now that the 8 tails appear..

bean
August 06, 2008, 04:04 PM
this is what i really angry about ... these people who accuse kishimoto of stuffs didn't even give him a chance to add a characters... wonder if they feel like a jackass now that the 8 tails appear..
yeah, I mean, it only took him how long? almost a decade? yeah, I feel like a jackass...

weixiaobao
August 06, 2008, 06:31 PM
yeah, I mean, it only took him how long? almost a decade? yeah, I feel like a jackass...


so, maybe those other villages that he didn't really mentioned full of them... and thankgosh he didn't add the 8 tails because to prove he not racist... but rather it in his story line.. he got nothing to prove to these pointless accusers... i wonder how well you do as a manga artist or author (especially when your fans talk shit about you in another language you didn't understand)..

Edit: i guess in the America culture, most people just didn't like successful human being ..

Kusachu
August 06, 2008, 07:28 PM
yes afterall we can't force mashasi to put africans or even oil skinned Greeks in his manga, mangakas are making characters based on the enviroment they have grown ( Japan, USA, etc)


I told myself I wouldn't get back into this conversation simply because it's tiring. But you've pretty much summed up what I was originally trying to say. And I've since then been to Japan and seen and experienced the culture. I was there for 10 days, visited Kobe, Osaka, Himaji, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Naruto, and the whole time I was there in these huge cities, I saw maybe 2 black people. I see a lot of people saying that Japan is influence by black culture, but that's just it, they like and are influenced by the pop culture they've seen on TV and in movies and heard in music, not experienced it for themselves. Hachibi is a shining example of this. To me, he's a stereotype, not a character.

Now, do I have as much experience with Japan as the guy who lives there? Absolutely hell no. Do I think he is wrong about the racial issue that exists? No. I was simply trying to offer another perspective, and that person replied to everyone who spoke to him as if they were a bunch of idiot bigots when they were just trying to contribute to the conversation. Do I think there is a big problem with racism in Japan? Absolutely yes. There's also a big issue with sexism, but it comes from the culture. Just like America. The difference is that America knows diversity, Japan doesn't.

◆ T.D.A ◆
August 06, 2008, 07:47 PM
yeah, I mean, it only took him how long? almost a decade? yeah, I feel like a jackass...

Actually Kishi showed us Minato's team mate who was brown/black which was quite early in the manga.

weixiaobao
August 06, 2008, 09:03 PM
"Do I think there is a big problem with racism in Japan? Absolutely yes."

this is too general, i never went to japan so i don't know about the place, but what is exactly the problem?
-the lack of understand of others' culture
-supremacy feeling from before WWII from a few indiv?
-refusing to acknowledge a race?
-even if it is, japan, i know for sure isn't in the top 5 or 10 or 15 of the most racist countries in this world... so why is it in the spot light now?

Black/Light
August 06, 2008, 09:39 PM
this is what i really angry about ... these people who accuse kishimoto of stuffs didn't even give him a chance to add a characters... wonder if they feel like a jackass now that the 8 tails appear..

NOW that this thread is back up I would like to point out that if you read some of my post here you would see that I called it when it comes to the 8 tails!

That was actually my point at some time, that he could very well make one of the important characters black (I was refering to a black 8 tails who does "caporai (not spelt right)" but he turned out to be a rapping swords master. . .).

So yeah, I actually feel very smart now (^_^).

Kusachu
August 07, 2008, 06:36 AM
"Do I think there is a big problem with racism in Japan? Absolutely yes."

this is too general, i never went to japan so i don't know about the place, but what is exactly the problem?
-the lack of understand of others' culture
-supremacy feeling from before WWII from a few indiv?
-refusing to acknowledge a race?
-even if it is, japan, i know for sure isn't in the top 5 or 10 or 15 of the most racist countries in this world... so why is it in the spot light now?

-- Yes, I think there is a lack of understanding of other cultures, but that isn't just Japan, that's everywhere.

-- Supremacy? I'm going to quote Introduction to Japanese Politics by Louis D. Hayes. He is describing the factors that make Japan such an economic powerhouse even though it lacks the resources of other highly developed nations. Note, these quotes do not come anywhere near touching the depth of his arguments, but simply state a "general consensus".

"The Japanese are ethnocentric, but the basis is not simply ethnicity or even, as with the Chinese, cultural, but rather the Japanese believe it is natural for the strong to dominate the weak. They see themselves as more able and efficient. It is 'natural' for them to be a dominant economic force since they are better at it." (Pages 8-9)

Later, further discussing how Japan's homogeneous culture plays a large role in its economic dominance, the author says, "What this homogeneity means is the absence of costly and debilitating conflicts within society. Energy is not dissipated in ethnic or linguistic quarrels." (Page 10)

This isn't to say that there are not ethnic quarrels to be had, it simply means that the gigantic majority does not trouble themselves to recognize those in the minority.

-- Refusing to knowledge a race? I don't know how you mean exactly but I'm assuming you mean Kishimoto not including black people in his manga. I personally don't think Kishimoto was specifically trying to be racist by not including black people or brown people, or people of any ethnicity. Although, as is the case with manga in general, I do wonder why there is such an abundance of "white looking" people and almost no "Japanese looking" people, in Naruto in particular.

-- I think the reason people are talking specifically about Japan in this thread is because the thread starter asked if people thought that the author was racist because he didn't include black people in his manga and the author is Japanese. As far as what I was talking about, about there being and issue with racism, that is based on research I have done on the topic. But that statement isn't based on just black or white people, but anyone who isn't Japanese that lives in Japan.

Kusachu
August 07, 2008, 07:15 AM
NOW that this thread is back up I would like to point out that if you read some of my post here you would see that I called it when it comes to the 8 tails!

That was actually my point at some time, that he could very well make one of the important characters black (I was refering to a black 8 tails who does "caporai (not spelt right)" but he turned out to be a rapping swords master. . .).

So yeah, I actually feel very smart now (^_^).

One could argue, though, that Hachibi is an offensively stereotypical character whose function is merely to be defeated/dominated by Sasuke who just happens to be one of the most "Japanese" characters in the series. I say that of Sasuke because not only does his superficial appearance more closely resemble a Japanese person, but he also fits more closely with the samurai archetype, which is inherrantly Japanese, and Hachibi is merely a mishmash of black/American icons and/or stereotypes.

Or one could say that that assessment is reading to much into the intentions of the author. I can't even begin to guess what the author's ultimate intentions were when creating that character, but in my opinion, he did not have to make a dark skinned character with blond hair be a bad rapper who quotes popular black icons. He could have made Hachibi be a dark skinned poet who spoke in bad haiku, but he chose to make him a dark skinned rapper that the other characters are disturbed by and call a freak.

warbandit66
August 07, 2008, 07:20 AM
Some people are giving the excuse that Kishi maybe hasn't added a black character to his manga because of his lack of contact with them but that shouldn't be an excuse at all since a character can be black yet not "act" black since black people don't all behave in the same way, it's just negative stereotypes that appear on television. The thing I don't like about the Hachibi is the fact that he behaves like your stereotypical brash black guy, the kind of guy that I've come across in so many films and video games it's not right at all. In fact I'd rather he wasn't portrayed as a black man.

weixiaobao
August 07, 2008, 07:27 AM
Some people are giving the excuse that Kishi maybe hasn't added a black character to his manga because of his lack of contact with them but that shouldn't be an excuse at all since a character can be black yet not "act" black since black people don't all behave in the same way, it's just negative stereotypes that appear on television. The thing I don't like about the Hachibi is the fact that he behaves like your stereotypical brash black guy, the kind of guy that I've come across in so many films and video games it's not right at all. In fact I'd rather he wasn't portrayed as a black man.

the media is bias... everyone knew that.. but so far the hachibi doesn't act all that really extreme as the one they show on tv..

as for stereo type it does make strong personality and memorable character.

Kusachu
August 07, 2008, 07:39 AM
Some people are giving the excuse that Kishi maybe hasn't added a black character to his manga because of his lack of contact with them but that shouldn't be an excuse at all since a character can be black yet not "act" black since black people don't all behave in the same way, it's just negative stereotypes that appear on television. The thing I don't like about the Hachibi is the fact that he behaves like your stereotypical brash black guy, the kind of guy that I've come across in so many films and video games it's not right at all. In fact I'd rather he wasn't portrayed as a black man.


One of the ideas I was trying to convey was that perhaps the author didn't include ethnic looking characters because he wanted to avoid creating a stereotypical character and lacked other cultural experience. But now we have Hachibi...

I totally agree with you that he didn't have to make Hachibi behave the way he does, and your statements are true. Not everyone of a particular ethnicity behaves in a certain way and to believe they do is to me a tad ridiculous. As I stated before, Hachibi did not have to be pertrayed in the way he was to be a strong, fun character.

Black/Light
August 07, 2008, 12:29 PM
One could argue, though, that Hachibi is an offensively stereotypical character whose function is merely to be defeated/dominated by Sasuke who just happens to be one of the most "Japanese" characters in the series. I say that of Sasuke because not only does his superficial appearance more closely resemble a Japanese person, but he also fits more closely with the samurai archetype, which is inherrantly Japanese, and Hachibi is merely a mishmash of black/American icons and/or stereotypes.

Or one could say that that assessment is reading to much into the intentions of the author. I can't even begin to guess what the author's ultimate intentions were when creating that character, but in my opinion, he did not have to make a dark skinned character with blond hair be a bad rapper who quotes popular black icons. He could have made Hachibi be a dark skinned poet who spoke in bad haiku, but he chose to make him a dark skinned rapper that the other characters are disturbed by and call a freak.

I would go with reading too much into things. The 8 tails is a strong guy and I don't think Sas will beat him or atleast not alone.

He is actually very smart and skilled, the only stereotype is his rapping (that includes his hand movements too) which the Hawk sees as "freaky" but I think that other characters would get along with him better. And if you peep the spoilers you will see that he isn't just all rap and "black boxer- Ali" quotes . . .he is also rock as well lol.



Anyway, this is nothing new. . .I mean, the main character "Naruto" is a "Bart" like character. The stereotype of a load mouthed blue eyed/ blond haired American boy with bad manners, loose "slang" talk and appears to be "lesser than arvg" when it comes to smarts compared to the Japanese Sas. (If we wanted to we could make this a symbol of how the Japanese Sas is to be defeated/dominated by the American Naruto. . .lol)

Kish has done nothing to the 8 tails that he hasn't done already to Naruto (I actually think that Naruto would get along with the 8 tails pretty well if they were to work together) which is why Im OK with the 8 tails being a rapping, rockn bad ass.

Gingitsune
August 08, 2008, 02:53 AM
In favor of Hachibi, I'd say he's less painful to watch than Gai's 70s kong fu gayness. ^^;

But the question would rather be, is Hachibi rapping because his black or is he black because he's rapping?

Also, I used to think the first Black in Naruto was Kidoumaru, Oto's spiderman. Am I mistaken? (granted, he has an extra pair of arms that makes him feel less "human", but he still has a quite dark tone of skin)

http://shamanaruto.com/covers/tome_24.jpg

Kusachu
August 09, 2008, 01:15 PM
In favor of Hachibi, I'd say he's less painful to watch than Gai's 70s kong fu gayness. ^^;

But the question would rather be, is Hachibi rapping because his black or is he black because he's rapping?

Also, I used to think the first Black in Naruto was Kidoumaru, Oto's spiderman. Am I mistaken? (granted, he has an extra pair of arms that makes him feel less "human", but he still has a quite dark tone of skin)

http://shamanaruto.com/covers/tome_24.jpg

I thought it was the little girl with fat dreads in Konohamaru's class, but she doesn't have a dark skin tone. *shrug* She does look cool though. Actually I just like dreads...and I personally know more white people with dreads than black people, so me thinking she was black based on hairstyle alone was really just basing my belief on a stereotype in the first place.

And really, Hachibi may not even be "black" (although there is a good argument to the contrary). He is blond, after all. His rapping does get on my nerves, but I guess that's the point given by the other characters' repulsion for him. It's like a distraction tactic perhaps. I guess I'll just have to reserve judgment on him. And it is great that he's a tough opponent no matter what skin color he has. He's the second strongest biiju after all, so if he got taken out easily, I'd have to eat all my words in defense of Sasuke as a character. That would be way too much if he easily beat him.

Although, I still believe his purpose is to ultimately be defeated, but does that hold bearings on the racial argument? I've already stated my belief that I don't think the author was specifically trying to be racist with the manga, even though he may hold some cultural beliefs that can be construed as, or ultimately expressed as racist by some or many.

However, the racial argument is a valid one that I feel should be discussed because it allows others to examine not only their own feelings, but the feelings of others. The process of discussion may open one's mind to other points of view they may not have considered before. It never hurts to play the devils advocate and try to see a situation from all sides.

In an ideal world, racial thoughts shouldn't even be factored into an equation, but we do not live in an ideal world, we live in a world where the subject of race is a hot button, one that merits discussion and one that can turn ugly and cause conflict. But, it is one that can and should be discussed fairly and calmly, thought about and possibly help change the views of those involved. Everything is, after all, a matter of perspective when it all comes down. Perhaps someone may see how their words or actions affect others, realize erroneous thinking, and change their ways.

kkck
August 09, 2008, 03:04 PM
IMO people here are just looking for an excuse to make kishi a racist.
When kishi did not add black people to the manga he was a racist, when he added one he is still a racist. Had kishi shown a white rapper as the 8-tailed beast he would be a racist to. If kishi had shown a black 8 talied host who did not rap, I bet somehow he would end up being a racist too. From reading some of the post here, I get the feeling that there is no posible way for kishi to write his manga and net be accused of being a racist.

Black/Light
August 09, 2008, 06:26 PM
I thought it was the little girl with fat dreads in Konohamaru's class, but she doesn't have a dark skin tone.
Light skinned maybe. Black=/= auto dark skin. . .but I wouldn't assume her to be anything untill we see her again.


And really, Hachibi may not even be "black" (although there is a good argument to the contrary). He is blond, after all. Bond=/= not being black. Not only are there black people born with natural blond hair but it's also not too uncommon to see blond hair and/ or blue eyes in black manga characters for some reason.




Although, I still believe his purpose is to ultimately be defeated, but does that hold bearings on the racial argument?

I myself don't understand the thought that a character's "purpose" is to be defeated. Any character that aint one of the main good guys can be seen in that light. Pain/ MD/ Sas/ Blue Hair/ Team Hawk can all be seen as characters who are headed torwards being creamed by someone.

The only time I think a character was made to be killed off is when they are only seen as must of the other tailed beast where no story time or on screen fights happened to show them off. I think his 'purpose' is to show how strong a tail beast holder is and to humble the Shg kid.

Will he be beatten in this fight? From what I have seen, no. Can he be beatten at some point? Maybe, IDK, depins on what Kish has plained for him. But I don't see defect as his only purpose to the story. I think he can be used to either train Sas (soo much in common, lightening element/ swords/ neither "likes" Aka), train Naruto (the last tailed beast other than Naruto. And he is a complete bad ass. Naruto also needs to learn how to control 9 tails) or he could be that push for Sas to go get EMS (can't beat the 8 tails = reason to see his current level as "too weak" so he grabs the eyes as MD wanted).

Either way, I think theres more to him than being a Sas penis extender to add to his list of characters he beat.

And Kkck, I don't think anyone is trying to paint Kish as a racist as much as they are simply refering to the state of race relations in Japan. Sure, we have a black character. . . BUUUTT he has a rapping stereotype thrown on him. Oh well. . . and I take back what I said earlier. This guy is LESS of a stereotype than Naruto. All he does is rap (teastful hip hop like rap, not gangser crap), hes not some crazy-ugly looking, afro wearing, stupid guy which is how I have seen black people shown in other anime/ manga.

The guy is smart, cool looking and strong. Rapping aint that big of a deal when you look at how stereotyped Naruto is.

Gingitsune
August 09, 2008, 07:23 PM
And really, Hachibi may not even be "black" (although there is a good argument to the contrary). He is blond, after all.

But blond haired African descendant people do exist. Sure, there are a minority within a minority, but that alone shouldn't make them not blacks, as long as they have a fair share of subsaharian ancestors. :p

edit: Black/Light was faster than me, I shouldn't have taken that much time for the second part of my post. ^^; /edit


Does anyone here actually know why he chose not to include Africans, Canadians, Columbians, Hawaiians, Indians, etc. in Naruto?

My, I don't want Canadian ninja in Naruto. How can they make a Canadian ninja anyway?
A mounty ninja? :s
A lumberjack ninja? :s
An acrobat ninja? :s
A ninja with René Simard's haircut (google "rené simard Japan" if you don't know what I mean. No wait, we already had Sora, we should be free of this aberration)? :s
A romantic red-haired girl that lives in her imagination to escape bitter reality? (this could have been a good jinchuuriki concept, actually, but a bit to copy and paste to my taste) :s
A Canadian chick ninja? That would be too much Tsunade #2. :p

Talking of ethnicity in Naruto, it seems Suna's clothing style is inspired by the -stan countries and some of the Suna's inhabitant's name are from Hindu gods (Gaara, Karura and Yasha-maru). Of course, there's Japanese and Western stuff like everywhere in Naruto, but there's still an major difference in overall look between Konoha and Suna.

That may be true for other villages, they may have influence from some ethnicity we still haven't heard of. It could be a Polynesian twist to Kiri because they are in a south-east archipelago country or a Ainu style to Iwa which is further north than Konoha.

bean
August 09, 2008, 07:57 PM
Well, they are people of the desert...so it would look really weird if they were dressed up like whatever is common for the narutoverse...most people who live in any desert area tend to dress pretty much the same.

Gingitsune
August 09, 2008, 08:34 PM
No, they don't.

Did you ever heard of the Bushmen (http://www.francesbaard.gov.za/tourism/imgs/photos/Bushman.jpg) from the Kalahari desert? What about the Navajos (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/ff/Manuelito.jpg) from Nevada? Or Mongols (http://membres.lycos.fr/chuchote/cheval/zoom/av_mongolie/z_mg5.JPG) from Gobi?

None of them look remotely like Suna's guys, although a guy from Pakistan (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3a/Pakistani_street_vendor.jpg) share the same basic clothing. Loose pants, long shirt and turban.

Edit: The Pakistani guy share the same basic clothing with Suna's older generations. The youngest are more "international". The same goes for Konoha, the older generations tend to wear Kimono and samurai armours.

Askia32
August 10, 2008, 02:38 AM
I just really hate it when the main character has blond hair blue eyes like in Naruto, FMA, DBZ(Super Saiyan). Hitler believed that people with blond hair and blue eyes we're the ultimate race. So when you have a main character that is a ninja, or take's place in Japan, it irritates me to see an Asian based character with blond hair blue eye's. I feel that in doing so, it furthers the stereotype that Hitler, one of the most evil people to walk the earth, created(nothing against people with blond hair blue eyes).

In my opinion, you don't need to give a character blond hair blue eyes to make them popular. I mean look at Sasuke, Itachi, Jiraiya, and Kakashi. There some of the most popular characters, yet they don't have the blond hair blue eyes.

weixiaobao
August 10, 2008, 11:59 AM
I just really hate it when the main character has blond hair blue eyes like in Naruto, FMA, DBZ(Super Saiyan). Hitler believed that people with blond hair and blue eyes we're the ultimate race. So when you have a main character that is a ninja, or take's place in Japan, it irritates me to see an Asian based character with blond hair blue eye's. I feel that in doing so, it furthers the stereotype that Hitler, one of the most evil people to walk the earth, created(nothing against people with blond hair blue eyes).


now now, it depend on one person's view.. it like the nazis sign can be seen in couple of manga (but it doesn't represent the nazis, it represent ancient religion symbol= HIndu, Buddhism, Christianity, etc.)

Gingitsune
August 10, 2008, 03:43 PM
So when you have a main character that is a ninja, or takes place in Japan, it irritates me to see an Asian based character with blond hair blue eye's.

I fail to see your point. It's not ok to have blond haired, blue eyed ninja, but it's ok to have young white haired ninja (they both have black eyes, they are no albinos). You are aware that there were as little young white haired ninja in traditional Japan as blond haired ones. And when the setting fit to have blond guys around, like FMA's European setting, mangaka should refrain from making the hero blond, because a madman from last century deified blond people. :oh


In my opinion, you don't need to give a character blond hair blue eyes to make them popular.

That's not only in your opinion, facts are Naruto have been the only blond in the top ten for five popularity pools, Ino and Temari never made it, Yondaime and Deidara made it only once. Sure Deidara would have made it more often if there have been more pools, but they stopped them, likely because Naruto's popularity was sinking into oblivion. Being blond is not enough to keep the main character's popularity afloat, it seems. ¬_¬

As for FMA, Ed isn't popular because he's blond, half of the most popular FMA characters are blond anyway, he's popular because he's kickass. ^_~

Mangaka often make blond character because it's exotic. The same as why people from Middle Ages made one of the Magi black. I don't think mangaka have a though for Hitler before they choose to add a blond character or not or make the protagonist blond. :amuse

Askia32
August 11, 2008, 04:04 AM
I fail to see your point. It's not ok to have blond haired, blue eyed ninja, but it's ok to have young white haired ninja (they both have black eyes, they are no albinos). You are aware that there were as little young white haired ninja in traditional Japan as blond haired ones. And when the setting fit to have blond guys around, like FMA's European setting, mangaka should refrain from making the hero blond, because a madman from last century deified blond people. :oh


Easy, because the white hair looks good, same with the purple, pink and blue hair. But why would a mangaka decide to make the main character with blond hair and blue eyes? Or the ultimate power-up is going super saiyan, in which there hair goes blond and their eyes turn blue?

Yes, the setting is fit to have blonds in FMA, but when the hair of Ed's dad, mom, and brother is all brown, but Ed's is blonde, something is a little off.

warbandit66
August 11, 2008, 05:38 AM
all of ed's family are blond

Black/Light
August 11, 2008, 10:25 AM
all of ed's family are blond

Que?

Im just going by the anime but Im sure his brothers and mother's hair is brown.

Edit- Whopps, Just researched the manga. Al is blond too.

Askia32
August 11, 2008, 10:46 AM
Que?

Im just going by the anime but Im sure his brothers and mother's hair is brown.

Edit- Whopps, Just researched the manga. Al is blond too.

My mistake about Al, I was going off the anime because I couldn't find a picture of him in the manga. Well, it was late and I didn't feel like looking.

ShgnLW
August 12, 2008, 11:34 AM
Maybe the fact that blond hair/blue eyes are a sign of "beauty" in Asian countries. I know that people in South-Korea do surgery in order to get bigger eyes (like European people).

Maybe that influence let Kishi decide to draw his characters in an "European way" with "Japanese characteristics and names". Blond hair, blue eyes, but still a kickass ninja...

...Oh well, it's all commercial. It just appeals to a much larger public

bean
August 12, 2008, 11:39 AM
it's a manga...there's also people with pink hair, and people with black sclera and green eyes...people with blue hair and blue skin...

warbandit66
August 12, 2008, 12:38 PM
Maybe the fact that blond hair/blue eyes are a sign of "beauty" in Asian countries. I know that people in South-Korea do surgery in order to get bigger eyes (like European people).

Maybe that influence let Kishi decide to draw his characters in an "European way" with "Japanese characteristics and names". Blond hair, blue eyes, but still a kickass ninja...

...Oh well, it's all commercial. It just appeals to a much larger public

But blond hair and blue eyes aren't a sign of beauty in asian countries although the japanese probably do hold these characteristics in high regard due to their allaince with Germany during the second world war. In china it is green eyes that are used to distinguish emperors from commoners. I think that the fact that actresses and models in Japan undergo surgey to acheive more european facial features is due to some sort of inferiority complex.

Crude
August 13, 2008, 09:33 AM
Or the ultimate power-up is going super saiyan, in which there hair goes blond and their eyes turn blue?

Super Saiyan eyes are green. I think the reason why their hair goes blond and their eyes green is due to the fact those colours are something of an opposite to the dark brown/black hair and black eyes that most saiyans have.

Also, I think the reason as to why Naruto has blond hair and blue eyes is because Kishi thought it would make the character and the series more commercial in the west.

Exodi
August 13, 2008, 06:30 PM
Also, I think the reason as to why Naruto has blond hair and blue eyes is because Kishi thought it would make the character and the series more commercial in the west.

Didn't he himself say something like that in an interview?

weixiaobao
August 13, 2008, 07:07 PM
Didn't he himself say something like that in an interview?

yes, this is already confirmed in this thread sometimes ago.

Quetz
August 13, 2008, 09:55 PM
Even though this top has veered incredibly off course.......

The eight-tailed beast is black (isn't he?). So.

nat
August 17, 2008, 02:05 PM
Taking it strictly plot based, I would say that this is a thread about Hachibi, since he is the different one (I do not mean that in a bad way). Hmm, in Konoha they have people with different hair color, eye color, same for Suna...

I guess since the clans came form different places in the beginning, that's why some people look different. Hachibi is from a remote place, and that is Kishi's way of introducing a wider perspective of characters. He might have pulled a stereotyical one at that, i.e rap thing. But I guess the Japanese experience is limited to stereotypes in that area (only). In other things, Kishi expands better...

I don't know if I wrote anything wrong, If I did then sorry...Man, this is a touchy topic ^^

Hello_Moto
August 26, 2008, 10:29 AM
Ever hear of a black ninja? Naruto is based of the Japanese culture, and well the Japanese love to change their hair and eyes. What they don't do is change there skin.

fyi I'm black and right now I really appreciate Tite Kubo for actually drawing different ethnicities, and acknowledging them. i.e. Chad is actually proud of his Latino heritage.

ever hear of a white ninja ? naruto is white no discussion he is blond hair im not saying that cant be dyed but im almost sure they dont have contacts in the naruto world

The Closet Pervert
August 26, 2008, 11:39 AM
I don't know if I wrote anything wrong, If I did then sorry...Man, this is a touchy topic ^^

There's nothing wrong with being Black...and there's nothing wrong with using stereotypes.

Even if Hachibi being a black rapper is somehow bad and stereotypical, he's seems to be one of toughest dudes in whole manga. You can't be angry about that. It's more like "Big Daddy Kane" coming to teach some manners to a white EmoKid?

Don't worry, be happy.

http://members.aol.com/WernerVWallenrod/kane/kane4.gif
http://i21.tinypic.com/161xsg7.jpg

nat
August 26, 2008, 11:59 AM
lolz....But the Sasuke isn't emo...
Maybe the Uchiha clan is the purest asian stereotype, that's why Kishi likes'em...The Nara too...

bigtymer32
August 26, 2008, 11:03 PM
There's nothing wrong with being Black...and there's nothing wrong with using stereotypes.

Even if Hachibi being a black rapper is somehow bad and stereotypical, he's seems to be one of toughest dudes in whole manga. You can't be angry about that. It's more like "Big Daddy Kane" coming to teach some manners to a white EmoKid?

Don't worry, be happy.


people see a colored pic of 8 tails and that he raps(horrible)then automatically stereotype him as black.i do not think hes black.in the way kishi drew him and gave him blonde hair not black.some people will say well black people can have blonde hair no they can't its a really low percentage.i mean real low.

i think he honestly is brazilian or egyptian.its not like black people are the only ones that rap. lol

THETRUTH.com
August 27, 2008, 12:53 AM
people see a colored pic of 8 tails and that he raps(horrible)then automatically stereotype him as black.i do not think hes black.in the way kishi drew him and gave him blonde hair not black.some people will say well black people can have blonde hair no they can't its a really low percentage.i mean real low.

i think he honestly is brazilian or egyptian.its not like black people are the only ones that rap. lol


While what you say about black people and blonde hair is true. This is a manga and Sakura has pink hair what race is she suppose to be.

weixiaobao
August 27, 2008, 12:55 PM
While what you say about black people and blonde hair is true. This is a manga and Sakura has pink hair what race is she suppose to be.

naturally pink too, not like she dye it :)
*she must be an alien*

nat
August 27, 2008, 01:30 PM
:omg, maybe Neji is an alien too, figured as much...

kkck
August 27, 2008, 02:26 PM
I dont get why kishi is an ignorant (regarding black culture) for making a jinchuiriki a black rapper. If this was an informative manga I would understand what you mean, but this manga is meant to entertain, not to instruct anyone on anything regarding any topic at all.

Kusachu
August 27, 2008, 03:50 PM
I dont get why kishi is an ignorant (regarding black culture) for making a jinchuiriki a black rapper. If this was an informative manga I would understand what you mean, but this manga is meant to entertain, not to instruct anyone on anything regarding any topic at all.


There is a difference between ignorant in the sense that one has little knowledge of a thing and ignorant in the sense that they are a completely ignorant person. I think ignorant of black people in general is not meant to be offensive toward the author, it's just that some may find his depiction of the character to be offensive due to his (supposed) lack of understanding. The arguable point is that he did not have to make the character behave in a stereotypical way. The character could have had the same physical appearance and behaved in a way that is ambiguous to any particular culture, as most other characters do.

For example, Hachibi THINKS to himself, "Check it out yo!" It's a slangy type of speech that is commonly identified with hip hop culture. I don't know about other people, but I have never thought to myself in that way, even though I may speak that way aloud. The author has thus made that character symbolic of a certain culture, which is fine if you don't find the character's representation offensive. Some do, and some don't. It's a matter of opinion.

Then again, it is also debatable whether he actually even said those words, or if it fell to the discretion of the translator to interpret what would be slangy Japanese speech, as was the case with his rapping. ALSO my argument about that phrase is not valid if he was actually communicating with the bijuu instead of thinking to himself.

*shrug*

warbandit66
August 27, 2008, 06:28 PM
people see a colored pic of 8 tails and that he raps(horrible)then automatically stereotype him as black.i do not think hes black.in the way kishi drew him and gave him blonde hair not black.some people will say well black people can have blonde hair no they can't its a really low percentage.i mean real low.

i think he honestly is brazilian or egyptian.its not like black people are the only ones that rap. lol

What you're saying makes no sense at all, especially when you take a look at the bizarre hair range of hair colours in the manga. And you said it yourself there are a low very low percentage of black people with blond hair, this guy could actually be in that low percentage. And by the way Brazilian nor Egyptian are ethnicities they are nationalities and even then the indigenous populations of those countries were black.

Baron Hugenstein
August 27, 2008, 06:54 PM
Also, Rap doesn't belong to Black people only, many Asians, white people or even brown people do it. Maybe it is stereotypical, but it doesn't mean that only black people do rap all the time. As well, it isn't horrible because this means that not only blonde or white people exist in Naruto, but there is a diversity between people; which is a very good thing.

But this isn't a subject to discuss easily, so if i said anything wrong or bad, i am sorry.
[hr]

:omg, maybe Neji is an alien too, figured as much...

Noo, but that means that Lee and Gai are from aliens too(different type of course):eek:<_>

weixiaobao
August 27, 2008, 10:51 PM
all of you who concern whether or not kishi is ignorant toward black culture, should worry about more important things.

In my view the severity of this (may may not be ignorant) is little compare to the ignorant mindset of more realistic every day people.. like for example a while ago i trolling the history channel forum.. there was a guy (a vietnam veteran) who thought blacks are good for nothing because he saw tv and newspaper about many crimes involved black people (This is a good example the unfair treatment that media is really bias about black people, mainly African American)..

That same guy thought that donations to africa is useless because the African would just eat and kill each other .. And he suggest also to nuke vietnam and its people into vietnam lake.. oh yeah he also diss Darfur..

I was so angry I wrote a whole essay paper just on this one guy...

"SL
I think your answering questions from a different thread. I didn't say anything about a Nuke here. That was about Vietnam and I still think we should have made Vietnam into Lake Vietnam just after we left. People from VN can be offended all they wish, I could care less.
Darfur is a giant joke. That whole continent is worthless, well not the continent, but the people. They kill each other and have been for as long as there have been people there. They look out for themselves and that’s it. other countries try to help them and the missionaries get killed and the donated tractors get trashed and the crops don't get planted and people starve, and then they ask for food. Sorry, they get feed and then they have more kids that have to be feed so they can have more kids that have to be feed. If the taxpayers of the United States ever starts feeding the hungry in Darfur they will be taking on a task that has no end and no end as to the cost also. The history of that place goes back to when They sold there own people to slave traders to be sent to America. And far before that."

" Ok lets suppose we send food and money and tractors and seed and education and clothing and every thing else all the people in Africa need. No somehow they will magically stop killing each other and get a job and plant crops and become good citizens? ( I almost couldn’t finish writing this because of the laughter)
NOOOOOOOO. what they would do is keep killing each other and eat the food and strip and sell the tractors, feed the seed to there cows and have more babies so the taxpayers in the United States can send more food and money so they can have more kids so the US can send more money, and so on. And your opinion of the absurdity of my or any post is of little value.
Maybe you should go to Africa and help the poor and unfortunate, write when you get there, we will send food.
Ha, Ha, Ha "

" Africans messed their own country up, just as they do their neighborhoods in the US. White people don't go to a Black neighborhood and throw trash every were and sell drugs on the corner, Every footage you see on TV of someone robbing a corner store is of 1 or 2 black guys.
Worthless, is all I can say"

for more info in this thread http://boards.historychannel.com/topic/Vietnam-War/The-Things-They/700026262&start=15

the guy name is
39mto39g

warbandit66
August 28, 2008, 06:06 AM
This man on the history channel forum sounds like an idiot and a hypocrite.

weixiaobao
August 28, 2008, 07:28 AM
well my point is not to go off topic, but people can tell whether a person who is racist or ignorant right away. For other like Kishi (who we don't really know about) and in the gray section, should deserve a chance before proving one way or another..

bigtymer32
August 29, 2008, 12:50 AM
While what you say about black people and blonde hair is true. This is a manga and Sakura has pink hair what race is she suppose to be.

very true haha most mangas are like that with the different hair colors.plus most the characters in the series don't look asian .so theres no certain races/nationality in naruto :)
[hr]

What you're saying makes no sense at all, especially when you take a look at the bizarre hair range of hair colours in the manga. And you said it yourself there are a low very low percentage of black people with blond hair, this guy could actually be in that low percentage. And by the way Brazilian nor Egyptian are ethnicities they are nationalities and even then the indigenous populations of those countries were black.


of course there different hair colors a good amount of mangas have characters with different hair just look at trunks from dragonball he has purple hair.i dont see how it doesn't make sense but ok.when i say mean low percentage i mean like less than 5 percent.i know Brazilian and Egyptian are nationalities didnt know i had to be all exact you knew what i meant.the populations of those countries mixed with black people.almost every nationality is a mix of something.

its just to me looking at the facial features of 8 tails he is not black. people just see a dark skinned character and he raps they put the two together.as in the stereotype .

SyonRyoken
September 24, 2008, 12:20 PM
the irony here is that this "facial feature" problem is to a stereotype in itself, like saying all asians have small eyes or whites have thin rigid noses. Im sure you've all seen exceptions to these rules, but thats the problem, you see them as exceptions, and the rule still stands. what really should happen, is that you should take it for what it is, instead of letting such social paradigms continue to plague our mental constructs.

Airi
September 24, 2008, 05:54 PM
Killer bee is black or dark skinned
and it's a anime
not based in the real world so what do you expect?
Like you can't say that kid European or African because there is no Europe or Africa there.
And what would you categorize a walking fish (kisame)

Kusachu
September 25, 2008, 02:59 AM
Killer bee is black or dark skinned
and it's a anime
not based in the real world so what do you expect?
Like you can't say that kid European or African because there is no Europe or Africa there.
And what would you categorize a walking fish (kisame)

Not just walking fish, but mermaids too, well, Suigetsu would be like, a merman I guess, but I mean, Kishimoto isn't portraying Suigetsu in a way that is stereotypical of merpeople. I mean, if he was showing Suigetsu using a trident then I'd be like, woah, hold on. What's that supposed to mean? Like all merpeople have to fight with tridents and shit. I mean, come on. :eyeroll

apathism
September 28, 2008, 12:29 PM
Having been to japan, I can assure you that you won't find many black people outside of Roppongi, and even those guys are mostly Nigerian thugs hired to be muscle for the strip clubs.

I went out with a black friend to Wendy's out in the suburbs a just two hours out of tokyo, and people were blantantly staring. It was as if he had an extra eye.

as for blonde people, they were a lot more common-- in americans, and in locals with bleached hair haha. Seriously though, they are crazy about hair over there. It really is like yu-gi-oh

warbandit66
September 28, 2008, 06:10 PM
I've read that white people receive similar treatment out there, it's mainly due to ignorance and the fact that they're a homogenous society, I'm sure that if an asian went to Africa they would probably be treated the same, it's because that person is an oddity and is extremely rare.

apathism
September 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
I've read that white people receive similar treatment out there, it's mainly due to ignorance and the fact that they're a homogenous society, I'm sure that if an asian went to Africa they would probably be treated the same, it's because that person is an oddity and is extremely rare.

From what I noticed, nobody really stared at me. I think they see us enough in movies and advertisements haha. Tommy Lee Jones is on advertisements everywhere for BOSS COFFEE. (which is freaking good by the way)

meanest
September 29, 2008, 10:32 PM
personally, i think that most japanese mangas didn't use ethnicity that much because there was not much western influence, but clearly they are now. one of the ex. i love to use is bleach. they have diff. characters such as africans, mexicans, asians, ECT. and i dont know if its me, but the clothes that the Tite Kubo uses in bleach are very modern here in the u.s.

another example of this is naruto, the 8-tailed. rapping, writing poems, we have a future Jay-Z here?

weixiaobao
October 01, 2008, 01:04 PM
warbandit66- well, there was a show on tv not so long ago when one of the white guy try to help around in an ethnic village in Africa, and the locals wasn't so use seeing a white man doing the labor... so they end up stand around and watching he working like some kind of freak show.. it hilarious..

i use to think the same back in my country.. white people are quite an attract because how tall they were compare to the population.. as for blacks.. even rarer and attract even more people..

Kusachu
October 02, 2008, 11:33 AM
warbandit66- well, there was a show on tv not so long ago when one of the white guy try to help around in an ethnic village in Africa, and the locals wasn't so use seeing a white man doing the labor... so they end up stand around and watching he working like some kind of freak show.. it hilarious..

i use to think the same back in my country.. white people are quite an attract because how tall they were compare to the population.. as for blacks.. even rarer and attract even more people..


From what I understand, in South America, black people are rare and regarded as exotic and beautiful. But that's just something I was told by a teacher of mine who used to live in Colombia. But the same patterns can be seen throughout history. If you look at old European art, they considered anything Oriental to be exotic and beautiful.

~Joshua~
October 24, 2008, 01:18 PM
From what i've seen it looks like everyone in the Cloud Village is black. At least that's something we can hold on to. I have plenty of Asian people in my school. (USA) So I don't think that China/Japan is completely fillled with just that...