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Hunter x Hunter Translations Information

Posted Apr 20th, 2016 by beta

Just got a quick info regarding Hunter x Hunter for you today. The series takes about 2-3 times as long to translate as One Piece (the 2nd longest series in our weekly line-up), but at the same time, for many of us on the team, it's their favorite. 
We have various systems of proofreading set up for all our series, ranging from simply reading through it while typesetting (putting the text into the bubbles) and making sure there aren't any typos to having a 2nd translator attached to a series who reads both, the raws and the primary translation fully - making sure no meaning is lost and often offering alternative phrasing options to the primary translator.

In the case of Hunter x Hunter, we have our most veteran translator working on the series, whose translations we generally only look through for typos and such and who makes those lightning-fast releases possible in the first place by staying up well into the early morning hours every week for us all. However, HxH is not an easy series to translate by any means. Not only is it extremely text-heavy, but often also worded very ambiguously, with complex grammar and vocabulary; especially so in the current arc where Togashi is throwing one complex scenario into the mix after another, along with dictionary-styled explanations for them all — leaving us feeling like Gon.

But as I mentioned above, it IS the staff's darling, so we go through extra lengths for it. We have several translators going through the chapters bubble by bubble, offering alternative readings. (For better understanding; Japanese often doesn't clarify who is talking to who or about who as pronouns tend to be omitted and/or unclear.) Given the length of the chapters and people involved, our goal is to have an updated, final, as-close-to-perfect-as-possible chapter that we're all very happy with by the following week. Thus, we highly recommend that you all re-read the previous week's chapter now before reading the current one. 

For 350, we did the update already ~24h ago, about 2 days before the new chapter coming in, and we'll definitely try to do those updates asap, but generally speaking, re-reading it on Thursdays is your safest best. Let me know in the comments if you'd like facebook updates on that progress. To give you an idea, we updated 1-2 bubbles on about half the pages. While I wouldn't say that any of the changes affect the overall understanding of the chapter, most of them do contribute a lot to helping the dialog make more sense than previously. For instance, we changed the assumed speaker on 1-2 occasions, changed the implied (groups of) people in some other bubbles and improved the overall flow in everything else. In short: It's definitely worth re-reading, especially if you want to be sure that you have the most complete understanding of what happened.

Finally, I just wanted to state - those complex, difficult and often rambling bubbles are most definitely INTENDED to be difficult to understand, they're meant to look long and complex, and we aren't fans of removing that aspect in the translation by just summarizing what it says. We're meant to feel like this and enjoy it.

 


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Somewhere in Translation: 07

Posted Mar 8th, 2016 by Jinn

Literal vs. Liberal
Pt. 2 - Profanity

Heya Heya, it's DzyDzyDino again.

It's been a little while since my last update, and for that I apologize. In between getting perpetually sick and being really busy with other projects, I just had problems finding the time! But I'm back to pick up where I left off!

Last time, I wrote a bit about Literal vs. Liberal translations. Since then, it's something I've been even more aware of than usual while translating and reading. 

One area where Literal vs. Liberal really raises some questions is profanity.

First, let's talk shit. 

Shit. shit. shit.

What is shit? A "profane" word for fecal matter? A vulgar expletive? A casual word among perhaps younger and more "rowdy" people for "stuff"?

I'm taking a shit.

Oh, shit!!

Oh... shit...

Look at this shit everywhere.

You're in deep shit now.

Are you shitting me?

I don't give a shit.

This list can go on and on, and although in some cases, maybe it literally is referring to fecal matter, not always.

So the japanese dictionary equivalent for shit, くそ (kuso) doesn't fit in all these (or nearly any) situations. "Kuso" really just is a more vulgar term for feces that can be used as an expletive.

The pure English concept of profanity though doesn't exist the same way in Japanese. You can be profane and vulgar without using "kuso." You can be profane just by how you talk and who you're talking to.

I keep bringing up "kuso" for a few reasons. One, because that's the one people tend to know and is easily / readily available to look up online. Two, because, frankly, that's just about where the direct translations stop.

English can be a very colorful language, and when it comes to profanity, you could paint Picasso. Cockramming assmunching fuckmongering bitchfaced dickhole of a douche pirate.

I've heard colorful Japanese insults thrown around, too, around drunk and rowdy Japanese folk, but the word "kuso" was not involved among them. Calling people things like "Toxic Waste" and "Scattered Trash" and stuff like that. Ugly stupid octopus. etc.

If I was translating a serious Yakuza manga, and some tough gangster who'd seen some shit was really pissed off at someone... if he stood up, slammed his fist down on the table and said "Vanish! You foolish octopus!", what we'd have is a problem to communicate. Unless he was talking to the comic relief in the series, a magical disappearing cephalopod, this is the time for something like "Get the fuck out of my face, you... umm... douche pirate." 

You get the picture.

I keep coming back to "kuso" also because that's really the only direct profanity translation there is. There's nothing for fuck. Fuck? A vulgar way to describe two people having sex? It's a lot more than that. I won't list the options here.

When translating vulgarity in manga, usually you take a look at the character and how the phrase compares to their regular speech. Is what they're saying way more forward than what they'd usually say? Or are they the kind of character that usually speaks pretty loose/brash to begin with?

Apart from expletives, name-calling is also a pretty common place for profanity.

In japanese, name calling usually starts with "kono!!" (with what comes after it implied possibly) or "Kono ______!!!" now. If we were being super literal (and I have seen plenty of bad scanlations/translations that have done this), we would translate "kono" to the literal "this!!!" 

このやろう!! Kono yarou!! Yarou literally being a guy, dude, whatever. But depending on context can be very vulgar. How vulgar? It depends on the situation. If you're shouting angrily at someone and say this, it'd come across as "You motherfucker!!" or "You bastard!" or whatever else, depending on how you say it and who you are and who they are. But of course, if we're being super literal, we'd go "THIS GUY!!"

What are we? Guidos? "Ayyye! This guy!! This guy right 'ere? Can you believe this guy?" No. No we are not.

殺す コロス ぶっ殺す ぶっ殺してやる
Here's some manga favorites. The kanji in above is for korosu or "to kill." If we're being super-duper literal with no concept of Japanese language whatsoever, we'd type that into google translate and see it pops up as "to kill" and be like "To kill!!" 

Kill is a strong word, and without getting into who would / wouldn't say this and too far out of subject, the most usual context would be "I'm gonna kill you" "I'll kill you." But again, it's so context based, it's not going to be translated as that in every situation. 

It's a pretty heated thing to say and sometimes they'll inflect even more "passion" into it with that little bu- prefix which kind of adds strength into the following verb. (like the internet favorite, Kake meaning to cover with, or to put on (top of). Adding a Bu- for emphasis leaves you with something for another discussion entirely.)

But so what, someone struggling for their life, enraged and out of control saying bukkorosu!! We translate as "I'm REALLY going to kill you!!" or even better, "I'm going to kill you" ... IN BOLD? Come on. No. Context, people.
"I'm gonna fucking kill you!" at the very least. "You're fucking dead." 

It really depends. And again, it might not always be profane. It really depends so much on context.

Profanity is not as cut and dry as it is in English. There are not simply "bad words" you don't say. If we're going there, there's whole manners of speech you shouldn't use, and there's a proper way to conduct yourself, and anything going against those would be "profane" in some way, depending on context.

We read a lot of your comments and many of you feel profanity in manga feels inappropriate or doesn't seem like what a certain character would say. For the most part, we try not to use profanity unless it actually adds something to the scene or character.

If a character who normally speaks in a rather tame tone suddenly starts speaking in a manner way more, well, vulgar than he normally speaks and is popping off at people, profanity is an excellent way to illustrate that.

If we had to, could we leave the profanity out? Sure. Some translators choose not to use any. Some translators have a vision of an anime/manga world that's, well... PG as opposed to PG-13/R. It's always a choice, always up for discussion, and apart from straight mistranslations, there's always room for debate.

In the end, it all comes down to interpretation, the translator/scanlation group, and choices.

We know you trust us to bring you a quality, meaningful scanlation every week and appreciate your readership. We love the series we translate and make every choice with as much information and intent as possible. As translators, we try to convey all the meaning we found when reading the original Japanese raws into English.

I had a lot more to say and a lot more examples, but this went on way longer than I expected already. Perhaps I'll revisit this topic at a future date, as I know it's one that's constantly being addressed.

Until then, from me and the crew here at mangastream, thanks as always for your readership and we hope to continue to bring you timely scanlations of the highest quality we can muster for the forseeable future!

Peace out, bitches.

-DzyDzyDino


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About Redrawing and Recruitment

Posted Feb 27th, 2016 by Jinn


Felt like rambling a little. Redrawing is, as most of you already know, about removing the original Japanese text on the images, on all the occasions where text is not in bubbles, boxes or on otherwise neat, clean and solid white or black color background. It'd be called just "drawing", but it's really about trying to fill in what's once been there, and it's often just a fragment, like half of someone's face, or half of a building.

Whenever it's just half of something, that's a great thing - that means you have something to go by, and can sometimes even clone-stamp from a different section of the page. When you have nothing to go with, it's literally drawing a whole chunk of art, trying to match the respective mangaka's drawing style and so on. Pretty tough deal, right? It is, and that's probably why competent, capable and long-lasting redrawers are the hardest position to fill in a scanlation group. Never mind how thankless of a job it is; best case scenario, nobody mentions a thing cause they don't notice it - worst case, it's obvious and it bothers people and they bitch at you. And any redrawers' strongest critic is he/she him/herself, having sometimes spent hours on a single page, knowing all of its individual pixels by name and hence seeing any possible screw-ups that most readers wouldn't even notice. Really bad for people with OCD, I speak from experience.

...now that I think about, that isn't the best way to encourage you all to apply for the task, huh? xD 

It is fun at the same time, I promise. It's rewarding, because you get to see the result of your work on the page right when it's completed, and despite the rumors that we're all a gang of evil pricks, we're actually a fun little private community of hardcore fans from all walks of life and it's a lot of fun to work within our group, that I also promise.

We're looking for anyone with some experience with Photoshop, really. It may seem like you need to be an artsy person for this, and it certainly helps a lot if you are and can draw (maybe even with a graphic tablet?), but at least 50% of all redraws are about knowing your tools. Your clone stamp tool, your healing brush, your dodge and burn tools, the line or brush tool and most definitely the selection tools. If you have those under your belt from appliances outside of manga redrawing, chances are you already have what it takes to take a shot at this and help out your favorite team release those favorite series of yours. ;)

Really, what is most important is that you have the spare time you are willing to dedicate to this and the ability to learn on your own, from various tutorials out there and the feedback you'd receive from the senior members. We don't have any minimum time requirements or anything like that, but if you're busy with a demanding job, wife, kids and other hobbies, this really isn't for you and why the heck would you even consider applying anyway? If you're going to college and have a few hours every day where you just don't do shit and would rather be productive with a fun hobby instead of watching that 12th re-run of the Big Bang Theory, then come on in, our doors are open for ya. Obviously, anything in between works too, haha.

Thar, just compiled a little imgur album with a few examples of before and after redraw panels. Some of those examples are all about clone-stamping accurately (those gray patterns, the stuff that looks like a chessboard basically) and spot-on, if you're even 1 pixel off it looks off, so zoom in there and and make ALT+CTRL+Z a shortcut, cause you'll use it a lot to go back a step. Others are more about having an understanding for the art and connecting lines, getting the curves correctly and to look natural. Check it out for yourself.

If you're interested, check out the application page here and send your attempt to smokybarrettms [at] gmail.com along with some other information like your age, time-zone, experience, etc. 

I will say this; redrawing is basically a major bottle-neck, both for speed of releases and, effectively, also the amount of series we can work on. People keep messaging us to pick this or that up, and I have no doubt they will in this thread also (please don't...), but what it comes down to is, each series can be measured in hours of effort it takes, and we don't do half-assed jobs where we just rush something out the door. In other words, the more helping hands we got, the better we can do. 
We're really a tiny group, there's tops two dozen active people at a time, and half are translators with their respective series, so you can imagine the impact of even one person leaving or becoming busy with a new job or the exam season approaching and such. Don't get me wrong, this is no "oh pity poor us" thing, we're having fun as it is, I'm just stating the facts, we're pretty happy with how much we manage and how fast we do it, but if you want us to do even better, it's up to you to join in the frenzy. :)

PS: Here's a great tutorial resource that you better be prepared to read and re-read if you're serious about joining: 


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Somewhere in Translation: 06

Posted Jan 29th, 2016 by beta

Literal vs. Liberal
Pt. 1 - Context

Heya, manga-fans!

DzyDzyDino here again! Back with another little blog entry about translation, localization, and Japanese.

The purpose of these blog entries, apart from sharing with you a little behind-the-scenes glimpse, is to hopefully also show you what goes into localization and a bit of how the Japanese language works.

Because no translation is ever perfect, especially for a language so fundamentally different even in syntax from our own, we're always left choosing between something more direct and literal that reads awkwardly or something that reads and feels smooth and native in English but takes some liberty with the Japanese.

Either way, I think knowing a little about the source material helps to enjoy both methods of translation a bit more, and that's what these blog posts hopefully help to do!

The Literal vs. Liberal translation / localization is one that usually divides fans and translators alike. Sometimes there are more direct cases, like... do you want honorifics like -san, -kun, -chan, -sama, do you want them localized on a one-for-one basis to things like Mr. and Sir, or do you want it omitted based on context as to whether or not it's even important to the story?

I think most of us here at mangastream prefer a context-heavy localization (at least I do!). In other words, one which prioritizes getting the "meaning" and "feel" of what the original Japanese is across into a way that feels and means the same thing in English. Oftentimes choosing a meaningful translation over one that might be "by-the-book" or correct on a "word-for-word" basis with the Japanese.

There's a Japanese saying that gets used in a lot of manga: "百年早い"(hyakunen hayai) which literally translates to "100 years too early." - meaning "you're way too inexperienced/amateur for this, try again in 100 years." But unless there's like some specific plot device circling around 100 years or time-power or something like that... (lol), nothing is meant by the 100 years. It's simply a saying, and one that does not exist in English. So every single time someone says that, regardless of context, should it really be translated as "You're 100 years too early!"?

Many would argue, "Yes!" and when I first started translating 10-ish years ago, I'm sure I felt the same as well. But over time, I began to value really getting into the character and thinking about how that character would talk, what he would say and how it would come across in English.

Idiomatic Expressions (or "sayings") are one thing, and some people can draw a line in the sand with those. But what about everything else? 

Here's a good example of over-literal vs. context. A line that happens nearly every week in every series we do, "来るな~!” (kuruna~) If we were to translate this absolutely literally, it'd be "Don't come!". Sometimes I see other groups decide to blur it just a tiny bit and go "Don't come here!" but Japanese is a context-based language. 

This line, when it appears, appears by itself in a bubble with nothing else around it - so no pronouns, etc. A literal translation would be "Don't come!" 100% of the time, but that phrase can be interpreted differently based on the setting and whoever's saying it... and it should be! "Stay back!" "Don't come any closer!" "Get away from me!" "Stay where you are!" all the way to "Look out!!" and "Don't touch that!!" 

This line could be someone running away from a killer, it could be someone holding off a horde of beasts, telling their comrades to stay away and save themselves, it could be someone warning his friends that a trap is right in front of them, it could be someone that just doesn't want to be followed. With all those possible situations and all the different characters that could be in them, is "Don't come!" really the right translation in each and every case?

Our hero's sister has been kidnapped as bait in a warehouse. The villains have set a trap right next to the door. The sister sees the hero running up to the building and shouts "来るな!" - This is a total classic movie trope, and if you imagine any western movie, the line here would be "It's a traaaaap!!!" and that's precisely what would be meant contextually there.

This is a topic that sparks a really long debate, and to be honest, what I really wanted to talk about this week (profanity in Japanese and translations) I could hardly start without laying some groundwork down first.

In the end, there is no completely right choice, and any choice you make ends up leaving something out. Something invariably becomes "lost in translation." We do our best to mitigate what gets lost and look at every series and every instance on a case-by-case basis and often have team discussions on how to handle certain ones.

The most important thing is to have intent behind what you choose, and at least here at mangastream, we really care about what we're doing, we love these series, and we've put a lot of thought behind all of our decisions in order to try to bring you something we're proud of releasing and that we'd be happy to read.

We can't always please everyone and we're also not perfect either, but we're always open for discussion and always listen to your feedback! 

After all that, if you're still dedicated to not missing a single thing out of the original Japanese... well... there's a lot of resources out there nowadays to learn the language on your own!

Anyways, I did want to get into profanity this time, but with how long just talking about the basics of context and liberal/literal got, it looks like it'll have to wait till next time, so until then, thanks for supporting us!


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Another Translation Tale

Posted Jan 3rd, 2016 by beta

ひさしぶり!明けましておめでとう!
DzyDzyDino here again.

Hope all your holidays were well, whichever ones you happened to celebrate! And Happy New Year to everyone as well! 2016 is upon us!

In the spirit of the Holidays, I thought I'd share this approrpiate little story from a recent Bleach chapter we worked on.

So when we work on chapters, usually we're all on Skype or some kind of chat together with eachother. This way we're all in touch through every step of the process, and the translation goes through a few sets of eyes which are all familiar with the series in the hopes of catching anything that might be off. We can also discuss what might be more appropriate for certain translations and what sounds off for what character and so on. Everyone here also has pretty strong English skills so we usually catch any spelling or grammatical mistakes too (but sometimes they still slip through! You guys are always great at catching them when that happens, and our team fixes it as fast as we can!)

So something else that's neat about us here at mangastream is that we have staff located all over the world from all different walks of life. This is awesome for lots of reasons but one that comes up a lot is cultural and language references. Bleach, for instance, looooves to throw in Spanish and German and whatever else they feel like.

In the past I've talked about "creative furigana" or using readings for implications before. Normally on the side of kanji in shonen manga, they'll have the reading for the kanji to help younger readers learn them, but they also get used for creative purposes or implications. A really simple example would be someone saying "That Jerk" but the reading for it is like "Naruto", so it works as a kind of subtext sometimes.

Furigana gets used in different ways for the ever creative names of attacks too. In this particular issue of Bleach, we had an attack that was written in Japanese as 「毒いりプール」 (A pool with poison in it, or a 'poison pool'). The reading for this however, plain as day, was "Gift Bad."

I did a double take, a triple take, stood up and got a drink, came back and checked again. Yup. Still looking me right in the face "Gift Bad."

What do I do? Do I change it so it makes more sense and make it "Bad Gift"? Maybe a Poison Pool is a bad gift? A guy charging up for a big attack, "rrrrraaaaaaaaaaarghhhhh!! BAD GIFT!!!" It's not inconceivable in the world of manga, right? Doubled by the fact that Xmas at the time was right around the corner, I go and pull up the Bleach wikia to make sure there's no associations with this character and Santa Claus, or he doesn't have some present gimmick.

I imagine a Santa Claus character reaching into a bag, "You've been bad this year! Lump of coal! BAD GIFT!!!!" or "You've behaved this year!! PONY 4 U!! GOOD GIFT!!!"

Still. Something's not right.

I run it by a staffer who happens to speak German and he clarifies. "Gift means Poison. Bad means Bath."

Wow. Many wtfs were had. Since I saw words I recognized in English, I immediately assumed they were English words and probably would have gone done some terribly wrong translation route. But thanks to our awesome team here at mangastream, a disaster was avoided and we got out the right translation.

tl;dr Strange translation. Teamwork wins out. Disaster averted.

Anyways, just thought I'd share this fun little Holiday-themed story with you for today and wish you all a Happy New Year from the staff here at Mangastream.

Hopefully you didn't get any Gift Bads this year. (ノ*゜▽゜*)


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Somewhere in Translation: 05

Posted Nov 20th, 2015 by beta

It's been a little while, been a bit busy with some new projects and also took over translating on a few more of our series. 

As usual, I'll just be picking out and addressing little things that can't quite get conveyed properly in the translations of our chapters, or things I find neat and I hope you might find neat as well. Onwards!

Most recently, Akame Ga Kill had a kind of epic moment for me... like one of those moments where someone in the movie says the title of the movie. Like at the end of Chinatown, "Forget it, Jake... it's Chinatown." Or "Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club". "7.62mm Full Metal Jacket" etc. etc. Sometimes it's gimmicky, other times it sheds new light on the title and is really cool.

Akame Ga Kill (アカメが斬る) had that moment for me, and the translation of the title had a lot to do with it and why it doesn't quite come across. First of all, there's the "Kill" part of the title, which is written as 斬る(KIRU) for to cut/slice or kill by slicing/slashing. This is played on further because of Akame's Teigu, Murasame, which kills anyone it cuts or slashes, means cutting and killing are one and the same. And since they are pronounced the same, they decided to stylize the actual spelling of the title, calling it Akame Ga Kill instead of Akame Ga Kiru. This may be common knowledge already, I'm not sure.

The title usually gets translated to something like "Akame Kills" or something like that, but this is where the vagueness of Japanese also steps in a bit. The title is open to so much interpretation, and you're left wondering a bit of Akame Kills What? Without anything else attached, there's also some other further out interpretations and connotations attached, but I'm starting to get off topic here.

Japanese is often very context-specific, with sentences leaving out many important parts and having you interpret it via context instead. So this title is vague and we just go along assuming it to mean Kill Akame. But then in the most recent chapter, Akame tells Tatsumi that if she should become possessed by Murasame, that she wants Tatsumi to kill her. Tatsumi then responds by saying, "Fine, but then if Incursio takes me over and I go out of control, I want you, Akame, to be the one to kill me."

This whole "Akame, you will be the one to kill (me)" is conveyed with the line "Akame Ga Kill" and suddenly brings a whole bunch of different connotations to the title. Instead of seeing the title as "Akame Kills", I started to see it as "Akame Is/Will Be the One Who Kills" and if this current arc is the climax, then maybe the title is coming from a wish by her sister for Akame to be the one to kill her? Starting to read into it now, but that's the cool part and totally what the whole point is. By leaving things vague like that, any time any new bits of context come in, suddenly new possible interpretations spring up.

This is probably one of the hardest and also most fun parts of translating. Often the author will write some super vague line of dialog on one page. You read it, you don't really fully understand what it means or what it pertains to, but as you read on and context fills in, it clicks in and makes sense.

It's kind of like watching a movie where you see a clip of the conclusion first. You've seen events. You don't know their context, why people are doing what they're doing, but you have some vague ideas that are floating in your head. As you watch the movie, the blanks fill in and then it all makes sense.

Wow. I kind of went on for a while there. I had a bunch more examples and things I wanted to bring up, but I'll save them for next time! I guess that means you'll be hearing a bit more from me over the next few weeks!

Until then, thanks as always for following us and reading our scanlations! Till next time, byebye!!

 

-dzydzydino


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Naruto Gaiden Coming To An End Soon

Posted Jun 25th, 2015 by Jinn

So the current Naruto Gaiden series is about to come to an end. Whether in the next chapter or within the next 11 or so, it definitely has an expiration date on it, which was really already announced before it even began, so it's not much of a surprise.

Rumor has it that Kishimoto's going to start working on a new series in August, or early fall. The big question is - what's he gonna work on? Many speculate it's gonna be something related to his one-shot Mario, but honestly, I don't think so. That short was a really old idea of his that he decided to polish and publish, and that was that.

Personally, I really hope he doesn't steer in the direction of any kind of realism. His work, whether Mario or that Baseball one-shot he did, didn't impress me, and I will always connect his style with fantasy, with feudal Japan and with some kind of adventure plot - so I really hope he goes for something like that in his next series as well. Be it about Samurai, some adventure/discoverer theme (without them being pirates, or else xD) or something else I didn't think of.

The other option is, and I think it's not that unlikely at all, is that he's using this Gaiden interlude as a sort of introduction to Naruto Part III. Honestly, I struggled quite a bit to see how he'd do it, and I still do. I mean with existing power levels being a big hindrance since it feels like those were already maxed out with Kaguya/Madara/Sasuke/Naruto.

I would love to see him doing something like a 10 year time skip though, and only few of the kids still around, with Sarada and Boruto as the protagonists in a crazy, post-apocalyptic world where all the adults were slayed by some uber-powerful enemy - think of Future Trunks' in DBZ, that sorta thing. But really, I don't think Kishimoto would ever go there... unfortunately.

Anyway, you all have any ideas on how he could spin Naruto further? Do you even want him to? And if your answer's a stern 'no', then what kinda series would you like him to create next? Describe it in detail, I love reading everyone ideas.


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Truth and The Mask - part 5

Posted Jun 8th, 2015 by Jinn

Hello people! GTY_Ponzorz here. This is the final part of the blog post series about Honne/Tatemae. Thank you for sticking with me all the way and reading up to the 5th blog post. This post is just me prattling on about why it might be important to understand the whole honne/tatemae thing and to know a bit about social issues in Japan. Here we go.

Last few words from me

I apologise if this entire thing has been incredibly long and boring. If you read up to here anyway, you have my deepest gratitude, and I really hope you at least learnt something or had a laugh. :9

To reiterate though, I cannot stress how prevalent, important, and serious the whole concept of Honne/Tatemae is in Japan. It’s as important as Ichigo getting his next power up and a new costume to go with it, and almost as important as having nice pristine weekly manga scans. :9

As a second point though, again, it is not to say that such a concept of preserving honor and what not exists solely in Japanese society. We are largely all the same human beings on this planet (some differences aside :9 ), and value a lot of the same things - love, loyalty, bravery, courage, friendship - and are faced with the similar conflicts and issues in our respective societies. I am discussing honne/tatemae with you though, because it really is a big deal in Japan. Everything I have written is definitely not the only way to go about understanding this topic, and it definitely may not even be the most correct in the eyes of many - it is perfectly fine and normal if you have differing views, or feel that I have over-analysed some parts.

It might sound strange, and even asinine - to explicitly discuss and read about this aspect of Japanese society, but it’s something you’re better off being aware of if you have an interest in Japanese culture because it really is a thing that legitimately exists.

There are many other social issues / deep cultural traditions and concepts that exist in Japan - and for those who are interested, it is highly enlightening to read more in to it and gain a better understanding about the nation that so many of you respect and appreciate for their manga/anime.

Funnily enough, Japan is not actually a perfect utopia full of sexy ninja, swashbuckling (stretchy) pirates and full-time shinigami (I don’t think most people can have such a vocation there) who run off to summer festivals every two episodes, watch some fireworks and then assemble the seven dragon balls to summon Shenron to grant them their heart’s deepest desires.

While the biggest problem some of us may have in regards to Japan may be “OMG why is it Golden Week, where is the next issue of WSJ??” The people living there actually have plenty of unique social issues quite irrelevant to a late manga chapter - just to list a few for starters:

They have an aging society, their birth rate is lower than Yasutora Chad when he’s lying on the ground, and they have heaps of problems with how underpaid and how bad the welfare is for their temporary workers, some sexism, the marginalisation and lack of government support for the Japanenese diaspora that return to Japan from South America (Bolivia and such), a bit of racism in the monocultural society, their nuclear problem, Abenomics... complications of honne/tatemae … oh have I said Abenomics yet? The list can go on for a little bit longer I daresay.

: ) Of course, every country has their own set of issues, right? But knowing about these issues might help you understand and appreciate the aspects of Japanese culture we all enjoy - Sakura flowers, gari gari ice-cream, weekly WSJ - that little bit more.

Thanks again for reading, hope it was still somewhat more interesting than your homework. ; )

GTY_Ponzorz.

Sources: Btw. don't reference/quote what I wrote up there in an academic essay pls. I wrote it for fun , it's not really a stellar example of writing and to use it academically in any sense is about as advisable as slapping Kenpachi in the face with a floppy gigai.

 

Honne and Tatemae: Exploring the Two Sides of Japanese Society

Wikipedia

Gaijinpot Blog

[Tofugu] KY and Ambuguity in Japan

Extra reading:

[Japantimes] The costly fallout of tatemae and Japan's culture of deceit

[The Economist] Big business in Japan publicly supports Abenomics while being privately wary

 


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