For years, it’s been mostly white, male experts who have shaped the global discourse on Japan, a sexist, male-dominated country. That double myopia has been truly demoralizing — but voices like @graceting give me hope. https://twitter.com/graceting/status/1299580172283174912
Who writes the books on Japan? Mostly white men. Top Japan studies profs? Mostly white men. Foreign bureau chiefs? Mostly white men (one proud exception is @motokorich, who has made stories about women in Japan a cornerstone of her coverage) https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/08/world/asia/tokyo-university-women-japan.html
I’m not at all saying all white men who write about Japan are terrible. There are so many fantastic minds, and many have been generous in their support of my own career. I am, however, talking about a stark imbalance overall when it comes to scholarship and coverage of Japan.
I’ll add Japan in popular culture as well. Think of Japan in movies and on TV — still so many “white guy heads to Japan, adventure ensues” plotlines
One consequence of all this: Because being a white man in Japan comes with such privilege, we tend to get rosy takes of the country that minimizes the discrimination and abuse women, LGBTQ folks, foreign residents of color, ppl w/ disabilities and others face on a daily basis