Maybe this is too modern for this blog, but I'm currently writing a paper on the various legal battles that former "comfort women"(women, mostly Korean, who were forced into sex slavery by the Japanese during WWII) have faced trying to gain recognition of the horrific war crimes Japan perpetrated against them, starting with the immediate post-war period and going up to the present day. Anyway, I was wondering if you had any resources that could help.
Question up for general response; is adding a kabuki mask to a halloween costume considered cultural appropriation? They're built for costumes, but they are very culturally-specific
…this is a little late for Halloween, but I would suggest not wearing Kabuki masks, which are not really meant for halloween costumes. The likelihood you have a real Kabuki mask I am guessing, is very low. The fact that it would likely be read as mocking is also a sign you shouldn’t.
If it’s not your culture, and is a sign of someone who has trained for years upon years to wear such an object — something that signifies skill, talent, and training — you should pass.
mayeko said: Yakut here! We’re pretty used to being ignored so it’s totally okay! I could totally throw a few resources your way if you’re interested in Yakutia specifically, when you’re a little less busy of course. Best of luck on your grad school hunt!!
also note that european russia is an imperialist power that conquered the native siberian tribes and the tribes in question have more in common with nearby kazakhstan or mongolia than they do with moscow or st. petersberg
This blog is of the understanding that the divide between Europe and Asia is a rather arbitrary one. However, obviously, to make a focus on Asian history, I have to draw the line somewhere, geographically, if nothing else. I chose by country borders and excluded Russia as the majority of the population was in Europe. I recognize this is arbitrary — and it is a flaw that is part of the nature of the beast, I’m afraid, especially as many cultures are nomadic, or in the past, occupied nations/states/kingdoms that no longer exist, or have been reshaped and reformed to be what they are today. Using modern borders to define history is always tricky business.
If people consistently submitted posts on Russia east of the Urals, (in Siberia) then I would post them. But like many things that aren’t my area of focus (East Asia), I don’t really know anything about it without doing a fair amount of research. The Russia I’ve studied is European Russia — art movements like Russian Conceptualism, Soviet Art, St. Petersburg in the 16th and 17th centuries, etc.
I’m not saying I would never consider it, nor that I can’t do the research, but in the near future I don’t have the time to do extensive research on my own. The prominence of Siberian history would need to rely, at least initially, on reader submissions, research database suggestions, places where I could find such information, etc.
It should be understood that I A.) do this blog alone, and B.) am a full-time student with two jobs, applying to graduate schools. Asking me to include more things is great, but until I’m finished with graduate applications, I simply don’t have time to do it without help.
This may have come up before, but: it seems you have excluded North Asia from the scope of this blog. Is this for some particular reason?
Mostly I felt that Russia (which is really the only country I exclude), has plenty of natural feature and focus in the myriad of European blogs that already existed when I began this blog roughly four years ago.
Russia is unique in that it spans both Europe and Asia, and to be perfectly honest, I’ve never found it lacking in exposure historically — especially given that the most densely populated parts of Russia are within Europe.
I’m not sure if you’d like to repost it (considering quite a few generally creepy remarks by the white male writer) but I typed up a looong article from Time/Life dated Sept. 11 1964 concerning women in Japan. Inoue Yachiyo (of the famous Inoue dance school) is in it, as well as a few maiko and geiko, as well as many bar hostesses of the time. If you like, the link is here and you can decide: http://bebetaian.blogspot.com/2013/11/maiko-in-timelife-magazine-sept-11-1964.html
I think your submission is sufficient because it includes your warning as to the remarks of the author! Thank you.
1. Why are you running a free tumblr blog when this information is obviously extremely valuable?
Because in many situations, accepting funds more or less negates my control over the content. In other words, all those messages you’ve seen from people that are basically, “You SAY you’re [trying to eliminate all existing inequality/educating people/trying to promote diversity] but you NEED to be [nicer to racists/catering to white historical vanity/acknowledge my sense of entitlement to your time and effort]!!!” would actually be the ones deciding what the content would be.
which leads to…
2. When is MedievalPOC going to be a book?
When I started this blog, I assumed there would be like 900 other people who had the same idea, but apparently that was not even remotely the case. Included on the list of things I was not expecting: That there would be a roiling volcano of untapped and underutilized information, just how few people have bothered to make anything cohesive out of it, and the massive amount of people who gave a crap.
This project has become much more than I ever expected, and it does need to be a book. It would have to be crowd-funded and independently published in order to maintain its thesis and integrity, however. I’ve been looking into the logistics of what it would take for that to happen, and when I have that hammered out, I’ll definitely announce it.
3. What do you think is the most controversial topic you’ve covered?
Hands-down, without a doubt, the number one topic that people get the angriest about, spew the most hate and vitriol over, and that reveals the most blatant, ingrained and deep-rooted racism is the lack of representation of people of color in American animated children’s films. While media for adults often brings out the “everyone in this movie with dragons and elves HAS to be white because it’s historically accurate!" crowd, but it doesn’t hold a candle to what I have seen when it comes to defending whiteness in Disney cartoons.
The closest runner-up is probably anything to do with Lord of the Rings.
4. Do you think the critics of this blog have a point?
Yes, I do.
The thing is, a lot of the criticism centers on an American running a blog about European art. Which pretty much amount to people screaming at me every five minutes, “you’re an American!!!” and then the subsequent bafflement when I don’t spontaneously burst into flames and then implode from this basic statement of fact. (Although as a Native American I have to admit I derive a great deal of oily mirth from being accused of cultural imperialism by white Europeans.)
My sense of geography is abysmal. My awareness of lineages and whether someone was someone else’s brother’s son’s wife is similarly so. When people correct me on those two counts, which happens literally all the time, I publish the corrections. I don’t speak every language, I haven’t seen every piece of art, and there’s a ton of stuff I’ve never heard of. There have been times when I’ve gotten defensive, kept talking when I should have listened, or was dismissive when I should have been learning. I’ve said things that made people who should have felt welcome feel hurt and excluded instead.
I get the sense that both my critics and my fans would be a lot more comfortable if I would just pretend to be right all the time and act “objective”, instead of continuing to live with embarrassingly public mistakes and being so messily human. But I implore you to look inside yourself and ask whether or not this discomfort comes from the same place in your heart that wants to believe your history textbook was born like Venus from the foam rather than being written on purpose by a human being with thoughts and feelings and a race and a gender and all the other assorted accoutrements of actual human existence.
5. Why aren’t you more professional/respectable?
Because no one is. Because presenting yourself that way is a tool used for social control. Because it’s that very illusion that is used to keep people from participating in their own education. Because academic language all too often operates as a form of gatekeeping, and because the first half of this sentence does the thing it describes.
Because that kind of “respectability” requires exclusion aligning with existing power structures, and I’m not into that.
6. Why do you change your avatar?
Fun fact: changing my avatar image back to “male” cut the hatemail I receive by about two-thirds. Also, having a “female” avatar led a lot of people to make some serious assumptions about my gender. Mostly based on the cultural expectation that no man would ever willingly accept being perceived as a woman without having the biggest tantrum ever witnessed by humanity. 90% of the hate is based on who or what they think I am, rather than who I actually am. Some mysteries are better left intact, even when they’re not really mysteries at all.
Brief apologies for slow responses and updates on this blog. After my midterms, I began working the Lion King show playing at my workplace (the campus Theatre). Last week alone, I had a 35 hour work-week in addition to my regular classes and studies. The musical is running for this week, and next week, at which point I’m going to hopefully slowly catch up.
Hi there, I was wondering if you knew of any literature with stories/legends/myths/etc featuring a clairvoyant character in south/southeast Asia... Prophecies play a big role in Greek/Roman literature; I was wondering if there was any significance placed on prophecy in Asia. Thanks :)
Though, uh, to add to my other ask, I was just wondering if you’d read or heard anything along those lines. Obviously, I don’t expect you to go researching it for me. :) I’m just not as familiar with Asian literature as I’d like to be, but you may know the best place to look.
Your best bet would be to look up books that explore or condense South East Asian and South Asian mythologies, religions, fables, and legends. I own a very slim book on the subject, but it covers East Asia, not South or South East.
Hi! Would you be able to suggest a book that is a relatively brief overview of Eastern civilization for someone with minimal knowledge of the topic? I've skimmed your resources, though it seems they are either too specific for what I'm looking for or are internet resources. Thanks in advance!
I suggest going through Amazon, honestly! If a very broad overview is what you’re looking for, going through the History - > Asia - > search: “Asia Civilization" Or introduction, brief, concise, asian history, etc.
I am am not asking this to be inappropriate or anything I'm really not. I have a paper to do for human psychology and culture. I was wondering if you know what era the first known erotica or erotic like materials(story's or paintings/drawing) was? Please and thank you. Sorry I'm not very good at wording questions
I don’t mind sincere scholarly questions about erotic materials. There’s a vast difference between this and the questions I have deleted previously, so there’s no need to be concerned about that.
However, your question does have a few problems:
I cannot directly give you an answer to a homework assignment, essay or otherwise.
Even if I could, in this case, basic research should tell you that erotic works date back to most ancient civilizations. Sex is, in art/culture/story a primary motivator/theme/subject.
This isn’t a question specific to A.) Asia or B.) more importantly, a specific culture in Asia. The earliest works of erotic art in India would likely be different than erotic art in say, Korea. Or Mongolia. If you want to know what the earliest found and dated work was, I’m sure you could google or research it quite easily! There’s an entire wikipedia page of the History of Erotic Depictions. When the answers are so easy to find, I wonder why you would ask me, instead of going straight to the source! If you’d asked “Do you know where I might find collections of Shunga works?” (which is too late for “first known” anything) then I might have suggested some databases or museums, but really, I’m confident you can find the answer for this one.
You will be blocked and your questions deleted if you send me inappropriate (sexual or otherwise) or racist messages. I am not here for those kinds of questions. They do not deserve my attention, nor do they deserve anyone else’s. In case you didn’t already know, do not send me these kinds of questions. I will block you.
What is your profession/educational background? All your answers seem to have huge academic reference lists, which is clearly beyond a quick, or even a not-so-quick internet search. Or is this just a serious hobby?
I have a degree of some kind, and I work in a college Disability Services Office making accessible textbooks for students with disabilities. I’m disabled as well and I’m very committed to making education accessible for everyone. I don’t make any money from this blog, and since I’m an American working in education, I make next to nothing, of course. I do accept donations. I’m continuing my own education, as well.
I’m also an anti-racism activist and disability advocate, especially for students. This blog is kind of my “baby”, and I think of it as “academic activism”, in line with the rest of my work. My favorite part is the degree to which people get involved, and how much it means to so many people who’ve been told they have no history, or have gotten racially harassed at Renaissance Faires.
So in short, I have an academic background but this is something I do of my own volition because I love to do it.
Some have criticized the fact that this blog’s url is “medievalpoc”, because I post things from “pre-1000s” up until the 1700s.
A common misconception about Art History is that the “only” way to apply terms is according to the date the work was…
Just reblogging to note: Thank you very much for your reply. I honestly mean no ill will and very much enjoy your blog! You’ve thought very deeply about this, and I mean that genuinely. It’s not easy to have a high output, and I sincerely enjoy that someone has done this. I hope you don’t feel my questions were raised out of doubt of your idea. I apologize if my responses were skeptical.
Apologies for not posting much this week! This has been my midterms week, and I just completed my Chinese oral midterm today. Tomorrow is an Art History midterm, and then Friday I have a presentation midterm for my Gallery exhibitions class.
I do have a few updates, however:
On top of taking six classes / 20 credits, I’ve been sitting in on a Graduate seminar taught by one of my professors every week. It’s wonderful to sit in, and because I’ve been going, she’s asked me to work on the Asia Arts Phoenix project. Please check it out, it’s very cool! I will be doing research with the ASU Art Museum’s James Melikian Japanese Prints & Manuscript Collection.
I will try, by this weekend, to have something up for the request for posts about East Asian (traditional) dances on Asian History. I’m hoping to find videos to go along with explanations.