Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ewwww to whoa

This picture was being passed around the office. Not for the faint of heart.

It is from this site.

When I first saw this picture I was really grossed out. I mean its a bunch of Japanese school girls slicing themselves up with Samurai swords. I mean what the f**k? Its really disgusting, I mean their intestines are hanging out.

Then Goat, our office Otaku, put the whole thing perspective.

"You noticed that these girls are committing suicide. In Japan ritual suicide has been part of the culture for hundreds of years. Part of that influence is because it is an island. That has shaped the mentality of the Japanese because it has created this all or nothing character."

"I still don't get it." I said.

"Ok. During World War II, Japan was a powerhouse, this little island was making mince meat of every country in Asia. Part of it is their complex. They are overcompensating for their lack of stature. That is why they were so aggressive during WWII."

"And also because they have small d**ks?"

"Be nice. But I guess you could argue Freud on this one."

"What is the deal with school girls?"

"Well, there are many intepretations. If you look at the expressions on these girls faces they are not in any pain. In fact they seem to be enjoying themselves."

"Well what is creepy is that they seem to be, I don't know, turned on."

"Ah hah. You are starting to think now. There are definitely sexual connotations to this piece. One could argue Freud and that state that the sword represents the phallic symbol. You could argue that the act of disembowling themselves serves as the act of them losing their innocence. Now is there something else you can pick up?"

"Well, there is one girl standing in the picture but she has done anything to herself."

"Ah, very good. Now take a look at her sword grip and then take a look at the others. DO you notice anything odd?"

"Well, they are holding it seems to be different than the others."

"Wow, your really catching on. If you look at everyone else's sword grip, they are holding the sword in order to inflict a fatal wound upon themselves. Now the girl in the center is holding the sword in a pose where it is not in the position of a self inflicted wound. In fact she looks as if she about to strike someone with it. Do anything else different about her?"

"Her hair. It looks blonder than the others."

"There you go. She stands out not just from the way she holds her sword but also her hair. Did you read that article on Japanese woman moving to New York?


"If you read that article, you will understand the meaning of this picture."

"Could you just tell me."

"Fine. The NYT article was about Japanese women moving to Manhattan in order to be more free and get away from their repressive society. In Manhattan they explore new things like hip hop, American culture and dating out of their race. This picture is a very graphic depiction of Japanese women rebelling. These are all school girls which represent the group mentality of Japanese women. The samurai swords and the self inflicted cuts represent duty. Japan is huge on duty. To not abide by your duty is an act of great dishonor and there fore you must fulfill your duty even at the cost of your own life. Now the girl in the middle represents the Japanese woman rebelling from her duties. Her non-conformity is represented by the fact that she is the only one standing, the only one with blonde highlights in her hair and the fact that she holds her sword in a position to strike somone other than herself. Do you get it now?"

"Yeah. I see your point. But I still think it is a gross picture.


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