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Mirumoto Kuroniten

Dark-skinned people in Rokugan and fantasy worlds

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1 minute ago, BordOne said:

So how does the artwork on a piece of cardboard change it's meaning depending on what was the race of person that drew it?

It's somewhat more complicated than that, because there are lot of hands in the process. Art orders, first submissions, revision notes, approvals, and so on. To say nothing of the larger context of how it fits in the game, and how the game fits in FFGs portfolio.

It seems like we agree the meaning is different based on context, or there would be no difference if it were in a gallery versus on a card.

What those differences actually are doesn't really mean much in the abstract. It depends on the specific piece of art.

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17 minutes ago, BD Flory said:

It's somewhat more complicated than that, because there are lot of hands in the process. Art orders, first submissions, revision notes, approvals, and so on. To say nothing of the larger context of how it fits in the game, and how the game fits in FFGs portfolio.

It seems like we agree the meaning is different based on context, or there would be no difference if it were in a gallery versus on a card.

What those differences actually are doesn't really mean much in the abstract. It depends on the specific piece of art.

Well art in a gallery is an art for the sake of it. Art on the card is a craft serving the medium which is the game. I don't see the need for the context in there aside from the in - game context.

And then again what are we arguing about. It's a fact that Asian people mostly like to be portrayed with the whiter skin tone. If I were to tell my girlfriend that she is yellow or brown I would get killed on the spot, so I really don't see any profit for anybody in changing skin of the characters to be two tones darker.

Edited by BordOne

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11 minutes ago, BD Flory said:

What buckle? FFG has a stated and demonstrated concern for inclusiveness and diversity. The assumption that this somehow betrays their vision doesn't really hold up to scrutiny.

People keep talking about conversations that have happened elsewhere on the internet to justify what boils down to name-calling and bad behavior.

If you have a point to make, and genuinely want FFG to listen, maybe participating in the conversation is a better way to be heard.

Shosuko and I obviously disagree, for example, and have very different perspectives on the nature and meaning and use of art. We seem to be able to discuss it without much in the way of acrimony.

There hasn't been a buckle, but what I mean by that would be a concern for the company to get browbeated by obnoxious people that absolutely can't be pleased. There will always be something for those types to whinge about and a vocal minority shouldn't be catered to in a way that could potentially diminish what the people making this thing are trying to do with it. I'm all for diverse and inclusive work in my nerd stuff. ****, my first post in this thread was suggesting an awesome game where they make a point of there being female POC main characters as well as homosexuals and even a trans character. But that's in line with their vision and in line with what they want, and not the result of petulant whining by people throwing around buzzwords and a whiff of superiority.

I've made my points and am participating in the conversation. But my participation in the conversation doesn't mean that I have to act like I respect views on cultural appropriation. It's a fundamentally racist conversation to have and a bad idea. I'm not going to lie like I feel otherwise, and once again, I'm still yet to see an argument 'for'(against?) cultural appropriation that isn't just bad and/or outright racist. Every single one I've seen has been barely worth entertaining, including this one.

 

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1 hour ago, BD Flory said:

At risk of misconstruing Ide Yoshiya's comment, I think their meaning here was more, "what are you saying?" than, "what are you fighting about?" :)

I think I've said enough from answering original question, to the alleged lack of diversity, to why xenophobia works in Rokugan..and now its artwork. Like i said the shifting goalpost is confounding and its time to fly away..like kamalakar..in his flying carpet.

Edited by Bayushi Bajie

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1 hour ago, Daigotsu Steve said:

I've made my points and am participating in the conversation. But my participation in the conversation doesn't mean that I have to act like I respect views on cultural appropriation. It's a fundamentally racist conversation to have and a bad idea.

I'm curious what cultural appropriation means to you, given you're the one who brought it up. I suspect we have different understandings of the term.

And I would argue that participating in a discussion actually does mean you display a modicum of respect for opposing views, no matter what you may think of them.

Edited by BD Flory

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2 minutes ago, BD Flory said:

I'm curious what cultural appropriation means to you, given you're the one who brought it up. I suspect we have different understandings of the term.

Cultural Appropriation is what happens when a white person makes something, wears something, eats something or does basically anything that comes from another culture. When Americans open Mexican restaurants, they're culturally appropriating Mexicans. If an artists draws something in a distinctive style, they're culturally appropriating whatever. Derp. It makes your dog sick, it makes your socks smelly, you'll get a bee up your nose and it'll make your milk sour. It's definitely worth whinging about. Only white people can ever do it and it's definitely nothing to do with racism.

And just to be honest, I have absolutely no care in the world what your understanding of the term is. I imagine I could Google something feminist and get it.

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28 minutes ago, Daigotsu Steve said:

Cultural Appropriation is what happens when a white person makes something, wears something, eats something or does basically anything that comes from another culture. When Americans open Mexican restaurants, they're culturally appropriating Mexicans. If an artists draws something in a distinctive style, they're culturally appropriating whatever. Derp. It makes your dog sick, it makes your socks smelly, you'll get a bee up your nose and it'll make your milk sour. It's definitely worth whinging about. Only white people can ever do it and it's definitely nothing to do with racism.

And just to be honest, I have absolutely no care in the world what your understanding of the term is. I imagine I could Google something feminist and get it.

 

3 hours ago, BD Flory said:

People keep talking about conversations that have happened elsewhere on the internet to justify what boils down to name-calling and bad behavior.

If you have a point to make, and genuinely want FFG to listen, maybe participating in the conversation being had here is a better way to be heard.

 

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Art is a method of communication. You start with an idea you are attempting to communicate (which can be a politically motivated thing, or simply an emotion you want to convey, or a deep innovative thought about art itself, or just 'Here is a powerful, beautiful samurai lady' because that's what the person who comissioned you to make the art asked you to convey), and you attempt to convey it to the people viewing the art. 

Like any other method of communication, there are codes and alphabets and languages to art, and each culture grows their own. This can range from how colors (eg is white or black the color of death?) are interpreted, to cues on how to represent certain notions of ethnicity, to numerical analogies, to reference to other famous works of art of a given culture.

And, like any other method of communication, if you start randomly throwing words in a language only you understand in the conversation without ever explaining those words, no one's going to understand what you're babbling on about. Heck, a word may be a perfectly legitimate way of saying something in one language, and an obscene swearword in another. Phoque may be seal to a French audience ; but by an English speaker to an English audience, it's going to be interpreted as a certain F-word. 

That's why there's a major difference between a Japanese person painting fair-skinned Japanese people for a Japanese audience ; and a western person painting fair-skinned Japanesse people for a western audience. It's the difference between a native French speaker addressing a French audience in French, and a native English speaker with limited knowledge of French addressing an English audience in an approximate imitation of French. 
 

Edited by Himoto

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45 minutes ago, Himoto said:

That's why there's a major difference between a Japanese person painting fair-skinned Japanese people for a Japanese audience ; and a western person painting fair-skinned Japanesse people for a western audience. It's the difference between a native French speaker addressing a French audience in French, and a native English speaker with limited knowledge of French addressing an English audience in an approximate imitation of French. 

Ok let's say there is a difference.

What is the problem? Japanese(asian) people want to be portrayed with a whiter skintone, which is a sign of wealth and beauty in their culture.

Western artists follow the japanese ones and make art depicting asian people with light skintone. Should we make them more brown to not look at them the way they want to be looked at?

I don't see any suffering or grief here.

Edited by BordOne

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1 hour ago, Daigotsu Steve said:

Cultural Appropriation is what happens when a white person makes something, wears something, eats something or does basically anything that comes from another culture. When Americans open Mexican restaurants, they're culturally appropriating Mexicans. If an artists draws something in a distinctive style, they're culturally appropriating whatever. Derp. It makes your dog sick, it makes your socks smelly, you'll get a bee up your nose and it'll make your milk sour. It's definitely worth whinging about. Only white people can ever do it and it's definitely nothing to do with racism.

And just to be honest, I have absolutely no care in the world what your understanding of the term is. I imagine I could Google something feminist and get it.

The first step to making a convincing argument is to have a solid, nuanced understanding of what you are talking about. Venting against a straw man wastes everyone's time, yours most of all.

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It's not "want to be". It's what fair skin mean in their artistic language versus what it means in ours. Ot does NOT follow that they want depicted that way by strangers. That's a self-serving leap of faith. 

Rather like someone whose name happen to sound rather vulgar in English (or just be hard to pronounce correctly in english) may prefer English speaker to use an alternate pronunciation or nockname rather than constantly being called something vulgar or having their name mangled by anglophones, even while they prefer to be adressed by their proper name in their native language.

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13 minutes ago, Himoto said:

It's not "want to be". It's what fair skin mean in their artistic language versus what it means in ours. Ot does NOT follow that they want depicted that way by strangers. That's a self-serving leap of faith. 

Rather like someone whose name happen to sound rather vulgar in English (or just be hard to pronounce correctly in english) may prefer English speaker to use an alternate pronunciation or nockname rather than constantly being called something vulgar or having their name mangled by anglophones, even while they prefer to be adressed by their proper name in their native language.

It  is not a leap of faith. I am living in an asian country. Every girl I talk to literally "wants to be" as white as possible it is just one of their beauty standards. And it is not artistic language it is their day to day life.

Having a particularly dark complexion is perceived to be undesireable and frankly ugly here.

And being portrayed as white is a compliment not an insult so I guess u missed  the point with your analogy.

Edited by BordOne

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2 hours ago, Himoto said:

Art is a method of communication. You start with an idea you are attempting to communicate (which can be a politically motivated thing, or simply an emotion you want to convey, or a deep innovative thought about art itself, or just 'Here is a powerful, beautiful samurai lady' because that's what the person who comissioned you to make the art asked you to convey), and you attempt to convey it to the people viewing the art. 

Like any other method of communication, there are codes and alphabets and languages to art, and each culture grows their own. This can range from how colors (eg is white or black the color of death?) are interpreted, to cues on how to represent certain notions of ethnicity, to numerical analogies, to reference to other famous works of art of a given culture.

And, like any other method of communication, if you start randomly throwing words in a language only you understand in the conversation without ever explaining those words, no one's going to understand what you're babbling on about. Heck, a word may be a perfectly legitimate way of saying something in one language, and an obscene swearword in another. Phoque may be seal to a French audience ; but by an English speaker to an English audience, it's going to be interpreted as a certain F-word. 

That's why there's a major difference between a Japanese person painting fair-skinned Japanese people for a Japanese audience ; and a western person painting fair-skinned Japanesse people for a western audience. It's the difference between a native French speaker addressing a French audience in French, and a native English speaker with limited knowledge of French addressing an English audience in an approximate imitation of French. 
 

I do appreciate the authenticity that is brought about by inviting members of of the culture to join in the creation of the piece, or to see a piece about a culture created entirely within the culture.  An example of this is a Netflix series I'm watching currently called Samurai Gourmet.  This series walks you through situations in Japanese culture that a person from America may not notice or even consider.  The material only exists because it comes from their cultural prospective.  It is something that is uniquely Japanese and you can tell as you watch it that it is an authentic perspective.

However - if a person were to have their attention drawn to these situations, and immersed themselves in the culture, I don't think there would be anything wrong with an American writing the same story.  You do not have to live something yourself to write a compelling story about it.

Neil Gaiman is an amazing author.  He is not Norwegian, Egyptian, Arabian, American, Japanese, a God, Vampire, Cannibal, super rich, or super poor - yet he can write stories from all of these perspectives well and does the subjects justice in his work.  It defies the notion that Cultural Appropriation is bad when he is successful and his stories are enjoyed by the people and cultures he embodies in his stories.

Samurai as a theme are very well known to Westerners at this point.  There are obviously some glaring errors and some things are difficult to translate.  It can come off a bit odd with the constant honorifics and the splashed Asian words that may or may not mean what the Story Team intends them to mean.  I think it's just as odd to me as it is that a katana would be used so much on a battlefield, or a person wearing armor would be cleaved in half through it.  The Story Team isn't perfect, but the problem isn't that a non-historic-war-vet is unable to tell a captivating historical fiction including battle, or that they need to be Japanese for them to be "allowed" to tell it.  The only real requirement is that they do their subject matter justice.

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6 minutes ago, shosuko said:

Samurai as a theme are very well known to Westerners at this point.  There are obviously some glaring errors and some things are difficult to translate.  It can come off a bit odd with the constant honorifics and the splashed Asian words that may or may not mean what the Story Team intends them to mean.  I think it's just as odd to me as it is that a katana would be used so much on a battlefield, or a person wearing armor would be cleaved in half through it.  The Story Team isn't perfect, but the problem isn't that a non-historic-war-vet is unable to tell a captivating historical fiction including battle, or that they need to be Japanese for them to be "allowed" to tell it.  The only real requirement is that they do their subject matter justice.

This whole postmodernist notion that a person coming from outside a certain culture can never ever truly understand it or depict it is pretty stupid.

It might be true when we are talking small, scientific details(which I am not even sure if it is), but when it comes to fiction it's laughable.

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53 minutes ago, Himoto said:

It's not "want to be". It's what fair skin mean in their artistic language versus what it means in ours. Ot does NOT follow that they want depicted that way by strangers. That's a self-serving leap of faith. 

Rather like someone whose name happen to sound rather vulgar in English (or just be hard to pronounce correctly in english) may prefer English speaker to use an alternate pronunciation or nockname rather than constantly being called something vulgar or having their name mangled by anglophones, even while they prefer to be adressed by their proper name in their native language.

Are YOU Japanese and offended by the depiction?  Or are you assuming Japanese people are?

I kinda have a feeling you aren't Japanese since you say "in their artistic language" versus "what it means in ours."  I'd recommend letting Asian and Japanese people get offended before you assume they are, as your own understanding may be flawed.  From my experience - Japanese people portray themselves as "white" because that is how they see themselves.  They portrayed themselves that way before we ever breached their shores.  They also don't seem to mind when Americans or Koreans portray them in this way either...

These characters are all "Asian" and no one complains that it is an American produced anime...  (note, the dark skinned ones are "foreigners" to standard culture)

Avatar:.The.Last.Airbender.full.804984.j

Edited by shosuko

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3 minutes ago, shosuko said:

These characters are all "Japanese" and no one complains that it is an American produced anime...

Avatar:.The.Last.Airbender.full.804984.j

And Chinese, and Inuit, and Tibetan? (I honestly forget exactly what the Air bending monks were supposed to be) But only the Fire nation is meant to depict the Japanese. The Water Tribes are based on the Inuit, and Earth Kingdom is close to China.

Edited by RandomJC

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Doesn't matter - I was actually editing it to say "Asian" instead of "Japanese" as you quoted me because they are more varied than just "Japanese," but the point stands - the only ones who aren't "white" are the two who are supposed to be southern islanders...  This isn't a whitewash of Asian people - it's how these characters are depicted in art from their own perspective.  This artist simply used their perspective when creating characters based on their culture...

Edited by shosuko

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Things I have not said, despite the desperate strawmanning of people who really need to learn basic reading comprehension:
-That it's offensive to Japanese people for westerners to depict fair-skinned Japanese people
-That westerners should not draw inspiration from other cultures

Things I have said, that people seem to do their level best to strawman into something completely different
-That western artists should be conscious that they are adressing a primarily western audience who understand art through the perspective of primarily western artistic conventions (eg, language)
-That as such, they should reflect on whether their art communicate what it's supposed to communicate (for example: "this is an asian person") in a way that fits western artistic language. 

That's all. So kindly stop putting words in my mouth, and stuff your strawmen where the sun doesn't shine. 

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4 minutes ago, Himoto said:

Things I have said, that people seem to do their level best to strawman into something completely different
-That western artists should be conscious that they are adressing a primarily western audience who understand art through the perspective of primarily western artistic conventions (eg, language)
-That as such, they should reflect on whether their art communicate what it's supposed to communicate (for example: "this is an asian person") in a way that fits western artistic language. 

That's all. So kindly stop putting words in my mouth, and stuff your strawmen where the sun doesn't shine. 

Do you really think we won't be able to tell that characters are asian because they are not yellow? 

Edited by BordOne

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15 minutes ago, Himoto said:

-That as such, they should reflect on whether their art communicate what it's supposed to communicate (for example: "this is an asian person") in a way that fits western artistic language. 

So what does this refer to xD I remind you we have been talking about skin color since last 8 pages.

Edited by BordOne

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12 minutes ago, Himoto said:


Things I have said, that people seem to do their level best to strawman into something completely different
-That western artists should be conscious that they are adressing a primarily western audience who understand art through the perspective of primarily western artistic conventions (eg, language)
-That as such, they should reflect on whether their art communicate what it's supposed to communicate (for example: "this is an asian person") in a way that fits western artistic language. 
 

I'm genuinely confused by this right now.

-I think most artists are aware of what their culture is, and should always be conscious of their audience. Know you're audience is one of main things for an artist. So I'm not sure what you're point is.

-I just don't really understand what you mean here. That seems like second nature, as a western artist, my technique in communicating is inherently in the western artistic language so my need to reflect on whether it does should be moot. As a western artist when trying to communicate in a different artistic language is when I should reflect on what I am trying to say, it feels. (This of course skips the general "always reflect on what you mean to say" when producing artwork)

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