Racist logo in old Japanese TF commercials?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by DinobotNny, May 27, 2009.

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  1. DinobotNny

    DinobotNny Dewbot

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    I'm not sure if this is the right forum, but I was watching some Japanese transformers commercials from like the '80s, and noticed this logo at the end:

    [​IMG]

    Does anyone know what it's supposed to be, or what the logo is for? Now, I know it was Japan and it was in the '80s, but it seems like an awfully racist image to use in a toy commercial. Maybe I'm just reading too much into it.
    I tried searching for more info about it on google and on here, but couldn't find anything. Sorry, it's bothering me for some reason. lol
     
  2. AnimatedFan

    AnimatedFan Banned

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    I've seen the logo before, but I never noticed the red "mouth", which could imply blackface, or Big Minstrel Jubilees (where Blackface was used heavily), but I doubt it was Takara's intention to do so.

    Probably something to break up the monotony of black on a white background. It is a boring logo...
     
  3. Dead Metal

    Dead Metal Well-Known Member

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    Having Japan's cute artstyle when it comes to children's stuff in mind, not it's not racist.
     
  4. alexcollier

    alexcollier Well-Known Member

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    That's Dakko-Chan. It was heavily criticised a while ago. They later replaced it with another character that was kind of similar but had less of the "gollywog" appearance.

    Quite why they thought the original Dakko-Chan was a good idea in the first place in beyond me. The original doll (on which the logo is based) was a huge seller for Takara and was supposedly based on the features of sun-tanned chikdren.

    However, Japan has never been a very racially sensitive place. Just read former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone's opinions on the intellect of the US. His comments led to many Japanese toy companies removing even remotely racially products from its shelves. Well, that was until the Dakko-Chan doll was rereleased a few years ago. Oh, Japan. What will you get up to next?
     
  5. DJCHARTERS

    DJCHARTERS Well-Known Member

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    being honest though it doesnt really suprise me, i always thought a lot of the trasnformers g1 episodes were borderline in its treatmeant of other cultures sometimes.
     
  6. Some_Gamer_Dude

    Some_Gamer_Dude Member

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    If memory serves me correctly, it's a bear.

    I don't see how a mascot from a country that never had the "Black Face" imagery could be racist by using a black coloured character. Kinda the Jynx argument again. People reading into things that aren't there.
     
  7. alexcollier

    alexcollier Well-Known Member

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    The actual designers admitted to it being a human but it was heavily criticised for appearing too much like the archetypal "gollywog" image.

    Also, you have soft-drinks company Calpis using an actual Gollywog for years until it was finally removed in the wake of Nakasone's comments.

    That kind of racism exists in Japan. White. Black. I've seen racism directed at both.
     
  8. Kup-is-Dion

    Kup-is-Dion Lord Cthulhu

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    It looks like a girly Mr Popo.
     
  9. destrongerlupus

    destrongerlupus #MoreSawBoss

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    Very interesting stuff! I always wondered about that logo too.

    Did some digging, and found:
    [​IMG]

    As well as this vintage 1960 TIME magazine article which describes the craze over the doll. If the purple prose is even 30% accurate, I can see why Takara has been proudly displaying this little bugger's visage for decades...

    And the vintage-paragraph addressing the potential race-issue (Though I find the mindless fad-ism comments of the teenagers the most deliciously Japanese):



    D/L
     
  10. SilverDragon

    SilverDragon YEAH TOAST!

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    It's old and Japanese. It likely wasn't intended to be racist, only that it had negative connotations outside Japan.
     
  11. GogDog

    GogDog Logic's wayward son Veteran

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    I find it hilarious how often people shout "RACISM!!" at every opportunity these days.
     
  12. Recall

    Recall Player Select

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    Its just like everyone shouting "Blame Hasbro!" its cliche and thats all the internet provides....cliche material
     
  13. Opticron Primal

    Opticron Primal Comin' up OOOs!

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    Which reminds me. Mr. Popo looks the same as that logo. Did people criticize DBZ for being racist?
     
  14. GogDog

    GogDog Logic's wayward son Veteran

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    Yes.
     
  15. Opticron Primal

    Opticron Primal Comin' up OOOs!

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    Ah, ok. Just wondering. It wouldn't of made sense if that wasn't criticized but this was.
     
  16. UltraMagnus3786

    UltraMagnus3786 That's what it is

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    While I agree some people are too quick to pull the race card, this is an instance of when something actually is racist, and I don't find it very funny.

    After WWII, America had a heavy hand in the rebuilding of Japan-- its physical structures, its government, and its pop/capitalist culture. Unfortunately, that included exporting negative caricatures of blacks as black-faced, red-lipped sambos and the like. Minstrel shows and other sambo symbols were used to mock, reinforce stereotypes, and further oppress blacks in America and abroad.

    For Japan to adopt these symbols and keep them into the 1980s is objectively insensitive. Keeping such symbols because they are cute is to be ignorant of their socio-political implications. Furthermore, it would be just as insensitive for any culture to adopt a "coolie" caricature of an Asian railroad worker, or a decked-out Nazi as a corporate symbol/product, just because it was cute.

    Japan has made its amends, and my little rant is over. But to claim that this is an instance of some crazy person shouting "racism", or to imply that since the images didn't originate in Japan it can't be considered racist (as 'some gamer dude' did) is ignorant of the facts of history.

    edit: Does that mean someone is a bad person for liking DBZ and the like? That's up to you to decide, but I don't think so. I love Kamehamehas just as much as the next nerd, and of course love TF/Takara products. But it's important to keep things in perspective and understand the history, as opposed to ignoring it. Ok sorry, rant is officially over now.
     
  17. DinobotNny

    DinobotNny Dewbot

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    Thanks everyone! That was like a "wtf" moment when I saw that, so I was just curious.

    And a lot of people shout "racism" at every opportunity these days because a lot of things are meant to be racist. With American culture especially, you can't really look at something like that without getting racist thoughts. It's sad.
     
  18. _Galvatron_

    _Galvatron_ Emperor of Destruction

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    Yep.

    People need to get over themselves.
     
  19. Fit For natalie

    Fit For natalie tfwiki nerd

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    I noticed that people in this thread who posted short answers defending the logo and/or mocking others for being "overly-sensitive" seem to have lost the ability to read, as the longer posts in this thread have explained the history of the logo as well as Japan's past attitudes to foreigners and racial sensitivity, which is relevant to the logo and this topic.
     
  20. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    And I'm sure only Japanese people who have nothing better to do would find the classic "Slap a Jap" Superman cover insulting.
     
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