Do a survey: Gender Identity among Overseas Fans of Queer Japanese Media

March 2022: Here is a survey that may be of interest to some readers of this blog:

UPDATE: Prof Welker reports good response, mentioned he plans to keep the survey open at least through March 13, 2022. Will note here when the survey closes.
UPDATE MORE: March 23 and no word that the study has closed. There was a report of over 600 respondents on March 12, so goin’ good!.


Questionnaire on Gender Identity among Overseas Fans of Queer Japanese Media

This questionnaire is part of study by me, James Welker, on the gender identities of fans of boys love/BL (also called yaoi), yuri, trans, and other gender-bending manga, anime, light novels, etc. from Japan or inspired by these genres in Japan. The focus of this study is on fans who are not Japanese (based on their self-definition).

This is a *preliminary* questionnaire. It may be followed by other questionnaires or surveys.

***To participate, you must be at least 18 years old.***

To participate, please be someone who
(1) is at least 18 years old; AND
(2) identifies as trans, non-binary, genderqueer, agender, gender fluid, or other non-cis gender category; AND
(3) consumes and/or creates BL/yaoi, yuri, trans, and/or other gender-bending manga, anime, light novels, etc. from Japan or inspired by these genres in Japan; AND
(4) is not Japanese (identity, not legal nationality).

Your participation in this questionnaire is completely voluntary.
 
Professor Welker is a well-respected sensei, researcher and writer on gender stuff in Japanese popular fiction genres (see Bibliography). I am hoping that he will make the survey findings accessible when finished. There are not many studies of “outlander” fans of Japanese popular culture that deal with gender stuff available; the last often-cited one dates from almost 15 years ago.

So high time.

Starts at a Google Doc page, so you may wish to be logged into your favorite
Google account in advance:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScUyytBKDUpYViU2U6Ym1voeWo1ZqwLPUASOgEU8BVHXu1V7g/viewform

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In other news, I hope everyone is hanging in there.
 
I -may- come up with something with enough theory moe to blog on sooner or later.
Or I may turn this blog into yet another review mill and endlessly extol the praises
of Super Cub and Yuru Camp.
 
Blog is simply having a relax, not even on hiatus.

ASIDE: WordeePress’s Block Editor is evil evil evil and you have to perform
inelegant contortions to get something close to the old editor back. HATRED!
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LATER: Surprisingly enough, I just found mention of a -recent- BL-in-Japan readership 
survey in, of all places the English version of RocketNews(!) They also provided a link to a more detailed summary at https://xbusiness.jp/post/174 (in Japanese, Google Translate works):
“The reality and outlook of the boys love market”, Xbusiness Japan, 2017/03/31:
 
“According to a consumer survey conducted by Yano Research Institute in September 2016, it is estimated that there are about 740,000 consumers in Japan who identify themselves as “BL nerds.” According to the questionnaire results, the distribution of “BL otaku” ages is 15-19 years old: 20.0 (22.6)%, 20s: 36.5 (36.8)%, 30s: 9.4 (11.3%), 40s: 17.6 (14.2%). ), 50s: 8.2 (6.6)%, 60s: 8.2 (8.5)%, which is a market driven by teens and 20s. What is noteworthy is that the number of people in their 40s has increased by 3.4 points from the previous year.
 
The male-female ratio was male: female = 30.6 (17.9)%: 69.4 (82.1)%, which was a feature of this market, but the male ratio is growing rapidly to 12.7 points.
The word “fujoshi”, which refers to women who love BL, is becoming more common, but the word “fudanshi”, which refers to men who love BL, is also being used in some cases. This survey also revealed that the fan base is also on the rise. In addition, the “otaku history” newly added as a survey item from this year is as follows. It peaks at less than one year and tends to decrease as the years go by.”
— Ibid, per Google Translate.

SoraNews post; “Survey claims that 30 percent of boys’ love fans in Japan are men” by Casey Baseel, SoraNews, May 10, 2019
https://soranews24.com/2019/05/10/survey-claims-that-30-percent-of-boys-love-fans-in-japan-are-men/
 
It’s also worth pointing out that one year before the survey showing 30.6 percent of the boys’ love fans were men, Yano performed an identical survey in which only 17.9 percent of boys’ love fans were male, though some may call even that figure surprisingly high. Unfortunately, while the study has recently been attracting renewed attention online in Japan, the 30.6-percent-male survey itself was conducted in 2016, and Yano doesn’t appear to have performed the study again since then, so maybe it’s something they should thin about adding to the company’s annual study on the state of the otaku community and economy.”
 
Recall that the most accessible “study” of Japanese Fu-danshi for the Japanese researcher was done by a fan back in 2008 and 2009 and published at Comiket! 
It estimated male BL readership, in Japan at somewhere around %10 of the total, with %20 of these self-reporting as straight or asexual.
 
From the Bibliography section of this blog:

““Fudanshi ni kiku” [Talking with fudanshi] by Yoshimoto, Taimatsu. 2008.
Self-published. http://www.picnic.to/~taimatsu/common/milk/milk_postal_taimatsu.htm.
The 2009 follow-up study lists Tagame Gengoroh as co-author.
http://doujinshi.mugimugi.org/book/396607/
More: http://d.hatena.ne.jp/taimatsu_torch/
See also: http://picnic.to/~taimatsu/index.htm
For both studies, sample sizes ran to 100-110 respondents.”
 
See also the cross-over readership findings in Verena Maser’s 2013 doctoral thesis:
“Beautiful and Innocent; Female Same-Sex Intimacy in the Japanese Yuri Genre”
PhD Dissertation by Verena Maser . 27.9.2013 Universität Trier
http://ubt.opus.hbz-nrw.de/volltexte/2015/944/pdf/Maser_Beautiful_and_Innocent.pdf
 
POINT IS…. Big Japanese publishing companies have a damn good idea of who is reading what, but they treat that data like latinum.  Tons of theorizing as to who is reading what gets guesstimated on by the rest of fandom and academia with very little access to hard data, often before venturing on to why. 
 
Add to this that the BL genre has evolved furiously over the last five decades and there is gonna be confusion (or as Dr. A. Mizoguchi has eloquently put it, “contested spaces”).
 
We can still situate -most- Japanese BL as an off-shoot of the greater shoujo tradition, with more emphasis placed on romantic themes and interpersonal dynamics within the narrative but the “female-gaze” at +%90 in Japan might well be part of history. 

Incidentally for outlanders, the previous big study I heard of was spun up out of a European-emphasis web-survey in the mid 2000’s with findings featured on a now dead/ never-archived web site and in:
Boy’s Love Manga: Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross-Cultural Fandom of the Genre“, edited by Antonia Levi, Mark McHarry and Dru Pagliasotti (2010), which focused overwhelmingly (often to the point of annoyance) on outlander/ diaspora BL fans.
 
TL;DR: 50/50 split among outlanders, overwhelming majority of the guys “queer”
This split tracks well – for that time period- with off-hand comments by staff of English publishers of translated Japanese BL works at convention panels. (Aoki, passim)
(Anyone interested can find the full book on Archive.org, unless it has been ganked)

Feel free to start a Tumblr/ Instagram/ TikTok convo over “real BL”.
If you hear of any other surveys with useful data, please leave a comment.
 

Go do a fanfiction survey

I might be a bit late on this but it is still interesting. The folks at Fansplaining [http://fansplaining.com/] posted a Twitter invite to participate in a short survey on Fanfiction. Off I went and filled it out. You should too.

Fansplaining‏ @fansplaining Mar 20
More
It’s time for a new Fansplaining survey—this one on the definition of “fanfic”!
Go, take, and share widely! https://t.co/eWcSLmKsfF

See also the call on their main site: http://fansplaining.com/post/158797773333/take-the-fansplaining-definitions-survey

Ok, I spoiled a question. Wait, I got that pic on Twitter, so it’s only a second-hand spoil. Or something… Personally, I had a lot of NO IDEA WHATEVER replies but that’s part of the exercise, right?

In other news:

I am two thirds though my Japan visit and so far it has been more of a decompress time than a run-around-and-buy-experience-things visit. Only 2 more Genshiken volumes left on my hunt list, a ten-day cold shared with she-who-up-with-me… a sprained ankle and some light bicycle trips. The weather has turned cool and wet – sakura blossoms will be delayed a few days. The steampunk fair is still interesting but the door is expensive.

Of course the food is insanely great here, even the cheap stuff that I get chided for indulging in, the air is clean along the Sagami Bay shores and Japan remains wonderful.

I promise I will come up with something to TLDR essay post on sooner of later.

Meanwhile, have a sunset.

 

Fansplaining’s fanfiction survey

Fansplaining has a survey that will reveal your most intimate fanfiction desires!

c123p8-lewd-web

With the winding down of Genshiken Nidaime, this blog can revert to its true form; a series of disjointed tracts from a sketchy fundamentalist cult based on vulgar readings of Dr. Saito Tamaki‘s theories on otaku subjectivity and desire. ‘Round these parts, when we ain’t doing snake-handlin’ and speakin’ in tongues (the way of pastor Hopkins), we perform the rituals of libidinised reading and appropriative secondary production; sometimes tarted up for the university heathens as “Transformative works”.crack-fanfaction-gospel-web

The most fearsome of these doin’s ‘o secondary production is to go into a trance and readeth, even maketh fic. As the Genshiken and Tamaki-dono hath decreed, so mote it be, even if it is best motied off-stage and out of view.

What amazing varieties and ways there be to partake in these spiritual exercises! Such love! Such devotion!

@fansplaining
Wanna help us do a BIG analysis of fanfiction tropes and themes? Our official survey is live! Please take and share:

The Fansplaining Fic Preferences Survey:
https://t.co/aqh7GJd2LX
or
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdR0NUq8fbz7gsoEmaeLpf54mctcxQg_-YdT5TjDPxe_PkvDg/viewform

The good folks at Fansplaining have been making and posting interesting podcasts on western fan practice (with a strong emphasis on slashy fandoms) for a while now. Notable is their commitment to posting transcripts of these, usually a week or so after the podcast.

see: http://fansplaining.com/ and http://fansplaining.com/about

c123p9-transactional-webThe Genshiken is all about rude doujin makin. Draw what you know, neh? Kio-gami is a mangaka, not a light novel writer. For those us us who skivved out on drawing classes, scribbling is easier than scratching. Plaisir de texte and all that..

re-zero-drool-gospe-webl

If you have been so bitten by the bug, or are even a bit curious I commend to you the Fansplaining survey; so that you might opine (and gaze in awe!) on their introductory typology of western fic tropes. The survey biases towards slashy narratives, bien sur, because there just ain’t that many dudes writing long grinds about their epic FPS map clearing forays. The absence of sections on machine-generated crapfic and on trollfic are also telling. I am a bit saddened even as the omission is understandable.

That Halo troll-fic machinima ain’t got no schmex might be the most convincing proof of the existence of a merciful deity yet.

Behind my flippant tone is of course a small dumpster full of shame — hey, it’s a guy thing. But the fun of reading or trying one’s own hand at a short “what-if” with your fave charas is more than just a diversion. Nothing short of scanlation encourages such close reading as trying to jam your headcanon onto an existing property. You really, really begin to obsess over minutiae. Even a trash ship (one of those can’t exactly define it but you’ll know it when it sneaks up and bites you on the leg things) demands a serious and very detailed consideration of the original materials. The only risk is having your mind gripped by the unshakeable conviction that the author pulled their lame compromise resolution out of -ahem- the air and that the only possible way it could have gone (if the editors hadn’t spiked it) would have been a beach-front marriage in Hawaii.

Followed by a Saturday afternoon spent shopping for curtains.

Or

113 pages of wooden dialogue between two very hungover idiots trying to wrap their aching heads around their predicament.

Or…rezero_witch-cult-web

Oh my! So many possibilities. This woobie thing; maybe that’s a bit too squick?

Go forth and completeth the survey, and remember:

FOR SCIENCE!

Another survey, whottheheck

There’s another academic research survey on fandom out and about.
Why not help add to the lore?

Animelogo

https://sites.google.com/site/animeresearch/

It would be unfair to blather too much about it, survey bias and all that, but it looks like it is aimed at North American anime fans and covers a range of themes from a few different researchers.

So it is a pooled effort.

180px-Genshiken_SZS Ohno_manga

 

There is a comment section at the end, if you think they need a bit of help and/or want to testify.

They also throw in a little “incentive”; an Amazon gift card draw for thems that complete the beast.

“If you are interested in viewing the results of this survey, they will be posted on the International Anime Research Project’s website: https://sites.google.com/site/animeresearch/     “

Be gentle with them.

And remember: FOR SCIENCE!

pengy sue

LATER: More about the team behind the survey, past efforts and links can be found here: https://animemangastudies.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/intl-anime-research-project-2016/

 

Another fan survey

This blog supports research into fandom, so I will highlight any interesting research that I hear of and even suggest that you, oh gentle reader, may wish to participate in.

Ogiue bliss

This one showed up on Twitter and on the TWC site:

Help a Researcher Study Slash

Are you a reader or writer of slash fanfic? If so, University of North Texas (‘UNT’) student Allison Bradley would like your help. Allison is studying the relationship between media, slash fiction, and LGBTQ+ identity and would like to ask slash creators and consumers to take part in her survey, available online. The survey is completely anonymous and should be completed only by fans over the age of 18. Read the consent form here.

http://beta.transformativeworks.org/help-a-researcher-study-slash/

I did the survey, fanned out a bit, it took less than 20 minutes.
Survey closes March 1. Quite painless.

You probably should be somewhat into slashy fanfic, western variety, to be interested in this survey. I don’t know if fans of CJVC/ dojins and scanlations of BL and yaoi are the audence that the researcher is looking for, but what the heck. Bonus if you have tried writing some fic.

Otherwise, nothing much going on around here.

Watching Mononoke (waugh! keep the weird drugs away from the animation crew! – reminds me of the Takashi Murakami 500 Arhats show I saw in Tokyo) and thoroughly enjoying Showa Rakugo, even as I have to swat away the fluff lobbed at me by the author’s subtext popgun.

mononoke

HOLY DISTURBING IMAGERY BATMAN!
Looks like Murakami (or was it one of his superflat crew/ associates?) had a hand in the chara design for Mononoke !!!!! (1)
http://outsiderjapan.pbworks.com/w/page/9758462/Mononoke
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2206068/fullcredits/

Awaiting an English scanlation of Genshiken chapter 120 (can’t read the Bulgarian one) to see how far overboard I fanned out. Plum blossoms are early in Japan, Early cherry blossoms are already starting to pop (they are wayyyyy too pink) and even here in the frozen North-lands, the sun is finally peeking out on some afternoons.

 

(1) Off Topic: This is a blog mostly about manga and anime, so veering off into high-church post-modernist art is a bit out of place; nevertheless, the way Takashi Murakami puts his shows together is closer to anime production than to traditional “art studio” work. It is also many levels more complex than something like Warhol’s “Factory” 50 years earlier. Add to this that Murakami hires lots of young creative people and involves them in the production process. What results is a giant “Murakami alumni mafia”, much as anime studios foster webs of acquaintance and cooperation. He also goes whole hog on media mix marketing, so you can load up on art-otaku crap at any of his shows.