Voices of the hero

dominant masculine ideologies through the speech of Japanese 'sh?nen' protagonists

Authors

  • Hannah E. Dahlberg-Dodd Ohio State University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/genl.32536

Keywords:

language in media, masculinity, role language, yakuwarigo, anime, pop culture, japanese studies, animation, sociophonetics

Abstract

This paper examines diachronic changes in the pronoun use and phonetic performance of protagonists in sh?nen anime, a genre of animated work that is aimed predominately at adolescent boys. Utilising nearly forty years of sh?nen anime, this study constructs a diachronic analysis of first-person pronoun usage, the primary pragmatic index of gender performance in Japanese, as well as average pitch and pitch range, which are frequently cited as salient phonetic markers of gender performance but are understudied in this area with regard to language in media. By analysing the way that changes in masculinity structures are reflected in performance of fictional protagonists, this paper demonstrates the necessity for further research on language use, particularly by protagonists, in fictional media, as well as on the way that dominant language ideologies are reproduced and consumed in the popular culture market.

Author Biography

Hannah E. Dahlberg-Dodd, Ohio State University

Hannah E. Dahlberg-Dodd is a doctoral candidate in Japanese linguistics in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at the Ohio State University. Her research is on the use and perception of yakuwarigo ('role language') in popular media, especially with regard to language ideologies concerning gender and sexuality.

References

Abe, H. (2004) Lesbian bar talk in Shinjuku, Tokyo. In S. Okamoto and J. S. Shibamoto-Smith (eds) Japanese Language, Gender, and Ideology: Cultural Models and Real People 205–21. Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1525/jlin.2005.15.1.38

Agha, A. (2005) Voice, footing, enregisterment. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 15(1): 38–59.

Agha, A. (2007) Language and Social Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Androutsopoulos, J. (2012) Repertoires, characters and scenes: sociolinguistic difference in Turkish–German comedy. Multilingua 31(2/3): 301–26. https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2012-0014

Bakhtin, M. M. (1981) Forms of time and chronotope in the novel. In M. Holquist (ed.) and C. Emerson and M. Holquist (trans.) The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays 84–258. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

Bell, A. (2001) Back in style: reworking audience design. In P. Eckert and J. R. Rickford (eds) Style and Sociolinguistic Variation 139–69. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Blommaert, J. (2015) Chronotopes, scales, and complexity in the study of language in society. Annual Review of Anthropology 44: 105–16. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-anthro-102214-014035

Boersma, P. and Weenink, D. (2016) Praat: a system for doing phonetics by computer (version 6.0.16). Retrieved from www.praat.org.

Camp, M. (2009) Japanese lesbian speech: sexuality, gender identity, and language. Doctoral dissertation, University of Arizona, USA. Retrieved from http://arizona.openrepository.com/arizona/handle/10150/195371.

Connell, R. W. (2005) Masculinities. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Dasgupta, R. (2000) Performing masculinities? The ‘salaryman’ at work and play. Journal of Japanese Studies 20(2): 189–200. https://doi.org/10.1080/713683779

Dasgputa, R. (2005) Salarymen doing straight: heterosexual men and the dynamics of gender conformity. In M. McLelland and R. Dasgputa (eds) Genders, Transgenders, and Sexualities in Japan 168–82. Oxford: Routledge.

Dasgupta, R. (2013) Re-reading the Salaryman in Japan: Crafting Masculinities. London: Routledge.

Deacon, C. (2013) All the world’s a stage: herbivore boys and the performance of masculinity in contemporary Japan. In B. Steger and A. Koch (eds) Manga Girl Seeks Herbivore Boy: Studying Japanese Gender at Cambridge 129–76. Munster: LIT Verlag.

Djenar, D. N. (2015) Pronouns and sociospatial ordering in conversation and fiction. In S. Sorlin and L. Gardelle (eds) The Pragmatics of Personal Pronouns 195–214. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Eckert, P. (2008) Variation and the indexical field. Journal of Sociolinguistics 12(4): 453–76. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9841.2008.00374.x

Hebdige, D. (1984) Subculture: The Meaning of Style. New York: Methuen.

Henton, C. G. (1989) Fact and fiction in the description of female and male speech. Language and Communication 9(4): 299–311. https://doi.org/10.1016/0271-5309(89)90026-8

Hidaka, T. (2010) Salaryman Masculinity: Continuity and Change in Hegemonic Masculinity in Japan. Leiden: Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004183032.i-224

Hiramoto, M. (2010) Anime and intertextualities: hegemonic identities in Cowboy Bebop. Pragmatics and Society 1(2): 234–56. https://doi.org/10.1075/ps.1.2.03hir

Hiramoto, M. (2013) Hey, you’re a girl? Gendered expressions in the popular Japanese anime, Cowboy Bebop. Multilingua 32(1): 51–78.

Hirose, K., Sato, K., Asano, Y. and Minematsu, N. (2005) Synthesis of f0 contours using generation process model parameters predicted from unlabeled corpora: application to emotional speech synthesis. Speech Communication 46(3): 385–404. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.specom.2005.03.014

Howard, S. (1994) Eiwa taiyaku (eiga bunk?) kaze to tomo ni sarinu [English–Japanese Comparative Translation (Movie Book) Gone with the Wind] (trans. K. ?ba, A. Morita, K. Takemura and N. Tanabe). Tokyo: Nan’un-do.

Ide S. (ed.) (1997) Joseigo no sekai [The World of Women’s Language]. Tokyo: Meiji Shoin.

Ito, K. (2000) The manga culture in Japan. Japan Studies Review 4: 1–16.

Japan Magazine Publishers Association (2012) Sh?kan Sh?nen Jump. Retrieved on 21 November 2016 from www.zasshi-ad.com/media/comic/boy/weeklyjump.html.

Japan Magazine Publishers Association (2016) JMPA Magajin D?ta. Retrieved on 21 November 2016 from www.j-magazine.or.jp/user/data/magdata.

Kinsui S. (2003) V?charu nihongo: yakuwarigo no nazo [Virtual Japanese: The Mystery of Role Language]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.

Kinsui S. (ed.) (2014) Yakuwarigo sh?jiten [Dictionary of Role Language]. Tokyo: Kenkyusha.

Lippi-Green, R. (1997) English with an Accent: Language, Ideology, and Discrimination in the United States. London: Routledge.

Maynard, S. K. (2016) Fluid Orality in the Discourse of Japanese Popular Culture. Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.263

Mitchell, M. (1957) Kaze to tomo ni sarinu [Gone with the Wind] (trans. Y. ?kubo and M. Takeuchi). Tokyo: Shinch?sha.

Miyazaki, A. (2004) Japanese junior high school girls’ and boys’ first-person pronoun use and their social world. In S. Okamoto and J. S. Shibamoto Smith (eds) Japanese Language, Gender, and Ideology 256–74. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Nakamura M. (2007) ‘Sei’ to nihongo [‘Gender’ and Japanese]. Tokyo: NHK Books.

Nakamura M. (2013) Honyaku ga tsukurareru Nihongo [Japanese Made in Translation]. Tokyo: Gendai Shokan.

Nishida T. (2011) Tsundere expressions as role language, focusing on circumstances of usage. In Kinsui S. (ed.) Yakuwarigo kenky? no tenkai [Advances in Role Language Research] 265–78. Tokyo: Kuroshio Shuppan.

Nishimura, S. (1997) Saraba waga seishun no Sh?nen Janpu [Goodbye Sh?nen Jump of my Youth]. Tokyo: Gentosha.

Ochs, E. (1992) Indexing gender. In A. Duranti and C. Goodwin (eds) Rethinking Context: Language as an Interactive Phenomenon 335–58. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Roberson, J. E. and Suzuki, N. (2003) Men and Masculinities in Contemporary Japan: Dislocating the Salaryman Doxa. New York: Routledge.

Saito, J. (2012) Construction of institutional identities by male individuals in subordinate positions in the Japanese workplace. Journal of Pragmatics 22(4): 697–719. https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.22.4.07sai

Shibatani, M. (1990) The Languages of Japan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Smitsmans, J. (2015) The Resilience of Hegemonic Salaryman Masculinity: A Comparison of Three Prominent Masculinities. Working Papers in Contemporary Asian Studies, 51. Lund: Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University.

Stamou, A. G. (2014) A literature review on the mediation of sociolinguistic style in television and cinematic fiction: sustaining the ideology of authenticity. Language and Literature 23(2): 118–40. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963947013519551

SturtzSreetharan, C. (2004) Students, sarariiman (pl.), and seniors: Japanese men’s use of ‘manly’ speech register. Language in Society 33(1): 81–107.

Taga, F. (2006) Otoko-rashisa no shakaigaku [The Sociology of Manliness]. Kyoto: Sekaishi Seminar.

Teshigawara, M. (2003). Voices in Japanese animation: a phonetic study of vocal stereotypes of heroes and villains in Japanese culture. Doctoral dissertation, University of Victoria. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1828/361.

Teshigawara, M. (2007) Voice qualities of vocal stereotypes of good guys and bad guys: a phonetic study in the role language framework. In Kinsui S. (ed.) Yakuwarigo kenky? no chihei [Foundations of Role Language Research] 49–70. Tokyo: Kuroshio Shuppan.

Teshigawara, M. and Kinsui, S. (2011) Modern Japanese ‘role language’ (yakuwarigo): fictionalised orality in Japanese literature and popular culture. Sociolinguistic Studies 5(11): 37–58.

Togashi J. (2011) Properties of the tsundere and character and their relationship to linguistic expression: A case study of tsundere expressions. In Kinsui S. (ed.) Yakuwarigo kenky? no tenkai [Advances in Role Language Research] 279–95. Tokyo: Kuroshio Shuppan.

Toku, M. (2007) Shojo manga! Girls’ comics! A mirror of girls! Dreams. Mechademia: Networks of Desire 2: 19–32.

Ueno, J. (2006) Shojo and adult women: a linguistic analysis of gender identity in manga (Japanese comics). Women and Language 29(1): 16–25.

Unser-Schutz, G. (2010) Girls, boys and manga: sentence final particles in Japanese comics for girls and boys. Proceedings of the 6th Biennial International Gender and Language Association Conference 404–24. Tokyo: Tsuda College.

Unser-Schutz, G. (2015) Influential or influenced? The relationship between genre, gender and language in manga. Gender and Language 9(2): 223–54. https://doi.org/10.1558/genl.v9i2.17331

Yomiuri Shimbun Morning Edition (2003) Sh?nenshi sakuhin: joshi nimo ninki. Yomiuri Shimbun Morning Edition (16 June).

Yuasa, I. P. (2008) Culture and Gender of Voice Pitch: A Sociophonetic Comparison of the Japanese and Americans. London: Equinox Publishing.

Published

2018-10-22

How to Cite

Dahlberg-Dodd, H. E. (2018). Voices of the hero: dominant masculine ideologies through the speech of Japanese ’sh?nen’ protagonists. Gender and Language, 12(3), 346–371. https://doi.org/10.1558/genl.32536

Issue

Section

Articles