On Cultural Appropriation
Around eight years ago I started a YouTube channel and made up a fake identity. I liked anime, jpop, and all things weeb, so the name I chose was Tamashii Hiroka. Tamashii is an actual Japanese word that means “soul,” though it is not generally used as a name. To my knowledge, Hiroka is not an actual Japanese word, nor is it a Japanese surname. It is a word I picked because it sounded Japanese. If it is a Japanese surname, I apologize to anyone with that name.
I myself am not Japanese.
Fast forward several years. I’ve built myself a channel and a job using this identity. My success probably has nothing to do with the name I picked, but none the less it is out there and attached to the likeness of a not Japanese person. For a long time I could not even pronounce the name correctly.
I was blindingly ignorant about racial politics for the longest time. I was an admirer of Japanese pop culture like many weebs and I felt I was showing my interest by choosing this name. I had no idea I was appropriating a culture or being racist or anything of the sort. I loved Japan, but I was very very stupid.
Now I’m older and not so ignorant, but I find myself with my entire life built around my YouTube channel. It is my source of income, the thing that keeps me going, the best thing in my life. But I don’t want my happiness to come at the expense of an exploited group of people.
This year, my goal is to somehow rebrand my channel and shed my moniker in a way that least impacts the visibility of my content. Somewhere I will probably confuse and lose a portion of my audience. But I don’t want to carry this on any longer, and I apologize to anyone I may have offended or hurt over the past eight years. If you have any suggestions or thoughts on the matter, please share them.
I’m probably going to start this process by making a video addressing this issue and revealing my real name. (I’m not sure when, I’ll need to talk it over with my Network and stuff first probably) But it will take longer to come up and implement a new name for my channel and videos, as well as creating a new intro to my videos. This is where I will probably need the most assistance and input from my viewers.
I guess I’d like to end this post by once again apologizing for my ignorance, and by asking selfishly that you have patience with me as I try to correct this mistake.
This girl gets it
"My boyfriend/girlfriend won’t let me"
What was that?
How lovely congratulations on your 3rd parental guardian”
But seriously if your partner won’t let you do something (eg, hang out with your friends)? That’s actually a GIANT RED FLAG for an abusive relationship, please get help or get out of there.