You noticed the sign? Yes it is a funny name for a site isn’t it? Happy Innocent Musume Senshi. It is a site about innocence and happiness.
Why the “senshi” part? Well a senshi is a warrior, and the word is well known from Sailor Senshi, the pretty girl-warriors of Sailor Moon. They combine prettiness and innocence with a happy but determined warrior spirit. And if one wants to be innocent in a world that mostly doesn’t like innocence, one has to have a little of that senshi spirit.
We are here to enjoy innocence, but also to fight evil! Because evil will destroy innocence if it can.
Here is a thought about innocence. A dear friend in Japan mentioned a tourist flyer (she is involved in translation there).
She said “It has been translated into English, but it is still Japanese.”
I said: “What do you mean?”
She said: “It is innocent. It does not have the cynicism that a Western tourist flyer would have.”
That is very interesting. A tourist flyer is one of the least cynical documents you can find in the West. Its aim is to promote a destination and to tell us how delightful everything is. Compared to, say news reports, novels, advertisements for goods (which often promote via sexuality, and aggressive “coolness”) and most other kinds of writing, the tourist flyer comes off as gentle, happy even anodyne (and isn’t it telling how “anodyne” – non-offending – is almost always used as a negative term in modern English).
But I know exactly what my friend meant, and I think you will know too. If you have ever seen a translated Japanese flyer, you will see the almost childlike innocence as compared to the Western equivalent. While the Western flyer is not trying to be cynical, a degree of cynicism is so deeply built into the culture that it can’t help it. To write in the same vein as a Japanese flyer would come across as faux-naive and affected and would arouse cynicism in the Western reader who would feel she was being in some way imposed upon.
The reason we mention this is that it is a measure of the degree that innocence has been lost in the West, and the thing we need to regain. Regaining this innocence, and losing this crust of cynicism, is one of the things we will be talking about on this site.
So you are maybe now thinking, “Ah, is this a Japanophile kind of a site?” And the answer to that is “Yes and no”. We take our innocence where we can find it and learn from whoever can teach. Some of us do study Japanese, and we feel we have a lot to learn. We want to share it with you, and welcome you to share your delightful discoveries too.
Continue to our other Keynote Pages: