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#1 | Back to Top01-13-2013 07:12:00 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Registered: 04-11-2012
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Taking on wife's family name like Akio: stigma/shame attached?

Lately, a discussion had lead me to again pay attention to implications in Akio's giving up his family name Himemiya, donning Kanae's family name Ohtori, while being financially reliant on her clan

By becoming an Ohtoi mukoyōshi (婿養子), Akio has given up the traditional male role as  provider in the relationship, and has become a helper/device to help continue the Ohtori bloodline via reproduction - at the cost of his giving up his right to ever continue the Himemiya bloodline. 

Sure we know that the real Akio has shown no desire to sire little Himemiyas, but won't his surrounding society still react to him according to surface evidence?  I mean, just because a man does not want to sire children bearing his own last name, how will society react to one who gave up the chance to do so for material gains?  Love cannot be used as an excuse here: if a manly man loves a woman, he is expected to be able to gain qualifications (wealth, status) enough to marry that woman as his wife - who bears his last name, and not the other way around. 

More importanly, the lack of a male heir in a family is seen as a tragic termination in the bloodline (which is reason behind the existence of mukoyōshi in the first place);  an “only son” forsaking his own family name/bloodline for cash is a even bigger deal than it would for one with brothers to carry on the line. 

Akio has no brother to show to his world at large (since it doesn’t know about his connection to Anthy-Mamiya).

So, just how much respect will a Japanese-named male, who has no known brother – one who willingly gave up his chance to continue his own bloodline to obtain material gains from the wife’s bloodline – get from his world?  Sure, the Ohtori faculty, all of inferior job posts to the Acting Chairman, regard him with awe, but how will those of equal or higher social status to the Ohtoris in rank view and treat Akio, who is in effect working for and living off the Ohtoris?   

Nova Superstar Singer Jacky Cheung (張學友) – who is know to all of Asia, including Japan – has a utmost popular song called  Your first name,my surname (你的名字,我的姓氏 ) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwASVwlbb-E), and that’s pretty much how most Asians view the marriage issue. 

I know Japan has it’s own set of specific views that differ from other parts, but being part of Asia, to what exact degree can that “difference” be?

There are numerous Japanese live dramas touching on the issue (ie. 拝啓、父上様  2007, 替身女优·真希  2012), usually depicting such men as insecure, pushed-over by wife’s families, and at times dissed by their social circles. 

Relevant wife family domination scenes from within SKU as follows:

Ep14
Kanae (flaunts how her family benefits Akio, in front of Utena and Anthy):  And it's been rumored that he was adopted into my family just for this equipment.

skip

EP30
Akio:  Some breakfast?
Kanae:  No thanks.
Kanae (wielding mother in law power card, in front of Utena and Anthy):  Besides, my mother's here.

skip

mother (pull rank and power over him):  Your position at this school is based on your getting married to my daughter.
mother:  And don't forget that engagements can be canceled at any time.

Now, there has been concern expressed on how popular live dramas and animes are not accurate enough in depicting subtle nuances in everyday social issue – that we should turn to formal essays written by professionals to tell us what common, around the water cooler attitudes/viewpoints are like.

And so here I offer up the first relevant article I’ve found on this.  It’s non-english so Asian eyes (plus those willing to use translation software) gets first dips.

日本倒插门女婿要效忠妻族 (translated as: Japan “Reverse Way/Event” where Son in law have to serve/be loyal to Wife’s Clan)
http://go.huanqiu.com/culture/asia/2012-01/2364493.html

在普通民众中,“倒插门”相对少见,初婚时,男方入赘的情况大约占3%,而再婚时男方入赘的比例略高,为9%。

(Translation: Amongst normal people, this “reverse way” is rare.  Only 3% of previously unmarried man will get adopted; while previously married men are higher at 9 %)
I guess  we know which group of men are considered more desirable (thus have more options) by Japanese society.

相对于中华文化圈内其他国家和地区的“倒插门”,日本男人要做的“牺牲”更大,不仅子女要随母姓,自己的姓氏也要改随女方,例如田中直纪原姓铃木,小渊克阳原姓濑户口。在过去,如果一个日本男子“倒插门”实际上相当于“改换门庭”,自己的名字要从家谱中被抹掉,而以新姓名写入女方家谱,死后也只能葬在女方家族墓地,而不能“回归”自己家族的墓地。在户籍和墓葬观念传统的日本,接受这样的事情并不容易。

(Translation: compared to Chinese cases of husband adoption, Japanese men have to sacrifice more.  Not only are children following wife last name, his own last name will be wife last name. <Examples in real life.> once a man get adopted by another family, his own name will have to be taken out from his family record book, and he will be branded with wife last name and put in wife’s family record book, even after dying, he can only be buried in wife’s family grave, and not be ‘returned” to his own original family grave.  In Japan where family record and relevant grave stuff is Asian traditional, it is not a easy thing to accept this.)


有因妻子颐指气使而导致丈夫“自尊受践踏”,甚至“受了委屈”而自杀的情况发生。由于男方入赘住在女方家,因而并不存在传统家庭中常见的“婆媳问题”,不过倒是会出现女方父亲对女婿的生活习惯、上进心等不满意,而产生家庭摩擦。有分析认为,由于父亲对女儿的疼爱“经常超乎理性”,因而这种“翁婿问题”有时十分突出。

(Translation:  There are cases where the wife act bossy, leading to husband’s “pride being hurt”, to the point that there are cases of “being bullied” leading to suicide.  Because the husbands are adopted and living on wives’ home, there are no bossy husband’s moms  fighting with the wives, what ill happen is a wife’s father keep on picking on son-in-law’s living habits and ambitions/abilities, and create domestic disharmony.  Pros believe that wife’s father love daughter to unreasonable extend, and the fighting between old man and son-in-law are at times prominent.)
Could this be why the Real Chairman ends up “ill”?  Then again, there is also Mrs. Ohtori to pull-rank on Akio (amongst other things).

日语中有句谚语说“有米三合,决不入赘”。在近代主张“以夫为纲”,男性绝对主导的日本社会,“是男人就不入赘”的说法一度盛行。虽然现在日本人对“倒插门”的心态已经逐渐开放,但不少日本男人依然表示“心态复杂”,首先因为“男子汉的自尊心”以及对外界看法的在乎,其次,对给予男人名利资源的女方一家,男人应该“尽可能多地回报”,这也让男人感到“压力很大”。

(Translation: There is a Japanese saying “(Even) with three cups of rice (under possession), no way am (I) getting marriage-adopted”.  In contemporary times where men rule Jap society, the saying “if you’re a man don’t get marriage adopted” is popular for a long time.  Even though current (article date 2012) Japanese are becoming more liberal in viewing male marriage-adoption, but a lot of Jap man still feel conflicted, first it’s because they care about “male pride” and “how the outside world sees me”, secondly, husband believe they have to  pay back financial well-being  gained from wife’s family, which makes men feel “huge stress”.)

I suppose Akio’s adoption situation is one that is both stigmatized and stressed, if not outright shamey, as “if you’re a man don’t get marriage adopted” should be prevailing in the 90s; then again, I suppose he could be using his power as World’s End to block out the negativity from the Ohtoris and Society’s sneering individuals, and survives this much like how Anthy survives the slapping and bullying.

Will post more articles on this issue once I’ve the time to find them emot-wink

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (01-13-2013 07:20:12 PM)


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 08, 2017) / (NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016) / (BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
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#2 | Back to Top01-13-2013 07:28:27 PM

Atropos
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From: Hampden College
Registered: 10-22-2011
Posts: 906

Re: Taking on wife's family name like Akio: stigma/shame attached?

Keep in mind that Akio's been running this campus for decades. He's probably amused by any social stigma he faces, because not only has he fucked everyone in the joint, he probably fucked their parents, too.

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#3 | Back to Top01-13-2013 07:33:48 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: Taking on wife's family name like Akio: stigma/shame attached?

Atropos wrote:

Keep in mind that Akio's been running this campus for decades. He's probably amused by any social stigma he faces, because not only has he fucked everyone in the joint, he probably fucked their parents, too.

Hmm, this coincides with my words up thread.

I suppose he could be using his power as World’s End to block out the negativity from the Ohtoris and Society’s sneering individuals, and survives this much like how Anthy survives the slapping and bullying.

I guess Anthy's getting bullied will be such good fun for her too, should this theory stand, since she too has been exerting her magical presense around the campus for ages (and has likely fucked many, including Miki's Dad). 

P.S. Did you got my PM (you can reply via PM if you want)?


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 08, 2017) / (NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016) / (BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
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#4 | Back to Top01-13-2013 09:15:14 PM

Aelanie
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Registered: 02-04-2009
Posts: 377

Re: Taking on wife's family name like Akio: stigma/shame attached?

Personally, I find the whole idea of Akio suffering "social stigma" both ridiculous and irrelevant. He is an immortal being with supernatural powers, influences and goals, and Ohtori is his cloistered kingdom where he wields near absolute power. There's never any suggestion that he is in anything less than complete control of the laughably ignorant outsiders who are mere puppets dancing to his string-pulls.

In short, your (secondhand) views about asian culture, right or wrong, don't matter here. Even given that they might be true in a normal situation, they don't apply to Akio. If anything, he probably feels nothing but amusement at the mere humans who'd presume to look down on him when in fact he is far, far above their kind.

Last edited by Aelanie (01-13-2013 09:19:01 PM)

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#5 | Back to Top01-13-2013 09:45:37 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: Taking on wife's family name like Akio: stigma/shame attached?

Aelanie wrote:

In short, your (secondhand) views about asian culture, right or wrong, don't matter here.

Wow, the (opinionated)labeling of my view on Asian culture (when I am Asian) as being "secondhand" . . .
Poor article: you get so little respect (likely because I'm the one linking to and translating you).

Aekanie wrote:

He is an immortal being with supernatural powers, influences and goals, and Ohtori is his cloistered kingdom where he wields near absolute power. There's never any suggestion that he is in anything less than complete control of the laughably ignorant outsiders who are mere puppets dancing to his string-pulls.

Hey, I can agree with some of this: I know much of the same applies to his immortal sibling: Anthy.

Aekanie wrote:

Even given that they might be true in a normal situation, they don't apply to Akio. If anything, he probably feels nothing but amusement at the mere humans who'd presume to look down on him when in fact he is far, far above their kind.

(Nods) Yep, Double A got "powers".  Though I do believe I've already addressed this issue back in my first post too, thanks for again reiterating the gist of it in your own way.

Me in the first post wrote:

I suppose he could be using his power as World’s End to block out the negativity from the Ohtoris and Society’s sneering individuals, and survives this much like how Anthy survives the slapping and bullying.


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 08, 2017) / (NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016) / (BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#6 | Back to Top01-14-2013 10:11:22 AM

Valeli
Thorn of Death
Registered: 12-05-2006
Posts: 481
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Re: Taking on wife's family name like Akio: stigma/shame attached?

Wow, the (opinionated)labeling of my view on Asian culture (when I am Asian) as being "secondhand" . . .

Zing.

A few thoughts...
First is that Ohtori Academi/Akio/All of that seem (through almost all of the show), quite removed from the outside world, including the folks allowing Akio to nest there. It really exists as it's own little microcosm as much as anything I think, and I'm not convinced that Akio would be impacted (or care much about) the views of anyone outside that bubble. Honestly, I feel fairly strongly he doesn't (usually) care much about the views of anyone inside it either, besides himself.

how will those of equal or higher social status to the Ohtoris in rank view and treat Akio

Your points above this about a man being expected to gain status in order to marry the woman he loves etc seem true, especially in Japan (I'd expand that to other Asian countries, but Japan's the only one I've spent much time in) and, to a much lesser but still significant extent I feel, In the US and other places as well. The problem though, is that Ohtori Academy is, as I said above, largely a world unto itself. Who within it has a social status higher than Akio's or the Ohtoris he married into? I'd have to rewatch things to be sure, there might be like... one person. Or two. But I'm sure it couldn't be more than that. I feel its quite possible that "no one" would also be the answer upon a review of the show.

So while I'm not going to agree with Aelanie in calling these thoughts ridiculous or second hand, I do agree that - in the context of Ohtori as an isolated world where Akio and his (adopted) family pretty much run the show - the point is largely irrelevant (and this is ignoring the fact that Akio is basically controlling perceived reality within the context of the academy as well, through the planetarium/imaginarium/whatever contraption he's got up there). All the further articles simply seem to be showcasing the view that the opinion you're putting out on marriage/name adoption holds in reality. And I have no argument there, I think there would be a very real stigma against someone doing that. In the context of the show though, I don't think the two cases line up. Although it's neat to think about.


if a manly man loves a woman, he is expected to be able to gain qualifications (wealth, status) enough to marry that woman

Just to bring this back to the start, can you state who exactly we're talking about, in terms of who does Akio love enough to marry?

- His relationship with Himemiya is probably the closest female one he has, but I don't think he either loves her or wants to marry her. I have trouble pinning down exactly what the nature of this relationship is, but I don't think it's one of those two, unless we're using "love" more loosely. Then, /maybe/ you can make an argument that he does. But even if you did use it loosely, and he did love her, it wouldn't be in the same sense that would require any social efforts on his part. ... or maybe he does love her and I'm just a bit obtuse.
          - Is he even capable of real love anymore, status/post being torn up by all the world when he was a real prince/Dios/truly loved everyone in the world and wanted to protect them all?

- His relationship with Kanae seems very hollow, and looks to have been just struck up for mutual benefits to him and the Ohtoris. Marriage there, of course, if not love. He's fulfilling his obligations to their family though by running the Academy and marrying Kanai. The Ohtoris themselves might look down on him a bit, but he probably looks down on them too. I'm sure he's proud of himself for manipulating them nicely into giving him everything he wanted.

... Does Akio do many other "feminine" things other than marrying into a family and adopting their name? Besides staying locked up in his ivory tower like Rapunzel (and having some dashing long hair of his own)? It would be really amusing to see a well done essay about him trying to change from a prince to a princess and while the other main character (Utena) is trying to become a prince. Good compare/contrast there, if you could work it... which you probably couldn't. But still.

Last edited by Valeli (01-14-2013 10:29:07 AM)

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#7 | Back to Top01-14-2013 10:34:49 AM

gorgeousshutin
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Registered: 04-11-2012
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Re: Taking on wife's family name like Akio: stigma/shame attached?

Valeli wrote:

The problem though, is that Ohtori Academy is, as I said above, largely a world unto itself. Who within it has a social status higher than Akio's or the Ohtoris he married into? I'd have to rewatch things to be sure, there might be like... one person. Or two. But I'm sure it couldn't be more than that. I feel its quite possible that "no one" would also be the answer upon a review of the show.

HI Valeli!

Earlier on I've put out another thread touching on whether Akio's existence/influence  is restricted to just Ohtori Academy:
Beyond the Shell – The Outside World "outside" of the World of SKU
http://forums.ohtori.nu/viewtopic.php?id=3321

The relevant bits are that
1) Akio can reach the chapel hosting Utena's parents' funernal, which by logic should be outside Ohtori campus, and exert his magic/influence  upon it to bewitch child Utena.
2) Akio can affect the flow of time in Tokiko's home, which should be outside Ohtori campus
3) Akio uses his car to roam highways outside of the Academy for 2 Arcs whole: in fact, he enjoys taking student to outside of the campus to do whatever he does to them (even Wakaba's not immune to the off campus car ride).
4) The highways are definitely outside of the Academy since (some of them) lead to the off-campus Motel/Hotel where Akio deflowers Utena (yes, he chose to deflower her in the outside world, instead of right in the "convenience" of the Planetarium).

It makes sense to me that he will accompany Kanae and the Ohtoris to outside of Ohtori Academy on various occasions; being wealthy, the Ohtoris will no doubt have to attend grand galas and charity balls that will be off campus (the rich retain/advance social status via networking, after all).

Akio is indeed all powerful, especially within the bounds of Ohtori, so it interest me to see why he choose to become an "adopted-son", instead of power-forcing the Ohtoris into marrying Kanae to him as Himemiya Kanae, and then giving the Academy to him rename Himemiya Academy.  It would be so easy with his power, and there will be no need to face social stigma from anyone, inside or outside the academy.  there will be no "your position is based on" speech from Mrs. Ohtori to him then.

Then again, his sister is a powerful goddess who goads school children into bullying her with her dowdy on purpose disguise and awkward ways, when she could easily mind control all the students into making her the elite queen among the students.  It seems to me that Double A both enjoy "baiting" humans by putting themselves into situations where humans might shame/bully/turn-against them, and they then retaliate against those baited humans, and victimize the fools accordingly.

Edited to add:

It would be really amusing to see a well done essay about him trying to change from a prince to a princess and while the other main character (Utena) is trying to become a prince. Good compare/contrast there, if you could work it... which you probably couldn't. But still.

I'm actually thinking of doing an Akio-POV songfic based on Aretha's RESPECT school-devil

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (01-14-2013 10:54:58 AM)


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 08, 2017) / (NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016) / (BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
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#8 | Back to Top01-14-2013 11:01:45 AM

Valeli
Thorn of Death
Registered: 12-05-2006
Posts: 481
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Re: Taking on wife's family name like Akio: stigma/shame attached?

Hmm. I need to rewatch this show.

Good points, and I don't disagree. I sort of have a reply, but it would derail this too much and get into what I think the differences are between the outside/inside worlds of the show. And I haven't seen this recently enough to directly point to the examples I'd want to anyways... Assuming you're right and that the outside is just an extension of the inside world that gets filmed less frequently, but to which powers and such can be extended, then I think you're right. And Akio would run into people of high social standing, and might have some awkward moments. And in that case, it's definitely worth looking at why he choose to do what he did (especially since, in that case, the "power" granted by being placed in charge of one academy drops off immensely).

Personally, I see the outside world being much more of an abstraction - it's a fairy tale that exists, but doesn't really. Sort of in the Platonic sense where you have ideas existing as such, and the inside of the world is the more tangible reality despite the illusions being constantly cast about. Outside of the academy you have goodness existing as such in Dios, etc, but inside it goodness is a lot more compromised. Even in Utena, who's always trying her best to become a perfect prince. (Most) of the rides with Akio I'd argue are largely symbolic as well, representing movements in a character's personal relationship between x and y. Some campus excursions are a lot less aimless though, So I'd have a tougher time defending those. I feel I could, but yeah, I haven't seen the show recently enough to make a great case atm, and I don't want to derail your thread, so I'll shut up about that for now.

I think that, under your assumption the outside/inside worlds flow together, your conclusion that he enjoys baiting people can hold up.

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#9 | Back to Top01-14-2013 11:13:52 AM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: Taking on wife's family name like Akio: stigma/shame attached?

Valeli wrote:

I think that, under your assumption the outside/inside worlds flow together, your conclusion that he enjoys baiting people can hold up.

Thanks!  The Devil in the Biblical sense do not just cause physical harm to people: he instead put them in situations there they get tempted/compelled to draw out their worst and do evil themselves.  Akio baiting people into disdaining/shaming him (aka doing something impure/not morally good) via the socially looked-down-upon "adoption" would fit his "morning star" name so much; plus it displays the similarities between him and Anthy.


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 08, 2017) / (NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016) / (BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
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#10 | Back to Top01-14-2013 02:42:37 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
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Re: Taking on wife's family name like Akio: stigma/shame attached?

Valeli makes some interesting points above, but to my mind the question is irrelevant for a different reason than he and Aelanie suggest.  It's not that Akio has near-absolute power in his bubble; it's just that Akio does not show himself capable of feeling stigma or shame.  Shutin, from your translation of the original article:

Japanese are becoming more liberal in viewing male marriage-adoption, but a lot of Jap man still feel conflicted, first it’s because they care about “male pride” and “how the outside world sees me”, secondly, husband believe they have to  pay back financial well-being  gained from wife’s family, which makes men feel “huge stress”.)

This may well be true for most Japanese men.  But there is no evidence that Akio feels emasculated by this arrangement, nor that he gives two shits about how the outside world sees him, nor that he feels indebted to the Ohtori family.

Once a man get adopted by another family, his own name will have to be taken out from his family record book, and he will be branded with wife last name and put in wife’s family record book, even after dying, he can only be buried in wife’s family grave, and not be ‘returned” to his own original family grave.  In Japan where family record and relevant grave stuff is Asian traditional, it is not a easy thing to accept this.

Again, this may well be true for most Japanese men.  But Akio has no family apart from his sister, who he believes he controls -- it's even possible that he never had a family, since he's a semi-supernatural archetype -- and there's no evidence that he is pained by not being able to carry on the Himemiya family name.  Heck, we don't even know for sure that his name was Himemiya.  He wears the Ohtori name like a second skin, because it represents power, and Akio is shameless in gaining and flaunting symbols of power.  In a very real sense, the Ohtoris didn't adopt Akio; Akio adopted the Ohtoris.

There is danger in assuming that a stereotype about a group, even a well-founded stereotype, applies to every individual in that group.  This seems to be a case where Akio is exempt from whatever negative stereotypes usually attach to a man taking his wife's family name. 

The best evidence of this is precisely the Mrs. Ohtori scene.  A J-drama that played this straight, I think, would have Akio respond to Mrs. Ohtori's threat of canceling the engagement by having him back down and snivel -- "I won't forget what your family has done for me," "I'll make you proud," or something like this, which would indeed emasculate and shame him and show that he's in debt.  Instead, that scene plays out differently -- in a way that turns out to emphasize Akio's masculinity and lack of shame, and to justify his belief that he's not in anyone's debt.  Ikuni is aware of the stigma that can attach to taking on one's wife's family name, and he is using this scene to subvert it in order to develop Akio's character.

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#11 | Back to Top01-14-2013 03:36:06 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: Taking on wife's family name like Akio: stigma/shame attached?

Hey, Satyreyes!

Satyreyes wrote:

Valeli makes some interesting points above, but to my mind the question is irrelevant for a different reason than he and Aelanie suggest.  It's not that Akio has near-absolute power in his bubble; it's just that Akio does not show himself capable of feeling stigma or shame.

I raised this question (in part) because it is an interesting question that raises another question.

Regardless of how Akio perceive/ignore social stigma/shame from people surrounding him, why does he, with his power, put himself in a position deemed socially inferior, espeically by the "grownup high society member" of his world?  Why does he knowingly try inciting others into reacting to him as a potentially inferior adopted son-hubby?

me up thread wrote:

it interest me to see why he choose to become an "adopted-son", instead of power-forcing the Ohtoris into marrying Kanae to him as Himemiya Kanae, and then giving the Academy to him rename Himemiya Academy.  It would be so easy with his power, and there will be no need to face social stigma from anyone, inside or outside the academy.  there will be no "your position is based on" speech from Mrs. Ohtori to him then.

Satyreyes wrote:

There is danger in assuming that a stereotype about a group, even a well-founded stereotype, applies to every individual in that group.  This seems to be a case where Akio is exempt from whatever negative stereotypes usually attach to a man taking his wife's family name.

But BePapas put the story in that specific Japanese background, and the adopted son taking wife name thing is much Japanese-specific.  I think it would be reasonable to infer that regardless of Akio's own take on "adopted", the creators want us to believe that other characters (who are members of Japanese society) will react to Akio in that specifically stereotypical way.

Satyreyes wrote:

The best evidence of this is precisely the Mrs. Ohtori scene.  A J-drama that played this straight, I think, would have Akio respond to Mrs. Ohtori's threat of canceling the engagement by having him back down and snivel -- "I won't forget what your family has done for me," "I'll make you proud," or something like this, which would indeed emasculate and shame him and show that he's in debt.  Instead, that scene plays out differently -- in a way that turns out to emphasize Akio's masculinity and lack of shame, and to justify his belief that he's not in anyone's debt.

I think more important than whether Akio believes he is in anyone's debt, the Ohtoris and and the high society adults (aka not the faculty working under him, but the Ohtoris' equal), will see him as being in debt, because of his adopted situation.  He could be shameless, but people around him around that high social level will still deal with him in disdain regardless of his internal feelings. 

Mrs. Ohtori's dialogue shows that she feels superior to him, and sees him as being in debt/inferior; it is the same with Kanae, thus why the blatantly shrewd use of the male-pride crushing mother-card on a future hubby. 

Akio's solution to this is to offer sexual service down on one knee (Dare I say it in a male whorish manner?): his "masculinity and lack of shame" displayed is part of a calculated "service" to pleasure the clearly enjoying/predatory Mrs. Ohtori.  One can say he is "dominating" Mrs. Ohtori with "pleasure", but he is in the position of offering pleasure, and what pleasure he takes in the (down on knee) act can only be mental, not physical (though we can only guess which kind of sex act comes off screen . ..  male on female oral?).

Like I wrote up thread, should Akio seize the school as Himemiya Academy with his power,  there will be no "your position is based on" speech from Mrs. Ohtori to him then, and Kanae would also have to respect him a lot more (no mother card ever).  So why does Akio purposely put himself in the adopted son position?  Or rather, why does Ikuhara set up this situation for such a powerful character?

My take - as already stated up thread - as follows:

me wrote:

It seems to me that Double A both enjoy "baiting" humans by putting themselves into situations where humans might shame/bully/turn-against them, and they then retaliate against those baited humans, and victimize the fools accordingly.

me wrote:

The Devil in the Biblical sense do not just cause physical harm to people: he instead put them in situations there they get tempted/compelled to draw out their worst and do evil themselves.  Akio baiting people into disdaining/shaming him (aka doing something impure/not morally good) via the socially looked-down-upon "adoption" would fit his "morning star" name so much; plus it displays the similarities between him and Anthy.

As with all things SKU, other possibilities exist.  But drawing on the evidences I've found, my current take is what appears to make the most sense to me.

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (01-14-2013 03:58:54 PM)


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 08, 2017) / (NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016) / (BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#12 | Back to Top01-14-2013 05:04:52 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
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Re: Taking on wife's family name like Akio: stigma/shame attached?

gorgeousshutin wrote:

it interest me to see why he choose to become an "adopted-son", instead of power-forcing the Ohtoris into marrying Kanae to him as Himemiya Kanae, and then giving the Academy to him rename Himemiya Academy.  It would be so easy with his power, and there will be no need to face social stigma from anyone, inside or outside the academy.

I think it's because Akio doesn't need to rename Ohtori Academy to be the one with power.  Renaming the academy doesn't benefit him.  The only reason to rename the academy would be if Akio in fact did feel denigrated or humiliated to take on the Ohtori name -- and as I said, it's pretty clear that he doesn't feel this way, and he doesn't care about any stigma that might come in from outside.  Otherwise, he could always just have Mr. Ohtori killed and become the actual chairman, not just the acting chairman, and do what he likes.  But then he would have to marry Kanae and deal with boring Ohtori family matters and assume a position of real responsibility, which is the last thing he wants.  I think Akio is pleased as Punch to be an acting chairman and heir apparent, wielding power without responsibility.

gorgeousshutin wrote:

Mrs. Ohtori's dialogue shows that she feels superior to him, and sees him as being in debt/inferior; it is the same with Kanae, thus why the blatantly shrewd use of the male-pride crushing mother-card on a future hubby.

I agree in part, but first we have to unpack this:

Akio's solution to this is to offer sexual service down on one knee (Dare I say it in a male whorish manner?): his "masculinity and lack of shame" displayed is part of a calculated "service" to pleasure the clearly enjoying/predatory Mrs. Ohtori.  One can say he is "dominating" Mrs. Ohtori with "pleasure", but he is in the position of offering pleasure, and what pleasure he takes in the (down on knee) act can only be mental, not physical (though we can only guess which kind of sex act comes off screen . ..  male on female oral?).

There is nothing inherently demeaning about performing oral sex -- down on one knee or in any other position.  Context can make it demeaning, but context can also make it empowering: to receive oral sex is to surrender power to another person.  No one is more aware of power dynamics in sex than Akio, unless it's Anthy.

Mrs. Ohtori is right about one thing.  Because Akio enjoys his arrangement as Ohtori heir, Mrs. Ohtori does indeed wield power over Akio; she's probably Akio's only social superior in the series.  She is entirely happy to use that power to extract sex.  In many shows, this would make Akio the bottom dog.  But remember who Akio is.  Manipulating people with sex is his favorite thing in the world.  He needs Mrs. Ohtori, and in this scene we see that he's arranged things so that Mrs. Ohtori also needs him.  Akio's power thus comes with only one string attached: once in a while he has to manipulate someone with sex.  As far as Akio's concerned, that's a win-win.  What more could he want?  And who is really in charge?

So my bottom line is that I actually think you're onto something when you say:

It seems to me that Double A both enjoy "baiting" humans by putting themselves into situations where humans might shame/bully/turn-against them, and they then retaliate against those baited humans, and victimize the fools accordingly.

While I don't see much evidence that Akio is getting shamed by the whole society, he certainly is getting bullied by Mrs. Ohtori, and he certainly has turned it around on her in a way that secures his place of power.  So I think I agree with you about Akio's motivations for dealing with Mrs. Ohtori the way he does: because he enjoys it and it gets him what he wants.  So I think the only place where we disagree is in why Akio agreed to the adoption business in the first place -- and even here, we might just be framing the same idea differently.  If I understand you correctly, you think that's part of the same game he's playing with Mrs. Ohtori, another way to bait people into looking down on him.  I don't see anyone besides Mrs. Ohtori looking down on Akio in the show, so I don't frame it that way; instead, I say he accepted the adoption because it gives him a lot of real power without giving him high social status, which he'd prefer to avoid because it comes with responsibility.  But in some respects that's the same idea.  Either way, Akio doesn't have to be at the top of the social totem pole.  He just has to be the scariest face on it.  And that, as I said above, is how Ikuni uses Mrs. Ohtori to show how Akio subverts cliches about adoption of a male heir.

Last edited by satyreyes (01-14-2013 05:06:46 PM)

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#13 | Back to Top01-14-2013 05:44:56 PM

Atropos
Atropos Turretslayer
From: Hampden College
Registered: 10-22-2011
Posts: 906

Re: Taking on wife's family name like Akio: stigma/shame attached?

Just like Anthy's bullies, Mrs. Ohtori is ultimately powerless. It's Akio, not the Ohtori family, who pulls the strings on campus. If he ever thought she might move against him, she'd have a dreadful car accident in her future. poptart

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#14 | Back to Top01-14-2013 06:36:04 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
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Re: Taking on wife's family name like Akio: stigma/shame attached?

satyreyes wrote:

So I think the only place where we disagree is in why Akio agreed to the adoption business in the first place -- and even here, we might just be framing the same idea differently.  If I understand you correctly, you think that's part of the same game he's playing with Mrs. Ohtori, another way to bait people into looking down on him.  I don't see anyone besides Mrs. Ohtori looking down on Akio in the show, so I don't frame it that way

Yes, we do agree somewhat, except for the below details.

But then he would have to marry Kanae and deal with boring Ohtori family matters and assume a position of real responsibility

Assuming Akio is powerful and/or self-assured enough that he can care nothing about social stigma from people surrounding him, why would he have to fear “boring Ohtori family matters”, which to him would mean the familiar territory of mind-fuckery orgies anyway?  And with his canon power alone, the weight coming with “a position of real responsibility” is something he can easily laid on other people/pawns, while he himself hog and shine under the glory of the position.  I don’t see the above as valid enough a reason for him to play social underdog.

Akio's power thus comes with only one string attached: once in a while he has to manipulate someone with sex.  As far as Akio's concerned, that's a win-win.  What more could he want?  And who is really in charge?

The thing that's note-worthy is that being seen as “underdog at first glance” is not a prerequsitie to manipulate people via sex: the adopted-husband thing rules out social climbers looking to marry into rich good name clans from easily wanting him.  Akio presenting himself as a top dog (aka wealthy single independently rich man) could give him even more ways to manipulate people with sex; and the scope of people he could seduce as a society top dog would surely be broader than that of a social bottom dog.   Why narrow the scope of potential victims to only bored rich and childish students?  Why not attract everyone by presenting himself as a young heir to huge money can marry Kanae?  The Ohtoris will have to respect (while also lust/greed after) him, and he still can easily control the school either directly himself or through the Ohtori clan.

satyreyes wrote:

I don't see anyone besides Mrs. Ohtori looking down on Akio in the show,

I see Kanae looking down on Akio in the show (see the dialogue I've quoted in my first post).  That kinda behavior is considered pussy-whipping in Japan and Asian (as it would in the west).  Note how Akio is presenting himself as a much old man (25-ish) than her(18), and this is in the Asian cultures where the traditional upper-class young ones - like Kanae - are brought up to respect their elders.  Kanae  flaunting Akio’s attraction/reliance on her family’s wealth, and also using the mother card, means that she, a young lass, sees the older man as a servant-like entity at her highness’ beck and call.  That is seriously looking down.

The only reason we don’t see scenes of more people looking down on Akio on screen is because
a)    Mr. Ohtori is never shown
b)    SKU scenes focuses mostly upon the school kids main cast
But, like I’ve said upthread, it is logical to infer that Akio will have to accompany Kanae and the Ohtoris to outside of Ohtori Academy on various occasions (just like it’s logical to infer the Ohtoris will go in and out of expensive private hospital(s)/clinic(s) for sick Mr. Ohtori). Being wealthy, the Ohtoris will no doubt have to attend grand galas and charity balls that will be off campus (the rich retain/advance social status via networking, after all).  How will other Ohtori-rich people, in those high society setting the “Acting Chairman” seems unlikely to be able to dodge entirely, react to him?  Why does Akio seem to want to make them look down on him instead of admiring and greed-at-first-sight over him?

Either way, Akio doesn't have to be at the top of the social totem pole.  He just has to be the scariest face on it.

But being at a lower level of the pole narrows the victim demographic significantly.

Thus how the “Akio got a masochistic taste for baiting people into looking down on/bullying him just like Anthy” theory came to me, cause there are other better ways other for him to screw with (potentially a lot, lot more) people if he places himself at the top of the social totem pole like he totally could with his powers.  This is also why I believe Akio is capable of feeling (at least a little) of the prick of people's disdain/bullying of him, but that he somewhat enjoys it at a perverse level (much like Anthy), but also feel (some) anger as he then set to destroy those who poke him (apple-fed Kanae), thus why he purposely disguise himself as social underdog.

P.S. agree with Atropos's last post.


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 08, 2017) / (NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016) / (BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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