Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mixing Metaphors

Some years ago I came up with this idea for a story about Japan's reaction to American competition. There has always been a kabuki element to business competition, wherever it is. The toy drummer functioned well as the American competitor. The illustration generated concerns about stereotyping and we went with a different concept, but it's this one I remember. Stereotypes are easier to remember, which is why we use them. The painted faces of kabuki and geisha tradition are stereotypes themselves. They aren't my tradition though. Do I have any business using them? They should be handled carefully in any case. Even though the American is the clown, and the geisha was drawn directly from an old Japanese print, I wonder if this painting was disrespectful of both nationalities.

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