Hinomoto Oniko - 日本 鬼子

Hinomoto Oniko - 日本 鬼子

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Updated May 20, 2013 at 04:46PM EDT by mona_jpn.

Added Nov 11, 2010 at 06:14PM EST by Tomberry.

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Disclaimer: This entry contains ethnic slurs aimed at Japanese citizens.


About

Hinomoto Oniko (Japanese: 日本 鬼子 / ひのもとおにこ) is a fictional moe character derived from an ethnic slur aimed at Japanese people by Chinese citizens. The drawn character represents a relatively young devilish woman wearing Japanese traditional attires, accompanied by a small selection of side characters. With an impressive amount of fan art and videos, Hinomoto Oniko quickly became a Japanese internet phenomenon as a peculiar way to fight back and mock the derogatory slang, and has even taken Chinese netizens by surprise.

China/Japan : a heated relationship

Anti-Japanese sentiment

The Wikipedia article on the subject of Anti-Japanese sentiment[1] , also called Japanophobia or Nipponophobia, gives a detailed overview of its historical trend in the United States as well as in the other Asian countries surrounding Japan.

Excerpt:

Anti-Japanese sentiments range from animosity towards the Japanese government’s actions and disdain for Japanese culture to racism against the Japanese people. Sentiments of dehumanization have been fueled by the anti-Japanese propaganda[2] of the Allied governments in World War II; this propaganda was often of racially-disparaging character. Anti-Japanese sentiment may be strongest in China, North Korea, and South Korea.

In the past, anti-Japanese sentiment contained innuendos of Japanese people as barbaric. Japan was intent to adopt Western ways in an attempt to join the West as an industrialized imperial power. Fukuzawa Yukichi’s[3] seminal 1885 text, Leaving Asia[4] outlines the intellectual basis for modernizing and Westernizing Japan. A lack of acceptance of the Japanese in the West complicated integration and assimilation. One commonly held view was that the Japanese were evolutionarily inferior. Japanese culture was viewed with suspicion and even disdain.

While passions have settled somewhat since Japan’s defeat in World War II, tempers continue to flare on occasion over the widespread perception that the Japanese government has made insufficient penance for their past atrocities, or has sought to whitewash the history of these events.

The resentment is so great that separate Wikipedia articles have been made for China[5] and Korea[6] respectively to explain the phenomenon further.

History of the 日本 鬼子 slur

Existing since World War II, 日本 鬼子 (Rìběn guǐzi) is one of a long series of racial insults[7]in China aimed at Japanese people. Roughly meaning Japanese Devils or Japanese Monsters, it is used mostly in the context of the Second Sino-Japanese War[8], when Japan invaded and occupied large areas of China.

Its usage serves as a constant reminder of the atrocities perpetrated by the Japanese army during the invasion and subsequent occupation of China[9] , as well as Japan’s post-war actions (particularly the perceived lack of a straightforward acknowledgment of the atrocities committed and the attempt at enforcing historic revisionism in textbooks).

This sentiment is so deep-rooted that Japan itself reused the slang as the title of a documentary about Japan’s war crimes during WWII.[10]

Online origins: The Senkaku Islands incident

Anti-Japanese racism in Asian countries isn’t strictly constant and has many ups and downs of outburst hatred to toned down irritation. As the 2005 Anti-Japanese demonstrations[11] shows, nearly any incident can trigger anti-Japanese feelings.

On September 7th, 2010, a Chinese fisher trawler rammed two Japanese coast guard ships[12] near Kubashima in the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands.[13] This incident immediately produced heated tension in the relations between China and Japan[14], whitch manifested itself again as Anti-Japanese demonstrations[15] and a resurgence in popularity for the racial insults.

As stated by the Hinomoto Oniko Project site[16], artists from 2channel Japanese BBS were among the first to pick up on that trend, and on October 18th, 2010, a /news4vip/ (breaking news for V.I.P) decided to fight back against these slurs, explained by the title of the thread: “Let’s make a moe character called Hinomoto Oniko and turn those discriminating Chinese folks into moe pigs”.[17]

The idea supposedly started when someone noticed the Japanese Kun’yomi[18] reading from 日本 鬼子 reads itself as Hinomoto Oniko, and sounds almost like the name of a person. Contrary to the more common Japanese On’yomi[19] reading, which pronounces the word as Nihon Kishi, Hinomoto can literally mean “Origin of the Sun” (Japan’s name) and Oniko sounds much like a girl’s name to Japanese ears, due to the common female name suffix -子 -ko.

Spread

Hinomoto Oniko Project


The project’s logo.


A wiki-based site by the name of “Let’s turn the Chinese moe-moe by making a character called Hinomoto Oniko!” was created on October 19th, 2010.[20] It is used to summarize the contents and motives of Hinomoto Oniko, standardize the character designs by means of a contest based on voting, making lists of related characters, provide FAQs, form guidelines of use and copyrights, among others, and thus act reminiscent to an official site in order to aid in popularizing the phenomenon. Many videos and fan arts link to this site as a way to educate people who are unfamiliar with the character.


Character Model Sheet for Standard Design of Hinomoto Oniko


The site states that the objective of the Hinomoto Oniko Project is to change the meaning of Chinese offensive slang words by popularizing moe characters with identical names. By doing this, these offensive terms are less likely to be used in anti-Japanese demonstrations, and people googling such offensive words will be welcomed by cute Japanese-made characters instead. The characters are intended to be politically uncharged, so expressions of the characters that obviously support moving towards a mutual Sino-Japanese friendship or which express anti-Chinese feelings are strongly discouraged.

On November 6th, 2010 this site initiated the creation of “小日本”, “Ko-hinomoto” or “Konipon”, another character named after Xiǎo Rìběn, another Chinese derogatory slang word for “Japanese”.

Popularity on the web

The earliest depiction of Hinomoto Oniko to appear on the online artist community pixiv was submitted as early as October 20th, 2010[21] by pixiv user 1号[22]. Merely 15 days later, on November 5th, the 1000th Hinomoto Oniko illustration was submitted to the site. The 2000 mark was reached a month later in the first days of December.[23] Besides, an image uploader dedicated to this project was launched.[24]

Videos on video sharing site Nico Nico Douga (NND) began to appear on October 27th, 2010[25], which were at first mostly slide shows of Oniko interpretations by various artists. Notably, a Vocaloid song for Hinomoto Oniko named “Hakumei” was submitted on November 8th[26], gained a lot of popularity and video responses, and even managed to claim the number one spot in the video rankings on November 18th. Since then, a huge amount of Hinomoto Oniko videos is posted to NND[27] and YouTube.[28]



This new trend was soon picked up by Japanese news media[29][30][31] as well as English posts by Sankaku Complex[32], ChinaHush[33], Akemi’s Anime Blog[34], Daily Onigiri[35] and Ramblings of DarkMirage.[36] Moreover, English news The Times covered this online phenomena on December 4th, 2010.[37]

China’s reaction

Chinese netizen were also quick to make threads about this new phenomenon on Baidu[38][39], tiexue.net[40], MOP[41] and Jandan[42]. Besides, Taiwanese newspaper The Liberty Times reported it on online news articles[43][44] and on paper. And Taiwanese TV station CCTV covered it on their news program.



Sankaku Complex offers a succinct list of translated reactions from Chinese people:

I didn’t think it would turn out like this… I just don’t understand that country.

Damn, just damn. Japan is a dangerous country. Perhaps we should admit our loss.

We boo and jeer them and their response is a moe character… We’re helpless before them.

Riben Guizi is a moe character!? What can we call them now? Japs? Creepy otaku?

Overall, it seems that the general consensus among Chinese netizen is to take Hinomoto Oniko as a joke and an evidence of Japan’s “craziness”, more than as a direct offense.

Notable Examples

Characters



Hinomoto Oniko (Japanese: 日本 鬼子) is embodied as young woman aged between 16 and 18 with long black hair and two devil horns. She wears autumn leaf patterned Japanese traditional Kimono[45] dresses, sometimes a devilish Hannya[46] mask, and is also seen carrying a naginata[47] or sometimes other weapons. When provoked into battle or anger, her eyes turn red, her horns grow, and the low ends of her sleeves and dress start producing autumn leaves. She is known to exterminate demons that live in the hearts of men.



Kohinomoto (Japanese: 小日本; lit. little Hinomoto), who generally goes by her pet name Konipon, can often be found around Oniko. The exact relation between the two is unclear, but Oniko loves her like a sister. She is usually depicted as a little girl with short black hair, and two flesh-like horns on her forehead. She wears a cherry blossom patterned Kimono cut short like a miniskirt, with a large ribbon wrapped around her waist and long detached sleeves that produce cherry blossom petals from the ends. She is also seen carrying around a Japanese sword[48] as long as herself, with a bell attached to its scabbard. She is known to act like a cupid-like matchmaking figure, connecting people by changing the form of the cherry blossom petals from her sleeves into heart shapes, inducing love into humans who touch them.

Two of the demons that stalk Oniko are known as Hiwaidori and Yaikagashi:



Hiwaidori (Japanese: ヒワイドリ; lit. indecent bird) is a harmless, but perverted rooster-shaped demon that prefers to live in hearts with indecent thoughts. It is widely known for saying “let’s have a little chat about breasts” (乳の話をしようじゃないか, chichi no hanashi o shiyō janaika).



Yaikagashi (Japanese: ヤイカガシ) is a fish with arms shaped like holly leaves, and has an unnatural attraction to panties. It is named after the old Japanese tradition to drive malicious spirits away by frying smelly fish heads at the end of winter.

Anthropomorphized bishōnen[49] versions of Yaikagashi[50] and especially Hiwaidori[51] as inspired by the illustrations by pixiv user coro[52], have gained popularity among female fans of the meme.



Videos


Kyu! Kyu! Kyu! Nya! [53]

Buri(゚∀゚)Hamachi [54]

Anime OP Style (Miku Miku Dance Edition) [55]

Promoting Video Style (Hand-drawn Animation Edition) [56]

Illustrations




Compilation


Search Interest

The Google Insights for search show that the Chinese slur gained the most of its popularity during the time the meme was exploding compared to the past 6 years, indicating that the meme’s popularity may have overtaken the racial slur’s popularity on the internet:

External References

Editor’s Note: Registration is needed to browse the original videos listed in this section.

[1]Wikipedia – Anti-Japanese sentiment

[2]Wikipedia – Wikipedia – American propaganda during World War II

[3]Wikipedia – Fukuzawa Yukichi

[4]Wikipedia – Datsu-A Ron

[5]Wikipedia – Anti-Japanese sentiment in China

[6]Wikipedia – Anti-Japanese sentiment in Korea

[7]Wikipedia – Anti-Japanese sentiment # In Chinese

[8]Wikipedia – Second Sino-Japanese War

[9]Why China Bashes Japan – TIME / 12-10-2005

[10]Wikipedia – Japanese Devils

[11]Wikipedia – 2005 anti-Japanese demonstrations

[12]CNN.com – Japan-China collision captured on tape

[13]Wikipedia – Senkaku Islands

[14]History News Network – Resolving the China-Japan Conflict Over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands / 10-31-2010

[15]UTSanDiego.com – China allows rowdy anti-Japanese protests /10-18-2010

[16]日本鬼子ぷろじぇくと まとめ@wiki – 日本鬼子プロジェクトの歴史 (Japanese)

[17]2chnull info – 日本鬼子って萌えキャラ作って差別中国人を萌え豚にしようぜ (Thread archive, Japanese) / Posted on 10-18-2010

[18]Wikipedia – Kanji # Kun’yomi

[19]Wikipedia – Kanji # On’yomi

[20]日本鬼子ぷろじぇくと まとめ@wiki (Japanese)

[21][NSFW!!] pixiv – [R-18]「日本鬼子って萌えキャラ作って差別中国人を萌え豚にしようぜ1」 / Posted on 10-20-2010

[22][NSFW!!] pixiv – 1号's Profile

[23]pixiv – Search results for 日本鬼子

[24]uploader.jp – 日本鬼子ちゃん画像専用うpろだ1 (Japanese)

[25]niconico Video – 日本鬼子って萌えキャラ作って中国人を萌え豚にしようぜ / Posted on 10-27-2010

[26]niconico Video – 【VY1オリジナル】HAKUMEI fullver.【日本鬼子イメージソング】 / 11-08-2010

[27]niconico Video – Search results for 日本鬼子

[28]YouTube – Search results for 日本鬼子 OR ひのもとおにこ OR "hinomoto oniko"

[29]web R25 – 中国の反日運動に萌えキャラ「日本鬼子」で対抗 / 10-28-2010 (Japanese)

[30]Searchina – 萌えは世界を救う!?日本鬼子の代表デザインがとうとう決定!! / 11-03-2010 (Japanese)

[31]MSN Sankei News – 【ネット番記者】美少女「日本鬼子」は対中外交の切り札? / 11-25-2010 (Japanese, deleted)

[32][NSFW!!] Sankaku Complex – Japan Fights China with Moe, China Crushed / Posted on 10-28-2010

[33]ChinaHush – Japanese Netizens turn Chinese derogatory term into beautiful young girl anime character / 11-02-2010

[34]Akemi’s Anime Blog – Hinomoto Oniko: Moe Meets Racial Slur /Posted on 10-29-2010

[35]Daily Onigiri – Japan strikes back at anti-Japanese protests in China with a moe character / Posted on 10-31-2010

[36]Ramblings of DarkMirage – Hinomoto Oniko / Posted on 10-31-2010

[37]The Times – Japan blunts Chinese insults by turning them into cutesy figures / 12-04-2010

[38]百度空间 – “日本鬼子”萌化欢乐进行中(23P)_原色天空 / Posted on 10-24-2010 (Chinese)

[39]百度贴吧 – 【吐槽向】日本鬼子萌化中---2CH萌娘日本鬼子 / Posted on 10-23-2010 (Chinese)

[40]铁血网 – [万物皆可萌]日本鬼子萌化中---2CH萌娘日本鬼子 / Posted on 10-23-2010 (Chinese)

[41]猫扑 – “日本鬼子”被日本人萌化为可爱形象!召集猫扑达人设计反面形象 / 11-01-2010 (Chinese)

[42]煎蛋 – 无所不可萌之“日本鬼子” / Posted on 10-29-2010 (Chinese)

[43]自由電子報 – 萌系日本鬼子 反攻中國 / 11-01-2010 (Chinese)

[44]自由電子報 – 萌給你看!回擊中國蔑稱 小日本登場 / 11-03-2010 (Chinese)

[45]Wikipedia – Kimono

[46]Wikipedia – Hannya

[47]Wikipedia – Naginata

[48]Wikipedia – Japanese sword

[49]Wikipedia – Bishōnen

[50]pixiv – 訳『こんにちは。いいお天気ですね』byヤイカガシ / Posted on 11-03-2010

[51]pixiv – 某所での擬人化ヒワイドリに萌えて / Posted on 11-02-2010

[52]pixiv – coro’s profile

[53]niconico Video – 日本鬼子できゅっきゅっきゅっニャー / Posted on 11-02-2010

[54]niconico Video – 日本鬼子でブリ(゚∀゚)ハマチ / Posted on 11-05-2010

[55]niconico Video – 日本鬼子 OP (テロップ有) / Posted on 09-23-2012

[56]niconico Video – 【自動幻画】日本鬼子 The PV【手書き】 / Posted on 11-28-2011

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Top Comments

Pachy Lad
Pachy Lad

New idea for proposition to be considered by United Nations:

All future declarations of war shall be replaced by the moe anthropomorphisations of said countries engaging in a catfight/beach episode/[insert exploitative scene of choice].

+10

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