Yoroi and cultural appropriation

Okay, let me preface this real quick. I’m white and a pagan, so my voice does not matter all too terribly much on this topic, because I’m not the minority or marginalized group directly effected by this. However, I still want to bring the issue to the community’s attention, and subsequently 343i’s.

There’s a serious issue with the Yoroi armor core and its pieces. It isn’t about the lore integrity of Halo, it isn’t about fractures, it isn’t about any of these superficial things - and before someone says, “But what about Hayabusa?” see - the thing about Hayabusa is that it was a collaboration with Team Ninja, a Japanese studio, who put a Spartan in their game, Dead or Alive 4. Basically it was an art trade, an exchange, and it was consensual. If I am wrong about any of this WRT DOA/Halo - Team Ninja/Bungie, please correct me.

But the problem with Yoroi, the whole set of armor, emblems, etc., comes down to who’s making it and for what purpose. 343 Industries, is an American, western studio. They develop and market games with the west in mind. Sure, these games reach other shores, but never in the same volume/popularity it gets here, just doesn’t happen, isn’t how it works.

With the monetization schemes being exceptionally predatory as we’ve seen recently, I have grave concerns about this when it comes to Yoroi. This whole event and set of gear that is all about selling you Samurai armor, swords, cherry blossoms, Torii (You know, those Japanese arches that are a key icon of Shinto, a religion from Japan.), etc - reeks of appropriation, repackaging and it’s… Frankly, it’s wrong.

It would be far less of a concern if Yoroi and its set wasn’t so horribly, heavy handily vacuum packaged and sold by and for westerners. I don’t doubt that there may have been Japanese or artists of Japanese descent who worked on or were consulted with the process of Yoroi, but the history of taking from other cultures and profiting off of it in the west continues with this armor and its associated cosmetics.

If one is to ask where I was when Season 8 of MCC came out, I will remind you again that the updates in MCC have basically always been free and you could not purchase armor or points for armor in that game. You simply had to earn the points - and while FOMO was a factor in some aspects, it was never overbearingly so nor was it used for profit.

So it bothers me then, that three european cultures’ aesthetics and history were used entirely freely, but an eastern one, was the one that got packaged and sold for egregious financial gain. If that doesn’t really bother you, I don’t know what exactly to tell you.

Again, I must reiterate that I am not directly effected by this. Friends of mine who are very dear to me are, though they don’t play Halo. If one is to ask why bother then - because it is a consistent problem in western industry and really needs to stop.

EDIT: Corrected a mistake about Shinto.

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Inb4 the Japanese actually love when other cultures represent theirs.

Cultural appropriation is often a very slippery slope and is quite often an overloaded issue. Kinda like the Day of the Dead stuff. From the Mexicans I’ve talked to, they love when other people acknowledge their practices.

Stuff like Native American Chieftain headgear is understandable since that is a sacred thing, but you can’t blanket every culture behind this, honestly, usually very uninformed stance.

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If I recall correctly there was mention that the fractures battle pass would be free, but I do assume you’ll still be able to pay to skip tiers to unlock the entire catalogue of items on offer such is the case with the current battle pass in Infinite

As for cultural appropriation I think it depends on intent and implementation, it would be appreciated if we had an indication that certain steps were taken to treat this rendition of another culture with respect and approval

there was a franchise long ago that used names of the Maori people without consent and, from an outsiders perspective, mockingly, and as such they were forced to change certain names because of action taken by the Maori people, so I would hope respect was taken to implement this armor

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I personally don’t believe in cultural appropriation. Someone thinks something is cool, they’ll do stuff with it.

There’s also the consideration that the US is full of a bunch of different people with different cultures and heritage, who’s to say there aren’t people on the team with that as a part of their lives they offered to the team as an idea? Not saying that’s the case, but it’s something to think about.

And as someone who has had my “culture appropriated” I find it a little silly when it happens, yes, but it doesn’t bother me, though I know what might not bother me might bother someone else, there’s a line to be drawn.

As long as there is no obvious disrespect in the action, I don’t see a problem with said apparition of any cultures, we are all humans on this earth, we have rich backgrounds, we should enjoy sharing them with each other and grow closer.

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yeah par for the course replies so far

The Fracture is free, but some items of the Yoroi set can only be bought in the store.

Did you expect everyone to agree with you or something? Are you wanting an echo chamber? The Japanese literally enjoy seeing their culture being showcased by others.

For example, Ghost of Tsushima was made by an entirely western studio, and received nothing but praise from both Japanese developers and regular people alike because of the accuracy of the culture within it. And that was a “for profit” game that a company made money on.

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Halo 3: Hayabusa
Halo 4: (Can’t remember if it had one)
Halo 5: Shinobi
Halo Online: Busido
Halo Infinite: Yoroi core

It’s not new, stop complaining.
Halo has a canon Japanese branch in the UNSC, because it’s a global United Nations Space Corps. It would be wrong to exclude non-white countries. Suggesting there can’t be Asian representation in Halo is in itself racist. Bad post.

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Really? well that’s unfortunate

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Why is it when a western studio tries to make something eastern inspired they get blasted with “cultural appropriation”, but bring over games and anime and stuff from Japan and it suddenly people in the west trying to force changes on it because it doesnt fit “our culture norms”

Ghosts of Tsushima had twitter mods blasting them for culturalal appropriatjon, yet players in japan -Yoink!- loved it due to how well it portrayed everything and did it with respect. Helped it was also just an awesome game

Blatant racism and disrespect i can understand getting upset over.

Inspired by a culture because we find it cool, yeah i dont see the problem with this! People always are inspired by different things

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Like I said, certain things are understandable, like the Chieftain headress of Native Americans like I stated earlier. Native Americans absolutely hate when others, especially white people, wear them as Halloween costumes for example. It’s a sacred thing that is pretty disrespectful given what the Europeans did to the Natives. But this is not a clear cut issue.

It depends on the culture itself and the level of respect given. If we’re gonna go this route, Overwatch is nothing but cultural appropriation and should be canceled then. Hell, Punch Out!! from Nintendo has extremely stereotypical depictions of various different cultures, and it’s a beloved franchise, but I guess it gets a pass since its made by a Japanese company?

I don’t get it. Creative liberty is something westerners seem to love to hammer down on, even when said medium is respectful and informed on its attempts to showcase a culture.

The whole issue is completely silly, outside of blatant disrespectful issues like the example I gave earlier.

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You have a very vested interest in halting this topic don’t you?

Are you going to actually make a legitimate rebuttal, or are you just going to be upset you’re not getting an echo chamber?

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Why don’t you engage in conversation with us instead of making snarky replies?

We aren’t against you, we are reasonable people that can talk about these topics, I believe we’re all adults here.

EDIT: I’ll also add on, it’s a very interesting topic, my mind is very open to see what your opinion is, cause we obviously have different opinions at the moment, we should see where it goes, yanno?

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Nowadays it’s a race to the bottom to see who can get offended first - victim mentality.

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Nice profile pic uwu

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tbh I was in a ranked match at the time, sadly we lost. Could only reply between rounds.

Anyway, my stance is basically this: It’s WEIRD that out of all the fractures they chose to monetize, they chose the non european one, to me. It’s just not as respectful at all to the parent culture. The other three, Scandinavian, English and Greek, were spared this entirely. My stance is the OP, basically.

I am not saying these things shouldn’t be in the game. I rock a left Hayabusa shoulder on my Spartan in MCC, but it never cost me a dime to get past the inital game’s purchase and it doesn’t really fulfill the same criteria outlined in the OP.

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So let me ask you this: do you have a problem with Ghost of Tsushima despite it was made by a western company? Or Overwatch?

If the answer is no, then why is there an issue with this?

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So I’m glad you acknowledge this WRT Native Americans. But when it comes to Japan, there’s a lot about it, many facets, that led to the outsourcing of Japanese things - which was basically a measure to rebuild the economy and survive in the modern era following the events of WWII. There’s a lot online you can read about “Cool Japan”, why it happened and what its lasting effects have been - notably,

the idea that Japanese people are fine with their culture being bought or sold.

Again, I’m some transgender white furry pagan chick - I’m not really looking for “Echo chambers” or disappointed in the lack of one. I mean Hel I frequent twitter. (Almost said dude - what’s your pronouns? Could really use a feature for that here.) So. I’m used to debates, but I will add that every reply keeps the topic alive so if you really disagree with it, well…

Anyway…

With regards to Ghosts of Tsushima, it’s a complex issue. But I am not Japanese, I can’t speak a Japanese opinion on that game. It’s not really something that’s in my wheelhouse.

But when it comes to Halo, something that uses Japanese aesthetics and culture incidentally and for the sole sake of purchase, rather than trying to tell a Japanese story set in Japan, yeah, I can probably call that out as probably misguided. If I can’t, then hey, I can’t.

But I feel like somebody should have said something. As for Overwatch, I won’t talk about that travesty of an IP at all, hardly worth the time.

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That’s kind of the key difference with Ghosts of Tsushima VS. this. There’s not a lot of due respect being given through this gear and it’s being used for predatory monetization schemes.