I had a rough day, and came to a realisation. I will say a bit about my own experience, and then, after having to lay the groundwork of explaining 400 things about Japan because American schools and media think the whole world is the US, Western Europe, and places to blow up, making explaining necessary, will tie it to Ichigo, or at least how I portray him.
I’m Post Dankai Juniors, growing up in Japan. So’s Kubo, actually. The boundaries of this Japanese generation are roughly ‘75 to '85, Yutori, the following generation that’s always translated and localised as Millennial, pretty solidly set as beginning at '86. These things are always fuzzy because you can’t vivisect living brains and find the part that likes char siu buns and the part that likes jazz fusion. I *majored* in Social Science. You’ll have teachers who say “it is absolute that we date people who are similar to us because we’re all actually narcists.” (It *might* be because they’re like our beloved family or community. Narcistic Personality is not universal) But it really just is fuzzy, and that teacher/book author is an idiot. Anyway, Yutori is always translated as Millennial. I don’t know the end boundary. Post Dankai Juniors covers almost totally a debated throe for Germanic nations (I know Britain, Germany, and Nederland use the same generations as America, and their languages are Germanic) because of how fuzzy it all is, though.
Anyway, so since coming to the US, my interactions with other Asians, again, how is this defined when China, Mongolia, Japan all border Russia and West Asia includes Jordan and Saudi Arabia, South Asia is India’s area, Southeast Asia is Laos, Thailand’s area, I mean, find the Arabic kanji. I don’t think Thailand even uses soy sauce. What the heck IS Asia, really? (Or “Middle East” when half of that’s Africa and the other half shares plate with Europe? )
Anyway, my experience with Asians that are Boomer ages tends to be people who immigrated as adults, who more identity with a generation like “Dankai” or “Sirake.” My experiences with Latinos older than me… I’ve never actually asked if the generational labels are even the same.
The thing about that is that when the name is the same, it means enough cultural traits are shared.
My biggest experience with people who grew up under the term “Boomer” are Black and white.
I’ve noticed a unifying trait.
If they’re something oppressed (Black, gay), their attitude tends to be"it is mandatory to stand up for *my* demograph…but kicking the person behind me on the ladder in the teeth is wholesome, pure, and fun.“
Outing me to large groups and saying I "speak Asian” seem to be the most common two. Calling me “Chinese” long after I’ve cleared this up for them is a close third.
I mean, don’t get me wrong–my experience with Italian Americans past GI generation has been that now acquiring the “white” label, just like biphobic/aphobic/transphobic cisgays, they’re more often staunch priveledge defenders than cishet people of Anglo descent! And it’s just as true for X and Y as it is for Boomer (for the latter, one need only look at NYC destroyer and trump defender Giuliani) I actually don’t really identify with my Italian side at all because I was kinda locked out of making any meaningful connection.
But back to my point that even in so-leftist-it’s-almost-not-America Bay Area, Boomers are still like this!
The kind of stuff that flows out a X/Y TERF’s mouth, or the mouth of an X/Y person with a Confederate flag on his wall, American-raised Boomers say with ease regardless of their alignment! It’s banananas.
(Please note that I also just have not met a whole lot of Native Americans, period, nor enough people significantly older than me from any one place in Africa, that was an omission of lacking data, not intended as erasure)
How I tie it to Ichigo–
So Kubo avoids specifying birth years for anyone.
When I see something like this, I generally assume date of publication, as do most people in most fandoms (which of course gets screwy when you have something endlessly rebooted like Superman or Batman or something eternally unchanging like Detective Conan)
Anyway, the first Bleach something published was the comic in '01.
I generally assume it was supposed to be the start of a new school year, as Ichigo doesn’t know many of his classmates until at least the first test scores come out. So it’s probably April or something.
If Ichigo was 15 then, he’d also be Post Dankai Juniors, just barely. If Ichigo TURNED 15 shortly after, during his adventure, he’d be undebatably Millennial.
Now, there is still something up with Dankai and Sirake. PM Abe is the latter, b. 1954. A lot of his age-peers are behind him. This is the guy who supports remilitarisation and was caught funding a private militarist/fascist high(?) school that teaches that people from countries Japan conquered during its brief phase of trying to beat colonial Europe are less than dogs.
Now, I left there as a teen. Clinton was US president. Scandals still got people kicked out of public office in Japan. I hadn’t figured or come out yet. Sure, I got bullied for being mixed, but kids will pick if you like different singers than the “cool” ones. They’ll pick based on what’s in your lunch. That data is sausage.
I’m not 100% sure what Ichigo would face day-to-day sociopolitically as he grew up/aged. I haven’t had living family since'95 there, and friendships don’t get deep enough to ever last distance until at least high school. For me, adulthood.
But I’ve kept/caught up enough (you try keeping up in the South before the internet was more than ten University sites!) that I know he’d face fascists (c'mon, the guy takes on a martial law government to save a new friend–that’s anarchist, he just doesn’t seem anarchist in his own world. He only fights humans in defence) I’m not sure how he’d feel about the JSDF, but he only fought the sinigami’s war out of feeling like it was his responsibility because the adults around him kinda made it so. I super don’t see him being for *starting* wars. In a human war, I see him actually being like Sugihara Chiune, a historical figure who died when I was a kid who I majorly admire. He worked at a Japanese embassy in Nazi territory, and when the embassy was evacuated,he continued throwing passports to Jewish people to go to Japan from the train he was departing on,and is hidden from Americans in the same spirit that Martin Luther King is…pulled the teeth out of. (PS, speaking of,go Google Steven Kiyosi Kuromiya)
Also, Ichigo’s whole schtick is defending those worse off than him. He’s not someone I see defending Yamato Japanese priveledge. Heck, I could see him joining Uchinanchu efforts to get Parliament and the US base to leave them alone. I can easily see him sticking up for a Filipino domestic worker he met thirty seconds ago.
To this end, I think regardless of what he is, he’d have a large rub with Japan’s equivalents of Boomers.
Not to mention that Abe supporters tend to be very sexist and queerphobic, which isn’t even homegrown but imported from Américanisation. I mean, there were female warriors–assasins, which is what Yoruichi and Soi-Fon are styled after, and go look at some Ukiyoe, like Utagawa Kitamaro. Quite a few artists in the 200-ish years of the Edo period depicted life in the queer districts. I’ve also had people posit that Noh might’ve been a welcoming draw for trans people the same way drag was all over the US in the twentieth century and still is in rural areas, where there’s less cisgay gatekeeping. But this isn’t something I can reasonably research without access to plenty of older and not well known dusty documents, and lots of time, and I live in the US many years now. And do you know how much round trip airfare alone is!? Also, the language changed so much and I can’t read anything before Meiji without dropping words. Rukia, Byakuya, Yoruichi all have made for TV old-sounding Japanese like period dramas. Actual 18th Century Japanese would be unintelligible to the unspecialised.
So this stuff isn’t really native, but Abe and a lot of people his age support all these -isms.
I super don’t see Ichigo being happy about this.
(I also feel like Issin’s old enough to remember before these -isms, but that’s my own thing. In my project, he was in those districts, but that’s me)
At the same time, I’m still writing this through my own lens. Also, not still being there, I just don’t have enough data on Yutori in adulthood, or the grown Yutori lens. Honestly, even most other immigrants I meet are older than that. Or older than that and their adorable three year old children. So I have no clue.
In the early 2000s, I got myself from the South to CA and began to reconnect, but began to is the key phrase. I can tell you right now that Abe is as much of a second phase of Nakasone as trump is of Nakasone’s buddy Regean. But what shifted when, I can’t say. I’m not entirely sure how Koizumi ran the ship, as it were. I know some things, but not enough to say.
But whenever things shifted however, and whichever year Ichigo was born, I just cannot imagine him being any more on board with current events than really anyone in my area not born between 1946-1964 and raised in America.
I feel like he’d probably be too tired or self-effacing to fight for himself, but he’d take on, loud and proud, any bigotry against *others.*
I…also can’t really say I’m much different, except my joints are held together by the power of wishes, so I’m more like “get the victim to safety” than “give the attacker plenty of regret.” So, I can only do anything in limited ways.
Ichigo is also entirely fuelled by the power of love. Lost his ability to protect and feels like his sinigami friends ditched him? Mondo depressed, however much he wants no one to notice–which most do a great job of ignoring! Everyone in his world turned against him for a guy who has attacked people close to him? Terrified, and murder can now be an answer. (Fullbring Arc)
I was going somewhere with that. I’ve forgotten, but I’ll leave it.
But anyway, I feel like he really only comes close to fighting for himself when others are taken away from him in a way that’s also wronging them.
So yeah, I super don’t see him happy with current events or Sirake gen.
I’m not sure how much I see him fighting for himself as mixed panromantic grey-ace. I mean, we know he fights people who are about to punch his face in for his looks, but what else can you reasonably do at that point? Get your head bashed in? I’m not sure how much I see him fighting hateful words pointed at him versus resigning himself to “people are the worst.” I mean, when he talks about being picked on, he kinda seems resigned, or at least like it’s a fact, like shoes being for outside or something.
I guess I tied it to Ichigo a lot better than I thought!
But also, the struggle against people born just after the war is not just you, and not just America. It’s a major problem.
And it’s likely that Ichigo would agree.