History Main / PillarsOfMoralCharacter

15th Nov '15 5:51:54 PM nombretomado
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Understanding the Pillars can often help clarify the motivations and drives of {{anime}} characters, and can sometimes explain significant differences in audience reaction in Japan vs. in 'The West'. In particular, Western audiences may find the emphasis on carefully tracking debts and obligations and putting societal obligations above personal fulfilment a jarring contrast to the Western love of spontaneity and cult of the individual. Dissonance can also come from the other direction: some Japanese authors, including RumikoTakahashi, are surprised by their [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff series' international popularity]] as they assumed the underlying values to be uniquely Japanese with no parallel in other societies.

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Understanding the Pillars can often help clarify the motivations and drives of {{anime}} characters, and can sometimes explain significant differences in audience reaction in Japan vs. in 'The West'. In particular, Western audiences may find the emphasis on carefully tracking debts and obligations and putting societal obligations above personal fulfilment a jarring contrast to the Western love of spontaneity and cult of the individual. Dissonance can also come from the other direction: some Japanese authors, including RumikoTakahashi, Creator/RumikoTakahashi, are surprised by their [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff series' international popularity]] as they assumed the underlying values to be uniquely Japanese with no parallel in other societies.
20th Sep '15 8:04:01 PM IndirectActiveTransport
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* In the 1990s, the top stars of Wrestling/AllJapanProWrestling, Genichiro Tenryu, Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi and Akira Taue were [[FanNickname nicknamed]] "The Four Pillars" due to them all being hardworking, self sacrificing, honorable baby {{face}}s standing against an ever constant tide of {{evil foreigner}}s.[[/folder]]

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* In the 1990s, the top stars of Wrestling/AllJapanProWrestling, Genichiro Tenryu, Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi Toshiaki Kawada, Wrestling/MitsuharuMisawa, Wrestling/KentaKobashi and Akira Taue were [[FanNickname nicknamed]] "The Four Pillars" due to them all being hardworking, self sacrificing, honorable baby {{face}}s standing against an ever constant tide of {{evil foreigner}}s.[[/folder]]
25th May '15 1:49:58 AM Laura
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[[folder:Comics]]
* Other than the DependingOnTheWriter bouts of madness with the Phoenix Force, ComicBook/JeanGrey can be a pretty decent person for the most part. She is usually presented as one of the more compassionate members of the X-Men as seen when she helped raise ComicBook/{{Cable}} to be more of a good man than [[BadFuture he would have been]], and comforting Jubilee after Illyana dies.
* ComicBook/KittyPryde gave The Beyonder a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech, which was pretty much the Crowning Moment of Awesome for the entire Franchise/MarvelUniverse. This is what allowed her to use the N-word uncensored in ''ComicBook/GodLovesManKills''. It would have just been too offensive coming from anyone else.
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[[folder:Comics]]
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Other than the DependingOnTheWriter bouts of madness with the Phoenix Force, ComicBook/JeanGrey can be a pretty decent person for the most part. She is usually presented as one of the more compassionate members of the X-Men as seen when she helped raise ComicBook/{{Cable}} to be more of a good man than [[BadFuture he would have been]], and comforting Jubilee after Illyana dies.
* %%* ComicBook/KittyPryde gave The Beyonder a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech, which was pretty much the Crowning Moment of Awesome for the entire Franchise/MarvelUniverse. This is what allowed her to use the N-word uncensored in ''ComicBook/GodLovesManKills''. It would have just been too offensive coming from anyone else.
[[/folder]]
%%[[/folder]]
7th May '15 9:24:32 PM IndirectActiveTransport
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Added DiffLines:

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* In the 1990s, the top stars of Wrestling/AllJapanProWrestling, Genichiro Tenryu, Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi and Akira Taue were [[FanNickname nicknamed]] "The Four Pillars" due to them all being hardworking, self sacrificing, honorable baby {{face}}s standing against an ever constant tide of {{evil foreigner}}s.[[/folder]]
26th Dec '14 11:58:55 AM TheUnsquished
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* In ''BattleTech'', the Draconis Combine emphasizes the ''Five Pillars'', especially ''giri'' and ''ninjo''. Fitting with the entire FeudalFuture and the Dracs pretending to be FeudalJapan [[RecycledINSPACE IN SPACE]]. Their CulturePolice are even called the Order of the Five Pillars.

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* In ''BattleTech'', ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'', the Draconis Combine emphasizes the ''Five Pillars'', especially ''giri'' and ''ninjo''. Fitting with the entire FeudalFuture and the Dracs pretending to be FeudalJapan [[RecycledINSPACE IN SPACE]]. Their CulturePolice are even called the Order of the Five Pillars.
24th Dec '14 9:15:23 PM Phoenixion
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Added DiffLines:

* ComicBook/KittyPryde gave The Beyonder a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech, which was pretty much the Crowning Moment of Awesome for the entire Franchise/MarvelUniverse. This is what allowed her to use the N-word uncensored in ''ComicBook/GodLovesManKills''. It would have just been too offensive coming from anyone else.
22nd Dec '14 9:14:38 AM Phoenixion
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Added DiffLines:

[[folder:Comics]]
* Other than the DependingOnTheWriter bouts of madness with the Phoenix Force, ComicBook/JeanGrey can be a pretty decent person for the most part. She is usually presented as one of the more compassionate members of the X-Men as seen when she helped raise ComicBook/{{Cable}} to be more of a good man than [[BadFuture he would have been]], and comforting Jubilee after Illyana dies.
[[/folder]]
10th Jul '14 9:35:43 AM Pyrite
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* For a long time the central conflict in many Japanese movies was ''giri'', what a character was expected to do vs. what he wanted to do. Film makers and old people lament that modern Japanese audiences don't care as much about this as they become more modernized. ''TwilightSamurai'' and ''TheHiddenBlade'' by YojiYamada both aim to bring ''giri'' to the contemporary audience in a way that humanizes the struggles of one's obligation/duty. And on the subject of ''giri'', the aforementioned scene in ''TheYakuza'' (''giri'' as ''burden'') is the closest thing in English to the spirit of the meaning of the word.

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* For a long time the central conflict in many Japanese movies was ''giri'', what a character was expected to do vs. what he wanted to do. Film makers and old people lament that modern Japanese audiences don't care as much about this as they become more modernized. ''TwilightSamurai'' and ''TheHiddenBlade'' by YojiYamada Creator/YojiYamada both aim to bring ''giri'' to the contemporary audience in a way that humanizes the struggles of one's obligation/duty. And on the subject of ''giri'', the aforementioned scene in ''TheYakuza'' (''giri'' as ''burden'') is the closest thing in English to the spirit of the meaning of the word.
15th Jun '14 11:44:18 AM TastySauce
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-- Proverb from [[NewerThanTheyThink the Imperial Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors (1882)]] [[ArcWords quoted to death]] by [[TheWheelOfTime Rand al'Thor]]''

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-- Proverb '''Proverb from [[NewerThanTheyThink the Imperial Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors (1882)]] [[ArcWords quoted to death]] by [[TheWheelOfTime [[Literature/TheWheelOfTime Rand al'Thor]]''
al'Thor]]'''



* The applicability of this trope to ''RanmaOneHalf'' is a matter of heavy, ''[[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation heavy]]'' personal opinion, as none of the characters are portrayed as anything more than remotely honorable and both messes are played for all the comedy they can. It mainly pops up in regards the LoveDodecahedron, as this isn't merely a matter of multiple girls being attracted to the same guy. Akane Tendo and Ukyo Kuonji both have an ArrangedMarriage to Ranma Saotome, and in Ukyo Kuonji's case she also has a ChildhoodMarriagePromise from Ranma ''and'' Genma stole her dowry after agreeing to the arrangement. Shampoo's bond to Ranma may only be an AccidentalMarriage, but her people take it seriously enough that she was cursed just for coming back without him the first time. A few fans also think Ranma's reluctance to reveal the fact Ryoga is P-chan to Akane stems from an honor conflict (typically considered to be Ninjo versus Giri), as he did originally make a promise in his head when he believed Ryoga to be a stray dog he had found that he would keep Ryoga's curse a secret, noting it was the "warrior's code" to do so, only to then find out that Akane intended to take her new pet to bed and make an attempt to remove him from her bedroom.

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* The applicability of this trope to ''RanmaOneHalf'' ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' is a matter of heavy, ''[[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation heavy]]'' personal opinion, as none of the characters are portrayed as anything more than remotely honorable and both messes are played for all the comedy they can. It mainly pops up in regards the LoveDodecahedron, as this isn't merely a matter of multiple girls being attracted to the same guy. Akane Tendo and Ukyo Kuonji both have an ArrangedMarriage to Ranma Saotome, and in Ukyo Kuonji's case she also has a ChildhoodMarriagePromise from Ranma ''and'' Genma stole her dowry after agreeing to the arrangement. Shampoo's bond to Ranma may only be an AccidentalMarriage, but her people take it seriously enough that she was cursed just for coming back without him the first time. A few fans also think Ranma's reluctance to reveal the fact Ryoga is P-chan to Akane stems from an honor conflict (typically considered to be Ninjo versus Giri), as he did originally make a promise in his head when he believed Ryoga to be a stray dog he had found that he would keep Ryoga's curse a secret, noting it was the "warrior's code" to do so, only to then find out that Akane intended to take her new pet to bed and make an attempt to remove him from her bedroom.



* Much of the main plot of ''Anime/{{Monster}}'' happens the way it does because Tenma tends to view his act of saving Johan in terms of ''giri'' -- he is chasing Johan to put right that which he did wrong, and is not interested in taking time off to prove his innocence until his obligation is fulfilled. The longer Johan remains alive, the more innocent people will die on account of it. On the same side, Tenma also holds the virtue of ''Ninjo'' as a core of his philosophy and will take a detour if it means saving innocents. On the counter-side one might say that Johan is acting out of a twisted sense of ''On''.

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* Much of the main plot of ''Anime/{{Monster}}'' ''Manga/{{Monster}}'' happens the way it does because Tenma tends to view his act of saving Johan in terms of ''giri'' -- he is chasing Johan to put right that which he did wrong, and is not interested in taking time off to prove his innocence until his obligation is fulfilled. The longer Johan remains alive, the more innocent people will die on account of it. On the same side, Tenma also holds the virtue of ''Ninjo'' as a core of his philosophy and will take a detour if it means saving innocents. On the counter-side one might say that Johan is acting out of a twisted sense of ''On''.



* ''{{Vagabond}}'' has MiyamotoMusashi effectively owing his life to Yoshioka Denshichirou who told him to stay alive and train until they can duel again the next year, since their first fight is interrupted by a fire in the dojo. Musashi does just this and ends up cutting him down. Nevertheless, even when the remaining heir to the Yoshioka plots his death by having all of their seventy remaining members attack him, before the fight he thanks them silently for his being "raised in the bosom of the Yoshioka" (as in that year given to him by Denshichirou he greatly improved), then [[spoiler:he kills them all]].

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* ''{{Vagabond}}'' ''Manga/{{Vagabond}}'' has MiyamotoMusashi effectively owing his life to Yoshioka Denshichirou who told him to stay alive and train until they can duel again the next year, since their first fight is interrupted by a fire in the dojo. Musashi does just this and ends up cutting him down. Nevertheless, even when the remaining heir to the Yoshioka plots his death by having all of their seventy remaining members attack him, before the fight he thanks them silently for his being "raised in the bosom of the Yoshioka" (as in that year given to him by Denshichirou he greatly improved), then [[spoiler:he kills them all]].



* In ''TowerOfGod'' Gimu is the reason Hatsu wanted to help Rachel continue to climb the tower.
* ''FistOfTheNorthStar'' features multiple variations on the same theme: Shuu blinding himself to save a young Kenshiro, Falco severing his own leg to convince Raoh to leave his village alone, Shachi [[EyeScream plucking out his own eye]] to save Kenshiro, and Ohka throwing herself off a cliff to convince the Hokuto priests to spare her sister's son. In all of these, the party in question has essentially burdened their aggressor with a debt that can ''never'' be repaid.
* Of all places, ''HighSchoolOfTheDead'' has several scenes where - while not explicitly stated - ''giri'' plays a heavy role in the sense of following the rules and obligations of civilized society. Numerous characters are shown struggling with doing what is necessary for survival during the ZombieApocalypse simply because it's the wrong thing to do; this extends even to things such as taking something that doesn't belong to them like a moped or food, despite the fact that the previous owners are visibly dead just a few feet away. The breakdown of ''ninjō'' also shows in the selfishness and decadence of several groups. Then there's the unsavory types who willingly throw away any sense of morals and use force or charisma to simply take what they want from the chaos.

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* In ''TowerOfGod'' ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'' Gimu is the reason Hatsu wanted to help Rachel continue to climb the tower.
* ''FistOfTheNorthStar'' ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' features multiple variations on the same theme: Shuu blinding himself to save a young Kenshiro, Falco severing his own leg to convince Raoh to leave his village alone, Shachi [[EyeScream plucking out his own eye]] to save Kenshiro, and Ohka throwing herself off a cliff to convince the Hokuto priests to spare her sister's son. In all of these, the party in question has essentially burdened their aggressor with a debt that can ''never'' be repaid.
* Of all places, ''HighSchoolOfTheDead'' ''Manga/HighSchoolOfTheDead'' has several scenes where - while not explicitly stated - ''giri'' plays a heavy role in the sense of following the rules and obligations of civilized society. Numerous characters are shown struggling with doing what is necessary for survival during the ZombieApocalypse simply because it's the wrong thing to do; this extends even to things such as taking something that doesn't belong to them like a moped or food, despite the fact that the previous owners are visibly dead just a few feet away. The breakdown of ''ninjō'' also shows in the selfishness and decadence of several groups. Then there's the unsavory types who willingly throw away any sense of morals and use force or charisma to simply take what they want from the chaos.
14th May '14 2:40:56 PM Thenakedcat
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While the Pillars do have roots in earlier Japanese culture, the specific codification and formulation explained here was created during the 19th-century Meiji Restoration in reaction to a perceived moral decay and loss of national identity in the wake of the [[GunboatDiplomacy opening of Japan to western influences]]. It is similar to the late medieval concept of chivalry, in that the system of feudal obligations it references had already been superseded in many areas...and in that it ignores many aspects of historical feudalism that contradict its vision of what YeGoodeOldeDays were really about. Despite some re-thinking of [[ImperialJapan what]] [[KatanasOfTheRisingSun a military-centric]] 'honor' code had [[UsefulNotes/SecondSinoJapaneseWar contributed]] [[WorldWarTwo to]] in her post-war years, Japan still prizes obligation-based virtues more highly than Western [[note]]Here used in the post-World War II connotation of "Europe east of the Caucasus, the Anglosphere, and the Americas".[[/note]] cultures do.

Understanding the Pillars can often help clarify the motivations and drives of {{anime}} characters, and can sometimes explain significant differences in audience reaction in Japan vs. in 'The West'. In particular, Western audiences may find the emphasis on carefully tracking debts and obligations and putting societal obligations above personal fulfilment a jarring contrast to the Western love of spontaneity and cult of the individual. Dissonance can also come from the other direction: some Japanese authors, including RumikoTakahashi, are surprised by their [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff series' international popularity]] as they assumed the underlying values to be uniquely Japanese with no parallel in other societies.

It's important to remember, however, that cultural differences are rarely absolute. While the West has often decried monarchism and 'honor' since the Enlightenment, it had its own long feudal history that still impacts its ethical systems. "Debts of conscience" and difficulties in balancing competing obligations and desires certainly still exist. Were it otherwise, the trope pages for ItsPersonal, TheAtoner, and UndyingLoyalty would be much shorter.



While the Pillars do have roots in earlier Japanese culture, the specific codification and formulation explained here was created during the 19th-century Meiji Restoration in reaction to a perceived moral decay and loss of national identity in the wake of the [[GunboatDiplomacy opening of Japan to western influences]]. It is similar to the late medieval concept of chivalry, in that the system of feudal obligations it references had already been superseded in many areas...and in that it ignores many aspects of historical feudalism that contradict its vision of what YeGoodeOldeDays were really about. Despite some re-thinking of [[ImperialJapan what]] [[KatanasOfTheRisingSun a military-centric]] 'honor' code had [[UsefulNotes/SecondSinoJapaneseWar contributed]] [[WorldWarTwo to]] in her post-war years, Japan still prizes obligation-based virtues more highly than Western [[note]]Here used in the post-World War II connotation of "Europe east of the Caucasus, the Anglosphere, and the Americas".[[/note]] cultures do.

Understanding the Pillars can often help clarify the motivations and drives of {{anime}} characters, and can sometimes explain significant differences in audience reaction in Japan vs. in 'The West'. In particular, Western audiences may find the emphasis on carefully tracking debts and obligations and putting societal obligations above personal fulfilment a jarring contrast to the Western love of spontaneity and cult of the individual. Dissonance can also come from the other direction: some Japanese authors, including RumikoTakahashi, are surprised by their [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff series' international popularity]] as they assumed the underlying values to be uniquely Japanese with no parallel in other societies.

It's important to remember, however, that cultural differences are rarely absolute. While the West has often decried monarchism and 'honor' since the Enlightenment, it had its own long feudal history that still impacts its ethical systems. "Debts of conscience" and difficulties in balancing competing obligations and desires certainly still exist. Were it otherwise, the trope pages for ItsPersonal, TheAtoner, and UndyingLoyalty would be much shorter.



** Komamura talks about a form of ''Gimu'' toward Yamamoto, for accepting him when no one else would, and declares that he will stand by him no matter what he might think of Rukia's death sentence.
** In the Everything But The Rain flashback arc, Ryuuken Ishida deals with a similar kind of ''Giri'' conflict as Byakuya. As a [[BlueBlood high-ranking pure-blood]] Quincy, he's expected to uphold all TheClan's rules and set an example for others, but his duty to his ArrangedMarriage fiancee [[spoiler:Masaki]] requires him to try and make her situation more bearable. Ultimately, ''ninjo'' seems to be more important to him as he errs on the side of protecting people rather than ideas. While he lectures [[spoiler:Masaki]] about the importance of following the rules, when she goes ahead and breaks them anyway, he tries to mitigate the risk and covers for her when she gets caught.

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** Komamura talks about owes a form of ''Gimu'' toward Yamamoto, to Yamamoto for accepting him when no one else would, and declares that he will stand by him the Captain-General no matter what he Komamura might privately think of Rukia's death sentence.
** In the Everything "Everything But The Rain Rain" flashback arc, Ryuuken Ishida deals with a similar kind of ''Giri'' conflict as Byakuya.that in some ways parallels Byakuya's. As a [[BlueBlood high-ranking pure-blood]] Quincy, he's expected to uphold all TheClan's rules and set an example for others, but his duty to his ArrangedMarriage fiancee [[spoiler:Masaki]] requires him to try and make her situation more bearable. Ultimately, ''ninjo'' ''Ninjo'' seems to be more important to him as he errs on the side of protecting people rather than ideas. While he lectures [[spoiler:Masaki]] about the importance of following the rules, when she goes ahead and breaks them anyway, he tries to mitigate the risk and covers for her when she gets caught.
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