Sumire Uesaka Contributes Essay in Book on Pacifism
posted on by Eric Stimson
Sumire Uesaka, a voice actress known for her interest in the military and for voicing roles in military-oriented anime (Fubuki in KanColle, Nonna and Piyotan in Girls und Panzer), has nonetheless contributed an essay to a book on pacifism, Sekai o Heiwa ni Suru Tame no Sasayaka na Teian ("Modest Proposals for Bringing About World Peace").
She argues that increased engagement with the rest of the world is necessary to prevent war. "I propose that we pay homage to [the rest of] the world and [other] countries. Spreading our thoughts can influence the world and make a revolution. They don't have to be outrageous, more like gentle. Can't we look at other countries with a playful sensibility, instead of stimulating ideology?"
Uesaka in particular has in mind the Soviet Union. She doesn't see it as "something dangerous, but instead as an interesting thing that existed in the past and is no more. I look it at from a fashion perspective, as something provocative." As a student in Russian Studies at Sophia University, she is fascinated by Communism, Soviet patriotic songs, and Soviet propaganda. She is interested by the feeling that "everything is over-the-top" and thinks it has an avant-garde appeal.
Uesaka's preconceptions of Russia as a "dark, cold, scary place" were challenged when she visited Moscow for a convention in 2013. She met enthusiasts of Japanese culture and loved the handmade cosplay and Lolita fashion on display there. She came to realize that her notions picked up from online research were only part of the reality. "You have to investigate what you learn from the Internet. I think it's terrible to be satisfied by the Internet and what you understand in your head without actually going there. When you go, you can see a new side [of the country] and it's fun; the world will expand."
Sekai o Heiwa ni Suru Tame no Sasayaka na Teian also includes reflections on peace and necessary conditions for pacifism by other Japanese celebrities, including TV personality Keiko Kojima and classic film actress Tetsuko Kuroyanagi.