Bright Moon in Mountain Wind

April 7, 2021   /  

Student Name: Yuqi (Amanda) Han
Majors: Chinese Studies, Biology
Advisor: Ziying You & Mark Graham

Best Creative Exploration Award

The danmei, called tanbi in Japanese, also being understood as Boy’s Love (BL), became a popular romantic artistic genre in contemporary Chinese society. Danmei is created by women and focuses on the pure love between two beautiful young men (danmei literally means “beauty addiction” in Chinese). Danmei fiction has widely spread on the Internet; one of the famous online creative writing websites is Jinjiang Literature City, which primary serves danmei fans. While the danmei fans’ population increases, the description of two beautiful young men’s romantic love stories also shows a certain degree of deviation from danmei’s original purpose. Queer issues are not fully addressed, and female characters are designed as a background board role to create boys’ love story. My creative writing IS project intends to correct the mistaken direction for current popular danmei fiction. First, the main characters need to explore their self-recognition and reveal their tenderness. The vague design of both sexes’ personalities is a way to decrease the social stereotype of gender roles. Second, there is a powerful female image in my novel. My claims are that women’s social responsibility is not to give birth or promote male protagonists’ love development. My IS will become an important step in the danmei culture and guide other authors to think about roles that should not be limited to stereotypes in future danmei writings.

Click to view Yuqi’s presentation (NOTE: You will need a Wooster login to view this presentation)

Yuqi (Amanda) will be online to field comments on April 16:
2-4 pm EDT (PST 11am-1pm, Africa/Europe: evening).

17 thoughts on “Bright Moon in Mountain Wind”

  1. Congratulations, Amanda! Your IS project is really fantastic. It makes me think more deeply about danmei fiction.

  2. Congratulations, Amanda! The combination of young men’s love story with a powerful empress’s story makes this work stand out in danmei fiction. Your complicated identities as a reader, a writer, and a researcher of danmei fiction in contemporary China have broadened and deepened the significance of this project. Again, congratulations to you for all your amazing achievements!!

  3. Amanda!!!! Amazing work. Exploring and interrogating stereotypes of gender and diving deeply into a specific genre are such interesting and challenging approaches. I’m really proud of you!

  4. Congratulations, Amanda! You have done amazing work in both majors in a very challenging year. I am so excited for your future and look forward to our growing relationship as colleagues.

  5. Congratulations Amanda! This is very interesting and quite impressive! Congrats on your award and all your hard work!

  6. Your I.S. is super interesting and unique. I learned a lot from your PowerPoint. Great job!!

  7. Hello again and congratulations again, Amanda! Thank you for sharing your work here today — it is a great opportunity for others to get a glimpse of your creative talents and critical perspectives on danmei fiction. Thank you! 🙂

  8. Good job, Amanda. This is really cool. What drew you to this topic for your IS?

    1. Hi Saralee, thank you for the question; if we use zoom or other virtual meeting apps, I definitely could talk about the interests for around 10 minutes. Okay, here, let me control my tons of words. I have become a danmei fan for approximately seven years. Even though I won’t view myself as the first generation of danmei culture, I have the chance to view the changing of online danmei novels in Chinese society. Like five years ago, people more likely to judge you for being a danmei fan, then danmei becomes popular. You know everything has two sides; the shadow of the current danmei culture weakens females and performs anti-feminism. I am a danmei reader, and at the same time, I am a writer, also a researcher. Therefore, my purpose is to correct the wrong direction of danmei works and announce no conflicts between danmei romantic novels and powerful female images.

  9. Amanda, congratulations on the big award!! I wonder why danmei fiction has become so popular in China. Please feel free to share your thought and reflections here.

  10. Amanda, it has been a great privilege for me to work with you during the past year, and I have enjoyed working with you tremendously. What does danmei fiction mean to you? What has motivated to overcome all the challenges to write such significant fiction?

    1. Danmei to me, just like a piece of the jigsaw. I have a long time reading danmei novels, and I believe danmei participants in my personality development. I am definitely not afraid of expressing my feelings or emotions, and I recognize the Chinese queer group’s difficulties. Danmei also makes me think about why Chinese women accept danmei. When I was a teenager, another reason for obsesses on danmei is danmei novels are brave, and I could observe the pure romantic relationship between two males. So it makes me feel upset when I read current popular danmei fictions and notice the weakening of female characters, the denial of female significance, and the anti-feminism. Because I am afraid that no other realize the currently popular concept is dangerous and increasing the gap between females and males. I love danmei culture, and I respect it. Therefore, I don’t want to see danmei disappeared in one day. I guess the love of danmei and my belief on no changing being too late are worked as two major powers to support me overcome all difficulties.

      1. Thank you so much, Amanda, for your powerful responses!! I am happy to see that you are leading the new trends of danmei fiction, and making a significant change!! This change will impact many young girls and empower them to pursue their individual interests and goals in the future, no matter in the fictional world or in the real world!! Again, thanks a lot for writing this inspirational and powerful work!!

  11. Hi You laoshi, thank you for this question. Basically, after I have researched danmei culture in Chinese society, I believe danmei becomes popular is an expectable trend. Danmei novels allow both readers and writers to expose their needs in a purely romantic relationship. Women are the main component of danmei fans, and due to cultural and historical elements, women are still materialized and feel shame to express their desires. In the imaginary world, writers can design romantic characters without thinking about reproductive or other traditional female’s social responsibilities. In danmei novels, one male shares beauty on appearances, just like typical female characters. Still, this male character can enjoy the rights as his identity is male, also receives protection from his boyfriend. The male character could have advantages on both sides. When female readers and writers viewing those words, they can put themselves into the male character and have a chance to express their needs and talk about love confidently.

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