XT, why is there a list close tag at the end of my post, even after I remove it? I think I closed all of the lists I started. XT Edit: fixed.
You might not be aware of it, it's Singles' Awareness Day Eve (counting on a filter here). And there it is.
As such, it's time to bring back yet another thread that was on the old forums.
ITT, we show off our waifus/husbandos/bossus
, and talk about waifuism
in general."But Scram, what on Earth is a why-foo?"
The answer to that question is surprisingly complex. Waifu
is a word that first came about in the Japanese lexicon around the early 1980s. Warning; we're about to delve into some Asian linguistics here.
The dynamics between husband and wife in Japan have changed so much that the older way in which a woman was referred to as a wife was seen as offensive to newer couples. Kanai
, the word for wife that uses two Chinese characters that mean "inside the house" became objectionable to the newer generations of women. Likewise, the words for husband, shujin
, roughly mean "master". Given that these words did not correspond to their own domestic partnerships, many couples decided to continue the wonderful Japanese tradition of loanwords by adopting the English husband
. The words underwent some changes in their pronunciation, and presto! You have waifu
. (Stanlaw, 2004
: Rebick & Takenade, 2006
As anime became popular in the west, waifu
were picked up by fans of anime and manga and were used to refer to their favorite characters. If I had to hazard a guess, I would claim that 2002 was the year during which really popularized waifu
in particular amongst these fans. One anime in particular, had a lot to do with that...
That said, these words were a definite part of the Japanese vernacular and were even in anime quite some time before this particular instance.
Moving onto waifus with respect to the otaku subculture. As mentioned earlier, a waifu or husbando refers to a character that someone identifies with, has affection for, or actually considers to be a vicarious wife or husband. The terms are not exactly clear-cut however; some people will use the word waifu to refer to a male or female character. Amongst those that do use hubando, though, the fact that it is used instead of the technically correct hazu suggests, at least to myself, that this is more of a western phenomenon.
In any case, a waifu is a fictional character that a real person "loves". It definitely is a relationship/concept that means different things to different people. So, we have what I like to call the Waifuism Spectrum
, which may or may not coincide with a spectrum of a different kind (there's your offensive joke for the day).
Some people take the idea of having a waifu as something casual. Sentiments could be anything such as...
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- "Man, Yoko is so hot. She is mai waifu."
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- "Clearly, Rem was the best girl of Spring 2016. Definitely mai waifu."
and so on. It is something fun and temporary
On the other side, there are those who treat having a waifu as equivalent to being married. Some people wear wedding bands, base life decisions on what their waifu might think, go out to a bar with a dakimakura of said partner, you get the idea. There are actually a couple of communities for people who are serious about it, such as /r/waifuism
and 8chan's /mai/
. A sample OP from a thread entitled "Robowaifus" on /mai/ right now..."Let say that within the span of 5 years, robotics and ai technology have massive breakthrough and waifubots/husbandobots become a thing. With these waifubots/husbandobots, you can customize them to be exactly like your waifu/husbando in every aspect down to appearance and personality. They will act exactly like him/her down to the most obscure quirk he/she has. Would you be willing to buy one of your waifu/husbando? or are you against the idea? If so why? Would it be wrong to fall in love with the waifubot since it's technically not them, but a replica?"
There are some variances in the beliefs of members of such communities, but these are some general guidelines...
- Relationships with a waifu are a monogamous commitment
- The lover of the waifu knows that the character is fictional
- Sexual aspects of the relationship are an individual/couple decision
- Having a waifu does not necessarily prevent someone from entering a 3D relationship
That last item can be quite contentious. /mai/ actually had a shitstorm about a year ago when it come to surface that some mods were in actual relationships.
I'll stop for now to prevent there being a single post with a wall of text. These next few posts will predominantly concern the second of the two groups I mentioned (the more serious "waifuists").