It took me a while to convince myself to write this only because I wasn't sure how to word it so that I didn't come off as boastful - all, "Look at me! I'm Asian! I'm part Japanese! I speak it, I live it (I am in Hawaii, though, not Japan. I mean culturally here.), I must know what the hell I'm talking about!" . . .
But I feel like it is important that I do
offer you my opinion, so that you know how someone who's culture is featured so prominently - albeit, watered down and/or twisted - feels when reading fanfiction.
Yes, it is considered VERY rude (and in Japanese culture one avoids burden and offense like the plague) to not wash before entering onsen, however Pyre does have a point. If the situation demands, some protocols are relaxed, especially in very rural areas. Although, this is VERY rare as soaking in an onsen is almost . . . spiritual? Ritual? Sorry, I know how I feel, but I am lacking the proper words to express it. It is believed that not washing prior to entering onsen pollutes the water - not just in the actual sense, but also brings in all the "impurities". But that aside, while it is very RARELY allowed, I'm sure that in the Fuedal Era in which InuYasha takes place this may have occurred more often, especially in colder climates.
About the other inaccuracies . . . who cares. It's a story.
Now that, that is out of the way, here is the important part:
Firstly, it is shown, in both the manga and the anime, the group bathing in the onsen, so imho and whether it's acceptable in real life or not, it's canon. I can stop right here, if I wanted to. Her clothing, canon. Her role in the story despite her clothing and futuristic behavior/attitude, canon.
Secondly, it's fanfiction. Fiiiicccttiioon. It's your world, your story. As a reader, all I desire is well written and well developed. I expect that some things may be unrealistic or a stretch of the truth. As long as your story is well written, within reason, feel free to stretch that artistic license muscle.
Third, and again - urgh, I am having a hard time figuring out how to accurately phrase this. Metaphor time: Ummm, you know when you see pictures of Japanese outfits or events or whatever and think with a giggle, "Sometimes I just don't get Japanese culture/people . . ."? Hey, I do it too! Sometimes I'll ask my friends from Japan (and this is very rude unless you are very, very good friends, so don't do this!), "What is up with Japanese women and their odd fashion sense right now?". Honestly, you should see it, it's kinda weird, but it's popular, lol. Then you just kinda shake your head and let them be. Well, that's kinda what they think of . . . I'm gonna say Americans, but I mean almost everyone outside Japan, just about, and please I mean no offense. I mean, they find western cultures interesting, but they also can't relate sometimes because the Japanese culture is different in so many ways. They don't really take minor mistakes like this seriously as long as it is not meant as a direct offense. Anyone who is not Japanese is usually given some slack because they assume that you may be unaware of the culture. But there are limits to this, of course (usually to the elders or upper crust). ** However, disclaimer time: If visiting Japan, please familiarize yourselves with the basics of the culture, as it is very easy to conduct yourself improperly because we are more direct in how we communicate. Even I have a very, very hard time "showing reserve" as the elders put it, since I was born and raised in Hawaii, even despite the strong Japanese cultural influence here. ** Anyways, point to this paragraph . . . Japanese readers are just like any other reader. If we're here, we like Sess/Kag and we enjoy a good story. Period.
I will say, however, that the only thing that has ever made me cringe while reading a fanfiction is improper use of Japanese words and/or set phrases. It doesn't offend me or make me upset, at least none I've read so far, but it does turn me off from the story - or rather, I'll still read it if it's a good story, but I may be less enthused about that section. My thinking is, if your story is in English and you splash your story with Japanese words used improperly, why bother saying it in Japanese at all? It doesn't add to the authenticity or fame of the story, so . . . yah. One story used "Itadakimasu" in a sexual manner and I had a hard time eating for days, lol (every time I said it at mealtimes, my mind wandered back to the story and I shuddered, lol).
Okay, so sorry this turned out to be a chapter story! I'm also sorry that this is not as well worded as my usual posts, so please pardon typos and such. I was having a harder time trying to convey my points than I thought. I'm too lazy to proofread and edit, lol. So here's my 1 sentence summary:
I'm part Japanese and I have no problem with your story.
Thanks for sticking with me on this bumpy ride! Please stow away your tray table and check all your seat backs for personal belongings before disembarking. Have a wonderful day!