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By Mika Ko

Over the final two decades, ethnic minority teams were more and more featured in jap motion pictures. in spite of the fact that, the way in which those teams are provided has no longer been a topic of research. This research examines the illustration of so-called Others – foreigners, ethnic minorities, and Okinawans – in jap cinema. via combining textual and contextual research, this publication analyses the narrative and visible variety of movies of up to date jap cinema relating to their social and old context of construction and reception.

Mika Ko considers the ways that ‘multicultural’ sentiments have emerged in modern eastern cinema. during this recognize, jap movies can be obvious now not just to have ‘reflected’ extra normal tendencies inside of jap society yet to have performed an energetic function in developing and speaking diversified types of multiculturalism. particularly, the ebook is worried with how representations of ‘otherness’ in modern eastern cinema will be pointed out as reinforcing or subverting dominant discourses of ‘Japaneseness’. the writer booklet additionally illuminates the ways that jap movies have engaged within the dramatisation and elaboration of principles and attitudes surrounding modern jap nationalism and multiculturalism.

By finding modern eastern cinema in a social and political context, Japanese Cinema and Otherness makes an unique contribution to scholarship on eastern movie learn but in addition to bridging the distance among jap stories and movie stories.

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Additional resources for Japanese Cinema and Otherness: Nationalism, Multiculturalism and the Problem of Japaneseness

Sample text

Indeed, both of my parents are American. But I was born and grown up here in Japan. In addition, because of the horrible English education in Japan, I cannot speak English at all. Isn’t it funny? Yes, it must be funny. Then am I Japanese or American? Because of my appearance, I am treated everywhere as a foreigner. But I was born and grew up in this country and I do not have any home country but Japan ( … ) You, Yen Towners, are better as you have a home country to go back to. By the way, you little girl (talking to Ageha, an orphan whose mother was a Yen Town prostitute), where were you born?

Hall writes: The diaspora experience as I intend it here is defined, not by essence or purity, but by the recognition of a necessary heterogeneity and diversity; by a conception of ‘identity’ which lives with and through, not despite, difference; by hybridity. 61 In other words, diasporic identity is hybrid and is in a permanent process of transformation through the mixing of the experiences of the former cultural spaces and those of the new ones. As Hall suggests, diasporic people or postcolonial immigrants have often been at the centre in the discussion of cultural hybridity.

By homogenising all the ‘others’ and by failing to make a distinction between those western white male ‘others’ and other ‘others’ (such as Asian workers, women and the zainichi), the film neglects the unevenness and inequality of political and economic power relations. 16 Likewise in Swallowtail, the ‘others’ are deprived of the ‘real’, and therefore the complex givenness of the material reality of, for Cosmetic multiculturalism and contemporary Japanese cinema 37 instance, political and economic hardship is merely transformed into an ‘image’ or ‘sign’, as a commodity through which ‘otherness’ becomes an attractive cultural ‘label’ for consumption.

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