Japanese Cinema and Otherness: Nationalism, Multiculturalism by Mika Ko

By Mika Ko

Over the final twenty years, ethnic minority teams were more and more featured in eastern motion pictures. despite the fact that, the best way those teams are offered has no longer been a topic of research. This examine examines the illustration of so-called Others – foreigners, ethnic minorities, and Okinawans – in jap cinema. through combining textual and contextual research, this booklet analyses the narrative and visible sort of movies of latest jap cinema on the subject of their social and ancient context of creation and reception.

Mika Ko considers the ways that ‘multicultural’ sentiments have emerged in modern eastern cinema. during this appreciate, jap movies could be noticeable now not just to have ‘reflected’ extra common traits inside of eastern society yet to have performed an lively position in developing and speaking varied models of multiculturalism. specifically, the ebook is anxious with how representations of ‘otherness’ in modern eastern cinema can be pointed out as reinforcing or subverting dominant discourses of ‘Japaneseness’. the writer ebook additionally illuminates the ways that eastern movies have engaged within the dramatisation and elaboration of principles and attitudes surrounding modern jap nationalism and multiculturalism.

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

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Additional info for Japanese Cinema and Otherness: Nationalism, Multiculturalism and the Problem of Japaneseness (Sheffield Centre for Japanese Studies/Routledge Series)

Example text

While these minority groups aim to fight against the deceitfulness behind its rhetoric, they can, at the same time resort to this ‘cosmetic multiculturalism’, the very thing they are fighting against, in order to find and claim their position. In other words the marginalised groups can turn the limited space given to them into a space of resistance, a place where they betray the ‘deceptiveness’ of multiculturalism and where they can go beyond imposed identities or commodified labels such as ‘Okinawa/n’ and ‘zainichi’.

In other words, the emperor system exemplifies this contradiction or split within modernisation: being modern and universal on the one hand, premodern and particular (or unique) on the other. This split becomes most obvious in relation to issues concerning ethnicity and ‘otherness’, since these issues inevitably reveal the discrepancy between belonging to the Japanese state and belonging to the emperor’s blood. Now, we need to be reminded of pre-war and war-time Japan, when the discourse of racial hybridity and 30 Nationalism, multiculturalism and the problem of Japaneseness heterogeneity became the dominant ideology to support Japan’s imperialist expansion.

To sum up, there are three different ways to see multiculturalism in Japan. First, it can be seen as a form of nationalism, or a dominant ideology which covers up the violence and contradictions of the past and present. Second, it can be seen as a form of postmodern reactionary euphoria, in which both dominant and marginalised overpraise superficial aspects of diversity. Third, it can also be seen as a space of resistance from which those who are Nihonjinron: The ideology of Japaneseness 31 marginalised start to resist and challenge the oppressive structure.

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