ANIME AND CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE SOCIETY
Date: Wednesday March 4, 2009
5:45 pm Doors open
6:00 pm Lectures begin
8:30 pm Seminar ends
Location: Ryerson University, 245 Church Street
George Vari Engineering & Computing Centre, ENG103
Admission: FREE, Reservation recommended for guaranteed seating
RSVP at www.jftor.org/whatson/rsvp OR firstname.lastname@example.org OR 416-966-1600 x600
The Digital Value Lab (Ryerson University) and the Japan Foundation, Toronto are pleased to present a seminar on anime and contemporary Japanese society. Two scholars—Prof. Jaqueline Berndt, Yokohama National University and Prof. Kaichiro Morikawa, Meiji University—have been invited from Japan to introduce the audience to Japanese society today through multi-disciplinary perspectives. At the conclusion of the seminar, Dr. Eric Cazdyn, Professor of Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies at University of Toronto will participate as the discussant.
POST-CRITICAL ANIME: Observations on its ‘Identities’ within Contemporary Japan
While anime is being watched on a global scale, there are significant differences in its contemporary reception. The gap between regular consumers and critical spectators, sometimes appearing in the form of Japanese audiences vs. foreign Japanologists, deserves special attention since it raises a number of questions, such as what sort of animated film is identified as ‘anime’; who relates anime to politics, history and society; what kind of meaning is at play in anime’s performative images, and to what extent one can read ‘Japanese society’, or even ‘culture’, out of anime. Comparing Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954) and Gonzo’s Samurai 7 (2004) as well as touching upon anime’s history, this lecture focuses on aesthetic and cultural identities ascribed to anime in modern Japan and their contemporary relevance.
Jaqueline Berndt is Associate Professor of Art and Media Studies, Yokohama National University. She specializes in aesthetics/art theory, visual cultural studies, Japanese studies, aesthetics of comics, art in modern Japan, anime and animation.
OTAKU CULTURE: Personality, Space and City of Anime Fans
In Japan, optimism about an ever-progressing technological future ran out in the 1970’s. It was in the mid-1980’s that the term otaku was coined to signify a new type of personality that emerged as a reaction to the loss of ‘future’. The term evokes a stereotyped image of a geeky computer nerd, long past adolescence but still obsessed with games and anime. The presentation shall explore how this otaku personality became a geographical phenomenon in a district called Akihabara, together with its role in the development of Japanese anime.
Kaichiro Morikawa is Associate Professor of Contemporary Culture in the School of Global Japanese Studies at Meiji University. His research interests include design and architectural theory. Prof. Morikawa served as commissioner of the Japanese pavilion at the Venice Biennale 9th International Architecture Exhibition in 2004.