Gill, Tom. "Transformational Magic: Some japanese super-heroes and monsters." The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture. Gender, Shifting Boundaries and Global Cultures. Ed. Dolores Martinez. Contemporary Japanese Society. Cambridge [etc.]: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1998. 33–55.
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|Resource type: Book Article
Language: en: English
BibTeX citation key: Gill1998
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Keywords: Adaptation, Animation, Folklore, Gender, Intertextuality, Japan, Manga, Monster, Superhero, TV
Creators: Gill, Martinez
Publisher: Cambridge Univ. Press (Cambridge [etc.])
Collection: The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture. Gender, Shifting Boundaries and Global Cultures
In any culture, there are elements of change and elements of continuity. The literature on Japan tends to over-emphasize either change (such as in technology) or continuity (for example, cherry blossom viewing, haiku, sumo, etc.). In this chapter, I hope to show how cultural continuities may be found even in an area of popular culture which is subject to countless fast-changing influences: commercial television dramas for children.
The makers of these programs are under constant pressure to respond to changing tastes, to maintain audience ratings, and to sell advertising and spin-off products. Yet a look at the programs reveals recurrent themes which, in some cases, have their roots in supernatural beliefs dating back to antiquity. In this chapter I shall discuss how some of these old beliefs find expression in the super-heroes and monsters of Japanese children’s television. The very longevity of these themes and their shared symbolic similarities (as outlined below) suggest that they are of fundamental importance in Japanese culture.
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