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Ishikawa, Satomi. Seeking the Self: Individualism and popular culture in japan. Worlds of East Asia. Bern [etc.]: Peter Lang, 2007. 
Added by: joachim (5/8/10, 11:08 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (5/8/10, 11:10 PM)
Resource type: Book
Language: en: English
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 978-3-03-910874-9
BibTeX citation key: Ishikawa2007a
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Chibi Maruko-chan", "Gomanizumu Sengen", "Shin Seiki Evangelion", Fandom, Identity, Japan, Manga, Popular culture
Creators: Ishikawa
Publisher: Peter Lang (Bern [etc.])
Views: 6/519
This book is about the self in contemporary Japan. In contrast to Euro-American cultures, in which the self is considered to be the essence of personhood, in Japanese culture the self is constantly reconstructed in relation to others. This particular self is studied by examining the ways popular culture is consumed, with a special focus on manga, the Japanese word for comics and cartoons.
The first part of the book contains an ethnographic research in which the author investigates the relationship between popular media and the search for self-knowledge. In the second part a historical analysis traces the development of self-seeking in Japan since the country's modernisation period.


Acknowledgement 7

Introduction 9
Manga: a Historical Overview 10
Postwar Development: Manga as Commodity 13
Consumption as Self-articulation 17
Jiga: the Self in Japan 19
Theorising the Tenno System 26

Part I Ethnography

1 Consuming Commonality 31
1.1 The Comiket: a Venue for Manga 31
1.2 Otaku: a Category of the Japanese Person 37
1.3 Otaku: Generalisation of the Category 53
1.4 Tamagocchi: Resetting the World 58

2 Consuming Empathy 71
2.1 Shin Seiki Evangelion: Desparately Seeking the Self 71
2.2 Chibi Maruko-chan: Nostalgia for Given Relationships 84
2.3 Some Manga Genres for Adult Consumers: Historical Background 89
2.3.1 Ikuji Manga: Manga for Female Consumers 89
2.3.2 Manga for Office Workers 91
2.4 Gomanizumu Sengen: Speaking for ‘Us’ 98

Part II An Inquiry into Japan's Modernisation

3 Making a Japanese Individual – the 1970s and the '80s 115
3.1 Shinjinrui: Consuming Differences 116
3.2 Consuming as Becoming Independent: Women as Consumers 127
3.3 1989: The End of the Showa Period 137

4 From National to Cultural Japaneseness – the Postwar Period up to 1970 143
4.1 The Death of Mishima Yukio: Problematising Culture 144
4.2 Culturalisation: Transformed Everyday Life 155
4.3 Nihonjinron: a Mode of Culture 164
4.4 The Tenno as the Cultural Symbol 176

5 The Emergence of National Japaneseness – from the Meiji Period to 1945 183
5.1 Inventing the Myth 184
5.2 The Imperial Constitution and State Shinto 193
5.3 Ultra-Nationalism and Self-Exploration 197

Conclusion 217

List of Illustrations 221
List of Abbreviations 223
Glossary 225
Bibliography 229
Index 249
Added by: joachim  Last edited by: joachim
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