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Japanese Postmodernism

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ero-guro-nansensu Jul. 12th, 2004 @ 07:20 pm
This is my first post to the community. I just joined a couple of days ago.
The reason why I am writing is because a few months ago I read a book by Ian Buruma, "Inventing Japan...", where he mentions ero-guro-nansensu, but doesn't really delve into it. I was wondering if anyone could recommend some books on the subject.
Thanks very much.

May. 15th, 2004 @ 04:27 pm
i'm doing a final project on the influence of buddhism in manga (specifically in the first two volumes (黎明編 and 未来編) of tezuka osamu's hi no tori). i need to find a secondary source of some sort. i don't care if it's a napkin someone's written on, i just need to find something. everything my university library has is nothing but summaries of the story. i've been all over the web and have found very little. any help will be the best thing ever! i don't ever read manga so i don't know where to look if there even is a place.


cross posted like crazy

New. Apr. 16th, 2004 @ 04:54 pm
I'm new to the community, obviously. Found it by clicking "Ichi the Killer" on my interests page. A lot more people are interested in that movie than I thought. Maybe it's sad that I'm more interested in the culture (and pop culture for that matter) of some other country than I am in my own?

Oh well. Later.
Current Mood: boredbored
Current Music: Go!Go!7188: Jet ningin.

Apr. 14th, 2004 @ 06:15 pm
Does anyone know of sources outside the internet that contain analysis of Japanese postmodernism? I'm doing a project on the topic, and I'd hate to only have internet sites on my bibliography.

Yukio Mishima Project Apr. 5th, 2004 @ 05:19 pm
Thanks to fallen__one finding time to encode these files from the VHS tapes I have finally gotten both The Love of Rite and Death (aka Yukoku, Patriotism, etc) and the Yukio Mishima: Samurai Writer documentaries ready for download.

Some introductory remarks on the peices:

The Love of Rite and Death (aka Yokoku and Patriotism): Mishima was an actor as well as a writer. This short film was made in 1966 and is based on Mishima's short story Yokoku (Patriotism) in which a young army officer takes part in a pro-imperial coup in order to through out the corrupt cabinet. The coup is discovered and put down (ironically with imperial approval) and the officer decides to commit seppuku (ritual disembowelment). His wife joins him committing jigai (ritual throat-cutting) thus making the act shinju (lover's suicide). The film is rather graphic, especially for the time. Mishima produced, directed, and stared as the main character. Mishima's wife actually convinced the Japanese government to pull the film after his seppuku in 1970 making the film very rare. It took me quite a bit of time and a pretty penny to find a copy in Tokyo. This is an exceedingly beautiful movie - very romantic and touching - my further review can be read here. The video and sound quality are a B+ or so I think.

The documentary was done by British journalists in the mid-80's and eventually was picked up by A&E Biography although it is no longer listed under that heading. It contains some great interviews with Mishima, footage of his final speech, and a lot of things no to be found anywhere else. Great quality and really hard to find unless you want to pay 150.00 for a copy...

For reasons of bandwidth, I am going to put them up on FTP. They are encoded in divx and are both rather large files (one is right at 100 megs the other is 250 - we are in the age of broadband and quality is more important than 10 more minutes of download time in my time). Feel free to grab them and distribute them as you may.

If you are new to FTP you may want to read this. If you have questions post them and I will try to answer them as I can.

At any rate, the info is:

USR: mishima
PASS: mishima
PORT: 21

I hope you all enjoy them and I will keep the serve up a day or two to make sure anyone that wants to can get them. They took a great deal of money/trouble getting but they really need to be accessible easier and hopefully this is a step in that direction. Feel free to post the information to any other communities that may be interested.
Other entries
» mm... candy <3 ps. im new <3
<3 hey... im new <3 i found this community by typing in "suicide circle" oh fucking man, that movie is so fucking awesome. ill update some more later.
mushi mushi!Collapse )

xoxo mandy =^..^= meow..
» new.
i am searching for more recommendations in the area of Japanese post-modernism. After reading Murakami's 'Coin Locker Babies' which i picked up because i loved the title &turned out to be one of the best books i've ever read, i must have more...i've got his new one, 'In the Miso Soup', &Koushun Takami's 'Battle Royale.' Does anyone have other suggestions?
» Another challenger enters the ring!
Hi everyone. This is a great idea for a community, I must say. I'm an Asian Studies and English major studying in Minneapolis (last year I spent four months at Sophia/Jochi Daigaku as well and it was great) and my favorite Japanese book just happens to be Murakami's Sixty-Nine. How annoying it is when people think the only Murakami in existence is Haruki! (Not that there's anything wrong with him of course.) Anyways, I love studying Japanese lit and really look forward to the potential discussions on this channel.

If I may start one of my own... one thing that really stands out in my mind as a component of Japanese postmodernism is the ero-guro (meaning erotic and grotesque) style one finds in literature and manga, though most popularly in manga. Of course the Japanese are historically not shy at all when in comes to things of an erotic nature, or things of a violent nature either, for that matter, but never was it quite as dark and violent as you can find it in the present day. I never want to simply accept the answers that come readily to mind when I consider this (for example, that ero-guro exists to give the Japanese a outlet for dark impulses or fantasies that doesn't hurt anyone) but I wanted to know if anyone else had any thoughts on the subject.

Thank you!
» Well...
I thought I should do something of an introduction post for this community. I've been a fan of Haruki Murakami's work for a while and am really interested to read other works from Japanese postmodernist writers. I'm enrolled in a Japanese literature class this semester, which sounds like a lot of fun.
Nice to meet you all!
Also, very randomly, Coin Lockers Baby is also the title of a song by Miyavi.
I'm just proud of knowing that for some strange j-rock fanwhorish reason, don't mind me. ^^;
» Japanese Postmodernism
Forgive my lack of any sort of real references; I don't feel like digging out any of my old notes or papers or books, for that matter. Anyhow:

Post-modernism in the West is popularly thought to have begun with Nietzsche and his pronouncement of the death of values and the inherent arrival of nihilism. People misundertand (arguably) his writing, and a new period of art and culture without an ethical basis is started, and each generation afterward searches for meaning in an empty life. (See Hemingway, Keruoac, etc.) Post-modernism is basically anything that makes the attempt to transcend the work-a-day world and create an anchor or meaning for our lives. Of course, this is merely my opinion and could be argued, but Western PoMo isn't what we're here for.

Japanese Postmodernism, on the other hand, could be argued to have its roots in the bakumatsu. Faced with ports opened with the foreign West, many Japanese resented occidental, "barbarian," culture and resisted. In fear of commercial exploitation at the hands of Americans, (or worse: colonization at the hands of the English or French) the Japanese sought a way to keep their culture intact while facing the modernization. A large number of scholars at the time advocated a return to the past in order to transcend modernity, a plan which would place Japan on the cultural highground and theoretically safe from the dangers of the West. These scholars succeed, but not completely; the emperor of Japan regains the throne in 1864, but a modern government is institutionalized.

The movement which advocated a return to Japan's past eventually degenerates into a facist nationalism during the Meiji period and leads to wars with the Russians, Chinese, Koreans, and eventually us. The postmodern elements of the movement die out during the early Meiji period and the movement is strongly "modern" after that. Japan's first wave of modern literature and art blooms with writers such as Natsume Souseki and Yasunari Kuwabata. Resentment of the West comes and goes, and the strongly fascist government cracks down on left-wing activity. Much creativity is stifled for many years. Notions like Nietzsche's nihilism are debunked by scholars like those of the Kyoto School of philosophy, who reinvent nihilism as an ideal with strong buddhist undertones. Anyway, the country chugs along amidst a current of strong nationalism until the end of World War II.

This is where the most visible postmodern movements begin. The American occupation forces the abdication of the emperor's power to a constitutional democracy and many other Western reforms are performed all over the country, including many fundamental changes in education. The country is completely modernized and the largest change to Japanese culture since 1864 is instituted. In an attempt to become more "modern," many ideas are imported, including the notion of the postmodern. (which i feel is more of a modern idea than being postmodern in itself [which i suppose may be another discussion altogether]). But the bubble economy picks up and nobody cares about the postmodern when the modern world makes them so much money. So it isn't really until the bubble economy collapses that we see all kinds of post-modern stuff coming out.

As for what differentiates the Japanese Postmodern from Western Postmodern as such; deep rooted cultural and religious differences are the obvious differentiating factors. You don't see much of the bishonen figure, a figure with obvious ties to the 'beautiful male playing a female' architype found in kabuki plays of premodern Japan, in American postmodern for instance. Temporal and chronological changes affect Japanese postmodernism as well. Postmodern movements in Europe tend to be more spiritual in nature (though I really have no references to back me up on this claim) while much of Japanese postmodernism has heavy science fiction or otherwise futurist undertones.

Well, I guess that comprises my first real post in here. Feel free to voice your opinion on the matter, especially if you can find proof that I'm wrong somewhere. I'm a pretty skeptical about everything, including my own opinion, so I won't get mad unless you call me stupid. I'd like to hear your own definitions of 'Japanese Postmodern.'
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