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Saturday, July 2 • 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Examining and Questioning Japan's Place in the World

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On This Side of the Gate: Politics and Geopolitics in Contemporary Anime
Paul S. Price
  • Gate presents a right-wing view of Japan by combining an irruption of a fantasy world into Japan with the real world of the Japanese Self Defense Force (JSDF) and Japanese politics and geopolitics. Gate is a tale of the vindication of three underdogs: Japan, the JSDF, and otakus/otaku culture. Japan maybe a small country surrounded by more powerful nations. The JSDF maybe under funded and under suspicion at home and viewed as a joke by other nations. Otaku culture may not be viewed as exemplary or even entirely adult. In Gate, however, all three are more than conquerors.

The Real Limit on the Cult of Speed: Attack on Titan's Ambivalent (Anti-)Fascism
N. Trace Cabot (University of Southern California)
  • Attack on Titan's engagement with the narrative and visual conventions of Japanese ultra-nationalist manga and anime combines an enthusiastic engagement with these elements, on their own terms and with the full strength of their appeal, with the violent interruption of these elements, their foundational myths being torn apart in an impossible blur of teeth. Situating this analysis alongside an overview of the ideological characteristics of Japanese ultra-nationalism and its history in manga/anime from the 1960s and onwards, this key to reading AoT presents insights into the character of these phenomenon in Japan's animation and comics tradition and its political imaginary.

Ghosts of February 26: The Officers Plot and the Keitai Revolution in Eden of the East andGatchaman Crowds
Jordan Marshak
  • On February 26, 1936 a group in the Imperial Japanese Military calling themselves the Young Officers attempted an uprising in Tokyo and a series of assassinations, calling on the the people and the Emperor to lead a “Showa restoration" to end economic inequality through the abolition of capitalism and corrupt party politics. Taking inspiration from the shishi of the Meiji restoration, its low status samurai leaders, they belong to a rich tradition of Japanese radicals who have attempted, armed with unfailing moral clarity, to use symbolic violence to bring about social transformation. This talk discusses two recent TV anime that engage with this tradition and the memory of the Young Officers as a potential model for addressing the many social crises of post-bubble Japan and wrestle with its continuing legacy and importance while ultimately endorsing different methods of radical action.

Saturday July 2, 2016 5:00pm - 6:30pm PDT
Live Programming 4 411