Media Histories / Media Theories & East Asia

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The Media Histories / Media Theories & East Asia conference is co-sponsored by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS, 日本学術振興会), the UC Berkeley Center for Chinese Studies (CCS), the Berkeley East Asia National Resource Center, and the Arts Research Center (ARC) at UC Berkeley, with additional support from the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities at UC Berkeley, UC Berkeley Department of Comparative Literature, and Japanese Arts &Globalizations (JAG).       

This event is organized by Miryam Sas, Professor of Film & Media and Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley.

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ABOUT

The Media Histories / Media Theories & East Asia conference will bring together prominent and emerging scholars to discuss Japanese and East Asian cross-cultural developments in media theory and culture from the early twentieth century to the present. The symposium will read East Asian film and visual arts as part of a changing media landscape in relation to commercial cinema, television, and intermedia arts as well as political, economic and cultural transformations. The conference topics include: the relation between urban space and the arts in cultural politics; reading the problems of film audience and reception; the important (and neglected) role of East Asian film and media theory and critical writings; East Asian arts movements in transnational perspective; film and visual art as a mediator of cultural/political history; avant-garde artist networks, commercial culture, and architectural transformation. The symposium aims to foster transnational and local scholarly perspectives on East Asian arts and media theory in the context of recent cross-disciplinary arguments in film and media studies.

In February 2013, UC Berkeley’s Pacific Film Archive will host "Chronicles of Inferno: Japan's Art Theater Guild," a retrospective of the films of Art Theatre Guild (ATG), Tokyo’s center of cinematic innovation from 1961-1988. This conference takes this opportunity, in conjunction with this film series and other events concerning Japanese arts in the 1960s, to bring together five media theorists from Japan, the prominent film director Hani Susumu from ATG, and nearly 40 international scholars to discuss East Asian and Japanese cross-cultural developments in media theory and culture from the early twentieth century to the present. 

SCHEDULE

FEBRUARY 7, 2013 - THURSDAY

370 DWINELLE HALL
9:00AM - 10:45AM

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

Miryam SAS,
University of California, Berkeley

PLENARY TALKS

YOSHIMI Shun'ya 吉見俊哉,
University of Tokyo
FUJIHATA Masaki 藤幡正樹,
Tokyo University of Arts

370 DWINELLE HALL
11:00AM - 12:45PM

PANEL 1: MEDIA STUDIES LAB
(PROF. YOSHIMI'S RESEARCH GROUP)
(See also Hideaki MATSUYAMA in Panel 5, and Sten-Kristian SALUVEER in Panel 8)

Industrial Films and Postwar Japan: The Use of Educational Films as PR Media
Kyung Jin HA, University of Tokyo
Form and Content: Oshima Nagisa’s Film Practice
Yuta KAMINISHI, University of Tokyo
The Film Experience Beyond the Screen: The Reception of Movie Theater Brochures
Kazuto KONDO, University of Tokyo
Photography, Time, and Affect in Japanese Cinema
Anni NAMBA, University of Tokyo
Mediated Histories in Chinese and Japanese War Trial Films
Amanda WEISS, University of Tokyo

3335 DWINELLE HALL
11:00AM - 12:45PM

PANEL 2: PERFORMANCE, THEATER, AND MEDIA BODIES

Mediating Benshi’s Voice and Scripted Humor in Hōrō Zanmai (1928)
Junji YOSHIDA, Old Dominion University
Things Seeing and Seen: Early Butô as a Multimedia Performance
Bruce BAIRD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
The Pornography of Remediation in 1980s-1990s Pink Film
Michael ARNOLD, University of Michigan
Cold Burn (Teion Yakedo): On Touch in Contemporary Japanese Performance
Katherine MEZUR

370 DWINELLE HALL
2:00PM - 3:45PM

PANEL 3: RETHINKING THE 60S AND 70S: SOUNDSCAPES, LANDSCAPES, AND MEDIA POLITICS

Cultural Incorporation and Critique of Organized Power in the Nikkatsu Stateless Action Film
Mark ROBERTS, University of Tokyo
Projections Beyond the Screen: Outdoor Film Projections in Japanese Expanded Cinema of the 1960-70s
Julian ROSS, University of Leeds
Towards a New Discourse on Film Realism: Tsurumi Shunsuke's Experiments in Reception Studies and Science of Thought
Junko YAMAZAKI, University of Chicago
A “True Record” of the United Red Army: the Politics of Fact-based Fiction
Mariko SCHIMMEL, Grinnell College

3335 DWINELLE HALL
2:00PM - 3:45PM

PANEL 4: CONTESTED "NEW ASIAS" WITH TELEVISION AND FILM FESTIVALS

Engineering Consent – The Politics of Film Festival Diplomacy in Cold War Asia
Michael BASKETT, University of Kansas
More than Representation: Ethnic Film Festivals in Japan
Oliver DEW, Meiji Gakuin University
Untamed Bodies: Vulgarity and Grotesquery in the Early Japanese Television (1953-1973)
Seong Un KIM, University of Chicago
Unspoken but not Unspeakable: Toward an Ethnographically Informed Theory of Media Reception
Megan STEFFEN, Princeton University

370 DWINELLE HALL
4:00PM - 5:15PM

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION:ON HANI SUSUMU

Roland DOMENIG, University of Vienna
HIRASAWA Go, Meiji Gakuin University
Michael RAINE, University of Western Ontario

PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE (PFA) THEATER
7:00PM - 9:00PM

SILENCE HAS NO WINGS (KUROKI KAZUO, 1966)
Introduced by Roland DOMENIG

FEBRUARY 8TH, 2013 (FRIDAY)

370 DWINELLE HALL
9:00AM - 10:45AM

PLENARY TALKS

Some Episodes through the Question of Media and the Body
UNO Kuniichi 宇野邦一, Rikkyo University
Notes on "Pop in Japan," Part 2
IKEGAMI Hiroko 池上裕子,Kobe University

370 DWINELLE HALL
11:00AM - 12.45PM

PANEL 5: ENVIRONMENT AND MEDIA SPACE

Panel 5 CHAIR:
William MAROTTI, UCLA

New Media / New Asia – Interrogating Geographies of the New
Stephanie DEBOER, Indiana University
“He’d Better Sell Noodles”: The Dismissal of Suzuki Seijun and the Formation of a New “Viewer Movement”
Roland DOMENIG, University of Vienna
Archives and Archaeologies: Mapping the Social Space of 1960s Tokyo
Sharon HAYASHI, York University
Tokyo in Experimental Television Documentaries of the 1960s
Hideaki MATSUYAMA, University of Tokyo

3335 DWINELLE HALL
11:00AM - 12:45PM

PANEL 6: IMAGE AND ACTION IN CINEMA AND PHOTOGRAPHY

Panel 6 CHAIR:
Steve RIDGELY, University of Wisconsin - Madison

On the Eve: Bure and the Problem of Action
Ignacio ADRIASOLA, Ohio State University
Asynchronous Sound and Virtual Geographies of the “National Defense Film"
Hongwei CHEN, University of Minnesota
The Work of Living Things: the Films and Theory of Hani Susumu and Tsuchimoto Noriaki
Justin JESTY, University of Washington
Image Romanticism/Image Nihilism: Towards a Theory of Mediation as Exposure
Phil KAFFEN, University of Chicago

370 DWINELLE HALL
2:00PM - 3:45PM

PANEL 7: HISTORIES OF EARLY CINEMA, MEDIA, AND CULTURAL THEORY

Panel 7 CHAIR:
Anne MCKNIGHT, UCLA

Edgar Allan Poe (and Tell-)Tales of Transmediatic Modernism in Japan: Literature, Film, Translation, and Benshi Performance
Kyoko OMORI, Hamilton College
Marketing the Enterprise of Eternity: Miki Kiyoshi, Marx’s Capital, and the Paperback Book as Mass Media
Nathan SHOCKEY, Bard College
The Melancholy of Kōuchi Jun’ichi: Anarchism, Conversion, and Wartime Words and Conduct of Japan's First Animator
Gen ADACHI, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
Actuality of the Meiji Restoration Film, Circa the 60th Anniversary of Modern Japan
Takafusa HATORI, Waseda University

3335 DWINELLE HALL
2:00PM - 3:45PM

PANEL 8: TRANSNATIONAL ASIA AND CINEMATIC CIRCULATIONS

Magical Realism and Fantasy in Melodrama: Critique of Multi-ethnic Japanese Empire and U.S. Militarism in Kim Ki Young's Films, through a Comparative Reading with Japanese Films
Minhwa AHN, University of Minnesota
Beyond “Tragedy of Japan”: Locating Korean Diaspora Cinema in the Interstitial Mediascape of Occupation-era Japan
Shota OGAWA, University of Rochester
Reclaiming Media Capitals: Ideology, Internationalization and International Co-Productions in East Asia
Sten-Kristian SALUVEER, University of Tokyo

370 DWINELLE HALL
4:00PM - 5:30PM

CLOSING ROUND TABLE

UNO Kuniichi 宇野邦一, Rikkyo University
FUJIHATA Masaki 藤幡正樹, Tokyo University of Arts
HIRASAWA Go 平沢剛, Meiji Gakuin University
IKEGAMI Hiroko 池上裕子, Kobe University
Miryam SAS, UC Berkeley

PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE (PFA) THEATER
7:00PM - 9:00PM

ECSTASY OF ANGELS (WAKAMATSU KOJI, 1972)
Introduced by HIRASAWA Go

PLENARY SPEAKERS

MIRYAM SAS
FILM & MEDIA / COMPARATIVE LITERATURE, UC BERKELEY

Miryam SAS received her PhD in Comparative Literature and East Asian Languages and Cultures (joint program) from Yale University. Sas is currently core faculty in the graduate group in Performance Studies, Jewish Studies, and the Center for Japanese Studies, and affiliated faculty in the department of Gender and Women’s Studies and the graduate group in Women, Gender, and Sexuality and in the Group in Asian Studies.

Sas is the author of two booksExperimental Arts in Postwar Japan: Moments of Encounter, Engagement, and Imagined Return (Harvard University Press, 2011); and Fault Lines: Cultural Memory and Japanese Surrealism (Stanford UP, released in 2001).  She has written numerous articles in English, French, and Japanese on subjects such as Japanese futurism, cross-cultural performance, and butoh dance.  She is currently beginning a book project on Japanese experimental film and film theory, and working on articles on pink film and Japanese experimental animation. Before moving to Berkeley, she was Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and East Asian Languages and Cultures at Harvard University.

Sas will introduce Hani Susumu's 1968 film The Inferno of First Love on Sunday, February 10th at 5 pm and Terayama Shuji's 1974 film Pastoral: Hide and Seek on Thursday, February 14th at 7 pm as part of the ATG retrospective "Chronicles of Inferno: Japan's Art Theater Guild" at the PFA.

ROLAND DOMENIG
UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA

Roland DOMENIG was Assistant Professor of Japanese Studies at the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Vienna. His research focuses on Japanese film history especially Japanese screen practice and early film, independent cinema of the 1960s and movie theatres and film exhibition. Works also as curator and programmer, film festival consultant, and translator of subtitles for Japanese films.  

Domenig will introduce Kuroki Kazuo's 1966 film Silence Has No Wingson Thursday, February 7th at 7:00 pm and Hani Susumu's 1963 film She and He on Saturday, February 9th at 8:00 pm as part of the ATG retrospective "Chronicles of Inferno: Japan's Art Theater Guild" at the PFA.

FUJIHATA MASAKI 藤幡正樹
GRADUATE SCHOOL OF FILM & NEW MEDIA, TOKYO UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS

FUJIHATA Masaki, currently a professor in the Tokyo University of Arts, is a media artist who works in the field of computer graphics and new media.  The works of Fujihata are based on the characteristics of new technology and provoke lines of inquiry into the field of art.  His research combines GPS and video to focus on space and time.  Interactions between lived space, perceived space, and their representations are essential components of his artistic practice.  His current project, Voices of Aliveness, centers around the concept of creating "a space for screaming -- a collection of voices."

HIRASAWA GO 平沢剛
MEIJI GAKUIN UNIVERSITY

HIRASAWA Go has written about and programmed many events centered on Japanese political cinema of the 1960s and 1970s. He is co-author of Film/Revolution (Kawade Shobo Shinsha, 2003), A Will: Art Theatre Shinjuku Bunka (Kawade Shobo Shinsha, 2008), a series of interviews with radical filmmaker Adachi Masao and producer Kuzui Kinshiro, and editor of Underground Film Archives (Kawade Shobo Shinsha, 2001), Godard (Kawade Shobo Shinsha, 2003), Fassbinder (Gendai Shicho Shinsha, 2005), Wakamatsu Koji(Sakuhinsha, 2007), Koji Wakamatsu: cinéaste de la révolte(IMHO, France, 2010) and Culture Theory of 1968 (Mainichi Shinbunsha, 2010).

Hirasawa will introduce Wakamatsu's 1972 film Ecstasy of the Angels on Friday, February 8th at 7:00 pm as part of the ATG retrospective "Chronicles of Inferno: Japan's Art Theater Guild at the PFA.

IKEGAMI HIROKO 池上裕子
GRADUATE SCHOOL OF INTERCULTURAL STUDIES, KOBE UNIVERSITY

IKEGAMI Hiroko is an art historian who specializes in post-1945 American art and its global impact.  She received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 2007. Her book entitled The Great Migrator: Robert Rauschenberg and the Global Rise of American Art was published by MIT Press in 2010.  She is currently working on post-WWII cultural exchange between the United States and Japan and its relationship to cultural diplomacy in the Cold War period.

UNO KUNIICHI 宇野邦一
RIKKYO UNIVERSITY

UNO Kuniichi is a Professor in the Department of Expression Studies at Rikkyo University, an interdisciplinary unit focused on exploring connections between philosophy, art, and embodiment.  

On graduating from Kyoto University with a degree in French Literature, Uno travelled to Paris to study the work of Antonin Artaud under the tutelage of philosopher Gilles Deleuze. He is one of the foremost experts on Deleuze's philosophy in Japan, and has published Japanese translations of a number of the philosopher's major works, as well as texts by Artaud, Samuel Beckett, and Jean Genet.  

Uno's own philosophical work draws equally from avant-garde literature and continental philosophy, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between image systems and the physical body. He has published studies of the above writers as well as books on topics including Lafcadio Hearn, the philosophy of history, and image-body relations in cinema. 

His most recent book, America, Heterotopia, was published in December 2012.

YOSHIMI SHUN'YA 吉見俊哉
INTERFACULTY INITIATIVE IN INFORMATION STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF TOKYO

YOSHIMI Shun'ya, a leading scholar in the field of Media and Cultural Studies in contemporary Japan, is a Professor of Sociology, Cultural Studies, and Media Studies at the University of Tokyo. He is the author of many books on cultural theory, urban culture, international exposition, media culture, information technology, the emperor system, and Americanization in modern Japan and East Asia. He has been a visiting fellow of El Colegio de Mexico (1993), L'École des Hautes Études Sciences Sociales (1998), University of Western Sydney (1999), and Queensland University (2000).  Yoshimi's publications in Japanese include Dramaturgy in the City: A Social History of Popular Entertainments in Modern Tokyo(Kobundo, 1987), The Politics of Exposition: Imperialism, Commercialism and Popular Entertainment(Chuokoronsha, 1992), Cultural Sociology in the Media Age (Shinyosha, 1994), Voice of Capitalism: The Social Construction of Telephone, Gramophone and Radio in Japan(Kodansha, 1995), Expo Syndrome: Postwar Politics and Cultural Struggle in Postwar Japan(Chikuma Shobo, 2005), and Pro-America, Anti-America: Political Unconsciousness in Postwar Japan (Iwanami Shoten, 2007).  

Yoshimi's more recent works include What is the University? (Iwanami, 2011) and Atoms for Dream (Chikuma Shobo, 2012).

ABSTRACTS

PANEL 1: MEDIA STUDIES LAB (PROF. YOSHIMI'S RESEARCH GROUP)
(See also Hideaki MATSUYAMA in Panel 5, and Sten-Kristian SALUVEER in Panel 8)

Industrial Films and Postwar Japan: The Use of Educational Films as PR Media
Kyung Jin HA, University of Tokyo

This study examines how industrial films produced in the 1950s and 1960s interpreted scientific knowledge as education, acting between the film industry and PR (public relations) interests. After WWII, the Japanese short film industry shifted from cultural films (bunka eiga) to educational films (kyōiku eiga) as a result of policies of GHQ. Educational films made during this time included many industrial films commissioned by industrial alliances, cartels, large corporations and governmental organizations. Those films were produced based on a new monetary system, which depended on outside funding, allowing sponsors to intervene in the planning stages. The history of Iwanami Productions and its films reveals the complexities between the interests involved in the making and viewing of industrial films: producers’ drive to make high-quality educational films, sponsors’ desire to convey certain messages in films, and their role as entertainment for ordinary people who watched those films in public spaces.

Industrial films made in 1950s and 60s are clearly different from propaganda films made under the total war conditions of the 1930s, yet they too had obvious messages, ones focused on “science technology.” In postwar Japan, just as playing on the mass desires for wealth and prosperity and creating nationwide support for economic growth were common goals of mass media, dreams of reconstruction and economic development were envisioned through industrial films as well. This study analyzes how the conscientious description and demonstration of scientific technology by producers was blended into the desires of Japanese society and utilized as PR media to construct the images of large industries.

Form and Content: Oshima Nagisa’s Film Practice
Yuta KAMINISHI, University of Tokyo

As much previous literature has suggested, the relationship between form and content is a central issue in Oshima Nagisa’s cinema. For example, Noël Burch argues that one defining feature of Oshima’s style is “theatricality” (dramatic black-outs, spotlights and pan shots). In fact, this excess of form in relation to content has been considered a defining feature of Japanese cinema as a whole since the prewar era. This paper argues that the emphasis on form ignores the intense and specific historicity of Oshima’s films. First, focusing on Oshima’s pre-1960 films in Shochiku, principally Night and Fog in Japan (1960), this study will attempt to elucidate the particular historicity of Oshima’s cinema. Second, this paper will draw attention to the style of Oshima’s cinema, arguing that the camera pan in particular makes space for the room-for-history and, I would argue, politics. This study concludes that Oshima’s pan shots in Night and Fog in Japan represent/evoke the historical content and social background of the 1960s.

The Film Experience Beyond the Screen: The Reception of Movie Theater Brochures
Kazuto KONDO, University of Tokyo

This presentation focuses on prewar movie theatre brochures, examining how they mediated the experience of watching films. The study begins with a comparison of the brochures published by movie theaters and other non-cinematic theaters such as yose, kabuki and opera, arguing that movie theater brochures evolved from two different styles—Japanese traditional theater publications and modern Western theater publications. Through the reception of such media, prewar Japanese film audiences associated their film going experience with that of other theatrical experiences, especially opera. This indicates that the prewar audience experienced various meanings beyond film. Audiences interpreted both Japanese and foreign films in relation to ideas and experiences associated with the “West” and modernity. Furthermore, after going to the movies, the contributors’ column inside the film brochure (information related to the theater, the social situation and everyday life) further mediated the film experience. It caused the audience/reader to re-contextualize their cinematic experience alongside non-film related information and social and cultural transformations.

Photography, Time, and Affect in Japanese Cinema
Anni NAMBA, University of Tokyo

This presentation focuses on "photograms,” micro-photographic expressions inserted in Japanese film narratives. As “photograms” are often viewed as “attractions” or “spectacle” in early film studies, many scholars tend to ignore the ways in which classical Hollywood film grammar formulated, established and developed their effect on the audience. This presentation proposes a new way of thinking about the relationship between photograms and filmic discourse, focusing on the expressions/movements of the actors and how their representation stimulates the audience through “affect” (Deleuze). Japanese films such as 『心中天網島』 (The Love Suicide at Amijima), 『残菊物語』 (The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum), and 『殺しの烙印』 (Branded to Kill) exemplify this style, even as their filmic narratives are produced through a complex temporality introduced by traditional Japanese performing arts. In addition, this presentation focuses on characters and their signal behaviors by examining the use of music and editing as linked to the emotional state of the characters. Ultimately, this presentation will investigate how differentiated images in Japanese film narratives are organized to produce film language, considering where the principles of such film grammar originate.

Mediated Histories in Chinese and Japanese War Trial Films
Amanda WEISS, University of Tokyo

Focusing on the conference theme “film and visual art as a mediator of cultural/political history,” this presentation will compare and contrast the representation of war memory in recent Chinese and Japanese war films. Concentrating on “trial films” (films on the International Military Tribunal for the Far East), this study argues that both Chinese and Japanese films represent the trial as a trauma of Western historical imperialism. For China, trial films are largely directed at the Western Other and the question of historical power—the “triumph” of the film Tokyo Trial (2006) is not over the Japanese, but the Chinese judge’s ability to demand respect at the trial. In Japanese films like Best Wishes for Tomorrow (2008), the crying, crippled soldier victim of films like I Want to be a Shellfish (1959, 2007) is replaced by a brave, masculine Japanese soldier who faces his fate calmly. The “bad Other” is repressed, the soldier is masculinized, and the West/America is implicated.


PANEL 2: PERFORMANCE, THEATER, AND MEDIA BODIES

Mediating Benshi's Voice and Scripted Humor in Hōrō Zanmai (1928)
Junji YOSHIDA, Old Dominican University

Among those things that had been lost by the triumph of classical realist narration is a relaxed, reflective audience that was documented by Walter Benjamin’s articulation of Brechtian Epic Theatre. Driven by an illusory sense of unmediated reality, a powerful enslavement of collective sensorium to the pre-ordained effect of narrative causality had marginalized a previously flourished discursive practices of jokes, humor, and laughter. As the realm of popular culture was superseded by melodrama and action films, a commercial success of classical action jidaigeki had sustained a premodern tradition of hagiographic storytelling developed by kodan, a ballad-recitation of heroic tales. As Sato Tadao points out, most Japanese vaudeville theaters devoted much of its variety programs to kodan; furthermore, modern practices of publishing stenographed kodan performance in booklets offered a major source material for jidaigeki scripts beyond 1910s. If Japanese vaudeville theatres (yose) had once housed both comedic and didactic tales in relative harmony, how did their evolution into permanent movie houses promote and resist a marginality of humor and laughter under a standardization of classical narrative spectatorship? And how did the intraindustrial rivalry between scriptwriters /directors and benshi form and shape a rugged cinematic terrain of utopian reintegration of different social groups and ideologies? How does the survival of visual gags, despite benshi’s oral intervention, beg us to broaden our conception of Japanese silent film comedies? To engage with these questions, my close analysis of Forced to Wander (1928) articulates the entrapment of the audience by audio-visual dissonance as a symptom of nonsynchronous temporalities at the heart of global modernity.

Things Seeing and Seen: Early Butô as a Multimedia Performance
Bruce BAIRD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

One widely held view of the avant-garde dance form butô is that it provides a privileged aperture to contact with the real (often cast in cosmological terms of suffering, life and death). My presentation will seek to counter that reading by understanding the early butô performances (specifically Hijikata Tatsumi’s 1965 Rose-colored Dance—Barairo dansu and the Space Capsule shows of 1968) as new media performances employing photographic cameras, and Super 8 mm movie cameras, but also referencing other technologies such as train travel. Much new media theory has focused on the way that new media put spectators in scopophilic positions disconnected from their surroundings, but my reading will conclude that the new media experiments in Hijikata’s early butô are more savvy in that they put the viewer simultaneously in a simultaneously subjective and objective position of seeing and being seen, projecting an image and having an image projected upon. The noted Japanologist H. D. Harootunian has commented on the “various ways capitalism was bonded to local experiences” in the postwar era. In this presentation, rather than seeing butô as addressing transhistorical/ transcendental motifs, butô will be shown to be connected in various ways to the local experiences of objectifying and being objectified by new technology within the Japanese postwar system of capitalism.

The Pornography of Remediation in 1980s-1990s Pink Film
Michael ARNOLD, University of Michigan

The Japanese soft-core adult film (pink film) industry is often defined by its reliance on 35mm film technology and its essential material differences from adult video. However, since the spread of home video in the 1980s, the distinction between adult film and adult video has been anything but clear. As the home video market in Japan expanded and public exhibition spaces for adult film slowly disappeared, adult film titles began self-reflexively explore the materials and spaces of pornographic film and video production and exhibition. The camera, projector, theater screen, and monitor became familiar props in stories that re-imagined adult cinema in a complex struggle for identity and legitimacy versus the presumably homogenizing effects of mass-produced and mass-distributed VHS porn. During the same period, video transfers of adult films were being released on adult VHS tapes, and adult cinemas were filling with film transfers of video-shot and edited “AVs”. Groping for a new industrial or generic category to exist in, pink films strove to visualize the primal scene of their post-video reincarnation, often theorizing complex levels of visual translation and communication between the supposedly incompatible resolutions, frame rates, and viewing practices of these competing moving image technologies and cultures. This paper examines the tumultuous historical and technological context that facilitated pink film’s discursive reconstruction as a necessarily filmic format, while tracing the narrative and visual effects of the pink film industry’s obsession to constantly record and represent its intercourse with newer moving image media technologies.

Cold Burn (Teion Yakedo): On Touch in Contemporary Japanese Performance
Katherine MEZUR

The project of this "cold burn" investigation is to bring new media theory and practice into the messy and fleshy interactive arena of the cultural politics of "different" dancing bodies in our already transnational visceral and virtual worlds. I want to place this analysis and these performances in the churning, evolving, shape-shifting action at the fulcrum of touch theory and practice. Nothing is stable; everything is in flux, particularly any corporeal condition, nation, or state. Instability is uncomfortable.
...
This analysis includes the action of performer bodies and the spectators, who may be kinaesthetically "touched" by the performing or projected bodies. I consider both no-tech and hi-tech dance works, but focus on particular moments of choreographed "almost touch" which radically shift and transform our visual/kinaesthetic modes of perception through doing less, and less with greater intensity. I refer to these moments of "less" with Okamura Keiko's term "Cold Burn" (Teion Yakedo). This "less" is not necessarily reductive or abstract. Instead, in these cases of Japanese artists, cold burn's "less" strikingly expands and intensifies with smallness, stillness, distance, and vagueness in "touch." That is, cold burn's power lies in its particular manipulation of touch sensation that is partially controlled by Japanese rules of behavior and the contemporary moment of subverting those rules of "touching" discourses. New media, even with its own culture and politics of gesture and touch, reveals new technologies of perception that further illuminate the complexities of the cultural codes governing sensations, especially touch.

PANEL 3: RETHINKING THE 60S AND 70S:
SOUNDSCAPES, LANDSCAPES, AND MEDIA POLITICS

Cultural Incorporation and Critique of Organized Power in the Nikkatsu Stateless Action Film
Mark ROBERTS, University of Tokyo

Between 1959 and 1961, Nikkatsu studios produced a genre of so-called "borderless action" films (mukokuseki akushon) that transported spectators to "Western" locales while remaining inside the space of Japan. As part of the "Rambler" (wataridori) and "Drifter" (nagaremono) series, these films often had similar plots. In the Eastern Westerns starring Kobayashi Akira, a lone hero on horseback appears in an empty landscape, subdues the corrupt local power, and then departs, followed only by the tears of a woman who knows he will never return. Set in Hokkaido and anonymous port cities, the "borderless action" films incorporate period elements of the Hollywood Western, such as the guitar, horses, bullwhip, suede jackets, playing cards, rifles, etc., while the forms of malign organized power are specific to postwar Japan. With the appearance of the Nikkatsu action genre, the term mukokuseki was first used to describe visual culture, and in the 1990s it became a key concept in the analysis of how Japanese cultural products have circulated internationally. Following Otsuka Eiji and Tsunoyama Sakae, Iwabuchi Koichi observes that mukokuseki actually has two distinct significations: it can suggest both the mixing of heterogeneous cultural elements, as well as the erasure of specific ethnic or cultural characteristics. In this presentation, I shall examine the transposition and incorporation of "Western" space in the Nikkatsu mukokuseki eiga, the new forms of individuation offered in these films, as well as their reception by then-contemporary critics.

Projections Beyond the Screen: Outdoor Film Projections in Japanese Expanded Cinema of the 1960-70s
Julian ROSS, University of Leeds

Whilst painters escaped the gallery space and performance artists rejected the theatre and the stage, Japanese filmmakers of the 1960s‐70s sought out ways to present their films outside the established frameworks of the screen and the prescribed viewing positions that come with it. This paper will introduce Shūzō Azuchi Gulliver’s Flying Focus (1969) performed at Rekisen Kōen (park) and Yamanaka Nobuo’s To Project a Film of Filmed River on a River (1971) performed at Tamagawa (river) as two case studies for outdoor film projections that entirely discarded the screen in favor of more volatile surfaces. The projection performances will be analyzed as expanded cinema ‘events,' where an intervention into public spaces will be suggested to channel Alain Badiou’s fidelity to chance that ‘exposes the subject to the chance of a pure Outside.’ Furthermore, the two pieces will be examined in the context of developments in Japanese expanded cinema and recent discussion on intermedia, with a specific focus on the performances’ relationship to space as filmmakers increasingly sought exhibition spaces outside of cinemas. Positioning film within the broader spectrum of the evolution of postwar avant-garde arts, this paper will propose the events, however, resulted in refocusing the apparatus of the cinematic medium by the very act of taking what is usually considered an essential component, in this case the screen, out of its presentational equation.

Towards a New Discourse on Film Realism: Tsurumi Shunsuke's Experiments in Reception Studies and Science of Thought
Junko YAMAZAKI, University of Chicago

This paper examines the critical intervention of the reception studies conducted by the Shiso no kagaku kenkyukai in the geopolitical reconfiguration in the aftermath of WWII, while reflecting on the ‘historical turn’ in cinema studies in the late 1970s and the status of film audience and reception within that discursive space. Several regular contributors of the journal Shiso no kagaku (Science of Thought) responded to the journal’s call for a new philosophy of ‘everyday life’, by turning to the theory and practice of mass communication and media and the reception of popular culture. It is at the juncture of reflecting on the recent past and anticipating the age of new mass communication that their turn to the reception of popular culture can be seen as epistemological: they sought to learn how the audience participate in the production of knowledge via different media in order to build a new form feedback. The specific conditions of knowledge production that the group faced—ranging from the very physical location of its editorial office, censorship, access to foreign publications, to the possibility of radical language reform in immediate postwar Japan—complicated their engagement with communication as the central subject of their research, in their historiographical and theoretical reflections, and in practice. This engagement with communication provided the basis for a new type of film practice whose formation I will locate in Tsurumi Shunsuke’s discussion of jidaigeki and Hanada Kiyoteru’s reading of Tsurumi’s understanding of jidaigeki into his own theory of a new realism in cinema.

A “True Record” of the United Red Army: the Politics of Fact-based Fiction
Mariko SCHIMMEL, Grinnell College

The Japanese title of Wakamatsu Koji’s magnum opus United Red Army includes the word jitsuroku, literally meaning “true record.” True to its title, the film opens with a claim to authenticity by declaring that its content is completely based on facts, while allowing itself some creative license. Like most other films inspired by the URA, Wakamatsu’s film attempts to reconstruct the URA’s much reported path to the deadly purge of its members from testimonials and public records of the events. Seemingly stoic in its adherence to the known facts of the event, Wakamatsu’s film presents itself as a reliable account of one of the darkest moments in the history of left-wing radicalism in Japan. Yet, the use of jitsuroku in its title suggests the ironic duality of the docudrama format that Wakamatsu and others have utilized in retelling the story of the URA. A term originating in the Edo period when the reporting of current events was severely restricted, jitsurokumono indicates both allusion to real-life events and rampant fabrication catering to the audience’s fancy. A contemporary jitsuroku, United Red Army is also not free from the inherent duplicity of this genre. Using United Red Army and other cinematic works on the URA, this paper will try to negotiate the theories of fact-based fiction derived from the traditions of British dramadoc and American docudrama through the concept of jitsuroku, while contemplating the ideological implications of fact-based fiction in this age of information overload.

PANEL 4: CONTESTED "NEW ASIAS" WITH TELEVISION AND FILM FESTIVALS

More Than Representation: Ethnic Film Festivals in Japan
Oliver DEW, Meiji Gakuin University

Since 1990, there has been a steady flow of retrospective film festivals in Japan organised around the theme of ethnic otherness and the ethnic ‘borders within’ (Yasui and Tanaka 2005), with a particular focus on Zainichi Koreans. I argue that these festivals have to be understood in light of their repeated, yet contested claims to represent the ethnic other. Even as representation politics makes it possible to discuss a counter-canon of ethnic film, these festivals, and the discussions they generate, evince a frustration with representation and a desire to move beyond it. In this paper I will focus on the capacity of these festivals and the discursive space that they open up to create a specifically filmic more-than-representational image. Key to this are images that are ambiguous or abject, images that must be actively desired, sought out, and (re)claimed by spectators, curators, and critics if they are to be understood as representations at all. These queer curatorial acts, rather than recruiting greater numbers of films to the politics of visibility by dispelling ambiguity, instead maintain it, foregrounding the pleasures of active spectatorship, what Kanno (2011) has called ‘implicational spectatorship.' In so doing the festivals contribute towards a broader identity-disrupting moment in Zainichi Korean media practices.

Untamed Bodies: Vulgarity and Grotesquery in the Early Japanese Television (1953-1973)
Seong Un KIM, University of Chicago

Scholars have concluded that the introduction of the television to Japan in 1953 was possible due to a strong support of the U.S. Cold War international policy, which emphasized the need to spread television culture to some of the strategic regions in order to disseminate key values of the American liberal democracy. Therefore, for the Japanese television pioneers and the Japanese government who had enthusiastically responded to this call, keeping Japanese television as a Cold War medium was a crucial task throughout the post-occupation period.

However, this task proved to be a tall order in the face of the rapid growth of Japanese television broadcasting in the late 1950s and 1960s. At first, the progressive journalism found television a powerful medium to express oppositional voices to the government’s alignment with the Cold War regime and repressive domestic policies. At the same time, commercial television stations’ pursuit of high ratings proved problematic when they produced “vulgar” entertainment shows featuring crazily dancing bodies or striptease. Therefore, throughout the 1950s and 1960s, heated debates on how to “clean up” those “vulgar programs,” and thus to create a “desirable” television broadcasting took place among intellectuals, parents, educators, government officials and Diet members, all of who were armed with their own ideals of a “desirable broadcasting” which was charged with their own social interests.

In this paper, inspired by recent scholarship that has placed postwar Japanese culture in the context of the Cold War world order, I will ask how untamed bodies in the “vulgar” television shows were seen as a serious menace to the postwar social order in the high Cold War, and how the seemingly nonsensical television shows were able to create powerful social discourses in the face of the government’s desire to discipline bodies presented on television screens.

Unspoken but not Unspeakable: Toward an Ethnographically Informed Theory of Media Reception
Megan STEFFEN, Princeton University

This paper focuses on a televisual encounter in Beijing to illustrate the methodological advantages of using both formal analysis and participant-observation to build a theory of media reception processes. Rather than limiting reception studies to speculation by relying on imagined, ideal audiences or qualifying interpretations with essentializing professions of cultural ignorance or aptitude, I advocate pursuing the question of media reception the same way anthropologist Clifford Geertz pursued meaning-making: by reading—or in this case watching—over the native’s shoulder. During fieldwork research in 2012, a family I work with appeared on a Beijing television show hoping the show’s experts would help their mute adult son. The first section of this paper describes the experience of watching the episode with the family to show how intimate, intersubjective viewings can bring unexpected insight to reception studies. In the second section, I do a close reading of the show to demonstrate how its visual style created an urgent tone, which the parents then reproduced in new physical ailments and new narratives. Finally, I use the son’s failure to react to the show to argue that affect theories which posit media as capable of eliciting general, pre-linguistic emotional responses ignore the importance of the personal and give undue agency to the text instead of the audience. Reception should be treated as a process, with a methodology that focuses on the particularity of its empirically observable aspects—the text, the context of the text’s reception, and the audience’s reactions—before constructing a general theory.

PANEL 5: ENVIRONMENT AND MEDIA SPACE

New Media / New Asia – Interrogating Geographies of the New
Stephanie DEBOER, Indiana University

This paper interrogates recent collaborative efforts aimed toward specifically “Asian” new media arts and technologies, with a focus on Tokyo’s emplacement in relation to other new media capitals of the region – particularly Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul. Examining two arenas that have posited an uneasy equation between “new media” and the “new Asia,” I begin by examining the curatorial and artistic practices that produced a number of Japan Foundation supported Asian new media art exhibitions in Tokyo in the late 1990s to early 2000s. Against these, I comparatively explicate the more recent workings of the Tokyo-based iteration of AsiaGraph, a region-wide consortium aimed toward supporting the emergence of new media arts, technologies and education particular to “Asia.” I argue that these regional new media collectives are best critiqued not as simply sites of, as the 2008 Shanghai AsiaGraph itself promoted, the (neoliberal) emergence of “New Rising Asian Media.” Rather, these collaborative efforts offer a window into the fraught dynamics – both spatial and temporal – through which regional new media production is practiced and negotiated. I thereby approach such seeming convergence between regional arts and technologies and regional geographies in the ways in which scholars have understood technological culture more generally – as, in the words of Slack and Wise, an “assemblage” that takes on a particular dynamic form,” even as it “selects, draws together…stakes out and envelops a territory.” New media Asia is here underscored as deeply perspectival and contingent, as it is constructed across a genealogical geometry of relations of power, media capital and practice.

“He’d Better Sell Noodles”: The Dismissal of Suzuki Seijun and the Formation of a New “Viewer Movement”
Roland DOMENIG, University of Vienna

The lay-off of director Suzuki Seijun by his studio Nikkatsu was one of the most significant events in Japanese film in 1968. It triggered a widespread protest movement that ultimately changed Japanese cinema decidedly. The formation of the Suzuki Seijun Joint Struggle League, which stood at the center of the protest movement, was groundbreaking because it was the first large-scale movement in Japan, which took the position of the movie audience and challenged the primacy of the major film studios. It is also a prime example of the renegotiation of the relationship between the studios, the creators and the audience. The Suzuki Seijun Joint Struggle League deserves credit for the emancipation of Japanese moviegoers and cinéphiles.

In this paper I will examine the reasons behind Suzuki’s dismissal, the following protest movement, in particular the role of the Suzuki Seijun Joint Struggle League, and the ensuing legal court-battle.

Archives and Archaeologies: Mapping the Social Space of 1960s Tokyo
Sharon HAYASHI, York University

How can we envision a collaborative interdisciplinary archive of avant-garde spatial practices? If the social space of 1960s Tokyo is neither a pre-given space nor the creation of free agents, how do we archive this urban space from both a phenomenological and structural perspective? If films both imagine and rewrite the city, how can conceptualize an archive that similarly moves beyond documentation—that makes visible relational histories and maps the performative, affective and transitory? How do we practice an archaeology that both engages with the possibilities inherent in these spatial practices and attends to our present moment?

Tokyo in Experimental Television Documentaries of the 1960s
Hideaki MATSUYAMA, University of Tokyo

This presentation intends to contribute to Japanese television archival studies by investigating how television documentary programs portrayed postwar Japan, specifically Tokyo as an urban space in the 1960s. Television in the early 1960s began to portray Tokyo through experimental techniques. For example, NHK’s TOKYO (1963), the story of a girl searching for her mother and father in Tokyo, was filmed in the first person. Thus, contrary to the objective documentaries of the 1950s, 1960s documentaries like TOKYO experimented with subjective storytelling. On the other hand, TBS’s My Twiggy (1967) portrayed Tokyo through a collage-like series of images, creating a fractured montage of Tokyo in the 1960s. Thus, such television documentaries went beyond simple divisions of fiction and non-fiction. This study concludes that this experimental phenomenon was closely related to a desire to make the city more appealing internationally for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics by presenting a more “PR-friendly” and humanistic side of Tokyo.

PANEL 6: IMAGE AND ACTION IN CINEMA AND PHOTOGRAPHY

On the Eve: Bure and the Problem of Action
Ignacio ADRIASOLA, Ohio State University

A photograph presents a male figure caught in motion. His right arm is extended; he appears to have just thrown a projectile. The figure’s contorted body is caught in the act of escaping—yet the figure is isolated in the image, and what he runs from is unknown. While even the creases on his shirt are clearly defined, his head appears blurred out in a streak. The background is muddled in a textured grey mass. The figure’s body in motion appears suspended. The subject of the photograph is action itself.

Featured in most monographic surveys of his work as well as general surveys of the history of photography, Tomatsu Shomei’s famous 1969 photograph of a solitary protestor is an excellent example of the aesthetics of bure or “shaky” photography. While bure is usually associated with the younger generation of photographers grouped in the journal Provoke, Tomatsu’s exploration of the ambiguity of the image in the early part of the decade already anticipated his turn to this mode in the late 1960s. Moreover, Tomatsu’s articulation of bure appears in relation to a persistent concern with the problem of action. This question reemerged in cultural discourse in the wake of the reactivation of the student movement in the second half of the 1960s, and Tomatsu pursued it through a sustained engagement of protest as a subject matter.

My paper will focus on Tomatsu’s photographs of protest in relation to contemporaneous theories of action. I am particularly interested in the way that Tomatsu’s photographs embody a distinctly ambivalent mode of relating to the idea of political engagement. I argue that his melancholy interrogation of action finds in photography a perfect aid—a medium traditionally concerned with the vexed relationship between the visible and the invisible, that in his use foregrounds the ghostly nature of collective action.

Asynchronous Sound and Virtual Geographies of the “National Defense Film”
Hongwei CHEN, University of Minnesota

Upon its arrival in the 1930s, synchronized sound in Chinese cinema confronted, on one hand, the looming actuality of technological war (and its asynchronous soundscapes), and on the other, the demand for cinema to journey beyond the metropolitan and develop a geographical consciousness of “nation.” This paper examines the role of the sound film in mediating the audiovisual crises invoked by the dual virtualities of war and nation in 1930s Shanghai, with a focus on the so-called “cinema of national defense.” I first situate the “national defense film” within the immediate context of the “hard and soft film debate” and broader cultural meditations on sound, in particular, Lu Xun’s 1927 lecture “Silent China.” “Silence” for Lu Xun refers to any utterance not properly transmitted, recorded, or acted upon. Both the Chinese writing system and callous gossip are guilty of “silence.” Yet, Lu Xun self-effacingly recognizes his own speech as “nothing to be listened to.” I read “Silent China” as a theory of acoustic media. Second, through a close analysis of sequences of audiovisual asynchrony (and song sequences in particular) in The Big Road (Sun Yu) and Sons and Daughters (Xu Xingzhi), I suggest an interpretation of “national defense films” at odds with the received notion that they simply propagated nationalist messages. Rather, as I argue, the films present singular and complex negotiations between “message” and “medium,” in which neither Japanese aggression nor national geography existed as discrete referents to be recognized or ignored, but rather constituted virtual, obverse, sides of audiovisual technologies. Instead of seeing “the cinema of national defense” as the imposition of an external elite agenda on urban vernacular culture, I emphasize its immanence to the experience of technical media in Chinese modernity.

The Work of Living Things: The Films and Theory of Hani Susumu and Tsuchimoto Noriaki
Justin JESTY, University of Washington

This paper will first introduce the film theory and practice of Hani Susumu, who is regarded as a pioneer of non-scripted, observational filmmaking in the postwar, by tracing its development from sources ranging from pragmatist and Gestalt psychology, to progressive education, to the work of film theorist Okada Susumu. It then considers how Tsuchimoto Noriaki, who worked under Hani as an assistant director, took on and altered certain of these ideas in his more activist filmmaking, especially his Minamata documentaries. The paper focuses on the directors’ belief that the filmmakers’ positioning within the nexus of human relationships where the filmmaking took place was integral to – indeed constitutive of – the form of knowledge made possible by the film. While both directors hoped film could give access to their subjects’ life-worlds, their theories deflate both apparatus-based and identity-based accounts of filmic meaning, to emphasize instead the emergent and negotiated character of film as an array of technological potentials and film production as a field of relations among people. In re-inscribing filmmaking as something that was itself subject to the “subjects” of the film, I argue that their primary interest lay in how film might be used to represent the emergent character of social relations – relations among schoolchildren, the development of a social movement, and most importantly, the relationship between the filmmaker and filmed subject – in such a way that the potential for change always seemed present, and the social body always available to the work of living things.

Image Romanticism/Image Nihilism: Towards a Theory of Mediation as Exposure
Phil KAFFEN, University of Chicago

This paper sets out to illuminate two distinct tendencies towards the role of technological images in the imagination of art and politics in Japan. Image romanticism names a condition in which the image is subject to no law beyond its own frames. Image nihilism names the desire to overcome the frames of the image completely. The tensions animating the frame as a limit or suspension of the image include the force of violence, an appeal to beauty higher than the law, and the claim to represent truth. Varied engagements with these tensions—both rhetorically and experientially—not only intensify the conflict inherent in the basic opposition, but in conflict, reveal certain shared elements across, as well as contradictions within, both orientations. Tracing these alternately contending and overlapping orientations in photography and cinema, the discussion will center on three essays: Hasumi Shigehiko on Suzuki Seijun and the Moment of his Silence (1969); Nakahira Takuma on Illustrated Botanical Dictionaries (1973); and Oshima Nagisa on the Sadness of Yakuza Films (1975). Despite their divergent claims and assumptions, as well as media, these essays share a deeper and broader concern with mediation as exposure, a concern towards which the conclusion of this paper will be directed.

PANEL 7: HISTORIES OF EARLY CINEMA, MEDIA, AND CULTURAL THEORY

Edgar Allan Poe (and Tell-)Tales of Transmediatic Modernism in Japan: Literature, Film, Translation, and Benshi Performance
Kyoko OMORI, Hamilton College

This paper focuses on the development of Japanese modernist narrative, with particular attention to the process of “adaptation” as a dynamic space for artistic production. In doing so, I seek to move beyond the conventional and still dominant view of adaptations as secondary and inferior to some “original” work. In contrast to this normative frame, I propose to adopt a more historicist view. By drawing upon recent ideas from Linda Hutcheon and others in the fields of adaptation theory and translation theory, I explore, in both formal and experiential contexts, the complex process of transcultural mediation that helped give rise to modernism in Japan in film and literature.

A quick examination of cultural production in early twentieth-century Japan shows dynamic flows of influence in multiple directions among and across various cultures, political boundaries, languages, and media. For a case study of just such a transmediatic and transcultural process of adaptation as a constitutive dimension of modernism, I use Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher (1839) and its various adaptations in different cultural media, including Jean Epstein’s French film La chute de la maison Usher (1928), Tokugawa Musei’s Japanese benshi oral performance alongside Epstein’s movie (first performed in 1929), and several Japanese translations of Poe’s “Usher” story from the early twentieth century. With this combination of materials and some use of digital tools, I seek to shed light on the complex and productive interplay between and among translation, benshi performance, silent spectacles, and the emergence of a new literary language.

Marketing the Enterprise of Eternity: Miki Kiyoshi, Marx’s Capital, and the Paperback Book as Mass Media
Nathan SHOCKEY, Bard College

Almost ten years to the day after the Russian Revolution, Karl Marx’s magnum opus was responsible for another struggle for dominance in the name of liberation. On October 1st 1927, the publishing houses Iwanami Shoten and Kaizôsha released competing Japanese translations of Marx’s Capital – Iwanami’s was a bunkobon (pocket paperback) and Kaizôsha’s an enpon (one-yen hardcover). The event marked the peak of a format war between two new forms of the book in Japan, each of which claimed to be the true manifestation of “the liberation of knowledge unto the masses.” This paper explores the discourse surrounding this format war to elucidate the way in which mass-produced print media was simultaneously understood as both a tool for revolution and a commodity to be marketed. Playing a key role in these events was the philosopher Miki Kiyoshi (1897-1945), who moonlighted as an editor and ad copyist for Iwanami. Through a reading of Iwanami’s advertisements in tandem with Miki’s early writings on Marxism and materialism, I aim to show how Miki saw the paperback book as a site from which to self-consciously critique the role of mass-produced typographic text as both medium and commodity in structuring knowledge and social experience. A careful examination of the rhetoric surrounding the pocket paperback reveals the ways that new media of communication can be imbued with utopian ideals that are not opposed to, but rather arise from the realities of the consumer market.

The Melancholy of Kōuchi Jun’ichi: Anarchism, Conversion, and Wartime Words and Conduct of Japan's First Animator
Gen ADACHI, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

Kōuchi Jun’ichi (1886-1970) is famous for having created one of the first Japanese animated films in 1917, but his ideas have been little examined. In this paper, I will discuss his thoughts at three points in his career. At the beginning, he was an anarchist-cartoon artist who Ōsugi Sakae (1885-1923) referred to as “comrade” for his contributions to the anarchist magazine Kindai-Shisō. Ōsugi wrote essays inspired by Kōuchi’s illustrations, one of which, titled “A Chain Factory,” depicted workers’ invisible enemy in capitalism. In mid-career, however, Kōuchi renounced his anarchism to become a professional cartoon artist. He concealed his anarchist works and stopped publicizing his ideas. His essays on cartoons and animation from this era concentrate only on technique and make no mention of passion or ideology. Only his illustrations of the Great Kanto Earthquake show some compassion with victims. Finally, during the war, Kōuchi began to despair about the future of cartoons and animation. He predicted radio would kill the meaning of textual information and that cartoons would become more important over the long term, but he added that Japanese animation would never be an independent art genre and would remain inferior to western forms. After the war he stopped creative work. From a certain viewpoint, Kōuchi’s melancholy could look ridiculous, but his early illustrations for anarchist magazines was referred to and inherited by many (in)famous socialist cartoonists in the 1920s and 30s. I argue his work as an anarchist became a symbol for a chain of alignment of socialist comrades.

Actuality of the Meiji Restoration Film circa the 60th Anniversary of Modern Japan
Takafusa HATORI, Waseda University

Japanese cinema has long consisted of two overarching types of films: the modern cinema (gendai-geki) and the period cinema (jidai-geki). It is widely believed that while modern cinema deals with (or at least attempts to deal with) themes relevant to spectators against the backdrop of contemporaneous social milieus, period cinema represents a fictitious and more or less mythic past whose correspondence to actual history rarely comes into question. This sweeping generalization, however, has resulted in scholarly neglect of the Meiji Restoration film--the genre of period cinema that narrativizes the Meiji Restoration, the social and political upheaval circa 1868 through which the pre-modern feudal domains under the Tokugawa shogunate was strenuously forged into Japan as a modern nation state. Oddly enough, it was during the late 1920s, only sixty years after Meiji Restoration, that the Meiji Restoration film came into vogue and established its identity as a genre. Given the temporal proximity between the period in which this genre enjoyed popularity and the period that the genre represents, major film companies were aware that there were spectators who had actually lived through the turbulent, yet very recent, period of history being depicted in the films, and were likewise aware of how this situation could influence commercial success. This paper focuses on the reception of the Meiji Restoration film in the late 1920s and investigates their actuality for the contemporary spectators through the discursive analyses of film magazines and trade journals. This study will contribute to the deepening our understanding of the Meiji Restoration film’s position in Japanese film history.

PANEL 8: TRANSNATIONAL ASIA AND CINEMATIC CIRCULATIONS

Magical Realism and Fantasy in Melodrama: Critique of Multi-ethnic Japanese Empire and U.S. Militarism in Kim Ki Young's Films, through a Comparative Reading with Japanese Films
Minhwa AHN, University of Minnesota

Kim Kiyoung’s films, which were among the most influential in South Korea during postwar period, have been often studied in relation to European and Hollywood film histories and theories such as neo-realism, horror, melodrama and psychoanalysis; however, his films are also strongly interrelated with Japanese films in terms of the theme and style. During postwar period, because exchanges of film industries were officially prohibited between the two countries, Korean and Japanese films were never read and studied together despite there being cultural and aesthetic exchanges present on the invisible level. In this paper, I argue the ways Korean films can be rearticulated in relation to Japanese influences beyond both “colonial imitation” and “national identity” by reading them through Kim Kiyoung’s translation of film aesthetics.

I will focus on his two films, The Sea Knows (1961) and The Promise of Flesh (1975). The former makes reference to colonial issues, but without reducing it to the dichotomy of anti-Japanese and pro-Japanese sentiments. It observes not only the violence of Japanese militarism but also the absurdity of the system that promoted the “Multi-ethnic Japanese Empire.” Utilizing the style of social realism and theme of anti-Japanese fascism in Japanese independent production film (dokuritsu puro Eiga), especially, Yamamoto Satuo’s Shinkuchidai and Kobayashi Masaki’s Kabeatukino Heya, The Sea Knows employs the style of “magical realism” in order to suggest an alternative possibility for decolonization. The latter, Promise of Flesh, adopts the Japanese hostess melodrama genre to allegorize the violence of postwar militarism through the oppressed body of Hyosun, a former prostitute and prisoner. The film translates male-oriented confession narrative, S/M roles, and double suicide code of Japanese hostess melodrama into the subaltern female fantasy led by a female voiceover and with a mise-en-scène of marginalized female desire, thereby explicitly allowing the female victim not only to mediate collective (male) trauma, but also to narrate her own memories beyond objectification, sublimating them into the hope for recovery.

Engineering Consent – The Politics of Film Festival Diplomacy in Cold War Asia
Michael BASKETT, University of Kansas

This paper examines the vital role of film festivals in the waging of the cultural Cold War in Asia. In 1953, disenchanted by empty U.S. rhetoric promising free trade and access to western film markets Japanese film officials established the Southeast Asian Film Festival to develop a non-Communist film market primarily for Japanese films. The festival appeared to support Cold War U.S. policy favoring Japanese technological leadership in Asia, however, it also challenged Hollywood's foothold in the region prompting Motion Picture Exchange Association president Eric A. Johnston to attempt to create a U.S. presence in the festival. Denied access to the Southeast Asian Film Festival, Communist film-producing nations soon had their own venue in the form of the the Soviet-backed Afro-Asian Film Festival; a response to Hollywood's ongoing domination of commercial film exhibition in the region and the newly established Japan-backed film sphere of Free Asia. Both film festivals drew heavily on the rhetoric of Modernization Theory as a means to alternately promote themselves and condemn their ideological rivals for hegemony in Asia. This paper draws on primary government reports, industry records, and film journalism from Japan, China, the USSR, and the U.S. to investigate how film festivals were imbricated within competing plans for economic aid, industrial development, and political support for the region. Film festival diplomacy like the Cold War itself was "war by other means" – attempts to establish cultural and political spheres of influence in Asia.

Beyond “Tragedy of Japan”: Locating Korean Diaspora Cinema in the Interstitial Mediascape of Occupation-era Japan
Shota OGAWA, University of Rochester

Multi-sited research in Japanese and American archives have informed innovative studies on media history of occupation-era Japan (1945-1952) that cast light on the negotiations between the guidelines and censorship laid out by SCAP (Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers) and Japanese film studios, publishers, and intellectuals. But a study of “inter-national” dialectic fails to recognize the dynamism of the transnational mediascape of occupation-era Japan. Mainstream Japanese media and US authorities negotiated their positions vis-à-vis the third term, namely, the decolonization movement of the newly liberated Koreans who founded independent film companies, publishers, and the discourse of postcolonial Korean culture. I draw on the seminal film history of Tanaka Junichiro, SCAP records regarding Korean media in the National Archives, and the hitherto unexplored advertisements in Korean-language magazines published in occupation-era Japan, in order to demonstrate that the Koreans’ decolonization movement took place as an integral part of the transnational complex of occupation-era Japan. Koreans actively participated in pivotal events in postwar Japanese film history including the confiscation of Nichiei Shinsha’s Tragedy of Japan and This Year in the summer of 1946, Toho Strike, and the screenings of foreign films previously banned under military censors. My presentation will reveal the blind spot of conventional historiography of Korean Diaspora Cinema which have maintained a narrow focus on feature-length fiction films made by or about the Koreans in Japan. Koreans participated in postwar film culture in various para-cinematic activities including re-editing of existing films, mobilization of travelling screenings, and production of newsreels.

Reclaiming Media Capitals: Ideology, Internationalization and International Co-Productions in East Asia
Sten-Kristian SALUVEER, University of Tokyo

With the changes in global film and media industries over the past decade, international co-productions of films are increasingly gaining momentum. Initially conceived as a way of attracting larger production resources or preserving cultural diversity, contemporary co-productions now serve a variety of roles: to provide access to the partner nation's market, use a desired location, and to encourage cultural benefits (Hoskins, McFadyen, and Finn, 1996). The recent decade has also witnessed a rapid increase in co-production initiatives in East Asia with specific markets in Hong-Kong (Asia Film Financing Forum), South-Korea (Asian Project Market, and Network of Asian Fantastic Films), and Japan (Tokyo Project Market / TIFFCOM Project Market) attracting acclaimed filmmakers and award-winning projects.

Considering the importance of co-productions in shaping contemporary East Asian cultural landscapes and cinema, little academic interest has been paid to the phenomenon. This paper aims to overcome this limitation by providing an insight into the ideologies, working mechanisms and outcomes of major East-Asian co-production markets. Specifically focusing on Japan and South-Korea, I argue that co-production initiatives can be seen as way of reclaiming media capitals as proposed by Curtin (2007), along with establishing prestige and cultural power in the age of declining political and economic influence. Drawing from a yet to be published comparative database of major East Asian co-productions, I also claim that co-productions indicate a level of internationalization in Japanese and South-Korean film industries and will play a key role in the sustainability of these cinemas in the future.

VENUES

Films will be screened at the Pacific Film Archive (PFA) Theater. Find the PFA Theater in this campus map.

Hearst Field Annex (Old PFA Theater)


The symposium will be held at 370 and 3335 Dwinelle Hall. Find Dwinelle Hall in this campus map.

Dwinelle Hall