Japanese Animation as a Global Product: The Lingering Traces of Nijonjinron and the Rise of Globalism and Hybridity
Journal of History & Social Sciences, 2(2), pp. 1-14, July-December 2012
14 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2013
Date Written: August 2, 2012
The present study explores cultural representations in three prominent examples of contemporary Japanese animation, NarutoShippuden, Bleach, and Onigamiden. Lingering traces of Japanese exceptionalism (Nihonjinron) are still present in contemporary Japanese animation such as in the animated movie, Onigamiden. On the other hand two of the most popular animated series, Naruto Shippuden and Bleach, fit a cultural model characterized by hybridity and globalism. Japanese animation has historically reflected the cleavages and conflicts of Japanese society and thus serves as an extension of the public sphere. Japan’s aging population, its increasing heterogeneity, and the country’s economic woes, lead to a period of transition in terms of national identity and how that identity is expressed to insiders and outsiders.
Keywords: Anime, Public Sphere, Culture, National Identity, Nihonjinron, Japan, Exceptionalism
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