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Session 10: Writing Empire: Colonial Subjectivities in Modern Japanese Literature

Organizer: Kimberly Kono, University of California, Berkeley

Chair and Discussant: James A. Fujii, University of California, Irvine

Keywords: Japan, literature, colonialism, modern.

This panel will focus on cultural production emerging from various sites of Japanese colonialism. Examining Japanese-language poetry and fiction produced in Korea, Manchukuo, and Japan, the presenters will discuss the ways in which these textual manifestations of the colonial enterprise reflect, reproduce, and reconfigure colonial discourse. Rather than advocating a unified version of shokuminchi bungaku, colonial literature, we present a more nuanced vision of this category as well as a complex examination of colonial relations. The diverse array of colonial subjectivities addressed in our papers not only proposes questions regarding aspects of identity such as race, class, gender, and ethnicity, but also broadens discussions of colonial relations based solely on race, and expands notions of what it means to be a colonial subject.

Helen Lee traces the discursive construction of race in senryu, a popular poetic genre, appearing in Chosen Senryu. Kimberly Kono examines the interplay of race, class and gender in Yokota Fumiko’s alternative representation of interethnic romance. Robert Tierney’s paper proposes the possibility of an anti-imperialist novel through an examination of a text by Nakajima Atsushi. Shifting to the postwar period, Christopher Scott focuses on the legacy of colonialism by exploring the postcolonial subjectivities articulated in the works of Resident Korean writer Kim Tal-Su.

Representations of Colonial Experiences in Chosen Senryu: Working Class Japanese in Colonized Korea

Helen J. S. Lee, University of California, Irvine

Interrogation of the idea of race in the context of Japanese colonization of Korea not only underscores the works of Western critics such as Albert Memmi and Frantz Fanon, but also forces us to explore the discursive formation of race between two groups of people who supposedly belong to the same race. My paper employs the popular poetic genre, the senryu, as a source of exploring Japan’s popular racialization of Koreans in the colony. To be specific, the "populace" in question here consists of those who had direct contact with Korea, not as administrators, soldiers, or government officials, but as the occasional traveler, the small-time entrepreneur, the poor emigrant. The fecundity of satiric, light, vulgar, uninhibited expressions of thoughts and sentiments in senryu makes this genre a valuable source to investigate the voices of the common folk that are not articulated in other texts. What emerges from the senryu poems (Chosen Senryu, Korea: 1922) written by Japanese in the colonized Korea is the dimension of colonial experience—those of the working class Japanese—that supplements and more importantly counter-narrates the dominant paradigm by which we view colonial reality. Contrasting with the officially recognized colonial relations of inequality, the images in senryu poems depict the specific and complex manner in which racial relations were played out in everyday life of the common folk.

Performing "Race," Gender, and Romance in Colonial Manchuria

Kimberly Kono, University of California, Berkeley

The depiction of romantic relations between Japanese and colonized subjects proliferated throughout literary and cinematic texts in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Many of these representations, produced both in Japan and its colonial territories, positively depicted romantic relationships between Japanese and colonized peoples. Through such representations, these texts also reflect the colonial governments’ promotion of tsukon, interethnic marriage, as a step toward cultural assimilation and, in the case of Manchukuo, gozoku kyowa, loosely translated as "ethnic harmony."

In contrast to such harmonious endings, Yokota Fumiko’s short story "Love Letter" (Koibumi, 1938) portrays social interactions in the colonial context as fraught with alienation and miscommunication. In her depiction of a Chinese man’s unrequited love for a married Japanese woman, Yokota transforms the conventional paradigm of interethnic romance through the contrasting narration by the enamored Chinese man, Wang, and the Japanese female narrator, watashi. Her juxtaposition of these two narrators and her use of performance reveal the inherent contradictions in constructions of "race" used in colonial discourses of cultural assimilation.

Despite the fact that colonized subjects, like Wang, were urged to become "good imperial subjects" by assuming various Japanese cultural practices such as learning the Japanese language, or wearing Japanese clothing, they could never completely transcend their ethnic identities. Even the most perfect "performer" would, ultimately, never achieve equal status with Japanese colonizers. By revealing this contradiction, Yokota critiques discourses of cultural assimilation and ethnic harmony, and articulates diverse colonial voices, providing alternative perspectives on the Japanese colonial project.

Anti-Colonialism and the Colonial Novel: Nakajima Atsushi’s Light, Wind and Dreams

Robert Tierney, Stanford University

In line with changing times, Japanese colonialism began to assume an anti-colonial and anti-Western cast during the interwar period and ultimately came to present itself as a means of liberating colonial populations from their subjection to Western domination. What role did literature play in refashioning this ideologically usable image of colonialism and in differentiating the Japanese empire from the pernicious Western variety?

In this paper, I will explore this issue by examining Nakajima Atsushi’s novel entitled Light, Wind and Dreams, written in 1941 and nominated as finalist for the Akutagawa literary prize the following year. Based partly on R. L Stevenson’s Vailima Letters, the novel is a fictionalized autobiography which gives an account of the four-year period (1890–94) when the Scottish writer takes up residence in Samoa in hopes of recovering his health. Appalled by the blatant interference of the Western powers in Samoan affairs, Stevenson begins his political battle by denouncing the injustices and rapacity of the colonizers in a series of public letters to the London Times. Later he befriends and backs a popular opposition group and seeks to mediate between it and the puppet government subservient to the Western powers. In the end, civil war breaks out, the opposition is crushed and Stevenson falls into despair.

Set in a period immediately preceding the birth of Japan’s empire and in a region that fell outside its formal sphere of influence, Light, Wind and Dreams seems at first glance to be far removed from the pressing concerns of a nation on the eve of the Pacific War. On closer inspection, however, this anti-colonial novel structured around a dichotomy between an evil Western colonialism and an enlightened version championed by Stevenson also participates in the ideological remodeling of late Japanese imperialist discourse. At once historical figure and Nakajima’s alter ego and spokesman, Stevenson becomes the unlikely and unwitting agent in this reconfiguration of an anti-colonial colonialism.

Kim Tal-su and Resident Korean Literature in Postwar Japan

Christopher D. Scott, Stanford University

In recent years, Resident Korean literature (zainichi Ch˘senjin/Kankokujin bungaku) has come to occupy a high-profile position in Japanese literature. Yű Miri and Gen Getsu have won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize for works which depict Resident Koreans in unconventional ways, while Yan Sogiru and Kaneshiro Kazuki have dealt with Resident Korean issues in popular fiction. Such reinvention and commodification, however, threaten to obscure the genre’s more complicated history.

Although the term "Resident Korean" did not come about until after World War II, when many Koreans were stranded in Japan as resident aliens and cut off from their homeland, Koreans had been living in Japan throughout the colonial period (1910–45). Resident Korean literature suffered from a similar paradox: it was a product of colonialism forced to survive in a postcolonial context. Thus, Resident Korean literature often says as much about Japan as it does about Korea.

My paper will explore the dilemmas facing Resident Korean literature in the immediate postwar period by examining the career of Kim Tal-su (1919–97), one of its "founding fathers." I will focus on his 1948 debut novel K˘ei no machi (Streets of my successors), the story of a Korean youth who returns to Korea from Japan during the colonial period and finds himself questioning his own identity. As I will show, this text re-presents the colonial past in ways which both expose the contradictions of colonial rule in Korea and reflect the crisis of subjectivity in postwar Japanese society and literature.


Session 11: Dissecting the Political Right in Postwar Japan (with an Examination of the Left-Right Paradigm Itself)

Organizer: Ken Ruoff, Portland State University

Chair and Discussant: Andrew Gordon, Harvard University

Do we know enough about the political Right in Postwar Japan? Doubts arise because historians writing in English have tended either to neglect this central topic or to ignore the fact that during the past half century the Japanese Right has been neither monolithic nor static. There is great need for a deeper understanding both of the organizational dynamics of the Right and the sources of its intellectual coherence and internal divisions. This endeavor begins with a single question: Where does one draw the line between the Left and the Right in Postwar Japan? While analyzing individuals and organizations generally categorized as belonging to the Right and exploring various definitions of the Left-Right divide, this panel examines the validity of the Left-Right division itself as an explanatory device for understanding postwar Japanese political history.

David Williams suggests that the framework of center vs. periphery allows for a better understanding of political reality in Japan than does the traditional Left-Right division; his paper focuses on the Kyoto School, in particular on the writings of Tanabe Hajime. Rikki Kersten analyzes Japanese interpretations of the tenko (political apostasy) of leading postwar intellectuals including Shimizu Ikutaro and Yoshimoto Takaaki to understand how these intellectuals’ view of democracy evolved as they struggled with the concepts of nation and state. Ken Ruoff traces the evolution of lobbying techniques employed by the emperorist Association of Shinto Shrines in order to remind us that far from being comprised only of groups on the Left, Postwar Japan’s civil society included many right-wing groups which learned how to play by the rules of postwar democracy even if they entirely or partially rejected the postwar system itself. This panel suggests not only that the complex and dynamic political Right requires more attention, but that the Left-Right paradigm itself needs to be reviewed.

Postwar Tenko—Transcending the Left-Right Paradigm

Rikki Kersten, Sydney University

Historians of postwar Japan have resorted to the Left-Right paradigm as an analytical framework far political thought almost as a reflex action. While ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ may represent identifiable categories in post-1945 Japan, these neat categories blur when we encounter those individuals who have dared to travel between these poles of ideological affinity.

Postwar tenko presents historians of political thought with a valuable opportunity to understand what it means to freely reject one identifiable intellectual orientation for another that appears to be its opposite. It is astonishing that while Japanese scholars have published over 124 commentaries on the phenomenon of postwar tenko, historians of Japanese political thought outside of Japan have barely considered this subject at all.

This paper examines Japanese writing on tenko (political apostasy) in the postwar era, from the perspective of observers and of tenko-sha themselves. In responding to the tenko of leading thinkers such as Shimizu lkutaro and Yashimota Takaaki, Japanese intellectuals reveal that it is the search for a philosophy of history that navigates between the nation and the state that appears as a major concern for those thinkers who first shaped, then rejected, Japan’s postwar democracy. Postwar tenka casts doubt on the Left-Right paradigm as an adequate analytical tool for understanding political thinking in postwar Japan, and indicates other avenues for insightful reappraisals of what has hitherto been fuzzily described as ‘a shift to the Right.’

When Right Is Wrong: Does the French Revolutionary Idea of "Right vs. Left" Distort Our Understanding of Japanese Politics? The Example of the Postwar Kyoto School

David Williams, University of Sheffield

Since the idea of "left vs. right" originated in the bloody struggles of the first three years of the French Revolution, it has become part of the fundamental vocabulary of political journalism and social science around the world. This includes even countries, such as China and Japan, that have never been ruled by Europe and have developed a sophisticated language of political analysis independent of Western experience.

Nevertheless, there are ample grounds to argue that the idea of "right vs. left" distorts our understanding of modern Japanese politics. At many points, the rubric of "center vs. periphery" offers a sounder explanation of Japanese political reality. This alternative view holds that the key dynamic of Japanese politics sets a practical, amoral, materialistic, bureaucratic, efficient, effective and realistic center against an impractical, moral-minded, idealistic, spontaneous, spiritual and often violent periphery. Drawing on some tentative notions once proposed by Tetsuo Najita, this revisionary thesis challenges the intellectual coherence of any simplistic concept of Japanese "fascism," in the Italian mode, as well as the conventional assumption that postwar Japanese politics has been a struggle between a progressive left and a reactionary right. A close mapping of the ideological outlook of the Kyoto School of philosophy, particularly the postwar writings of Tanabe Hajime (1885–1962), illustrates the power of this critique.

The Far Right and Democratic Lobbying: The Case of the Association of Shinto Shrines

Ken Ruoff, Portland State University

Judging from its level of hostility toward the postwar system in the decades after the Occupation, the emperorist Association of Shinto Shrines (Jinja Honcho) was an organization on the far right. Nonetheless, early in the postwar era the nonviolent Association of Shinto Shrines learned to employ democratic lobbying techniques to pressure the Cabinet and Diet to address its causes. Whether pressing for state recognition of Ise Shrine’s special national status, the restoration of the crime of lŔse majestÚ, the reestablishment of national Foundation Day, the reestablishment of state support of Yasukuni Shrine, the legalization of the reign name system, or fighting against the "MacArthur Constitution," official apologies for Japan’s wartime actions, and textbooks that fail to edify the state, the Association of Shinto Shrines has learned the effectiveness of grassroots political action, from signature campaigns to mass demonstrations (techniques often associated only with left-wing groups). Right-wing groups form part of Japan’s diverse "public sphere" or "civil society," and their political influence, especially their skill in playing by the rules of the postwar system, must be taken into account. The simplistic dichotomy of a liberal civil society on the one hand and a conservative state on the other hand should be laid to rest once and for all. Even with regards to "emperor system" issues, it misleads far more than it informs.


Session 12: Japan Changes: Old Challenges, New Responses in the World Political Economy

Organizer, Chair and Discussant: Ulrike Schaede, University of California, San Diego

Keywords: Japan and Asia; foreign direct investment (FDI); World Trade Organization (WTO); internationalization of the yen.

As Japan faces the challenges of recession, structural change, as well as external policy and market pressures, a fresh look at its economic policies is in order. This interdisciplinary panel brings together research on specific policy areas that have long been subsumed—often without further analysis—in the "developmental state" paradigm, such as FDI, subsidies for small-sized firms, international financial controls, and trade diplomacy.

We find that these policy areas continue to play important roles in Japan’s political economy, but with new emphasis. Each of these issue-areas gives an example of how Japan is responding in ways that few would have predicted. As companies relocate production outside Japan, their bargaining power vis-Ó-vis the government is increasing visibly. What used to be FDI support for large companies has effectively become a subsidization system for small firms. At the international level, Japan seems to be employing the new trade regime to move away from previous bilateral trade diplomacy. Yet at the same time, it is attempting to make the yen the most widely used currency in Asia, to protect its large firms.

This panel aims to explain and predict Japan’s policy choices. In addition to presenting their work, with its focus on Japan in Asia, panel participants seek to actively involve the audience in a discussion of the various factors now at play in shaping Japan’s strategy choices, domestic and international, and their implications for Japan’s standing in the international political economy.

From Export Platforms to Integrated Manufacturing: Japan’s MNCs in East Asia

Patricia Nelson, University of Edinburgh

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by Japanese multinational corporations (MNCs) has played a central role in East Asia’s development. Early FDI went to the region to establish export platforms for labor-intensive manufacturing industries. In recent years, Japanese MNCs have moved toward capital-intensive, medium-tech manufacturing which suits the needs of their highly globalized operations and complements other firms’ trade and investment.

The critical issue is whether the benefits of advanced, integrated manufacturing can offset the threat of new financial crises in East Asia. The sheer magnitude of indirect investments which followed FDI into the region during the 1990s created serious and unsustainable risks, raising concerns for a global contagion effect. Governments now find themselves caught between the desire for local stability and the pressing need for capital inflows from MNCs, the original source of the 1997 crisis.

This paper explores the transition of Japanese FDI from export platform to integrated manufacturing and asks whether the MNCs have gained power relative to local governments. How actively are Japan and local governments encouraging new FDI whilst trying to protect themselves from unforeseen (and perhaps unmanageable) financial crises? Based on case studies analyzed against theoretical explanations of FDI, the globalization of business and the role of the state, the paper finds that the relative power of MNCs appears to be growing vis-Ó-vis the state.

Budgets and State Finance: The Politics of Public FDI Credit in Japan

Mireya Solis, Brandeis University

The Japanese state is the world’s largest public financier of multinational corporations. No other industrialized nation has committed as many financial resources to the promotion of multinationalism as Japan has, especially towards industries that have lost export competitiveness and/or for small enterprises that cannot afford the costs of foreign relocation on their own. Nevertheless, FDI industrial policy does not fit well with the developmental state thesis. The Japanese state has not been entirely strategic, nor always coherent in its allocation of subsidized FDI loans. Indeed, over time the compensatory character of the public FDI credit program has increased with powerful interest groups (most notably the small firm lobby) capturing a larger share of softer loans. Moreover, Japanese public financial institutions involved in FDI credit have clashed in the past over jurisdictional boundaries, often producing institutional overlap and duplication of functions.

The central conclusion of this research paper is that budgetary structure largely determines the degree to which Japanese public financial institutions engage in soft or hard finance as they seek to promote multinationalism. Institutions that rely solely on budget subsidies have more discretion over concessional lending, whereas agencies that rely on repayment funds from the postal system must attach stricter conditions to their loans.

Sword and Shield: Japan’s Strategic Use of the WTO Dispute Settlement System

Saadia Pekkanen, Middlebury College

From the time that Japan joined the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1955 to the start of the Uruguay Round in 1986, it avoided using the rule-based dispute settlement system at the heart of the multilateral trade regime. But no more. Since the birth of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, there has been a significant change in Japan’s external trade diplomacy. Japan is now actively choosing the legal rules of the WTO to both shield domestic measures and practices, and even more importantly, to challenge the measures and practices of its trade partners. This is a conscious strategy where a substantive set of international legal rules are being made to serve as both "shield" and "sword" in trade disputes among Japan and its trade partners.

Using the prominent U.S.-Japan Fuji-Kodak dispute as an illustration of the "shield" aspect, and the Japan-Canada Automobile dispute as an example of the "sword" aspect, this paper undertakes a legal analysis which has important policy implications for the ways in which Japan is responding to external policy and trade pressures.

Insulation in an Era of "Open Regionalism": Asianizing the Yen

William Grimes, Boston University

"Internationalization of the yen" has again become a popular catchphrase in Japan, in response to the Asian financial crisis of 1997–99 and European monetary unification. Despite the apparent connotation of embracing a globalized financial system, however, one of the major goals of yen internationalization is actually insulation. In particular, it is seen as a means of insulating Japan’s economy from the effects of wild fluctuations in value among major currencies.

Moreover, "internationalization" of the yen is more of a regional strategy than the term itself suggests. In fact, virtually all plans focus on expanded use of the yen mainly in East and Southeast Asia. Thus, Japanese policy makers are attempting to "Asianize" the yen. This is meant not only to insulate Japan’s economy, but also the economies of its Asian partners, from the volatile global economy.

This paper will examine the tensions between insulation and globalization in the yen internationalization debate in Japan. It will also address the tension between a strategy of regional insulation and Asia’s movement toward "open regionalism"—both for Japan and its Asian partners.


Session 13: The Roots of Nationalism? Boundaries and Identity in Early Medieval Japan

Organizer and Chair: Ethan Segal, Stanford University

Discussant: Robert A. Eskildsen, Smith College

Current scholarship frames the question of nationalism as a phenomenon identified with the modern nation-state, and tends to dismiss broad-based collective identities in other contexts—in which "modernity" and the "nation-state" are not present—as either lesser, or categorically distinct phenomena. Recently, however, scholars have begun to explore broad-based collective identities in premodern settings where the nation-state is either absent or nascent. While acknowledging that nations are not timeless, ever-present entities, encounters with foreign others and the recognition of separate but equal spheres of state authority were factors contributing to the development of "national" identity which predate modernization.

This panel explores issues of broad-based collective identity—what might, in later ages, be called "national identity"—in tenth- to thirteenth-century Japan. Each paper explores the formation and assertion of such identity in a different setting. First, Robert Borgen looks at how Japanese chose to portray themselves to a foreign government. How did Japanese handle problems of sovereignty while operating within the Song Chinese East Asian system? Next, Ethan Segal explores how Japanese saw themselves and managed domestic policy. Extending Borgen’s discussion of sovereignty, Segal searches for the boundaries set by Japanese elites and compares his findings with the writings of modern scholars of nationalism. Finally, Haruko Wakabayashi examines Japanese views of foreign others, focusing on what was seen as exotic and different. How did such designations create a Japanese identity among the audience of medieval tales? All three papers challenge the idea that collective, "national" identity is a purely modern phenomenon.

Crossing the Sea: Japanese Identity in Eleventh-Century China

Robert Borgen, University of California, Davis

My paper will look at a series of events in the 1070s–80s illustrating how Japan related to China at a time when most believe the Japanese had little interest in the outside world. In doing so, I will try to show that the Japanese elites had a strong sense of collective identity and displayed attitudes resembling those of modern nationalism. The events begin with the pilgrimage of the monk Jojin (1011–81) who went to China in 1072 with seven disciples and left a diary describing his travels. Several incidents he describes reveal his self-consciousness as a Japanese: when asked to pray for rain, he notes that failure would be an embarrassment for the Japanese nation; when asked by the Chinese court to provide information about Japan, he dramatically inflates its size and population. Although Jojin remained in China, he sent his diary back with five of his disciples. Accompanying them was an envoy bringing a message and gifts from the Chinese court. A year and a half later, we discover the Japanese beginning to debate the problem of how to respond. Traditional Chinese diplomacy had required that other countries express subordination, an attitude that the Japanese had never accepted gracefully. In this case, the Japanese eventually decided to send back gifts more substantial than what they had received, and respond with a message not from the emperor but from the Council of State. Both on a personal and a government level, Japanese strove to assert their distinctive identity.

Limits to Authority and Kamakura Proto-Nationalism

Ethan Segal, Stanford University

In 1191, two Japanese boat captains along with their crews were expelled from China for involvement in a murder. The Chinese Court sent official notice demanding that the Japanese government take action against the offending captains, and the matter was quickly brought to the attention of Japanese Regent Kujo Kanezane. Kanezane’s intriguing response to the crisis, recorded in his diary Gyokuyo, suggests that early medieval elites had a strong sense of Japanese identity that resembled modern conceptions of nationality and yet differed greatly from the basis for national membership found in Japan today.

This paper explores the precursors of Japanese national identity in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. A wide range of sources, including diaries, government decrees, and building inscriptions, reveal links in the early medieval Japanese mind between land, people, and administration. Kamakura period officials recognized that they had a limited sphere of authority, beyond which existed other autonomous states. Although distinct from modern nationalism, a clear sense of shared Japanese identity that extended beyond the confines of Kyoto warrants comparison with Benedict Anderson’s idea of imagined communities and Eric Hobsbawm’s discussion of "proto-nationalism." While it cannot be proven that proto-nationalism leads to the later emergence of modern nationalism, the distinctive identity asserted by Kamakura period elites was significant for its enduring nature and the major role it played in government policy formation.

India, China, and Barbaric Others: Representing the Foreign in Early Medieval Japan

Haruko Wakabayashi, Institute for the International Education of Students

This paper explores early medieval perceptions of foreign, focusing particularly on the distinctions found among images of India, China, Korea, and the other foreign lands. This will be done first through the analysis of individual stories in the Konjaku monogatarishu, known for its wealth of foreign imageries and diverse representations of culturally distinctive people. These tales reveal how other lands and their peoples were perceived and presented in late Heian Japan. Second, the paper will take a close look at Xuan Zhang, a seventh-century Chinese monk who made a pilgrimage to India. Xuan Zhang had been widely known in Japan by the Heian period, and anecdotes from his travel record, Da Tang Xiyuji, are included in the Konjaku monogatarishu. These tales help us understand how Xuan Zhang was received in Heian Japan, and the influence his writings and anecdotes had on Japanese views of China, India, and the barbaric land of the West. Finally, the paper will reexamine the sangoku shiso (the idea that Japan is one of the three countries along with India and China that are central to the world) and attempt to reconstruct the world as imagined by those who wrote and read the Konjaku monogatarishu. Their assertions of foreign identity at a national level helped to shape Japanese notions of self that extended beyond local communities and reached a broad spectrum of society.


Session 31: Subjects of/in Translation: Japanese Literature and Psychoanalytic Methods

Organizer: Andra Alvis, Indiana University

Chair: Joshua Mostow, University of British Columbia

Discussant: Gilbert Chaitin, Indiana University; Joshua Mostow, University of British Columbia

Keywords: Japan, literature, psychoanalysis.

Although issues of subjectivity have become increasingly important for Japanese literary criticism, psychoanalysis—theory’s most sophisticated view of the subject—remains marginal to the study of Japanese literature. Our panel explores the possibilities for, and limitations of, reading between psychoanalytic models of the subject and twentieth-century Japanese literary narratives of subjectivity. What understandings of the subject in Japanese literature can be generated through the lens of psychoanalysis? In what ways do Japanese narratives of subjectivity problematize psychoanalytic models? Using the work of three different psychoanalytic schools, our papers explore the shifting intersections of Japanese literature, psychoanalysis, and narratives of subjectivity. Mary Knighton reads Kanai Mieko’s "Boshizo" via ideas on "translation," hypothesizing a Lacanian, distinctly twisted subjectivity therein. Jonathan Hall studies poet-ethnologist Origuchi Shinobu’s figure of alterity, the marebito, in conjunction with neo-Freudian Jean Laplanche’s concepts of primal fantasy and the other, arguing for mutual inflection between the two theories. Andra Alvis utilizes Kleinian theories of splitting/projection to examine parallels between the subject of the shishsosetsu and the "split subject" of psychoanalysis, as well as to highlight the necessity for cultural modulated psychoanalytic readings.

Our panel will follow a "nonconventional" format, designed to foster dialogue. With the audience encouraged to obtain the full papers in advance from, each panelist’s presentation will be limited to 10–15 minutes. Joshua Mostow will then break the ice for intensive audience discussion by asking specific questions of each panelist. Gilbert Chaitin, a specialist in psychoanalytic criticism and French literature, will conclude by theorizing the issues raised as psychoanalysis confronts a non-Western literature and its subjects.

Chiasmic Narrative and Twisted Subjectivity in Kanai Mieko’s "Boshizo"

Mary A. Knighton, University of California, Berkeley

Lying in bed, an unnamed female protagonist is awakened by a disembodied voice intimate to her, yet strange. In this way, Kanai Mieko’s "Boshizo" (Portrait of Mother and Child, 1972) narrates a scene of fantasy enclosed and framed by a voice that resembles less a narrator per se than an inscrutable message from the big Other. The demanding task of making sense of this "message" overtakes the goal of finally "getting it"; that is, "Boshizo’s" symbolic fable demonstrates how Lacanian psychoanalysis is fundamentally concerned with the necessary incommensurabilities involved in "translation": between individual subjectivities, between cultures, and between the self divided from itself. I ultimately argue that Kanai’s story stages at several levels a "crossing over" of languages, cultures, and psychic registers. Its primary means of doing so, moreover, is effected by the rhetorical figure of the chiasmus.

The chiasmus functions to structure not only key sentences in "Boshizo" but also the overall narrative scene inscribed as the external narrator’s fantasy. Indeed, it is just where this narrative "twists" that the narratorial subjectivity within the story also twists, ostensibly dramatizing a "perverse" turn to incest, significantly enough, via intertextual and cross-cultural allusion to Lewis Carroll. So while this story is seemingly about a daughter’s incestuous desire for her father, here the story’s "message" becomes twisted and distorted, consequently rendering illegibility as "translation" into a recognizable image or "portrait": not one of father and daughter at all, but rather of "mother and child."

In constructive tension at times with critics Sakai Naoki, Azuma Hiroki, Slavoj Zizek, Kaja Silverman and others on translation and Lacanian theory, I take pains in my reading of "Boshizo" to question how and whether or not psychoanalysis as a tool of literary criticism can adequately account for and "translate" the gendered, socio-political, and cross-cultural matrix out of which subjectivity emerges to find its hybrid shape.

Traces of Another: Origuchi, Laplanche, and the Enigmatic Signifier

Jonathan M. Hall, University of California, Santa Cruz

Current English-language understandings of poet-ethnologist Origuchi Shinobu (1887–1953) emphasize on the one hand Origuchi’s reliance on a particularistic concept of "Japaneseness" ultimately complicit with statist intentions and, on the other, his contestation of a monolithic, nationalized subject for the modern novel. Focusing on Origuchi’s 1927 essay "Kokubungaku no hassei III" (The Production of a National Literature, Part III), his well-known figure for alterity, the "fixed visitor" or marebito, I examine Origuchi’s construction of alterity alongside psychoanalytic theories of primal fantasy and the other. After moving through Frantz Fanon’s conception of racialized alterity and the "colonial" situation of Origuchi’s argument, I go on to appose Origuchi’s methodology of kodai (the "ancient") and Jean Laplanche’s "translation," Origuchi’s marebito and Laplanche’s "enigmatic signifier." Useful to him for its critique of modernity, Origuchi’s "ancient" is far less a linear past than a concurrent, archaeological palimpsest insisting upon its retranslation. Like Laplanche’s metaphor of the "spine in the flesh" that attacks the very subject that is built around it, Origuchi’s alterity emerges as something in the service of a Japanese particularism, but in a fashion that destabilizes from its inception that national subject.

Laplanche’s displacement of the Oedipal symbolic and his cultural relativizing of the Oedipus both point to the specific usefulness of Laplanchian psychoanalytic theory in a Japanese context. In reverse fashion, my own methodology of apposition refuses rendering Origuchi the single object of inquiry, underlining how the early-century Origuchi might significantly inflect our reading of Laplanche’s late-century work.

First Person Plural: Psychoanalysis, Narrative, and the Shishosetsu Subject

Andra Alvis, Indiana University

Owing to its collapse of author, narrator, and protagonist, the subject of the shishosetsu, or I-novel, is often viewed as a unitary ego. By contrast, my paper argues that another characteristic associated with the I-novel, its lack of emplotted narrative, highlights parallels between the subject of the shishosetsu and the "split subject" of psychoanalysis, an "I" fragmented by unconscious processes.

Relying on the ideas of Melanie Klein, I examine the relation between unstructured plot and the splintered subject in shishosetsu by Shiga Naoya, Yasuoka Shotaro, and Tsushima Yuko. In general, shishosetsu by these three authors involve sections of text that interweave the "I’s" present with unsettling reminiscences and anxiety provoking dreams. I argue that such "jumps" to disturbing content are suggestive of Klein’s model whereby unacceptable psychic content is split off from the self and projected into the other of dream or memory. In Shiga’s "Sobo no tame ni" (For Grandmother, 1917), fragmentation evokes anger towards a beloved grandmother; in Yasuoka’s "Aigan" (Prized Possessions, 1952), consuming disappointment over Japan’s unconditional surrender; and in Tsushima Yuko’s "Numa" (The Marsh, 1984), the aggressive desire of female sexuality

At the same time that it advocates a psychoanalytic reading of shishosetsu, my paper highlights the complexities and ambiguities of such an approach. I argue for a framework that can be culturally inflected with reference to Japanese folklore, history, and psychoanalytic theory. I also discuss the tangencies and gaps that exist between the analysand’s clinical narrative of subjectivity and the literary narrative of the shishosetsu.


Session 32: On Retreat in the City: Urban Recluses (Shiin) in Early Modern Japan

Organizer and Chair: Lawrence E. Marceau, University of Delaware

Discussant: Jonathan Chaves, George Washington University

Scholars have long recognized the importance of Buddhist eremitism and the literature produced by recluses (inja) in medieval Japan. Recluse writers such as Saigy˘, Kamo no Ch˘mei, and Yoshida Kenk˘ are well represented in Japanese literary studies, especially for their rejection of sociopolitical values and their desire to transcend society through physical separation from it. Writers and thinkers in the early modern period in Japan also recognized the possibilities raised by medieval Buddhist recluses. However, a crucial distinction between medieval inja and the early modern residents of Kyoto, Osaka, and Edo, is that in many cases the later recluses chose to follow their eremitism while physically remaining in the metropolis as "shiin," or "urban recluses." Furthermore, their reclusion seems to have been inspired as much by Confucian and philosophical Daoist examples as it was to their medieval Buddhist precursors.

In this panel, three specialists in early modern Japanese art and literature provide valuable insights into this important, yet little-studied, phenomenon. Using an influential text produced in the 1680s, Lawrence E. Marceau examines early patterns of urban reclusion related to the interests of Ihara Saikaku and his circle. C. A. Crowley explores a different brand of urban reclusion in the circle of Yosa Buson in the 1770s. Finally, Patricia J. Graham analyzes the expansion of the urban recluse ideal into Japan’s provincial cities in the early 1800s. Eminent scholar of Chinese poetic eremitism and Chinese poetry in Japan, Jonathan Chaves, will provide sophisticated feedback as discussant.

On Retreat in Style: Saikaku, Sairoken Ky˘sen, and Kindai yasa inja (1686)

Lawrence E. Marceau, University of Delaware

A half century after the sieges of Osaka Castle and the final solidification of the Pax Tokugawa, a poet-priest named Gensei (1623–68), living in seclusion in the Kyoto suburb of Fukakusa, reflected on like-minded eremites over Japanese history and collected their stories in a work, Biographies of Japanese Hermits (Fus˘ in’itsu den, 1663). A generation later, Sairoken Ky˘sen, a disciple of haikai poet and writer Ihara Saikaku (1642–93), submitted a manuscript to his teacher, asking him to make a clean copy for publication. This work, Recent Stylish Recluses (Kindai yasa-inja, 1686) provides a remarkable projection of the traditional Buddhist recluse into late-seventeenth-century urban life. Ky˘sen’s text, in conjunction with Saikaku’s own distinctive woodblock illustrations, tells the stories of 37 recluses who, whether through individual choice or through the dissipation of their fortunes, end up making the most of the rustic life—at the same time ensuring that they remain close to the bustling metropolis. Furthermore, several of the hermits introduced in Stylish Recluses, are, in fact, women.

This presentation analyzes the shiin, or urban recluse, phenomenon at an early stage, through examples drawn from Stylish Recluses and other contemporary works. While exploring individual stories, we shall examine such issues as the relationship between philosophical Lao-Zhuang Daoism and haikai poetics, and between urban material culture and Buddhist-inspired reclusion. Saikaku and his collaborators present to us, among other things, a refreshingly upbeat view of eremitism that strikes a chord with other popular fiction of the era.

Yosa Buson and the Shiin (Urban Recluse): Using the Mundane to Transcend the Mundane

Cheryl Crowley, Emory University

Poet and painter Yosa Buson (1716–83) also served as a leader of the Haikai Revival movement (1760s–80s) that sought a return to the ideals of Matsuo Bash˘ (1644–94). Buson called for a rejection of the commercialization of haikai that had occurred during the years after Bash˘’s death, arguing that haikai poets should follow the ideal he termed rizoku: using the mundane (zoku) to transcend the mundane. Buson recommended that haikai poets turn away from fame and ambition and instead study kanshi, enjoy wine, good companions, and the beauty of the natural world. Buson’s formulation of the rizoku theory was based in large part on notions he received from Kuroyanagi Sh˘ha (1726–71), a ch˘nin (urban commoner) who retired at forty to live as a shiin, devoting himself to kanshi and haikai. Sh˘ha had studied kanshi with masters Hattori Nankaku (1683–1759) and Ryű S˘ro (1714–92), and he was an important source of information for Buson about Chinese poetic theory, as well as a mentor and role model. Buson’s preface to Shundei kushu (1777)—a collection of Sh˘ha’s hokku—is where Buson makes his most comprehensive description of the rizoku theory, and it is written in the form of a dialogue between Sh˘ha and himself

This presentation examines Buson’s relationship with Sh˘ha through a close reading of Buson’s extensive correspondence with Sh˘ha, his haikai prose associated with Sh˘ha, and the hokku of the Sanka-sha haikai circle of which both were members, exploring the role of the shiin figure in Revival-period haikai.

ďkubo Shibutsu, Vagabond Poet of Edo

Patricia Graham, University of Kansas

The talented late-Edo period kanshi poet ďkubo Shibutsu (1767–1837) is generally identified by his sobriquet "Poet Buddha," a name he took in homage to the Chinese poet Du Fu. In emulation of his beloved Chinese scholar-poets, he also painted literati plant subjects, and spent years wandering around Japan during the latter part of his life. Much of the inspiration for Shibutsu’s poetry came from encounters with artists, Confucian scholars, and poets during his peripatetic journeys between Kansai, Hokuriku, T˘hoku, and his home in Edo. Deeper understanding of the rarified pastimes enjoyed by the Confucian scholars, kanshi poets, and painters in his circle of acquaintances can be gleaned from published journals of two of his extended trips, the Seiyű shis˘ (1818) and the Saihokuyű shis˘ (1825).

These journals describe the activities and convivial atmosphere at the gatherings at which Shibutsu composed his poems, enlivened by the inebriated state of the participants. They also reveal Shibutsu’s indebtedness to his painter-friends for his poetic themes. One younger painter with whom Shibutsu developed a close friendship was Yamamoto Baiitsu (1783–1856), who is mentioned as a frequent companion in his travel diaries. A number of extant datable paintings by Baiitsu contain poetic inscriptions by Shibutsu that were later published in these journals. Focusing on the relationship between these two men, this paper will explore the essential and intimate relationship between painter and poet in late-Edo Japan, especially the notion of painting as a source of inspiration for the artistic creativity of kanshi poets.


Session 33: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Teaching Culture in Japanese

Organizer: Fumiko Nazikian, Princeton University

Chair and Discussant: Patricia J. Wetzel, Portland State University

It is clear that learners need to acquire both linguistic and sociocultural knowledge of the target language in order to develop language proficiency. In developing proficiency, students become able to correctly interpret, respond to, and interact with others in a culturally appropriate manner. This raises the issue of just how culture can and should be incorporated into language instruction. This panel examines this question from an interdisciplinary point of view with the aim of making specific suggestions for Japanese language pedagogy. Some key issues which will be addressed are: (1) how the concept of indirect speech and conventions of politeness are acquired by the non-native learner; (2) how an understanding of dynamic aspects of cultural negotiation benefits language learners; (3) how culture-based student performance in the classroom translates into better language proficiency; (4) how sociocultural competence in Japanese is presented in textbooks, as well as how it is perceived by teachers and students.

Cultural Construction, Negotiation, and Language Pedagogy: Making "Culture" More Dynamic in Japanese Language Instruction

Hiroaki Kawamura, University of Findlay

This paper will examine how dynamic aspects of culture can be incorporated into the Japanese language curriculum. Critique on cultural studies since the 1960s under Marxism, post-structuralism, and postmodernism has directed our attention toward the dynamic processes of cultural construction and complex patterns of human involvement therein. Some of the recent Japanese ethnographies clearly reflect the influence of this theoretical development (e.g., Sugimoto 1997). What are the implications of this theoretical development for language pedagogy? Is the concept of "process" in cultural construction useful for learners of Japanese? This paper will argue that the understanding of dynamic aspects of cultural negotiation will be beneficial to language learners especially after the initial stage of language instruction. Understanding dynamic process in cultural construction will help learners develop skills to become independent learners by improving their observation skills and also prepare them to become better analysts of Japanese culture. The incorporation of dynamic aspects of culture is crucial in light of the direction provided by the National Standards (1996) and the draft of the Japanese Standards (1998), both of which propose "understanding of the concept of culture" (Comparisons) as one of the primary objectives. This paper will discuss creative and purposeful choice of distal/direct styles and strategically adopted use of a local/Tokyo dialect by native speakers of Japanese. The data used in this paper were drawn from the author’s observation and interviews through his training, experiences, and research in both cultural anthropology and Japanese language pedagogy.

Analysis of Non-disjunctive Sentence Ending keredo and ga

Satoru Ishikawa, Harvard University

Uchi and soto, sasshi and omoiyari are words which are often used to characterize Japanese culture (Nakane 1967). It goes without saying that these concepts are reflected in language, and cannot be separated from Japanese use of language. Many scholars have pointed out that uchi and soto are closely related to the use of honorific expressions and the avoidance of directness (Makino 1996, and Wetzel 1994). It is essential that Japanese language learners understand such characteristics of Japanese culture and learn the ramifications of communicating (or not) with suitable language forms and in a manner that is culturally appropriate. Indirectness (related to sasshi and omoiyari) plays a crucial role in Japanese culture and language, especially in avoiding conflict. There are several strategies to convey thoughts or judgments indirectly, such as by omission, circumlocution and so forth.

One such strategy is the use of keredo or ga at the end of sentences. Keredo and ga are defined as connective disjunctive particles. However, frequently keredo and ga attach to the ends of sentences even though the sentence does not carry disjunctive meaning. Keredo and ga make the sentence less assertive and enable the speaker to present his/her idea politely (Nazikian and Ishikawa 1997). We instinctively understand that native Japanese people use this type of keredo and ga but we do not know exactly how or how often speakers use this type of expression. Moreover, how Japanese language learners acquire the non-disjunctive sense of keredo and ga is unknown. In this paper OPI interviews are analyzed in terms of non-disjunctive sentences ending in keredo and ga. I will make some pedagogical suggestions for how this non-disjunctive sense might be brought into the language classroom.

Developing a Sociocultural Competence in Japanese

Fumiko Nazikian, Princeton University; Noriko Cakmak, University of Pennsylvania

Language teaching has increasingly placed importance on enabling students to use the target language in a socially and culturally appropriate manner (Hymes 1974). Japanese is no exception (ACTFL guidelines), however there is as yet no consensus on what is required for sociocultural competence in students of Japanese and how such competence can be developed. This study aims to clarify the essential social and cultural factors which need to be incorporated into Japanese language teaching. The present study focuses on honorific/interpersonal expressions representing social status, intimacy, gender, bamen conversational situations, uchi-soto relations, speaker-/listener-oriented. Perceptions of sociocultural competence are analyzed from three perspectives: the teacher’s awareness; the student’s awareness; and textbook guidance. A survey will assess teacher and learner awareness regarding: honorific/interpersonal expressions; Japanese concepts which they consider important; classroom activities they use to develop sociocultural awareness. Japanese textbooks of various levels are also examined to investigate cultural perceptions. We will present an outline of appropriate sociocultural factors to be included in instruction, based on the survey results and reexamination of previous studies on Japanese culture.

Toward Performance-Based Instruction of East Asian Languages

Mari Noda, Ohio State University

This paper suggests ways of using the metaphor of "performance" to help learners develop the experiential memory of being viable participants in another culture. Performance is defined by Walker (2000) in terms of a specified time, place, and roles, along with a conventionalized script or a program of action, and audience. It is another powerful conceptual framework useful for the instruction of East Asian languages, which are culturally distant for American learners. It allows for a systematic analysis and presentation of communicative interaction. It frees learners from the fear of losing self-identity based on their base culture. It provides a mechanism for discussion of learners’ behavior in the target culture from a holistic perspective. It forms the basis for a compilation of experiential memory of the target culture, which in turn will help learners in coping with new experiences in the future. In actual classroom practice, performances are rehearsed. Learners prepare for performance by working with learning materials. Teachers function more as directors of performance than as deliverers of factual information about the target culture and language. Using concrete examples, I will discuss how teachers can prepare for a performance rehearsal, conduct it, assess it, and plan future rehearsals based on the assessment.


Session 34: Marginal Memories: Lesser-Known Controversies and Collaborations in American and Japanese Remembrances of the Pacific War

Organizer and Chair: Marie Thorsten, Macalester College

Discussants: Mark Nornes Abe, University of Michigan; Ming-Bao Yue, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Remembrances of World War II prominently appeared in the mass media, popular culture and scholarly literature throughout the 1990s, following the timeline of 50-year commemorations from Pearl Harbor to the atomic bombings. Among those that attracted the most global attention have been the observances in Japan and the United States that follow the prevailing nationalist sentiments of each country but that, according to critics, threaten to re-instate war-era patriotisms. An example in the United States was the failure of the Smithsonian to include its original commentary in the exhibit of the Enola Gay, in order to focus on American heroism. There have been many examples from Japan, especially the use of the Yasukuni Shrine to honor deceased veterans, and the re-instatement of the national flag and anthem, all of which remind wary Japanese citizens of the odiousness of World War II.

In this panel, we will present topics of war remembrance that have not received wide media attention. They are lesser known because they often do not follow the sentiments of each nation’s security regimes because they include messy binational collaborations, and because they foreground complexities of war memory that cannot be reduced to binary assumptions of war conflicts or patriotism.

Treading the Tiger’s Tail: American and Japanese World War II Veterans’ Reconciliation Ceremonies

Marie Thorsten, Macalester College

Formal ceremonies of friendship between American and Japanese veterans of the Pacific War have taken place in 1992, 1995, and 2000 in Hawaii, and in 1997 and 1999, in Japan. Reunions of enemies, even former enemies, are always fraught with sensitivities. I propose an analogy of the World War II veterans’ ceremonies as acts of "treading the tiger’s tail." This expression of stepping close to danger is borrowed from a kabuki tale (and Kurosawa film) in which enemy factions wine and dine in an unlikely gesture of mutual respect—unlikely because the line between treason and forgiveness can be perilous, even after several decades have passed.

This paper will map the various cultural and generational sensitivities that have surrounded these particular reconciliation ceremonies. The sensitivities have been strongest, not between the factions of veterans on both national sides who participate in the ceremonies, but within the cultures of the respective nations themselves. Among the most significant intra-cultural concerns are whether the ceremonies, which use full military decorum and regalia, are actually bridging enemies or honoring fallen heroes—or whether they are creating mutual endorsements of each nation’s past patriotic missions. Accordingly, the veterans’ ceremonies provide an instructive window for viewing each nation’s respective practices of patriotism, cultural tolerance of historical shame, definitions of vicitimization and capacities for transnational memorialization.

Revisioning the Pacific War: Japanese and American Critiques of Pearl Harbor Films

Geoffrey White, University of Hawaii

From the time of the Pearl Harbor bombing in 1941 onward, films of that event have played a key role in shaping American and Japanese understandings of the Pacific War, and of relations between the two nations. While media attention has often focused on official statements (and silences) regarding the historical significance of the bombing, popular cultural forms, especially films, have played a dominant role in forming national memories of the war, particularly among postwar generations.

This paper considers two of the most watched films of Pearl Harbor: the binational 1970 production Tora! Tora! Tora! and the 1960 Japanese film Taiheiyo no Arashi (Storm on the Pacific), released in the U.S. as I Bombed Pearl Harbor. It examines aspects of scripting and production, as well as critical commentaries and debates about the status of these films as national history in both Japan and the U.S. In both countries, these films have evoked discussions of national war memory and, more generally, of issues of genre and accuracy in cinematic representations of the war. Whereas Pearl Harbor films have been a site of vigilant wariness in Japan, they more often evoke patriotic nostalgia and exhibit affinities for big-screen entertainment in the United States. The paper argues that the critical failure of both films reflects the difficulties of narrativizing national histories that continue to be subjects of contested, ambivalent memory, especially as they circulate across national borders.

Americanizing Japanese War Crimes

Lisa Yoneyama, University of California, San Diego

During the past two decades numerous groups and individuals who were once coerced into sexual slavery or other forced labor by the Japanese government and corporations during the Asia Pacific War have filed international lawsuits to demand reparations. While much activism thus far has taken place in Japan and other parts of Asia, the litigation struggles have recently begun to involve the U.S. legal system. This paper explores the implications of the Americanization of the discourse on Japanese war crimes.

The U.S., Japanese and other governments maintain that the issue of Japanese war crimes reparations was settled by the 1952 San Francisco Peace Treaty. Yet, the Treaty does not preclude the rights of individuals to seek further compensation. A recently passed California state law allows its residents to sue local companies that benefited from wartime slave labor. Several former American POWs have filed lawsuits to obtain additional compensation. In Los Angeles, the survivors of Japanese military sexual enslavement are preparing to do the same.

The process of Americanization needs to be understood in the context of the diasporic movements of war memories. Americanization is a dual process: (1) the legal claims made in the U.S. against injustices of the formerly defeated enemy can obscure equally serious past and present incidents of American military violence, and thus reestablish the U.S. as the custodian of world peace and humanity; (2) the various legal processes may inadvertently reveal how profoundly the U.S. has been implicated in suppressing attempts to condemn Japanese wartime injustices.


Session 53: Love, Kingship, and the Female Gaze in Heian Monogatari

Organizer: Naomi Fukumori, Ohio State University

Chair: Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen, University of Michigan

Discussant: Edith Sarra, Indiana University

This panel aims to explore the implications for the hermeneutics of classical Heian monogatari that its authors and readers were mainly women, a fact that while long taken for granted has not been distinctively foregrounded in orthodox scholarship. In particular, until recent years there has not been adequate attention to the ways in which these ancient female-authored texts might contribute to the elucidation of contemporary feminist concerns, among them the major issue of female representation in a patriarchal society.

It is the assumption in film and women’s studies in the West that narrative texts generally situate the spectator (viewer/reader) in the position of sharing the viewpoint or "gaze" of the text’s active figure, almost invariably male. As a corollary, female characters are objectified and put on display for the male protagonist’s, and hence the spectator’s, gratification. Clearly, these conclusions need to be modified in the case of texts authored by women or intended for female readership. How is the male gaze represented when the discursive agency lies with a woman narrator? Does the reader identify with, say, Genji’s assessment of women or with the women’s response to him? In short, how does the woman’s inscription as author, narrator, character, and reader complicate the otherwise culturally dominant male gaze in a patriarchal society?

The panel seeks first of all to find and articulate the female gaze in four Heian and Kamakura narratives: Ochikubo monogatari, Genji monogatari, Makura no s˘shi, and Eiga monogatari. Ms. Fukumori will examine how the female-authored narrative consciously thematizes the psychological factors of love and desire in its portrayal of rear court power politics, and in the process constructs an alternative ethics and aesthetics of kingship. Ms. Ryu will dramatize the impact of a critical female reception through a deconstructive reading of Ochikubo monogatari; it reveals what the text’s historical reception as a didactic tale of the evil, abusive stepmother has obscured: namely, the emerging patriarchy’s repression of ancient matriarchal forces in the person of the "abused" step/mother. Finally, Ms. Selden will examine the critical implications of Ukifune’s progress from eroticized object of the male gaze to introspective, clear-eyed nun. The discussant will comment on theoretical issues raised by the papers and evaluate their contribution to contemporary feminist scholarship.

Deconstructing the Figure of Step/mother: The Web of the Maternal and the Erotic in Ochikubo monogatari

Catherine Youngkyung Ryu, University of California, Los Angeles

This paper aims to unravel the mythic, psychological, and ideological aspects interwoven in a tenth-century tale, Ochikubo monogatari. Conventional scholarship views this rich, ancient tale as a quintessential expression of mamako ijimetan (tales of stepdaughter abuse). The designation mamako ijimetan itself immediately identifies the stepmother as aggressor and the stepdaughter, Lady Ochikubo, as her victim. When the didactic theme of kanzen ch˘aku (praise virtue, chastise evil) is added to this hermeneutic, the stepmother becomes readily equated with the aku that is punished and the stepdaughter with the zen that is rewarded.

Rather than confirming aku and zen as antithetical moral concepts polarizing the positions of the stepmother and Lady Ochikubo, I will interpret them as dual aspects of the mother archetype, and explain the stepmother’s entangled relationship with Lady Ochikubo through the Jungian notion of the "mother-complex." By navigating through the web of psychological forces that interminably draw (step)mother and daughter toward one another, I will delineate the significance of the stepmother’s gaze, which is simultaneously maternal and erotic, vis-Ó-vis her own daughters, Lady Ochikubo, and Michiyori, who becomes Lady Ochikubo’s husband and avenges his wife’s alleged abuse. I will in the process demonstrate the ideological implications of a demystified feminist reading in which the tale reveals itself as an instance of mamahaha ijimetan (tale of stepmother abuse). In this deconstructive reversal, the sexual politics in Ochikubo monogatari emerges as a conflict between patriarchal and matriarchal forces, with patriarchy finally emerging as the new order with Michiyori’s victory over the matriarch.

From Erotic Object to Nunhood: The Potency of Ukifune’s Silent Gaze in Genji monogatari

Lili Selden, University of Notre Dame

One manifestation of the apparent privileging of the male gaze in Genji monogatari is through the depiction of Genji and other "connoisseurs" of women as figures whose artistic sensibilities and public demeanor are highly regarded by other characters. Another is the tale’s portrayal of "desirable" female characters as sweet, captivating, and responsive women of good breeding and discriminating taste, such as the heroine Murasaki who is brought up by Genji himself and whose portrayal therefore suggests the narrator’s internalization of its male protagonists’ perspective.

It is well to keep in mind, however, that the aesthetic of this gaze is in fact articulated by a highly literate member of the female gender and represents her view of the cultural order of her day. Moreover, the female narrator is not beyond undermining the moral worth of the male gaze by highlighting the self-serving motivations behind it, or by juxtaposing it with the internal speech or thoughts of its female objects and so relativizing it.

This paper will examine the complex ambiguities of the Genji’s narratorial stance as illustrated in the orchestration of the male and female gazes in the story of Ukifune. It will trace the heroine’s evolution from uncomprehending erotic object, to suicidal fugitive, to introspective, clear-eyed nun. Here it is instructive that the development of Ukifune’s own evaluative powers, her insight into her own precarious existence, is a response to her interaction with three suitors and constitutes, as it were, the female "countergaze" that finally resists and rejects the appropriative powers of the male. Significantly, Ukifune is surrounded by characters who speak intimately of, to, and for her, and who incessantly evaluate each other’s personal attributes as well as Ukifune’s. I argue that the apposition of this babble with Ukifune’s quiet yet steadfast gaze serves, in the closing chapters of the tale, to disable and silence the masculine prerogative of evaluating women that was thematized at the (all male) "rainy night discussion of women" (amayo no shina sadame) at the tale’s beginning.

Romancing the Political: The Construction of "Kingship" in Makura no s˘shi and Eiga monogatari

Naomi Fukumori, Ohio State University

The Northern Fujiwara’s political stranglehold in the mid-Heian period not only altered the nature of imperial authority, but also terminated, in effect, some long-held, Chinese-influenced cultural practices which had symbolized the emperor’s power. One such practice was the compilation of imperially commissioned, kambun national histories, of which six were completed (now known collectively as Rikkokushi [The Six National Histories]). Additional national histories, commissioned in the first part of the tenth century, however, were never finished. By this time, the locus of political and cultural power had shifted from the emperor’s court to the Fujiwara-controlled empresses’ rear courts, where ladies-in-waiting to Fujiwara empresses were privy to the politics of Fujiwara hegemony. These women composed vernacular works which were centered around the lives of the political figures they served and which, most significantly, provide an alternate narrative of kingship.

This paper analyzes two such works, Makura no s˘shi by Sei Sh˘nagon and Eiga monogatari, traditionally attributed to Akazome Emon. The focus of investigation is the female narrators’ framing of the relationship between an imperial couple, Emperor Ichij˘ and Empress Teishi. Although Teishi lost political stature with the death of her father, the Fujiwara Regent Michitaka, both narrators portray a romantic love which binds the couple together until Teishi’s death.

This romancing of the political is the crucial element of kingship in women-authored texts of the rear court. Furthermore, it is this ethical and aesthetic valuation of romantic love, I argue, which distinguishes these texts from the previously male-centered records of the imperial court.


Session 54: The U.S. and Japan in Asia: Developing Multilateral "Governance"

Organizer and Chair: Ellis Krauss, University of California, San Diego

Discussant: David Arase, Pomona College

This panel focuses on U.S.-Japan relations in the context of the new forms of institutionalized "governance" emerging in Asia. It is related to the panel proposed by Pempel on the private sector economic linkages in Asian multilateralism.

During the 1980s, scholars and journalists focused on the crucial bilateral relationship, especially U.S.-Japan trade friction. During the 1990s, however, new and unprecedented forms of multilateral institutions began appearing in Asia, for example, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum for economic matters and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) for security. The U.S. and Japan also attempted coordination in fiscal matters in response to the multilateral Asian economic crisis of 1997–98.

Despite these new and significant developments and a lot of separate research on either the U.S.-Japan relationship or Asian multilateralism there has been virtually no scholarship analyzing the linkage between the relationship and this new multilateral context. How has the new Asian multilateralism affected the styles and strategies of cooperation and competition between the U.S. and Japan? What roles have the two leading "players" in Asia performed in this new multilateral "governance"? What does the U.S.’s and Japan’s similar or competing goals and interests in the region bode for the future of forms of institutional coordination? Has regional identity been a consequence or a cause of the new structures?

To explore these questions this panel brings together one senior scholar (Krauss) and three junior scholars now doing research on related subjects. The panel focuses on the four most important dimensions of emerging "regional governance" in Asia: fiscal coordination (Katada); trade (Krauss); security (Ashizawa); and (national and regional) identity (Oros).

Cooperative Competition or Competitive Cooperation? U.S.-Japanese Interaction in Asian Financial Crisis Management, 1997–2000

Saori N. Katada, University of Southern California

The paper examines the nature of cooperation and competition between the two major creditor governments, the United States and Japan, in managing the Asian financial crisis. As the crisis hit the prospering East Asia in the early summer of 1997, the Japanese government took an active initiative in mitigating the crisis in Thailand. But later on, the leadership role shifted to the U.S. government and the IMF as the crisis spread to Indonesia and South Korea. While the Japanese government kept revisiting the possibility of alternative solutions to the crisis, the government has been slow in implementing its ideas.

The study focuses on the factors that have influenced the U.S.-Japanese dynamics in forming collective management of the financial crisis as well as Japan’s struggle to promote alternative solutions. There lies a tension between economic regionalization in Asia and the predominantly international financial crisis management structure dominated by the United States and the International Financial Institutions (IFIs). The study also extends its scope to the debates arising from the regional hegemonic competition at the multilateral level such as during G-7/G-8 summits and in the IFIs.

The U.S. and Japan in APEC’s EVSL Negotiations: Agriculture, Bilateralism, and Regional Multilateralism

Ellis Krauss, University of California, San Diego

Early Voluntary Sector Liberalization (EVSL) was an attempt in APEC, led by the U.S. and other major free trade economies, to lower or abolish tariffs in 15 sectors, 9 of them as a priority, in the Asia-Pacific region even before the next round of WTO negotiations. Japan and all the other APEC members initially agreed to EVSL in the 1997 APEC meetings in Vancouver. Japan soon, however, said it was going to opt out of the two agricultural sectors, fish and forestry products, based on its understanding that participation in particular sectors was "voluntary." The U.S. put tremendous pressure on Japan and other reluctant Asian countries to implement all nine sectors as a "package," claiming that this was necessary to gain agreement in APEC. The result was a public and messy conflict over the issue at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur APEC meetings, resulting in USTR Barshefsky even accusing Japan of trying to "buy votes" on this issue with their aid money. For the first time since it helped initiate APEC a decade earlier, Japan was isolated, the U.S. and Japan publicly clashed, and the normally consensual forum sustained one of its first and certainly most dramatic conflicts and failures.

This paper will use EVSL as a case study to look at U.S.-Japan relations in the context of Asia-Pacific regionalism, especially at the divergence in the U.S.’s and Japan’s domestic and international political economic interests and in their regional goals in APEC. It will explore and evaluate the strategies each used in this case to influence each other and the other regional actors, discussing the short and long-term consequences and implications of EVSL for both APEC and U.S.-Japan relations.

Japanese Foreign Policymaking toward the ARF: The Emergence of an Asian-Pacific Multilateral Security Institution and U.S.-Japan Relations

Kuniko Ashizawa, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

The study will examine the changing nature of Japanese foreign policy-making in the creation of the Asia Regional Forum (ARF). ARF’s creation as the first multilateral regional institution for security covering large sections of the Asia-Pacific region is one of the most important phenomena in post-Cold War regional politics in the Asia-Pacific in general and for the U.S.-Japanese bilateral relationship in particular. Among the questions to be addressed are: What was Japan’s role in ARF’s creation and development? How did the complex U.S.-Japanese relationship affect Japanese decision-making towards the establishment the ARF? In other words, to what extent did the changes in U.S.-Japanese relations since the end of Cold War influence the nature of their bilateral security relationship, and how did this influence the creation of the ARF? What is the dynamic between the changing nature of Japan’s traditional bilateralism with the U.S. and Japan’s evolving policies toward security multilateralism in the Asia-Pacific region?

The study will draw on my dissertation research in Tokyo, which will include extensive interviews of Japanese policy makers and examinations of government documents, newspapers and academic literatures in the Japanese language. Consequently, in this study, the dynamic U.S.-Japan bilateral relationship will be presented in light of how Japanese decision makers perceived this relationship and its evolution over time. Recognizing the need to incorporate this methodological approach within IR scholarship, the study will also explore the questions of how and to what extent the structural factors (distribution of power and degree of interdependence) and other factors (cost-benefit calculations, principled beliefs of decision makers, and epistemic communities) shaped the perception of Japanese decision makers toward U.S.-Japan relations and ARF.

Multilateral Governance and Japan’s New Regional Grand Vision: Policies towards APEC and ARF

Andrew Oros, Columbia University

This paper combines research on the theoretical question of how national identity—what I term a "Grand Vision of the State"—affects the politics of foreign policy making domestically, specifically in this case with empirical research on Japan’s growing role in Asian regional institutions. Japan carefully has cultivated its relationships with its Asian neighbors throughout the postwar period, but only recently has it done so within the context of regional institutions. International and structural factors provide part of the explanation for this shift, in particular the end of Cold Wax-era bipolar competition and the resultant lessening of pressure on Japan by the United States simply to support U.S. objectives in the region. Also important, however, is a change within Japan domestically: a new regional grand vision of itself as an Asian nation. This shift in Japan’s regional grand vision of itself led to noticeable changes in its support of regional initiatives vis-Ó-vis Western states, in particular the United States.

Japan’s regional initiatives have tended to focus on economic activities as seen by its efforts to create Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) together with Australia, another state seeking to re-define its place in the region. As Japan’s security role within the Japan-U.S. alliance has increased in the 1990s, however, Japan’s security role within Asia also has increased, as seen by Japan’s active participation in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). This paper argues that a focus on Japan’s changing regional grand vision in Asia itself offers a partial explanation for its new policies in both the economic and security realms.


Session 55: Things Japanese, Things Unexpected: Material Culture in Contemporary Japan

Organizer: Paul Noguchi, Bucknell University

Chair: L. Keith Brown, University of Pittsburgh

Discussant: David W. Plath, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Keywords: material culture, consumption, Japan.

Anthropology’s major contribution to the study of material culture lies in its attempts to reveal the complex connections between commodities and consumption. Coupled with this effort has been the task of identifying the relationships between the material and non-material realms of culture. Curiously, there has been scarce attention given to the analysis of material culture in Japan which focuses on objects and the unexpected contradictions which emerge as a result of their consumption. This panel seeks to fill this gap by bringing together papers that target such contradictions. Each panelist contextualizes a familiar commodity which involves mass participation and mass consumption. William Kelly raises the question why the commodification of Japanese baseball fans falls so short of the vast marketing of American sports, a phenomenon that cannot be completely explained by the political economy of franchising and marketing. Merry White demonstrates how the Japanese version of Italian food reveals both the taste for exotic adventure and the evocation of home and nation. Paul Noguchi asks why in high-tech Japan does the low-tech umbrella remain the number one lost article at the Tokyo Station Lost and Found Office. Christine Yano investigates why the Hello Kitty line of goods ostensibly and originally marketed for children has now targeted the young female adult as well. Consumption provides ideal sites for the construction of human values in the often contradictory and inconsistent arena of the mundane world. Even the humblest of objects can mask its actual significance and its imprint locally and globally.

Sporting Goods and Self-Fashioning: Why Don’t the Japanese Want to "Be Like Mike"ę?

William Kelly, Yale University

The material culture of modern sports spectatorship is logo-centric. Baseball caps, T-shirts, and mock uniforms proclaim allegiance to one’s favorite athlete and/or team. Indeed, branding athletes and marketing brands drive a multi-billion-dollar global sports industry. However, this paper begins from the observation that this public display of individual and team affiliation is near ubiquitous among American and European sports fans but it is much less common in Japan.

This is counter-intuitive, given the much greater emphasis on relational and contextual bases of selfhood and personal identity in modern Japan. Far more than the American self, should not the Japanese self, as it is drawn into the highly commodified economy of spectator sports, be predisposed to fashion itself through identification with sports hero "others" and to express that through the logos of such fandom?

Yet this is not the case, and the explanation offered here begins with economic and sociological factors, including the several distortions that professional baseball has brought to Japanese sports and the limited time that (uniformed) students and workers have to don and display athletic wear.

Still, the immense emotional and monetary investment in animation characters and other logo-centric commodities like Hello Kitty paraphernalia lead one to suspect that there still might be a lucrative market for displaying sports affiliation. That it has not emerged speaks fundamentally, I argue, to an ontological distinction between fantasy and real "others," which contribute, respectively, to the very different notions of "self-image" and "self-identity."

Ultimately, then, this is an essay on selfhood under conditions of late capitalism and on what it is that people seek to express through branded commodities.

Aoyama Italiano: Itameshi and a Yearning for Home in Globalizing Japan

Merry I. White, Boston University

A simple platter of spaghetti bolognese reveals and illuminates the contradictions of Japanese globalization: the Japanese version of Italian food may be seen as commodified yearning for exotic adventure as well as an evocation of the family, the home, and the nation imagined.

The platter of spaghetti with tomato meat sauce is well known in the cuisine that has been called itameshi in Japan. This "domesticated" foreign cuisine has become the most sought after in Japan. Italy has become the number one destination for middle-aged couples, honeymooners, and young women on their own. While some of this tourism is specialized and sophisticated, catering to well-developed tastes for "authentic" Italy, some is carefully calculated to reinforce Japanese images of Italy created in Japan.

Italian entrepreneurs, together with Japanese expatriates in Italy, have helped to provide for Japanese visitors both the "expected Italy," confirming the images created by media and advertising, and a sense of transport and surprise, confirming the trip as personal transformation. These meanings are subsumed in the consumption of a dish of pasta which evokes both the foreign and simultaneously the deepest images of family (mother), home (furusato), and Japan itself (containing family, mother, the imagined premodern rural).

I will describe the contradiction between the quest for furusato and the safety of home and the extrapolations of this yearning into a marketable trend for the foreign, and explore the possible relationship between this contradiction and those of new evocations of nihonjinron, as paradoxically seen in the marketing of this foreign foodstuff.

"Mi Kasa Su Kasa": Umbrellas and the Tokyo Station Lost and Found Office

Paul Noguchi, Bucknell University

This paper explores lost articles reported to the Tokyo Station Lost and Found Office and questions the conventional wisdom that assumes the portable telephone or some other form of high-tech electronic gadgetry commands top ranking for recovered articles. Rather it is the common, low-tech umbrella that continues to be the number one lost article. Why has this humble accessory lingered in top place for all these years? The paper explores the historical and cultural context of umbrellas in Japan as well as the annual occurrence of a rainy season. The paper also examines the place of umbrellas in popular culture, in particular their portrayal in Japanese art, literature, music, and film. The data include interview responses of office personnel, statistical information, and results from a questionnaire distributed to over two hundred commuters about their lost articles.

Despite the fluctuations in the economic cycle, the advancement of technology, and the ebb and flow of fads and fetishes, the umbrella still reigns as the number one lost article. The number reaches unimaginable proportions in storage facilities. In contrast with strategies for solid waste management, source reduction (minimize the amount of material, extend its useful life, etc.) does not appear to be the solution to the problem of unclaimed, homeless umbrellas. Even educating the public has had limited success. Resale and recycling seem to hold more promise. The paper raises the question of what becomes disposable in a disposable society and the consequences of planned obsolescence and conspicuous consumption in a throwaway society.

Confounding Kitty: Dual-Marketing of Japanese Cute Products

Christine R. Yano, University of Hawaii, Manoa

The concept of kawaii (cute) possesses both a visual and emotional dimension in its invocation of sentimentality and nostalgia. Japan’s highly profitable Sanrio Company, Ltd. has been in the business of marketing kawaii since the inception of its flagship character, Hello Kitty, in 1974. That cat—with its oversized head and mouthless countenance—has adorned numerous pencils, erasers, coin purses, and other goods. Originally targeted as a youth/child market, consumption in Japan has extended to female teens and young adults. Adult goods include surfboards, cars, vacuum cleaners, cosmetics, cellular phones, and condoms. In Japan it is possible to buy oneself a Kitty cocoon of consumption which lasts from birth to marriage, and into a succeeding generation with mother-daughter teams of customers. With net sales of 121 billion yen (approximately $968 million) in 1997, Sanrio stands at the apex of kawaii consumer culture which crosses generational borders.

This paper analyzes the gendered, cross-generational appeal of this overtly infantilized interpretation of a domesticated animal, Hello Kitty. By examining the dual-marketing of Hello Kitty in Japan as published in the quarterly magazine/catalogue Kitty Goods Collection, as well as interviews with adult consumers, this paper theorizes on the concept and consumption of cute, and its implications for gender, class, identity, and culture.


Session 56: Remembering War in Peace: Appropriating Memories across Borders and Generations

Organizer: Akiko Takenaka O’Brien, Yale University

Chair and Discussant: Michael S. Molasky, Connecticut College

Keywords: Japan, Asia Pacific War, memory.

According to his published oeuvre, the career of world-renowned Japanese architect Tange Kenzo begins with the Hiroshima Peace Memorial of 1954. Nowhere discussed are his winning wartime competition entries for colonial projects in Thailand and Shanghai. Such an inconvenient past has been erased from his visual resume, and his postwar memorial to peace appears as a project that built his career on a clean slate

More often than not, our current views of the Asia Pacific War are based on information that has been filtered at some point by a conscious or unconscious appropriation of memory. This panel addresses those transformations of Japanese memory from both the periphery and the center, looking at collective as well as personal memory.

Greg Guelcher analyzes how ex-colonists of Manchuria have spun their wartime experience in postwar narratives to create an acceptable memory of their lives in Manchukuo to present their fellow countrymen. Yoko Genka investigates the decision to promote battlefield tourism in Okinawa as initiated by both American and Okinawan officials. Akiko Takenaka O’Brien reconstructs prewar popular perceptions of the Yasukuni Shrine by examining its significance in the lives of the lower-middle-class Tokyoites. Greg Johnson focuses on memory on a more personal level: transgenerational memory—wartime experiences as they have been conveyed to the next generation—is analyzed using an ethnographic framework.

The work of this panel demonstrates that the various ways the experience of war is historicized is fundamentally affected by complicated and convenient modes of remembering. Understanding the mechanisms of memory—both collective and personal—is crucial for any critical assessment of Japan’s role in the Asia Pacific War.

Constructing an Acceptable Past: Postwar Narratives of the Japanese Agricultural Colonists

Greg P. Guelcher, Morningside College

"The definition of a presentable postwar past," Carol Gluck suggests, "is socially constituted. As time passes and attitudes change, so does the definition of presentability." The shifting self-perceptions of the ex-agricultural colonists in Manchuria illustrate the transformation well.

Initially, symbolizing as they did Japanese wartime aggression against China, the ex-colonists had to maintain a discrete silence about their lives in Manchukuo. A Japanese society eager to forget the war and proceed with domestic economic reconstruction generally met the ex-colonists’ efforts to elicit sympathy for their postwar losses with feigned indifference or outright hostility. Thus rebuffed, they learned to keep their own counsel. Early accounts of the colonial experience tended to be privately-published affairs intended for the ex-colonists’ own enjoyment. Not until the 1970s, paralleling the official restoration of formal diplomatic relations between Japan and China, did pioneering individuals "go public" with their life stories. By the mid-1980s, and likely encouraged by the media attention and sympathy lavished on visiting "war orphans" from Northeast China, the trickle of personal reminiscences became a veritable torrent of literature.

Quantity, of course, guaranteed neither quality nor comprehensiveness. The colonists instead embraced the newly sympathetic atmosphere and penned cathartic accounts privileging their own travails in Manchuria. This paper, then, supports Gluck’s observation; through a close "textual" reading of written and oral accounts, it will identify prevalent themes in this postwar discourse and demonstrate how the ex-colonists minimized their own role in furthering Japanese empire with a carefully crafted and highly myopic "narrative of suffering."

The Admiral and the Tourist: On Okinawan Battlefield Tourism

Yoko Genka, George Mason University

In the 1960s, both American and Okinawan officials of U.S. occupied Okinawa began developing tourism as the islands’ major industry. Besides providing sites for experiencing the history and culture of the Ryukyu kingdom as well as for maritime leisure activities, battlefield tourism also took shape at that time. To wit, the Japanese Navy bunker complex was excavated and turned into a sightseeing spot in 1969. A late 1960s brochure by the Okinawa Tourism Development Corporation, the organization that developed the war site as a tourist destination, describes this new tourist attraction as follows: "Vice Admiral Minoru Ota, Commanding Officer of the Japanese Navy and his 4,000 men committed suicide in this underground headquarters on June 14, 1945 after having shared in a hard-fought battle during World War II." In addition to restoring the bunker, the corporation built a "Navy Monument" dedicated to the memory of Ota and his men. Why and how did such a development occur during the U.S. occupation? Why was this site selected over what had been the Army Underground Headquarters at Shun? Focusing on this particular site, my paper will examine how battlefield tourism in Okinawa has emerged within the discourse of historic and cultural tourism. Ultimately, how does battlefield tourism articulate with the other forms of tourism?

Lost Memories, Veiled Ideologies: Yasukuni Shrine and State Shint˘, 1869–1945

Akiko Takenaka O’Brien, Yale University

Yasukuni Shrine enshrines the spirit of those who died fighting for Imperial Japan from the Boshin War to the Asia Pacific War, and since 1954, the deceased members of the Self Defense Force. From 1869 to 1945, Yasukuni Shrine topped the hierarchy of regional shrines (gokoku Jinja) and war memorials constructed throughout Japan in veneration of State Shinto. The shrine today is imbued with ideological implications, and renewed government interaction with shrine activities quickly raises the question of a resurgent Japanese imperialism.

The political controversy overshadows the important question of the role played by Yasukuni Shrine in the everyday life of the lower-middle-class Tokyoites. The shrine was often depicted in literature and was a popular theme of woodblock prints. Festivals, circuses, and horse races held in the shrine compound have always attracted popular participation. This paper investigates the popular opinion on Yasukuni Shrine and State Shint˘ from 1869 to 1945 in order to examine what some historians call the "collective amnesia" of postwar Japan. The Shrine will be examined not only for its political significance but also for its ideological implications as an architectural space.

Understanding the prewar popular opinion of Yasukuni Shrine and State Shint˘ will bring to light the difference between what people were thinking before 1945 and what they later believed they had been thinking. This will not only illustrate the shift in popular opinion of State Shint˘ (and Shint˘ in general), but also uncover specific components of those ideologies and sentiments that have been the object of collective amnesia since 1945.

"Mother Said She Grew Up with the War": A Study of Transgenerational Japanese Memories of the Pacific War

Gregory S. Johnson, Indiana University

Japan’s public memory of the Pacific War, as narrated in school textbooks, public rites, official statements, etc., is the subject of world-wide research and commentary. The intergenerational transference of private memories of the Pacific War is equally important, but largely neglected.

This paper examines transgenerational memory, the experiences of wartime childhood conveyed from parents to their children born after the war. It initiates an examination of a space between oral history and oral tradition. What role do private first person narratives have in the construction of public Japanese memory? How does public memory affect private memory? How is private memory of war conveyed? How is it gendered? How have parental narratives influenced views on 21st-century Japan’s role in the world?

The concept of transgenerational or intergenerational memory is used in Holocaust studies, but is not widely applied elsewhere. Family folklorists and historians have suggested gender differences and politicization in transmission, reception, and interpretation of family narratives, and these are explored. This study finds common mechanisms for transference of diverse private memory narratives, suggests relationships between parental memory and second generation attitudes, and asserts that study of private memory transmission is critical to understand the meanings imbedded in public Japanese memory of the Pacific War.


Session 74: Unexplored Origins: India in the Japanese Buddhist Imagination

Organizer and Chair: David (Max) Moerman, Columbia University

Keywords: Japan, India, Buddhism.

While the importance of China and Korea in the formation of Japan’s religious culture has long been recognized, the place of India has remained comparatively unexamined. Yet as the ultimate source of Japan’s Buddhist traditions, India has had a profound influence on Japanese cultural history informing not only its religious but also its literary, artistic, and political traditions. As a land richly imagined if rarely visited, India represented a powerful and elusive presence: a sort of vanishing point on the religious horizon. Buddhists in premodern as well as in modern Japan attempted, through a range of cultural strategies, to close the spatial and temporal gap separating them from this distant ideal.

Inspired by the AAS challenge to think collaboratively across the borders of discipline and area, this panel attempts a subtle but fundamental reorientation of scholarly perspective to view the history of Japanese Buddhist culture from a South and Southeast Asian rather than North Asian vantage point. Each of the four papers considers a different chronological period and different type of source material—classical Buddhist statuary, medieval temple landscapes, early modern cartography, and modern travel narratives—to reconsider certain shared scholarly assumptions. The panel as a whole asks how a critical attention to South Asia might suggest possibilities for an alternative history of Japanese Buddhist culture. We have chosen to forgo a discussant so as to allow and encourage a more participatory forum for discussion and debate.

A South Asian Component in the Buddhist Statuary of Classical Japan

Mimi Hall Yiengpruksawan, Yale University

It is well known that, for the formative period of classical Japanese art and culture from the sixth through the eighth century, the impact of Chinese and Korean norms were significant on all levels of political, social, and cultural discourse. The Nara capital that emerged by the late seventh century belonged to a network of regional centers across Eurasia whose primary link was the Silk Road and its itinerant communities of traders and Buddhist monks. Not surprisingly the technologies and styles of Central Asian, Chinese, and Korean art and architecture, along with the producers themselves, made their way to Nara to flourish there as the vanguards of an emergent classical Japanese Buddhist visual culture.

What is less well known is the role of South and Southeast Asian elements in the development of this classical art culture. Sources mention Buddhist monks from India, Cambodia, and other Southeast Asian cultures resident in Nara from the early eighth century. It is probable that with them came South Asian technological and stylistic traditions. This paper explores these components in eighth-century Buddhist statuary in order to critically analyze possible South Asian features of what to date has been discussed only in terms of North Asian parameters. The identification of South Asian elements in Buddhist statuary of the classical era in Japan has important ramifications for understanding later architectural and sculptural developments. It is hoped that, by looking outside and beyond the standard frames of analysis, another picture of classical Japan will begin to emerge.

Myoe’s Mount Lanka: Emptiness, Landscape, and Poetic Imagination

Ryuichi Abe, Columbia University

Among many idiosyncrasies that gave renown to the Kamakura Buddhist figure Myoe is his desire to make a trip to ancient Buddhist sites in India where the Tathagata Sakyamuni was said to have delivered the Dharma. In his youth Myoe made a few attempts to actually depart to India, attempts which he abandoned only by the words the kami Kasuga, who decreed through a shamaness’ mouth that Myoe’s foremost duty was to remain in the nation of Japan and promote the Dharma there. Myoe never gave up his desire to experience Buddhist India, however. By inventing liturgies celebrating Buddha’s birth, praising his attaining enlightenment, and commemorating his death, and establishing these events as annual ceremonies at his monastery Kozanji, Myoe worked to reenact through rituals glorious moments of the Buddha’s life and capture these moments as his own intimate experiences.

Perhaps the most extravagant among such efforts by Myoe to internalize within his imaginative experience Buddhist India was his attempt to poetically transform the entire environs of his mountain hermitage into the island of Lanka, the venue of the Buddha’s preaching of the Lankavatara Sutra. In 1216 My˘e named a mountain just behind and north of Kozanji "Ryogasen, " or Mount Lanka, and built two huts, one at the foot of the mountain, and the other on the summit. Based on the sutra’s story, Myoe named each of these huts Rababo (King Ravana’s Pavilion)—the place on the shore at which the ruler of the island nation welcomed the Buddha, who landed there following his trip to the Naga king’s undersea palace—and Kakuden (Flower Palace)—Ravana’s palace on the top of the Lanka mountains, where the Buddha revealed profound Yogacara theories of consciousness, delusion and enlightenment. In the same year Myoe began composing a series of autobiographical poems in waka, in which he described the landscape of his Mount Lanka as well as his daily meditative and ritual practices at these two huts, the practices that gave grounds for the poetic transformation of his mountain hermitage into the sacred site of the Buddha’s celebrated sermon.

This study aims at analyzing the intertextual relationship between the sutra and Myoe’s poems and by doing so strives to understand the power of poetic imagination engendered by the ritual and meditative exercises employed by Myoe, the powers that enabled him not only to transcend the geographic distance between India and Japan but also to traverse the temporal distance and arrive at the land on which the Buddha walked.

Imaginary Cartographies: Jambudvipa and the Japanese World Map

David (Max) Moerman, Columbia University

The Gotenjiku zu, the earliest Japanese world map, drawn by a Buddhist priest in the fourteenth century, represents a geography anachronistic and doubly foreign. Depicting Jambudvipa, the world continent of classical Buddhist cosmography, the map describes a world centered on India and bounded by Central Asia, Sri Lanka, Persia, and Nepal. China is represented only by cartouche at the continent’s eastern edge and Japan a mere suggestion in the ocean beyond. It is based almost entirely on the Da Tang xiyu ji, Xuanzhuang’s seventh-century account of his pilgrimage to India. In Japan the map was preserved in temples as a sacred object and served as a ritual aid for internalized journeys to the distant lands of Buddhist origins. One medieval copyist described "feeling as if I were traveling through India" as he traced out Xuanzhuang’s itinerary.

Yet the map was more than simply another example of the medieval Japanese obsession with India, for it was copied and printed well into the nineteenth century with Europe and the Americas crowded within the borders of later editions. The continued popularity of such a premodern religious geography many centuries after European style world maps were in common use underscores the symbolic value of India for Japanese Buddhists of the modern as well as the medieval period. This paper explores the religious and ideological implications of this cartographic tradition and traces the map’s early modern history to examine the multiple and contested meanings of Japanese cultural and religious identity.

Late-Nineteenth-Century Japanese Buddhist Travel and the Construction of Modern Buddhism

Richard Jaffe, North Carolina State University

With the opening of Japan to foreign travel in the latter half of the nineteenth century Japanese Buddhists began a period of exploration of lands they long had contemplated but for centuries had been unable to visit. Between 1885 and 1905 numerous Japanese Buddhist clerics and scholars traveled to South and Southeast Asia to practice in Theravada monasteries, to study Pali and Sanskrit, and to make pilgrimages to sites associated with the life of Shakyamuni and the history of the tradition. Among those making the journey to Buddhist South and Southeast Asia were some of the most important Buddhist clerics of the day: Oda Tokuno, Shimaji Mokurai, Nanjo Bunyu, Shaku Soen, and Takakusu Junjiro, to name a few.

These travelers returned to Japan bearing a wealth of information about Buddhism in the form of travel diaries, photographs, relics, and art objects. Entering Japan at the critical juncture between the suppression of Buddhism during the Bakumatsu and early Meiji years and the growth of Japanese imperialist and Buddhist missionary aspirations at the turn of the century, these images of other Asian Buddhisms played a central role in the repositioning of Japanese Buddhism in Asia. This paper examines the underlying motivations for these diverse travels to Buddhist Asia and discusses the function of these imported traces of South and Southeast Asian Buddhism in the construction of modern Japanese Buddhism and in the reconceptualization of Buddhism as one of the great "world religions."


Session 75: Idioms of "Eros" in Postwar Japanese Cinema

Organizer: Nina Cornyetz, New York University

Chair: Paul Anderer, Columbia University

Discussant: Keiko McDonald, University of Pittsburgh

Keywords: film, postwar, eroticism, sexuality.

With the lifting of wartime censorship Japanese movies began depicting naked bodies and (heterosexual) sex with a vengeance. Eventually pornography and mainstream cinema alike overwhelmingly relied on female nudity-as-spectacle, and violence against women as constitutive to cinematic eroticism. Our panel focuses on films that offer modes of sexual or erotic gazing alternative to this "idiom" of erotics.

Christine Marran identifies an equation of the sexual violation of women with revolutionary, "overcoming modernity" politics as a corollary to this misogynist cinematic idiom. Marran discusses how 1960s and 70s films by Tanaka Noboru and Matsumoto Toshio challenged this configuration of gendered power relations. Nina Cornyetz argues that Woman in the Dunes (1964) incorporates, yet de-eroticizes, developing norms of sexual gazing: a nude, bound woman as spectacle; rape. Ultimately, the eroticism of the film, Cornyetz contends, is indebted to a "feminine" decentralization of sexual tensions, and an eroticized male body. In yet another configuration of alternate sexual power politics, the female dominatrixes of A New Love in Tokyo (1994), holds Tamae Prindle, market their sexuality as soul-less signs (kigo) to male consumers seeking liberation from sociocultural pressures. In this depiction of Tokyo as a "Sexual Babylon," only the "signs of bodies" matter.

Overcoming Misogynist Modernism in Contemporary Film

Christine Marran, Princeton University

There are at least two directors, Tanaka Noboru and Matsumoto Toshio, who challenge a dominant idiom for expressing configurations of power relations in 1960s film. In the sixties, the ideological warfare that continued through the post-occupation years was often carried out in film through the sexual violation of women. Put differently, misogynist behavior in film of this time was also a political statement framed often in terms of a seemingly unconscious nationalist "overcoming modernity" ideology. The portrayal of violent heterosexual relations was thus an important way in which post-fifties Japanese filmmakers articulated their politics. My concern in this paper is to show how sex was used in sixties and early seventies pink/new wave film to signify political relations that extend beyond the equation of transgressive sexual behavior with revolutionary politics. If we incorporate the politics of gender and sexuality into our reading of radical sixties film, we find that what has been taken to be a revolutionary modernist cinema is also a nationalist one, framing revolution as overcoming modernity. Tanaka and Matsumoto’s films challenge this false alignment of sexual violation and revolutionary politics.

Gazing Otherwise: Alternate Erotics in Woman in the Dunes

Nina Cornyetz, New York University

From the mid-1960s onward in Japan, not only pornography, "pink films" and "Nikkatsu roman poruno" (Nikkatsu romantic-pornography), but mainstream cinema as well, made male domination of women the virtual idiom of Japanese cinematic eroticism. In 1964 scriptwriter Abe K˘b˘ and Teshigahara Hiroshi—the first Japanese director nominated for an Academy Award—released Woman in the Dunes. Winner of the Cannes Film Festival jury prize, the film was celebrated for its stunning cinematography and eroticism.

At first glance faithful to the "idiom," Woman in the Dunes incorporates many of the developing technologies of erotic gazing: female nudity as spectacle; a bound and gagged woman; a rape of a woman. However, unlike the contemporaneous erotic (nikutai) Japanese films, which often depended upon the abuse of women for spectator titillation, the scenes of bondage, rape, and so forth in Woman in the Dunes do not titillate. In the (attempted) rape scene, for example, not only are the prurient villagers depicted as gross, bestial voyeurs, there is no female nudity, no close-ups on eroticized body parts, and the attempt is unsuccessful—in short, the rape is not eroticized. Hence, I argue that first, the developing codes of cinematic eroticism dependent on the domination of women are here cited in order to be challenged. Second, I will contend that the film’s eroticism conversely relies on an alternate, decentralized ("feminine") sexual economy that also resolutely eroticizes the male body.

Sexuality as a Sign (kigo): Takahashi Tomoaki’s A New Love in Tokyo

Tamae Prindle, Colby College

If Wendy Brown is right in saying that postmodernity means "fragmentation without corresponding wholes . . . social surfaces without depth," Japanese culture in the 1980s and 90s was more postmodern than ever before. The "essentialist" cultural dualism eroded. Together with the slurred definition of "postmodernism," even the distinction between pornography and nonpornography lost meaning. The takeover of spiritualism by materialism transformed Tokyo into the "World’s Biggest Sex Babylon."

Takahashi Tomoaki’s film, A New Love in Tokyo (1994), takes us to the cultural mazes in Tokyo. It depicts an SM (sadomasochist) Club in Shibuya where the "Queens" whip their male "slaves." Off-duty, they frolic naked in the ocean after burying their blindfolded male friends in the sand. Men still hold the buying power, but women have learned to sell their physical images only as signs (kig˘). Their glamorous appearance and the pang of ecstasy they beat into men’s bodies are their merchandise. Bodies serve as signs flagging women’s hidden power and men’s catharsis for their strained pride. It is the body that lubricates the materialist Babylon.

My paper studies, in reference to contemporary Tokyo culture, how A New Love in Tokyo parodies some feminists’ wish for androgyny and suggests that Japanese women are marketing sexuality as signs (as Araaki’s photographs symbolize) divorced from love or romance, which men with deep-seated mother-complexes buy as a ticket to freedom from their sociopolitical pressures. The postmodern society leaves alone the matching and/or mismatching of the intentions.


Session 76: Questioning Modernity and Popularity in Twentieth-Century Japanese Music

Organizer: Hugh de Ferranti, University of Michigan

Chair: Shuhei Hosokawa, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Discussant: Junko Oba, Wesleyan College

Keywords: music, Japan, popular, performance.

Accounts of Japanese music are often framed in terms of arguments about the grounds for its modernity, popularity, or traditionality. The papers in this panel address restrictive assumptions inherent in interpretations of diverse genres of twentieth-century music: Tokita contests the idea that only Western-styled, markedly new performing arts could be effective vehicles for the expression of Japanese experiences of modernity early in the century, and demonstrates that naniwa-bushi emerged as a modern style in a traditional medium of musical narrative performance. Driscoll argues that the success of the Pizzicato Five group during the time of the "bubble" economy subverts the customary dichotomous schema whereby Japanese popular music is defined and identified solely in terms of its Euro-American antecedents and influences. The concept of "Japanese music" is also addressed by de Ferranti, not in its relation to "Western pop," but in its exclusivity as a disciplinary construct that has discouraged dialogue with research on twentieth-century popular music. McKnight argues for an understanding of Akita Masami (Merzbow)’s music and ideas as not merely a militantly "unpopular" musical subculture, but a response to the ideology of information culture which is grounded in psychoanalytical practice. It is intended both that the panel problematize discourse on Japanese music and specific genres, and that its juxtaposition of presenters from diverse disciplinary and cultural backgrounds stimulate consideration of complementarity of perspectives in this research area.

"Japanese Music" Can Be Popular

Hugh de Ferranti, University of Michigan

Currently there are signs of a splintering of research on Japanese music along lines of the traditionality or non-traditionality of its subject matter: most musicologists devote their attention to genres that had origin prior to the late nineteenth century—much as they have since Japanese music first became a topic of academic study—while work on popular music of the last 100 years is proliferating among researchers trained in cultural studies disciplines such as history, sociology and anthropology. Yet modern popular music and Japanese so-called traditional music are not intrinsically distinguishable as research topics. The discursive sphere of "Japanese music" has long been moderated by conservative policies of academic organizations within Japan, and delimited elsewhere by a disregard for syncretic music in the work of representative scholars. This paper will first outline the terms in which "Japanese music" has been defined, then suggest grounds for a more inclusive concept, as well as research methods whereby popular music can be better understood in relation to other musical practices in Japan. Even some of the most recent Japanese music has textual and contextual elements of continuity with traditional music, although those elements are for the most part not immediately discernible. Such music is at once intrinsically Japanese and a part of global popular musical practice, yet does not conform to the "World Music" market’s essentializing insistence that modern popular music of a given culture should sound recognizably indigenous.

Dis-communication: Noise Music in Post-80s Japan

Anne McKnight, University of California, Berkeley

Since its inception in the 1970s as a new mode of aesthetic value, "noise" has been made in the context of three categories of media culture: the post-Osaka exposition (1970) debut of new consumer electronics, such as the Walkman and synthesizer, which enabled individuals to sample and distribute "sound objects"; ambient music and cultures of sampling as elements of both the avant-garde and mass-media; and "noise" music’s antagonism to the structures of melody, harmony and capital on which pop songs and the record industry depend.

This paper will entail a close reading of several different phases of the work of the musician/writer Akita Masami (Merzbow), the most articulate and well-known noise music impresario. Developing ideas of the unconscious in writings on psychoanalysis and Sh˘wa popular media networks, Akita has proposed noise as the "feedback" of information culture the association of ideologies of liberation and economic progress with knowledge disseminated by new technologies. He reacts to the hermeneutic and political concept of "communication," in its reference to both media of transmission and a fellow-feeling of popular nationalism, and its epistemological basis in the 1950s–60s pragmatist work of the Shis˘ no kagaku historians. Through decoupling concepts of medium and message, and showing how elements of power, ideology, and bodily experience mediate between performers, technology and listeners, Akita’s work restores dimensions of the unconscious to an account of the social body, enabling ways of thinking about communication and community outside the national.

Naniwa-bushi: Modernity or Tradition?

Alison Tokita, Monash University

The image of naniwa-bushi today is of an old-fashioned, premodern entertainment. Few in the audiences are under the age of seventy, and the repertoire rarely steps beyond Edo period stories. In the early 1930s, however, naniwa-bushi consistently polled as the most popular content in NHK radio programs. With antecedents in premodern sung narrative entertainments, "traditional" elements of naniwa-bushi performance can easily be demonstrated—and indeed its content became increasingly traditional in the post-War period. I will explore what may have been its modern elements, so as to explain its prodigious popularity in the age of Japanese modernization.

During a time of incipient Japanese nationalism around the Russo-Japanese War (1904–5), performances in urban yose (vaudeville theatres) functioned as vehicles for dissemination of both knowledge and ideology. This was a role subsequently taken up and expanded by new electronic media (phonograph and radio). Hobsbawm’s concept of the invention of tradition in the service of creating modern nationalist identity is relevant to interpretation of naniwa-bushi and other "nativist" modern performing arts. My hypothesis is that modernity in the Japanese performing arts did not mean only the introduction of Western music and theatre, and the extinction—or at best "classicization"—of existing popular musical narrative and theatrical genres such as kabuki. The period saw the emergence, in response to a new socio-cultural environment, of several new, non-Western forms, including naniwa-bushi (but also manzai, modern biwa recitation, and women’s gidayu), as well as the popular song style (kay˘kyoku) that eventually became enka.

Pop Goes the Bubble: Pizzicato Five and Universal Pop Music

Mark Driscoll, Portland State University

The analysis of Japanese pop music has invariably been burdened by the imposition of a particularist/ univeralist schema where "Western" pop culture is installed as the standard against which all other popular cultures are judged as late, lacking, and limited. The forced particularization of what Stuart Hall calls the "Rest" by the "West" has led to a situation where Japanese popular music can only be configured by locating its Euro-American influences and predecessor bands. The case of Japanese pop music during the "bubble" period of the late 1980s and early 1990s can provide examples that easily refute the Eurocentrism defined above. My paper will focus on the internationally known Japanese pop group Pizzicato Five. I argue in my presentation that it is impossible to situate Pizzicato Five as particular with regard to the universality of Euro-American pop music. Although their music from the late 1980s contains abundant citations of Euro-American rock and pop, these influences are all historical and Konishi Yasuharu, the songwriter for Pizzicato Five, has blended them with references to Japanese and Indian pop music of the 1960s and 1970s. The sublation of these historical influences from the U.S., Japan, and India, together with samples from Japanese and U.S. film and television music, created a new global pop sound for Pizzicato Five which had a significant impact on pop and dance music all over the world. Therefore, I argue that Pizzicato Five should be understood not through the particularized category of "Japanese pop," but through the category of universal, even "Western" pop.


Session 77: Rethinking School Relations in the Tokugawa Period

Organizer: Samuel Hideo Yamashita, Pomona College

Chair and Discussant: George M. Wilson, Indiana University

Keywords: school relations, social practice, fields of intellectual and cultural production, Confucianism, poetry, nativism (kokugaku).

During the last thirty years, American scholars working in the Tokugawa intellectual history field have used no fewer than seven approaches, each of which has taught us something different. For some time, intellectual biography was the preferred approach, and when done well, these biographies have taught us much about the complex and intricate relationship between the lives of intellectuals and their ideas (Lidin, Najita, Spae, Yamashita). Scholars interested in the modernization of Japan have offered us meta-narratives that chart the dramatic movement toward what they call "modern thought" (Bellah, Craig, Nakai, Rubinger, Wakabayashi). William Theodore deBary and his students stress the importance of "tradition," whether Confucian or nativistic (Bloom, deBary, Kassell, Nosco, Sawada, Tucker). Tetsuo Najita’s study of the Kaitokudo Academy in Osaka revealed what speech act theory, when used carefully, can teach us about how intellectual communities constitute themselves and how they change (Najita). We also have had poststructuralist interpretations that highlight the interplay of power and knowledge—Herman Ooms’ Tokugawa Ideology was the first and one of the best of these (Harootunian, Koschmann, Ooms). Scholars inspired by the "new social history" have given us important studies of the behavior and consciousness of ordinary people, a topic ignored by many intellectual historians (Walthall, Wilson). And now we even have postmodern readings of Tokugawa philosophy, literature and drama (Sakai).

We propose to introduce still another approach, one that highlights the importance of social practice in cultural and intellectual production. Our panel will examine three cases, all from the Tokugawa period, in which the complex interplay of historical agents and particular fields generated distinct discourses—Confucian, poetic, and nativist. We will attempt to show that intellectual and cultural endeavors are not merely peripheral to socioeconomic developments but very much engaged in the larger field of power.

Samuel Yamashita will analyze the dramatic rise of Yamazaki Ansai and the accompanying demise of his rivals—Hayashi Gah˘, Yamaga Sok˘, and Kumazawa Banzan—in the seventeenth century. Yamashita will argue that Ansai’s rise and his distinctive Neo-Confucian discourse cannot be understood without considering contemporary school and power relations. Steven Carter will examine the situation of the Reizei house (a court lineage that could trace its beginnings back to the Kamakura period) in the literary field of the eighteenth century. His contention is that the position taken by Reizei in the poetic marketplace of the time was determined largely by its "capital" resources as embodied in the family library and "oral teachings"—both of which depended for their purchase on the still considerable social status of the imperial court, past and present. And Mark McNally will look at the impact Hirata Atsutane’s journey to Kyoto in 1823 had on the development of kokugaku discourse. Conceptualizing Atsutane’s Kyoto visit as an encounter between rival schools, McNally will demonstrate how the resistance to his scholarship was a crucial aspect of his claims of succession and orthodoxy that gave kokugaku a discursive and institutional identity that it did not previously have.

This panel has three obvious strengths: first, it offers a new way to approach Tokugawa schools, one that looks closely at the interplay of culture and institutions—political, economic, and social; second, all three panelists have found Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of social practice useful in studying Tokugawa schools, which gives their presentations, and the panel as a whole, a rare methodological coherence; and third, the temporal coverage of the papers is broad—they deal with schools in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries.

Yamazaki Ansai and Confucian School Relations, 1640–1675

Samuel Hideo Yamashita, Pomona College

In 1665, the Kyoto Confucian Yamazaki Ansai (1618–1682) entered the service of Hoshina Masayuki (1611–1672), the former guardian of the fourth shogun, Tokugawa Ietsuna (r. 1651–1680), and one of the most powerful men in Edo. Over the next seven years, Ansai spent half the year in Edo and the other half in Kyoto. While in Edo, he taught and advised Masayuki, who was deeply interested in Neo-Confucianism, and they even collaborated on several scholarly projects. His patron’s support enabled Ansai to displace Hayashi Gah˘ as the dominant Confucian presence in Edo and drive his other rivals into the provinces—Yamaga Sok˘ (1622–1685) was sent into exile and Kumazawa Banzan (1619–1691) put under house arrest. Ansai remained the dominant Confucian presence in Edo until Masayuki’s death in 1672.

This paper will analyze Yamazaki Ansai’s precipitous rise to power and the decline of his rivals in terms of contemporary school relations. Although Ansai and his rivals differed philosophically on several important ethical issues, as even the most cursory reading of their writings reveals, I will argue that their conflict was not solely philosophical, as has long been argued, and should not be understood solely in those terms. Rather, Ansai, the Hayashi (Razan and Gah˘), Yamaga Sok˘, and Kumazawa Banzan must be seen as competitors in a newly emerging Confucian field, competitors who continually jockeyed for position and vied aggressively for the support of powerful patrons. Although the Hayashi had been the preeminent Confucians in Edo for nearly two decades, Ansai had the good fortune to gain a powerful patron and quickly established his position in the Confucian field. He was very lucky. Sok˘, though he had many powerful backers, was not as lucky and could not stand up to Ansai. And Banzan, long the object of bakufu suspicion, was driven into the provinces and never allowed to stake out, and maintain, a position anywhere.

The Remodeling of the Reizei House: The Place of Court Poetry in the Mid-Edo Literary Field

Steven D. Carter, University of California, Irvine

The format of Yoshimasa kikigaki, a poetic miscellany of the mid-1770s, seems familiar to any student of medieval Japanese poetry and poetic culture. Like many medieval works, it is in the mond˘ form, in which a master responds to the queries of a disciple—in this case it is Reizei Tamemura (1712–1774) responding to Miyabe Yoshimasa (1729–1792). The content of Tamemura’s responses, however, comes as a shock: his declarations on poetic style, aesthetic ideals, and even poetic history differ decidedly from the traditions of the Reizei house as established in the fourteenth century. Scholars usually account for this by adducing his training by masters of a rival "school" in his youth or his "innate" style or personal philosophy. But there is another, more historically grounded way to explain Tamemura’s statements, namely, to see them as products of the socioeconomic situation of the Reizei house and its place in the literary market(s) of the seventeenth century, a place obviously different from the one it held three hundred years before. In this paper, I will attempt to place Tamemura and his "school" within the larger literary field of his time in terms of what Pierre Bourdieu calls "position-takings" that are dictated to a great extent by factors such as the kinds of capital—material, social, and cultural—available to him as the head of a noble house.

Intellectual Polarities and the Development of the Kokugaku Field: Hirata Atsutane and the Nudenoya, 1823–1834

Mark McNally, University of Hawaii

Although Hirata Atsutane (1776–1843) was perhaps the most significant figure of nineteenth-century kokugaku, his influence within the tradition was fiercely challenged during his lifetime. The core leadership of the Suzunoya, the kokugaku academy founded by Motoori Norinaga (1730–1801), opposed Atsutane’s scholarly interests in both the afterlife and the supernatural. Instead, his opponents emphasized philology and literary studies, both of which, they argued, he ignored in his scholarship. His most vigorous critics belonged to the Nudenoya, a Kyoto academy that was formally affiliated with the Suzunoya in Matsusaka. In 1823, Atsutane journeyed to Kyoto at the invitation of the Court to offer copies of his books to the Emperor Nink˘. During his stay, he visited with fellow kokugaku scholars, including his most vocal critics. It is the contention of this paper that this interaction forms the sociopolitical context within which to conceptualize a homology between Atsutane’s claims of orthodox succession to the kokugaku tradition itself, and his practice, which revealed his marginality within the Suzunoya. Thus, his scholarship created a unique position within the school that put him at odds with its more established members and resulted in the creation of a field that ultimately benefited Atsutane and his supporters during the bakumatsu era.


Session 95: New Views of Noh through the Works of Komparu Zenchiku

Organizer: Paul S. Atkins, Montana State University

Chair: Noel John Pinnington, University of Arizona

Discussant: Karen Brazell, Cornell University

Keywords: Komparu Zenchiku, noh, Japan, drama.

Recent work on the noh theatre has tended to focus on the development of the art after Zeami Motokiyo (1363–1443), historically the central object of scholarly attention. Detailed studies of Kanze Nobumitsu (1435–1516) and Komparu Zemp˘ (1454–ca. 1532), for example, and numerous articles on performance practices during the Edo period have revealed dimensions of noh that had remained largely unknown.

An important facet of this project of expanding the horizons of our understanding of noh has been the effort to introduce the treatises and plays of the actor, playwright, and theoretician Komparu Zenchiku (1405–?) to a broader audience. The publication of an annotated collection of Zenchiku’s treatises in 1969 opened up new ground in noh studies, much of which has yet to be explored.

This panel brings together for the first time three scholars who have written dissertations on Zenchiku, but with different views of his oeuvre. Nonetheless, a common theme runs through the three papers: the sense of difference, of Zenchiku as a thinker and dramatist with priorities that were radically different from our own, and even from predecessors such as his teacher Zeami. Approaching Zenchiku’s work requires a reserving of judgment that often results in a re-evaluation of the critical lenses through which we read philosophical and literary texts.

"Twilight That Shatters the Self": The Landscapes of Komparu Zenchiku

Paul S. Atkins, Montana State University

Like his contemporary Shinkei (1406–75), Zenchiku was involved in revising traditional attitudes toward landscape as part of a broader trend that spanned the Kamakura and Muromachi periods. In setting his noh plays, Zenchiku tended to reject the splendors of spring and mid-autumn for the austerities of winter and late fall. Works such as Bash˘, Teika, and Tatsuta, for example, present audiences with forlorn, withered landscapes that the texts themselves sometimes describe as monosugoki, or awe inspiring.

This tendency may be ascribed to a number of factors: historical (the age was one of political disorder and natural disasters); literary (earlier poems by, for example, Du Fu and Fujiwara Ietaka); artistic (the popularity of monochrome landscape painting); or philosophical (theories on the enlightenment of plants and trees advanced by Tendai Buddhist writers). These determinants coalesced in Zenchiku’s work, producing a distinctive view of the natural world.

In this paper I will elicit Zenchiku’s philosophy of landscape via passages from key plays and from his theoretical works. In particular, the phrase ichű no kei ("scenes in the mind"), which appears with significant differences in the treatises of both Zenchiku and Zeami, will serve as an index of what distinguishes Zenchiku’s view: a collapse in distinctions of subject and object; a conflation of the natural, human, and divine worlds.

Komparu Zenchiku, Meishukushű and the Invention of Tradition

Noel John Pinnnngton, University of Arizona

In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries sarugaku (later known as n˘) was a performance tradition with two functions. In the Nara temples to which sarugaku troupes were affiliated its primary role was ritual, but before the new military society in Kyoto, sarugaku had to entertain. This second role was developed by the youthful actors (tayu) of the Kanze troupe. The tayu usurped the prerogatives of the troupe elders (asa) in the process, and abridged the main ritual piece, Okina. The Kanze leaders, Kannami and Zeami, created an ideology of performance that had as its primary aim the delight of refined audiences. Nevertheless, in Zeami’s writings there are many glimpses of an older nexus of ideas, in which Okina is the central activity, and in which performers claim authority through descent from semi-divine figures, rather than through skill in performance. In Meishukushű, Komparu Zenchiku, in the generation after Zeami, attempted to reconstruct the older ideology, and thereby to return sarugaku to its spiritual roots. Anthropologists have hypothesized a model in which performance traditions oscillate between a set of aims that we might call dramatic or ritual. In Meishukushű we see the clearest statement of the ritual aims of sarugaku. Meishukushű opens a window on a performative stance otherwise obscured by the innovations of Kannami and Zeami.

Yuya and Shunkan: Author, Author!

Arthur Thornhill, University of Hawaii, Manoa

As a noh playwright, Komparu Zenchiku is best known for his mugen n˘ (spirit plays), written in the yugen style of his mentor Zeami. Such plays as Teika, Tamakazura and Y˘kihi exhibit the emotional depth and poetic virtuosity typical of this style, although sometimes at the expense of coherent characterization or unified dramatic structure. In recent years, several noh scholars have attributed to Zenchiku certain masterpieces of mugen n˘ traditionally thought to be Zeami works; examples include Nonomiya and Obasute. This has led to a reevaluation of Zenchiku’s talent as a playwright.

Not as widely studied, however, are Zenchiku’s genzaimono—plays that portray living persons. Firm attributions include Kog˘ and Senju, both of which feature female protagonists from the martial epic Heike monogatari. Recently two of the most popular Heike-derived genzaimono in the current noh repertoire, Yuya and Shunkan, have been presented as possible Zenchiku works. This paper will critique the views of Miyake Akiko and It˘ Masayoshi concerning the authorship of these plays. Relevant criteria include structural similarities to known Zenchiku works and recurring diction. In addition, thematic elements found in Yuya and Shunkan that also appear in Zenchiku’s theoretical treatises on the art of performance will be examined. At issue here is not simply the authorship of these famous plays, but also the tradition’s politicized predisposition to favor Zeami as the supreme master.


Session 96: Diversity and the Experience of Minorities and Foreigners in Japanese Schools: Towards a Multicultural Framework

Organizer: Ryoko Kato Tsuneyoshi, University of Tokyo

Chair: Gerald LeTendre, Pennsylvania State University

Discussant: Hidetaka Shimizu, Northern Illinois University

Japan has often been described as a relatively homogeneous country with a uniform educational system. In reality, diversity has long been present, and is becoming more visible as minorities and foreigners diversify and increase. This panel will focus upon the manifestations of diversity in Japanese education, focusing on three major minority/foreigner groups, analyzing their experiences and the changing context of schooling in Japan.

The first paper, by Professor Kaori Okano, will provide an overview of the changing composition of Japanese student bodies and the (latent) processes by which students from different social groups receive differential benefits from their schooling. Professor Okano’s discussion will draw from her research on the schooling of Koreans in Japan, Japan’s largest foreign minority, and one that has long challenged the assumption of homogeneity in Japan. Professor Sarane Boocock will describe a minority project being conducted jointly by Osaka and Rutgers University, and her field work in which she studied the difficulties experienced by Buraku children when they made the transition from a preschool based upon Dowa education principles to a "mainstream" elementary school. In the third paper, Professor Ryoko Tsuneyoshi will present findings from her research on the educational consequences of the "internal internationalization" of Japan in relation to the children of the "new" foreigners (e.g., foreign workers, Chinese returnees) who have entered Japan in increasing numbers since the 1980s. Faced with children who are unfamiliar with the Japanese language and culture, Japanese educators are being challenged to rethink education within a broader multicultural framework.

Diversity and Inequality of Schooling Experience: Third-Generation Koreans in Japan

Kaori H. Okano, La Trobe University

The paper presents an overview of how minority students experience, and gain from, schooling in contemporary Japan, and discusses the diversity of experiences in relation to social inequality. Special reference is made to third-generation Korean students.

The third-generation Korean high schoolers studied had each developed an understanding of being Korean, and accordingly made "rational decisions" about their post-school destinations. This involved each student in a consideration of his/her aspirations, preferences (emotional comfort), school record and Korean background, in order to gain what he/she determined to be a personally optimal outcome. Some chose jobs in Korean-friendly mainstream companies through the school’s employer network, while others opted for jobs in the ethnic community.

The paper argues that children from different social groups (including minority groups) make different uses of schooling. This is partly because children are not equally equipped with the resources (social, cultural and material) to respond positively to the school culture and curriculum. As well, different groups attach different meaning and value to the same schooling, which often affects crucial decision-making regarding participation in schooling and beyond. The paper suggests that the different meanings derive from a combination of: (1) children’s direct experience of schooling processes, (2) distinctive subcultures of social groups, and (3) the fact that the assumed link between schooling and employment varies between groups.

Cultural Deficits or Social Construction? Identifying the Educational Problems of Buraku Children in the Earliest Years of Schooling

Sarane S. Boocock, Rutgers University

This paper will examine the preschool experience and the transition to elementary school for Buraku children living in the Osaka area. Observation and interview data were gathered in educational facilities varying in: (a) proportion of Buraku children in the student body, and (b) extent to which curriculum and teaching incorporate the principles of Dowa education developed by scholars and activists to counter social discrimination.

Analysis of the data indicated that: (1) Preschools based upon Dowa educational principles placed relatively greater emphasis upon interpersonal relations (taijin kankei) and group life (shudan seikatsu) than non-Dowa preschools, which placed relatively greater emphasis upon school "readiness" (jumbi kyoiku). (2) However positive the effects of Dowa preschool programs, they did not seem to translate into academic success when their "graduates" moved into a "mainstream" elementary school where they constituted a minority group. (3) Comparison of elementary schools with differing proportions of Buraku students revealed substantial differences in curriculum, daily classroom routines, and teacher and student behavior. First graders in schools with high proportions of Buraku students tended to spend more class time on rote learning of numbers and hiragana (syllabic alphabet), less time in han (shared activities in small groups), than their counterparts in other schools, who were often reading whole sentences and acting out simple stories and where there was much less formal disciplining of students. (4) Interviews with teachers and staff revealed that many continue to hold lower expectations for Buraku children, and to attribute their lower achievements to "deficits" in Buraku family socialization.

The Newcomers in the Japanese Elementary School Classroom: "Internal Internationalization" and Japanese Education

Ryoko Kato Tsuneyoshi, University of Tokyo

This paper focuses on the so-called "newcomers" at the primary school level, placing them in the larger context of the diversification of Japanese society and education.

Especially since the ‘80s, Japan has experienced the influx of new types of foreigners, such as the foreign workers, refugees, and Chinese returnees. The new foreigners, especially the foreign workers, as compared to the Koreans and Chinese in Japan (the "oldcomers"), have often been referred to in the relevant literature as the "newcomers" (nyukama), a reflection of the internationalization of Japanese society. Such so-called "internal internationalization" (uchinaru kokusaika) of Japanese society has consequences for education. The children of the newcomers include those who do not speak the language of instruction (Japanese), and Japanese as a Second Language classrooms were organized in various localities. The latent assumptions of the Japanese school culture were challenged by children who were unfamiliar with Japanese ways.

The diversification of the "foreigners" has prompted a rediscovery of oldcomers and the adoption of a larger multicultural framework in some districts. Education for international understanding (kokusai rikai kyoiku) in Japan, often criticized for its Western bias and outward looking tendencies, is taking some steps towards rediscovering and discovering, in certain schools and localities, Japan’s Asian neighbors and Asians inside Japan.

The paper will outline this process of "internal internationalization" as it is occurring in Japanese society, and consider its implications for education. The analysis will be based upon several data sources, including the author’s investigations in schools with a concentration of newcomer children.


Session 97: Intertwining the Sacred and the Secular: The Social Dynamics of Religious Institutions in 19th–20th Century Japan

Organizer: Alexander Vesey, Princeton University

Chair and Discussant: Helen Hardacre, Harvard University

Keywords: Japan, social history, religion, Meiji, Tokugawa.

This panel seeks to reassess the relevance of Buddhist and Shugend˘ institutions and practices to our understanding of late-Tokugawa and Meiji Japanese society. In contrast to the extensive corpus of medieval studies which examine in detail the social, political, economic, and cultural importance of these religious communities, they have become marginalized topics in histories of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Japan. This indifference stems from many factors including the displacement of Buddhism and Shugendo by Nativisim and Confucianism in intellectual histories; the impact of the early Meiji religious policy on Japanese historiography; the secular nature of modernist visions of nineteenth-century Japan; and distinctions drawn between the academic fields of "history" and "religious studies."

While these religious communities were subject to increasingly stringent secular control over the course of the nineteenth century, personages affiliated with Buddhism and Shugend˘ never ceased to be integral elements in the fabric of Japanese daily life. Therefore, by drawing upon issues, tensions, events and people at work in Tokugawa and Meiji society, the papers will show how Buddhist and Shugend˘ clerics functioned as active social agents. Furthermore, this participation was often realized through complex interplay between religious and nonreligious entities and agendas which sometimes blurred social boundaries dividing sacred and secular institutions. By highlighting this interactivity between religious and lay figures, the panel seeks to foster a nexus for further discourse between secular and religious historical studies.

Death Rituals as a Field of Socio-Political Negotiation: The Public Authority and Funerary Buddhism in Late Tokugawa Japan

Nam-lin Hur, University of British Columbia

The Tokugawa shogunate and Buddhist institutions needed each other for survival. For the bakufu, the national polity of anti-Christianity that sustained its sovereign legitimacy could be fulfilled through the Buddhist apparatus of surveillance. For Buddhist temples, the shogunal reliance enabled them to establish the danka system and impose Buddhist death rituals upon the populace, thereby establishing a stable source of livelihood. However, while mutually reliant, the two often found themselves engaged in competition over the same resources of money, power, and social influence. Somewhere between interdependence and competition, solutions were sought through negotiation.

This paper explores the ways in which the secular public authority of the samurai and Buddhist temples came to terms over the social norm of Buddhist death rituals in late Tokugawa Japan. In negotiating, both maneuvered their own matrices of obligations and rights that were claimed and justified in diverse ways. The ruling samurai elite mobilized policies designed to control Buddhist institutions, criticized Buddhist degeneration, and made exhortations for good customs and manners. The Buddhist temples countered with their own claims to the "common sense" of Buddhist death rituals, the ethical values of ancestor worship for social stability, and the shield of imperial protection. Set against the ever changing environment of late Tokugawa society, the interplay between the shogunate and Buddhist institutions provides a good example for understanding "early modern" modes of sociopolitical interaction as they unfolded in the field of religion.

For Want of a Priest: Lay Custodianship of Vacant Village Temples in Late Tokugawa Japan

Alexander Vesey, Princeton University

This paper will examine the dynamics of sacred/secular interaction in early modern Japanese rural society through an analysis of lay participation in the process of Buddhist abbot succession. Under Tokugawa religious policy, the registration process which made parishioners of peasants fostered the integration of temples into village structures. Concurrently, stratification stipulated in the formal status system worked to keep priests and peasants apart socially and institutionally. Due to this combination of obligated interaction and separation, temples were within village boundaries, yet were "sacred" areas distinct from the surrounding secular villages, with the resident clerics often placed in a position of relative superiority over their peasant neighbors.

However, drawing upon 19th-century Tendai records detailing the mechanics of the succession of abbots found in rural temples, this paper will show how the normative social divisions between Buddhist institutions and surrounding villages could become fluid when abbots’ seats fell vacant. In particular it will argue that under such circumstances, peasant parishioners were not only active participants in the forefront of the search for new abbots, but they could and did function as temple custodians who exercised control over the nonritual aspects of temple management until the investiture of a new priest. By highlighting these aspects of lay involvement, the paper will discuss the degree and nature of clerical-lay integration, rather than opposition, in early modern rural communities.

Neither Peasant, Merchant, Artisan, nor Buddhist Priest: ďyama oshi in Early Modern Japan

Barbara Ambros, Harvard University

This paper examines to role of ďyama oshi, lay proselytizers associated with the mountain cult of ďyama, in Tokugawa society. As an ambiguous category of religious specialists, oshi have not received much scholarly attention, yet they present an important factor in premodern society since they or very close equivalents (village shugenja, hijiri) were found at many sacred sites that served as pilgrimage destinations, the most famous of which may be Ise. Just like their more famous cousins at Ise, the oshi of ďyama belonged to a group of religious specialists that eludes the distinctions of secular and sacred, lay and ordained. They stood outside the common occupational categories of samurai, peasant, artisan and merchant but were not ordained by any religious institution or sect. Yet they held licenses awarded by particular religious institutions confirming their privilege to administer a parish. Their activities are also difficult to categorize: they ranged from the performance of rituals such as healing rites and divination to running inns for pilgrims and the distribution of local products and medicines on their fund-raising rounds through the Kant˘ region. This paper elucidates the meaning and development of the term "oshi" by focusing on the example of the ďyama cult, a cult of regional importance in the area around Edo. It will further provide concrete examples of oshi activities throughout the year, both at the sacred sites and in the larger Kanto area.

Political Activism and the Temple: The Case of Nakanishi Gogen—Meiji Activist/Priest

Stephen Covell, Princeton University

There is a naive image, particularly in the West, of Buddhist temples as being places solely for austere religious practice; a world of robed monks chanting texts, or sitting in quiet contemplation. In contrast, many Japanese presently see them as family businesses; places of tax-free easy living, but no longer truly religious sites. These images, as conflicting as they may seem, both assume that Buddhist institutions should be primarily, if not exclusively, sites of religious practice. However, this assumption ignores the facts that temples have had other functions, and that religious practice has only rarely been limited to austerities. Temples have served as centers of local market economies, branch offices of local governments, social welfare centers, and staging grounds for political activities of every kind.

This paper explores the temple as a site of political activism at the end of the Meiji period. I examine the activities of one Tendai priest, Nakanishi Gogen, who resided in a temple outside Tokyo. An active supporter of the Freedom and People’s Rights Movement, Gogen founded a newspaper, and performed large scale memorial services for those who lost their lives in the movement. In order to improve the local economy, he also worked to introduce pig farming to nearby communities. Through this discussion of Gogen as priest, activist and reformer, the paper will assay the multi-dimensional nature of the Buddhist cleric’s place in modern Japanese society.


Session 98: Individual Papers: Transcending Genre, Transforming Conventions

Organizer and Chair: Edward Kamens, Yale University

Interrogating genbun itchi: Higuchi Ichiy˘’s First-Person Narratives

Timothy J. Van Compernolle, University of Michigan

Higuchi Ichiy˘ (1872–96) wrote two first-person narratives in her brief career—"Yuki no hi" (A Snowy Day, 1893), concerning a woman’s regrets over a hasty union with a man she loved, and "Kono ko" (This Child, 1896), which centers on a mother’s concern for her child. The narrator of the former uses a form of classical Japanese and demonstrates an intimate familiarity with traditional Japanese poetry, while the narrator of the latter uses a plain, undecorated colloquial Japanese. These two texts provide an ideal platform for interrogating current discussions of vernacular prose narratives (genbun itchi sh˘setsu) in Japan from the Meiji period (1868–1912). I will demonstrate that scholarship on genbun itchi fiction currently categorizes prose style as being vernacular or classical based on an unexamined privileging of narrative discourse over the discourse of characters within a story; that it makes the distinction between vernacular and classical prose based primarily on verbal inflections and copulas, which are grammatical entities that operate solely at the level of the sentence; and that the problematic distinction between these prose styles underwrites to a large degree the conceptualization of what constitutes the corpus of modern Japanese literature. Using the above two stories by Ichiy˘, I will demonstrate that the problem of literary style in Meiji fiction can be more fruitfully pursued by thinking about issues such as intertextuality and rhetorical devices that operate beyond the level of the individual sentence.

A Metamorphosis in Okinawan Fiction: The Works of Medoruma Shun

Davinder L. Bhowmik, University of Washington

In Medoruma Shun’s 1997 Akutagawa prize-winning short story "Suiteki" (tr. Water Droplets, 1998) protagonist Tokusho wakes one morning to find his leg swollen to the size of a summer gourd. Tokusho’s condition worsens as he discovers he is fully conscious yet unable to speak. To make matters worse, water begins to drip steadily from his big toe and, nightly, war-weary soldiers enter his bedroom to suck the toe greedily for water. From this Kafka-like opening, Medoruma spins a highly imaginative tale of suppressed wartime memories, individual guilt, and atonement.

In my paper I will follow the trajectory of Medoruma’s writing in three works beginning with his 1983 debut piece "Gy˘gunki" (Chronicle of Fish) which, with its motifs of sexual tension in rural adolescents, is reminiscent of ďe Kenzabur˘’s early fiction. In his 1986 "Heiwa D˘ri to Nazukerareta Machi o Aruite" (Walking on the Street Named Peace Avenue) Medoruma inserts unforgettable scenes of an Okinawan child spitting at the emperor and an elderly Okinawan woman smearing her feces on the emperor’s car. These anti-emperor scenes notwithstanding, the story is not so much political as it is a personal questioning of the fate of post-reversion Okinawa. Finally, in "Suiteki" I will argue that Medoruma has at once written an allegorical story of Okinawa’s tragic past and a humorous piece of contemporary international fiction, thereby transcending the confines of the genre of Okinawan fiction.

Socializing Intellect: Dutch Scholar ďtsuki Gentaku’s Study Journey

Terrence Jackson, Indiana University

This paper takes ďtsuki Gentaku’s trip to Nagasaki as a case example to discuss the social importance of study travel (yűgaku) for Edo period intellectuals. Gentaku was a central figure among scholars of Dutch studies (rangaku). Hoping to augment his knowledge, Gentaku left Edo in the fall of 1785 for Nagasaki where Dutch traders and their Japanese interpreters lived. En route, he called upon various acquaintances and conducted business for Gempaku and his Sendai lord, always exchanging information and ideas on Dutch learning. After several months of study, he was officially called back to Edo and his journey ended in late spring of 1786.

This type of study travel was a significant aspect of rangaku education, and has been treated as such by historians. However, it also played important social and communicative functions in the intellectual community. Yűgaku was one method that helped scholars to maintain existing social ties and establish new ones, creating networks that stretched across Japan. During his trip, Gentaku benefitted from his study in Nagasaki and the friendships he created, but he also helped keep the social contacts of his teachers and lords in good order by acting as their representative. In addition, the existing social network had created a system of "road patronage" which made his travel more financially manageable. Basing my research primarily on Gentaku’s diaries and the records of those he visited, I will address these issues.

The Red Hair Barbarian in the Japanese World Order: The Transformation of the Dutch Shogunal Audience

Kayoko Fujita, Leiden University

The members of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) were the only Europeans who were allowed to conduct trade in Japan throughout the Edo period. In exchange for the right to trade they were obliged to make an annual court journey to the shogunal capital Edo in order to pay homage to the shoguns and present gifts (since 1633; once per five years during 1790–1850). While in Edo a Dutch captain and his party generally had to attend three Confucian ceremonies in Edo castle: (1) omemie or the formal audience of the Shogun; (2) the informal audience with the Shogun, his family, and his servants; and (3) the farewell ceremony with the councilors.

These audiences to meet the Dutch "tributary" were one of the few expressions of the state of foreign relations in Tokugawa Japan. The form was often renewed and modified (e.g., posture and cloth of the Shogun, venue, and use of furniture such as bamboo blinds or paper screens).

Through examination of this ceremonial order we can see how the status of the Dutch changed with the emergence and transformation of the Japanese World Order and how the visionary self-centered external relations focused on the shogun as the ritual symbol. Comparing Dutch and Japanese records we will also see the difference between Dutch and Japanese interpretations of the polished theatrical ceremonies and the World Order.

The Making of Fűzokuga: The Paintings and the Art Historical Category

Susan Lee, University of Michigan

This paper examines the art historical term fűzokuga in its many aspects. Commonly translated as "genre painting," the category of fűzokuga encompasses a wide body of large-scale paintings produced in Japan roughly between the late sixteenth and the mid seventeenth centuries. These paintings commonly exhibit activities and places such as festivals, flower-viewing outings, and entertainment districts. As has been the case in the European-American context, these paintings of so-called "daily life" have been largely considered as the documentary records of a past social "reality." Deemed to be transparent in meaning—"they merely record what was," as the familiar argument goes—their subject matter has been dealt with predominantly by social and cultural historians in their attempts to reconstruct early modern Japan, their meanings rarely to be examined in depth by art historians.

This paper has two general aims: the first is to reconstruct the historical circumstances in which this art historical genre in Japan took form (a process which can be located in the institution of the discipline of art history in modern Japan and the employment of "art" as representative of a unique "Japanese" nation) and the other is to question how the formation of this genre impacted the ways in which the paintings subsumed under the category were interpreted. An additional objective is to start offering new ways in which this type of imagery (if, in fact, they do comprise a single type at all) can be analyzed, one which considers the contemporary viewing environment of the individual paintings and how meanings were produced and communicated in that larger, more complex social context.


Session 116: Other Worlds, Lost Worlds: Murakami Haruki’s Fictional Topographies

Organizer and Chair: Ila Goody, York University

Keywords: Murakami Haruki, contemporary Japanese fiction, "logic of the place"/basho no ronri, underground, liminal spaces, the lost furusato.

The papers in this panel will examine recent fictional and non-fictional works by Murakami Haruki in terms of their treatment of space, place and milieu. Although much recent criticism of Murakami in Japan and the West has focused primarily on his postmodernist narratological practices and his explorations of nihonjinron, this panel seeks to situate his deconstruction of modernity in a new way, in the context of the "logic of the place" (basho no ronri) made by both Japanese and Western critics of contemporary culture, such as Augustin Berque, Nakamura Yujiro, Okuno Takeo, Jinnai Hidenobu, and Michel de Certeau. By focusing on several complementary aspects of the ba or matrical field in Murakami’s writing—such as the underground, liminal spaces, the lost furusato—these papers explore distinct yet related perspectives on Murakami’s critique of contemporary Japan.

In their respective papers Susan Fisher and Naomi Matsuoka present complementary views of the topos of the underground. Susan Fisher examines the way in which throughout his oeuvre Murakami reshapes the Western trope of the descent into the underworld—both in its form of the Orphic descent as a drama of loss and mourning, and in the shape of Lucianic satire—in order to challenge the complacent materialism and pragmatism of contemporary Japan. Naomi Matsuoka focuses on Murakami’s stories in Underground (1997) of individual victims of the Aum sarin gas incident of 1995 as a way of exploring the deep inner contradictions within the Japanese social system that broke out into unprecedented terrorism. Susan Napier explores how metaphysical/physical voids, liminal spaces and fantasy-scapes in Dansu, dansu, dansu and Nejimakidori kuronikuru serve as a conduit to understanding and even salvation for the lost and abandoned characters in these texts. Ila Goody examines Kokky˘ no Minami, Taiy˘ no Nishi as a cultural allegory, exploring the loss and partial recovery of a sense of primal landscape (gen fűkei) through the narration of an evanescent romantic love, and comparing its use of the magical paraspace of eros with its mitate in Mizoguchi Kenji’s Ugetsu.

Orphic Obsessions: Descent to the Underworld in the Fiction of Murakami Haruki

Susan Fisher, University College of the Fraser Valley

The trope of the descent to the underworld has appeared with remarkable consistency in the fiction of Murakami Haruki. From his first novel, Kaze no uta o kike (1979), to his most recent major fiction Nejimakidori kuronikuru (1994–95), Murakami has created a number of "underworlds"—i.e., fantasy realms that lie beneath the surface of ordinary Japanese life. Whether figured as a labyrinthine hotel under Tokyo, an underground grotto inhabited by leeches and carnivorous amphibians, or even as the literal Tokyo underground where the sarin gas attacks occurred, the underworlds in Murakami’s fiction challenge the complacent materialism and pragmatism of contemporary Japan. On their various journeys to the underworld, his protagonists discover that there is another kind of truth, that things are not as they might seem on the surface. In Western classical literature, the journey to Hades served both high poetic purposes, as in the drama of loss and mourning embodied in the tale of Orpheus, and satirical ones, as in the Dialogues of Lucian. Similarly, Murakami makes the descent to the underworld at once a poignant demonstration of the truth that we will ultimately lose all that we love, and an opportunity for pointed satire on the evils and corruption of the modern state. In this paper, I examine how Murakami reshapes this venerable Western trope of the descent to the underworld in order to represent the dark side of contemporary Japan.

Murakami Haruki’s Underground

Naomi Matsuoka, Nihon University

With his first work of nonfiction, Underground (1997), Murakami Haruki presents us with the stories of individual victims of the Aum sarin gas incident of 1995 as a counter balance to the stories by the government, the police, and the media, and his purpose, he states, is to understand present-day Japan which faced such a fatal terrorist attack by the cult group. He maintains that, in order to understand the real Japan now, we must see both its surface and the "underground." In his afterword to the book, Murakami explains the title Underground as "the shadowy area of our inner self which we consciously and unconsciously avoid and eliminate from the phase of reality . . . and the darkness just beneath our feet, that is, the literal underground from which this unprecedented terrorism broke out in the form of a nightmare, and which revealed at the same time the contradiction and weakness our social system has contained deep inside."

As he also admits, "the place called ‘underground’" has been an important motif in his novels. In his more fictional works, it has been associated with social evil, the evil mind of each period in modern Japanese history, the heart of darkness of individuals, and yet it is a place where the protagonist must go down to find the truth and then return to more or less normal life. His predecessor Oe Kenzaburo has a similar inclination, which can be traced back to Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground through Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.

Wells, Hotel Rooms, and Other Black Holes: Liminal Spaces in the Fiction of Murakami Haruki

Susan J. Napier, University of Texas, Austin

Like many contemporary writers, both Western and Japanese, many of Murakami Haruki’s fictional writings take place in anonymous urban fantasy-scapes involving characters who interact in seemingly haphazard and alienating ways. What is distinctive about Murakami’s fiction, however, is that these fantasy-scapes are often paradoxically constructed to be both relentlessly anonymous and at the same time deeply personal; liminal spaces in which characters cross dichotomous boundaries between hope and despair, love and alienation, memory and forgetting, and even life and death: Ranging from ominous elevators to empty wells, these initially physical spaces ultimately become black holes of the mind, metaphysical voids in which some of Murakami’s most significant psychodramas are enacted.

Perhaps Murakami’s most meaningful liminal space, however, is the ultimate anonymity of the urban hotel room where, in Dansu dansu dansu (Dance, Dance, Dance, 1988), and Nejimakidori kuronikaru (The Wind Up Bird Chronicles, 1994–95), cataclysmic and fantastic events play out against backgrounds that are both impersonal and uncanny. This paper examines in particular the use of liminal space in Dansu, dansu, dansu and Nejimakidori kuronikaru in an attempt to explain how these paradoxical betwixt and between worlds serve as a conduit to understanding and even salvation on the part of characters who are themselves lost and abandoned. On the one hand, the paper suggests that these spaces serve as a resistance against the constructed nostalgic artifacts of contemporary Japan but at the same time the paper will attempt to demonstrate how they also function as fantastic pathways back to memory, trauma, and self-discovery on the deepest and most personal level.

From Primal Landscape to the Paraspaces of Supermodernity: The Buried Furusato in Murakami’s Kokky˘ n˘ Minami, Taiy˘ no Nishi

Ila Goody, York University

This paper will examine Murakami Haruki’s Kokky˘ no Minami (South of the Border, West of the Sun, 1992) as an allegorical exploration of the loss and partial recovery of a sense of primal cultural milieu/landscape (gen fűkei), presented through the surface narrative of an uncanny, evanescent romantic love. Set in the sterile de-landscaped paraspaces of late-20th-century Tokyo, Murakami’s story follows the narrator’s quest romance for the recovery of a childhood sweetheart who is also associated with a return to the archetype of the pre-urban maternal furusato, buried deep in the countryside, and the hero’s compromise after that nostalgic reunion, in both personal and cultural terms, is thwarted. The paper will compare this quest for a lost love and a primal landscape with other similar expressions throughout Murakami’s fiction, especially Sekai no owari to hÔdoboiruda wandÔrando (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, 1985) and Nejimakidori kuronikaru (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles, 1994–95). It will further situate and examine Murakami’s treatment of primal landscape and the desert-like paraspaces of contemporary Tokyo in the context of recent Japanese and Western theories of place-making and fűdosei, especially those of Okuno Takeo, Nakamura Yujiro, Augustin Berque, Maki Fumihiko, Jinnai Hidenobu, Michel de Certeau, and their employment of these theories in the deconstruction of modernity.

Finally, the paper will compare the temptation of Murakami’s protagonist in Kokky˘ no Minami by an enigmatic seductress in a magical alternate territory with an intertextual mitate—Genjuro’s interlude with Lady Wakasa in Mizoguchi Kenji’s film of Ugetsu—as a similar fragile resurrection of the feminine on the border between the world of the living and that of the dead; and through that mitate, and Mizoguchi’s of Ueda Akinari, will consider Murakami’s engagement with and transcendence of the fűdosei of his artistic tradition.


Session 117: He Said, She Said, They Said: How Questions of Identity Shape the Political Process in Japan

Organizer: Robin LeBlanc, Washington and Lee University

Chair: Peng Er Lam, National University of Singapore

Keywords: Japan, political consciousness, political participation, voters, gender identity.

In a poll that began in March 2000 and ran until after the June 25 elections for the Japanese House of Representatives, the Asahi Shinbun traced shifting party loyalties among the same panel of respondents. "The voters are changing the parties they support in a dizzying fashion," wrote the survey authors. While elites in the Japanese political system persevere in long-familiar power arrangements, the citizenry we once assumed were complacent spectators are bubbling—with fractured loyalty and indecision at the very least. The Asahi Shinbun panel survey can tell us that much. It cannot tell us why the voters are so profoundly uneasy; nor can it tell us along what lines they might be prone to organize themselves again.

This panel addresses the important and difficult issue of political identity among Japanese citizens today by looking beyond surface-level indicators of voter unease to the deeper structures of contemporary citizen consciousness. Ranging from Okinawa to Tokyo in regional coverage and employing both ethnographic methods and quantitative analysis of survey research, the panelists will engage in a thought-provoking discussion of the sources of political identity. In doing so, panelists will examine how gender, historical memory, and current issues affect political consciousness and behavior. Moreover, the diversity of the panelists’ approaches to their subject matter will allow rich discussion on the connection between research methodology and the scholar’s perception of political life.

U.S. Bases in Okinawa and the Problem of Local Memories in the Age of Globalization

Masamichi S. Inoue, University of Kentucky

Okinawa is divided as to the Japanese and U.S. governments’ joint proposal to remove Futenma Air Station in congested central Okinawa, a proposal that is made conditional on the construction of a new base on the coastline of sparsely populated northeastern Okinawa—Henoko in Nago City. On the one hand, a broad conservative sector cooperates with Tokyo in justifying the U.S. military presence, for which Okinawa is to receive massive economic compensation. On the other hand, the Henoko/Nago-based, island-wide anti-base coalition demands the unconditional return of Futenma in light of peace, environment and democracy.

Behind this political division, one sees an ideological struggle concerning the status of local history. Against the background of the advent of affluent Okinawan society with enormous generational, regional, class and gender differences, some Okinawan intellectuals propose to "overcome" memories of violence Japan and the U.S. did to Okinawa (e.g., the Battle of Okinawa [1945], the U.S. military control of Okinawa [1945–1972]), in order to move Okinawa forward as a "normal" prefecture committed to the future of Japan in the world. Others, however, emphasize precisely such memories to construct Okinawa as a critical domain within and against Japan, a nation-state subservient to the U.S.-centered world order.

Based on my fieldwork in Henoko/Nago, this paper examines the political-ideological division in Okinawa as to the U.S. military, a division that is simultaneously local, national, and global in implication. Specifically, it explores Okinawa’s struggle to constitute its political unity grounded in collective memories that also embrace present diversity.

Ordinary Political Masculinity: How Ethics of Manhood Constrain the Political Participation of Japanese Men

Robin LeBlanc, Washington and Lee University

Students of gender in Japanese politics are making us more knowledgeable about how gender identities shape women’s encounters with politics. Through studies of the barriers to women’s entry into politics, we are more conscious than ever before of masculine dominance in spheres of politics from the National Assembly to local party branches. Yet, when we turn from the problem of women’s political power to study instead how political arenas operate, men as men become invisible to us. In scholarly practice, "gender" has been a category for explaining the political life of women while political men have remained gender neutral.

This paper thus addresses the curious invisibility of men qua men in the study of politics by investigating how an ethics of masculinity constrains the terms on which Japanese men engage in local elections politics in a Tokyo ward and a rural town. I trace the subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle ways in which masculinity binds male political activists together and examine why men’s attachment to codes of masculinity often encourages them to support political structures in which their own voices are muted. I also examine how men can use gendered strategies to justify resistance to established, male-dominant power structures and discuss the consequences of making gender a visible aspect of the male political world.

Issue Voting in House of Representatives Elections, 1972–1996

Gill Steel, University of Chicago

Using the Akarui Senkyo Suishin Kyookai surveys, this paper analyzes the impact of opinions on policy issues on the vote choice of women and men in House of Representatives Elections from 1972 to 1996. The received wisdom in Japanese politics is that issues are of very little importance in general elections. I argue that although the impact of issues is not consistent, the salience of issues fluctuates, and opinions on issues can influence the vote choice. Furthermore, I demonstrate that issues that are often labeled "women’s issues" have no special relevance for women. Women (and men) are not homogeneous groups, and their opinions and vote choice reflect the complexity of identity.


Session 118: Between Ideology and Practice: The Construction of Female Gender in Tokugawa Japan

Organizer: Elizabeth A. Leicester, University of California, Los Angeles

Chair: Kate Nakai, Sophia University

Discussants: Susan L. Burns, University of Texas, Austin; Anne Walthall, University of California, Irvine

Keywords: women, gender, Japan, Tokugawa.

The idea of "woman" in Tokugawa Japan was not static but was multiple and contingent upon the status, identity, and ideological position of both the women in question and those who discussed them. The three cases of philosophical debate examined in this panel—reproductive bodies as seen in seventeenth century obstetrics texts; lower class, sexually commodified prostitutes; and women as gendered through the writings of an upper-class bushi woman—reveal how ideology was embedded in discourses about women, but that ideological constructions of women were perpetually belied and contested in practice. By offering a gendered perspective of ideology, and engaging questions of practice in different quarters of female experience, this panel aims to challenge traditional perceptions of Tokugawa women, and interrogate the meanings of gender in Tokugawa discourse itself.

Yuki Terazawa argues that seventeenth-century Chinese medical discourses of obstetrics were deployed to construct new notions of identity and prestige for Japanese physicians, with the result that the conception and treatment of the female body underwent changes. Elizabeth Leicester examines the writings of political economy scholar Kaiho Seiryo in the context of a debate on prostitution in early nineteenth century Kanazawa to show how female status and sexuality were ideologically constructed and contested in theory, but that this discourse had ramifications in practice as well with the establishment of a licensed prostitution quarter. Bettina Gramlich-Oka introduces the philosophical writings of Tadano Makuzu, who addresses the topics of sex, gender and power, showing how the idea of "woman" was defined by an early nineteenth-century warrior-class woman.

The Medicalization of the Female Reproductive Body in Late-Seventeenth-Century Japan as Seen through Childbirth Manuals

Yuki Terazawa, University of California, Los Angeles

In this paper I explore the medicalization of the female body by Chinese medical theories through an examination of childbirth manuals in late-seventeenth-century Japan. Contrary to obstetrics methods from the latter half of the eighteenth century, the earlier medical discourse derived from medical methods that had been adopted from China beginning in the fifteenth century and gained orthodoxy in the seventeenth century. In Katsuki Gyuzan’s Fujin Kotobukigusa ("A Book on the Woman’s Auspicious Event," 1692), the physician interpreted the bodily process by the Yin Yang Five Phases theory and attempted to maintain the body’s health by ascertaining adequate circulation of Ch’i, Blood, and other types of bodily fluid. My investigation concerns the consequences of transplanting such medical theories to Tokugawa Japan. I suggest that because of orthodox Chinese medical theories’ proximity to the doctrines of Song Confucianism, Japanese physicians could conflate medical advice with moral guidance to reinforce their authority to confront the widespread view of medicine as a lowly and mercenary profession. For educated and ambitious, but relatively low class Tokugawa physicians, the medicalization of the female reproductive body was one way in which they could expand their power to obtain higher status and wealth.

The Politics of Prostitution in Early-19th-Century Kanazawa

Elizabeth A. Leicester, University of California, Los Angeles

This paper examines a debate surrounding the 1820 establishment of a licensed prostitution quarter in the city of Kanazawa in order to reveal how the bodies and sexuality of poor and underclass women were ideologically constructed and used by different sectors of society to buttress their own economic, political, and social interests. Using an essay called "Discussion of Prostitutes" (Shosetsu, pub. 1825) by Kaiho Seiryo, the Confucian scholar of political economy, I examine Seiryo’s conception of prostitution and sexuality in relation to his theories of the "Way" of his day and the drive for profit. This essay was published in Kanazawa, where Seiryo had served the daimyo from 1805–6, and has been used by scholars to demonstrate Seiryo’s quest for intellectual autonomy, as he compares himself to "prostitutes and beggars." However, when it is juxtaposed with a moralist stance of local elites against the establishment of a brothel quarter, outlined in an 1818 merchant’s diary, Seiryo’s laissez-faire economic theories can be recast as a polemic in favor of government control. The dispute over the character and needs of prostitutes indicates a power dynamic wherein the government, hurting for money, sought to compete with the merchant class by monopolizing the brothel trade. Conversely, the wealthy rural elite sought to elevate its own position by adopting a moralist stance against the plan. In between, the lives and working conditions of prostitutes themselves were transformed.

Sex and the Body in the Writings of Tadano Makuzu (1763–1825)

Bettina Gramlich-Oka, University of Tubingen

This paper introduces Tadano Makuzu as a woman intellectual of the late Tokugawa period through her essay Hitori Kangae (Solitary Thoughts, 1819). This essay is notable for an extremely rare, but powerful presentation of a woman’s voice that articulates her views on ongoing intellectual debates. Being a female witness to times of political and economical discord, Makuzu takes an unorthodox approach to discern the reason for these conditions. By drawing on her eclectic knowledge of foreign countries, Western science, and nativism she concludes that this world of disorder is caused by the wrongful struggle for superiority, as shown in the sexual relations between man and woman, and analogously in the economic relations between commoners and warriors.

In an attempt to publish her work, Makuzu sent out a copy of her manuscript to the famous Edo author Takizawa Bakin (1767–1848) for his comments and help. Bakin, however, challenged by her provocative views, wrote a painstaking critique, called Dokkoron (Discourse on Solitary Thoughts, 1819) that he meant only to be read by her. Although her essay was not published in her lifetime, Bakin’s critical response enables us to position Makuzu’s notions within the contemporary intellectual world. Furthermore, the reading of both texts gives us the opportunity to witness a debate between the sexes on notions of gender in the late Tokugawa period.


Session 119: Individual Papers: Manhood, Motherhood, and the Representation of Defeat in Japanese Society

Organizer and Chair: Rebecca Copeland, Washington University

The People Will Not Be Cheated: Mass Circulation Newspapers and Japan’s Siberian Expedition

Paul E. Dunscomb, University of Kansas

Copious anecdotal evidence exists to demonstrate that Japan’s occupation of Siberia (1918–1922) suffered strong domestic opposition. Yet no scholar has analyzed exactly what forms this opposition took. One significant area of ambivalence and even hostility to the intervention was in mass circulation newspapers. The centerpiece of a vigorous public political sphere, these dailies served as both forum and molder of public opinion. Their opposition to Siberia is noteworthy, as these papers had built their high circulations by earlier reflecting the demands of Japan’s urban masses for "strong" (i.e., militaristic) foreign policy.

Criticism of the government’s Siberian policy was a convenient stick to beat those in power and promote political change. This was a time-tested strategy. But the international situation at the end of World War I prompted changes in media rhetoric reflecting new thinking among Japanese on imperialism and modern political institutions. Whereas previous government "stupidity" had been responsible for failing to secure Japan’s continental interests, the papers castigated the "inept" Siberian policy of the cabinet for alienating Japan’s allies and the Russian people. Editorialists condemned the government’s failure to respect "the will of the people" by not bringing the troops home and called for "responsible government," universal suffrage and a tighter rein on army activities as correctives.

This opposition represented a challenge to the dominant paradigm of thought on Japan’s role in the world and as an imperial power. By following the course of its development we can learn much about the evolution and demise of "imperial democracy."

"For Our Bright Future": Japanese Children and Representations of War and Defeat, January 1945–January 1946

Owen Griffiths, San Diego State University

This paper analyses how Japan’s print media represented war and defeat to children throughout 1945 by tracing the changes in content and language in the two most popular children’s magazines of the period: Shonen kurabu (Boys Club) and Shojo kurabu (Girls Club). Japan’s era of war, defeat, and occupation is one of the most dynamic in its history and one in which children are central because they later became the factory workers and salaried men and women upon whose shoulders the so-called "economic miracle" was built. Utilizing serialized literature, instructional articles, children’s letters to the editor, and artwork, I focus on how the concept of "sacrifice for the sake of the nation" (waga kuni no tame ni gisei) shifted from sacrifice for victory in war to sacrifice for reconstruction in defeat and how children responded to this change. Here, analyzing the gendered nature of these representations is significant because it provides a means of assessing the degree to which they helped to define the roles of boys and girls in war and defeat. Finally, using images constructed in the print media under two different forms of censorship—Japanese and American—also allows me to explore the role of the media itself in creating a public forum where such concepts as nationalism and democracy were discussed. This project makes a valuable contribution to the history of Japan’s "dark valley" and also offers important comparative possibilities for examining the role of the media and the state in the socialization of children.

The Wages of Masculinity: Building a Working-Class Manhood in Postwar Japan

Christopher Gerteis, University of Iowa

This talk traces how the labor press during the 1950s constructed the militant family man as the ideal image of working-class manhood. I will narrate how union activists portrayed the separate-but-equal roles men and women played in the political struggles of the day. I will also illustrate my findings with a selection of cartoons and sketches that reveal how notions of gender were used to propagate labor’s political message in working-class manga—a particularly significant form of graphic art in Japan.

Both male and female union activists constructed a particular image of manhood out of their interpretation of the way working-class men experienced the betrayal of defeat, the humiliation of surrender, and the broken promises of American occupation. Labor publications such as S˘hy˘ Shimbun, Gekkan S˘hy˘, Kokutetsu Bunka, and Gekkan Tanr˘ were the organs primarily responsible for constructing and propagating a social-realist ideal of manhood that dominated the labor press during the 1950s and 1960s. The initial purpose was to kill the lingering humiliation of defeat while simultaneously promoting the political economic agenda of the labor union. What resulted, however, was the construction of a labor movement premised on the ideal of a male-centered family-wage economy. The family wage economy won by militant labor arose in part out of the ideal of manhood they had propagated. Perhaps unintentionally, their attempt to build an ideal of working-class manhood had also concealed the existence of millions of wage-earning women union members.

Ex-Wives, Activist Mothers: A View of the Family System from the Single Mothers’ Movement in Tokyo

Linda E. White, University of Colorado, Boulder

The rate of single mother households hovers around 30 percent in the United States, while no more than 1 percent of Japanese households are headed by a single mother. The low rate of single mother households raises interesting questions about the meaning of such families in Japan and the pressures in society that keep families together. In Japan, boshi katei (mother-child households) are considered pitiable, if not disgraceful, for they lack what legally defines family, a father. A woman abandoned by the father of her child, like a mistress or concubine of the Meiji period, is a great source of shame to her natal family. Divorce is even worse. Perseverance and humility are highly valued characteristics for both men and women in Japan, and thus a woman who tolerates a difficult husband shows more character than one who allows a relationship with a legal husband to end. This paper, based on ethnographic research, examines a small group of women in the Tokyo area whose politics develops from their positions and status as mothers and non-wives. Members of the group, Shinguru Mazaazu Foramu (Single Mothers’ Forum), by their anomalous position in society, highlight normative structures and expectations of husbands and wives, mothers and fathers. They provide a new way to think about the Meiji period ideology "good wives, wise mothers," exposing contradictions in the Japanese family system that relies symbolically on fathers and practically on the devotion and dependability of mothers.

Constructions of Single Motherhood in Contemporary Japan

Aya E. Ezawa, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Like in other countries, divorced and unmarried single mothers are attracting increasing attention in Japan. Also in Japan, the increase of divorce and to a limited extent unmarried mothers has raised familiar debates about changing family values. However, other aspects of single motherhood in Japan seem quite different: rather than myths of "welfare queens," for instance, single mothers have made headlines because of cases of starvation, highlighting the extreme end of their social and economic exclusion. What is the meaning of single motherhood in Japan? And how is the situation of single mothers in Japan different from other countries?

In this paper, I explore these questions by investigating factors in society, the economy, and social policy which influence their situation, as well as single mothers’ own perspectives on raising children as a single parent in Japan. Based on life history interviews and other materials collected during my fieldwork in Japan, I describe issues in their everyday life which differentiate their experience from that of other mothers, and examine single mothers’ own perspectives and strategies to come to terms with their situation. In doing so, I hope to contribute to an understanding of the characteristics of marginality and exclusion experienced by single mothers in Japan, as well as single mothers’ own constructions of single motherhood in contemporary Japan.


Session 138: What’s Wrong with Japanese Women: Positionality and the Language of Rescue

Organizer: Jan Bardsley, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Chair: Linda Angst, Lewis and Clark College

Discussant: Laura Miller, Loyola University of Chicago

The popularity of books such as Memoirs of a Geisha, Accidental Office Lady, and Onna Rashiku demonstrate that the narrative of the oppressed Japanese woman needing rescue by the liberated West remains alive and well in contemporary media culture. By examining three different and contentious moments in the life of this narrative, this panel aims to highlight its key assumptions and explore its rhetorical moves. Jan Bardsley’s paper considers the occupation years of 1949–1950 when the proposal of a reversal to this narrative—that the Japanese woman rescue her American counterpart—excited a flurry of angry letters to the Nippon Times. Hiroko Hirakawa’s paper takes the panel fifty years ahead to 1999 when the rescuing liberationist now becomes the Japanese woman living in the West, the progressive woman who can save her sisters back home. Ryuko Kubota’s analysis of the book Onna Rashiku (Like a Woman): The Diary of a Language Learner in Japan points to the way essentialist ideas of language and culture animate the narrative once again, positioning yet another Western woman as able and willing to rescue oppressed Japanese. Discussant Laura Miller comments on these three papers, paving the way for conversations among the panelists and the audience. We will devote ample time to this last segment of the panel, inviting audience participation in a discussion of how to devise rhetorical strategies that might overcome the language of rescue while simultaneously encouraging cross-cultural feminist critique.

Mrs. Mogi’s Letter: How to Educate the Occupationnaire

Jan Bardsley, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

In December of 1949, controversy erupted in Tokyo when the Nippon Times published a letter from Mrs. Teru Mogi about her unhappy visit to the home of her neighbor, an American woman whose husband was stationed in Japan with the occupation forces. Although impressed with the material splendor of the woman’s home, Mrs. Mogi felt disappointed in her neighbor’s lack of intellect and the corresponding dullness of her conversation. The experience prompted Mrs. Mogi to write a letter to Pearl Buck recommending that American women take spiritual lessons from the Japanese just as the Japanese were learning about democracy and technology from the U.S. Not only did Pearl Buck write back to Mrs. Mogi expressing sympathy for her views, but she also had three other prominent American women, including Eleanor Roosevelt, pen their own responses. These four responses were published together with Mrs. Mogi’s letter in the Nippon Times, and by themselves in Asahi Shimbun. Reader reaction to Mrs. Mogi, especially in the Nippon Times, was swift, contentious, and voluminous, involving Japanese, American and European women and men. In fact, the controversy drew the greatest reader response the Nippon Times had experienced in its entire fifty-year history. This paper analyzes how the original letters in this controversy and reader reaction to them frame the early postwar relationship of Japanese, American, and European women. Learning emerges as an important value, but the questions of who teaches whom, and what needs to be learned generate acrimonious debate.

Do Japanese Women Spoil Men? Igniting Debate Online

Hiroko Hirakawa, Guilford College

When the Japanese media focuses on women, this attention frequently entails emotionally charged debates about Japan’s national identity. Conservative male commentators lament the loss of traditional virtues among Japanese women, ascribing this alleged loss to negative influences from the West. In contrast, female critics celebrate the same so-called Western influences as liberating, criticizing the Japanese male as hopelessly mired in tradition. Does this media gender battle have relevance to the lives of women themselves? How do individual women experience the discursive parameters of this battle? This paper attempts to answer these questions by examining a debate that appeared in the online site, "From Women 532 (Josei-hatsu 532)," the site maintained by Asahi Shimbun. In 1999, a Japanese woman then living in Canada contributed a letter to the "Letters from Readers" section on this site. She talked about how upset she became when a male visitor from Japan expected her to cook and do laundry for him during his one-week stay. She blamed his dependency on the women back in Japan who apparently pampered him, demanding to know, "Why do Japanese women spoil men?" Her letter provoked many responses from readers, inciting heated debate. The vast majority of the respondents were women, many of whom were living overseas. Examining the diverse range of terms and images employed in this debate, I explore how and why this question hit a raw nerve for so many women.

Resisting and Rescuing the Other through Learning the Other’s Language: A Critical Reading of Onna Rashiku (Like a Woman)

Ryuko Kubota, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

A number of native speakers of English from the U.S. and other countries teach English in Japan. Many of these teachers either formally or informally learn the Japanese language. While language learning is often seen as merely learning to manipulate language forms, it is intricately related to sociocultural assumptions that influence how the learner interprets one’s own learning experiences as well as the language and culture of the Self and the Other. Language learning is indeed implicated in various discourses, producing and legitimating unequal relations of power. An example demonstrating this complexity of language learning is Karen Ogulnick’s book, Onna Rashiku (Like a Woman): The Diary of a Language Learner in Japan. This book describes an American female English teacher’s experiences of learning Japanese from her Japanese friends and acquaintances. Despite the acclamation that this book bridges theories of feminism and second language acquisition, the book problematically constructs the Japanese language, culture and people as the exotic and inferior Other, and the American author as a liberated woman resisting cultural practices that she perceives as oppressive. This assumption places the author in the position of needing to rescue oppressed Japanese women. The discursive construction of such images of Japanese language, culture, men and women is also observed in other literary and academic works featuring gender and culture, perpetuating essentialized cultural images. This paper will critically examine discourses operating behind this book and explore how they affect the author’s construction of subjectivity and the language learning process.


Session 139: Constructing History: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Institutionalization of War Memories in Japan and Its Consequences

Organizer: Steven Benfell, Western Michigan University

Chair: Theodore F. Cook, Jr., William Paterson University of New Jersey

Discussant: Laura Hein, Northwestern University

Keywords: war memories, Japan, postwar, sociology, political science, history.

Fifty-five years after surrender, the memory and interpretation of World War II continue to loom large in academic, social, and political discourse in Japan. The mainstream press closely follows this debate, and rhetoric about the past figures prominently in domestic politics, with important consequences for relations between Japan and its neighbors. In this panel, scholars from the disciplines of history, sociology, and political science examine the institutional construction of war memories and its consequences from differing disciplinary and analytical perspectives, with Laura Hein’s discussion tying together these strands. The papers provide a chronological examination of the institutionalization of war memories from wartime propaganda on to postwar policy making, through the consequences of this institutionalization for international relations. R. W. Purdy’s historical study of wartime propaganda films suggests that depictions of the war as a struggle for the "liberation" of "Greater East Asia" influenced the memories of Japanese exposed to such indoctrination. Julian Dierkes’s sociological analysis of educational policies examines the "institutional history of war memories" in a specific policy arena, while Steven Benfell’s study emphasizes the more general effects of political contestation and institutional construction in the early postwar years in setting the parameters of subsequent competition over war memories. Finally, Yinan He examines the international dimensions of war memories in Japan’s relations with China and Korea. Taken together, these papers provide a coherent narrative of the development of war memories and their effects on contemporary Japanese politics.

Projecting East Asia: Japanese Wartime Newsreel Depictions of Daitoa

R. W. Purdy, John Carroll University

In order to justify aggression, Japan portrayed its East Asian war as one of liberation for the peoples of Greater East Asia (Daitoa). Through the examination of Japanese wartime newsreels produced by Nihon Eiga-sha, this paper discusses how these films promoted the idea of a Daitoa under Japanese tutelage and how after the war these same newsreel images may have colored a national memory for Japan which often seems to clash with the memories of other nations involved in the Pacific War.

This paper explores three major issues. First, what were the newsreel images of Daitoa and liberation, and how do they compare with the wartime and imperialist propaganda of other nations? Second, what did the newsreels portray as the ultimate role of East Asia’s non-Japanese population? Rather than suggesting Japanese cultural exclusiveness, the newsreels show East Asians both willing and able to become Japanese. Finally, how did these newsreel stories contribute to Japan’s national memory of the war? Memories, both national and personal, are not the product of rational examination and authentication of events, but a montage of recollections prioritized by their impact on the individual and group. Thus, images of Japan’s liberation of East Asian people mixed with the suffering Japan endured during the Pacific War produce a distinct national memory.

The Early Postwar Institutionalization of War Memories in Japanese Educational Policies

Julian B. Dierkes, Princeton University

In the 1980s and 90s the Japanese political establishment (mainly the Mombusho and the LDP) have been criticized for their lack of acknowledgment in educational policies of atrocities committed by Japanese troops throughout Asia. Although characteristics of the Mombusho bureaucracy and the LDP leadership are commonly used to explain the one-sidedness of portrayals of the war, such accounts neglect the institutional history of war memories in educational policy.

In this paper, I examine the initial postwar institutionalization of war memories in educational policy through 1955. Obviously, the U.S. authorities played a role in this institutionalization, but Japanese actors were also involved and took countervailing positions. While the Mombusho was charged with the implementation of the directives on educational policy issued by SCAP, the Japanese teachers’ union (Nikkyoso) participated in policy making at the time. I examine discussions about the treatment of the war in educational policies among bureaucrats, politicians, and educators in order to shed light on the baseline from which latter historical narratives especially in history education were developed. Whereas information about the positions of the Ministry and of political parties is fairly readily accessible, I have used issues of the teacher’s union newspaper to establish the positions taken by the union and by educators in general. Based on my analysis, I conclude that the early institutionalization of war memories was much more contested than one would expect from subsequent developments, both between major actors and even within such seemingly monolithic actors as the Mombusho.

Selective Memories: Politics, Institutions, and War Memories in Postwar Japan

Steven Benfell, Western Michigan University

Drawing on theories of national identity, political culture, and the public construction of history and memory, this paper examines how the memory of war was institutionalized in Japan, following the end of World War II. I argue that Occupation officials and Japanese elites consciously reinterpreted history to support larger political projects. Moreover, these elites constructed or adapted institutions (the "symbol emperor system," centralized educational system, "official" commemoration ceremonies, etc.) that would propagate and legitimize their particular conceptions of history. Further, opposition groups and other "non-elite" actors entered political discourse on war memories, often constructing or reinterpreting their own institutions (private or quasi-public museums, alternative commemorations, interest organizations, etc.) to support and propagate their points of view. As a result, specific interpretations of history were closely tied with hotly contested issues of national identity and purpose, and history was highly politicized, with concessions granted at the symbolic level of memory seen as devastating political defeats. Therefore, the Japanese case illustrates the close connection between historical interpretation and political legitimacy. And it suggests the power of institutionalized memories to frame political discourse and influence the outcome of political competition.

Politicization of History-Making and Interstate Reconciliation in Asia

Yinan He, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

How ideational factors affect international relations is one of the most bewildering puzzles for political scientists. This study offers a partial answer by exploring the causal mechanisms with which memories of past conflict, an important ideational phenomenon, impact the reconciliation process between former enemy states.

Having surveyed two dyadic relationships in the postwar era, Japan-China and Japan-South Korea, this paper shows that their traumatic bilateral history has never been addressed with depth (an unambiguous apology and substantial compensation), honesty (respect for historical facts), or cooperative spirit (historians’ dialogues).

Instead, history-making in each dyad has been motivated by certain practical interests emerging from domestic and international political contexts. When mutual needs such as promoting economic interests, attaining domestic political legitimacy, or addressing international alignment concerns (avoiding abandonment or securing autonomy) arose, states tended to push the history issue aside. They deliberately overlooked it, or sidelined it, or pretended that it had been satisfactorily resolved through very superficial means. Once these mutual needs dissolved under new circumstances, acrimonious disputes over the traumatic past would resurface. In practice, these new circumstances were often accompanied by the rediscovering of the political utility of the history issue at home and abroad. Consequently, the once amicable diplomatic relationship that was built upon political convenience was sent into crisis.

Therefore, politically manipulated history-making behaviors have posed grave challenges to cementing long-term diplomatic and public closeness, the two elements for obtaining deep reconciliation. Only by actively addressing historiographic problems without raising them in a tactical, politically motivated matter can these two dyadic relationships become deeply reconciled.


Session 140: The Politics of Voice: Orality and the Invention of Tradition in Premodern Japanese Performing Arts

Organizer: Lorinda Robertson Kiyama, Stanford University

Chair: Thomas William Hare, Stanford University

Discussant: Susan Matisoff, University of California, Berkeley

Keywords: Japan, premodern, performing arts.

Power and impermanence infused the voices of premodern Japan—chanting, preaching, praying, narrating voices. Though ephemeral, oral expression and its keepers are hardly lost to the historical record. From the perspectives of musicology, literature, and religious studies, our panel gives utterance to bygone voices.

Starting in the Heian period and advancing through the Edo, we offer four views, or hearings, of the human voice in acts of piety, persuasion, and performance. Nelson analyzes methods of intoning Buddhist ritual texts, or koshiki. He argues that improvisation in koshiki performance closely resembles techniques of heike biwa narration. Focusing on the political and religious activities of the Agui, Kiyama depicts the point at which performative preachers (shodoshi) began to write about themselves and their art. Squires and Oyler expand on the themes of self-identification, patronage, and the uses of writing among artists of the voice. Squires detects mythic structure in the kowaka-mai piece "Yuriwaka Daijin" at the levels of music, narrative, social function, and ideology. Oyler, too, finds patterned mythic narrative in the founding legends of biwa hoshi guilds. Biwa hoshi lineages exhibit features of oral tradition that resonate with the "histories" of other artisan groups and of the Tokugawa shogunate.

Our panel explores the strategies performing artists developed to preserve sound, their positions in society, and the cultural heritage they bore. We aim at a more accurate understanding of what voice, as experienced and as theorized, meant in premodern Japan.

Improvisatory Vocal Realization of Written Texts in Early Medieval Japan: Kooshiki Lecture-Ritual Performance and Narration of the Tale of the Heike

Steven G. Nelson, Kyoto City University of Arts

The word kooshiki refers to both a lecture- or sermon-centered ritual structure that developed during Heian-period Japan, and the texts composed for narration as the central lecture/sermon within that ritual structure. The first kooshiki texts were born in the context of belief in the Pure Land or Western Paradise of Amitabha, and the early kooshiki which became the model for later versions is the Oojoo kooshiki (Lecture on Rebirth in the Pure Land) of Yookan (or Eikan, 1033–1111), thought to have been written in ca. 1079.

Although some hundreds of kooshiki are known to have been composed, only a handful are performed today, in rituals of the Tendai, Shingon and other Japanese Buddhist sects.

Despite a common origin, the realizations of the different sects as heard today have evolved so far apart from each other as to appear unrelated. In this paper, I argue that there was originally a standard method for vocal realization of kooshiki texts involving the planned yet improvisatory manipulation of fixed melodic formulae, and that an elaborated version of this is to be seen not in the modern performance practice of kooshiki, but rather in that of heike biwa, the narration of the Tale of the Heike to the accompaniment of the biwa lute. This supposition is based on a close reading of relevant sections of Shiki hossoku yooi no joojoo, a miscellaneous collection on aspects of kooshiki performance drafted by musician Fujiwara no Takamichi (1166–1237) in the late twelfth century.

Primers on Preaching: Inventing the Way of Shodo

Lorinda Robertson Kiyama, Stanford University

Neither preaching nor performance was new to Japan at the close of the twelfth century. But shodo, the way or path of performative preaching, was. The term shodo, literally "chant-guide," is ubiquitous in discussions of ritual and narrativity in premodern Japan. This paper unpacks the word and the phenomenon by illuminating the point at which performative preachers began boldly to write about speech, and about themselves.

I start by sketching skilled sermonizers and the rhetoric of voice in the Heian period. This serves as background from which the Agui lineage of scholar-monk-artists erupted in the late twelfth century. The Agui were political and religious chameleons, clever writers known for their vocal presentation. Their extraordinary capacity for mediation is apparent in the kinds of services they held, their relationships with patrons, and their topics of evangelizing. I discuss their and their audiences’ production of texts surrounding the event of orality.

The second half of the paper is a close reading of a humorous guide to performative preaching, Tenporin hiden (Secret transmission on turning the wheel of the dharma), by twelfth-century monk Shinkaku. Shinkaku’s depiction of the successful performative preacher as an all-around Renaissance man helps us regard the Buddhist ritual context not as deadeningly outdated, but as fertile space for exploring the narrative arts. Idealistic portrayals on paper of performative preaching by those engaged in the practice helped establish shodo as an art worthy of attention and pursuit at all levels of society.

The Mythic Structure of Koowaka-mai: The Yuriwaka Legend and the Idea of a Japanese Nation

Todd Squires, Ohio State University

Using structural analysis based on my readings of Orikuchi Shinobu (Kodai no kenkyuu) and LÚvi-Strauss, I argue that koowaka-mai encodes the structure of myth on several levels. First, on the musical level, we see that koowaka-mai is constructed on cycles: starting at a state of harmony, a piece descends into inversion and is then restored to a state of harmony. Second, the musical structure is matched by a narrative structure of harmony, inversion, and restoration. The koowaka-mai were also tied to myth on the functional level—they were originally narratives performed to bring blessing (shukufuku) to the audience. According to Orikuchi, koowaka-mai developed from the practice of hokabito (hokafu meaning "bless") who chanted sutras and banged metal gongs at doorways and gateways, blessing households for the New Year.

This presentation addresses the first section of the late-medieval koowaka-mai piece "Yuriwaka Daijin." I bring to light parallel discourses that are created and mediated on various levels. The juxtaposition of these discourses forms a subtext repeated throughout koowaka-mai concerning the rights of imperial succession, the prerogative to construct concepts of nation, and privileges of inheritance within the family. I conclude that "Yuriwaka Daijin" conforms to basic patterns of the earliest myths recorded in the Nihon shoki and Kojiki, as well as to medieval myths represented in temple and shrine histories. These stories were transmitted by shoomonji (low-level temple and shrine workers), some of whom became performers of koowaka-mai in the late fifteenth century.

Biwa Hoshi at the Crossroads: Founding Legends, Heike Biwa, and Guild Identity in Premodern Japan

Elizabeth Oyler, Washington University, St. Louis

Biwa hoshi were part of Japan’s cultural landscape well before the Genpei War (1180–1185), but they are best remembered as purveyors of the Heike monogatari, the monumental narrative of this war. By the early Muromachi period, these once itinerant, loosely-affiliated ritual performers of mostly marginal social status rose to become recognized keepers of cultural memory under shogunal patronage. By the early Edo period, they produced a guild history embodied in a number of carefully preserved and fiercely guarded documents, enabling them to secure official social recognition and to differentiate themselves from artists with similar roots.

In this presentation, I explore guild founding legends from the oldest (early Edo period) extant guild records (Todoyoshu, Todoyosho, Koshikimoku). I investigate the integration of patterned mythic narrative derived from oral legendary and religious material the biwa hoshi shared with other artisan groups, including woodworkers, metalworkers, and other blind performers. In documenting an individuated past and art, the biwa hoshi sought to distance themselves from these groups, but in doing so ironically solidified a common narrative structuring of history. Their history resonates with that of the new shogunate, also engaged in justifying its lineage. The documentation of lineage in the guild narratives reveals not only interaction between seemingly unique artisan groups during the early Tokugawa period, but also the importance of patterned oral narratives that form the foundation of the "histories" upon which conferral of privilege was based as the Tokugawa era began.


Session 141: Tanizaki and Empire

Organizer: Margherita Long, State University of New York, Buffalo

Discussant: Tomiko Yoda, Duke University

Keywords: modern Japanese literature, empire, oriental aesthetics, film, psychoanalysis.

The panel focuses on a single literary figure to consider his contradictory investments in the politics of Japanese Empire. All three papers find canonical writer Tanizaki Jun’ichir˘ (1886–1965) to be keenly aware of the historical dilemma of his era. Did Japan need an empire to move dialectically from "Oriental spirit" through the West to a newly imagined modernity? Reading fictional writings together with essays on film, art, translation, and national spirit from 1931 to 1945, the papers come at the problem from different perspectives and emphasize different aspects of Tanizaki’s engagement.

Lamarre offers a historically nuanced picture of Japanese imperialism by tracing shifts in the intellectual climate and showing how Tanizaki repositioned himself with each successive change. Tanizaki emerges in favor of a non-nationalistic Taish˘ model of empire whose loss later fills him with mourning. Cazdyn explores Tanizaki’s fascination with film versions and modern translations to suggest that the formal challenges of adaptation allowed him to process the historical problem of empire through aesthetic fantasy. Here the relation to imperialism is worked out more allegorically, in a parallel register of historical limit and aesthetic possibility. Long finds the lure of empire for Tanizaki to be less nostalgic or aesthetic than visceral, and masochistic. She focuses on the zuihitsu genre to argue that "following his brush" through loving accounts of national spirit led Tanizaki to dozens of not-so-random associations with national abjection and shame.

The papers will be presented in condensed form so that the discussant will have time to respond fully.

The Loss of Empire and Tanizaki’s Orient

Thomas LaMarre, McGill University

From the mid-1920s, Tanizaki often wrote about "Oriental" aesthetics. But what is the "Orient" for Tanizaki? Whom does he address when he writes as an Oriental? What is the relation between Japan and its Orient? These are difficult questions, scarcely raised in discussions of Tanizaki, for his works, especially from the early thirties on, are often associated with a simple "return to Japan."

This paper aims to show how Tanizaki’s turn to Oriental aesthetics was born of a time when the historical narratives associated with national empire became subject to serious scrutiny and doubt, even as empire persisted in historically novel forms. His pursuit of traditional or Oriental aesthetics seems tied to what might be characterized as a Taisho ideal of national empire, one that promised to move beyond nationalism as then conceived—whence his early delight in staging the impossibility of Toyoshi or "Oriental History." He later turned to the Heian court not so much as a retreat into tradition as an alternative site for the articulation of a disappearing ideal of Japaneseness, more of the 1920s than of Heian Japan. This enterprise culminated in Sasameyuki, with its idealization of bourgeois life before the war. In the years after the war, his works became marked by a genuine mourning for a certain vision of empire. The paper argues that of particular importance here is the unfinished novel Zangyakuki, about a man who becomes impotent after the dropping of the atomic bombs.

Squaring the Colonial Circle: Tanizaki on Film and Literary Translations

Eric Cazdyn, University of Oregon

In the 1930s and 40s, new aesthetic theories of "origins" were produced in two places: (1) in film discourse around the problem of eiga-ka—the cinematization of literature, and (2) in translation projects around the problem of the modernization of literary classics. At the same time, new political conceptions of "origins" were produced in nativist discourses on the mythological Japanese nation. This paper focuses on Tanizaki’s theories of eiga-ka and of translation to suggest a dynamic relation between aesthetic origins and ideologies of national, political, and racial origins.

Throughout the Fifteen Year War, Tanizaki wrote repeatedly about other peoples’ adaptation of his literary works to cinema and about his own adaptation of The Tale of Genji to modern Japanese. The paper argues that the fantasy eiga-ka that Tanizaki dreams of making as well as the fantasy translation that he is struggling to produce during the war years has less to do with solving the aesthetic riddle of how to make a film from a shosetsu or a modern translation from a classical text than with articulating an imaginary solution to the growing paradox of nationhood. Stressing the relation between aesthetics and political economy, I suggest that both Tanizaki’s dream eiga-ka and his dream translation represent versions of a dream nation in which Japan would reach utopian heights by moving beyond the West without actually leaving it. By constructing a formal utopia on the level of aesthetics, in other words, Tanizaki negotiates the most urgent social contradiction of the 1930s and 40s: being a colonized and colonizing nation, simultaneously.

Oriental Aesthetics and Cultural Suffering

Margherita Long, State University of New York, Buffalo

This paper picks up stray anomalies and asides in several of the essays discussed in other panel papers: "The Inadequacies of Modern Japanese" (1929), "Love and Passion" (1931), "On Art" (1933). Why do essays devoted to Oriental aesthetics continue to show sheepish admiration for figures like Albert Einstein, George Bernard Shaw, and John Barrymore? Why do they interweave praise for native beauty with perverse accounts of native lethargy and impotence? Tanizaki seems to exploit the classical zuihitsu form to wander much deeper into the anguish of Japan’s national identification than the essays themselves at first suggest.

Using a psychoanalytic model of "moral masochism," the paper argues that for Tanizaki, it is only ever an internalized Western conscience that elicits Japanese claims to cultural uniqueness, by requiring a painful and unfulfillable identification. Exhorting simultaneously, "you must be like me" and "you may not be like me; some things are my prerogative," Japan’s internalized West is responsible for no end of cultural suffering, towards which culturalism becomes a futile and self-deluded reaction. The paper suggests that Tanizaki is able to expose it as such—to identify "Oriental" aesthetics as a kind of collective suffering—because he alone knows the masochism that allows him to enjoy it. Questioning the political uses of pleasure, the paper ends by considering what it would mean to appropriate as radical texts that were not only not read that way at the time of their publication, but actively co-opted to the imperial agenda.


Session 158: Notes from the Underground: Japanese Countercultures in Global Space

Organizer and Chair: Karen Kelsky, University of Oregon

Discussant: John Whittier Treat III, Yale University

Keywords: Japan, countercultures, popular culture, technology.

This panel explores sites of countercultural activity and creativity in Japan. The papers in the panel begin by ethnographically sketching the contours of small, easily overlooked pockets of subversive politics and cultural production in Japan, revealing fissures in the national myth of harmony and homogeneity. In contrast to much previous work on Japanese subcultures, however, the panel seeks to challenge culturalist explanations of Japan’s subcultures as structural "inversions" that ultimately reproduce a static cultural norm. Rather we wish to interrogate the degree to which these countercultural impulses, mediated by the latest technological innovations, intersect with global popular movements, and engage with, resist, and in turn influence emergent countercultural projects operating on a global scale. At the same time, we inquire into ways that these small pockets of subversion are subject to reabsorption and appropriation by the prodigiously efficient and centralized Japanese culture industry. Ian Condry will discuss the Japanese hip-hop scene and the use of new digital remix technologies to blur the boundaries between producers and consumers of music. Mark McLelland will turn to the YAOI genre of women’s amateur homoerotic boy-love manga, and its appropriation, over the Internet, by Western female slash fiction writers. Karen Kelsky will describe a massive recent New Age/environmentalist/anti-nuclear festival in Nagano, to explore the festival’s uneasy accommodation of the rave subculture, and the forces of late capitalist technology. Incorporating multimedia presentations, the papers will, we hope, give a wider audience to these "underground" movements, and foster discussion of them as places where common understandings of "Japanese" and "global" culture are contested and created.

The Digital Music Revolution: Sampling, MP3, and the Remix Ethos of Hip-Hop in Japan

Ian Condry, Union College

On his 1997 album, Japanese hip-hop artist ECD proclaimed the beginning of "the revolution," when musical samples from a variety of sources could be remixed to create "one music" (hitotsu no ongaku). This paper examines the transformation of music through digital technology at the nexus of artists, the record industry, and consumers. How does the setting of Japan, the second largest music market in the world, influence the adoption and use of digital technologies related to music? I use the examples of sampling in hip-hop music as well as the growing use of MP3 digital audio format as a way of understanding the conflict between commerce and culture in today’s recording industry. Based on extended fieldwork in Tokyo recording studios (1995–97) and return trips every year since then, I discuss the emergence of what some artists and fans call the new "remix culture" of Japan. In many ways, a counter-culture of digital music defies previous commercial models of musical production and consumption. Even so, I argue that the dichotomy of "piracy" and "creative appropriation" belies a more complex, slowly emerging folk understanding of appropriate uses of computer technologies with respect to music.

No Climax, No Point, No Meaning? Women’s YAOI Fiction on the Internet

Mark McLelland, University of Queensland

Boy love (shoonen ai) refers to the homoerotic attraction between the male heroes in a genre of Japanese women’s manga. Women fans are active as both consumers and producers of boy-love manga, and there is a large market for women’s amateur manga creations. One of the most popular and enduring genres of women’s amateur manga is YAOI (and acronym meaning "no climax, no point, no meaning"), which, dispensing with elaborate plots, focuses upon sexual encounters between boys and young men. The advent of the Internet has provided a new forum for women interested in YAOI fiction to publish their own and read others’ work.

At the same time, through the Internet, the YAOI genre has also recently been adopted and adapted by Western women writers of slash fiction. Because of the different political/rhetorical spaces that "homosexuality" and "pedophilia" occupy in Anglo-American and Japanese discourse, however, English YAOI sites differ in many important respects from their Japanese counterparts. This paper briefly outlines the development of the trope of boy love in Japanese women’s manga and attempts to describe and account for the recent expansion of the YAOI genre onto the Internet where it has attracted the interest of a Western female audience. I suggest that "boy love" in Japanese women’s culture is used as a "rhetorical mirror" to reflect the supposed deficiencies of heterosexual romance whereas in Western women’s writing it is co-opted as part of an ongoing "gender war" in which issues to do with pornography and freedom of expression and representation are explicitly addressed.

Pagans, Poets, and Raves: The Alternative Economy of Japan’s New Age

Karen Kelsky, University of Oregon

The Inochi no Matsuri (Festival of Life) is the premier yearly ritual event of Japan’s New Age counterculture. Held since the early 1970s, the festival is organized around a massive camp-in of several thousand devotees from all across Japan and abroad, and is organized around the causes of global anti-nuclear and environmental activism, New Age spirituality, communion with third- and fourth-world peoples, organic farming, alternative music, promotion of hemp, and the rejection of the capitalist Japanese state. In the summer of 2000, poet and scholar of esoteric Buddhism Oe Masanori initiated an epic, millennial Matsuri themed "Never Nukes, Ever Green." This festival, however, quickly ran aground over two related conflicts: first, the establishment of a festival-only "local currency" that was intended to liberate proceedings from the exploitative capitalist relations embedded in the national currency; and second, the demand by younger organizers for an all-night rave to be held on the final night. Quickly polarizing organizers across generational lines, these conflicts set aging ex-hippie activists against younger fans of "alternative" music and lifestyles, for whom the promise of the festival lay perhaps less in its economic and political mission than in the opportunity it provided for a commodified and techno-mediated neo-psychedelic "experience." This paper will explore the emergent rifts in the 2000 Inochi no Matsuri and Japan’s countercultural community, as they negotiate the forces of the Japanese and global culture industry, variously resisting and accommodating the latest commodity-mediated global methods of "alternativity." I will explore the particular contradictions of a globally-connected anti-capitalist movement in the hyper-commodified space of postmodern Japan.


Session 159: Worlds of Wonder: Setsuwa and the Configuration of Belief in Heian and Medieval Japan

Organizer and Chair: Keller Kimbrough, University of Virginia

Discussant: Margaret H. Childs, University of Kansas

Keywords: premodern Japanese literature, Buddhism, setsuwa.

Populated by an array of audacious and unusual characters from the human and non-human realms, Japanese setsuwa, or "tale literature," evokes worlds of the wondrous and the grotesque in its efforts to edify and entertain. This panel explores elements of the magical and the fantastic in setsuwa, paying particular attention to Buddhist origins and influences, and to how beliefs are constructed and shaped in tales collected in the Heian, Kamakura, and Muromachi periods.

Keller Kimbrough will begin by discussing tales of the miraculous powers of Japanese poetry, exploring the connection between magical poems and ancient Indian "Acts of Truth," as well as the contention that poetry is the dharani of Japan. Tom Howell will compare narratives of monks and scholars who brought texts back from China, describing how the story of Kibi no Makibi dramatizes the Japanese acquisition of Chinese written culture as the overcoming of a series of trials in which unreadable texts are made readable. Drawing from theories of the grotesque, Michelle Li will examine how Buddhists are represented in tales involving extraordinary animals and what those depictions suggest about Buddhist belief and practice in the Heian and Kamakura periods. Finally, Hoyt Long will pursue the theme of magical animals by discussing several ongaeshi animal tales (stories of animals repaying favors or acts of kindness), and he will explore the part that such accounts played in the Heian configuration of belief in the spiritual role of animals.

Tales of the Miraculous Powers of Japanese Poetry

Keller Kimbrough, University of Virginia

In his preface to the poetic anthology Kokin wakashű (ca. 905), Ki no Tsurayuki wrote that Japanese poetry has the power to "move heaven and earth, stir feeling in unseen demons and gods, soften relations between men and women and soothe the hearts of fierce warriors." Indeed, Japanese literature abounds in tales of poets who have used poetry to inspire love, cure illness, end droughts and raise the dead. Poems effective in moving demons and deities can be seen to employ a variety of approaches: while many appeal to emotion, others seek to flatter, threaten, and sometimes even confuse.

One of the most frequently invoked techniques in the composition of miraculous poems in Heian and Medieval Japan was that of the "Truth Act," a declaration of fact of such profundity that it is imbued with the power to overcome natural laws. "Acts of Truth" are best documented in ancient Hindu and early Buddhist literature, but they can also be observed in Japan in stories of miraculous poems that begin with the words "kotowari ya" ("As it is true that. . ."). In this paper I will discuss several examples of the Japanese adaptation of the Truth Act in katoku setsuwa (tales of the miraculous powers of Japanese poetry), and I will explore the oft-repeated contention that waka (Japanese poetry) is the dharani (magical Buddhist incantations) of Japan.

Riddled Writing and Text Transference: The Strange Story of Kibi no Makibi in China

Tom Howell, University of Pennsylvania

The story of Kibi no Makibi in China, which the scholar ďe Masafusa tells to his interlocutor Sanekane in the G˘dansh˘ (1104), presents an image of Kibi markedly different from that which appears in the official historical record. Instead of a genteel, impoverished Confucian scholar, Kibi is a heroic trickster who uses esoteric arts and the help of a demon to succeed in the tasks set for him by vengeful Chinese officials. He manages to steal knowledge of recondite passages of the Wen hsŘan, and, with the aid of Japanese deities, is able to decipher a rebus-poem, the Yamatai-shi, and read it before the Chinese Emperor.

I compare this story to those setsuwa of Japanese monks who went through struggles in China to return with texts and knowledge, especially Kűkai, Ennin and D˘sh˘. I argue that whoever made up the Kibi story borrowed elements from these Buddhist narratives to create a charismatic ancestral progenitor for ritual specialists like Masafusa, and that his telling of this story is part of an attempt to popularize himself, to extend his influence from the court to the streets. Finally, I look at how this story replays the drama of Japanese anxiety over Chinese written culture. In telling his tale, Masafusa envisions the Japanese acquisition of knowledge as a struggle to seize the secrets of writing against resistance, creating an origin-myth of Japanese scholars as having gained esoteric powers in the act of taking something not theirs, and making it wholly their own.

Buddhists and the Beasts: Desire and False Views in Setsuwa

Michelle Li, Princeton University

Tales of Buddhists and beasts can be found in numerous setsuwa collections. Attachment to animate or inanimate things—to vinegar bottles and mandarin orange trees, as well as to members of the opposite sex—often results in the metamorphosis of monks into animals. Other beasts, non-human spirits, frequently appear in disguised form in response to human longing or fear. Such stories provide insight into the internal struggles of Buddhist practitioners, the attitudes of other people toward them, and the changing nature of Buddhism in the Heian and early Kamakura periods.

While people from all walks of life have connections with magical animals, this paper focuses on those of monks. I examine three types of animals in tales from diverse collections: Buddhists who have fallen into a lower realm of being, animal spirits who haunt Buddhists, and animal spirits who assume the appearance of Buddhists. I demonstrate how these animals function in a grotesque mode, drawing attention to the human body and bodily functions or the desire for experiences rooted in material things and engaging the senses, to challenge the presumed spiritual advantage of religious men as well as perceptions of their place in society. I also address these grotesque representations in terms of historical trends in Buddhist thought and practice. Although there are more tales of this nature about men than women, a story involving two women who renounce the secular human world only to become involved with an animal will be included, possibly with others of a similar type.

Grateful Animals, Inferior Beasts: Buddhist Ongaeshi Tales and Changing Conceptions of the "Animal" in Early Japan

Hoyt Long, University of Michigan

Animals have long been popular figures in the religious and secular tales of Japan, utilized as they are for their symbolic and metaphorical value in attempts to define what it means to be "human." Throughout Japan’s recorded history, these textual "animals" have assumed a wide variety of forms, and when viewed as cultural constructions rooted in very specific social and historical contexts, they seem as diverse as their real world counterparts. In order to come to terms with the overwhelming diversity, this paper will focus on a single motif and the modes of animal representation adopted by that motif in early Buddhist setsuwa collections, in particular the Nihon ry˘iki and the Konjaku monogatari shű.

The motif is that of ongaeshi (lit. repaying a favor or act of kindness), and it has been closely connected to Buddhist animal tales since the time of the Indian jÔtaka stories. Of primary interest are several manifestations of the motif in tales of the late Nara and early Heian periods, a time when newly emergent Buddhist attitudes toward animals, having permeated the primary religious and political centers, were working to reconfigure native conceptions of the "animal." An analysis of animal representations in these tales will provide insight into how alternative constructions of animality and humanity were produced through a dual and often contradictory rhetoric that both revered animals as moral exemplars and "othered" them as inferior, polluted beasts. I will argue that these alternative constructions, as incongruous as they may have been at times, reflected religious and political attempts to exert power over a populace whose lives depended on a very different understanding of the animal and human divide.


Session 160: Contemporary Japanese Nationalism

Organizer and Chair: Charles W. Nuckolls, University of Alabama

Long associated with radical conservatism, Japanese nationalism has undergone a transformation, becoming more symbolically complex and structurally pervasive since the 1980s. Examples abound. Contemporary nationalism is politically robust, finding expression in legislation mandating use of the de facto national flag and anthem. In popular culture, literature that features alternative histories of World War II, and that imagines the outcome of Japanese victory, are widely known and discussed. The popular movie Pride, in 1998, featuring a newly rehabilitated Tojo Hideki, polishes the concept of the "co-prosperity sphere" for re-use in the construction of an Asian regional identity. Various associations promoting the commemoration of war dead, and the memorialization of Japan’s war-time actions throughout Asia, are being developed. In education, new textbooks are being distributed to cultivate in students a more patriotic attitude. These, and other events to be considered in our two panels, explore the emergence of contemporary Japanese nationalism. The papers also ask why present circumstances—the end of the Cold War, the decline of the Japanese economy, and the development of a more robust Chinese state—have encouraged Japanese nationalism. Finally, we use the Japanese case as a vehicle for the reconceptualization of "nationalism" as a theoretical construct, and to ask how, in a period of increasing globalization, the nation as a political symbol and social practice is being given new life.

"Perverse Masochism" and Japan’s History Curriculum: The Movement to Promote Correct History and "Love of Nation" in Contemporary Japan

John K. Nelson, University of San Francisco

Creating citizens who feel proud and empowered by their national heritage requires concerted efforts in education as well as in other socializing practices to bolster key values and concepts. The Prime Minister’s recent remarks about a "divine nation with the emperor at its center" or the controversy over portrayal of Japan’s war involvement are two more installments in Japan’s saga of postwar cultural identity. However, the interconnections between these two kinds of nationalism are becoming increasingly significant at the level of educational and even foreign policy. This paper will consider the most recent developments in a highly synchronized and strategic movement aimed at revising educational curricula concerning the Nanjing massacre, comfort women, and war responsibility. Believing that current textbooks promote a debilitating and "perversely masochistic perspective," the Japan Society for Textbook Reform this year will disseminate two million textbooks founded on "common sense." Issues to be addressed in this paper include the "new" sense of nation within the Reform group’s textbook, the tactics and alliances of the group’s elite organizers, and how this "imagined community" both nuances and extends current theories of nationalism.

Rehabilitating Hideki Tojo

Charles W. Nuckolls, University of Alabama

In 1998, the movie Pride: The Fateful Moment presented to the Japanese public (and the world) a strikingly new image of wartime Prime Minister Hideki Tojo. It was a popular film, and quickly became the rallying point for several movements with nationalist ideologies. Young people especially were captivated by the film, and by the message of pan-Asian liberation and cooperation it offers both as an interpretation of the past and a call to arms for the future. The paper explores the film’s choice of themes, and asks how, at the present moment, these themes excite popular attention and acclaim. First is the relationship between India and Japan. The film suggests that Japan liberated India from British colonial domination, and that Tojo was responsible. By extension, the reconceptualization of the relationship to India applies to other Asian nations, and provides historical rationale for economic and social diplomacy abroad. Second, there is the symbol of sacrifice to a higher purpose that is coterminous with the sacred nation state. The film provides a logic for this, in recreating a public discourse centered on the emperor. Third, and most important, the film provides indirect commentary on the American security arrangements, and argues, implicitly, for their abrogation. The rehabilitated Tojo the film presents is central to this process, and the paper discusses how and why.

The Showa Hall and Conservative Reactionism in Contemporary Japan

Franziska Seraphim, Columbia University

This paper explores the contentious place of Japan’s first national museum of World War II in Tokyo, in a contemporary public culture where different dimensions of war and postwar memory are being negotiated and linked to an emerging Asian regionalism. At the time of the museum’s opening, in 1998, issues of constitutional revision and national symbols provided the material for a renewed surge of Japanese nationalism. Popular nationalists seem to be reacting to shifts in Japan’s public culture since the end of the Cold War as reflected in the intense public debate about responsibility to Asian neighbors and victims. This paper examines the symbolic shifts related to this process, and traces, through the museum, the development of a new nationalist consciousness.

The Second Wave of Japanese Neo-Nationalism

Noriyuki Katagiri, Columbia University

Once a symbol of radicalism, neo-nationalism has emerged again—this time psychologically more intimate and structurally extensive. At its core lies a combination of classic revisionism expressed in popular literature (manga) with dauntless resistance to anti-Japanese sentiment. To explore this "second wave" of Japanese nationalism, the paper employs a long-term perspective to consider the sustainability of neo-nationalism. On the surface, the practitioners of nationalism have succeeded in gaining momentum. They have done so by embracing popular revisionism and the rejection of Jigyaku-shikan, or self-torturing views of history. Several unprecedented methods, also, have generated attention, including successful legislation mandating the showing of the national flag and singing of the national anthem. Moreover, their staunch opposition to foreign anti-Japanese expression has characterized them not only as Japan’s de facto crusaders but also as projectors of open nationalism. In this context, it will be suggested that internal developments within neo-nationalism are in fact detrimental to the maintenance of ideological legitimacy, and ultimately lead to "nationalism without national symbols."


Session 161: Travel Writing: Discovering the Landscape of Modern Japanese Literature

Organizer and Chair: Melek Ortabasi, University of Washington

Discussant: Linda H. Chance, University of California, Los Angeles

Keywords: Japan, modern literature, travel writing.

Although travel writing (or kik˘bun) is central to the premodern Japanese literary canon, most histories of kik˘bun imply that this genre was left behind by developments in modern narrative style. However, beginning in Meiji (1868–1912), a boom in domestic and international travel occasioned by the improvement of transportation methods brought forth a veritable flood of kik˘bun that vividly reflects the rapid changes that were occurring in both Japanese society and literature.

This panel will examine the diverse and often neglected texts that issued from this increased mobility. Many of Japan’s most famous 20th-century authors penned kik˘bun, and we discuss the genre’s intersection with modern Japanese literature, ethnology and film. In his discussion of Natsume Soseki’s trip to the Asian mainland, Bill Burton exposes an alternate, yet unflattering side of this literary giant, who is rarely considered in connection with Japan’s expansionist period politics. Shimazaki T˘son’s writings about his sojourn in France act as the starting point for Marvin Marcus’s argument that travel often provides the catalyst for literary self-reflection. Melek Ortabasi expands the definition of kik˘bun by examining the interplay of ethnological research and literary technique in Yanagita Kunio’s travel writing on Okinawa. Rachel DiNitto analyzes the traveler-wanderer in the postwar period, as seen in both Uchida Hyakken’s travel writings and in Suzuki Seijun’s filmic adaptation of this author’s work. Crossing both national and disciplinary boundaries, these diverse travel writings exhibit a transformed and thoroughly modern perception of landscape and subjectivity.

Here and There in Manchuria and Kumamoto; A Comparison of Natsume S˘seki’s Mankan tokoro dokoro and Kusamakura

Bill Burton, University of Washington

Anyone who has reread their own painfully naive entry in a journal of a trip abroad will agree that writing about travel can be a precarious exercise. Even experienced writers—though perhaps phrasing inanities more elegantly—often reveal in travel writings more about themselves than about the places they visit.

Natsume S˘seki unwittingly stumbled, as it were, into the crossroads of the regrettable history of Japanese colonization when in 1909 he accepted a friend’s invitation to "go over (to Manchuria and Korea) and have a look at what Japanese are doing abroad." The account of that trip, taken from September 6 to October 13, was serialized in the Asahi Shimbun under the heading Mankan tokoro dokoro (Here and There in Manchuria and Korea).

Jay Rubin has commented that he was greatly disappointed upon reading Mankan tokoro dokoro to discover that "S˘seki remained indifferent to the actions of the Japanese overseas." The image of the author seen in this piece is indeed very different from that of S˘seki as enlightened thinker. This difference might be attributed in part to the inherent pitfalls of travel writing as a mode emphasizing the quotidian, even when, as seems so often the case, the writer is unfamiliar with the culture of the place he or she visits. In my paper, I will consider differences between an account set in the author’s own country and one set abroad, discussing their respective literary and social aims.

Shimazaki T˘son in France: The Tales of a Kindai Literary Traveler

Marvin Marcus, Washington University

With the early twentieth century, travel became virtually de rigueur among Japanese writers, artists, and intellectuals. What emerged was an impressive accumulation of travel writing (kik˘bun), personal narratives that reveal as much about the state of mind of the traveler as the look and feel of the places where one has visited and lived.

Among the host of kindai literary travelers, Shimazaki T˘son (1872–1943) has earned a measure of notoriety for having spent three years in France (1913–16) in the wake of a scandalous affair with a young niece. T˘son’s self-imposed exile, which brought him to Paris on the eve of the First World War, forms the basis for a remarkable body of literary reminiscence that variously drew upon his experiences as a middle-aged Japanese expatriate in one of Europe’s great cities.

I propose in this paper first to provide an overview of T˘son’s unique literary project, an integrated body of reminiscence and personal reflection composed over a period of ten years. Covering the spectrum of contemporary literary genres, the works under consideration include journalistic reportage (Heiwa no Pari [1913–14], Sens˘ to Pari [1914–15]), youth-oriented reminiscence (Osanaki mono ni [1917]), autobiographical fiction (Shinsei, 1918–19), "conventional" travel writing (Umi e [1918], Etoranzŕ [1921–22]), and episodic reflections (Iikura dayori, 1922). In each, "France" provides a canvas for the author’s ongoing self-portrayal.

I will comment upon the "theme and variations" nature of this writing and its relationship to prevailing bundan trends. I will also contrast T˘son’s work with that of other noteworthy kindai literary travelers (e.g., Natsume S˘seki and Nagai Kafű). Finally, I will draw conclusions regarding the crucial role of travel in Toson’s lifelong project of literary autobiography.

Travel Writing and the Creation of Culture: Yanagita Kunio’s Kainan sh˘ki

Melek Ortabasi, University of Washington

Yanagita Kunio (1875–1962), the founder of modern "native ethnology" (minzokugaku) in Japan, may seem a little out of place in this literary line-up. However, Yanagita’s work, particularly his extensive travel writing, intersects at many points with the history of Japanese literature.

Yanagita’s travel writing often features detailed descriptions of local customs and a focus on seikatsu ("daily life"). Because he does not dwell extensively on his own experiences and feelings while travelling, minzokugaku scholars classify Yanagita’s supposedly "objective" attitude toward travel writing as diametrically opposed to contemporary trends in literature. However, I argue that Yanagita’s forays into travel writing offer a revealing commentary on the modernization of this literary genre.

Kainan sh˘ki (Record of the South Seas, 1925), one of Yanagita’s most famous travelogues, was conceived during his trip to Okinawa in 1920. Though clearly nationalist in intent, this work is also a finely crafted text. Using a mixture of reportage and reverie, Yanagita employs his omniscient pose as narrator to reform the Okinawan terrain into an aesthetically attractive landscape. Ultimately, the work’s undeniable emotive power lies not in its objectivity, but in Yanagita’s complex and convincing interweaving of history, legend, cultural phenomenology and human desire.

My analysis of Kainan sh˘ki will reveal the presence of this modern narrating subject, who applies his enviable authorial skills to the task of reconciling an idealized past with the all too apparent reality of the young Japanese nation, a landscape where the forces of cultural unity and diversity were unquestionably at war.

Wanderlust or Boredom? The Gypsy-Traveler in Postwar Literature and Film

Rachel DiNitto, Harvard University

In 1980 Suzuki Seijun diverged from his yakuza themes and won critical acclaim with Tsigoneruwaizen (Zigeunerweisen), a film loosely based on Uchida Hyakken’s 1949 short story "SarasÔte no ban" (The Sarasate Record). Both the story and the film feature Pablo de Sarasate’s (1844–1908) famous violin composition based on the gypsy airs, and the image of the wanderer, or romanticized gypsy is one of the few salient points of Suzuki’s confusing and seemingly plotless film. Suzuki superimposes this nineteenth-century European image onto a postwar, industrial Japan, while simultaneously harkening back to native history by incorporating premodern traveling performers into his modern cinematic narrative.

Hyakken is also famous for his own travels and travel literature, his best known being the Ah˘ ressha (Idiot Train, 1952–56) series popular in the 1950s. Hyakken mocks the idea of purposeful travel as he boards the train out of idleness, only to make the return trip once arriving at the given destination. Hyakken and Suzuki’s travelers are neither itinerant medieval monks nor modern war correspondents or vacationers. They stand apart from the industrialized, socially-restricted, economically-focused postwar Japanese society.

This presentation takes a slightly different approach by looking not only into Hyakken’s travel literature but also into the image of the traveler or wanderer both in Suzuki and Hyakken, and the ways in which they subvert traditional models. At the same time, it considers reasons for the film’s success with a cynical postwar, post-AMPO generation.


Session 162: Individual Papers: State and Market in Contemporary Japan: Negotiating the Nexus

Organizer: Rebecca Copeland, Washington University

Chair: Elizabeth Tsunoda, Washington University

Designer Death: Posthumous Buddhist Names (kaimyo) as Status Symbols

Erica D. Swarts, Ohio State University

The egalitarian nature of Buddhism combined with the long Japanese history of class and social ranking makes for an interesting juxtaposition. My research, conducted in a rural village in northern Japan, examines this conflict between religious ideology and social reality by focusing on kaimyo, posthumous Buddhist names.

Although the vast majority of Japanese claim not to be religious, most retain at least nominal affiliation with a local Buddhist temple for funerals and memorial rites. After receiving a donation from the deceased’s family, the Buddhist priest writes the kaimyo. In recent years the amount of money involved has skyrocketed, and a sizable number of temples have price lists for more popular characters. Although priests deny a connection between these characters and status, lay people insist there is, and are willing to pay ever increasing amounts for characters viewed as "prestigious." It is becoming increasingly common for people to work with a priest to choose their kaimyo before death, thereby assuring that they receive the characters (and status) they most desire. The kaimyo’s presence on tombstones (public) and on memorial tablets enshrined in the family’s home altar (private) encourages people to take a more active role in character selection.

This paper will examine the various parts of kaimyo, such as the igo (rank indicator), and compare my informants’ beliefs about status and kaimyo with the reality as found in their local cemeteries and home Buddhist altars.

Disembedding the State? The Transformation of the Intermediate Sector in Japan

Mary-Alice Pickert, University of Washington

Japan’s intermediate sector, also called the voluntary or third sector, has undergone a profound transformation in the last twenty years. Traditional associations with close ties to local governments have been declining while more independent nonprofit organizations have been multiplying. Scholars such as Peter Evans (1995) and Sheldon Garon (1997) emphasize the important role that traditional associations, such as neighborhood associations (jichikai) and volunteer fire departments (shoubodan), play in embedding the state in society to promote economic development and exercise social control. In the past, these organizations have provided links between citizens and government bureaucracies, alerting the state of citizen concerns without allowing it to become captured by parochial goals. Recently, however, nonprofit organizations that are not as closely integrated into the state bureaucracy have proliferated. This shift in the intermediate sector raises two important questions: Why has this transformation occurred? Is the new shape of the intermediate sector disembedding the state from society in Japan?

Many observers argue that the growth in nonprofits represents a "new politics" and a modernization of Japan’s democracy; they suggest that the "embedded autonomy" of the developmental state is being replaced by more pluralist politics of modern democracy (e.g., Pekkenan, Tsujinaka, Yamamoto). In contrast, I argue that while membership in traditional associations is declining, participation in state-sponsored community organizations remains a vital part of civic life in Japan. Furthermore, although nonprofit organizations have multiplied, they are being systematically incorporated into the existing "embedded autonomy" regulatory pattern that includes state-initiated establishment and extensive bureaucratic oversight of activities. Thus, while the transformation in Japan’s intermediate sector represents an important shift in the relationship between the state and society, it is one that is better characterized as an appropriate adjustment to changing times than a complete break with historical patterns of interaction.

Trade Rules and Political Persuasion: The Politics of Reforming Japanese Agricultural Policy

Christina Davis, Harvard University

Why has Japan opened agricultural markets despite opposition by farmer and consumer groups and unanimous Diet resolutions against liberalization? One by one Japan accepted agreements liberalizing agricultural markets and now imports over half its food supply and 7 percent of rice consumption. In a context where one expects little change, this trend toward liberalization is remarkable. Japanese agricultural trade provides a hard test for studying the role of international institutions to facilitate liberalization.

In this paper I show the persuasive power of trade rules. While U.S. pressure and Japanese farmer resistance characterize all agricultural negotiations, a key difference lies in the negotiation structure. Options include bilateral bargaining, regional talks, comprehensive GATT trade rounds, and legalistic GATT dispute settlement. Each kind of negotiation raises different issue linkages and normative pressures. My argument is that with Japan, GATT mediation is most effective. Where politicians fear political backlash, settlement by a legitimate third party according to trade rules offers the political cover necessary to accept liberalization.

Other studies highlight the importance of foreign pressure to liberalize Japanese markets (Mulgan 1997; Schoppa 1999; Lincoln 1999). My research goes further to show how trade rules add leverage to bilateral foreign pressure. I provide evidence through statistical analysis of 127 U.S.-Japan negotiations from 1970–1999 and case study analysis of major negotiations. Moreover, I compare how domestic political processes make Japan more responsive to pressure from trade rules than the European Union. My findings demonstrate that variation in the structure of the negotiation matters more than U.S. threats.

Networking for Profit: Information Loops in Japanese Industries and Their Impact on Firm Profitability

Michael A. Witt, Harvard University

Firms everywhere network with other firms and non-firms in the same industry, but nowhere in the industrialized world more so than in Japan. Japanese firms use these social networks, which I call "information loops," to collect external information for planning.

Japan scholars along with neo-institutional economists and the social capital school have argued that social networks can enhance economic performance.

This thesis finds that networking can indeed pay: firms that network better in information loops have higher gross profits. However, only certain kinds of ties are valuable, while some are even harmful to profits.

Data from three industries—micromachines, semiconductor equipment, and apparel—suggest that networking patterns vary systematically across these cases, as firms in industries at different stages of the industrial life cycle have different informational needs. However, what makes networking profitable for firms is independent of industry characteristics: ties are useful if other actors possess pertinent and valuable information and share it. A regression analysis indicates, among others, that certain ties with associations and universities are informational assets, while relations with competing firms and government often represent liabilities.

In the Japanese context, the results suggest that universities and business groups play a more important role than usually ascribed to them, while benefits from the state-associations-firms nexus may be less pronounced than the industrial policy literature suggests.

More generally, these findings call on the networking literature to attend more closely to the question of which kinds of networks are economically beneficial under which conditions.

Alternatives to Hierarchy in Japan: Business Networks as Enabling Institutions

Kathryn C. Ibata-Arens, Northwestern University

Japan has often been described as a "network society." Business networks are said to succeed as alternatives to markets and hierarchies through fostering cooperation and competition among members. Interpretations of existing business networks in Japan share two main characteristics. First, studies have focused on networks between the central state and big business. Second, in explaining the resilience of networks, as well as their basis for success, long-term "trust-based" relations are highlighted as core elements of these networks.

Based on fieldwork among local business networks in three industrial regions in Japan, this paper shows how existing theories have failed in explaining the mechanisms of how central state/big business networks operate. First, existing theories fail to examine underlying power asymmetries in existing business networks. These power asymmetries have been masked by assumptions of "trusting" relations between large firms and small. That is, in Japan most networks are in fact hierarchies. Second, existing explanations fail to account for the role small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have played in the creation of and success in business networks. Contrary to existing interpretations, the most innovative business networks have been those formed by small and medium-sized firms, independent from both big business and the central state. These networks have been most successful while serving as "enabling institutions" for firms in which local governments play a supportive role.

The paper begins by briefly describing what business networks are, why they exist and the functions they perform. I then review sources of network formation. Thirdly, I present the four main theoretical interpretations of business networks: flexible production, flexible specialization, industrial districts and innovation networks. Finally, I examine three local business networks: Kyoto’s "Kiseiren," Osaka’s "TOPS Higashi Osaka," and Tokyo’s "O-net." The most successful networks, measured in terms of new product creation and increased sales, are those formed on the initiative of firms, independently of the state and big business. Local governments play an informal, supporting role in these successful networks.


Session 179: Roundtable: You Can Observe a Lot Just by Watching: Doing Fieldwork in Japan

Organizer and Chair: Victoria Lyon Bestor, North American Coordinating Council

Discussants: Theodore C. Bestor, Cornell University; Helen Hardacre, Harvard University; David McConnell, The College of Wooster; Sheila A. Smith, Boston University; Patricia G. Steinhoff, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Keywords: fieldwork, Japan, interdisciplinary, research, social science.

Field research—the gathering of information in situ, non-experimentally, from and about human informants—is undertaken by many scholars of contemporary Japan. Not only do anthropologists and sociologist do fieldwork, so do many political scientists, religious scholars, and some historians. This roundtable brings together six scholars of various ages and experience from five different disciplines to discuss the specific challenges faced when undertaking fieldwork in Japan. Participants will be Theodore Bestor and Patricia Steinhoff, coeditors of a forthcoming volume on fieldwork to be published by the University of Hawaii Press, and four contributors to that volume: Andrew Gordon, Helen Hardacre, David McConnell, and Sheila Smith.

The roundtable will focus on how disciplinary research problems and techniques are sustained in specific cultural, historical and social contexts; from the study of new religions to penetrating the defense establishment, from socializing new members of the JET program to applying fieldwork techniques to the study of recent labor history. Topics such as the ethics of fieldwork, informant consent, and negotiating between competing groups will also be addressed. The majority of the discussion will be devoted to an exchange with audience members and among panelists on the challenges of fieldwork in Japan. This roundtable should be of interest to graduate students and younger scholars who may be undertaking their first fieldwork in Japan as well as to established scholars who have faced similar challenges.


Session 180: Intersection of Socio-Political Constructs and Science and Technology Policy in Modern Japan

Organizer: Walter E. Grunden, Bowling Green State University

Chair and Discussant: William M. Tsutsui, University of Kansas

Keywords: science and technology, Japan, history, modern.

Science and technology policy in modern Japan has been shaped by several external and internal factors. During the Meiji Period (1868–1912), the pressure brought to bear on Japan by Western imperialist powers helped to forge strong bonds among the sectors concerned with national defense, industry, and science and technology. The links between them were further strengthened by the turn of the century, as Japan itself became an imperialist power. Yet, over time, internal factors, such as political ideology and social mores, presented significant challenges to the integrity of these relations.

Through the turn of the century, policy makers were guided by such ideological slogans as "Rich Nation, Strong Army," and "Civilization and Enlightenment," and the government appeared to act with some unity of purpose. By the early twentieth century, however, such ideologies began to fade into the past, and perhaps with them, the nation’s sense of unity and purpose where science and technology policy was concerned. By the 1930s, factions within the government bureaucracy were working at cross-purposes, and during the Pacific War schisms between civilian science and technology agencies and the military became too great to overcome.

This panel will focus on how these "internal" factors affected the trajectory of science and technology policy in modern Japan by examining the impact of selected sociopolitical constructs such as political ideology and social mores. As a whole, the panel challenges portrayals of the Japanese government as monolithic in these time periods by presenting specific examples of institutional conflict in modern Japanese history.

Silk as Civilization: Tomioka Filature and the Socio-Political Construction of Technological Choice

David Wittner, Utica College

In the spring of 1871, the new Meiji government began construction on a so-called model factory, Tomioka Silk Filature, in the backwoods of Gumma prefecture. Ministry of Finance and Civil Affairs officials proclaimed publicly that the purpose of this new enterprise was to raise the declining quality of Japan’s raw silk through the dissemination of the latest French reeling techniques. Tomioka’s complex of Western-style brick buildings and rows of cast iron machines attracted silk reelers from around the country. Local and national dignitaries, even the empress, visited the modern factory. Tomioka’s technologies, however, were not widely disseminated; they were complex, prohibitively expensive, and inefficient. Government advisers—Japanese and foreign alike—argued that the Meiji government should base its model filature on locally available, replicable, Japanese-European hybrid technologies, yet ministry officials insisted on importing literally a fully operational French filature.

For more than two decades Tomioka served as a showcase: it was an unattainable ideal. Built from brick and iron, when brick was an unknown commodity and Japan had no iron industry to speak of, Tomioka was a physical manifestation of Western "civilization" in Japan. In much the same way that the Ginza was rebuilt symbolically in brick and stone in 1872, according to Saigo Takamori, for the honor of Japan, Tomioka, too, was infused with symbolic meaning.

This paper is an examination of the interaction between technology and ideology. It illustrates how the government’s choice of technique was guided by beliefs in "modernity," "civilization," and "enlightenment." It situates government-sponsored efforts at industrialization within the discourse of bunmei kaika, the so-called movement to attain "civilization and enlightenment" and demonstrates that the government’s preeminent concern when building Tomioka filature was more related to its need for self-validation vis-Ó-vis the soon-to-be-abolished domains, former bakufu, and foreign treaty powers than simply being a function of economic development or building a "Rich Nation and Strong Army" in strict politico-economic terms.

Globalizing Japanese Eugenics: Taiwan, Brazil, and the International Federation of Eugenics Organizations

Sumiko Otsubo, Creighton University

In 1934, Abe Ayao (1879–1945), geneticist and education official in Japan’s colonial Taiwan, sent a series of letters to the Foreign Ministry from Taipei. Five years earlier, he had attended a meeting of the International Federation of Eugenic Organizations (IFEO) in Rome. He aspired to establish a Japanese eugenic institution, which would meet the criteria for joining the Federation. In 1930 Abe announced his plan to create a Japanese eugenic society that would pursue scientific studies of the heredity of the Japanese people, get involved in legislation by framing social, demographic, and colonial policies, and become a resource organization for the nation’s public health, social work, and education enterprises. The new organization came into existence as the Japan Society of Race Hygiene.

In his 1934 letters, Abe noted the recently passed Brazilian immigration law, which began severely restricting the annual number of Japanese immigrants based on eugenic reasoning. He implied that this could have been avoided through discussions and negotiations in the IFEO if Japan had been properly represented. Abe then urged the Foreign Ministry to support the globalization of Japanese eugenics.

In this presentation, I will analyze these efforts and other related immigration issues discussed in a eugenic context. Was the Foreign Ministry supportive of Abe’s cause? Were the Foreign Ministry’s eugenic policies compatible with those of the military, Home Ministry, or the Ministry of Health and Welfare? This study will add another dimension to our understanding of the wartime Japanese state’s eugenic programs.

Organizing for War: Group Identity, Science Policy, and the Mobilization of Scientific Research in World War II Japan

Walter E. Grunden, Bowling Green State University

The Japanese government was comparatively slow to mobilize the nation’s scientists and science infrastructure for the war effort. From 1937 to 1941, the government concentrated more on strengthening industrial capacity through rationalization and increased state control. With the entry of the United States into the war in late 1941, however, a new sense of urgency compelled policy makers to shift their focus to science for the development of new military technologies. The formation of the Gijutsuin (Science and Technology Agency) in early 1942 appeared to signal their recognition of the potential role of science in the war.

The mission of the Gijutsuin was to coordinate, administer, and finance research for the war effort, and to unify policy making and implementation under its authority. But it failed miserably. The government was far from monolithic and lacked unity of purpose where science policy was concerned. Factionalism within the government impeded the Gijutsuin in its mission, and the military services refused to subordinate themselves to this new civilian agency.

How can such behavior be understood in the context of a nation at war? This paper attempts to explain the failure of the Gijutsuin by viewing wartime factionalism through the lens of the "vertically integrated society" model first suggested by the sociologist Chie Nakane. The paper argues that the manner in which the Japanese formed and maintained distinct group identities during the war severely impeded cooperation in the mobilization of science and scientists in WWII.


Session 181: Kaimami—A New Look: Voyeurism and (In)visibility in Heian and Kamakura Court Culture

Organizer: Robert Omar Khan, University of Texas, Austin

Chair: Doris G. Bargen, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Discussant: Charo D’Etcheverry, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Keywords: Japan, literature, Heian, monogatari, kaimami.

This panel proposes to examine two frequently co-occurring topoi in Heian culture, especially in court narrative literature (monogatari) and painting (emaki): the topos of the unseen viewer, usually male, spying on women (kaimami), and the topos of the invisible viewer who spies and eavesdrops thanks to magical powers of invisibility. These topoi are closely tied to architectural and social practices that determine the visibility of Heian aristocrats, particularly of women and the Emperor; however, the functioning of these topoi covers a fascinating breadth and complexity across different genres and media over the course of the Heian and early Kamakura periods.

The archetypal kaimami scene apparently involves a concealed male viewer who tries to spy on women in the hope of uncovering a suitable object of his desire and courtship. Similarly, the now lost monogatari Kakuremino (The Cape of Invisibility) involved a kind of "super-kaimami," to judge from remarks by Sei Shonagon and others. Yet even in early and mid-Heian works such as Ise Monogatari, Genji Monogatari, and Sagoromo, this gaze is complicated by notable instances where the person observed reverses the interaction by deliberately "performing" for a suspected observer, or even by looking back at the "uncovered" viewer. Late Heian and early Kamakura works such as the late 12th-century Tale of Genji Scrolls, Me-nashi Ky˘ (Sutra with No Eyes), Ariake no Wakare (Partings at Dawn), and Asajigatsuyu (Dew on the Bamboo Grass), in characteristically imaginative and playful fashion, often develop, reconfigure, or invert these topoi in startling and perhaps even subversive ways.

Transparent Barriers: Kaimami in Heian Architecture and Literature

Doris G. Bargen, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

In order to understand the phenomenon of kaimami in Japanese literature and art it is necessary to explore the nature of the barriers, both abstract and concrete, separating the observer and the observed. This paper will examine architectural spaces inside and outside the Heian shinden or aristocratic residence, as these spaces and the barriers that define them relate to human interactions, particularly in the courtship scenes described in Genji Monogatari and its predecessors. Special attention will be given to the reversibility of the relationship between the man as observer and the woman as observed. The flimsy, if not transparent, nature of the barrier allows the observed woman to see the observing man. In such cases, kaimami—as seeing unseen—itself becomes a fiction.

Kaimami in the Twelfth Century Illustrated Scroll of the Tale of Genji

Masako Watanabe, Metropolitan Museum of Art

This paper examines in painting and text the narrative structure of the theme of kaimami, peeping through a gap in a fence. There are two extant illustrations of kaimami in the Illustrated Scroll of the Tale of Genji from twelfth-century Japan: scenes from the chapters of Takekawa (The Bamboo River) and of Hashihime (Lady at the Bridge). Both examples reveal that the reader/viewer simultaneously observes the realms of the peeker and the peeked-at so that he or she also can freely identify with either realm or even both simultaneously.

The later part of this paper discusses ladies-in-waiting who, in a kaimami scene, secretly gaze at a man. When the peeker is female, the situation changes. The reader/viewer identifies with the peeker and remains outside the realm of the peeked-at. Another scene from the "Takekawa" chapter, in which ladies-in-waiting (nyobo) become the central focus, has a vivid description of women peeking at the young courtier Kaoru. The nyobo seize the point of view in this "Takekawa" scene which shows the women’s world in both text and illustration. In this distinctive scene they both narrate the tale and participate in it.

Voyeurism and Invisibility: Kaimami in Late-Twelfth-Century Monogatari

Robert Omar Khan, University of Texas, Austin

Tantalizing fragments and references are extant regarding a Heian monogatari now lost called Kakuremino (The Cape of Invisibility), which clearly enjoyed great popularity through the twelfth century and later. The principal plot element, the adventures of a man who used his cape of invisibility to spy on women whom he might wish to court, is an extreme instance of the kaimami or "peeping" topos; however these topoi and the linkage between them were developed in quite remarkable ways in monogatari and emaki. This paper will examine their treatment in two late-twelfth-century works, the monogatari Ariake no Wakare (Partings at Dawn), and the emaki known as the Me-nashi Kyo (The Sutra with No Eyes), thought possibly to consist of illustrations for Ariake until Ariake’s unique manuscript was discovered.

Although that connection no longer seems tenable, the Me-nashi Kyo underdrawings present a narrative with considerable overlap with what is known of Kakuremino, including a character in a cape who frequently appears observing scenes, coupled with spirit possession scenes as found in Ariake. The connection is drawn quite literally in Ariake, with the invisible female protagonist explicitly compared to the protagonist of Kakuremino. However, together with the gender inversion, Ariake makes most unexpected use of the kaimami topos, including scenes where kaimami repeatedly leads to the frustration of irogonomi (libertine) designs on unwilling women, and ultimately to an astonishing scene where kaimami is the ultimate instrument of castigation of a high-ranking irogonomi courtier.

On the Inside Looking Out: Kaimami and Self-Presentation in Asajigatsuyu

Matthew Fraleigh, Harvard University

The early Kamakura tale called Asajigatsuyu (Dew on the Bamboo Grass) has been known, in name at least, for centuries, but it was not until the 1950s that the newly rediscovered text was first published. At first glance, the plot and characterization of Asajigatsuyu have much in common with earlier tales, yet far from merely recycling these elements, Asajigatsuyu offers surprising and occasionally subversive twists on the expected patterns. Though the extant text is incomplete, Asajigatsuyu nevertheless provides an excellent opportunity to examine the experimentation with established topoi that characterizes many later monogatari.

One of the text’s most interesting reconfigurations of a familiar sequence is its treatment of kaimami. As in many of its literary predecessors, Asajigatsuyu presents a series of scenes in which a male figure (the Second Captain) spies upon various women unbeknownst to them. Over the course of the narrative, however, the direction of the gaze shifts and one of the women whom the Second Captain first encountered through kaimami (Himegimi), is able to spy on him unobserved. The inversion of the standard scene calls into question the apparent agency of the characters involved, for Himegimi has clearly acquired the power to control the Second Captain’s visual access to her. Moreover, this inversion parallels another development in Himegimi’s agency: her assumption of narrative authority. By restricting the Second Captain’s knowledge of her to the poems and drawings she creates and sends to him, Himegimi comes to exercise a remarkable degree of self-presentational autonomy.


Session 182: Bodies of Memory: On the Material and Immaterial in 1960s Japan

Organizer: Bruce Suttmeier, Stanford University

Chair and Discussant: David G. Goodman, University of Illinois

This panel considers the concepts of memory and the body in 1960s Japan. Many studies of the decade, narrating trajectories of prosperity and protest, the ascendancy of consumerism and nationalism’s return, give greater weight to ideologies than to human practice, and privilege production over the perceiving body. We contend that such narratives are greatly augmented by examining the period’s complex relation between bodily experience (its language and structure, its negotiations with power and its engagement with history) and forms of remembrance (memory in both its individual and communal expression).

In particular, we argue that these two notions of memory and the body, taken not as an opposition akin to "spirit" and "matter," but as dependent, interacting phenomena, will augment an understanding of the 1960s: (1) by grounding social knowledge (and its attendant narratives) in the conditions and constraints of specific human experiences, and (2) by refining the increasingly abstracted application of memory (specifically that useful yet murky term, "collective memory") through an appeal to the less reified term "remembering."

In his paper, Shu Kuge addresses the place of ecstasy as recorded and remembered in Ichikawa Kon’s 1964 film Tokyo Olympic and the commentary surrounding it, a project that traces the tension between the film’s historical grounding in metaphors of the nation and its aesthetic deployment of athletic bodies. Miryam Sas explores the way memory scripts and disciplines bodies in the underground and experimental theater of the 1960s. Bruce Suttmeier discusses the nature of trauma and memory in Oda Makoto’s novel Contemporary History. He examines the text’s unsettling attempts to assimilate past experience, and suggests how such attempts speak to the period’s own uncertain communication of (and access to) its history. As a whole, this panel will address the writings of the body and the physicalities of remembrance, in order to cast new light on the turbulent and complex 1960s in Japan, and to move toward a more refined understanding of history, national identity and the construction of social subjectivity in the decades that followed.

Should We Say "No" To Ecstasy? Watching Ichikawa Kon’s Tokyo Olympic (1965)

Shu Kuge, Stanford University

My paper discusses Ichikawa Kon’s Tokyo Olympic (1965), a documentary film which can escape neither its own history nor the history of the concepts and categories conceived to understand it. Popular commentators in 1964 interpreted the actual Olympic games largely through metaphor, as the Japanese nation’s recuperation of "self" or its reemergence onto the world stage. Upon its release, the documentary was critiqued in terms of this metaphorical figure of a redeemed Japan, panned by many critics for de-emphasizing Japanese athletes, but praised by others for its deliberate avoidance of "ecstasy," particularly as compared to Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia (1938).

But this demarcation of "ecstasy," in particular its ascription of nationalism to that term, is problematic. Ichikawa indeed avoids emphasizing "Japan" throughout the movie, but this avoidance does not prevent the bodies captured in the film from, at times, constructing ecstatic pleasure for the spectator. My purpose is to read the tension between the inescapable historical context of the event (with its ideological overdetermination) and the non-semantic movements of the athletes’ bodies (with their resistance to the prevalent ideology). I contend that the film enacts a very unsettling relationship between moral assessment (cultural custodianship) and aesthetic experience (viewing the moving bodies). Historical as well as political sensitivity might want to deny ecstasy or even aesthetic pleasure in general, but such an experience need not be, as the critics fear, a "collective" or "hallucinatory" state. By rejecting "ideological articulation," ecstasy might put such moral sensitivity in question; in fact, it might even open up a place for ethics.

Traumatic Sites of Memory: Oda Makoto’s Contemporary History

Bruce Suttmeier, Stanford University

When asked to discuss his writing, Oda Makoto (1932–), the novelist and head of the anti-Vietnam War movement in Japan, would often relate a memory from childhood, a memory from the final hours of WWII when Osaka was hit with some of its heaviest bombing of the war. "In the afternoon of August 14, 1945," he wrote in a 1965 essay, "thousands of people died during an aerial bombardment of an arsenal in Osaka. I was a witness to the tragedy. I saw dozens of corpses—loyal subjects literally consumed by service to a government which had already decided to . . . surrender."

The work I take up in this paper, Oda’s huge 1968 novel Gendaishi (Contemporary History), examines and expands the concerns raised in this anecdote: citizen and nation, witness and testimony, the imperatives of memory and the implications of its inscription. This novel of an upper-class Osaka family, one of Oda’s so-called zentai shosetsu ("total novels"), attempts, in the words of Noma Hiroshi, "to encompass the entire age, to bring into view the decade of the 1960s." And yet, despite this straightforward (and problematic) description, I contend that the work actually highlights the prominent and unsettling place of memory, where fragments of the past (primarily the viewing of victimized bodies—from Japanese caught in Allied bombings to Allied soldiers subjected to Japanese vivisection experiments) constantly threaten to overwhelm narration of the present. My paper examines the novel’s attempt to situate such traumatic memory between history and lived experience; in other words, its efforts to address the dislocation of experience and memory in trauma that disrupts an individual’s (and, I suggest, a nation’s) access to history.

Physical Memory and Mimetic Bodies in Postwar Japanese Theater

Miryam Sas, University of California, Berkeley

Theater is one of the central cultural sites where historical memory may be made into a coherent (or incoherent) narrative, reconstructed and challenged. The many experimental theater groups that formed in the 1960s in Japan explored how the past can condition the present, creating disciplines for social bodies and community practices; or they traced the erosion of such scripts, evoking a world of liberation, improvisation, and uncertainty. In their works and everyday lives, members of avant-garde theater companies reframed the imperatives that come to be "written" on the body and questioned the mechanisms that maintained them.

This paper will examine the uses of physical memory and the phantasms of the body in the early work of Terayama Shűji’s company Tenj˘ sajiki, which formed in 1967. I will draw comparisons with the performances and writings of Hijikata Tatsumi, co-founder of the avant-garde dance movement of butoh. Both Terayama and Hijikata reframe remembrance as a performative act, a process of unfolding and probing ever-new areas that can be recognized fully only in the present. Memory becomes an act of discovery, a movement toward a past that alters and bends with each gesture and turn of the performing body. Before a collective gaze, their works also serve as a place for the rehearsal of loss, enacting and repeating the dissolution that is constitutive both of corporeality and of memory.


Session 198: Common Nonsense: Metanarrative, Power, and Silliness in Edo Popular Culture

Organizer and Chair: Katherine Saltzman-Li, University of California, Santa Barbara

Discussant: J. Thomas Rimer, University of Pittsburgh

This panel explores the significance of metanarrative, one of the main procedural operations of literary and dramatic Nonsense, in Edo-period theatre (kabuki) and pictorial comic fiction (gesaku). It will be argued that metanarrative ploys (to wit: strings of puns toying with actor as well as role, authorial asides, etc.) were endemic to much of Edo cultural production because they closed the gap between producer and consumer, thereby enacting group cohesion. The panel explores the meaning of this cohesion in terms of economic, political, and linguistic power, and how these types of power are imbricated within common sense either to be laid bare or enhanced by Nonsense. In the texts examined by the panelists, metanarrative Nonsense underlies all creative attempts to empower both artists and audience/readerships.

By exploring the function of metanarrative in Edo cultural production, the panel furthermore interrogates some currently fashionable claims that metanarrative is primarily a postmodern phenomenon, and that Edo represents a traditional backdrop upon which a postmodern present is posited. Several striking moments of Nonsense in the Edo context are touched upon, such as varying on-stage presentations of actors’ off-stage personalities and concerns, the eruption of children’s tongue-twisters and advertising jingles into theatrical performance, and the mutual dependence of the socially purposeless (as found in Sant˘ Ky˘den’s kiby˘shi) and the common-sense notion of virtue (as developed in the works of Ogyű Sorai).

Humor and Power in Two Classic Genroku Kabuki Plays

Katherine Saltzman-Li, University of California, Santa Barbara

This paper explores humor and its relationship to power in the kabuki plays Shibaraku (Just a Minute!) and Sukeroku yukari no Edo zakura (Sukeroku: Flower of Edo). Shibaraku and Sukeroku both date from the Genroku period with many of their significant aspects having been developed in the performances of Danjűr˘ I (1660–1704) and II (1688–1758). The hero of Shibaraku is one of the great aragoto-style characters; Sukeroku is a comparably great role developed partly in the wagoto style. Both heroes gain power from challenging authority and more: aragoto characters display power through fearsome physicality and vocal delivery and their power is often enhanced by the comic struggles of their antagonists. Wagoto roles often combine a power derived from the sensuousness of the hero with a humor derived from his helplessness. The paper investigates if and how the two heroes fit these patterns.

I look at wordplay and delivery styles of self-introduction speeches and examine how they enhance the message of power. I also look at speech lines in both plays which humorously comment on metatextual issues and whose effect is to draw the audience into the performance as participants, thereby increasing a sense of shared empowerment onstage and off. Finally, I look at the use of comic contrast between the heroes and secondary characters, which is used to augment the power of the heroes at the expense of the little guys who are often equated with the status quo.

Gesaku as Discourse of the Socially Purposeless

Adam L. Kern, National Institute of Japanese Literature

This paper proposes that gesaku, that vast constellation of mass-produced genres popular during the later Edo period, be considered in terms of literary Nonsense—the purposeful discourse of the socially purposeless.

By limiting Nonsense to a specific set of operational procedures that historically informed cultural production, consumption, and criticism, gesaku can be conceptualized by meaningfully contrasting it with its contemporary counterparts. Whereas early Romantic Nonsense tended toward Gestalt and motivational types, and the Victorian variety excelled at semantic and logical types, Edo gesaku favored linguistic, representational, and metafictional types of Nonsense.

As is true of Nonsense, there is an exaltation in gesaku of the socially pointless, such as phonetic whimsy and flatulence (as Gennai infamously addressed in his "Treatise on Farting"). Such an exaltation occurs in "Tamamigaku aoto ga zeni," a kibyoshi by Sant˘ Ky˘den, the preeminent producer of gesaku. The absurd premise of this piece is that the Neo-Confucian injunction to be useful is suddenly enacted by everyone in society. Kabuki actors leave the stage to till fields, the physically disabled replace the actors on stage and perform nothing but morality plays, and syphilitic prostitutes take up Sumo wrestling. By story’s end, the only useless things are belly buttons and monetary offerings to the dead.

I conclude by suggesting that Ky˘den’s discourse of the socially purposeless was purposeful in that it exposed the seemingly commonsensical Neo-Confucian rhetoric of the virtue of usefulness (especially in the works of Ogyű Sorai) as a social construction, and thus as nonsense.

Dramatic Nonsense in Kabuki

Laurence R. Kominz, Portland State University

This paper examines the relationship among dramatic nonsense, linguistic play, and personal power using the play Uiro Uri (The Medicine Peddlar, 1716). The play features a three-minute-long virtuoso recitation of a series of tongue twisters and puns. Written and performed by Ichikawa Danjűr˘ II (1688–1758), the play was staged repeatedly by Danjuro and his descendants. Robust sales of the printed text throughout the Edo period led thousands of Japanese to learn to recite the peddlar’s tongue-twisting spiel themselves.

The appeal of the medicine seller’s nonsense derives from the enjoyment of subverting the normal logic of language, which is to create rational utterances based on the meanings of words. In Uiro Uri’s tongue twisters, sound rather than meaning is the dominant means of communication, offering a playful exercise of power rather than specific semantic meaning. The man who led others on this daring verbal roller coaster ride earned the accolades of those who journeyed with him. Danjuro II’s mastery of nonsense was one means by which he established his own authority and wealth in the kabuki world.

This paper will investigate the origins of the puns and tongue twisters in the recitation, many of which derive from children’s songs and rhymes, and explore how nonsense creates a special bond among creators, performers, participants, and audiences. The accessibility of Uiro Uri’s wordplay allowed all Japanese, even children, to participate. The creation of an "in-group" of participants was significant, because family-like support groups were essential to the success of kabuki actors.


Session 199: Access, Cases, Theory: Rethinking Japanese Organizations from an Anthropological Perspective

Organizer, Chair and Discussant: Mitchell W. Sedgwick, Cambridge University

Keywords: organizations, Japan, anthropology, methods, theory.

Given anthropology’s traditional non-Western field sites it is not surprising that Japan was the first industrialized society to attract ethnographic analysis of formal organizations. This focus has over the last 30 years traced the movement of anthropological theory—largely derived from fieldwork in "simpler" societies though re-routed ethnographically through Japan’s thoroughly modern context. The wide range and, by now, considerable historical depth of this work acknowledges the centrality of organizations to analysis of the modern condition in Japan; a perspective anthropologists share with other disciplines. However, where other disciplines have taken up Japanese organizations as, for instance, interests and/or rational actors competing over economic and political power, nodes in networked systems, purveyors of successful and copyable industrial practices, etc., anthropologists have generally avoided mirroring the rational functionality of modern organizations in their interpretations of Japanese organizational activities and forms. Rather, analysis has been underpinned by an appreciation, rooted in in-depth fieldwork experience, that formal organizations’ procedures and structures are sustained through nonrationalized activities pervading the sociality and, so, the practices of Japanese organizations, as elsewhere. Anthropological descriptions and analyses of organizations tend to be rich and complex—and so perhaps accurately reflect organizational life—because, along with formal and explicit activities and goals, the informal and the inexplicit are given analytical voice.

The goal of this panel is: (1) to make explicit the processes and impact of anthropological methodology—that is, gaining access and carrying out fieldwork—on (2) the presentation of an original set of interpretations of Japanese organizational activity. Demonstrative of the range of Japanese organizations that continue to attract anthropological enquiry, we examine private firms, educational, and voluntary organizations; in all cases recognizing, as our core subjects, persons organized by and organizing of contemporary Japan.

Hierarchies, Networks, Markets and Frames: Reconsidering Japanese Organizations

Brian Moeran, Danish Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities

The structure of the field of the anthropology of Japan sets out for those therein a series of questions which orient the research and activities that take place in that field, and which simultaneously limit the range of questions that are considered legitimate among those concerned. Thus, when analyzing Japanese organizations, we have found ourselves having to cope with a special vocabulary that includes such phrases as "vertical society," (small) group and individual, attribute and frame, personal connections, networks, factions, plus a host of indigenous concepts like uchi/soto, omote/ura, tatemae/honne, senpai/kohai and so on. The question that I wish to pose here is: is it possible or advisable to break away from this vocabulary that has hitherto determined our way of thinking about Japanese society? If so, how should we rephrase our discussions (while recognizing, with Bourdieu, that they will always be limited by the field or fields in which we operate)?

This paper is based primarily on intensive ethnographic fieldwork carried out in a Japanese advertising agency during 1990, but it also incorporates observations made of Japanese organizational practices during the 13 years that the author has spent in Japan. It specifically examines the legacy of Chie Nakane’s work, points out certain problems in the formation and reception of its arguments, and suggests that we adopt, instead, an intermediate theoretical framework that makes use of hierarchies, networks, markets and frames. These coordinates and their interaction are illustrated in the general context of the structure and organization of the advertising industry in Japan and, specifically, its characteristic split-account system. It is argued that this framework facilitates cross-cultural comparison heretofore lacking in analysis of Japanese organizations.

The Unwaged Organization: Citizens’ Movements, Extra-domestic Networking, and Social Identity Formation among Japanese Women

Okpyo Moon, Academy of Korean Studies

In most studies of Japanese organizations, we may note a conspicuous lack of female perspectives. Not only are those women in public employment—their views, career strategies, lifestyles, etc.—insufficiently dealt with, there is almost a complete disregard of those women who are not employed. This paper focuses upon those who do not have waged employment, but have tried to construct their own social space outside the domestic sphere. Characteristically, many of them regard their domestic role as wives, mothers or daughters-in-law as though it is a job to be fulfilled according to certain regulations and expectations. Meanwhile extra-domestic social activity groups provide them a space where they realize their own aspirations according to principles different from those of traditional institutions such as the ie, Japan’s classic extended family. It is these "full-time housewives" who have been most active in the citizens’ movements in Japan.

This paper is based on research carried out with a team of six sociologists and three anthropologists on social movements and citizens’ lives in Kawasaki-shi. Between 1994–96 the author conducted participant observation at citizens’ centers as well as repeated interviews with individuals and groups there and in the larger community. By analyzing how women negotiate their domestic and extra-domestic activities and identities, this paper hopes to raise fundamental questions concerning such concepts as "public," "private," "formal," and "informal" in our conceptions of Japanese organizations.

The Japanese Organization and the Individual: Exploring "The Generation Gap"

Gordon Mathews, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Much non-anthropological theorizing about Japanese organizations has been from the perspective of the organization: thus the individuality of the members of organizations has been analytically suppressed. However, if we examine the mindsets of individuals in organizations, we can gain a sense of how those individuals are progressively shaped to fit their organization, and how, in turn, they may themselves reshape the organization. In this paper, based on extensive interviews with Japanese corporate employees of various ages in Tokyo in 1999–2000, I explore a theme that emerges from any consideration of the individual in organizations in Japan today, that of "the generation gap"; and I examine what this "generation gap" means from an anthropological perspective.

The "generation gap" has been prominent in Japanese popular writing over the past several decades: "young people are completely different from their elders," it has often been claimed. However, until recently, these young people have, eventually, become much like their corporate elders before them, in their behavior if not necessarily in their thoughts. Today, however, due to (a) the partial discrediting of Japanese management and its age-based hierarchy and ideal of lifetime employment, and (b) information technology, which is shifting the corporate center of knowledge, the corporate balance of power may be shifting from old to young. This may perhaps be fundamentally altering the relation of individual to company in Japan.

How I Learned to Play: The Rules of the Game in Japanese Organizations

Michael Ashkenazi, Regents College

Japanese organizations are settings in which subsets of general (Japanese) social rules apply to participants. These rules are expected to further the goals of the organization, often at the expense of participants’ own values, preferences, and goals. The payoff for the individual is emotional and sometimes material support provided by the group. I argue here that a fruitful way of examining Japanese organizations is to use concepts from the analysis of games and play.

Games are recursive rule-bound areas of life where artificial, often self-created, rules are used as measures of success and failure within that activity. Players can step in and step out of being in the game which, while it may provide a spectacle for viewers, is primarily there to engage the interests and energy of the players.

To illustrate this point, I will describe the process of learning the rules imposed on a marginal newcomer—myself as ethnographer—as I felt my way into a series of different Japanese organizations over a period of some 25 years. One of the most startling findings, and one I paid very little attention to at the time, was the degree to which participants could "step-away" from the rules of the game, and examine them almost dispassionately. Like other players of games, my informants were passionate about what they did, but they also recognized that these were not games of life (immutable and "real") but games of choice (one could be involved or not, as a matter of preference). The evidence, experiential though it is, and spread over a lengthy period of time, suggests that there is a great deal of benefit to be found in analyzing processes within Japanese organizations in much the same way as one does other bounded, emergent events such as games.


Session 200: Winners and Losers? A Reevaluation of Japanese War Literature

Organizer: Guohe Zheng, Ball State University

Chair: David C. Earhart, University of Montana

Discussant: Gregory J. Kasza, Indiana University

Keywords: war literature, censorship, nationalism, master narrative.

This panel proposes a reexamination of Japanese literature produced during the Asia-Pacific War (1937–1940) and postwar works addressing the war because critics in the West and in Japan, too, have often treated this body of literature as an aesthetic misfire. Our purpose is to question the relation of war literature to the whole of modern Japanese literary history. Our premise is that any unifying, monotone narrative of Japanese writers in the war runs the risk of smoothing over rich, complex experiences with a postwar gloss of victor/vanquished vocabulary. The literary works and careers we discuss reflect different approaches to the challenges of wartime and show the shortcomings of what we call the "master narrative" of modern Japanese literature.

This master narrative closely parallels modernization theory: just as the war represents a step backward in Japan’s high road to economic greatness, so the literature of the war years is an interruption of Japan’s "high culture" or aesthetic tradition. "True" literary production could not occur under the shadow of government censorship and state ideology. This scenario divides authors into the majority that supported and "lost" the war and the tiny minority that did not and "won." Regardless of their critical and popular esteem before the war’s end, today most writers associated with various semi-official and official wartime writers’ groups haunt an interpretive no-man’s land. Of these "losers," Kawabata alone was rehabilitated after the war. This monolithic framework acknowledges only two or three "winners" whose careers were "interrupted" because they did not cooperate with the war effort: Tanizaki, Kafu, and Shiga.

Our panel will question this master narrative of modern Japanese literature and ask that war literature be treated on the same level of originality and complexity as other subsets of Japanese literature. To this end, we will explore the following aspects of Japanese war literature: David Earhart will argue for subversion in Japanese wartime literature; Guohe Zheng and David Stahl will examine the difficulties of discussing truth and fiction in the war novels of Dazai Osamu and Ooka Shohei. We hope to suggest a fuller, more detailed picture of Japanese war literature that establishes its place in the Japanese canon.

The Possibility of Subversion in Japanese Wartime Writing

David C. Earhart, University of Montana

Literary subversion arises when the relationship between literary creation and the sociopolitical milieu is of a symbiotic, antagonistic nature. A delicate literary plant, subversion only blossoms when placed under a bell jar that is an unsympathetic, but not entirely unpermissive, sociopolitical system. The relationship is precarious: subversive writing quickly reaches the dome of glass that both nurtures and restrains its growth, but fails to muster the force needed to break through or displace the bell jar. Thus subversive literature differs greatly from its heartier cousin, socially critical literature, in that it accepts (however begrudgingly) its inability to change society, or even to call for social change.

The Japanese sociopolitical milieu of the 1930s acted as a bell jar for particularly Japanese brands of subversive literature that briefly flourished in the early Showa, in the six or seven years between the ruthless suppression of leftist writers and the government’s proclamation of the New Order in 1940. This paper will briefly describe early Showa in these terms before examining two types of Japanese subversive writing of the late 1930s. The first type, antiestablishment subversion, is represented by the novella "The Maid’s Story" (Jochu no hanashi, 1938) by Nagai Kafu. The second, establishment subversion, is found in the novel Wheat and Soldiers (Mugi to heitai, 1938) by Hino Ashihei. Between these two falls the third type, a group of works commonly referred to as tenko, or "reorientation" literature produced by "reformed" leftists. By portraying the act of tenko in his novel White Night (Byakuya, 1934), Murayama Tomoyoshi himself arrives at an inadvertent form of subversion. Though these three subversive works represent radically different solutions to the problem of creating under extreme duress, their common denominator is a tone, however feeble, of dissent.

Truth and Fiction: Lu Xun as Seen in Dazai Osamu’s Regretful Parting

Guohe Zheng, Ball State University

War literature has often been deemed as unworthy of in-depth study. As a result, war years have been treated either as "barren" or as an interruption to Japan’s aesthetic tradition. This paper challenges this master narrative by examining Dazai Osamu’s wartime novel Regretful Parting.

In 1944 Dazai Osamu was commissioned by the Cabinet Information Bureau to write a novel on "Independence and Amity," one of the five principles newly adopted by the Greater East Asia Conference. Regretful Parting is the result of this commission. The novel tells of the prominent Chinese writer Lu Xun when he was a medical student in Japan and of the crises leading to his decision to abandon a career in medicine to become a writer and his regretful parting with Professor Fujino, his respected benefactor.

The paper begins by briefly introducing Lu Xun as a historical figure. Then it goes on to differentiate truth and fiction by sorting out the discrepancies between Lu Xun as a historic figure and as presented in the novel. This is followed by an analysis of the fictional parts of the novel. Finally, based on this analysis, the paper argues there are two agendas in Regretful Parting. One of them openly caters to those who commissioned the work, the other is hidden and it harbors Dazai’s own interpretation of Lu Xun and his true feeling about the military government. The skillful use of irony, humor and facetiousness and the author’s courage to use these to subvert the propagandistic aims of the commission makes this novel a work that deserves a more careful reading and its author a reevaluation as a wartime writer.

Truth and Fiction in Ooka Shohei’s Fires on the Plains

David C. Stahl, Middlebury College

Fires on the Plains (1952), the tortured memoir (shuki) Tamura composes as a patient in a Tokyo mental hospital, is one of the most important, highly acclaimed and popular novels on Japanese battlefield experience during the Asia Pacific War. While Ooka Shohei’s novel can and has been read as an honest, factual account of a frontline soldier’s battlefield experience, insufficient attention has been given to the significance of its underlying fictionality.

While clearly a work of fiction, Fires on the Plains is based substantially on Ooka’s personal battlefield experience in the Philippines. And although Tamura’s memoir is presented as a survivor’s honest account of defeat and survival, there are clear intimations that he is fabricatjng crucial aspects of his past experience. To fully appreciate this complex and challenging novel, one must come to grips with thorny issues of truth and fiction and clarify the relationship of the work to Ooka’s traumatic battlefield experience and efforts to come to terms with it in literature.

Like Ooka, Tamura was internally conflicted as he composed his memoirs. While for the most part able to maintain emotional distance from and narrative control of his story, the powerful return of repressed battlefield memories periodically causes him to lose perspective and control and record present tense struggles with unresolved issues of guilt and self-recrimination. Close examination of his treatment of five key "scenes of atrocity" in terms of emotional distance and narrative control not only enables one to roughly separate the "truth" from the "lies," but also articulate why he fails to affect the explicit aim of his memoir—recovery. And, while Tamura may ultimately fail in his efforts to come to terms with his past, Ooka, the man behind the scenes, certainly does not.


Session 212: Punishment, Welfare, and Sex: Regulatory Strategies in the Japanese Colonial Empire, 1895–1945

Organizer: David R. Ambaras, North Carolina State University

Chair: Louise Young, New York University

Discussants: Sabine FrŘhstŘck, University of California, Santa Barbara; Louise Young, New York University

Keywords: Japan, imperialism, colonialism, history, 20th century.

From 1895 to 1945, as Japan extended its empire in Asia, authorities in the metropole and the colonies sought to develop new techniques of rule that would not only regulate the movement and activities of subject populations but also embody prevailing ideologies of Japan’s imperial mission. To colonial officials and their associates, practical questions of social control had to be considered in light of their implications for Japan’s position within global discourses on civilization, nationhood, race, and regionalism.

This panel examines the development of programs for punishing criminals, administering the lower classes, and supervising the sex trade in colonial Taiwan, Korea, and Manchuria. Daniel Botsman argues that new penal discourses and practices served to demonstrate Japan’s adherence to Western conceptions of legality and progress, while nonetheless leaving room for the application of raw power to recalcitrant colonial subjects. David Ambaras highlights the significance of social welfare programs as a means of integrating and disciplining subjects in both the colonies and the metropole, and as a crucial element in Japan’s emerging Asianist policies. Eika Tai emphasizes that official approaches to the treatment of Japanese and Taiwanese women in the Taiwan prostitution industry reflected both the imperatives of colonial immigration policies and shifting conceptions of racial hierarchies within the empire. Together, the papers open new perspectives on the relationship between theories and practices of domination at critical junctures in Japan’s imperial development.

Whipping the Empire into Shape: Japanese Views of Punishment, Race and Civilization in East Asia, 1895–1912

Daniel V. Botsman, Harvard University

In the middle decades of the nineteenth century, Enlightenment ideas about the links between punishment and civilization were imposed on China and Japan by the Western powers. The institution of extraterritoriality, in particular, was based on the notion that countries which did not have "modern" (i.e., Western) penal systems should not be allowed to punish the subjects of civilized (white) nations. In 1894, Japan became the first non-Western nation to secure the abolition of extraterritoriality, and with its victory in the Sino-Japanese War the following year, it began to build a modern empire of its own. Against this historical background, my paper will examine the debates that took place amongst penologists and policy makers in Japan, about how colonial subjects in Taiwan, and later Korea, should be punished. In particular, I will focus on a controversy surrounding the distinctly "Oriental" punishment of whipping, which had been abolished in Japan in 1872, but which was now approved for non-Japanese subjects elsewhere in the Empire. The use of whipping in the colonies was firmly condemned by progressive penologists such as Ogawa Shigejiro, but the paper will conclude by showing that the modern prison, which was his preferred option, was just as firmly entrenched within the politics of Empire.

Empire of Welfare: Social Work and Japanese Colonialism, 1918–1945

David R. Ambaras, North Carolina State University

In the aftermath of the 1918 Rice Riots in Japan and the 1919 March 1st Movement in Korea, officials of the Japanese empire sought to develop new techniques for pacifying, integrating, and mobilizing subjects both in the home islands and in the colonies. Social work programs, such as the system of district welfare commissioners inaugurated in Japan in 1918, in Korea and Taiwan in the 1920s, and in Manchukuo in the 1930s, constituted a critical element in this project. First, social work provided a means of implicating local notables, both Japanese and non-Japanese, as sub-elites in a progressively standardized system of social discipline that not only gathered information on and responded to local conditions but also facilitated the regulation of colonial migrants. Second, the formation of a network of social welfare associations and the circulation of a corps of social policy experts suggest that techniques of social discipline were not simply exported whole cloth to the colonies. Rather, metropolitan and colonial developments informed each other as parts of a complex imperial whole. Finally, as activities such as the 1940 Welfare Conference for the Development of Asia demonstrate, social work became an ideological pillar of Japan’s campaign to construct a New Order, and later a Co-Prosperity Sphere, in the region.

Sexual Management in Colonial Taiwan: Prostitutes, "Comfort Women" and the Mothers of the Japanese Race

Eika Tai, North Carolina State University

This paper looks into the role that colonial sexual management played in the construction of a Japanese nation in the site of Taiwan under Japanese rule. The control of Taiwan began with the massive arrival of Naichijin (homeland people) prostitutes, which was part of the Japanese sex industry flourishing in Asia. Colonial officials appreciated the presence of these prostitutes, who were seen to be beneficial for the settlement of Naichijin male immigrants. Under the licensed prostitution system, brought over from the homeland, both Naichijin and Taiwanese women from poor families were exploited as prostitutes. Although the former were nominally ranked higher than the latter, their Naichijin status did not protect them against the sexual desire of Taiwanese customers. Such a practice was tolerated under the colonial policy that officially stressed commonality between ruler and ruled and assimilation through intermarriage as well as education. Yet it subverted colonial hierarchy, the predominance of which was a prerequisite to the establishment of the Japanese nation. It was the particular patterns of recruiting "comfort women" after the late 1930s that clearly indicated the rise of colonial hierarchy: poor Taiwanese women were sent to military comfort stations to provide sexual services for Naichijin men while poor Naichijin women were protected from this recruitment because of their Naichijin status, or rather, their status as Mother of the Japanese Race, a concept emerging in the contemporary eugenic discourse. This distinction symbolically marked the closure of the Japanese ethnic nation against the colonized.


Session 213: Traditions and Innovations: Staging Noh at Different Historical Junctures

Organizer and Chair: Shelley Fenno Quinn, Ohio State University

Discussant: Erika de Poorter, Leiden University

Noh is often described as a traditional performing art (dent˘ gein˘) with an unbroken history of six hundred years. Yet, it is equally valid to say that what has remained constant about Noh as a living tradition is its susceptibility to change. Changes in performance practices are a telling indication of the expressive capabilities of the genre and of evolving patterns in its perception and reception. This panel will explore one such aspect of change in particular, the expressive potential of Noh as manifested in its staging (enshutsu).

We will concentrate on three important historical junctures in the tradition. The first will be the production of elaborately staged plays known as furyű n˘ by the actor Konparu Zenp˘ (1454–?) and others in the late Muromachi period. The second will be the devising of variant stage directions (kogaki) by the actor Kanze Motoakira (1722–74) in the mid-Edo period. The third will be the experiments of the actor Kanze Hisao (1925–78) in the decades after World War II.

How did Noh performers at these three different junctures perceive and present the tradition? For what kinds of effects were they striving? Were they trying to reinvent the tradition for their own purposes, and if so, how? At each juncture, we will explore relations between change and established performance practice, and what changes in enshutsu suggest about shifts in performance contexts.

Performing Furyű Noh: The Theater of Muromachi Noh Performer Konparu Zenp˘

Beng Choo Lim, National University of Singapore

Late medieval noh theater presented a repertoire so different from earlier times that noh historians have given it a special name, furyű noh. Furyű noh is often characterized by a more dramatic plot and more elaborate stage presentations, in contrast to the music oriented plays produced earlier, when noh first established itself as an important entertainment form of the military elite.

The Konparu noh troupe leader and performer Zenp˘ (1454–?) is one of the representative noh performers of this period. Zenp˘, as well as other noh performers, such as his Kanze troupe rival Nobumitsu (1435–1516), wrote many plays that shared the characteristics of a foreign source of inspiration and a text that is less literally inclined.

The emergence of furyű noh poised as a somewhat awkward (and perhaps inferior) development in the noh theater, although it was nevertheless an important stage in noh history. What are the roles of noh performers such as Zenp˘ in the construction of furyű noh? How was furyű style noh presented? What is the significance of the emergence of this sub-genre? These are questions pertinent to the understanding of the furyű phenomenon in noh theater. In this paper I will attempt to answer these questions by examining the plays and treatises of Konparu Zenp˘, the furyű noh composer and performer.

Variant Stage Directions (kogaki) in Noh of the Mid-Edo Period

Reiko Yamanaka, Hosei University

Today, Noh plays have a great number of variant stage directions, or kogaki. A few of them are what remain of the original stage directions of plays, which were consigned to the status of variants and replaced by more standardized stage directions. However, during the mid-Edo period (eighteenth century) many new variants were developed whose styles are directly linked to stage variants of today.

By mid-Edo, many of the variables of performance and the parameters for innovation had been established and a knowledgeable performer could use these established variables not only to make certain plays more entertaining but also to actualize his own interpretations of them.

The work of the fifteenth head of the Kanze School of Noh, Kanze Motoakira (1722–74), is especially noteworthy. It was crucial to the development of many variants. Some of his new ideas and performing styles are thought even to have influenced the directions of rival schools of performers.

I will survey variants belonging to Motoakira’s period from several vantage points. What is their make-up? What were their aims? How have they been received by successive performers?

Tradition and the Individual Talent: The Case of Kanze Hisao

Shelley Fenno Quinn, Ohio State University

The Noh actor Kanze Hisao (1925–1978) was born with what it took to progress smoothly to the top of his profession. He was the eldest son of the head of a collateral branch of the prestigious Kanze line of actors. From childhood, he was quickly recognized as an exceptional talent, and underwent training by some of the leading performers of that time.

Yet Kanze was not content with the state of Noh as he perceived it, and from young adulthood strived to institute change. He developed strategies for attracting non-traditional audiences. He wrote quite extensively about the art, urging a return to its roots through the drama theory of Zeami (1363?–1443?). He cultivated a comparative perspective by going to Paris to study the theater scene there. This insatiable drive to reevaluate, perhaps even recreate, the tradition singled Kanze out from most of his contemporaries.

Kanze was also an innovator on stage, and it is this aspect of his activity that will be the focus here. He objected to what he saw as a tendency for modern actors to follow uncritically the received and rather generic staging of plays. Actors should revisit the classical texts when contemplating how to perform them, he argued. Drawing on my interviews with performers and spectators familiar with Kanze’s performances, this paper will explore whether Kanze’s innovations in the staging of plays indeed reflect this conviction.


Session 214: Incest Narratives in Contemporary Japanese Literature and Film

Organizer and Chair: Melissa Wender, Bates College

Discussant: Charles Shiro Inouye, Tufts University

As Richard H. King argues in an analysis of Faulkner in A Southern Renaissance (Oxford, 1986), because the incest taboo is almost universally seen as a primary sign of civilization, in literary works it often becomes "the mythological emblem of the apocalypse and of ‘foundlings,’ of the bestial and the superhuman, the disruptive as well as the constitutive. Its occurrence signals destruction and creation" (117).

King writes of Western literature, but this panel will show that much the same might be said of the Japanese case. The papers will explicate the ways that a number of contemporary Japanese authors and filmmakers have used narratives of incest to imagine the overturning of the fundamental paradigms of gender and sexuality and race and blood. At the same time, noting the fact that language/narrative and the incest taboo are two of the primary markers of the civilized, which in this case can be read "Japanese," they will consider how incest motif is used to consider what is properly Japanese.

Nakagawa will focus on sexuality, and in particular, the changing and conflicting relationship between desire and identity that emerges in the texts of male filmmakers and women fiction writers of the 1960s and 70s. Wender and Zimmerman, in contrast, will read texts by "minority" Japanese and, not surprisingly, examine the authors’ use of incest to ponder questions of race or blood. Wender will speak about a story by Resident Korean Kin Kakuei, questioning his metaphorical use of a tale of a woman’s experience of incest to speak about miscegenation and Korean identity. Zimmerman will discuss the way that buraku author Nakagami Kenji uses brother-sister love to contemplate the relationship between the act of narration and outcaste status.

The Visuality of Desire and Troubled Gender

Shigemi Nakagawa, Ritsumeikan University

In contemporary Japanese literature, we find texts that treat sexuality in many troubled forms, but seldom any that touch on the incest taboo. On the other hand, the incest taboo has become one of most influential topics in Japanese popular culture. Women’s weekly magazines insist that it is not an unusual event, that it happens everywhere between mother and son, father and daughter, and same sex brothers and sisters.

When Takahashi Mutsuo edited The Incest Taboo in 1976, he argued that the taboo was not extraordinary but central, since it is concerned with human being’s desire. To paraphrase him, the concept of the incest taboo concealed the cognition of the Other. From this perspective, subjectivity depends on each individual’s consciousness of sexual desire, and brings about gender division.

Imamura Shohei, one of the foremost film directors in Japan, pursued the theme of incest in his works, including Nippon Konchuki (The Insect Woman, 1963), Jinruigaku Nyumon (The Pornographers: Introduction to Anthropology, 1966), based on Nosaka Akiyuki’s novel Erogoto-shi tachi (Pornographers, 1963), and Kamigami no Fukaki Yokubo (The Profound Desire of the Gods, 1968). These films explore the human desire for incestuous sex. Imamura described our imagination of sexual relations through the lens of Japan’s ethnographical discourse, but I will consider the conclusions he is making about man’s identity.

In 1969, Wakamatsu Koji made a film titled Bara no Soretsu (A Funeral of Roses) based on the Greek tragedy of Oedipus. In it, Wakamatsu deconstructs sexual and gender identity. By comparing these films by male directors with the 1960s and 70s novels of women writers such as Enchi Fumiko, Kono Taeko, Takahashi Takako, and Tomioka Taeko, I will analyze how these different texts define the construction of the incest taboo.

Incest and Identity in Kin Kakuei’s "A Stone Path"

Melissa Wender, Bates College

The violent and often torn family haunts the literature of Koreans in Japan. Not surprisingly, the family in such texts has often served either as a metaphor for the nation or as an archetype of the Resident Korean family. In such a context, it is not a stretch to read the incestuous relationships peppered throughout Resident Korean literature as commentary on the mandate to keep one’s blood pure.

In this paper, I will consider the abusive father-daughter relations that form the core of Kin Kakuei’s "Ishi no michi" (A Stone Path, 1973). The narrative tracks the life of a female protagonist, Pang-ne, through her difficult childhood, and ends with her aborting a fetus conceived through rape by her stepfather. At this moment, in an anesthesia-induced dream, seeing a road lined with poplar trees (a sign of Korea), she thinks, "this is it." As these details suggest, it is hard to read this as anything but a national allegory. More specifically, one feels compelled to read it as a challenge to the taboo of miscegenation, since Pang-ne’s maturation is tied to her rejection of incest. Simple enough. Just as rape is such a predominant motif in the literature of colonization, incestuous abuse of women appears as the vehicle for a point about miscegenation. However, even while Pang-ne is represented in a sympathetic light, it behooves us to ask ourselves two questions: (1) why does woman’s sexuality so often become the plane onto which so many other issues are projected? and (2) what are the ethics of using incest as an abstraction, as a metaphor?

Telling the Story All Over Again: Brother-Sister Love in the Fiction of Nakagami Kenji

Eve Zimmerman, Wellesley College

At the end of Misaki (The Cape, 1976), Akiyuki, a laborer, sleeps with his half-sister, a prostitute with whom he shares a biological father. In this explosive ending, Akiyuki wants to "pluck out his beating heart and press it into her breast, merge their two hearts, rub them one against another." In the safe haven of his sister’s body, Akiyuki attempts to solve the riddle of his identity by literally turning his body inside out. In Karekinada (Kareki Straits, 1977) Nakagami goes even further, using a brother-sister love suicide song to ponder the coordinates of outcaste (burakumin) identity. Incest is fundamentally linked to the creation of a space apart or what Nakagami calls in his nonfictional writing, an "upside-down country." It also addresses specific fears of miscegenation that float through majority society.

Finally, Nakagami reveals his views on narrative through the incest motif. Because incest signals a turning back into the bloodline, it marks the dissolution of self, the merging into one, even the embrace of death. Similarly, incest shapes narrative. Regressive, silent and hidden, incest is the act that is intuited before it is discovered, the secret that lies shimmering below the surface. Narrative loses forward movement, looping around itself in the service of revealing what is already known. Through the negation that is incest, Nakagami challenged the modes of modern Japanese prose writing, promising not authenticity or resolution but revision and repetition. His incest fiction, too, constitutes a country apart.