Chair: Michael Watson, Meiji Gakuin University
Without the painstaking work of generations of scholars on manuscript sources, our understanding of older cultures would be much poorer. It would be a mistake, however, to imagine that the age of textual study has passed. Learning to read handwritten texts and to produce annotated editions is an essential part of the training in premodern Japanese studies. Many questions can only be considered through a close examination of the manuscript evidence. The members of this roundtable are specialists in Heian and medieval literature actively involved in basic textual research (honmon kenkyū) and the preparation of editions from manuscript sources. The panelists will begin by giving short presentations that illustrate general problems involved in the editing and annotation of texts and in understanding how surviving texts are related. Kido Kuniko summarizes what can be learned by a close study of textual material in illustrated manuscripts of Ise monogatari. Niimi Akihiko presents a new approach to textual differences in manuscripts of Genji monogatari by a cladistic analysis of the “Hahakigi” (“Broom Tree”) chapter. Yokomizo Hiroshi considers the problem of textual relations of a commmentary on Genji monogatari. Midorikawa Machiko illustrates how special features of texts can now be represented on the computer screen, thanks to advances in character encoding. Michael Watson closes by comparing recent trends in electronic text editions of premodern vernacular literature from Japan and Europe. The discussant is the medieval literature specialist Keller Kimbrough.
1) Kido Kuniko, Tokai Women’s Junior College
2) Akihiko Niimi, Kure National College of Technology
3) Hiroshi Yokomizo, Waseda University
4) Machiko Midorikawa, Kanto Gakuin University
5) Michael Watson, Meiji Gakuin University
Discussant: Randle Keller Kimbrough, Nanzan University / University of Colorado
Session 12: The Other and the Same in Recent Japanese Literature and Film
Organizer: Irena Hayter, University of London
Chair: Atsuko Sasaki, University of Toronto
This panel focuses on figures of otherness and identity in recent Japanese cultural texts. The papers share a common concern with the ideological implications of certain tropes and formal strategies, as well as with their effects on material realities. We propose approaches which transcend the traditional dichotomies between the discursive and the historical, the textual and the political. Atsuko Sakaki investigates the changing meanings of Paris in the work of the contemporary novelist Horie Toshiyuki (1964–). Horie’s Paris is not an aestheticised topos, but a quotidian space contested by immigrants. Sakaki explores how the chromatic aesthetics of film noir is used to articulate the ambiguities of this postcolonial space. Rachael Hutchinson’s essay examines Kitano Takeshi’s experiments in moving versus still photography in his Kikujiro (Kikujirō no natsu, 1999) and their role in the film’s constructions of individual and national identity. Baryon Posadas is concerned with the strategic returns of the psychic other—the doppelgänger—in Edogawa Ranpo’s story Twins (Sōseiji, 1924) and Tsukamoto Shinya’s film adaptation of it titled Gemini (1999). Posadas argues that the doppelgänger destabilizes conceptions of temporality and history and foregrounds the historical implications of the repetition of the past. Irena Hayter’s paper interrogates the disjunction between content and cinematic style in the films of Iwai Shunji and Sai Yoichi. While the formal strategies of the films articulate a shift away from nationalism towards inclusivity, the question remains whether this pluralism is truly radical or whether it is inscribed within the deterritorialising logic of global capitalism.
1) Atsuko Sakaki, University of Toronto
What’s the Matter with “M”?: Horie Toshiyuki Addresses Multisensorial Multiculturalism in Paris, Circa 1995
In view of the recent rioting in the suburban Paris, labeled as an eruption of frustration of the second-generation North African immigrants, the Akutagawa Prize winning novelist and scholar and translator of French Literature, Horie Toshiyuki’s (1964–) omnibus, Oparaban (Auparavant, 1998) comes to bear new significance. With most of the stories set in Paris or its vicinities, retold by a Japanese temporary resident there, Horie offers a variation on the trope of the Japanese in Paris, by illustrating his encounters with foreigners, through commonalities of experiencing the multiethnic metropolis and the transnational media. Unlike precedents in modern Japanese literature, which hold Paris as the epitome of intellect, romance, and high art, Horie’s stories relate the minutiae of quotidian life ineradicably infiltrated by multiple ethnicities in the forms of everyday food, athletic entertainment, and television programmes. The Japanese protagonist typically finds himself sharing the anti-French sentiment with immigrants, and yet remains skeptical of the validity of celebrating the global village, knowing the contingency of such transnational bonding. My paper will discuss a story “M,” which, referencing Fritz Lang’s film M (1931) that anticipates a crisis in ethnic diversity on the eve of the Nazi’s rise to power, depicts an incidental friendship between the Japanese narrator and Moroccan men, developed over subway rides, F1 race watching and a pot of stew, and complicate globalization in Paris with multiethnic commodities and labour force that are both accepted and rejected—the ambiguity effectively addressed in association with the monochrome scheme in Film Noir.
2) Rachael Hutchinson, Colgate University
Hold that Pose! Photography and Kabuki in Takeshi Kitano’s Kikujiro
This paper examines Takeshi Kitano’s Kikujiro (Kikujirō no Natsu, 1999) from two directions: first, as an exploration of Japanese identity, and second, as an experiment in moving versus still photography. I argue that it is in Kitano’s use of traditional still poses from the kabuki drama that identity and experiment come together. Kitano plays upon the conventions of both kabuki and film media to highlight the significance of the ‘still shot’ as it functions in human memory. By presenting moments of the story in the format of a child’s photograph album, Kitano is able to interrogate notions of ‘adult’ and ‘child’ as equally arbitrary constructions. Throughout Kikujiro, Kitano draws on a rich tradition of film, drama and television convention in order to explore the idea of where identity comes from - does it come from the past, the present, or do we make it up ourselves? Kitano places great emphasis on the still mie pose to heighten emotion and draw attention to the present moment. By contrasting this method against that of photography, Kitano juxtaposes past and present modes of expression, enabling him to interrogate notions of time and the supposed timelessness of art. Finally, Kitano’s critical use of the past locates identity not in some distant, unobtainable myth of the nation, but in the lived experience of each individual as a human being.
3) Irena Hayter
A Postmodern Nationalism? Form and Ideology in Japanese Film
My paper intends to explore representations of the ethnic other in recent Japanese film (Iwai Shunji and Sai Yoichi, although those might change). I regard film as a symptomatic articulation of certain emerging ideological constellations and I will use my reading of the films to sketch out a possible approach to Japanese nationalism in the post-bubble decades. I will focus on the disjunction between content, on one hand, and visual style and formal structures, on the other: while the appearance of non-Japanese characters in these films is often regarded as a critique of Japanese homogeneity, their formal strategies often work to present a dispersed, but nonetheless hegemonic Japanese identity and to regulate the threatening jouissance of the other. The formal structures of the films do articulate a shift away from essentialist nationalism towards multiculturalism and inclusivity; however, the questions remains whether this pluralism is truly radical or whether it is inscribed within the deterritorialising logic of global capitalism.
The theoretical backbone of my reading will be provided by Slavoj Žižek’s ideas on nationalism, subject formation and identity. Žižek departs from the dominant theories of nationalism as discursive and monolithic (exemplified by the work of Benedict Anderson and Homi Bhabha) and insists instead on a psychoanalytical conceptualization in which nationalism functions to conceal a non-discursive traumatic antagonism. I will argue that such an approach allows for a better grasp of the configurations of Japanese nationalism in the last two decades.
4) Baryon Tensor Posadas, University of Toronto
Doppelgänger, Repetition, History: Doubles and Doubling in Edogawa Rampo and Tsukamoto Shinya
The recurrence of the figure of the doppelganger in Japanese literature is particularly noteworthy in texts emerging from two key moments of Japanese history: the interwar period and the contemporary moment. Not coincidentally, both historical moments witnessed rapid and radical transformations in Japan’s social and material conditions that (re)shape the discursive boundaries of perception, consciousness and subjectivity.
In this paper, I explore the functions of the figure of the doppelgänger in a text that straddles (and in effect foregrounds the relations between) these two historical moments: Edogawa Rampo’s short story “The Twins” (1924) and Tsukamoto Shinya’s subsequent adaptation of this story titled Gemini (1999). I examine the haunting of the unstable category of ‘the doppelganger’ as a practice of concepts through which Rampo and Tsukamoto address and intervene into the problem of history and narration by reading the doppelganger in relation to the recurring motif of feigned amnesia and concealment of memory, the deployment of confessional narrative strategies, as well as the problem of adaptation. As these practices produce a temporally dislocated schism in the form of the cutting off and stabilization of the present from past, I argue that the doppelganger destabilizes conceptions of not only subjectivity, but also conceptions of temporality and history. Consequently, it foregrounds the historical implications of the return and repetition of the past into the present.
Discussant: Leith Morton, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Session 13: Individual Papers on Modern Chinese History
Chair: David Wank, Sophia University
1) Makiko Mori, University of California, Los Angeles
Contesting Utopias: The Late Qing Reconfiguration of the Concept of Qing
Since the late Imperial China, qing 情 (e.g. emotion, sentiment, desire) has been an anxiously re-visited concept in both philosophical and literary discourses: the precariousness, if not the subversiveness, of the concept is particularly tangible when its fictional representation is read against the Confucian encoding of the norms. At the turn of the twentieth century, with the crumbling of Confucian state ideology, the call for “new fiction” prompted a vehement debate on the concept of qing once again, thence broached a new juncture of fiction and a higher order of nation in terms of qing. While it seems suspicious whether such a debate facilitated the achievement of the ultimate goal of “new fiction” to strengthen the nation, it is crucial to note that the debate is significantly symptomatic of the inherent ambiguity of the theorization and practice of “new fiction.” In this light, this paper examines how the notion of qing came to be recognized by critics such as Liang Qichao, as one of the most essential factors in bringing about an immanent accord between the empowerment of fiction and national consciousness; it will further inquire how a contemporary writer Wu Jianren engaged in the ideological demands of “new fiction” through his fictional representation of qing. Studying the (re)configuration of the concept of qing will illuminate their intricate attempts to install a new dialectic between fiction, people, and nation, and should help account for the urgent exaltation of “new fiction” in the very vacuum of a dominant state ideology.
2) Motoe Sasaki, Johns Hopkins University
Crossroads for “New Women” in Revolutionary China: He Zizhen, Agnes Smedley, and
Wu Guanghui in 1930s Yenan
In the late 1930s the Chinese Communist base in Yenan was, as one American writer described it, a kind of “utopia” which attracted many from within China and from overseas. Some visited Yenan to bear witness to the ongoing revolution and some to actually participate in it. He Zizhen (Mao Zedong’s second wife), Agnes Smedley (a socialist/feminist from the U.S.), and Wu Guanghui (an educator and Smedley’s translator) were among these pilgrims in Yenan.
Such women were categorised as “New Women,” a term popularised in many parts of the world during the early twentieth-century. New Women sought different paths from their mothers and attempted to forge new subject positions by breaking with conventional gender norms and notions of womanhood. Yet, there were differences in terms of what the “New Woman” stood for within particular local contexts. The proposed presentation will explore such differences by taking up one particular melee involving He, Smedley, and Wu. Through this event, the paper will shed light upon the complex conditions of feminism in pre-revolutionary China and will then examine how this incident impacted upon women’s issues in China after the 1949 revolution. Utilizing Ernst Bloch’s idea of “synchronous nonsynchronicity,” I will also consider the simultaneity in the spread of feminist ideas and differences in how these were concretely practiced and lived.
3) Daniel Y. K. Kwan, University College of the Fraser Valley
Culture and Politics of Chinese Workers: An Analysis of Spare-Time Educational Programs in Guangzhou, 1949–1959
This paper is based on archival research in Guangzhou with the intention to analyze the major party and government documents that deal with an important, but neglected, issue in Chinese labour history and politics. Instead of focusing on the ideological and political aspects of the Chinese labour movement, this paper will emphasize the social and cultural dimensions of the Chinese workers.
By focusing on the workers’ “spare-time” educational program (zhigong yeyu jiaoyu), the paper will analyze the problem of illiteracy and education among Chinese workers in Guangzhou during the early Communist rule. For the Communists in the early 1950s, the widespread of illiteracy rate among urban workers was considered a major problem of cultivating a new class consciousness. As China moved into the full speed of industrialization under the First Five Year Plan (1953–57), the Communists also regarded to resolve the problem of illiteracy as a criterion for promoting socialist economic transformation. Thus, the implementation of the “spare-time” educational program became a vital cultural activities among urban workers throughout the 50s.
This paper will analyze the strengths and weaknesses of this program especially in the development of a new working class culture and identity, and will articulate the relationship between education, culture and politics during the first decade of the People’s Republican of China.
4) Grace Ai-Ling Chou, Lingnan University
Containing Communism through Cultural Education: American NGOs in Hong Kong in the 1950s
As scholarly treatment of Cold War history has tended to focus on political alliances and conflicts, much less attention has been given to the way in which cultural and educational institutions functioned and were affected by Cold War dynamics. This lack is particularly pronounced when one considers the significance of non-governmental organizations whose operations crossed national boundaries, for their activities and intentions could both converge with and also diverge from the overarching political rivalry and divisions that characterized the period. Such ambivalence and ambiguity was especially noteable in Hong Kong, for as a site important but marginal to both China and Britain, it had strategic value in the Cold War context and as such impelled many different forces to descend upon it in pursuit and protection of their variant interests.
This paper examines the role of American non-governmental organizations in shaping Hong Kong educational institutions in the 1950’s. These organizations, some with long histories in Asian educational work by mid-century, were impelled by Cold War dynamics to re-establish and reconfigure their work in the British colony of Hong Kong. In this new home, they assumed ideological goals foreign, even antithetical, to their natures, even while continuing policy directions that preceded, and thus sometimes counteracted, Cold War fragmentation. By examining how American NGO educational work in Hong Kong both reinforced and destabilized Cold War ideological strategies, one gains a clearer picture not only of Hong Kong’s cultural significance in Cold War politics but also the ambiguity wrought by the Cold War for intellectual paradigms of culture and education.
Session 14: Gender and Ethnicity in Contemporary Japan
Organizer/Chair: Hirohisa Takenoshita, Shizuoka University
Economic, social and cultural inequality are based upon various kinds of criteria such as class, gender, ethnicity or whatever. In particular, some sociologists have recently paid attention to economic and cultural inequality which stands on gender and ethnicity. While some characteristics of gender stratification are greatly similar to those of ethnic stratification, other features might be constructed differently compared with ethnicity. In addition, there is a social disparity which depends upon a combination of gender and ethnicity. Therefore, we should have more theoretical dialogue between them. This panel will have an attempt to argue social inequality in terms of gender and ethnicity in contemporary Japan. Keiko Funabashi explores the cross-national differences of making the balance between work and family in a comparative perspective. Junko Nishimura reconsiders the association between work situation and family life through the introduction of “work-family conflict.” Hirohisa Takenoshita focuses upon differential incorporations of Japanese Brazilian immigrants between men and women in comparison with mainstream Japanese. Kohei Kawabata highlights the practice of nationalism in everyday life through the case study of two young Japanese who have Zainichi Korean friends. This panel will approach gender and ethnicity from the sociological point of view. Considering intersection between gender and ethnicity will stimulate further insights toward contemporary Japanese society.
1) Keiko Funabashi, Shizuoka University
Gender Relations in Managing the Balance between Raising a Child and Work: From a Survey in Six Countries (Japan, Korea, Thailand, France, Sweden, and U.S.)
How do women and men wish to manage the balance between raising a child and work? Do men / women would themselves give precedence to work / child-rearing rather than child-rearing / work? Or, do they want to involve themselves in both equally? In addition, how does he / she want his / her partner to manage the balance between raising a child and work? In 2005, Japanese National Women’s Education Center conducted a survey on the roles of fathers and mothers in education and child care in families of six countries: Japan, Korea, Thailand, France, Sweden and U.S.. I participated in the survey and analyzed the answers for the questions mentioned above. I found five important types of orientations among nine logical combinations of answers that our questions would compose.
1) gender roles : father gives precedence to work and mother does to child-rearing
2) woman’s dual burden : father gives precedence to work and mother involves herself in both equally
3) man’s dual burden : father involves himself in both equally and mother gives precedence to child-rearing
4) egalitarians: parents involve themselves in both equally
5) caring family: parents give precedence to child-rearing
In my presentation, I would like to explore the difference in the distribution of types among six countries as well as the factors that explain the difference.
2) Junko Nishimura, Meisei University
Work-Family Interface: Determinants and Outcome of Work-Family Conflict in Japan
Work and family are two main life domains for people in modern societies. Sociological study of stress, which explores impact of social factors on mental health, has tried to reveal impact of work and family lives on psychological outcomes. One of major focuses of those studies is how work life affects family life, and how family life affects work life. Work-family conflict is one possible factor which links work and family. That is, work related factors may affect quality of family life via work-family conflict, and family related factors may affect quality of work life via family-work conflict. This presentation will first examine how work related factors generate work-family conflict and how family related factors generate family-work conflict. Then I will explore how work-family conflict affects quality of family life, and how family-work conflict affects quality of work life. I will also focus on how those relationships differ by one’s social position such as gender and life-stage. In that way I will be able to explore how social life is experienced differently by their social position. Data used for this analysis is National Family Research Japan 2003 (NFRJ03). NFRJ03 interviewed nationally representative sample of 10,000 adults aged 28-77 years. Since many of previous researches on work-family conflict use small-sample, non-representative data, their results needs to be verified by large-sample, nationally representative data. NFRJ03 is able to verify hypothetical results stated by those previous researches.
3) Hirohisa Takenoshita, Shizuoka University
Gender, Ethnicity, and Economic Disparity: A Comparative Study of Income Earnings between Japanese- Brazilian Migrants and Native Japanese
Since Japanese Immigration Act was revised regarding the legal status of migrants with a Japanese ancestor in 1990, Nikkeijin migrants have rapidly increased in Japan. Some qualitative researches pointed out that Japanese Brazilians were incorporated into flexible and non-standardized labor markets in Japan and that most of them had a job contract with subcontractors as dispatched workers. Therefore, we can hypothesize from prior studies that Nikkeijin migrants are actually in an unstable employment status in labor market in Japan. However, while these hypotheses have been suggested, based on findings in some qualitative researches, they have not been examined sufficiently in terms of quantitative data and statistical analyses. In addition, qualitative studies on Nikkeijin migrants lack a comparative point of view with other ethnic minority and native Japanese. Comparative statistical research between Japanese Brazilians and native Japanese enables us to explore ethnic and gender disparities of income earnings in the same empirical model. This research thus focuses upon ethnic and gender disparity of income earnings between them. In this examination, I utilize two datasets such as Japanese General Social Surveys conducted from 2000 to 2002 and Current Survey on Foreign Residents in Iwata in Shizuoka in 2005. Although the sample of the latter survey on Japanese Brazilian migrants is not nationally representative, I suppose that these respondents would to some degree represent Japanese Brazilians living in Tokai area because roughly half of Japanese Brazilians concentrate in Tokai area and Iwata city is one of the typical cities where Japanese Brazilians dwelled.