Special Issue "Japanese Transnational Cinema"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2019).
Interests: Japanese cinema; transculturality; film representation of minorities; avant-garde; non-fiction film; film theory and film history
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Interests: theory and analysis of film realism; neorealismo and post-neorealimo; studies of Japanese auteurs
Since the postwar discovery of Japanese cinema in the West, there has been a tendency to draw on essentialist visions of this filmography, understating its uniqueness as a consequence of its isolation from the rest of the World and the correlation to its aesthetic and philosophical tradition. In other words, Japanese cinema has been often regarded as an unequivocal result of Japanese culture. However, cinema has been international since its inception, and in recent years, the paradigm of "National Cinema" has been increasingly called into question.
This Special Issue on "Japanese Transnational Cinema" proposes a new methodology, attempting to challenge this old paradigm by highlighting the limitations of studying Japanese film as a cinematic phenomenon confined to its national borders. Is Japanese cinema a national cinema? To what extent is Japanese cinema Japanese? On the one hand, filmmakers have always been exposed to the international flow of images, stories, iconographies, and film theories. Even the masters epitomising this national filmography, such as Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi, and even Yasujirō Ozu—according to Donald Richie, "the most Japanese of the Japanese filmmakers"—were deeply inspired by American films. Are external influences and Japanese film uniqueness incompatible? To what extent should Japanese specificity also be assessed as a singular adaptation of foreign theoretical frameworks and codes of representation?
On the other hand, Japanese cinema has also involved other cultures in terms of representation. What were the successes and failures in its portrayal of the cultural diversity of Japanese society? What are the contradictions in the Japanese representation of "other" cultures? In addition, the Japanese film industry cannot be completely understood without taking into account its huge transnational character from a production-distribution-and-consumption point of view. In that sense, to what extent films can still be regarded as products of a domestic market when they belong to a transnational or even global culture?
Manuscripts are invited to present innovative analytical approaches and theoretical frameworks aimed at discussing the cultural complexities of Japanese film production, and bring to the fore examples illustrating how Japanese cinema should be assessed in its transnational dimension (understanding "transnational" in a wide sense, which may include studies of its aesthetic and philosophical nature, as well on transnational productions and representations challenging the notion of Japaneseness).
We invite 4000–6000 word (excluding bibliography) scholarly articles on this theme by 20 August 2018. Potential topic areas could include:
- Transculturality in Japanese films.
- The notion of "national cinema" in the Japanese case.
- Representation of cultural diversity in Japanese society.
- Japanese films representing realities beyond Japan.
- Transnational productions and collaborations.
- International distribution and consumption of Japanese films.
- Japanese cinema as a "global cinema".
- Transnational influences from the rest of the World on Japan and vice versa.
- The adaptation of foreign cinematic cannons, and patterns of representation in Japan.
- The adaptation of theoretical frameworks and tools in Japan.
Dr. Marcos Centeno
Dr. Nori Morita
Acknowledgements: we are deeply grateful to DAIWA Anglo-Japanese and Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation for their support to the project entitled "Japanese Transnational Cinema" which involves several universities in the UK and Japan and includes activities such as the publication of this Special Issue.
- (trans)national cinema
- cultural blending
- film representation of cultural diversity