FW: DIJ Humanities Study Group - November Meeting

Roland Domenig roland.domenig at univie.ac.at
Thu Nov 2 17:45:27 EST 2000

This might be of interest for some on the list.

Roland Domenig
Institute for Japanese Studies
University of Vienna
> From: "Nicola Liscutin" <liscutin at dijtokyo.org>
> Date: Wed, 1 Nov 2000 14:52:11 +0900
> To: <j-studien at uni-trier.de>
> Subject: J-STUDIEN: DIJ Humanities Study Group - November Meeting
> The next meeting of the DIJ Humanities Study Group will take place on
> Wednesday, 15 November, from 6:30pm
> at the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ). Our address and a map can
> be found on our homepage  http://www.dijtokyo.org
> This month's speaker will be
> Harald Salomon (Humboldt University, Berlin)
> who will give a talk on
> "Cinema, State and 'National Culture' in Wartime Japan:
> Fictional Narratives of Self and Other as Recommended by the Ministry of
> Education, 1940 - 44."
> Abstract:
> The presentation introduces a dissertation project examining the interaction
> of cinema, state and audiences in wartime Japan with a focus on public film
> promotion. The project traces governmental activities aiming to reorient the
> production of fiction feature films along notions such as the development of
> national culture and wholesome entertainment. Efforts to expand the projection
> of these productions to schools, factories, and rural areas are followed.
> These activities, it is argued, were undertaken in order to provide a cultural
> repertoire that would enable differing societal groups to make meaning of
> their existence as subjects of the Japanese empire and act accordingly.
> The cultural resources employed to draw boundaries between self and other are
> an integral part of the national cultural repertoire. The presentation
> concentrates on this issue to discuss central problems of the dissertation
> project. Questions of self and other are of particular interest as they form
> the context for depictions of the enemy. Interestingly, the frequently vague
> portrayal of the enemy in wartime Japanese cinema did not only catch the
> attention of contemporary American observers. It was also a source of growing
> dissatisfaction for Japanese institutions involved in film policy, as the war
> situation changed for the worse. Although the industry was restructured and
> controlled more efficiently, it remained difficult to initiate the production
> of feature films that satisfied governmental considerations in this respect.
> The presentation investigates productions close to governmental ideals, the
> feature films recommended by the Ministry of Education. It outlines the
> promotion system of the Ministry as established by the Film Law of 1939. The
> focus then turns to the releases, which were distinguished for their qualities
> as fictional narratives of the national self and the other. The official basis
> for recommendation is reviewed. Drawing on video examples, the boundaries
> delineating Japanese, Greater East Asian and enemy nationals as well as their
> development in the context of the changing war situation are examined.
> Subsequently, the presentation sketches audience preferences and responses in
> order to illustrate that the differing characteristics of the audiences such
> as age, gender, education, and regional identity seriously interfered with the
> formation of a national cultural repertoire via film promotion. The attempts
> of governmental actors to overcome these difficulties and to render their use
> of the medium more efficiently are discussed.
> --------------
> The DIJ Humanities Study Group is intended as a forum for young scholars and
> Ph.D. candidates in the fields of Literature Studies, Intellectual History,
> Cultural Studies, and Art History. Meetings are scheduled at the DIJ on the
> second Wednesday of a month (unless specified otherwise) at 6:30 PM. In every
> session, one researcher presents her or his work in progress in a 45 min.
> talk, which is then discussed by the participants. English and Japanese are
> accepted as language of presentation. The schedule on our homepage and our
> e-mail information will provide information about a speaker's chosen language
> of presentation. All are invited to attend. Those interested in attending or
> in giving a paper are asked to contact Nicola Liscutin at the DIJ
> (liscutin at dijtokyo.org).
> ---------
> Dr. Nicola Liscutin
> Deutsches Institut fuer Japanstudien
> Nissei Kojimachi Bldg.
> 3-3-6 Kudan-Minami, Chiyoda-ku
> Tokyo 102
> Tel.: 03-3222-5077
> E-mail: liscutin at dijtokyo.org

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