H-JAPAN (E): representations of blacknesS, Japanese & Korean Cinema

Bruce Baird baird at asianlan.umass.edu
Mon Aug 31 14:58:00 EDT 2009

I've been away for a few days and the discussion seems to have  
covered a lot of ground, but if video games and the movies made from  
them belong in this discussion, then Final Fantasy VII and the  
accompanying movie, Final Fantasy VII Advent Children feature a black  
character, Barret Wallace, who was apparently modeled after Mr. T.   
There has already been some discussion of whether the depiction is  
racist.  See:


In addition, again from the anime realm, Samurai Champloo features  
Tokugawa-era characters who are ethnically coded  (at least in so far  
as their names are concerned) as Japanese/Ryukuan, but the show  
features anachronistic use of hip hop or funk culture such as rap  
music, break dancing, graffiti, so it may provide an interesting look  
into depictions of blackness despite the lack of any black characters  
per se.

Bruce Baird
Assistant Professor
Asian Languages and Literatures
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Butô, Japanese Theater, Intellectual History

717 Herter Hall
161 Presidents Drive
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003-9312
Phone: 413-577-4992
Fax: 413-545-4975
baird at asianlan.umass.edu

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