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Open Access Representation or misrepresentation?: British media and Japanese popular culture

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For thirty years products of Japanese popular culture, including comics and animated films, have been very popular in the West. This essay examines the British social representations of the Japanese and Japanese cultural products and contrasts them with the Japanese context in which they have been produced along with the Japanese representations within them. The British representations are shown to be based on a view of the Japanese as the cultural ‘other’ and Japanese cultural products as both different and at times transgressive. This contrasts with the Japanese representations within their media output that deal with issues of youth and gender within their society. Thus, the British interpretation provides an explanation for the social representation of the Japanese as a cultural ‘other’ and for the limited range of Japanese popular culture, such as anime, shown on mainstream British television.
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Keywords: British; Japan; anime; manga; popular culture; representation; television

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Freelance academic author and researcher living near Oxford.

Publication date: March 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • NECSUS is an international, double-blind peer reviewed journal of media studies connected to NECS (European Network for Cinema and Media Studies) and published by Amsterdam University Press. The journal is multidisciplinary and strives to bring together the best work in the field of media studies across the humanities and social sciences. We aim to publish research that matters and that improves the understanding of media and culture inside and outside the academic community. Each volume includes feature articles, a special thematic section, a video essay section, and a reviews section that covers books, festivals, and exhibitions. NECSUS is targeted to a broad readership of researchers, lecturers, and students, and will be offered as a biannual open access, online journal.

    The journal is published in Open Access, with the following Creative Commons copyright license: Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

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