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Crossroads of Experience: Miyazaki Hayao's Global/Local Nexus

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This paper explores the double folding of time and space in the anime films of Miyazaki Hayao: the past becomes the present and the present becomes the past. Particular attention is paid to Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke) and Sen To Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away). Miyazaki entertains a unique Japanese response to the cultural challenges of globalization with the use of Shinto and Buddhist themes. For him, "global goes local" is more than a slogan. In the wake of the influx of American commodity culture in Japan, Miyazaki's films attempt to enact an ironic reversal. Global trends (especially from the West) are themselves "spirited away" and transformed into deep Japanese and Chinese philosophy against a backdrop of local folk culture. Hence, the roots of Japanese heritage emerge through the crossroads of experience: East and West, ancient and modern, old and young, inside and outside.
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Keywords: Japanese heritage; Miyazaki Hayao; Princess Mononoke; anime films; globalization

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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  • Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.
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