ASIAN STUDIES CONFERENCE JAPAN

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     Seventh Asian Studies Conference Japan
    Saturday, June 21-Sunday 22, 2003
    Ichigaya Campus of Sophia University

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Contact the organizers: Asian Studies Conference (ASCJ) c/o Institute of Asian Cultural Studies, International Christian University 3-10-2 Osawa, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181

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Session 8:
Individual Paper Session: Place, Culture, and Identity in Modern Japan
Chair: Seiko Yoshinaga, Grinnell College

1) Elaine Gerbert, University of Kansas. "Cinema in the Works of Tanizaki Jun'ichirô"

Though he was one of the Taisho bundan's foremost literary figures, Tanizaki Jun'ichiro also created works with a distinctly sensationalistic, popular cast that, as Suzuki Sadami has suggested, throw into question the appropriateness of the long-held distinction separating "pure literature" (junbungaku) from mass literature (taishu bungaku). Tanizaki's involvement with the young Japanese film industry was another way in which this junbungaku writer engaged himself in productions of "popular" culture. Moreover, in works such as Jinmenso (The Carbuncle with a Human Face, l918) and Aozuka shi no hanashi (Mr. Aozuka's story, 1926) aesthetic and technical features of the new mass medium are incorporated into the plot and narrative style to constitute a metacommentary on the cinematic medium that was then reshaping perceptual experiences of mass audiences. This paper will discuss the ways in which these and other works by Tanizaki were inflected by the new mass technologies of viewing.

2) Andrei Mikhailov, St. Petersburg State University. "Football as a Socio-Cultural Phenomenon: A Case Study of S.F. Hiroshima Football Club"

The past ten years have seen a major development of Japanese Football. An unprecedented Football boom commenced in 1993-94, when famous foreign players and coaches began to work in Japan. Then the boom slowed down for a few years only to resume again the year before the World Cup of 2002. Japan's co-hosting of the key football event -- FIFA World Cup -- brought forth a number of publications which concentrated on political aspects of this phenomenon. This presentation will offer another perspective for the analysis of football in Japan. It will first examine the current situation in Japanese Football League looking at it from the position of the humanitarian theory of sports, on the one side, and its social phenomenology, on the other. Next, the presentation will introduce an example of one of the J. League's club, S.F. Hiroshima, and analyze, from the insider's view (the author has two years experience of work there), its "merely accidental" success in 2001 and failure in 2002. It will be argued that through the prism of activity of this local team and its features ("mura" relations, mismanagement, lack of creativity, etc.) one can, in fact, see problems which the so-called "bubble generation" is faced with after the collapse of the "bubble." In this sense the study of a football team has broader implications for understanding of contemporary Japanese society.

3) Eriko Sase, University of Tokyo. "The Rationalization Mechanisms of Former Japanese-Korean Patients' Stays at Leprosy Sanatoria in Japan"

Japan's segregation policy against leprosy patients was abolished in 1996. Although most of the people at sanatoria are now cured with leprosy and allowed to leave the sanatoria, 4,400 people still live in there. Among them, over 230 persons are Japanese-Koreans, including former forced laborers. The existing studies revealed their three-layered sufferings (illness, stigma and ethnic discriminations). However, they have received little attention, particularly after the abolition of the segregation policy. Furthermore, the reasons for their stay in sanatoria after the policy abolition have not been closely examined. This study explores their current situations and factors of their stay in the sanatoria, by conducting in-depth interviews with the former Japanese-Korean patients. Both Japanese and Korean language are used for the interviews according to the interviewees' comfortableness to express their feelings and thoughts. It is to elicit their perceptions about themselves, the society and disconnected families. The initial analysis found the Japanese-Koreans' complicated emotions between the choice of returning to the society and that of staying in sanatoria. The interview data indicated that they attempt to rationalize their stay in sanatoria with various reasons. Such reasons include their physically challenged status due to the sequelae of leprosy, distance to the motherland, and fear of adjusting themselves to the new social environment. These reasons overwhelm their willingness to return to their motherland, consequently, they convince themselves of the stay in sanatoria. Such mechanisms of rationalization will be further examined.

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