This module will explore the function of mass media within the culture and society of contemporary Japan, whilst comparing the genres, styles, narratives and audiences of manga and television to Western counterparts.
Initially you will be introduced to key theories of Japanese culture including contextualism, groupism, Amae and Nihonjinron, before turning to societal changes in modern Japan such as rapid ageing, otaku and hikikomori, frītā and parasite people. We then look at the way different media depict these developments, including manga (shōjo and shōnenai, gekiga and sararīman manga) as well as television genres (TV-news, TV-serials and TV-advertisement).
We also examine the audiences these genres are designed for and unravel ratings by gender and age. Special sessions will be dedicated to film adaptations of Japanese (graphic) novels including MW, Distant Neighborhood and Norwegian Wood, before analysing the ways the media view themselves. The aim of the module is to define a national system of mass media in Japan and to underpin this finding with empirical data, observations, and theories.