Japanese Popular Culture & Contradictions of Late Capitalism
In the 2000s, many works of Japanese animation (anime) expressed a certain time-loop. Disturbances of memory and the layering of the sense of the present became motifs and were popular. What kind of political unconscious does this trend express in Japanese society? In this lecture, I attempt to apply Fredric Jameson’s theory to Japanese pop culture/subculture. Jameson reads cultural works in late capitalist societies as a desire to reconstruct historical consciousness in a situation of loss of modernity. For example, he reads the works of P.K. Dick as a desire to past-ify the present. We witness the drifting of an individual consciousness that has lost larger narratives and tries to reacquire a meaningful future.
Prof. Eiichi Nojiri of Osaka University has recently been interested in the study of human nature and imagination in the age of globalization. He is working on the impact of modern social constructs on human agency and culture in the development of globalization, especially on the imagination that leads to the future and hope, using methods from philosophy, psychoanalysis, social theory, and literary criticism.