Convener(s): Dr Natalia Doan and Professor Sho Konishi
Speaker(s): Professor E. Taylor Atkins, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Distinguished Teaching Professor of History, Northern Illinois University
These seminars will occur live and will not be recorded. Unauthorized recording is strictly prohibited.
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“Our Spirit Against Their Steel”–Japanese Popular Culture Goes to War
Taylor Atkins is the author of Blue Nippon: Authenticating Jazz in Japan (2001), Primitive Selves: Koreana in the Japanese Colonial Gaze, 1910-1945 (2010), and A History of Popular Culture in Japan, From the Seventeenth Century to the Present (2017; second edition forthcoming in 2022), and editor of Jazz Planet (2003).
Japanese popular culture had a symbiotic relationship with war. Japan's modern wars encouraged the development of new mass media (print, photographic, musical, theatrical, and cinematic), providing content that in turn stoked patriotic enthusiasm for war among the populace. Drawing from a chapter in A History of Popular Culture in Japan, From the Seventeenth Century to the Present, this presentation will provide multiple examples of wartime popular culture from the Sino-Japanese (1894-1895) and Russo-Japanese (1904-1905) Wars and World War II, tracing how messages changed over time and how censorship evolved.