Dipartimento di
Studi sull’Asia e sull’Africa Mediterranea

Beyond “the West” and “the East”:

Occidentalism, Orientalism and self-Orientalism in Italy-Japan Relations (BETWATE)

Proposal n. 275025, 2011-13

FP 7 Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship


ABSTRACT of the research project BETWATE:

Since the 1990s, Japan has become the most popular “eastern” country in Italy, while, on the other hand, Italy has turned into the most attractive “western” country in Japan, especially among women and youth.
This research project will investigate the reasons of this reciprocal popularity by focusing on mutual discourses and practices regarding “Japan” and “the East” in Italy, and regarding “Italy” and “the West” in Japan, respectively. It will analyse the most influential intersections of Japan-Italy relations from the late nineteenth century to the present, in relation to issues of national/regional/global identity, culture, and power. In order to map the imagined geography of “Japan“ and “Italy“ as seen from both sides, historical investigation will be conducted on the genealogy (1860s-1890s), climax (1930s-1940s), and maturation (1960s-1980s) of modern Italy-Japan relations. This will be followed by an ethnographic investigation of the social practices involved in the present popularity of “J-culture“ (animation, comics, videogames) in Italy, and of the “Italy boom“ (food, fashion, life-style) in Japan. Particular attention will be paid to the renegotiation between new transcultural identity processes on the local level and institutionalised nation-branding of the “Cool Japan“ and of the “Made in Italy” in the globalised market.
The inter-disciplinary perspective adopted by this study is aimed at contributing to critical enquiry into the notions of “the West” (Occidentalism) and of “the East” (Orientalism). It will focus on the interrelational, intersectional, and positional dynamics of mutual perceptions seen in Italy-Japan relations. The final scope is to elaborate an interrelational theory of Occidentalism, Orientalism, and self-Orientalism, as well as to attest the reproduction or dismissal of its hegemonic relevance, in accordance to the transnational imperatives induced by present regionalism in Europe/Asia and globalization in the world.

Dr. Toshio MIYAKE

miyake@unive.it
Evaluation score:
95.00/100.00

European Commission financial contribution:
244,000 euro (individual grant)

  • BETWATE Evaluation Summary Report  
  • BETWATE Presentation 05 July 2013   

Works related to BETWATE


Publications:

Books:

     
  • 2012: with Marco Del Bene, Noemi Lanna, Andrea Revelant: Il Giappone moderno e contemporaneo: Stato, media, processi identitari (Modern and Contemporary Japan), Bologna: I libri di Emil-Odoya University Express (Miyake: Introduction Part II, four chapters).
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  • 2010: Occidentalismi. La narrativa storica giapponese (Occidentalisms: Historical Narrative in Japan), Venezia: Cafoscarina.

Book chapters:

  • 2013 (forthcoming), "Images of Asia in Japanese Subcultures: Occidentalism, Orientalism and Self-Orientalism in Axis Powers Hetalia”, in Kimio Ito, Keun-Sik Jung (eds.), Imagining Asia through Cultural Production and Consumption, Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers.
  • 2013: "L'Italia nei manga: specchio identitario e convergenza mangaesque (Italy in manga: looking-glass self and mangaesque convergence)", in Gianluca Coci (a cura di), JapanPOP: parole, immagini, suoni dal Giappone contemporaneo, Roma: Aracneeditrice, pp. 283-322.
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  • 2012: "Italy Made in Japan: Occidentalism, Self-Orientalism, and Italianism in Contemporary Japan", in Graziella Parati (ed.), New Perspectives in Italian Cultural Studies, vol. 1, New York: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, pp. 195-213.
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  • 2012: "Seiyō ('Occidente') e tōyō ('Oriente') in Giappone: breve esplorazione di una geografia immaginaria" (Seiyō ["West"] and tōyō ["East"] in Japan. A Short Exploration of an Imagined Geography), in M. Del Bene, N. Lanna, T. Miyake, A. Revelant, Il Giappone moderno e contemporaneo: Stato, media, processi identitari (Modern and Contemporary Japan), Bologna: I libri di Emil-Odoya University Express, pp. 17-30.
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  •  2012: "Che cos'è il 'Giappone'? Il dibattito sul nome nazionale" (What is "Japan"? The Debate over the National Name),  in M. Del Bene, N. Lanna, T. Miyake, A. Revelant, Il Giappone moderno e contemporaneo: Stato, media, processi identitari (Modern and Contemporary Japan), Bologna: I libri di Emil-Odoya University Express, pp. 149-62.
  • 2012: "Italianismo e Occidentalismo nella narrativa storica di Shiono Nanami" (Italianism and Occidentalism in Shiono Nanami's Historical Fiction), in M. Del Bene, N. Lanna, T. Miyake, A. Revelant, Il Giappone moderno e contemporaneo: Stato, media, processi identitari (Modern and Contemporary Japan), Bologna: I libri di Emil-Odoya University Express, pp. 203-18.
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  • 2012: "Quando la storia diventa sexy: dal revisionismo storico all'antropomorfismo moe delle nazioni" (When History becomes Sexy: from Historical Revisionism to moe Nation Anthropomorphism), in M. Del Bene, N. Lanna, T. Miyake, A. Revelant, Il Giappone moderno e contemporaneo: Stato, media, processi identitari (Modern and Contemporary Japan), Bologna: I libri di Emil-Odoya University Express, pp. 237-55.
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  •  2012: "Introduzione Parte II. Dall'Impero del Grande Giappone allo Stato del Giappone" (Introduction to Part II), in M. Del Bene, N. Lanna, T. Miyake, A. Revelant, Il Giappone moderno e contemporaneo: Stato, media, processi identitari (Modern and Contemporary Japan), Bologna: I libri di Emil-Odoya University Express, pp. 145-47.
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  • 2011: "Mostri made in Japan. Orientalismo e auto-Orientalismo nell'epoca della globalizzazione" (Monsters made in Japan: Orientalism and Self-Orientalism in the Age of Globalization), in Matteo Casari (ed.), Culture del Giappone contemporaneo. Manga, anime, videogiochi, arti visive, cinema, letteratura, teatro, architettura, Latina: Tunué, pp. 161-93.

Journal articles (peer−reviewed):

     
  • 2013 (forthcoming): "Italian Transnational Spaces in Japan: Doing Racialised, Gendered and Sexualised Occidentalism", in Maurizio Marinelli-Francesco Ricatti (eds.),  Emotional Geographies of the Uncanny: Reinterpreting Italian Transnational Spaces, special issue of Cultural Studies Review, 2013.
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  • 2013: "Doing Occidentalism in Contemporary Japan: Nation Anthropomorphism and Sexualized Parody in Axis Power Hetalia", in Kazumi Nagaike-Katsuhiko Suganuma (eds.), Transnational Boys' Love Fan Studies, special issue of Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 12, March 2013
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  • 2012: editor of the special issue "Da Hiroshima/Nagasaki a Fukushima: cinema, manga e anime nel Giappone postbellico" (From Hiroshima/Nagasaki to Fukushima: Cinema, Manga and Anime in Postwar Japan), Cinergie: il cinema e le altre arti, n. 2, November 2012, pp. 118−74;
       
    • Miyake: “Introduzione” (Introduction), pp. 118-24;
    • "Desideri nucleari: convergenze mediatiche nelle culture popolari giapponesi" (Nuclear Desires: Media Convergence in Japanese Popular Cultures), pp. 162-74.
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  • 2011: "Il boom dell' Italia in Giappone: riflessioni critiche su Occidentalismo e Italianismo" (The Boom of Italy in Japan: Critical Considerations on Occidentalism and Italianism), Between, vol. 1, May 2011, pp.1-16.

Proceedings:

  • 2013 (forthcoming): "Japanese Studies as 'subculture' ", Proceedings of the conference "Manga Worlds": Subcultures, Japan, Japanology, Kyoto International Manga Museum 2012.
  • 2013 (forthcoming): "Re-inventing 'the West': Occidentalism and Nation Anthropomorphism in Japanese Subcultures", Proceedings of the conference Contemporary Japan: Challenges Facing a World Economic Power in Transition, Ca' Foscari University of Venice 2011.

Conference presentations:

  • 22/07-24/07/2013 (forthcoming): "Doing Whiteness and Yellowness in Fascist Italy (1922-43): Occidentalism, Orientalism, and Self-Orientalism in Italy-Japan Relations", 3rd Global Conference: Images of Whitenesss-Exploring Critical Issues,Mansfield College, Oxford, UK.
  • 29/11-02/12/2012 (forthcoming): "When Nations have Sex: Nation Anthropomorphism and Sexualized Parody of History in Axis Powers Hetalia", 3rd Mechademia Conference on Anime, Manga and Media Theory, Dongguk Univeristy, Seoul, South Korea.
  • 07/09/2012: "Desiring the Atom", British Association for Japanese Studies Conference 2012, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.
  • 15/07/2012: "Atomic Desires: Hegemony and Media Convergence in Japanese Popular Cultures", Cultural Typhoon 2012, Hiroshima, Japan.
  • 16/11/2011: "Nation Anthropomorphism in Japanese Subcultures: moe, yaoi and Axis Powers Hetalia", 110th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association,Montreal, Canada.
  • 16/09/2011: "Quando la storia diventa sexy: dal revisionismo storico all'antropomorfismo moe delle nazioni" (When History becomes sexy: from historical revisionism to moe nation anthropomorphism), XXXV Convegno Aistugia (XXXV Congress of the Italian Association for Japanese Studies), University of Bologna, Italy.
  • 27/08/2011: "Doing Gendered Occidentalism: "Western" Mirrors in the Historical Narrative of Shiono Nanami", speaker and panel co-organizer, 13th European Association for Japanese Studies International Conference, University of Tallinn, Estonia.

Invited:

  • 05/07/2013 (forthcoming): “Beyond ‘the West’ and ‘the East’: Occidentalism, Orientalism and self-Orientalism”, Institute of Comparative Culture, Sophia University, Japan.
  • 20/06/2013: “L’Italia nei manga” (Italy in manga), NipPop Festival, Università di Bologna, Italy.
  • 17/06/2013: “Italia e Giappone allo specchio” (Italy and Japan in the Mirror), Milano Manga Festival, conference organizer and talk (" 'Itay' through mangaesque convergence"), WOW-Museo del Fumetto, Milano, Italy.
  • 28/02/2013: "Il Giappone come paradiso dei fumetti: industria culturale e convergenza globalizzata", press conference for the Milano Manga Festival, Palazzo Reale, Milano, Italy.
  • 28/01/2013: “Occidentalismo e Axis Power Hetalia: antropomorfismo delle nazioni e parodia sessualizzata nelle subculture giapponesi otaku/fujoshi”,Laboratorio DEA, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italy.
  • 16/11/2012: "Axis Powers Hetalia: moe, yaoi e subculture femminili made in Japan", Festival Immagimondo, Palazzo Delle Paure, Lecco, Italy.
  • 14/09/2012: "Desiring the Atom: Hegemony and Media Convergence in Japanese Popular Cultures",  Japanese Studies and Popular Culture Studies in Recent Europe, Kobe University Brussels Center, Belgium.
  • 28/08/2012: "Popular representations of the Nuclear", workshop, University of Kobe, Japan.
  • 27/08/2012: "Beyond "the West" and "the East": Occidentalism, Orientalism, and Self-Orientalism in Italy-Japan Relations", workshop, University of Kobe, Japan.
  • 26/06/2012: "Beyond "the West" and "the East": Occidentalism, Orientalism, and Self-Orientalism in Italy-Japan Relations", Transforming Cultures Research Workshop, University of Technology Sydney, Australia.
  • 07/06/2012: "Manga, anime, pop-art: da Hiroshima/Nagasaki a Fukushima" (Manga, anime, pop-art: from Hiroshima/Nagasaki to Fukushima), NipPop, University of Bologna, Italy.
  • 03/06/2012: "Japanese Studies as 'subculture' ", speaker and panel discussant, "Manga Worlds": Subcultures, Japan, Japanology, Kobe University- Kyoto International Manga Museum, Japan.
  • 20/04/2012: "Popularising the Atom: Hegemony, Resistance, and Consent in Japanese Popular Cultures", Japanese Media Studies Workshop, Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, Norwich, UK.
  • 27/03/2012: "Oltre l' "Occidente" e l' "Oriente": Occidentalismo, Orientalismo e auto-Orientalismo nei rapporti Italia-Giappone", University of Bologna, Italy.
  • 24/03/2012: "Desiring the Atom: Hegemony and Media Convergence in Japanese Popular Cultures", speaker and panel discussant, X Magis Gorizia Filmforum Festival, University of Udine, Italy.
  • 28/02/2012: "Occidentalismo critico e Area Studies: teoria, metodo e interdisciplinarità", PhD. workshop Critica, teoria e metodo negli Area Studies, Ca' Foscari University, Italy.
  • 27/02/2012: "Occidentalismo, Orientalismo e auto-Orientalismo", PhD. workshopCritica, teoria e metodo negli Area Studies, Ca' Foscari University, Italy.
  • 26/11/2011: "Images of Asia in Japanese Subcultures: Occidentalism, Orientalism and Self-Orientalism in Axis Powers Hetalia”, Imagining Asia through Cultural Production and Consumption, Seoul National University, South Korea.
  • 25/10/2011: "Re-inventing 'the West': Occidentalism and Nation Anthropomorphism in Japanese Subcultures", Contemporary Japan:  Challenges Facing a World Economic Power during a Period of Transition, organizing comittee member, speaker and panel organizer-discussant, Ca' Foscari University, Italy.
  • 23/09/2011: "Manga, anime, pop-art: da Hiroshima/Nagasaki a Fukushima" (Manga, anime, pop-art: from Hiroshima/Nagasaki to Fukushima), speaker and panel organizer, European Researchers' Night-Venetonight, Ca' Foscari University, Italy.

Scientific collaborations:

  • Ca' Foscari University Overseas Partner (2011-): "Reconstruction of Public and Intimate Spheres in 21st Century Asia”, Global Center of Excellence (GCOE 2008-), Dept. of Sociology, Kyoto University.
  • Scientific advisor for the “Milano Manga Festival” (03.05-21.07.2013), Rotonda in Via Besana − WOW  Museo del Fumetto, Milan.
  • Member of the scientific and organizing committee for The Japan Foundation research, conference, staff expansion, visiting professor, library project “Rethinking Nature: Facing the Crisis in Contemporary Japan”, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, 2012−15.
  • Member of the scientific committee for the editorial and didactic project “The 47 Ronin” between Ca’ Foscari University and Venezia Comix (2012−present).

Coordination of PhD seminar series:

  • “Critique, Theory, and Method in Area Studies”, Department of Asian and North African Studies, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, 2012−present.
  • “Reading the Classics of Critical Theory”, Dept. of Asian and North African Studies, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, 2013−present.
  • “TransPop Laboratory”, Dept. of Asian and North African Studies, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, 2013−present.