Globalism and Localism in Hayao Miyazaki's Anime

By:
Prof. Takao Hagiwara
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In his Runaway World, Anthony Giddins writes that globalisation "is led from the west, bears the strong imprint of American political and economic power, and is highly uneven in its consequences. But globalisation is not just the dominance of the West over the rest; it affects the United States as it does the other countries" (Anthony Giddins, Runaway World: How Globalisation is Reshaping our Lives [London: Profile Books, 1999] 4.). I think this situation of globalisation affecting its own originator and leader parallels the (post)modern or meta-modern situation, in which the animistic sensibility (magic), which has thus far been marginalized or actively suppressed by the (Western) Enlightenment (modernity), is actually being revived via modernity itself. One typical example of this revival is Japanese anime: for instance, in Hayao Miyazaki's NausicaƤ of the Valley of Wind, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away. However, I am rather skeptical as to whether or not Miyazaki's version of animism and magic, whose propagation outside Japan heavily depends on Disney's commercial networks, could help bring about the fundamental change that Giddins contends is necessary: that humankind must and can control runaway globalisation. My paper analyzes Miyazaki anime in light of globalisation and localisation, and explores the possibilities and limitations of Miyazaki anime in realizing Giddins' contention. In the process, I draw on Michael Hardt's and Antonio Negri's concept of "Empire", "a decentered and deterritorializing apparatus of rule that progressively incorporates the entire global realm within its open, expanding frontiers" (Hardt and Negri, Empire [Harvard UP, 2000] xii). I argue that their concept of Empire brings into question the Utopian communities that Miyazaki anime envisions as ideal substitutes for modern, imperialistic nation-states.


Keywords: Globalism and Localism, Hayao Miyazaki, anime, runaway globalisation, Empire, Enlightenment, modernity, (post)modernity
Stream: Media, Film Studies, Theatre, Communication, Globalisation, Ethnicity, Difference, Identity, Religion, Spirituality
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Globalism and Localism in Hayao Miyazaki's Anime


Prof. Takao Hagiwara

Associate Professor of Japanese, The Japanese Studies Program, Dept. of Modern Languages and Literatures, Case Western Reserve University
USA

Takao Hagiwara (M.A. in Comparative Literature and Ph.D. in Modern Japanese Literature, The University of British Columbia) is Associate Professor of Japanese and World Literature in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Case Western Reserve University. Before joining the faculty at Case, he taught at the University of British Columbia, the University of Florida at Gainesville, and Smith College in Massachusetts. His numerous publications include books, chapters in books, articles, and reviews, the most recent books being Reading Japanese Literature in North America (in Japanese) (Tokyo: Keibunsha, in press), Characteristics of Modern Japanese Literature (in Japanese) (Maebashi: Kankodo, 2000), The Mother in Japanese Literature (in Japanese), co-edited with Sukehiro Hirakawa (Tokyo: Shinyosha, 1997) and The Idea of Innocence in Kenji Miyazawa (in Japanese) (Tokyo: Meijishoin, 1988). Professor Hagiwara's recent research interests are the feminine/mother sensibilities in Japanese culture and literature and their relationships with (post)modern sensibilities.

Ref: H05P0669