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Type of publication: Straipsnis / Article
Author(s): Sepp, Linhart
Title: The visual representation of Japan in the West
Is part of: Regioninės studijos. 2012, [No.] 6, The development of ‘Japan’ in the west: comparative analysis, p. 47-66
Date: 2012
Keywords: Visual turn;Visual studies;Visual representation;Japan;Mt Fuji;Uniqueness of Mt Fuji;Mt Fuji in school songs;Mt Fuji as nationalistic symbol;Geisha
Abstract: Since the beginning of the 1990ies visual studies or Bildwissenschaft in German became an important new realm within cultural studies as a whole, but its methods are still far from established and well grounded, as is its theory. One consequence of the growth of visual studies is that imagology, the study of images of countries, is now no longer restricted to the field of comparative literature and the analysis of texts, as it once was, but is also concerning itself with real images or pictures, i.e. using pictures as text. In this short paper I try to show the possibilities of this new approach in the analysis of representations of Japan, both self-representations and representations from outside. I concentrate myself on one of the most important and strongest images of Japan, Mt Fuji, and as a sub-theme I try to connect Mt Fuji with another very influential image of Japan, the ‘geisha’. By introducing several examples for both images from various visual media, I try to show how these images held in Japan and outside Japan influence each other, and how they are only slowly modified by new developments, so that in the case of Mt Fuji and the ‘geisha’ we can even speak of archetypes of visual representations of Japan.
Affiliation(s): Publication of this volume of “Regioninės studijos” is sponsored by Japan Foundation
Appears in Collections:2012 Regioninės studijos, [vol.] 6

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