・Dying Young: The Gendering of Mortality and Mourning in Kira Kira Seishun Eiga／Yutaka Kubo (Waseda University)
・Okinawan Dream Show: Toward an Affective Critique of Takamine Gō’s Essay Films／Ma Ran (Nagoya University)
・Time Recurrence Through Opening Spaces of Sharing: Some Practical Functions of Art in Japan’s Aging Society／Yoshinobu Tsunoo (University of Tokyo)
【コメンテーター】Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano (Kyoto University)
【司会】Yutaka Kubo (Waseda University)
For the last couple decades, media and performance studies have investigated the operational power of affect. Focusing on examples from Japan, this panel sheds light on new approaches to ways in which visual media works and performance projects may evoke affective experiences. How does the body of youth films centering on premature female deaths politicize the gendering of morality and mourning as a marketing strategy? (Kubo) How do Okinawan essay films offer intersections between “the personal” and “the political” that contribute to the process of becoming through the time-image? (Ma) How do modern art projects concerning care facilitate communication between the aged and the younger through developing the process of mimesis to create a space for sharing subjective memories? (Tsunoo). Employing literature on affect in queer, media, and performance studies, this panel tries to answer these questions in order to explore affective experiences in today’s visual culture and performing arts.
Dying Young: The Gendering of Mortality and Mourning in Kira Kira Seishun Eiga／Yutaka Kubo (Waseda University)
Studies on death and mourning in European and Hollywood narrative cinema have shown that women characters dominated a role of grieving over the loss of significant others or/and children. While examining cinema’s preoccupation with grieving women, Richard Armstrong in Mourning Films(2012) claims an urgent call for scholarly attention to representations of male mourning. Responding to Armstrong’s call, I have recently examined the state of male mourning in post-3/11 Japanese films (“Still Grieving” 2019), which made visible another popular genre that employs mortality and mourning as important elements of storytelling and audience’s identification: kira kira seishun eiga(bright youth films).
This paper focuses on Japanese film industry’s thematic obsession with premature deaths in kira kira seishun eigasince the early 2000s and argues how this genre often targeting young audiences exploits the gendering of mortality and mourning in order to evoke emotions in audiences. In particular, it analyzes the body of bright youth films in which the male protagonist must face an overwhelmingly anticipated absence of the heroine destined to die young due to some incurable disease. Through this study, we will dismantle the genre’s exploitation of premature female deaths triggering male mourning as an effective production/marketing strategy.
Okinawan Dream Show: Toward an Affective Critique of Takamine Gō’s Essay Films／Ma Ran (Nagoya University)
Okinawa-born filmmaker Takamine Gō’s importance apropos Japan’s personal filmmaking as well as a vernacular mode of essay film has been arguably underestimated and understudied. Takamine’s essay films mostly center on Okinawa and particularly Takamine’s “hometowns” of Ishigaki (Kabira) and Naha. This paper focuses on Takamine’s essay works such as Sashingwa(Dear Photograph, 1973), Okinawan Dream Show(1974), and Okinawa Chirudai(1978), which were produced before and after the crucial historical turning point of the reversion of Okinawa in 1972, and tries to pinpoint the interconnections between “the personal” and “the political.” I shall turn to Gilles Deleuze’s idea of “time image” to grasp Takamine’s experiments with the image and sound in these works, which have constituted the lines of flight from the delimitations of representing Okinawa with symbols and clichéd tropes. Importantly, I will extend my reading of Takamine’s playful engagement with “chirudai,” which in uchinā guchimeans the physical condition of lethargy. I argue that “chirudai” in signifying a different conceptualization of time, also opens up a way for us to formulate an affective critique, wherein Okinawa or the Okinawan people emerges not as an organic collectivity, but in/through its affective becoming.
Time Recurrence Through Opening Spaces of Sharing: Some Practical Functions of Art in Japan’s Aging Society／Yoshinobu Tsunoo (University of Tokyo)
Haruki Miyoshi, an expert in care for the aged, has proposed that people in their final stages of life return to the state of infancy in the oral stage, and subsequently to that of a fetus or embryo. At a time when society is aging at an unprecedented rate, contemporary art is now contemplating the ways to produce spaces of coexistence with the elderly population whose adult rationality is gradually impairing. Analyzing some Japanese art projects in various media (Oibokkeshiby Naoki Sugawara, Totsutotsu Danceby Osamu Jareo, Radio Shimokajiroby Wataru Asada, Ana-Archiveby Atsushi Matsumoto, and Eichan Clubby Yoshinobu Tsunoo), this paper presents a survey of the recent Japanese trend of arts concerning care, and explores its two crucial characteristics: communication based on mimesis and the sharing of memory. These projects have developed processes for cultivating mimesis between the aging/aged and the younger sectors of society. By employing the critical framework of Anna Gibbs’ concepts, “mimetic communication” and “affect contagion,” I examine these processes to illustrate how these projects create spaces to share subjective memories. This examination will demonstrate a new application of Deleuze’s movement- and time-images that can support the spaces as such.