Panel 4: Japan and Globalization

 

Abstracts:

 

1. "Crossroads of Experience: Miyazaki Hayaofs Global/Local Nexus"

Jay Goulding, York Univeristy <jay@yorku.ca>

 

The paper explores the double folding of time and space in the anime films of Miyazaki Hayao: the past becomes the present and the present becomes the past. Special attention will be paid to Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke) and Sen To Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away). Triangulating on the Edo Period, Miyazaki provides a unique Japanese solution to the cultural challenges of globalization with the use of Confucian, Shinto and Buddhist themes. For him, eglobal goes localf is more than a slogan. In the wake of the attempted hegemony of American commodity culture in Japan, Miyazakifs films enact an ironic reversal. Global trends (especially from the U.S.) are themselves espirited awayf and transformed into deep Japanese local folk culture. Hence, the roots of Japanese heritage emerge through the crossroads of experience: East and West, ancient and modern, old and young, inside and outside.

 

2. gTeaching Tea: Using Experiential Learning to Teach Culture and Ethosh

Jennifer Oldstone-Moore, Wittenberg University, and Kiyoko Toratani, York University

<ktoratani@wittenberg.edu>

 

The tea ceremony is a highly culture specific practice of Japan, demanding rigid adherence to local language, ethos, and practice.  Drawing from a tea ceremony course taught at a Lutheran liberal arts college in Ohio, USA, this paper considers adjustments that can and cannot be made in teaching Tea to non-Japanese students.  The course included both lecture and performance. Student feedback indicated that students perceived the need for adjustment in learning style and communication, but no conflict between spiritual aspects of Tea and their values.

 

3. gImages of Japanese women in the era of globalization: An analysis of the language in women's magazinesh

Noriko Yabuki-Soh, York University <n_yabuki@yahoo.com>

 

This paper will discuss a recent trend in the language used in Japanese magazines targeted at young women. Tanaka (1994) suggested that the Japanese society has possibly coped with potential threats from the introduction of concepts such as individualism and feminism by interpreting them against the background of traditional values, or by getting rid of some of the contextual implications accompanying those concepts that might contradict these traditional values. The present paper will focus on a few key words including "individualistic" and "feministic" used in recent women's magazines and examine whether any extension or shift of word meaning can be observed. Images of today's women described in the magazines will also be discussed.

 

4. gAre Japanese honorifics Keigo not PC?h

Norio Ota, York University <nota@yorku.ca>

 

Debate on the nature of keigo eJapanese honorificsf ranges from ediscriminatoryf to euseful weaponsf. Keigo are considered discriminatory, since they impose hierarchical relationships (power-powerless), and as such epreventf people from expressing themselves freely, This is further complicated by a gender issue. Women are eforcedf to use more keigo than men because of their social status. This trend dominated in the 70fs and 80fs. Recently, as the pendulum swings in the opposite direction, a move to reevaluate the initial assessment of keigo has become apparent. Scholars involved in Womenfs Studies examine keigo in terms of gender identity and gender ideology. Treating keigo in the context of universal realm of politeness has contributed to this rethinking. Some scholars observe that women use keigo as powerful tools and weapons to enhance their identities and communicative activities. This paper claims that keigo are ediscriminatoryf not only towards women, but also towards men; furthermore, women have more freedom in the use of keigo than men. In most studies, the use of male register by female speakers is discussed. In this paper, the use of female register by male speakers will be examined as well. Whether or not keigo constitute a discriminatory system in general requires further debate and investigation, but if the concept of senpai eseniorf – kohai ejuniorf, for example, should be considered as not politically correct, the whole language, culture and society would require a major overhaul.