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Title: The Economies of Anime: Anime as a soft power, a cultural product and a (trans)national medium
Authors: Onemu, Uyoyo
Advisors: Hunt, L
Keywords: Anime;Popular culture;Japan;Cultural identity;National identity;Soft power
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: Japanese animation, from here on referred to as anime, occupy an important and unique position in Japanese contemporary media. In my thesis, I will discuss and explore the following questions and current debates about anime as national Japanese product: - What is the importance of anime for the Japanese economy? - Has anime - as part of Japanese popular culture - become a soft power for Japan? - What is the cultural and national identity of anime? - Is anime a transnational product? Anime is the Japanese word for animation (brought to the screen, through series or film). Anime is also the term generally used worldwide to distinguish Japanese animation from Western animation. The term anime is also used to refer to anime as a certain recognisable style, sometimes regardless of its origin. Throughout this thesis the term anime is used specifically to identify Japanese animation, or animation (at least) involving Japanese cooperation. I will discuss anime as an international economic and cultural phenomenon and examine why anime is often more than just the moving images of Japanese pencil drawings. This thesis interrogates the position of anime as a cultural export and as a form of soft power and explores anime's current status within Japan’s (cultural) economy and international export markets. I discuss the relation of the Japanese economy to cultural popular products, with anime as a particular focus. My questions are as follows; - Why do we perceive anime as a Japanese cultural product and a (trans)national medium? On what scale (and is it still)? - To what extent is anime important as an actual asset for Japan’s soft power? - How does the Japanese government use anime (being a part of popular culture) and how does the economy benefit from it?
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award ofMaster of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
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Dept of Arts and Humanities Theses

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