About Japanese culture, movies, literature and more
Category Archives: Article
Next up in our trip through Japanese erotic photography is the female photographer Maki Miyashita (宮下 マキ), who was born in 1975 in Kagoshima, Kyushu. Even though she started studying film at the Kyoto college of Art, her interest shifted to photography while working a part-time job at a film processing lab in Kyoto. After graduation, she began working as a professional photographer besides pursuing her interest in documentary photography.
Very early in her career, 1997 to be precise, she conceived the idea of her award-winning Rooms and Underwear [部屋と下着] photography project. Continue reading →
In our previous article, we introduced Nihonjinron, a pseudo-scientific and political discourse concerned with corroborating the homogeneity and uniqueness of Japanese culture. This time, we shift our interest from this particular political discourse to explain some more theory about discourse, the Other, and culture.
To set the tone of this series of articles straight away: the Japanese culture does not exist. Despite many ‘scientific’ attempts, all under the banner of nihonjinron, to describe and prove the uniqueness of Japanese culture and its people, there is no unique Japanese essence, passed on from time immemorial, that units each and every Japanese subject. The idea that there is something like such essence is no more than a fiction, an imaginary narrative construction. By categorizing the Japanese essence as a narrative construction, we imply that there is a constructing force behind this fiction, this nihonjinron.
In this first article, we want to introduce nihonjinron in general terms. In future articles we aim to get a deeper understanding of this nihonjinron, to explain the aspects of construction, and to underline the fictionality of any nationalism.
Each person has their own way of travelling. For some nature is important, for others culture is most important. Some organize their trips around regional dishes. And some like a mixture of all those things together to create a balance that satisfy their needs.
Nevertheless, the greater part of the people who travel to Japan are only interested in the two following aspects: traditional culture and Japanese cuisine – a third aspect that is gaining popularity is popular culture. In other words, traveling to Japan is quite often culture and historic based (with an important focus on aestheticism): one wants to see temples, shrines, castles, gardens, … etc. .
This article is written as a critical response to an article written by Shinshi Okajima for Tokyo Girls’ update. His article, in our opinion, provides an unsatisfactory explanation of the phenomenon of gradols/グラドル [gravure idols] for male subjects. By misrepresenting the use of fabric in the world of gravure/グラビア, he fails in our opinion to underline the essential dimension that drives the appeal of Gradols for male subjects.
One might wonder what the concrete situation was that revealed the value of the Japanese aesthetics to me. It all happened on a rather quiet evening in Dotonbori street, while I was waiting for my friend. In this moment of waiting, this moment of inhaling (with various senses) the atmosphere of Osaka, I happened to observe a quick and tiny gesture of a woman. While she was looking at the counter, her head slightly bend, she let one of her fingers rest for a moment at the edge of her underlip.
This short article is written as a sort of response to, or even better, as a sort of thanks for the two-day Japanese event that was held in Bruges. This event made me realize once again – the first time was in Osaka, the value of the Japanese aesthetic categories, but only if they’re read subjective – as there is no objectivity when it comes to aesthetics as it is discourse that conditions aesthetics.