講演・口頭発表等

国際会議
2019年9月14日

Is the Concept of Kami Still Alive in Japanese Animation?: A Relationship between Contemporary Japanese Thought and Popular Culture.

The 3rd EAJS Conference in Japan
  • Yusuke Suzumura

記述言語
英語
会議種別
口頭発表(一般)
主催者
European Association for Japanese Studies
開催地
The University of Tsukuba

What is Shintoism in contemporary Japan? Can it be seen or experienced in popular culture, in comics and animation for example? The main purpose of this presentation is to examine the influence of Shinto in contemporary Japanese animation, especially after 1980’s. Shinto is a folk religion like attitude in Japan which expresses respects to gods and an ancestor, and enshrines them. One of the most important characteristics of Shinto is the polytheistic in which uncountable number of gods exist. In this presentation, several significant works that featured the polytheistic element will be analyzed especially the influence of Shinto-like attitude on the concept of kami (god). I argue that this concept does not have religious meaning in most animations or comics.

One animation, for example Densetu kyoshin Ideon (Space Runaway Ideon, 1980) uses the term kami or god in the title, but there is no religious meaning but an implication like “something passes human understanding”. In Kaze no Tani no Naushika (Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, 1984) there is a weapon named kyoshinhei, but its character is not a god but a huge artificial life form with god-like power.

My conclusion tries to show that in Japanese animations the concept kami is applied in relation to some sort of symbol or cryptograph creation in the story. It implies that authors or producers of animations appropriate the Shinto structure, the polytheistic attitude in their works, but one is not sure whether they are conscious of the religious significance.

リンク情報
URL
https://eajs2019.jinsha.tsukuba.ac.jp/pdf/book_of_abstracts.pdf