講演・口頭発表等

国際会議
2012年7月1日

Figures of Foreigners in Tokyo: The Case of the Cartoon Sazae-san

The Sixteenth Asian Studies Conference Japan
  • Yusuke Suzumura

記述言語
英語
会議種別
口頭発表(一般)
主催者
Asian Studies Conference Japan
開催地
Rikkyo University

Sazae-san, a number one among newspaper comic strips in Japan, is not only topical, its essential quality lies in the description of the big family’s daily lighthearted life. Statistics tell us that this comic is one of most popular manga in Japan: it ran 27 years in 3 newspapers with 6477 episodes, sold more than 70 million copies, was dramatised 4 times and made into films 3 times, and was broadcast as a TV animation series for 43 years beginning in 1969. Because of such popularity, Sazae-san became a subject for studying the history of manners and customs of the Showa Era, was recognised as political or social satire, and was used as a source for the understanding of mutual communication in ordinary people’s daily life, even if it has to be admitted that some such research suffered from the use of rather dilettante-like methods. Not a few works analyse episodes of Sazae-san, and all research focuses on words and actions of Sazae-san, a heroin of this national comic and her family, but one element is out of such investigations: foreigners or things of foreign countries.
It is not unusual for Japanese living in Tokyo to meet foreigners in shopping malls, a train, or a café. We might say that not seeing foreigners in daily life would be exceptional. In this sense we can also say that foreigners are not strange people in present day in Tokyo. But, during the last few decades when foreigners were still rare, they were the object of strong interest and concern for many people in Tokyo, even in the capital of Japan.
This presentation examines the way the attitude of ordinary Japanese towards foreigners in Tokyo was portrayed in cartoons. Source material for this investigation is the four-frame story comic Sazae-san (1946-1974) written by Machiko Hasegawa (1920-1992). This comic was originally serialized in the Fukunichi Shimbun, a local newspaper in Fukuoka prefecture which later moved to the Asahi Shimbun, one of the leading national newspapers in Japan. Following this change the setting of the story was moved to Tokyo and Sazae-san, the heroin of this comic and her family lived and enjoyed Tokyo life for over 25 years. A typical average Japanese family of the time, they met a considerable number of foreigners in Tokyo. I will choose scenes of Sazae-san describing foreigners for the analysis of their perception and attitudes toward foreigners. Then we will discuss the way their views of foreigners in Tokyo were formed to elucidate the notion of ordinary Japanese in an age ‘not used to foreigners’

リンク情報
URL
http://www.meijigakuin.ac.jp/~ascj/2012/ASCJ2012program.pdf