This edited volume explores political motives, discourses and agendas in Japanese manga and graphic art with the objective of highlighting the agency of Japanese and wider Asian story-telling traditions within the context of global political traditions. Highly illustrated chapters presented here investigate the multifaceted relationship between Japan’s political storytelling practices, media and bureaucratic discourse, as played out between both the visual arts and modern pop-cultural authors. From pioneering cartoonist Tezuka Osamu, contemporary manga artists such as Kotobuki Shiriagari and Fumiyo Kōno, to videogames and everyday merchandise, a wealth of source material is analysed using cross-genre techniques. Furthermore, the book resists claims that manga, unlike the bandes dessinées and American superhero comic traditions, is apolitical. On the contrary, contributors demonstrate that manga and the mediality of graphic arts have begun to actively incorporate political discourses, undermining hegemonic cultural constructs that support either the status quo, or emerging brands of neonationalism in Japanese society. The Representation of Politics in Manga will be a dynamic resource for students and scholars of Japanese studies, media and popular cultural studies, as well as practitioners in the graphic arts.
Table of Contents
2. Re-envisioning the Dark Valley and the Decline of the Peace State
3. Kobayashi Yoshinori’s Just War and Unjust Peace:Sensō ron, Arrogant-ism, and Selective Memory
4. "Sexual Politics: Pan-Pan Girls in Postwar Manga and Magazine Illustrations"
5. NEETs vs. Nuns: Visualizing the Moral Panic of Japanese Conservatives
Sean Patrick Webb
6. The Body Political: Women and War in Kantai Collection
7. Towards an Unrestrained Military: Manga Narratives of the Self-Defense Forces
Jeffrey J. Hall
8. The political representation of Hiroshima in the Graphic Art of Kōno Fumiyo
10. "What Tezuka Might Tell Trump: Critiquing Japanese Uniqueness in Gringo"
11. Questioning the politics of popular culture: Tatsuta Kazuto’s manga 1F and the national discourse on 3/11
12. Database Nationalism: The Disaggregation of Nation, Nationalism, and Symbol in Pop Culture.
13. Envisioning Nuclear Futures: Shiriagari Kotobuki’s 3/11 manga from
Hope to Despair
14. Kokoro (心): Civic epistemology of self-knowledge in Japanese war-themed manga
Roman Rosenbaum PhD is an Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney Australia. He specialises in Postwar Japanese Literature and Popular Cultural Studies. He is the editor of Representation of Japanese History in Manga (2013) and Visions of Precarity in Japanese Popular Culture and Literature (2015).