Contemporary Japanese Media Cultures: Industry, Society and Audiences Symposium, University of East Anglia

Johnston, D. (Speaker)

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Description

    Exploring the Kozure Okami / Lone Wolf and Cub Mega-text Originally published between 1970 and 1976, the manga Kozure Okami, or Lone Wolf and Cub, has been adapted into various other media and other languages, as well as providing inspiration for other media products. This paper will take an overview of this, to borrow Adam Roberts’ phrase, ‘mega-text’, ‘interlinked sequences of texts, often spanning several media.’ (Roberts, Adam, The History of Science Fiction (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) p.272) By examining the transformations made at each point of development of the mega-text, we can gain an understanding of the demands of different industrial and cultural contexts. The Kozure Okami text moves from manga, to Japanese film, to Japanese television, to American re-editing of the Japanese films to construct a new story, to American translation of the manga and the films and television series, to American graphic novels inspired by the manga, which are then turned into American films themselves. With all of these transformations and translations, what remains the same? What are the differences between American and Japanese expressions of the narrative? The American adaptations, as opposed to translations, of the narrative tend to show more promise for a happier future, that the destructiveness of vengeance and misplaced concepts and misunderstandings of honour can be resolved and shut away, unlike the Japanese versions of the narrative. Does this demonstrate a cultural or an industrial difference? While the scope of the mega-text means that this paper can only present an overview of these transformations and the questions and ideas that they suggest, it is hoped that this will serve to tie in with more specific discussions across the symposium, as well as outlining the scope and purpose of my wider examination of the Kozure Okami text.
    Period05 Sep 2012
    Event typeConference
    LocationNorwich, United Kingdom