論文題目：GAIJIN: CULTURAL REPRESENTATIONS THROUGH MANGA, 1930’s – 1950’s （日本の漫画における外国人の描写、1930年代〜1950年代）
著者：チェン チュア・カール イアン ウイ （Cheng Chua , Karl Ian Uy）
This dissertation is an analysis on how the Other was depicteded in manga published in the magazine Shōnen Club between the 1930’s to the 1950’s thus providing a glimpse into Japanese society from the pre-war up to the post-war period. The author chose to use manga published in a children’s magazine due to its popular form, as well as visual nature. Unlike novels and short stories which required a certain level of literacy, or movies which required a certain level of wealth, children’s magazines was an affordable medium which has the ability to expand its readership it passes hands from reader to reader. Furthermore, literacy was not a requirement to consume visual media. During the peak of it’s popularity, Shōnen Club published 750,000 copies per month and would have a readership which would extend to Japan’s colonies overseas.
As children are future adults, to study the media that they consume, especially during the pre-war and post-war period, reveals how society shaped and how society was shaped during that time. Shaped, meaning how adult authors and artists were able to pass on their values unto their readers via their works. On the other hand, children consuming these works are greatly influenced by them. In addition, circumstances of the period influence what these writers and artists produce, and how the readers consume.
Utilizing William O’Barr’s concept of “Idealized Images,” this study looked at who was the Other and what stereotypes were used through the recurring images published in the manga. His idea on “Power and Inequality” further developed the study by looking at how the creators positioned the Other vis-à-vis the self, in this case, the Japanese, within their story. From the two constructs, the author was able to see a pattern as who was the Other based on the period the manga was published, and categorized them within the following chapters.
The second chapter dealt with black native of the South Seas popular during the early 1930’s. The South Seas became a popular theme in relation to the propagation of the Nanshinron or Southern Expansion Doctrine, which inspired Japanese to travel and seek their fortunes across the seas to the South of Japan. The black sambo stereotype, which featured a backward people with jet black skin, large eyes, thick lips and wearing grass skirts was popularly used to depict the inferiority of these natives.
Chapter 3 focused on both negative and positive representations of Chinese which occurred almost at the same time as the black natives of the South Seas. This was a response to Japan’s expansion to the Chinese mainland. Despite the civilized nature of Chinese depictions, Japanese artists were prone to give their Chinese characters bad grammar. However, a “good citizen” stereotype was also introduced, which featured obedient Chinese subjects which spoke in good Japanese. The Chinese was an object of ridicule, which reflected their inferior status.
Chapter 4 mainly dealt with representations of Americans during the immediate post war. In the series analyzed, the American was always depicted as an adult soldier who communicated exclusively in English. Furthermore, English and Romaji (Romanized Japanese) sections were introduced in the magazine as well. As Japan was the loser in the last war, there was no doubt regarding the inferior depiction of Japanese (who were always featured as young boys) towards the superior treatment of adult male American soldiers.
The fifth chapter moved further up to 1950’s where aliens and fantastic creatures became part of the new Others and science fiction, a new popular genre. As most of the stories dealt with post-apocalytic themes, it became a tool for Japanese to “re-tell” a safe story of their war experience. In addition, the previous black and Chinese stereotypes would also make their reappearance within the post-war manga stories signifying how imbedded the stereotypes were in the Japanese psyche.
The last chapter centered on one artist, Shimada Keizō who maintained his career as a manga artist during the 3 decades. His work Bōken Dankichi, was in line with the sambo stereotype during the 1930’s and further propagated the stereotype due to the series’ popularity. He took a different approach towards Caucasians, by representing them as inferior, a stand he would maintain until the censorship of his wartime piece. Dan-chan no Arawashi would feature present day Southeast Asians, specifically Filipinos, within the series. While Shimada would no longer use the black stereotype, he would still fall prey to the old concept of the South Seas.
Within all the chapters, inconsistencies were found within the representations as well. However, these inconsistencies were taken as the artists’ ignorance or lack of knowledge concerning their subjects. This made their works “dangerous” as the artists were propagating the same ideas to their young readers.