Download 'A Nation of a Hundred Million Idiots'?: A Social History of by Jayson Makoto Chun PDF

By Jayson Makoto Chun

This publication deals a historical past of jap tv audiences and the preferred media tradition that tv helped to spawn. In a relatively brief interval, the tv helped to reconstruct not just postwar jap pop culture, but in addition the japanese social and political panorama. in the course of the early years of tv, eastern of all backgrounds, from politicians to moms, debated the results on society. the general public discourse surrounding the expansion of tv published its position in forming the identification of postwar Japan through the period of high-speed progress (1955-1973) that observed Japan reworked into an financial strength and one of many world's most sensible exporters of tv programming.

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Extra info for 'A Nation of a Hundred Million Idiots'?: A Social History of Japanese Television, 1953-1973 (East Asia: History, Politics, Sociology, Culture)

Example text

It severed Japan’s colonies from the nation, dismantled the military, forced the throne to renounce its divinity, and incorporated New Deal concepts such as labor reform, women’s rights, and educational reform into a constitution imposed on the Japanese. On the surface, it appeared the formal dismantling of the empire provided Japanese a clean break with the past. Yet, one of the hallmarks of the immediate postwar era became the stubborn persistence and subsequent revival of elements of the imperial ideology.

In this sense, Japanese had been exposed to broadcasting, and so could easily adapt their experiences with radio to television. However, radio had limits in creating moments of national simultaneity. First of all, the people had listened to a prerecording of Emperor’s voice, not a live broadcast. Second and more importantly, many listeners did not understand the broadcast, due to the obscure honorific imperial language the Emperor was using and the poor quality of the radio broadcast. Many other Japanese, in the same manner as Shiga, had no idea what the emperor was saying and realized that Japan had surrendered not as a direct result of the emperor’s broadcast, but from other means like listening to the announcer’s subsequent explanation of the emperor’s speech, or through rumors from friends, family, or strangers.

In the context of post-imperial cultural instability, this political stalemate meant that neither cultural conservatives nor cultural reformers felt confident that their ideals were firmly established among the Japanese population. Conservatives feared a radical transformation of Japanese society, while liberals feared that the state apparatus could easily reconstitute along imperial lines. These competing fears manifested itself in the form of social turmoil. As Andrew Barshay points out, although largely forgotten now, many strikes, petition campaigns, mass protests and violent demonstrations against government policies shook the nation during the 1950s.

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