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UChicago Japanese Animation Convention, This Saturday!

Manga_Moderator05's picture

The University of Chicago Japanese Animation Society extends an open invitation to UChi-Con, an academia-oriented anime convention to be held on Saturday, February 25th in Stuart Hall. This free convention will be a combination of traditional academic fare (lectures, panels) and anime-enthusiast fare (anime screenings, fan workshops, etc.). Below is a list of our speakers this year.  The Korean Wave in Japan Laura Miller – Loyola University Chicago 1:00-3:30pm In recent decades Japanese consumers have been enthralled with South Korean cultural products, especially hit TV drama series such as Winter Sonata, Dae Jang Geum, and Legend of the First King's Four Gods. Given the grim history between the two nations, many observers were astonished at the positive shift in Japanese attitudes toward Korea that were engendered primarily through Korean Wave fandom. Although many critics dismissed this as nothing more than overheated middle-aged female excitement over the handsome actor Bae Yong-Joon, the popularity of Korean cultural products defies easy generalization. This presentation will review some of the wide-ranging expressions of Japanese interest in Korea that followed from the Korean Wave, tracking both the economic impact as well as areas of cultural fallout and influence. Ninja Martial Arts (with a Special Screening of Ninja Bugeichou) ______________________________________  Ryan Holmberg - University of Chicago 3:30- 6:30pm From 1959 to 1962, Shirato Sanpei published The Ninja Martial Arts (Ninja Bugeichou, a seventeen volume manga that quickly became an icon of its era. It is set in the mid to late sixteenth century, amidst the intense civil warfare that would finally conclude with the Pax Tokugawa circa 1600. Against this historical backdrop, Shirato narrates interwoven stories of samurai vengeance, ninja assassination, and clan power struggles, all themes common to other period manga at the time, but here depicted with an unprecedented degree of brutality and violence. Most notable, however, is the manga's foregrounding of the history of peasant suffering and armed uprising. For this focus, The Ninja Martial Arts was soon framed, contemporary to its serialization, as an allegory of popular protest movements in postwar Japan, and it was as such that the manga became the focal point of the earliest sustained critical discourse on manga, as well as an icon of the 60s counterculture. The names of its characters dot the pronouncements and ephemera of the student movement. A number of small independent theatre troupes staged performances based on Shirato's work. And in 1967, the controversial filmmaker Ooshima Nagisa created an animated version of The Ninja Martial Arts a full-length feature composed of an extended series of stills shot from Shirato's original drawings for the manga. Ryan Holmberg will provide introductory and closing remarks for a screening of this rare and historical animated feature (110 min).   If you know any students, university faculty, or any other individuals that would be interested in attending, please extend the invitation to them as well. Because UChi-Con spans a wide range of disciplines and interests, we are confident there will be something enjoyable for everyone. Please visit our website at http://jas.uchicago.edu/uchi-con , where you can find more detailed information on speakers, directions to the event, and programming.

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