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The Journal of Japanese Language Literature Studies > Volume 14(1); 2022 > Article
Border Crossings: The Journal of Japanese-Language Literature Studies 2022;14(1): 177-190.
doi: https://doi.org/10.22628/bcjjl.2022.14.1.177
A Study of Iwai Shunji’s Swallowtail Butterfly as a Work of Techno-Orientalist Minor Literature and its Representation of the East Asian Diaspora
Kenji OBA
Lecturer, Kyushu Kyoritsu University
マイナー文学としての岩井俊二―― 映画スワロウテイルと東アジアの表象
大場健司
九州共立大学共通教育センター講師。比較文学·比較文化、日本近現代文学。
Correspondence  Kenji OBA ,Email: kenji.oba.kyushu.university@gmail.com
Published online: 30 June 2022.
Copyright ©2022 The Global Institute for Japanese Studies, Korea University
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
ABSTRACT
This paper is an investigation of “Techno-Orientalism” in postmodern Japanese and global cultural genres and subcultures since the 1980s. It concentrates on the representation of the diaspora from East Asia in the film Swallowtail Butterfly (1996), directed by Iwai Shunji (1963-). This film criticized the expansion of neoliberalism after the collapse of the “Bubble Economy” in the years 1986 to 1991 from the perspective of the diaspora, suggesting a path for the reconsideration of the connection between postmodernism and global capitalism in 1980s Japan. A postmodern genre formed in which urban space in Japan was represented as “Techno-Orientalist”, in works such as Blade Runner (1982) by Sir Ridley Scott (1937-), Akira (1988) by Otomo Katsuhiro (1954-), and Ghost in the Shell (1995) by Oshii Mamoru (1951-). Oriental “Techno Pop” music by Sakamoto Ryuichi (1952-) was also produced in the same context, and it is possible to discuss Iwai Shunji’s Swallowtail Butterfly in this context. The most important point of this movie is that Japanese actors played the roles of those who were part of the diaspora from East Asia, and they speak “Fake Chinese” and “Fake English.” This paper discusses these fake and creole languages through the prism of the theory of “Minor Literature” elaborated by Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) and Pierre-Félix Guattari (1930-1992).
Keywords: Subculture, Techno-Orientalism, 1980s Japan, Postmodernism Film Studies

キ―ワ―ド: サブカルチャー, テクノ·オリエンタリズム, 1980年代日本, ポストモダニズム, 映画研究
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