Reading Response: William M. Tsutsui

Japan, where the entertainment film and television industry is particularly developed, has always had a special preference for disaster themed works. Due to Japan’s unique geographical environment, tsunami, earthquake, nuclear leakage and other disasters occur frequently, Japanese people are born with anxiety and crisis awareness. They repeatedly use the film to show the disaster, more is to convey the hidden meaning behind the film, it reflects the strong and distinctive “disaster consciousness” of the entire Japanese nation. The so-called ‘disaster awareness’ refers to people’s understanding of disasters at ordinary times, as well as the destruction of social and living conditions

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Reading Response: William M. Tsutsui

In the reading Oh No, There Gose Tokyo, the author elaborates on the popular culture of Japan. The author proposes many ideas about the rise of Japanese pop culture, which he described as “apocalypse”. Generally, the boom of movies which depict the destruction in the postwar Japan can be attributed to a kind of faith or emotion of Japanese nation. Japan has fallen victim to many natural disasters. Japanses people has been exposed to a feeling of vulnerability. Meanwhile, since Word WarⅡ, Japanese people hasn’t overcame the pain mentally not only as a victim but also as an aggressor. Therefore

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Reading Response: William M. Tsutsui

The reading material introduces different reasons for the emergence of the apocalyptic imagination in Japanese culture. The mainstream views are Japan’s historical vulnerability to disaster and the lingering trauma of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is also argued that the peculiar beauty of destruction aesthetics can bring a psychological function that alleviates anxiety through distraction and normalizes those phycological unbearable. From my perspective, I agree with the opinion that postwar imagination is a commemoration of loss and a kind of therapy. Compared with the pessimism and nihilism generated from the reflection on history, wars and nuclear weapons, the imagination of the

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[READING RESPONSE] Tsutsui W.M.

Instead of raising the fear of disasters, the various kinds of apocalyptic films all seem to have an optimistic ending where people beat the monster, usually due to some lucky factors. And each film starts with a peaceful city and ends with a destroyed one; the reconstruction process of the damaged city is hardly shown on the screen, which makes the audience believe the rebuilding of a city is much easier and damage is not a big deal. These all lead to excessive confidence in Japanese culture, where people believe the disaster should happen at regular times and damage contributes

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Reading Response: William M. Tsutsui

After reading the article, I am getting to know more about the relationship between Japanese history and culture. Tokyo, the apocalypses that happened most frequently, fell victim to various artificial and natural disasters in the past, both in reality and on screens. But these movies do not lead the audiences to be repressed by history; they spread positive attitudes and spirits through them. These disaster films show the tragic past that cannot be discussed in the principal strain and portray the hope after overcoming the difficulties repeatedly. In addition, it also talks about the reconstruction after the deconstruction. In reality,

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Reading Response: William M. Tsutsui

Tsutsui discusses multiple perspectives about how the regular destruction and reconstruction have marked Japanese films, series, and animation. Besides merely being influenced by the history of experiencing atomic annihilation, economic recession, and natural disasters, Tsutsui outlines a strand of optimism that reflects through “happy endings” in movies (e.g., Godzilla), or a sense of escapism and transcendence of the past (e.g., symbol of motorcycle chases in Akira and what ‘Akira’ means in Japanese: wishes of better future). It works as a psychological function that distracts people from horrors and emphasizes how the trustworthy institution and the unification of Japanese could repeatedly

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Reading Response: William M. Tsutsui

It’s interesting to find out the history of giant monster films in Japan originated from their past with natural (earthquakes, tsunamis) or man-made disasters (war); you can even see it in modern Japanese media with a reoccurring theme of an ordinary protagonist (or in this case the city) up against extra-ordinary odds (Godzilla). It’s also interesting how there’s two sides to viewing these films, some people think that these films gives us an opportunity to reflect on past destructions and normalise the terrors caused with this fantasy; while others think its insensitive as those past terrors are horrific, and shouldn’t

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[Reading Response: William M. Tsutsui]

The story plot of a Godzilla film is nevertheless typical and predictable everytime. A giant creature attacks Japan, cutting a swatch of destruction through Tokyo, and knocking down a landmark or two in the process. In the essay, the author points out the idea of destruction and reconstruction of a city. The disaster film genre reflects Japan’s dark and troubled imagination in a time of unsettling economic, social and demographic transitions. “Shin Godzilla”(2016), is a movie I watched recently. Instead of focusing on the fighting scenes, they put a lot of time into building up the communication in order of

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[Reading Response: William M. Tsutsui]

This article discusses a different perspective of disaster movies in Japan distant from other countries. Reimagining World War II (WWII) as an aim of these movies is possible. As there are events of WWII in the essay, for example, atomic bombs. There is a sad ending in WWII while there are happy endings in these disaster movies. It might be implied as a hope as for WWII, to forget the tragedy in WWII. It also demonstrates the relationship between the destruction and reconstruction of the city. As we all know, Japanese manners are important. It means the city is actually

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[Reading Response: William M. Tsutsui]

After learning about the reasons for the popularity of monster films in Japan, I could not help but reflect on what it is about a movie that attracts the audience’s attention. In the past, I would say that it is the admiration for trends, the artistic expression of beauty, and the empathy for the story. Now I still think so, but there is a unified standard above them – the spirit of the film. Monster films have endured in Japan, at first because their lives were greatly affected by the mushroom cloud, and later as an artistic communication of such

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