[Webinaire] Cultural Migrants from Japan: The Imagined West and National Identity

© Yuiko Fujita

Conférence de Yuiko FUJITA 藤田結子, Professeure à l’Université Meiji, dans le cadre des Rendez-vous du Japon contemporain de l’EHESS animé par Aleksandra Kobiljski (CCJ-CRJ), César Castellvi (Université de Paris) et Karoline Postel-Vinay (Sciences Po), le 23 mars 2022.

Yuiko FUJITA est auteure de l’ouvrage Cultural Migrants from Japan: Youth, Media, and Migration in New York and London (Lexington Books, 2009).

23 mars 2022, 11h-13h
La séance aura lieu uniquement en distanciel.

Since the 1990s, Japanese media have been telling stories of successful Japanese kuriētā or professionals who do creative work, in Western countries. Many Japanese indeed moved to, London, New York City, or Paris, in order to ‘make it’ as artists, dancers, designers, or musicians. I explore the process of international migration and cultural production, focusing the cases of young people, professional designers, and haute cuisine cooks, who have migrated from Japan.

I especially address the following research questions: (1) how have many people begun to migrate from Japan to Western cities in order to study and work for the purpose of cultural production? and (2) how is Japaneseness constructed through cultural production in Western cities? For this purpose, I have conducted multi-sited ethnography in London, New York City, Paris, and Tokyo since the 2000s.

The result shows that many Japanese have come to hope to participate in cultural production in their ‘imaged West,’ constructed through media over a log period. Then, most Japanese interviewed indeed aim to produce works with ‘universal’ or ‘authentic’ appeal, while some attempt to express ‘Japaneseness’ strategically. While they are increasingly oriented toward creating works with new forms and values through the transnational production system, gatekeepers and legitimators of the creative industry continue to reinforce boundaries of national culture.

Yasuko D'Hulst

Ingénieure d'études, Chargée de valorisation scientifique

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Yasuko D'Hulst

Ingénieure d'études, Chargée de valorisation scientifique

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