25th November 2017

Japan Pop Goes Global: Japanese Pop Culture on Aesthetics and Creativity

Japan has increasingly become a source of inspiration in many creative fields: from manga illustrations, street fashion, and contemporary art; to storytelling devices such as the ‘Rashomon effect’ in Hollywood movies, decluttering lifestyle techniques inspired by Japanese minimalist aesthetics, and even food such as kyaraben. According to Dolores Martinez, “underlying various processes of adaptation and transformation lies a common desire to somehow make art one’s one, sparked by an engagement with the ideas contained in the Japanese source products.” Japanese aesthetics, such as kawaii, is shaping the worlds’ influencers in art, design, fashion, gaming, and movies. Contemporary artmaking has progressed through many forms, and the current fascination of many young artists is a hybrid combination of the globalizing influences of East and West, technology, and collective and personal memories. This symposium aims to consider the growing influence of Japanese popular culture on contemporary visual arts, trace the process of how it has crossed cultural boundaries, and provide an insight into the dynamics of how culture, memory, and technology can affect the way we view and construct things in the present and future.

The School of Cultural and Creative Studies at Aoyama Gakuin University in collaboration with Mutual Images Association invites individual and group submissions of abstracts that engages in substantial scholarly examinations of the visual arts that have been influenced by Japanese popular culture including, but not limited to comic books, manga, graphic novels, fan art, anime, contemporary art, film, television, fashion, advertising, creative industries, technology, gaming, and storytelling.

Presentation proposals (250 words) should be sent to by September 15, 2017 with “AGU-MI submission” in the subject field. Acceptance notifications will be sent by September 30. This workshop is open to PhD students and academics at any stage of their career. All papers presented may be subsequently published in the Peer-Reviewed Journal Mutual Images.

The keynote presentation at this event will be made by Northrop Davis, an Associate Professor of Media Arts, teaching Manga/Anime Studies and Screenwriting, at the University of South Carolina, USA and professional screenwriter. Davis is the author of “Manga & Anime Go to Hollywood: The Amazing Rapidly Evolving Relationship between Hollywood and Japanese Animation, Manga, Television, and Film” published on 2016 by Bloomsbury.

This event is supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 16K13173.