3-4th June 2019

Painting East: Artistic relations between Japan and the West (Artists, aesthetics, artworks)


Nowadays, intense influences between cultures are commonly associated with new technologies and globalisation. However, when it comes to art, the new millennium is but the last step in a long process of hundreds of years of artistic interaction and cultural exchange between artists from countries all over the world. The relationship between Japan and Europe, strengthened after the Meiji Restoration, richly exemplifies how artists and their production benefit from outside influences, which ultimately permeates between different artistic and cultural manifestations such as cinema, photography, fashion, graphic design, comics or contemporary art. This workshop aims to gather researchers and practitioners who wish to discuss the mutual influence between Japan and Europe on artists, their works and styles. The discussions are open to all periods and artistic media (including fine arts, cinema, photography, graphic design, manga, anime, fashion, etc.). We invite papers that consider individual artists, collectives, artistic movements or specific artworks.


Ana SOLER BAENAUniversity of Vigo, Spain


José Andrés SANTIAGO IGLESIAS University of Vigo, Spain


Tatiana LAMEIRO GONZÁLEZUniversity of Vigo, Spain


Aurore YAMAGATA-MONTOYAIndependent Researcher, Lithuania


Roman PADINUniversity of Vigo, Spain


Imen BOUZIRI BOULLOSAComplutense University of Madrid

Techno-embodied Japanese media texts and techno-orientalist western readings

This research paper explores the relationship between technology and its diverse embodiments in Japanese popular culture and audio/visual media in the last decade, especially in cultural products and media mix franchises pertaining to the science fiction genre (with a special focus on the cyberpunk subgenre). The main purpose of the study is to demonstrate how technology is both thematically represented and materially embodied in certain audiovisual artworks in a way that allows for a transcendence of the textual/semiotic (representational and discursive) aspect of such works and begs for the development of a new theory of technological materiality (or techno-embodiment) in the academic field of new media studies. This material manifestation of technology has been particularly present in contemporary Japanese media texts which has led some western scholars to offer techno-orientalist readings, whether based on a western Eurocentric gaze or on the essentialist theory of a supposed Japanese cultural specificity. The unstoppable encroachment of technology in our lives is dramatically changing our normative, and institutional understanding of very complex concepts such as identity, subjectivity, memory, or consciousness. Japanese popular culture -especially contemporary science fiction texts- has largely contributed to emphasize the increasingly profound human anxieties and desires towards technological progress, speculating on both utopian and dystopian techno-future-scapes. Through a brief analysis of the three following examples, each pertaining to different media: All About Lily Chou-Chou (Dir. Iwai Shunji, 2001), Serial Experiments Lain (Dir. Nakamura Ryutaro, 1998) and Silent Hill 2 (Dir. Tsuboyama Masashi, 2001), we will trace a rhizomatic map of links that will help us determine how technology does not merely appear in these artworks as a theme or topic but also in a performative way where the artwork itself integrates technological elements, transforming into a sort of technological device or hybrid.

Emily COLEUniversity of Oregon (USA) and University of Tokyo (Japan)

Photographic Encounters during the Allied Occupation of Japan

My paper examines cross-cultural encounters between Japanese and Western photographers during the Allied Occupation of Japan (1945-1952), asking how these encounters influenced Japanese photographic trends, as well as how photographic images and discourse shaped postwar Japanese cultural identity. Building upon research framed by theories of contact zones, cross-cultural encounters, and hybridity (see Mary Louise Pratt, Melissa Miles & Kate Warren, Homi Bhabha), I argue that photography magazines functioned as contact zones by providing spaces for exchange between Western and Japanese photographers. These photographic contact zones facilitated cross-cultural encounters through multiple platforms: interviews and round table discussions of photographic trends; articles on and photo series by Western photographers; and images by both Western and Japanese photographers depicting Western cultural material and landscapes, such as photographs of Western-style fashion, domestic space, and daily life in European and American cities. Such encounters directly influenced photographic trends in Japan. Features on Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, and Ernst Haas, for example, contributed to the postwar popularity of humanism. Further, these encounters provided a conduit through which photographers and readers confronted or embraced Western cultural material at a time when Japan underwent a cultural identity crisis brought on by the devastation of defeat and foreign occupation. In this way, photographic contact zones simultaneously functioned as spaces that mediated what exactly “Japanese culture” meant in Japan’s new postwar world. An analysis of photographic media during the Allied Occupation reveals ways in which Occupier and Occupied encountered each other outside strict social hierarchies imposed under occupation regimes. Photography magazines in particular provided spaces for consistent contact, interaction, and cultural exchange between Japanese and Western photographers, as well as for the magazines’ readership—encounters that went beyond simply influencing Japanese photographic trends to shape postwar constructions of Japanese cultural identity, especially as it was formed vis-à-vis the occupying ‘Other.’

Karim EL MUFTISciences-Po Beirut (Lebanon) and Saint-Joseph University (Lebanon)

Influences and Success of the Japanese Grendizer in the Arab World, Mirror of Violence and Expectations for Generations of Arabs

The UFO-Grendizer Japanese manga was introduced in the Arab world in the mid-1970s in an Arabic dubbed version and met a gigantic success. Its main dubbing artists, mainly Lebanese (among whom M. Jihad El Atrache) and Palestinian, as well as the singer of the credits song (M. Sami Clark) were among the makers of this particular success within the Arab cultural scene. Indeed, the Japanese manga quickly became a cultural phenomenon for an entire generation in Arab countries, from the Gulf to the Levant. Today, many Arab artists, studios and underground circles continue to refer to the Grendizer myth, an object that has transformed into a cult object, symbolizing both humanistic and alternative (or left-wing) values. The latter have been formulated in the Arabic lexicon by the term “progressive” and shaped political, cultural and artistic trends going back to the 1980s. A recent mural illustration of the robot-hero produced in Beirut in 2014 by the Ashekmon group claiming in Arabic: “A people with Grendizer by its side cannot die”, has created a real buzz on the Internet and confirmed the great appeal of the manga character within the Lebanese society. This communication suggests exploring the reasons behind this success in a region commonly cursed by war and destruction. In the 1975-1985 phase which coincides with the screening of the show towards the first generation of fans, no less than three wars agitated the Middle East: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the neighboring Lebanon which will experience a bloody fifteen years civil war (1975 to 1990), in addition, from 1980 to 1988, to the first Gulf War struck between Iraq and Iran. From there, it would be interesting to understand how the Arabic Grendizer, Japanese story of an invasion against Earth and battles successively won by an invincible robot piloted by the hero Daysuki / Duke Fleed (Dayski/Doq Fleed in Arabic), has impacted a region familiar with this type of narrative, ultimately forging a stature of myth and legend at the hands of Arab artists. The themes of war, justice, peace, occupation, resistance, forgiveness and comradeship brought by the Japanese manga Grendizer have struck a deep cord across generations of Arab fans, hence mirroring the violence and the expectations of an whole era.

Damaso FERREIROHiroshima University (Japan)

Painting the West in the 20th Century Japanese Modern Literature: Akutagawa´s Attitude Towards the Modernization of Japan Seen Through the Works of Gauguin and Renoir

By the beginning of the 20th century, when Japan took the West as a model for its own modernization, Western artists, especially painters, played an important role in this process. This presentation explores the ontological ways of understanding the works of Gauguin and Renoir seen through the eyes of Akutagawa Ryūnosuke, a famous writer of Taishō period who wrote his poetic testament before committing suicide in 1927. In this last essay titled Bungeitekina, amarini bungeitekina, Akutagawa goes further a mere description of the works of both French painters and chooses them in an attempt to universalize the two possible ways of facing the psychological pain modernity causes to humankind. Of course conflicts between culture and nature, education and instincts, tradition and modernity are tackled by several different authors of the same period and they are visible even in some of Akutagawa´s earlier works such as Yoshinakaron. However, the fact of giving an ontological dimension to Gauguin and Renoir in order to explain his own conception of modernity is something completely innovative. In this presentation I would like to clarify the following two main questions: by conferring that dimension to Gauguin and Renoir is Akutagawa falling into contradiction within his own poetry? If Shiga Naoya is the model Akutagawa proposes to follow in literature and Gauguin the one to follow in painting, what can be the possible connection between them?

Oscar GARCÍA ARANDA – Pompeu Fabra University (Spain)

Representations of Europe in Japanese Anime: An Overview of Study Cases and Theoretical Frameworks

My paper consists in a literature review about the different academic sources that have been written discussing and theorizing the iconographic representations, settings and visions of Europe in Japanese anime. Understanding “Europe” as a cluster of cultural elements related with nations, cities and historical periods, the project compiles and analyzes a dense field of theories, concepts and multidisciplinary approaches related with the representation of those contents in anime that, actually, are still on work and development. Following this aim, a chronological overview of the question has been developed arguing different theoretical frameworks, such as the condition of anime as a transcultural media, Koichi Iwabuchi’s (2002) concept of “mukokuseki”, the media pilgrimage phenomena and different theories regarding the representation of Western contents in relation with the internationalization of the media. Through these approaches, the European cultural baggage has been identified and studied as an eclectic source to create fictional imaginaries (settings based on the Middle Ages or an steampunk Industrial Revolution, among others) while being an useful resource to develop other narrative meanings and themes in the case of 1970s shōjo series and the Nippon Animation “meisaku genre”. On the other hand, some other particular studied cases as Hayao Miyazaki’s films show us the accurate depiction of European settings through an intense fieldwork by their artists and producers, a case that exemplifies the viability of the media pilgrimage framework to the development of future researches that would like to deepen in other particular cases and related issues. This presentation will be based on my final degree project for the University of Barcelona’s Art History degree, submitted and defended in June 2018.

Elettra GORNI – Independent Scholar and Artist (Italy)

Representation Methods Between Europe and Japan: Exchanges and Experimentations rossing Japanese Xylography (Mokuhanga) during the XVIII and XIX Centuries

A method of representation always brings a system of thought, a specific notion of space: through the dissemination of the treatise “Perspectiva pictorum et Architectorum” by Andrea Pozzo, operated by the Italian brother Jesuit Giuseppe Castiglione in the East, two worldviews, two ways of representation of reality meet and compare. In 1735 Castiglione edits the first chinese-language book on the mechanics of perspective entitled SHIXUE (Visual Learning), adapting some sections of the first volume of the Pozzo’s “Perspectiva Pictorum et Architectorum”. The publication of SHIXUE represented the first formal dissemination of techniques and mechanisms used in western art at the Qing court to the Chinese public. In Japan, the treatise was probably imported by the Jesuits or by the Western merchants who traded in southern areas such Nagasaki and Kobe. The contact with the western techniques of representation and painting arouses interest among Japanese artists, especially the mokuhanga artists, who are open to comparison with the representation of the third dimension, that seems an interesting method to give more realism to their prints. Starting around 1740 mokuhanga artists embark on study and interpretation of the perspective technique: the effort leads to uki-e prints by Okumura Masanobu and Utagawa Toyoharu and to megane-e prints by Maruyama Oukyo. During the first half of XIX Century Western realism and perspective are investigated with a new sensibility by ukiyo-e masters Hokusai Katsushika and Utagawa Hiroshige: their prints went over realism, resemblance and Western works copy. They clearly show an interiorization of the perspective view of the landscape that is completely different from Western art and its imitation, and at the same time they also deeply renew Japanese tradition. It’s singular that these prints – synthetizing a perspective view introduced into Japan one Century before – are so deeply influencing Western art when it is trying to get free from tradition – specially impressionists and post impressionists – during the second half of Nineteenth Century. Van Gogh’s paintings depicting the prints of Hiroshige witness the final step of a journey there and back of the influences and the knowledge.

Linet HEREDIA OTERO – University of Vigo (Spain)

[ A E S T H E T I C ] Iconography: Appropriation of Japanese Pop Culture Images Through Vaporwave Music

Vaporwave is an electronic music genre that firstly emerged around 2010. As an internet-based music genre, it has been acknowledged as an underground and subcultural product, created and mainly consumed by anonymous people; however it has recently caught the eye of many music labels. When we talk about Vaporwave we have to take into consideration both sound and image, since vaporwave music heavily depends on its imagery — popularly known as “A E S T H E T I C”— in order to build the atmosphere that has ultimately become the genre’s signature. Whereas the sound involves slowed down samples (a portion of music cut and reused, often in looping ways) of aging 80s and 90s hits (pop, jazz and elevator music) remixed with retro synthesizers, the aesthetics mainly feature a deliberately awkward mixture of visual tropes, such as 3D rendered objects, grainy VHS footage, Japanese characters, late 90s popular entertainment and technology, anime, neon signs and cyberpunk Tokyo- inspired landscapes. This aesthetic is often seen in cover artworks and fan-made videos on youtube channels, and has spread throughout the internet, becoming a code that defines a recognisable and unifying identity to this genre. Vaporwave has recently become an object of study for critics and academics as an issue that is still open for discussion. So far, it has been linked to an ambivalent attitude towards consumer capitalism, longing for the past and a quite new manifestation of techno-orientalism, based on the assumption that it deals with elements of Japanese pop culture that embody escapism, nostalgia and a sense of strangeness (the new) and familiarity (the old), striving to create a distorting and ethereal atmosphere, almost mesmerizing and fairly bizarre. Regardless of the socio-political readings, Vaporwave is but another example of how Japanese pop culture (J-pop, manga, anime, technology, video games, etc) continues to impact the West to a significant level, creating openings and new possibilities in terms of artistic creation.

HIRABAYASHI Mariko – University of York (UK)

Albert Moore and Ukiyo-e: Aesthetic Japonism in Britain in the Late 19th Century

Albert Moore (1841-1893), a Victorian Aesthetic artist, depicted Japanese artefacts and ancient Greek-style women in paintings famed for their beautiful colour harmony. This paper will explore the influence of ukiyo-e (Japanese prints) on Moore’s paintings, emphasising the formal, political, and art historical significance of Moore’s Greco-Anglo-Japanese style in the broader context of British Japonism. Following the Great Exhibition in 1851 and the International Exhibition in 1862, interest in Japanese art in Britain quickly grew, and collections were built up by both museums and individuals, particular of ukiyo-e. Among artists, James Abbott McNeill Whistler played a central role in British Japonism, collecting ukiyo-e by Katsushika Hokusai and Torii Kiyonaga. Whistler was a close friend of Moore’s, whose enthusiasm for ukiyo-e directly affected him, although Moore preferred Kiyonaga’s harmonious beauty to Hokusai’s bold and eccentric prints. Examining the connection between Moore and ukiyo-e further, I reveal clear parallels between Moore’s paintings and ukiyo-e by Kiyonaga, whose depictions of ‘the Venus[es] of the Edo era’ draw them together, and draw into alliance British, Japanese, and Greek art. In so doing, the paper will deepen our understanding of Moore as the only British artist who integrated Japanese, British and Greek styles, and as a key player in British Japonism besides the better-known Whistler and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Tatiana LAMEIRO GONZÁLEZ – University of Vigo (Spain)

Bilateral Influences in Graphic Design between Japan and the West: Shigeo Fukuda, a case study

Taking the bilateral influences in Graphic Design between Japan and the West as a starting point, in this paper we will try to highlight how the Swiss International Style has deeply influenced some of the most prominent graphic designers and artists within the Japanese sphere. In order to do so, we will analyse Shigeo Fukuda’s remarkable posters designs. Fukuda is now acknowledged as one of the most distinguished and influential designers of his time, ambassador of a world-spread artistic movement which still remains broadly referred and deeply influential within the contemporary artistic scenario. Graphic design —understood as a discipline of its own— was born in the mid 20th century, but its origins can be traced back much further. As culture changes, different cultural movements arise, in literature, painting, etc. Likewise, over time graphic design has undergone a similar transformation giving birth to myriad of different styles. One of the most important and characteristic movements in graphic design is the Swiss International Style, which emerged (mostly) in Switzerland after the Second World War. The Swiss International Style grew in Switzerland and Germany in the 1950s and was on the rise until the 1970s. Many of the distinguishing theories from the Swiss International Style —especially when it comes to typographic form and grid composition— are still broadly applied in todays design schools. Moreover, these formal parameters played an important role in Shigueo Fukuda’s artworks. Fukuda developed a style of his own, communicating complex ideas through simple images, which is one of the key premises in contemporary’s graphic design. Therefore, in this presentation, we will try to trace a multidirectional formal relationship between Europe and Japan, by analysing — through various graphic works — the influence of European design in Japan in he second half of the 20th century. Ultimately, we will also highlight how these Japanese references became an important part of contemporary graphic design.

Loreto LARRAÑAGA ABAJAS – NaArt – Nature-Garden & Landscape Research Institute

Nature as Art, a space of memory. The Japanese garden: poetic chance and spatial reason. Its imprint on Visual Arts since the 20th century

This study has investigated the garden as a respected work of art and aims to give birth to the hermeneutics of the Japanese garden as a nature created by man included in the field of architecture as a pictorial three-dimensionality combining literary components which are a synthesis of art and nature and thus the principal idea behind this project, entitled Nature as art, a space of memory. On contemplating the evolution undergone by the Japanese garden over the great cultural epochs I have been witness to the introduction of a diversity of techniques and design elements, which have gradually become incorporated into a design corpus and, together with aesthetic principles, have smoothed the way for creators to centre the point of interest of their works of art. I have considered necessary to analyzing some paradigmatic gardens in order to cover the coexisting aesthetic-visual and interdisciplinary elements, and including a re-reading of its visual dimensionality, coupled with the aesthetic derivatives arising in relation to the projection of these works in the West -in both the discourse of visual arts and the work of significant artists in the international context since 20th Century- especially from the end of the Second World War onwards. However, on combining the above with Japanese aesthetic concepts relative to the vitality of art, this study has erred on the side of the contemporary Japanese garden selecting the figure of Mirei Shigemori (1896-1975), an erudite, solidly-trained artist, whose work represented the complexities of combining the wisdom of the ancient traditions of Japanese art with the skill and courage to bring about a vanguard metamorphosis in the art of the Japanese garden. His work shows us the birth and evolution of what could be called the modern Japanese garden and looks to the future being a source of inspiration in the design of the post-modern landscape.

Sara MARTÍNEZ PÉREZ – University of Vigo (Spain)

Mutual Influences Between Japan and Europe Across Fashion. Pattern Design Making as Constructive Thinking

The research work presented focuses on the mutual influences between Japan and Europe through Fashion, from the end of the Meiji period to the 90’s decade of the past XX century. The speech will focus on fashion as a social and cultural phenomenon that reflects the interconnection between both cultures, deepening the idea of the pattern as constructive thought that reflects the way in which each culture develops itself and how they have influenced each other. Due to the changes that have been experienced from the Meiji period to the 90s decade of the last century, the evolution of the pattern has been influenced by Japan in Europe and vice versa, so that we have witnessed a mutual interest between both cultures, exporting and transferring patterns and uses from one culture to another with different adaptations, transformations and hybrids; Firstly, westernizing Japanese fashion and at the same time orientalizing European fashion, adapting clothes from one culture to the other. Secondly, through the transformation of patterns, new uses of fabrics and creating new types of garments, and thirdly creating a new language that will bring fashion to art, understanding fashion as a plastic language, where Japanese designers have transformed the concept of fashion in a radical way. In this way, an understanding could be made in relation to how both cultures have been mutually influenced throughout the 20th century, creating a language that has transformed the concept of contemporary fashion, transcending its own limit as a discipline.

Laura MESA LIMA – Higher School of Art and Design Fernando Estévez (Spain)

From Archipelago to Archipelago. The Japan that draws in the Canary Islands

The Japanese and Canarian archipelagos are separated by 12,369 km. The influence of Japanese art in the Spanish islands has never gone beyond a theoretical relationship, mental, ideal if we want. Historically, there have been no departures or arrivals of works from overseas in any of the ways. Japan has been a conceptual reference, but not a palpable and close plastic influence on techniques or expressions. However, and this is where the confluence is found, there is a special relationship between our ways of looking and letting ourselves be enlightened. Unwittingly, modeled by an insular medium man have been character building with a certain way of being, as García Cabrera would say. both geographies and architectures share similarities in the treatment of light, and this has made Canarian artists especially comparable to Japanese aesthetics. Contemporary creators such as Gonzalo González, Julio Blancas, Davinia Jiménez Gopar, Laura Mesa and Marco Alom show these similarities in their drawings in a latent way. In their works the importance of darkness, the treatment of light close to the concept of the recently discovered liquid light, the use of the concept of space -empty- or the austere use of compositional resources, go hand in hand with the complex concepts wabi, sabi, yûgen or shibumi. From the assumption of a geographical-conceptual positioning in both cases determined by an insular spatiality, many artists from both archipelagoes construct parallel narratives strongly based on the intention of dominion, that is, containment, of light and space. In this way, the most representative works of these Spanish artists in this sense will be analysed, relating them directly not only to the most theoretical aspects of Japanese aesthetics, but also to authors such as Michiko Kon, Misato Kurimune, Reiko Tsunashima, Hiraku Suzuki or Satoru Aoyama.

Teresa PÉREZ CONTRERAS – University of Granada (Spain)

Japanese Graphic Design: Cultural Identity in a Global World

In a globalized and increasingly “Japanized” world, new aspects of design culture need to be studied from an academic perspective. In terms of graphic design theory, there is a void, being Western countries the ones that have traditionally led the discourse on research into this discipline. Little is known about Japanese graphic design, a recent and creative field of Japanese visual culture that is extremely fascinating to the outside world due to the ability of the designers to absorb new developments without denying the heritage of the past, constantly renewing it. This nostalgia for tradition coupled with constant reinvention is what makes it unique, a fusion of a religious tradition based on concepts such as simplicity and Zen Buddhism with more contemporary trends such as kawaii culture and manga. Although Japanese graphic designers have been influenced by Western culture, they will produce a steady stream of masterpieces that reflect the living heritage of the traditional and distinctive forms of Japanese art. A journey through Japanese Graphic Design images is the best way to know the evolution of a society and its culture: from ukiyo-e woodblock print that had a strong communicative appeal to the masses and opened the way for a commercial graphic communication within Japan, to a revision of the work of some of the most experimental authors up to the present day. Simultaneously, Japanese design culture has permeated the work of some European graphic designers enriching the recent history of graphic design. This paper aims to offer a more inclusive and renewed perspective of Graphic design history valuing the role of Oriental design and its different approaches to design thinking, methodology and practice. This difference in perception is important to understand graphic design culture from a global perspective and the power of images to communicate and forge bonds between cultures.

Iria ROS PIÑEIRO – University of Valencia (Spain)

Undressing Japonism: The True Dresses of European and Japanese Fashion

After the Great London Exposition in 1862 European art was overwhelmed by what would later be considered “Japonism”, affecting all its facets: painting, design, illustration, and fashion. London and Paris were the main centers of dissemination of Japonism, artists from all over Europe illustrated what they believed was Japanese art, creating a new vision of it that affected the European dress design. The illustrations and designs of James McNeill Whistler, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Aubrey Beardsley – among others – had idealized the image of traditional Japanese costumes, such as the kimono. In these illustrations the cut of the dresses idealized the figure of the woman, and created sinuous forms covered by endless kimonos, creating a mixture between fantasy and reality regarding the possibility of clothing in Europe. Thanks to the opening to imports from the West in Japan, the fabrics really arrived in Europe and began to be used in the fashion of that time. The bustles began to be sewn with these fabrics, and although it did not change their form in structure, it did in the combination of fabrics, colors and designs. In some cases, even real kimonos were used to transform them into bustles. At the same time, the bustle arrived in Japan in dresses and patterns. Therefore, the idealized image that is given in the plastic arts is somewhat removed from the real dresses that could be seen both in the streets of Japan and in European cities. Thus, I intend to show these differences with a reconstruction of European clothing inspired by Japan, and its counterpart in the painting of the late nineteenth century. As well as the relationship between the bustle and the kimono at the end of the 19th century.

Alejandro M. SANZ GUILLÉN – University of Zaragoza (Spain)

The Perception of Japan in Seventeenth-Century Europe: Illustrated Books and the Construction of an Image

At the beginning of the seventeenth century, after more than fifty years of relations between European nations and Japan, the first images about the Japanese archipelago were created in Europe. These images evolved during the century but were conditioned by the traumatic persecutions of the Catholics at the end of the sixteenth century and the isolation of the country from 1639. These illustrations were based on the reports published before the closure of the Japanese borders, mainly written by Iberian missionaries, and by the information of the workers of the Dutch East India Company, who will be the only Westerners in contact with the Japanese until the mid-nineteenth century. The objective of this communication is to analyse the prints in the books about Japan published in Europe during the seventeenth century. With this research, we can determinate how the first images of Japan and its inhabitants were built in Europe. As well, we can study how these illustrations changed considering some factors as the relations between both territories. For this proposal, we will present several analyzes of the different illustrated works. From the publication of Beschryvinghe vande voyagie, (Amsterdam and Rotterdam, 1601) with the voyages of the Dutch navigator Olivier van Noort in, to the most richly illustrated title on Japan in this period, Gedenkwaerdige Gesantschappen (Ámstredam, 1669), written by the pastor Arnoldus Montanus. Furthermore, we will prove the importance of these images in the influence on other prints of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

José Andrés SANTIAGO IGLESIAS University of Vigo (Spain)

Manga à la Mode. Exploring Lastman from a Mangaesque Perspective

In 2001 Frédéric Boilet unveiled his ‘La Nouvelle Manga’ manifesto and claimed a new space halfway between the French bande dessinée and the Japanese manga, bringing together the best of both worlds. However, for many readers those works were far from what an ‘European manga’ should be. To a certain extent, La Nouvelle Manga was but a commercial label intended to gather different independent works under the same umbrella term. In a similar fashion to what happened with the Impressionist artists and Japonisme, the manga label plays an important role within La Nouvelle Manga as a marketing tool, since this artistic movement aestheticises manga without seeking a deeper understanding of the medium. Created by Bastien Vivès, Balak and Michaël Sanlaville, Lastman was never born with Boilet’s ideas in mind, nor with high conceptual expectations, but as a mainstream product. However, within the last few decades, it has become —in many regards— the French comics series which has best managed to capture manga’s essence. Surprisingly, unlike other works often labelled as manfra, Lastman does not mimic manga aesthetics and formal features but manga marketing and production. Defined by its authors as a “French-style manga”, Lastman is inspired by manga as a product, printed in kanzenban sized volumes with dust-jacket, and rendering in colour the first pages of each (otherwise monochrome) volume. Moreover, this series relies heavily on manga’s mediamix potential, with several products such as a prequel animated series, video-games, and merchandising products. Ultimately, in this paper I will try to explore the mangaesque elements within Lastman, pondering the strong authorial perspective, with the distinguishing features that are popularly perceived as “manga style”.

António João SARAIVA – CEMRI Universidade Aberta (Portugal)

Pine Journey

In Japan, Pines (Matsu) expressively/ impressively mark different spatial-temporal places with high symbolic power in the Japanese landscape mental construction. The pine tree is a symbol of longevity. It is also considered a warrior who fights against adversity, resisting against the cold, the wind and the snow. The Japanese place the pine at the top of the tree hierarchy. we travel through the virtues of the pines, inseparable from the virtues of the gardeners who care for them. We listen to their voice. How did the episteme represented by the Pine impact Japanese culture? In view of this question the presentation will address the question concern with a milieu/ mindscape which is a specific ground of human experience within a geographical setting. We presented a photo essay with four spatial-temporal points of observation. Point 1: Mountain Landscape Point 2: Wenceslau de Moraes Point 3: Namban Screen Point 4: The Garden is also a Picture.

Ana TRUJILLO DENNIS – Universidad Pontificia Comillas (Spain)

Advancing Japan. Photomontage as Propaganda in the Context of Japan’s Diplomacy in the 1930s

When studying how Japan has been perceived from a foreign lens, it is also important to understand the different efforts by which Japan has tried to consolidate an image of itself outside its borders. In this regard, Japan’s cultural diplomacy, in its efforts of self-representation in different historical moments, has used art as a visualization of Japaneseness. These efforts can be related to ideas of Orientalism and Self-Orientalism. This proposal for the Mutual Images 7th International Workshop focuses on the efforts carried out by Japanese diplomacy in the 1930s to promote abroad a positive image of a modern Japan, and more specifically, in the use of photomontage as a tool for self-representation. Attention will be placed on Japan’s participation in international fairs, such as the International Exposition of Art and Technology in Modern Life organized in Paris in 1937, or the New York World’s Fair, in 1939, analysing how photomontage was used in the Japanese pavilions, as a vehicle to communicate with images specific ideas that can be considered propagandistic. This practice was not exclusive to the Japanese organizers. In the Japanese case, the use of these photomontages has to be contextualized in the background of Japan’s rising imperialism in the 1930s, a moment when the use of photomontage was very important, not only in international exhibitions, but also in multiple magazines published at the time with clear propagandistic intentions, under the guidance of organizations such as Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai. Furthermore, the style of these photomontages reveals the influence of European trends, for example, the Bauhaus.

Jami WATSON – University of Minnesota (USA)

Writings of Contemporary Japonisme

In 1914, Japonisme was divided into two eras—the traditional era pre World War I and the contemporary era post WWI. This past year, Paris organized a grand festival entitled: Japonismes 2018 to celebrate the 150th year of French-Japanese relations. This season featured many sponsored events and exhibitions including art, music, and theatrical performances but didn’t include events within the role of literature in Japonisme. In celebrating the beginning of French-Japanese relations since the Meiji restoration, some of the most influence of Japonisme is portrayed in literature—fictional works written by French, Japanese, and biracial writers. While the influence of Japanese culture on French writers isn’t a new idea, the influential effects of Japonisme has made a lot of impact over this era. It is not uncommon to read subtle mentions of Japan in French fictional writing, along with stories based on fictional characters of different races and nationalities featured within a French and Japanese backdrop. A few of these current writers including: Reiko Sekiguchi, Elisa Shua Dusapin, Sébasiten Raizer, and Maëlle Lefèvre, have undertaken the role of publishing their fictional works based off their personal and imaginative experiences within the Occidental and Oriental worlds. In my paper, I will discuss the importance of literature in the field of Japonisme and the intersectional influence of French and Japanese worlds within in the works of the writers mentioned above. By analyzing the role of their writings within contemporary Japonisme, I will address how these writers portray themselves within French and Japanese contexts. Through an analysis of a selection of these writings, my paper will explore contemporary French-Japanese literature and engage in scholarship on Orientalism and Japonisme by Edward Said, Gabriel Weisberg, and Pamela Genova to better express the role of French and Japanese writers and their literary role within contemporary Japonisme.