Western Japaneseness: Intercultural Translations of Japan in Western Media

Frank Jacob, Bruno Surace (Eds.)

by Bruno Surace (Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy), Giacomo Calorio (University of Turin, Italy ; University of Bergamo, Italy), Remo Gramigna (University of Turin, Italy), Mattia Thibault (Tampere University, Finland), Frank Jacob (Nord University, Norway), Gianmarco Thierry Giuliana (University of Turin, Italy), Juan Manuel Montoro (University of Bologna, Italy)

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Our images of non-Western cultures are often based on stereotypes that are replicated over the years. These stereotypes often appear in popular media and are responsible for a pre-set image of otherness. The present book investigates these processes and the media representation of otherness, especially as an artificial construct based on stereotypes and their repetition, in the case of Japan. 'Western Japaneseness' thereby illustrates how the Western image of Japan in popular media is rather a construct that, in a way, replicated itself, instead of a more serious encounter with a foreign and different cultural context.

This book will be of great value to students and academics who hold interest in media studies, Japanese studies, and cultural studies. It will also appeal to a broader audience with interests in Japan more generally.

Western Japaneseness: An Introduction
Frank Jacob, Nord University and Bruno Surace, Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy

Chapter 1 Big in Japan: The Myth of Japan in Western Audiovisual Media
Bruno Surace
University of Turin, Italy

Chapter 2 Digital Japaneseness for Distant Observers: Contemporary Japanese Cinema Through the Lens of Our Screens
Giacomo Calorio
Turin and Bergamo, Italy

Chapter 3 The Poetry of War: Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog and the Reinvention of the Code of the Samurai in a Contemporary Key
Remo Gramigna
University of Turin, Italy

Chapter 4 San Francisco, Japan: Urban Cultural Hybridizations in Big Hero 6 and The Man in the High Castle
Mattia Thibault
Tampere University, Finland

Chapter 5 The “Occidental American” Ninja: The Master (1984) and the Display of Japanese Martial Arts
Frank Jacob
Nord University, Norway

Chapter 6 Japanese Memory and Ideology in Western-Inspired Shōnen Animes
Gianmarco Thierry Giuliana
University of Turin, Italy

Chapter 7 From Japan to the World: Super Mario’s World-building Across Two Continents
Juan Manuel Montoro
University of Bologna, Italy


Frank Jacob is Professor of Global History at Nord Universitet, Norway. He is the author or editor of more than 70 books, and his fields of research include modern German and Japanese History, Military History, and the comparative history of revolutions.

Bruno Surace holds a Ph.D. in Semiotics and Media from the University of Turin, where he is Adjunct Professor in Semiotics, Research Fellow and member of AISS (Associazione Italiana Studi Semiotici), CUC (Consulta Universitaria Cinema) and CIRCe (Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca sulla Comunicazione, Turin). He has written articles for numerous peer-reviewed journals, participated in European summer schools, and given lectures in conferences and seminars in Italy, various places in Europe and China. In spring 2017, he was a Visiting Scholar at UCC (University College Cork, Ireland) in the department of Film and Screen Media.

semiotics, television studies, cinema studies, visual semiotics, Japanese Studies

See also

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Western Japaneseness: Intercultural Translations of Japan in Western Media





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm


2 B&W

Publication date

March 2021