• An Abled Nation: Disabled Athletes in Japan and How Their Bodies are Governed

      Smith, Nathaniel; Supplitt, Timothy; Smith, Nathaniel; Silverstein, Brian; Ren, Hai (The University of Arizona., 2017)
      This thesis analyzes the ways in which the Japanese state uses the disabled body and disability athletics as a tool of governance and how that affects the incorporation of disabled people into Japanese society. Throughout Japan's history the disability identity has been a subject of negotiation between social actors including the government, general public, those with disabilities, and powerful international collectives. After World War II, disabled former soldiers were celebrated for their national sacrifice while other disabled bodies were displaced. In later decades, disability athletics became a space where the symbol of the ideal disabled body has been promoted for public consumption. On the stage of athletics, various actors have shaped and influenced each other by advocating different visions of the disabled body in Japanese society. Disabled athletes negotiate depictions of disability as idealized (the 'super crip') or stigmatized (the 'pitiable disabled person'), and these depictions in turn create public expectations for what the disabled body should be but at times glosses over the struggles of many disabled people. The purpose of this thesis is to consider how notions of the disabled body are used to negotiate nationalism, modern ideas of care and social responsibility, and expectations to become a body of inspiration for the disabled community and the general public. The core question is: What are the implications of the disabled body being used as a tool on the stage of disability athletics for governance in modern day Japan? The thesis will provide a basis for deeper understanding about the relevance of disability athletics as both a form of governance and a site of identity formation for the disabled.
    • Burakku Metaru (ブラック ・メタル): Japanese Black Metal Music and the ‘Glocalization’ of a Transgressive Sub-Culture

      Smith, Nathaniel M.; Coulombe, Alexander Paul; Ren, Hai; Pinnington, Noel J. (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      This thesis will demonstrate how Black Metal music became established in Japan, how it evolved, and how musicians situate themselves in a globalized form of community. It is a study of how Japanese Black Metal functions in the tensions between globalization and localization, a term called “glocalization” (Victor Roudometof 10). Japanese Black Metal is globalized around a set of rules and ideas, a term Deena Weinstein uses to describe Heavy Metal music called “codes” (Heavy Metal the Music 100). Additionally, as this music is localized, it reveals how many Japanese musicians express uniquely cynical viewpoints of religion and established authority using these globalized codes. Due to its anti-Christian and brutal history in other countries, Black Metal is seen as transgressive against mainstream society. Through electronic ethnographic research with Japanese Black Metal artists, this thesis finally examines how Black Metal is at once desirable yet also transgressive in Japanese society, a country with a comparatively low population of Christians.
    • "Foreigners" in the Ethnic Homeland and the Limits of Ethnicity

      Smith, Nathaniel M.; Huang, Luyao; Ren, Hai; Gabriel, Philip J. (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      This thesis examines the concept of ethnicity as an analytical category through a multi-layered study of two ethnic minority groups in Japan: Japanese war orphans and Japanese Brazilians. Japanese war orphans are people of Japanese descent who were abandoned in Manchuria by their Japanese families as infants or children at the end of WWII. They often adopted by Chinese families, grew up in China, and then repatriated to Japan since 1970s. Japanese Brazilians are also people of Japanese parentage, who migrated to Brazil in the beginning of 20th century, thrived as positive minorities in Brazil, and then migrated back to Japan since the 1980s. These two minority groups have challenged the dominant ideology of homogeneity in contemporary Japanese society. By examining these people’s stories and circumstances, this thesis demonstrates the ambiguity and contingency of the concept of ethnicity. First of all, as a group category, it diminishes the diversity and uniqueness of individuals into collective ethnic terms such as “Japanese,” “Chinese,” and “Brazilians.” Secondly, this concept of ethnicity could not solve the conflicts between the internally and externally defined ethnic identities of both individuals and groups. And thirdly, it has resulted in a loss or confusion of ethnic self consciousness among Japanese war orphans and Japanese Brazilians population due to the disjuncture between their Japanese descent and foreign cultural identity.
    • Japan Made for America: The Image and Influence of Japan on the 1904 World’s Fair

      Schlachet, Joshua; Stroble, Emily; Miura, Takashi; Du, Heng (The University of Arizona., 2020)
      The 1904 World’s Fair, held in St. Louis, Missouri, was an important turning point for Japan both internationally as well as within the United States. The 1903 Domestic Industrial Exhibition held in Osaka impacted the timeline and the scale of the 1904 Fair as well as the foreign exhibits therein. By studying Japan’s relations with the world in 1903 and the impact that the country had on the World’s Fair in 1904, a better understanding of Japan’s place as a global power can be formed, including their simultaneous involvement in the Russo-Japanese War. The “Japan made for America” was a curated view of Japan designed specifically to appeal to an American audience and leave an impression of a Japan that was heavily influenced by Meiji ideology but maintained a traditional appearance harkening back to the Tokugawa Era and before. This image of Japan left both subtle and obvious impressions on the people who attended, from the casual fairgoer to the other foreign countries that attended the fair.
    • The Internationalization of Higher Education in Japan: Shifting Interpretations and Notions of Kokusaika

      Smith, Nathaniel M.; Shimizu, Keiko; Diao, Wenhao; Schlachet, Joshua (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      This thesis investigates the prevailing notions pertaining to the internationalization (kokusaika) of higher education in Japan, the ways in which it is practiced, and the reactions that have come about as a result to its implementation. Through examining varying government initiatives that have been put forth in since the early 1980s, institutional policies and practices, and student reactions, this thesis explores divergences among definitions and notions of kokusaika in higher education. In so doing, I aim to illuminate the inadequacies of past and current kokusaika endeavors and suggest potentials it may offer for the future. At any given time, the prevailing kokusaika discourse reflects the dominant perceptions and ideals of a society. It also presents frictions that are brought forth as a consequence to contesting views. Through uncovering trends relative to globalization and internationalization, my purpose is to illustrate these realities. Moreover, while the ideology definitely has the power to influence the thoughts and acts of a peoples, this thesis demonstrates that it is also one that is susceptible to being molded by people and their agendas. Thus, the objective of this thesis is to examine various significations and practices of kokusaika that have emerged over time, the possible factors that may have led to their appearance, the tensions they arise due to such contesting ideals, and finally, what such developments may indicate about the character of internationalization within Japan’s institutions of higher education.
    • Tokugawa Zen Master Shidō Munan

      Welter, Albert; Cuellar, Eduardo; Welter, Albert; Suhara, Eiji; Wu, Jiang (The University of Arizona., 2016)
      Shidō Munan (至道無難, 1602-1676) was an early Tokugawa Zen master mostly active in Edo. He was the teacher of Shōju Rōjin, who is in turn considered the main teacher of Hakuin Ekaku. He is best known for the phrase that one must“die while alive,”made famous by D.T. Suzuki. Other than this, his work has not been much analyzed, nor his thought placed into the context of the early Tokugawa period he inhabited. It is the aim of this work to analyze some of the major themes in his writings, the Jishōki (自性記), Sokushinki (即心記), Ryūtakuji ShozōHōgo (龍沢寺所蔵法語), and the Dōka (道歌). Special attention is paid to his views on Neo-Confucianism, Pure Land thought, and Shinto- traditions which can be shown through their prevalence in his writings to have placed Zen on the defensive during this time period. His teachings on death are also expanded on and analyzed, as well as some of the other common themes in his writing, such as his teachings on kōan practice and advice for monastics. In looking at these themes, it is possible to both compare and contrast him from some of his better-known contemporaries, such as Bankei and Suzuki Shōsan. Additionally, selected passages from his writings are offered in translation.

      Sturman, Janet L.; Peterson, Rachel Marilyn; Sturman, Janet L.; Moon, Brian; Rosenblatt, Jay (The University of Arizona., 2010)
      This thesis examines the life and work of Japanese jazz composer, pianist and band-leader Toshiko Akiyoshi (b. 1929), one of the most successful women in modern jazz. Over the course of her career, Akiyoshi performed and traveled extensively with musicians in Japan and in the United States, courting two audiences through and earning respect and success in both countries. Analysis of three pieces, from three albums representing different stages of her career, and a live performance from June 2010 are used to illustrate the maturation of Akiyoshi's work and how she combined American and Japanese musical traditions and styles, including bebop and Japanese Noh, to create her own style and a new type of jazz fusion.