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Complicated Currents

Chapter 16

CULTURAL EXCHANGE AND NATIONAL SPECIFICITY

Daniel Black, Monash University

Daniel Black is a lecturer in Communications and Media Studies at Monash University. His area of expertise is the relationship between the human body and technology, and Japanese popular culture. His work has appeared in journals such as Continuum, The Journal of Popular Culture, and Fibreculture.

In recent times, cultural production has taken an unprecedented position within discussions of national identity and trade, particularly in East Asia. No longer just a topic for discussion within groups that might be expected to focus on this area (such as Cultural Studies or Area Studies) it is now seriously considered in quite different fora, such as foreign policy discussions and within regional trade ministries. This has resulted in some quite strange pairings of themes relating to the internationalized, globalized and hybridized, on the one hand, and the nationally specific and even nationalistic, on the other.

However, assumptions about culture have of course underlain understandings of international economic exchange for much longer. In the nineteenth century in particular, they were tied to one another at a fundamental level. Europe and the United States understood the technological advantages that facilitated their material dominance over the rest of the world as stemming from a posited national/racial culture characterized by qualities such as rationality, self-discipline, and forward-thinking inquisitiveness.1

At that time, Japan actively sought to reposition itself within this set of racial/national discourses. By the late twentieth century, when the Japanese economy had become an object of Western hysteria, conceptions of national culture had again come to the fore, cultural traits such as anti-individualist self-sacrifice and obedience being presented as the ‘secret weapons’ that supposedly ensured Japan’s coming domination of the global economy.2 Japanese elaborations of nihonjinron, or investigations of uniquely Japanese cultural qualities, grew into a powerful discourse, buoyed by a sense of national superiority largely – and ironically – triggered by the anti-Japanese paranoia in countries such as the United States. While the self-mythologization of nihonjinron could itself evoke further hostility from Western observers, most famously in Peter N. Dale’s The Myth of Japanese Uniqueness (Dale 1986), such discourse simply highlights a much older link between ideas of international power and national character, a link the Japanese had been grappling with since the dawn of Japanese modernity.

Of course, ‘culture’ is a term notorious for its resistance to simple definition,3 and the kind of ‘culture’ that informs these historical examples involves an abstract conception of ‘national culture’ or ‘national identity’, something quite separate from the cultural production that has become a topic of concern more recently. However, these two understandings are not as easy to differentiate as might be thought, even in an era when notions of national character might seem naïve and passé.

Firstly, while discussions of cultural exchange arising from a Cultural Studies tradition can be expected to treat with suspicion ideas of national character, and, moreover, have tended to focus on the complex ways in which the hybridization or internationalization of cultural production has challenged or eroded ideas of national specificity, foreign policy analysts and the facilitators of international trade are obviously invested in these very ideas and their relationship with international competition.

The discussions of globalized cultural exchange we often see today originated in late-twentieth-century attempts to critique and problematize 1970s Marxist accounts of cultural imperialism like How to Read Donald Duck by Dorfman and Mattelart (1975), which saw the global movement of media texts in terms of a one-sided imposition of ideological messages. Central to this critique was the idea that cultural products are not stable vessels of nationally-specific meaning, carpet-bombing foreign countries with alien values and ideologies; by providing detailed discussions of specific contexts, they showed that the global movement of cultural products is unpredictable and never one-sided. In any event, this perspective is obviously quite different from that of many International Relations scholars, governments, and industry groups who have taken an interest in this area. Their enthusiasm for the subject stems from the possibility of cultural production being used to increase the export success of particular nations or national industries, or the capacity of one nation to wield influence over others through ‘soft power’ (Nye 2004; Iwabuchi 2002).

Koichi Iwabuchi documented popular media coverage of Japan’s successful cultural exports in the 1990s, which problematically saw it as straightforward evidence of Japan’s growing prestige and cultural influence in the world (Iwabuchi 2002), but more recent coverage of the hallyu phenomenon tends to perpetuate similar assumptions. New Horizons, a promotional magazine produced by Hyundai Heavy Industries, carried a story on hallyu in 2004 that depicted Korea’s growing cultural export success in nationalistic terms, the English-language text explaining that hallyu ‘now symbolizes fanatic “Korea envy” in most of Asia’ (Global Audiences Ride Korean Wave 2004). An article in The Journal of Future Studies in the same year, entitled ‘Korea as the Wave of a Future’, while acknowledging that the relative popularity of cultural production from specific Asian nations was fluid, nevertheless sought to suggest that hallyu was based to some degree on national culture in a manner similar to older explanations of Western and then Japanese (industrial and later cultural) dominance:

[W]e remain optimistic that the willingness (can we say it is their ‘national character’?) of many Koreans compared to Japanese and Chinese, to be ‘out there’, with their emotions barely concealed behind a façade of rationality, will enable Koreans to succeed where others might fail. An economy of ‘aesthetic experience’ seems just right for Koreans who seem to love to treat politics, strikes, demonstrations, ritual suicides, and many other aspects of public life as though they were high drama – if not high camp. (Dator and Seo 2004: 17)

This article attempts to rehabilitate the arena of globalized cross-cultural exchange – more generally associated with the erosion of national specificity – as a laboratory for the investigation of national culture and character, and sees Koreans as ideally suited to a contemporary landscape of consumption in which style, aesthetics and experience are most important. Where Western and then Japanese national characters had once been considered suited to industry and business because of their supposed organization and self-discipline, the shift from industrial to cultural production, Dator and Seo suggest, now favours the supposedly less rational, more emotionally expressive Korean national character. In their view, where hard work and self-discipline had been the keys to national success in the age of industry, a sense of style plays the equivalent role in a post-industrial, postmodern age where play and surface appearance are more important than inner fortitude.

Needless to say, the recent interest in cultural production within the governments of Japan and Korea has arisen from a concern with international competition. But the entangling of cultural production and cultural specificity extends to more nuanced analyses. Iwabuchi’s influential analysis of Japanese media exports obviously does not makes claims for Japanese superiority; however, within his discussion of the circulation of Japanese cultural products as internationalized, non-nationally-specific artefacts, Iwabuchi nonetheless argues that this very lack of national specificity has a particularly Japanese significance.

According to Iwabuchi (2002: 28), the aesthetic of mukokuseki, ‘something or someone lacking any nationality’ is a Japanese style that has smoothed the way for Japanese cultural exports. Not only has a lack of cultural specificity in Japanese cultural products eased their insertion into new cultural contexts, according to Iwabuchi, but it has allowed Japanese cultural products to sidestep antagonism generated by Japan’s colonialist past. Iwabuchi therefore claims that a Japanese ‘style’ of cultural production has resulted in products that circulate easily in the global marketplace because they are ‘culturally odourless’ ones, such as appliances, video games, and animation, ‘in which physical, racial and ethnic differences are erased or softened’ (Iwabuchi 2002: 27–28; see also Iwabuchi 1996: 36; Iwabuchi 1999: 79). However, Japan and South Korea are economic competitors in these areas, producing many similar industrial and cultural products, and Sun Jung in this volume mentions the potential Korean deployment of mugukjeok (the Korean equivalent to mukokuseki) as part of hallyu’s success. The phenomenon is not specifically Japanese, and Korea does not have an expansionist past that might make its entry into foreign markets a sensitive issue. Has Iwabuchi therefore fallen back into an account of cultural exchange that relies on untenable notions of national specificity?

There are a number of explanations for the areas of similarity in Japanese and Korean cultural production. Most obviously, despite a history of ill-feeling over their former colonial relationship, Korean governments have long understood the postwar Japanese experience as a model for economic success, and both Kukhee Choo’s and Roald Maliangkay’s chapters in this volume highlight more direct linkages between the two countries through a history of outsourcing and appropriation between Japan’s and Korea’s media industries. However, when faced with the problem of comparing or contrasting cultural production within a region or between nations, the kind of research that tends to be done, for example, in Cultural Studies and Area Studies has, I would argue, relatively little to say regarding precisely what is being exchanged in such interactions. The reason for this is that such research often has a micro focus. In its traditional concern to undermine older, overly generalized accounts of cultural imperialism, and its wariness of collapsing different cultural experiences into one another, the Cultural Studies approach is reluctant to draw connections between local experiences and thereby produce a more generalized discussion; and Area Studies tends to focus on the gathering of localized primary materials rather than addressing such broad questions. Such approaches leave the field open for the kind of analyses based on ‘national character’ noted above; specific case studies can be used to problematize the generalizations of such analyses, but perhaps can never topple them due to an inability to replace them with new principles that might seem useful to government or industry. Case studies of cultural flows provide lessons about the unpredictability and contingency of cultural exchange, but such lessons have little appeal for bureaucrats seeking to formulate export policies, or national publics wanting to celebrate their country’s creative production. The result is that multiple, contradictory, discourses of soft power and cultural exchange have come to exist side by side, feeding off one another but never entering into a meaningful dialogue. It is this very problem that has prompted the critique by Peter Murphy in this volume, although it might be countered that in not differentiating quite different utilizations of the term ‘soft power’, Murphy has created a straw man who espouses a combination of contradictory positions not held by any single, real commentator.

Popular descriptions of the appeal of intra-regional cultural exports often suggest a shared appreciation of enduring cultural meanings (whether they be real or imagined), and a great many Asian cultural exports cannot be described as culturally ‘odourless’, in Iwabuchi’s terms. Films and soap operas, and music performers, while they might not constitute naturalistic depictions of people and lifestyles in a particular location, still feature real, identifiable bodies, and an increasingly globalized and cosmopolitan audience is increasingly aware of their localized stylistic features.

Local consumers are often quoted explaining the greater appeal of regional cultural imports with words to the effect that their stars ‘look like me’, or are perceived to share cultural values (often associated with Confucianism) not apparent in American equivalents. In other words, a very distinct ‘cultural odour’ is attributed to these texts, and Iwabuchi’s early work itself contains clear indications of this.

Interestingly, New Horizons, the Hyundai Heavy Industries publication cited earlier, makes the following claim about ‘fanatic Korea envy’ in China: ‘In major Chinese cities, women reportedly ask plastic surgeons to change their faces to look like ... Korean stars’ (Global Audiences Ride Korean Wave 2004). It is hard to imagine a better example of a very embodied and specific identification with another group than this – possibly apocryphal – story of Chinese women wanting surgery to look like Korean heartthrobs.

Is it possible to say that these Chinese want to ‘look Korean’ in some generalized sense? Certainly, in the past, cosmetic surgery, particularly of the eyes, has been taken as evidence of a desire to ‘look Caucasian’ amongst Asians supposedly in thrall to a Western ideal of beauty enforced through the importation of Western cultural products.

However, in both cases such an explanation perpetuates simple hierarchies and models of cultural domination. While a desire for aesthetic surgery among many Korean-Americans tends to be justified in terms of a desire to look more ‘American’ (i.e. more Caucasian), cosmetic surgery is also popular within Korea, where it is understood as a way of attaining a middle-class ideal of attractiveness that is attributed with no racial specificity (Gilman 1999: 108–109). In other words, in both cases the surgery can be understood to render its recipients more acceptable within their national group, rather than differentiating them through an identification with the ‘foreign’. Or, to illustrate this another way, many Asians might want to look like a Caucasian American movie star, but so do many Caucasian Americans. In both cases, the aspiration is not for a foreign norm, but rather a valued image or style that is commodified and circulated by media texts.

In this volume, Sun Jung’s analysis of a regional (and perhaps potentially global) ideal of male beauty as embodied in Korean pop stars and TV drama actors illustrates the complexity of the body’s place within cross-cultural media flows. Media texts might benefit from their existence as data that can be easily circulated and exchanged, but it is still primarily human bodies that they make available for consumption. While Jung highlights the ‘trans-nationality’ of such images of the male body, these masculine bodily images nevertheless are strongly associated with their Korean nationality; this connection between body and nationality is most obvious in the leveraging of the appeal of Winter Sonata’s Bae Yong-Joon to promote (particularly Japanese) tourism in Korea.

Again, this connection is not as simple as particular national groups being considered more physically attractive than others. In the case of male pop and drama stars, what is most striking is that they largely subscribe to an aesthetic ideal created through drawn images. The characters of Boys over Flowers are direct products of Japanese manga art, and East Asian male pop stars have a history of appropriating the shojo manga aesthetic, an aesthetic that has clearly had a powerful influence on the romantic imaginings of younger females in the region (Miller 2006: 152–154). The shojo manga aesthetic is itself the product of a complex combination of influences, but its representational conventions have come to be appropriated and embodied by living media stars, many of whom presumably use surgery (as well as various other, less invasive technologies) to reshape their bodies into a more faithful reflection of the ideal. Having materialized these aesthetic conventions, these stars are then converted into further media representations, which are further circulated and allow a further elaboration of those ideals, perhaps even prompting some consumers to undergo surgical procedures in the hope of emulating the stars’ physical appearance, which is itself an approximation of the appearance of a fictional character.

The example of cosmetic surgery might seem a curiosity or an aberration, but my own research in the representation, modification and simulation of the body suggests that such phenomena carry a great deal of cultural significance. We are living in a historical moment when elements of popular culture once considered of little significance are announcing themselves as relevant to far-reaching international issues through their circulation and commodification of particular styles. The fact that cultural production is coming to be widely recognized as playing an important role in processes of international exchange and interaction introduces considerations largely absent from prior discussions focused on such things as military ties or the export of cars or household appliances.

As Iwabuchi has pointed out, cars and appliances can be divorced from a sense of national or cultural specificity4 In the 1950s and ‘60s, many Japanese products were exported under brand names not identifiably Japanese (such as Panasonic). However, today, many Chinese-made products are exported under names that do sound Japanese, or at least sound like the non-Japanese-sounding names favoured by Japanese exporters in days gone by. A Japanese ‘cultural odour’ is today an advantage in the marketplace where once it perhaps was not. In any event, Iwabuchi’s cultural odourlessness is relatively easy to achieve with such products; media texts are much more difficult to treat in this way. Japan’s early media export successes – for example, Osamu Tezuka cartoon series like Astroboy (Tetsuwan Atomu) – presumably owed much to the fact that these texts did not naturalistically represent the Japanese body and were not identified by foreign audiences as Japanese.5 However, today, cultural exports are consumed by a more cosmopolitan and omnivorous international audience, one far more literate in the visual styles of different regional media producers, and the characters of Astroboy – for all their lack of naturalistic representation – are probably more immediately identifiable as Japanese in many countries than real, living Japanese bodies.

In this climate, style becomes a key feature in product differentiation – what distinguishes Indian media exports from those of Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea or Japan, for example. Again, Roald Maliangkay’s discussion of the Korean animation industry in this volume highlights the fact that skilled production is not enough for export success – a distinctive and marketable style is also crucial.

At this point, we can perhaps move the focus back to a regional level while maintaining a sense of the local and specific, as we can make generalizations about style of expression that can either bring together or differentiate particular sites of cultural production, or provide the basis for larger, less specific groupings. I am not arguing for the attribution of individual countries with a ‘national style’; clearly, to do so would be problematic in both its artificial enforcement of internal unity and its focus on national difference. But cultural products do reflect local styles of expression, and these styles are central to their consumer appeal. Such styles do not simply spring from national character; rather they spring from complex cultural histories which, while localized, are not defined or restricted by national or racial boundaries. For example, although I would be uncomfortable making a reading of a particular ‘national culture’, I am prepared to try plotting the circulation and influence of philosophical ideas – such as the development of European conceptualizations of the body, for example – that are heavily implicated in regional differences in artistic production.

Many influences on styles of cultural production could be chosen, but I focus on the body not only as a result of my own interests. Iwabuchi’s linkage of a lack of realistic representations of the body and cultural odourlessness is significant, because Iwabuchi’s most famous reading of Japanese cultural exports is now looking increasingly dated. That is, media exports from Japan and other Asian countries these days often have a very strong cultural odour, and it is precisely this odour that proves alluring to the international audience for these products.

The stories of Chinese fans wanting surgery to look like Korean drama stars, and the erotic investment in pop stars and actors more generally, make it clear that the export of such visual media texts is strongly tied to bodily specificity, as is the circulation of bodily styles of media performance such as the singing and dancing of pop stars, and the appropriation of foreign fashion influences. I want to suggest that the centrality of nationally, culturally specific representations of the body therefore allows the tracing of broad themes and influences in cultural exchange.

A respectable body of work now exists that takes as its central concern understandings and representations of the body in Asian cultures, particularly that of China. Recurring themes in the contrast between Chinese and Western European traditions of bodily representation include China’s lesser focus on the nude and even the particulars of physical appearance. The difference is tied to China’s relatively smaller concern with the particularities of individual bodies and a relatively greater focus on material markers of identity such as clothing.

For example, early examples of Chinese photographic portraiture from the nineteenth century – a source of frustration and contempt amongst Western photographers whose artistic values and expectations were not reflected in them – were more concerned with generic markers of social status than the particular character of individual bodies, tending to photograph them in a way which clinically recorded physical features rather than capturing manifestations of individual character (Wue 2005). This early use of a technology of representation therefore appears to reflect a localized, culturally specific understanding of the body, which was manifested in the production of stylistically distinctive artefacts.

While nineteenth-century photography primarily served personal – often familial – needs, I would argue that currently the representation, or even simulation, of the human body is the central component of commercial media production. This concern with the body, while always central to representational practices, is growing ever more dominant and being diffused more widely. Computer game characters and avatars, animated figures and toys, as well as living but neither more naturalistic nor less produced bodies, such as those of pop idols or soap opera actors, are cultural commodities central to Asian cultural export industries, so much so that distinguishing between no-longer culturally odourless cartoon and video game characters, on one hand, and highly artificial and manufactured media stars, on the other, has lost much of its value. This is further illustrated by the ‘cyber beauty’ (saibaa bijin), a living woman whose appearance conforms to the science fiction aesthetic of many manga, anime and computer games aimed at a male audience (Miller 2006: 121), and who has become a female counterpart to male media stars who embody shojo manga ideals of masculinity.

Indeed, I have dealt elsewhere with the various attempts in countries like Japan and Korea to create ‘virtual idols’ (Black 2006; Black 2008). The attempt to create such synthetic media stars is significant more for its continuity with the logic of the celebrity industry than its novelty: living pop idols are themselves the product of an industrial production process where they are extensively trained, groomed and drilled in order to become a commodity that will satisfy management requirements and consumer desires. Again, what is significant is the relative lack of contrast between living and simulated bodies in a media marketplace where both kinds of bodies are made available for consumption in digital form.

Household appliances, cars and mobile phones, amongst other inanimate objects, are now marketed more and more on their ‘personality’, imbued with anthropomorphized contours and integrated into distinctive styles of bodily decoration and presentation. In such a setting, understanding what bodies can be and what constitutes their defining attributes becomes increasingly important.

While I do believe that the body and bodily experience has been increasingly commodified, this is not my central point. Rather, I wish to suggest that successful cultural production – like the production of all commodities today – largely hinges on the creation of an identifiable style, and international cultural consumption is increasingly about the consumption of such styles, rather than homogenized, non-culturally-specific products. The popularity of particular products within a region might rely in part on the sharing of values and ideas within that region, but, at the same time, national industries must seek to differentiate themselves and produce a distinctive and valued style in order to compete. Popularity is therefore as much about difference and distinctiveness as it is about similarity.

Of course, the international movement of styles can erode their local specificity, as suggested by the traditional focus on hybridization and domestication taken by studies of cultural exchange: Coca-Cola might lose a strong sense of American-ness through its very ubiquity, a Hollywood film might utilize Bollywood-style dance numbers, or an American cartoon might employ manga-style character designs. The relative ease with which cultural products are circulated today, and the boundless hunger for new intellectual properties and product differentiation amongst media producers, work against the association of particular styles with specific local producers. However, such engagements are most often fleeting (once the novelty value of a raga beat in a Western dance track has worn off, that particular style is abandoned to its original proponents), and where this is not the case (for example, the manner in which Hong Kong-style fight sequences have become a staple of Hollywood action movies), the national cultural industry which originally produced the style must either differentiate itself once more or fall into decline.

Understanding these styles as expressions of a particular cultural setting provides a means of making broad connections between different instances of media consumption and the exchange and appropriation of cultural influences that are not wholly dependent on national groupings. Consumption practices are always localized, but the one stable component of consumption is of course the artefact itself. Its material qualities are an enduring record of the cultural forces that produced it, and seeing particular products as the result of rich histories of thought and experience allows an investigation of the material, localized and specific, that nevertheless articulates with a broader, more regional perspective.

Such an approach might be accused of representing nothing more than a reintroduction of cultural difference into the discussion, replacing the idea of national character with a no less essentializing or problematic regional character (and Asia is certainly no stranger to such ideas, given the ‘Asian Values’ debate of the late twentieth century). This suspicion is justified, as the danger of essentialism and over-generalization remains in such an approach; however, I think this approach remains worth pursuing nonetheless for two reasons.

Firstly, refusing to take a more generalized view does not neutralize this danger. My preceding discussion has sought to establish that an attempt to avoid these broader issues only leaves the field open for a less self-reflexive treatment of international cultural exchange and national character. But even analyses that avoid broader issues and focus on limited case studies, I would argue, can themselves never escape those issues; after all, how can one analyse cross-cultural or international exchanges without employing some conception – even if never made explicit – of cultural or national difference? Even nuanced and careful analyses of the movement of cultural products must suggest a combination of similarity and difference between a product’s cultures of production and consumption in order to explain the particularity of its reception.

Secondly, the approach I am suggesting highlights the heterogeneity of cultural products, even within a national cultural grouping, and ties them to particular histories, understandings, and material artefacts. This holds the promise of making the discussion both more flexible and nuanced in its focus on the evolution and circulation of shared ideas and understandings, but also more grounded in the particularities of actual products. For example, discussions of cultural proximity have regularly contrasted the qualities of a more popular cultural import – a Japanese television drama, for example – with a less successful equivalent import from a different country – like an American television soap. Ironically, because such analyses have regularly avoided discussions of anything as problematic as the national character of the originating countries, but have still needed to account for attributes that have contributed to the text’s success or failure, they have tended to fall back on vague assertions that themselves arise from stereotypes of national character: the Japanese characters are more ‘restrained’, for example, or the American characters are more aggressive or uninhibited. Such contrasts may, in fact, be perfectly justified, but nonetheless they often are not given sufficient analysis or scrutiny precisely because of a reticence to openly acknowledge generalized conceptions of national character, despite being unable to completely insulate themselves from such conceptions. Truly establishing such ideas would require an analysis of the aesthetics or style of these texts that offers specific reference to their textual qualities.

While not at all a response to the approach suggested by my preceding points, the structure of this volume nonetheless acknowledges the importance of differing degrees of granularity in the analysis of media flows. Starting with particular examples of cultural exchange in action, the volume has moved on to address broader issues in government policy and regulation, popular coverage of and debate regarding the significance of such exchange, and then to discussions of what – if any – general lessons can be learnt from such phenomena. The ordering of these three sections does not reflect a hierarchy of importance among them, as none makes sense without the others. The crucial point is that these different layers of discussion tell us different things about the nature of cultural exchange. Taken as a whole they both raise, and answer, numerous important questions.

At the scale of a drama-watching housewife, a particular text might symbolize exotic foreignness and alternative forms of sociality, even while at a larger scale it serves as a source of parochial national pride; for a young fan who is part of an online community, a particular text might represent a globalized style that forges connections between devotees around the world, even while at another level it is evaluated as an export commodity through which one country competes with others. What at a national governmental scale might cause alarm, because of its potential to harm local industries or national culture and expression, might be welcomed at a personal level for offering new kinds of narrative and style to consumers who feel bored or constrained by those that dominate local production. The contradictory ways in which the term ‘soft power’ is understood can be seen to arise from media products’ capacity to create multiplicitous relationships with consumers and place themselves within differing conceptions of national and regional identity. Whatever influence soft power is thought to wield, or even if the term is rejected completely, it remains clear that international media flows produce currents that constantly mix together the familiar and the novel, creating new combinations that engage audiences and influence understandings of international relationships in a rich variety of ways.

ENDNOTES

1   See Said 1979: 38. For a case study in how the world and its inhabitants were ordered by the Western powers at this time, see Snodgrass 1996. Snodgrass deals in particular with how this world order was manifested by the organization of the Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1893, and how Japan sought to reposition itself within it.

2   See, for example, Morley and Robins’s discussion of the reversals associated with late-twentieth-century ‘techno-Orientalism’ (Morley and Robins 1995: 153ff.).

3   Raymond Williams famously described it as ‘one of the two or three most complicated words in the English language’ (Williams 1985: 87).

4   Products such as cars and appliances can be divorced from a sense of national or cultural specificity if this is considered advantageous; they can also be strongly tied to these things. Both a BMW Z4 and a Nissan Skyline trade on a set of associations derived from their national origin.

5   See Jung Sun Park’s chapter in the current volume for a more detailed treatment of this aspect of Japanese animation exports.

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Black, Daniel. 2008. ‘The virtual ideal: Virtual idols, cute technology and unclean biology’. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies 22 (1): 37–50.

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Snodgrass, Judith. 1996. ‘Japan faces the West: The representation of Japan at the Columbian Exposition, Chicago 1893’. In Japanese Science, Technology and Growth Down-Under, edited by Low, Morris; Marriott, Helen. Melbourne: Monash Asia Institute.

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Cite this chapter as: Black, Daniel. 2010. ‘Cultural exchange and national specificity’. In Complicated Currents: Media Flows, Soft Power and East Asia, edited by Black, Daniel; Epstein, Stephen; Tokita, Alison. Melbourne: Monash University ePress. pp. 16.1–16.10.

 

© Copyright 2010 Daniel Black

All rights reserved. Apart from any uses permitted by Australia's Copyright Act 1968, no part of this book may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission of the copyright owners. The fact that this book is published online does not mean that any part of it can be reproduced without first obtaining written permission: copyright laws do still apply. Inquiries should be directed to the publisher, Monash University ePress: http://www.epress.monash.edu/contacts.html.

Complicated Currents

   by Daniel Black, Stephen Epstein and Alison Tokita