Current Institutional Affiliation
ABD, Communication Studies, University of Iowa

Award Information

Minzoku Madness: The Nation, The Subject, and The Globe in Japanese Popular Music

If awarded a JSPS Fellowship, I would continue my research into the role of global popular culture – particularly, black music including hip hop and reggae – in forming contemporary Japanese identity. Black music, both in imported and locally produced versions, is extremely popular among youth in today’s Japan, and it carries strong, extremely diverse, and sometimes subtle messages about the position of Japanese citizens in global society. My research, which situates an ethnography of musical production within the broader context of relations between Japan and America, attempts to map the various ways black music is interpreted, re-interpreted, and reproduced in Japan today. These include not only attempts to increase attention to Japan’s ethnic minorities or other disadvantaged groups, but also the surprising use of hip hop in right-wing efforts to oppose liberalized immigration and support historical revisionist approaches to World War II.