Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

4 - Racing "Multicultural Cooperation": Japanese Media Coverage of Biracial Participants in International Beauty and Athletic Competitions

Friday, March 23
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Thurgood Marshall North, Mezzanine

In this presentation I explore Japanese media coverage of four recent international competitions featuring “bi-racial” Japanese participants. The first two events are the Miss Universe Pageant in 2015 and in 2016. The Japanese entrant in 2015 was the child of a Japanese woman and an African-American serviceman; the entrant in 2016 was the child of a Japanese woman and an Indian man. The other two events are the 2016 Olympics, which featured a 4x100 meter Japanese relay team anchored by an Afro-Jamaican - Japanese sprinter, and the 2017 World Championships, featuring a sprinter of Japanese and Ghanaian parentage. Much of the national conversation in Japan surrounding these individuals might be productively analyzed through the emergent discourse of tabunka kyosei, or “multicultural coexistence", as a means by which the nation has sought to come to terms with the prospects of an increasingly ethnically diversified society. My analysis of this media coverage is indeed significantly framed in these terms. However, I also argue for the importance of a specifically racial analysis in exploring media representations of these biracial individuals. This analysis of the physically racialized body becomes as a point of entry into related dimensions of Japanese social identity, including gendered notions of beauty and athleticism that are informed by both global geopolitical histories and contemporary local circumstances.

Send Email for Marvin Sterling


Assets

4 - Racing "Multicultural Cooperation": Japanese Media Coverage of Biracial Participants in International Beauty and Athletic Competitions



Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for Racing "Multicultural Cooperation": Japanese Media Coverage of Biracial Participants in International Beauty and Athletic Competitions