Organized Panel Session
Yuriko Furuhata’s seminal work on Japan’s “cinema of actuality” identifies an abiding preoccupation with actuality – that is, cinema’s ability to both convey actual conditions, and effect actual change. Building on Furuhata’s framework for interrogating this relationship between actuality and medium, our panel turns its attentions to different media technologies that similarly provoked critical re-evaluations of actuality, specifically during Japan’s interwar period. By shifting the focus thus, we investigate a broader range of media, which were crucially, newly emerged at the time, and yet unstructured by cinema’s still burgeoning status as the dominant mass medium. We contend that approaching media in this specific context allows for a closer look at how dialogues, debates, and collaborations linked different media and media practices, as well as at how the newness of such media impacted notions of actuality, particularly in a time of marked social, political, and cultural change. Moreover, our panel probes into issues like the role of commerce and policy in re-shaping artistic conventions, and the ways that new media practices re-draw the boundaries of society and the individual.
Presentations range from Noriko Morisue’s studies of portable, small-gauge film technologies and discourses of the everyday; to Alexander Murphy’s examinations of recorded, remediated poetry performances, and the re-imagining of the “natural” voice; to Joelle Nazzicone’s work on the re-negotiation of spaces entailed by the children’s home drama movement; to Chikara Uchida’s work on efforts to improve the conditions of the urban poor through self-made kamishibai.