Full Metal Apache

9780822337621: Hardback
Release Date: 27th June 2006

15 photos, 11 figures

Number of Pages: 272

Series Post-Contemporary Interventions

Duke University Press Books

Full Metal Apache

Transactions Between Cyberpunk Japan and Avant-Pop America

Hardback / £88.00

Takayuki Tatsumi is one of Japan’s leading cultural critics, renowned for his work on American literature and culture. With his encyclopedic knowledge and fan’s love of both Japanese and American art and literature, he is perhaps uniquely well situated to offer this study of the dynamic crosscurrents between the avant-gardes and pop cultures of Japan and the United States. In Full Metal Apache, Tatsumi looks at the work of artists from both sides of the Pacific: fiction writers and poets, folklorists and filmmakers, anime artists, playwrights, musicians, manga creators, and performance artists. Tatsumi shows how, over the past twenty years or so, writers and artists have openly and exuberantly appropriated materials drawn from East and West, from sources both high and low, challenging and unraveling the stereotypical images Japan and America have of one another.

Full Metal Apache introduces English-language readers to a vast array of Japanese writers and performers and considers their work in relation to the output of William Gibson, Thomas Pynchon, H. G. Wells, Jack London, J. G. Ballard, and other Westerners. Tatsumi moves from the poetics of metafiction to the complex career of Madame Butterfly stories and from the role of the Anglo-American Lafcadio Hearn in promoting Japanese folklore within Japan during the nineteenth century to the Japanese monster Godzilla as an embodiment of both Japanese and Western ideas about the Other. Along the way, Tatsumi develops original arguments about the self-fashioning of “Japanoids” in the globalist age, the philosophy of “creative masochism” inherent within postwar Japanese culture, and the psychology of “Mikadophilia” indispensable for the construction of a cyborg identity. Tatsumi’s exploration of the interplay between Japanese and American cultural productions is as electric, ebullient, and provocative as the texts and performances he analyzes.

Foreword by Larry McCaffery xi
Acknowledgements xxiii
Introduction: Anatomies of Dependence 1
Part One: Theory
1. Mikadophilia, or The Fate of Cyborgian Identity in Postmillenarian Milieu 9
2. Comparative Metafiction: Somewhere between Ideology and Rhetoric 38
Part Two: History
3. Virus as Metaphor: A Postorientalist Reading of the Future War Novels of the 1890s 63
4. Deep North Gothic: A Postoccidentalist Reading of Hearn, Yangita, and Akutagawa 71
5. Which Way to Coincidence: A Queer Reading of J. Ballard’s Crash 86
6. A Manifesto for Gynoids: A Cyborg Feminist Reading of Richard Calder 93
Part Three: Aesthetics
7. Semiotic Ghost Stories: The Japanese Reflection of Mirrorshades 105
8. Junk Art City, or How Gibson Meets Thomasson in Virtual Light 112
9. Pax Exotica: A New Exoticist Perspective on Audrey, Anna-chan, and Idoru 123
Part Four: Performance
10. Magic Realist Tokyo: Poe’s “The Man That Was Used Up” as a Subtext for Bartók-Terayama’s Magical Musical The Miraculous Mandarin 137
Part Five: Representation
11. Full Metal Apache: Shinya Tsukamoto’s Tetsuo Diptych, or The Impact of American Narrative son the Japanese Representation of Cyborgian Identity 151

Takayuki Tatsumi is Professor of English at Keio University in Tokyo. He is the author of many books in Japanese, including Lincoln’s Bullet; A Reading of 2001: A Space Odyssey; Slipstream Japan; New Americanist Poetics; A Manifesto for Japanoids; Metafiction as Ideology; and Cyberpunk America.

Full Metal Apache [is a] brilliant, paradigm-smashing study by Japan’s hippest literary critic and cultural commentator.” —Larry McCaffery, from the foreword

Full Metal Apache is a genuinely exciting and powerful text, incredibly rich in both material and ideas. Takayuki Tatsumi’s overall theme is the complex and dense dynamic between Japan and America (and often the West in general), and he investigates this dynamic in ways and with material far fresher and more critically invigorating than a standard analysis of ‘influences’ would be.”—Susan J. Napier, author of Anime from Akira to Princess Mononoke: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation

Full Metal Apache is a marvelous literary mediation of postoriental aesthetics and the transactions of cybercultures. Takayuki Tatsumi cites synchronicity over mimesis, a mighty tease of cultures, and his inspired critique of the chimeric emperor, gaijin fabulations, scrap thieves, ghost stories, and metafiction is extraordinary and masterly.”—Gerald Vizenor, University of California, Berkeley

“I have always thought that Takayuki Tatsumi had (and still has) the most interesting lines into whatever it is that I’ve been doing with fiction, culture, and technology. He showed up before 99 percent of American academics had ever heard of me and seemed immediately to know what I was talking about—often before I did myself.”—William Gibson, author of Pattern Recognition

“Tatsumi is a never-less-than-intelligent reader, and a writer who conveys his enthusiasms and the ideas they spark in him with nervy brilliance.”

Roz Kaveney
Times Literary Supplement

“Tatsumi’s book is a brilliant contribution to the field of pop culture, containing chapters on not only all the usual suspects (Shinya Tsukamoto, J. G. Ballard, William Gibson) but also on the potential of literary theory in a global context, on the relationship between history and aesthetics and on the link between geography and artistic production.”

Polina Mackay, Journal of American Studies