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Title:Playing the Nation: 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics and Japanese Identity
Author(s):Droubie, Paul
Director of Research:Toby, Ronald P.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Toby, Ronald P.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Todorova, Maria N.; Kelsky, Karen L.; Tierney, Robert T.
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
national identity
Abstract:This dissertation explores the performance and consumption of a reinvented Japanese national identity surrounding the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics. This event marked an important psychological turning point for many Japanese, who saw it as marking their reemergence into the world community. National identity is often hidden in the daily assumptions and practices of members of the nation. Prestige events like the Olympics bring these to the surface and make them easier to analyze as the contents for performance and consumption of Self for both Self and Other are prepared. Furthermore, the specifics of Japanese national identity at this time made the Olympics a near perfect venue for this. I argue that an examination of this discourse reveals several tropes of Self shared across the mainstream of Japanese national identity in the mid 1960s. The first was that Japan had rebuilt from wartime destruction and was now a global scientific and technological leader. Second, the country had a mixture of Western modernity and Japanese tradition that made it uniquely suited to be an interlocutor between West and non-West. The government, urban spaces and public manners were modern, yet culturally, Japanese engaged in a self-Orientalizing discourse. Third, that Japan was no longer the despised enemy from the Second World War, but was now a uniquely peaceful and internationalist country. The Olympics provided the stage upon which to perform this identity, but also through which to study it.
Issue Date:2010-01-06
Rights Information:Copyright 2009 Paul Droubie
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-01-06
Date Deposited:2009-12

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