Centre for Research in Communication and Culture


18 October 2017

Japanese national identity representation in nation branding and the Cool Japan initiative

Presented By Taku Tamaki
  • 1-2pm (part of the CRCC seminar series)
  • Brockington Building U122

About this event

What is the relationship between Cool Japan and Japanese national identity? On the one hand, the relationship seems obvious. As a nation branding exercise promoting Japaneseness to the outside world, Cool Japan contains an element of identity representation in which the stakeholders define and package Japanese identity as a commodity to be consumed by people resulting in favourable views of Japan. On the other hand, both the top-down nature of Cool Japan and the variations in things that constitute Japan brand dilute the core message. Yet, it is precisely this challenge of coherence that prompts stakeholders to invoke the traditional Japanese identity narratives that construct Japan into both a non-Western and an un-Asian entity, effectively reproducing the myth of Japanese uniqueness. In short, the narratives of Cool Japan are a 21st century rearticulation of the familiar Japanese identity narratives.

Taku Tamaki is a Lecturer in International Relations, specialising in the international political dynamics of the Asia-Pacific region. After gaining his PhD at Aberystwyth, he was Research Fellow at the Institute of Asian Cultural Studies at International Christian University in Tokyo, and taught International Relations at Plymouth before moving to Loughborough in 2007. He has taught a wide range of courses on international politics and international political economy, including International Relations Theory, the United Nations and International Organisations, The Asia-Pacific in Global Politics, and the International Political Economy of the Asia-Pacific Region.