Education About Asia: Online Archives

On Another Playground: Japanese Popular Culture in America

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WRITTEN BY CHRISTINE YANO, KEIKO IKE, AND WILLIAM KELLY
PRODUCED BY KEIKO IKEDA
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER, DAVID PLATH
PRODUCTION OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF AMERICAN STUDIES AND CENTER FOR AMERICAN STUDIES, DOSHISHA UNIVERSITY

DISTRIBUTED BY MEDIA PRODUCTION GROUP
DVD, 152 MINUTES., COLOR, 2008

Reviewed by Carl Rachelson

However we cast it, there has been an Eastern awakening among Westerners in recent years. Whether manga, Ichiro, or an inhalation of spider rolls has prompted this stirring, it is clear that Kanji-tattooed folks sporting Kanji-drawn T-shirts often ponder Asia. So if I were to seek classroom material that I could use in order to slake this thirst, I might tend toward topics discussed in this new DVD, where anthropologists present case studies on Hello Kitty, sushi, and baseball. These three may seem like strange bedfellows, but they commingle in On Another Playground: Japanese Popular Culture in America, a DVD set designed, edited, and co-produced by David Plath at the Center for American Studies at Doshisha University in Kyoto. After all, what fervent Japanophile could resist exploring their nascent interest by way of at least one of these beloved topics?