Suburban Samurai and neighbourhood Ninja: Shintaro and postwar Australia

Chapman, David (2015) Suburban Samurai and neighbourhood Ninja: Shintaro and postwar Australia. Japanese Studies, 1-18. doi:10.1080/10371397.2015.1118619

Author Chapman, David
Title Suburban Samurai and neighbourhood Ninja: Shintaro and postwar Australia
Journal name Japanese Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1037-1397
Publication date 2015-12-13
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/10371397.2015.1118619
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Start page 1
End page 18
Total pages 18
Place of publication Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
In the 1960s and early 1970s a wave of Japanese programs were broadcast on Australian television. Among these were anime such as Astro Boy, Gigantor and Kimba the White Lion. For Australian viewers of these programs the Japanese connection was not obvious. However, in contrast and airing around the same time was the black-and-white series The Samurai. Clearly Japanese, it was a chambara-type period drama complete with samurai and ninja battling it out in the streets and countryside of Edo-period Japan and featuring backdrops of villages, shrines and castles. The Samurai was extremely popular, attracting a large audience of Australian viewers. However, the show also attracted controversy and criticism from the public. The show and the reaction it created provide an opportunity to explore and comment on aspects of Australian social history and Australia’s relationship with Japan. I argue that The Samurai was an early form of transnational popular culture, and it introduced a type of ‘oriental cool’ that spectacularly disrupted postwar Australia’s perception of Japan as a wartime enemy.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Languages and Cultures Publications
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Created: Mon, 14 Dec 2015, 14:15:26 EST by Ms Katrina Hume on behalf of School of Languages and Cultures