Pippi Longstocking, a refusal that, in Hu's eyes "inadvertently sparked off an innate Japanese drive to match, if not surpass the superiority of Western animation" (p. 133). Hu also describes Studio Ghibli as waging a "battle" of "cultural intangibles" with the West with what she calls a "die-hard neo samurai mentality" and ends with a comment on the "martial spirit" (p. 133) of the studio's endeavors. These are certainly interesting assertions but they are unsubstantiated and I would hope that anyone reading such suppositions would be sensitive to the lack of evidence offered for them. Miyazaki and Takahata's works undoubtedly have nationalistic elements to them, but it is crucial to note that many of the themes that Hu herself finds in their works, such as environmentalism, nostalgia, and a sensitivity to transience, are not exclusively Japanese values. It is possible that some of these (to my mind) problematic assertions are related to another concern I have with the book, which is the unevenness of its English prose. Hu is presumably not a native speaker of English, and although eminently capable of complex and fluent analyses, she is also capable of using words or turns of phrase that can
The Journal of Japanese Studies – Society for Japanese Studies
Published: Jul 14, 2012
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