Book Announcement: Contemporary Sino-Japanese Relations on Screen

SASKirsch, Griseldis (2015). Contemporary Sino-Japanese Relations on Screen. A History, 1989-2005. SOAS Studies in Modern and Contemporary Japan. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

About Contemporary Sino-Japanese Relations on Screen

Japan and China look back on a history of friendship as well as friction, particularly in recent decades. As the People’s Republic of China’s economy began to grow in the 1990s, so did its political weight within Asia and its economical relevance for Japan. Covering the years from 1989 to 2005, this book looks at Sino-Japanese relations through film and television drama in the crucial time of China’s ascent to an economic superpower in opposition to Japan’s own ailing economy. It provides an overview of how Japan views China through its visual media, offers explanations as to how oppositions between the two countries came to exist, and how and why certain myths about China have been conveyed.


“This is a long-awaited book that comprehensively examines Japan’s media representation of China. Griseldis Kirsch superbly elucidates the continuity and change of historically constituted Japan’s ambivalent desire for China through the analysis of TV and film representation in the post-cold-war context of China’s rising economic power. It offers us a precious historical account of the current predicament of Japan’s relationship with China.”

–  Koichi Iwabuchi, Professor of Media and Cultural Studies and Director of Monash Asia Institute, Monash University, Australia

“With clarity and erudition, Griseldis Kirsch provides us with a close reading of Japanese film and television productions since the late 1980s as they refer to Asia, and China in particular. Outlining surprising historical continuities in the entangled and fraught ways that characterise modern Japan’s relation to and imagination of Asia, Kirsch gives a fascinating account and a deep theoretical reading of the grand narrative that seems to underlie small and big screen productions: What evolves is an ever shape-shifting but tenaciously persistent nihonjinron. A must read for anyone interested not only in media, film and television studies in Japan but in the wider question of cultural and political relations in the changing economic landscape of East Asian nations.”

–  Andrea Germer, Associate Professor of Cultural Studies, Kyushu University, Japan

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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