Recent Project – Confucianism and Anime

Nov 12, 2009 No Comments by

Haven’t had much time to post lately; been focused on some off-line activities. I am writing an article for an issue of Asianetwork Journal on the ways we can see Confucian values at work in Shonen anime, especially Naruto and Bleach. I’ve presented on this in the past, but haven’t put it down into an article to date. This is fun! Have to say, Donald Keene, Wm. Theodore De Bary, and Tsunoda Ryusaku did some rockstar work. “Sources of Japanese Tradition” has been a great resource to get examples of Neo-Confucian writings.

I will be focusing on the 5 relationships (ruler-ruled, father-son, husband-wife, elder-younger, friend-friend,) filial piety, benevolence (Li and Ren), and loyalty. These are key values to be found in Shonen anime. Who says postmodern Japan is out of touch with its roots? Check back for details, I’ll say more when the article gets released.

Anime, confucianism

About the author

I'm a visiting professor at Bowdoin College. I teach, write, and discuss Japanese popular culture, language, literature and other topics on East Asia.