Media Models of “Amateur” Film and Manga

Authored by: Alexander Zahlten

Routledge Handbook of Japanese Cinema

Print publication date:  August  2020
Online publication date:  August  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138685529
eBook ISBN: 9781315534374
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter traces the history of “amateur” production and distribution of film and manga in Japan from the 1920s to today. Outlining early “amateur” film culture in the 1920s that included upper middle-class men and political groups such as Prokino, it focuses on a moment of transition in the 1960s and 1970s and the changes of media models that shaped the understanding of media production and distribution by individuals and collectives at different times. It finds that early discourse on jishu (amateur/independent/autonomous) film in the 1970s saw in it a new set of political possibilities that shifted from emphasizing a transmittable message to establishing self-multiplying networks. The emerging dōjin (peer-produced) manga scene as well was initially discussed through the extensive distributive networks it was able to produce. The chapter concludes with a sketch of the institutionalization of both of these branches of “amateur” media production and distribution—especially of jishu film—from the late 1970s onward.

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