Advances in technoscience and biotechnology have blurred the boundaries between body and matter, emphasising the urgency of rethinking the intertwining of anthropocentrism, Eurocentrism and androcentrism. This repositing also involves the relationship between the subject and technological otherness. For example, in the representation of cyborgs, Donna Haraway identifies the metaphor of overcoming biological determinism. Simultaneously, in cinematic and literary imagery, cybernetic bodies end up representing contemporary society’s changes, fears and desires, exploring new paradigms of subjectivity. This paper focuses on cyborg identities in Japanese imagery through the novels Kachikujin Yapoo (Yapoo the Human Cattle, 1956) by Shōzō Numa, Nippon Apacchi Zoku (The Japanese Apache Tribe, 1964) by Komatsu Sakyō and the film Tetsuo (Iron Man, 1989) by director Tsukamoto Shin'ya. Each of these works presents the search for transhuman and post-human subjectivities in Japanese science fiction imagery from the post-war to the postmodern period and share a masochistic representation of male bodies deeply interwoven with the question of identity. Starting from Tatsumi Takayuki’s theorization of «creative masochism» and referring to the Deleuzian view on masochism, the aim of this paper is to investigate the connections between male masochism and Japanese cyborg imagery of the post-war period.

Biomachines, metal bodies and masochistic masculinity in post-war Japan

Luca Capponcelli
Primo
2021-01-01

Abstract

Advances in technoscience and biotechnology have blurred the boundaries between body and matter, emphasising the urgency of rethinking the intertwining of anthropocentrism, Eurocentrism and androcentrism. This repositing also involves the relationship between the subject and technological otherness. For example, in the representation of cyborgs, Donna Haraway identifies the metaphor of overcoming biological determinism. Simultaneously, in cinematic and literary imagery, cybernetic bodies end up representing contemporary society’s changes, fears and desires, exploring new paradigms of subjectivity. This paper focuses on cyborg identities in Japanese imagery through the novels Kachikujin Yapoo (Yapoo the Human Cattle, 1956) by Shōzō Numa, Nippon Apacchi Zoku (The Japanese Apache Tribe, 1964) by Komatsu Sakyō and the film Tetsuo (Iron Man, 1989) by director Tsukamoto Shin'ya. Each of these works presents the search for transhuman and post-human subjectivities in Japanese science fiction imagery from the post-war to the postmodern period and share a masochistic representation of male bodies deeply interwoven with the question of identity. Starting from Tatsumi Takayuki’s theorization of «creative masochism» and referring to the Deleuzian view on masochism, the aim of this paper is to investigate the connections between male masochism and Japanese cyborg imagery of the post-war period.
2021
post-war Japan, male bodies, cyborg identity, Japan’s science fiction imagery, posthuman subjectivity, creative masochism, Deleuze, body without organs, masochism, abjection
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/518477
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