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Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013


Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell by timtak
Ghost in the Shell, a photo by timtak on Flickr.
There is a long tradition of in Japan of clothing and armour being haunted; being a shell but having a personality. This meme continues with Evangelion and The Ghost in the Shell (Shirow, 1995, 攻殻機動隊), robotic shells animated. These memes illustrate the anxiety of life in the imaginary (Lacan).

With their honed ability at autoscopy (Metzinger) from a third person perspective, a sight apart (riken no ken, Zeami), Japanese can see themselves even without the aid of mirror. Equipped as they are with visual symbols for self they feel themselves "merged" (gattai!) and have overcome Lacan's horrible "hommellette."

However, even seeing themselves, and knowing that they are in there somewhere, but where? They are, even or especially when wearing only their skin, like a ghost in a shell.

Bottom image, promotional poster for Ghost in a Shell copyright held by the producer of the animated film, Production I.G.

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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.