Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Barutan Sadako Kayako Returning Japanese to the Image
When the centre of gravity of your self (Dennet, 1992) is your face (Watsuji, 1935/2011) then the discovery of the visually spectating other in your psyche, hidden in the eyes of others, or the eyes of the world (seken) or the sun, returns one to a dead image. In Japan the dead are images but the Japanese, like Westerners, are not aware that they are, as images and voices respectively, we are already dead. Barutan Seijin (the alien from Barutan Star has a ray that freezes people. Sadako turns her victim silent and negative with her gaze. Kayako drags people into mirrors or into photo developer. In all cases the victim is dragged back into the image.
Visual spectators are more active than linguistic ones and can kill just with a stare. They also tend to silence their victims rather than turn them into a scream. The the scream of frozen team member (taiin) in Ultraman (as well as Ultraman himself), and that of Sadako's victim are silent, whereas Kayako's victims do not bother to scream. They know where they are going.
Being of the "imaginaire" (Naclanianly, Lacan) Japanese monsters do not speak but make noise like this.
Dennett, D. C. (1992). The self as a center of narrative gravity. Self and consciousness: Multiple perspectives.
Watsuji, T. (2011). Mask and Persona. Trans. Carl M. Johnson. Japan Studies Review. XV, 147-155. In English https://asian.fiu.edu/projects-and-grants/japan-studies-review/journal-archive/2011.pdf In the original Japanese http://www.aozora.gr.jp/cards/001395/files/49911_41926.html
This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.