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Reliving the Past: The Narrative Themes of Repetition and Continuity in Japan-Taiwan News Coverage

Sejrup, Jens LU (2015) In Japanese Taiwan: Colonial Rule and its Contested Legacy p.185-200
Abstract
This paper examines mass media coverage of Taiwanese high-level political visits to Japan and critically analyzes the phenomenon of nostalgic repetition as a narrative formula in such sources. Stressing its elements of pathos, nostalgia, and sentimental reassurance, I argue that the repetition formula presents an avenue of immense strategic advantage for visiting pro-independence politicians vis-à-vis their Guomindang counterparts. The main attraction to the news media of this narrative motif is that it allows the Taiwanese visitor to be presented as sensitive to a core of “eternal” tradition and cultural stability in Japan and therefore negate any suspicions of fundamental breaks in the recent history of Japan-Taiwan relations and between... (More)
This paper examines mass media coverage of Taiwanese high-level political visits to Japan and critically analyzes the phenomenon of nostalgic repetition as a narrative formula in such sources. Stressing its elements of pathos, nostalgia, and sentimental reassurance, I argue that the repetition formula presents an avenue of immense strategic advantage for visiting pro-independence politicians vis-à-vis their Guomindang counterparts. The main attraction to the news media of this narrative motif is that it allows the Taiwanese visitor to be presented as sensitive to a core of “eternal” tradition and cultural stability in Japan and therefore negate any suspicions of fundamental breaks in the recent history of Japan-Taiwan relations and between “old” and contemporary Japan. Demonstrating on the one hand how this narrative motif requires the visitor’s emotional involvement to appear credible and genuine, I note on the other that over-indulging the Japanese poses a threat for any Taiwanese politician to alienate large domestic voter segments sensitive to “neo-colonial” attitudes. Due to the historical and postcolonial nature of Japan-Taiwan relations, failure to engage in the pathos of positive Japanese continuity and “eternal” ways seriously impedes visiting Taiwanese politicians from attaining their PR objectives and tends to confirm labels as “anti-Japanese” despite any intention on their part to visit Japan precisely in order to shed such labels. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Japan, Taiwan, media, news, politics, nostalgia, postcolonial
in
Japanese Taiwan: Colonial Rule and its Contested Legacy
editor
Morris, Andrew
pages
185 - 200
publisher
Bloomsbury publishing
ISBN
978-1472576729
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5586b3e0-ff0d-45b6-a605-01649d08e354 (old id 4643573)
date added to LUP
2014-09-11 13:53:31
date last changed
2016-04-16 09:06:37
@inbook{5586b3e0-ff0d-45b6-a605-01649d08e354,
  abstract     = {This paper examines mass media coverage of Taiwanese high-level political visits to Japan and critically analyzes the phenomenon of nostalgic repetition as a narrative formula in such sources. Stressing its elements of pathos, nostalgia, and sentimental reassurance, I argue that the repetition formula presents an avenue of immense strategic advantage for visiting pro-independence politicians vis-à-vis their Guomindang counterparts. The main attraction to the news media of this narrative motif is that it allows the Taiwanese visitor to be presented as sensitive to a core of “eternal” tradition and cultural stability in Japan and therefore negate any suspicions of fundamental breaks in the recent history of Japan-Taiwan relations and between “old” and contemporary Japan. Demonstrating on the one hand how this narrative motif requires the visitor’s emotional involvement to appear credible and genuine, I note on the other that over-indulging the Japanese poses a threat for any Taiwanese politician to alienate large domestic voter segments sensitive to “neo-colonial” attitudes. Due to the historical and postcolonial nature of Japan-Taiwan relations, failure to engage in the pathos of positive Japanese continuity and “eternal” ways seriously impedes visiting Taiwanese politicians from attaining their PR objectives and tends to confirm labels as “anti-Japanese” despite any intention on their part to visit Japan precisely in order to shed such labels.},
  author       = {Sejrup, Jens},
  editor       = {Morris, Andrew},
  isbn         = {978-1472576729},
  keyword      = {Japan,Taiwan,media,news,politics,nostalgia,postcolonial},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {185--200},
  publisher    = {Bloomsbury publishing},
  series       = {Japanese Taiwan: Colonial Rule and its Contested Legacy},
  title        = {Reliving the Past: The Narrative Themes of Repetition and Continuity in Japan-Taiwan News Coverage},
  year         = {2015},
}