This book situates the Chinese acceptance of Japanese popular culture, specifically the intriguing and sometimes awkward relationship between the “idol” groups AKB48 and SNH48, within the broad context of nationalist ideology and international relations in East Asia. It aims to enhance the knowledge and understanding of the reader about contemporary East Asian cultural exchanges and nationalist expressions in concrete forms. Additionally, this book attempts to discover heretofore overlooked aspects of nationalism’s metamorphosis in both China and Japan and challenge the existing scholarly and popular understandings of nationalism. By interrogating the nationalism factor in popular culture in Chinese and Japanese contexts, this books concludes that popular culture fandom can both be a culprit in promoting hegemonic political ideologies and serve as a potential antidote.
Xiaofei Tu is assistant professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Appalachian State University.
Wendy Xie is professor of Chinese in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Appalachian State University.
Chapter 1: Japanese Pop Culture in the Chinese Speaking World
Chapter 2: AKB48 and Its Chinese Fans
Chapter 3: SNH48 and the Chinese Adaptation of Japanese Idol Culture
Chapter 4: Sino–Japanese Relations and Nationalism
Chapter 5: Popular Culture and Nationalism
Tu and Xie offer a fascinating and balanced look at an aspect of Sino-Japanese relations that often is overlooked: Chinese fandoms of Japanese popular culture. The study of popular culture provides an instantly engaging window onto the construction of nationhood and nationalism, and as such, Japanese Idols Go to China will appeal to students and educators alike. This is timely and illuminating work.
Cultural diplomacy, now called “soft” diplomacy, has been used by many governments for a very long time. What’s new in the 21st Century is rapid sharing of popular culture mainly accessed through social media. When this happens within the East Asian context, little is known of such interactions in a mass cultural context. The authors of Japanese Idols Go to China: Cultural Adaptation and Nationalism have pulled back the curtain and given us a look not only into the widespread and deep penetration of Japanese youth music culture into the hearts and minds of China’s youth, but also given us an accounting and analysis of the political reactions to this penetration by those at the top of diplomatic policy issues between these two neighbors.