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Centeno, Marcos (2018) 'Deceiving ‘Primitivism’. Ainu people in 1910s Travelogues.' Annals, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature, 2018 (1). pp. 127-142.

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Abstract

This work assesses the representation of the Ainu people through the early travelogues made in Japan during the 1910s, focusing on those made by Benjamin Brodsky. Considering filmic representation of the Ainu people in relation to their social context, the analysis reveals how these images projected a deceptive ethnicity belonging to a time prior to the moment they were filmed. Filmmakers created an imagery of the “primitive Ainu” aimed at attracting a Western audience by showing an exoticism of a cultural and geographically distant people. These images projected a historical view of the Ainu, concealing their adaptation to modern life and assimilation to the Japanese culture and way of life. A critical approach to these captivating images reveals the premeditated construction of Ainu ethnicity, and casts doubt on the validity of these moving images as a social witness.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Ainu; travelogue; ethnographic documentary; Benjamin Brodsky; otherness
SOAS Departments & Centres: School Research Centres > Centre for Media and Film Studies
ISSN: 20650868
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2018 16:23
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/25753

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