Event Title

The Strong Shojo: Hayao Miyazaki’s Feminist Characters in Cultural Context

Faculty Advisor

Molly Robey

Graduation Year

2019

Location

Room E102, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

13-4-2019 11:00 AM

End Date

13-4-2019 12:00 PM

Description

Hayao Miyazaki’s films often feature strong female heroines and include generations of complex female characters in diverse roles, as both heroes and villains. Throughout his career, Miyazaki has created a plethora of feminist characters in his Japanese anime films. However, scholars have claimed that Miyazaki’s heroines do not live up to the role of feminists, but instead act as ecological and environmental activists. I argue that these scholars are not considering the cultural context in which the films were made and are imposing Western feminism on these characters instead of recognizing Japanese feminism. My exploration of Hayao Miyazaki’s background and views of his own female characters, highlights the disparities between Western and Japanese feminisms, and my analysis of Miyazaki’s female characters within their cultural context displays how these female characters are indeed feminists. I intend for this work to demonstrate the importance of considering cultural context in a globalized world.

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Apr 13th, 11:00 AM Apr 13th, 12:00 PM

The Strong Shojo: Hayao Miyazaki’s Feminist Characters in Cultural Context

Room E102, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Hayao Miyazaki’s films often feature strong female heroines and include generations of complex female characters in diverse roles, as both heroes and villains. Throughout his career, Miyazaki has created a plethora of feminist characters in his Japanese anime films. However, scholars have claimed that Miyazaki’s heroines do not live up to the role of feminists, but instead act as ecological and environmental activists. I argue that these scholars are not considering the cultural context in which the films were made and are imposing Western feminism on these characters instead of recognizing Japanese feminism. My exploration of Hayao Miyazaki’s background and views of his own female characters, highlights the disparities between Western and Japanese feminisms, and my analysis of Miyazaki’s female characters within their cultural context displays how these female characters are indeed feminists. I intend for this work to demonstrate the importance of considering cultural context in a globalized world.