chapter  10
17 Pages

Japan

Fictionality, Transmedia National Branding and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
WithManuel Hernández-Pérez

Fictionality' can be understood as either a quality or a mode of fictive discourse. Audiences know that a text or part of a text is not real, but this is accepted as a way of establishing an argument or a pleasure. This chapter summarizes from a historical perspective the main working elements of the Japanese media industries in relation to their use of fictionality and their convergence with media ecosystems and institutional communication systems. The most appropriate means of characterizing the Japanese media industries is arguably in relation to the manga medium. The phenomenon of merchandizable manga or animation characters has since moved into institutional communication practices, causing an oversaturation of characters in institutions, companies, educational programs across Japan. The chapter illustrates the exemplar case to assess how the reformulations of nonfictional national branding strategies aligned to the popular 'Cool Japan' fictional narratives created for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.