chapter  9
Aum Shinriky÷o and a Panic About Manga and Anime
ByRichard A. Gardner
Pages 19

During the postwar years, various aspects of Japan-including traditional arts such as the tea ceremony, the classics of modern Japanese film, and the phenomenal growth of the Japanese economy-have attracted foreign interest in Japan and even come to stand as emblems of Japan. For the past twenty years or so, manga and anime have also come to serve as emblems attracting people throughout the world to things Japanese. The recent success abroad of Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away has introduced this aspect of Japan’s visual culture to an even wider audience and led some to predict a new “golden age” for Japanese film (Napier 2003, 22). In the midst of the accolades, it is important to recall that there have been moments in recent history when manga and anime have been regarded as potentially dangerous or as emblems of what is wrong with Japan.