Roland Kelts is a Lecturer at the University of Tokyo and a co-editor of the New York-based literary journal, A Public Space. His articles, essays, and stories have been published in Zoetrope, Playboy, Salon, The Village Voice, Newsday, Cosmopolitan, Vogue and The Japan Times, among others. He has lectured at New York University, Rutgers University and Barnard College, and he is a graduate of Oberlin College and Columbia University. He currently splits his time between New York and Tokyo.
Articles and essays chronicle the continued rise of Mickey Mouse to the rank of true icon. He remains arguably the most vivid graphic expression to date of key traits of the American character--pluck, cheerfulness, innocence, energy, and fidelity to family and friends. Among press reports in the book is one from June 1944 that puts to rest the urban legend that "Mickey Mouse" was a password or code word on D-Day. It was, however, the password for a major pre-invasion briefing.
Other items illuminate the origins of "Mickey Mouse" as a term for things deemed petty or unsophisticated. One piece explains how Walt and brother Roy Disney, almost single-handedly, invented the strategy of corporate synergy by tagging sales of Mickey Mouse toys and goods to the release of Mickey's latest cartoons shorts. In two especially interesting essays, Maurice Sendak and John Updike look back over the years and give their personal reflections on the character they loved as boys growing up in the 1930s.
Coming of Age in Popular Culture: Teenagers, Adolescence, and the Art of Growing Up covers a breadth of media presentations of the transition from childhood to adulthood from the 1950s to the year 2010. It explores the ways that adolescence is characterized in pop culture by drawing on these representations, shows how powerful media and entertainment are in establishing societal norms, and considers how American society views and values adolescence. Topics addressed include race relations, gender roles, religion, and sexual identity. Young adult readers will come away with a heightened sense of media literacy through the examination of a topic that inherently interests them.
The Anime Machine defines the visual characteristics of anime and the meanings generated by those specifically “animetic” effects—the multiplanar image, the distributive field of vision, exploded projection, modulation, and other techniques of character animation—through close analysis of major films and television series, studios, animators, and directors, as well as Japanese theories of animation. Lamarre first addresses the technology of anime: the cells on which the images are drawn, the animation stand at which the animator works, the layers of drawings in a frame, the techniques of drawing and blurring lines, how characters are made to move. He then examines foundational works of anime, including the films and television series of Miyazaki Hayao and Anno Hideaki, the multimedia art of Murakami Takashi, and CLAMP’s manga and anime adaptations, to illuminate the profound connections between animators, characters, spectators, and technology.
Working at the intersection of the philosophy of technology and the history of thought, Lamarre explores how anime and its related media entail material orientations and demonstrates concretely how the “animetic machine” encourages a specific approach to thinking about technology and opens new ways for understanding our place in the technologized world around us.
Richard J. Samuels demonstrates that over the last decade, a revisionist group of Japanese policymakers has consolidated power. The Koizumi government of the early 2000s took bold steps to position Japan's military to play a global security role. It left its successor, the Abe government, to further define and legitimate Japan's new grand strategy, a project well under way-and vigorously contested both at home and in the region. Securing Japan begins by tracing the history of Japan's grand strategy—from the Meiji rulers, who recognized the intimate connection between economic success and military advance, to the Konoye consensus that led to Japan's defeat in World War II and the postwar compact with the United States.
Samuels shows how the ideological connections across these wars and agreements help explain today's debate. He then explores Japan's recent strategic choices, arguing that Japan will ultimately strike a balance between national strength and national autonomy, a position that will allow it to exist securely without being either too dependent on the United States or too vulnerable to threats from China. Samuels's insights into Japanese history, society, and politics have been honed over a distinguished career and enriched by interviews with policymakers and original archival research. Securing Japan is a definitive assessment of Japanese security policy and its implications for the future of East Asia.