Ganbaru and its transcultural audience : imaginary and reality of Japanese TV dramas in Hong Kong

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Book chapter

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Feeling Asian modernities: Transnational consumption of Japanese TV dramas

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Hong Kong University Press


The "Japanese wave" has been a euphemism for the recent success of Japanese media products across Asia. Ever since the release of phenomenally popular television programs such a s Tokyo Love Story and Long Vacation, Japanese idol dramas have swept throughout Asia—Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, China, Singapore, and Thailand. This chapter examine s the reasons for this transnational popularity, which has been unconvincingly likened to a "Japanization" of Asian cultures, as well as the effects the dramas have on their local audiences in various countries. Rather than employing the lines of traditional "cultural imperialism" theories, this chapter employs audience studies to discern the way the local audience were able to translate these global dramas into the "local" everyday. From the local reading of these dramas, it aims to tease out the interjection of fantasy and reality entailed by the creation of this transcultural imaginary. Finally, this chapter attempts to question the notion of the "local audience" as a single, monocultural entity. With the comparison of the reading of ganbaru between the Hong Kong and the Japanese expatriate audiences in Hong Kong, the chapter hopes to enrich the discussion of the audience and audience studies at the time when the flow of popular cultural products within the Asian region is intensified .

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Copyright © 2004 Hong Kong University Press. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

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ISBN of the source publication: 9622096328

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Recommended Citation

Leung, Y. M. (2003).Ganbaru and its transcultural audience: Imaginary and reality of Japanese TV dramas in Hong Kong. In Koichi Iwabuchi(ed.), Feeling Asian modernities: Transnational consumption of Japanese TV dramas (pp. 89 -106). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.