Italian Transnational Spaces in Japan: Doing Racialised, Gendered and Sexualised Occidentalism

Toshio Miyake

Abstract

Since the global success of the Made in Italy brand in the 1980s, Japan has witnessed an Italian boom which has turned Italy in the last decade into the most loved foreign country in Japan, especially among women and youth. This popularity is unparalleled in intensity and duration, but had seen little academic investigation.

This essay explores how the transnational space of Italianness takes form through cumulative encounters between emotional geographies of 'the West' articulated in Japan (Occidentalism), as well as of 'the East' in Italy (Orientalism). There is a focus on the fluid intersections with the lived experience and projections of both Japanese and Italians in contemporary Japan to issues of nation, race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality.

Keywords

Occidentalism; Orientalism; self-Orientalism; Italy-Japan relations

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