Scholars weigh in: “Instant Classic”

29 08 2009

On the Japan History Group‘s Blog:

“But why not call attention to the problematic mythologization of these figures, as the Pacific Asia Museum’s 2009 exhibition “The Samurai Re-Imagined: From Ukiyo-e to Anime” did? Why not, as the parody of AAMSF’s exhibition suggests, pay attention to less well known aspects of samurai culture and history, whether that be sexuality, the reality of war, Japanese aggression in Korea, or modern wartime appropriations of the samurai image? Or why not, as the interview suggestions, highlight the more nuanced scholarship of Tom Conlon or Hal Bolitho instead of the work of Thomas Cleary? These are valid and important questions, and the controversy illustrates the need for more scholarly and critical attention to the politics of display of Japanese art.”

Samurai Exhibit Pwned, by Morgan Pitelka, Asian Studies, Occidental College.

And don’t miss Jonathan Dresner’s response:

“I’m absolutely blown away by the quality of the parody: it’s thoughtful, factual (in addition to Conlan and Bolitho, they cite Ikegami and critiques of Nitobe), beautifully done. It’s a bit over-the-top, but not to the point where it undermines their position. It’s an instant classic, as far as I’m concerned.”




One response

3 09 2009
A museum curator’s response « asians art museum's samurai blog

[…] 2009 Asian Studies scholar Morgan Pitelka’s “Samurai Exhibit Pwned,” which we blogged previously, was also posted to the Japan Art History Forum.  The following is a response by Hollis Goodall, […]

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