Drawn in Bloodlines: Blood, Pollution, Identity, and Vampires in Japanese Society

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Dissertations, History, Media Archive, Social Science on 2012-10-22 01:01Z by Steven

Drawn in Bloodlines: Blood, Pollution, Identity, and Vampires in Japanese Society

University of Texas, Austin
May 2012
117 pages

Benjamin Paul Miller

Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of The University of Texas at Austin in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts

This thesis is an examination of the evolution of blood ideology, which is to say the use of blood as an organizing metaphor, in Japanese society. I begin with the development of blood as a substance of significant in the eighth century and trace its development into a metaphor for lineage in the Tokugawa period. I discuss in detail blood’s conceptual and rhetorical utility throughout the post-Restoration period, first examining its role in establishing a national subjectivity in reference to both the native intellectual tradition of the National Learning and the foreign hegemony of race. I then discuss the rationalization of popular and national bloodlines under the auspices of the popular eugenics movement, and the National Eugenics Bill. Then, I discuss the racialization this conception of blood inflicted on the Tokugawa era Outcastes, and its persistent consequences. Through the incongruity of the Outcastes ability to “pass” despite popular expectations that their blood pollution was visibly demonstrative, I introduce the notion of blood anxiety. Next, I address the conceptual and rhetorical role blood played in articulating Japan’s empire and imperial ambitions, focusing on the Theory of Common Descent and the Investigation of Global Policy with the Yamato Race as Nucleus report. I follow this discussion with a detailed examination of the postwar reconceptualization of national subjectivity, which demands native bloodlines and orthodox cultural expressions, and which effectively de-legitimized minority populations. As illustration of this point, I describe the impact of this new subjectivity on both the Zainichi and the Nikkeijin in lengthy case studies. Finally, I conclude this examination with a consideration of blood ideology’s representation in popular culture. I argue that the subgenre of vampire media allegorizes many of the assumptions and anxieties surrounding blood that have developed since the Restoration, and demonstrates the imprint of blood ideology on contemporary society.

Table of Contents

  • List of Tables
  • Introduction
    • Blood Matters
    • Thesis Organization
  • Chapter One: The Development of Blood as an Organizing Metaphor
    • The Blood Bowl Sutra and the Feminization of Blood Pollution
    • Sōtō Zen and the Dissemination of Blood Determinism
    • Lineage and a New Vocabulary
  • Chapter Two: Bloodlines in Modern Japanese Society
    • A State Without a Nation
    • The Formulation of the Family-State
    • Civil Code and Constitution
    • Eugenics and the Rationalization of Bloodlines
      • Race, Science, and the Introduction of Eugenic Thought
      • Popular Eugenics
      • State Eugenics
    • From Outcastes to Burakumin
      • Outcastness as Pollution
      • The Racialization of the Outcastes
      • Infiltration and Blood Anxiety
  • Chapter Three: The Empire
    • Blood-Kinship and Overseas Expansion
    • Imperial Manifesto
  • Chapter Four – Postwar Reconceptualization and the De-legitimization of Minority Populations
    • The Aesthetics of Ethnic Homogeneity
    • Blood and Culture
    • Zainichi
      • Colonial Koreans and Their Subjective Shift
      • Hereditary Foreigners
    • The Nikkeijin
      • Immigration and the Racially Homogenous State
      • The Sakoku-Kaikoku Debate
      • 1990 Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act
      • Culture Clash
  • Chapter Five – Blood Ideology in the Popular Media
    • The Vampire Boom
    • The Vampire as Blood Allegory
  • Bibliography
  • Vita

Read the entire dissertation here.

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