Residual Futures

The Urban Ecologies of Literary and Visual Media of 1960s and 1970s Japan

Franz Prichard

Columbia University Press

Residual Futures

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Pub Date: April 2019

ISBN: 9780231191319

280 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $35.00£27.00

Pub Date: April 2019

ISBN: 9780231191302

280 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $105.00£81.00

Pub Date: April 2019

ISBN: 9780231549332

280 Pages

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List Price: $64.99£50.00

Residual Futures

The Urban Ecologies of Literary and Visual Media of 1960s and 1970s Japan

Franz Prichard

Columbia University Press

In the postwar years, an eruption of urbanization took place across Japan, from its historical central cities to the outer reaches of the archipelago. During the 1960s and 1970s, Japanese literary and visual media took a deep interest in cities and their problems, and what this rapid change meant for the country. In Residual Futures, Franz Prichard offers a pathbreaking analysis of the works wrought from this intensive urbanization, mapping the ways in which Japanese filmmakers, writers, photographers, and other artists came to grips with the entwined ecologies of a drastic transformation.

Residual Futures examines crucial works of documentary film, fiction, and photography that interrogated Japan’s urbanization and integration into the U.S.-dominated geopolitical system. Prichard discusses documentary filmmaker Tsuchimoto Noriaki’s portrait of the urban “traffic war” and the remaking of Tokyo for the 1964 Olympics, novelist Abe Kōbō’s depictions of infrastructure and urban sociality, and the radical notions of landscape that emerge from the critical and photographic work of Nakahira Takuma. His careful readings reveal the shifting relationships among urban materialities and subjectivities and the ecological, political, and aesthetic vocabularies of urban change. A novel cultural history of critical urban discourse in Japan, Residual Futures brings an interdisciplinary approach to Japanese literary and visual media studies. It provides a vital new perspective on the infrastructural aesthetics and entangled urban and media conditions of the global Cold War.
Franz Prichard's Residual Futures is a thrilling exploration of the literary and visual remaking of the urban landscape of Cold War Japan. It offers us radically new ways to think about the interrelationship of urban ecologies, media forms, aesthetics, and politics--not only in Japan of the 1960s and ’70s, but here and now. Marilyn Ivy, Columbia University
Residual Futures traces connections between the rapidly changing cityscape of Tokyo in the 1960s and 1970s and transformations of the mediascape of literature, cinema, and photography. Prichard adroitly shows how the new mediascape strove to inhabit a strange new set of linkages inadvertently afforded by the concerted efforts to remake both city and country. Residual Futures calls attention to the unforeseen possibilities emerging from the tangled infrastructural skein of mediascape and cityscape. Thomas Lamarre, McGill University
This original, provocative, and timely study expands the horizon of Japan studies, as well as literary and visual cultural studies, onto a complex urban terrain that is at once cosmopolitan and dystopic. Residual Futures renders a future-present that is formed in the atomic residues of the postwar planet, but also along a fault line that opens onto a future that has already come and gone. Akira Mizuta Lippit, University of Southern California
This book provides a deeply fascinating view into a crucial trajectory that has not received enough attention in the study of media or visual arts in general, much less of Japan. The transition of media culture from the 1960s to the 1980s is deeply consequential for our situation today, and Prichard lays it out in surprising and lucid ways, always keeping an eye on the possibilities it contained. Immensely informative, this book will make a tremendous contribution to work on visual arts and to the study of the contexts of Japan. Alexander Zahlten, Harvard University
Advancing existing work on 1960s and ’70s Japan significantly, Prichard treats photographers like Nakahira as full-fledged intellectuals making a direct and meaningful contribution to contemporaneous discourse on the fundamental characteristics of modern urban life, further unsettling notions of the position of the artist in society as a mirror held up to certain kinds of social problems. Steven Ridgely, University of Wisconsin
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Prelude to the Traffic War: Infrastructural Aesthetics of the Cold War
2. Disappearance: Topological Visuality in Abe Kōbō’s Urban Literature
3. Landscape Vocabularies: For a Language to Comeand the Geopolitics of Reading
4. An Illustrated Dictionary of Urban Overflows
5. Photography as Threshold and Pathway After Reversion
6. Residual Futures
Notes
Index

About the Author

Franz Prichard is assistant professor in the Department of East Asian Studies at Princeton University.