Japanese-Western crosscurrents in “Other World” concepts

This is what I’ve scraped together for my sources.


The creator of Persona on life, Japanese culture, and the unconscious

  • This article provides an interview and analysis of Persona.  It talks about pop-culture, psychology, the collective unconscious, and the concept of a supernatural world running parallel to the mundane world.  Many concepts in Persona are directly based on Jungian psychology.


  • In-depth analysis of Persona’s connection to Jungian psychology.


H P Lovecraft, Godzilla, Sadako, and the Universe of Cosmic Horror

  • Article: An in-depth analysis of and comparison between Lovecraftian cosmic horror and J-horror.  It references pieces of Japanese culture and mythology that are compatible with Lovecraft.


  • A brief history of Japanese horror cinema.  Tracing the roots of Japanese style psychological and supernatural horror to folklore.


  • Analysis of works by the director Satoshi Kon.  Kon focused on making psychological surreal stories that blended fantasies with reality in modern settings.


  • Tv tropes is a vast database of tropes in pop culture along with many of the pieces of media that the tropes can be found in.  I can use this site to help trace origins of the pop culture threads I’m following and make comparisons to similar works.
  • I could do further research on Japanese yokai.  I’ll look at more videos and articles, and maybe get a book on it.
  • “Virtually every childhood craze of the past 30 years has its beginnings in Japan. Today its influence is stronger than ever.”  A lot of my research will be on children’s media.  This article is about Japanese global influence on pop culture.


    Soul of Anime: Collaborative Creativity and Japan’s Media Success Story (Experimental Futures)

  • “Through an exploration of multiple dimensions of the anime object, from studio production to fan production, piracy, remix, and virtual idols, The Soul of Anime issues a bold challenge to our understanding of the social side of media. Ian Condry’s attention to the singularities of this universe takes us far from the normative horizon of analysis of fans and commodities, highlighting how intimacy arises from impersonal affective life. The social side of anime is the soul of anime, and the dark energy of fans is nothing other than the psychosocial stuff, the vibrant matter, of this emerging constellation.”

    (Thomas LaMarre, author of The Anime Machine: A Media Theory of Animation)

    Berserk by Kentaro Miura

  • This influential dark fantasy manga is a huge synthesis of Western pop-culture, fantasy/horror cinema, mythology, folklore, psychology, and philosophy through a Japanese perspective.  I plan to incorporate interviews by the creator too.  https://www.cbr.com/say-it-with-manga-western-influences-in-berserk

    Uzamaki by Juni Ito

  • Isaac recommended Japanese cosmic horror manga.  I’ll find analysis and interviews to incorporate if I use this source.


  •  While adapting Princess Mononoke’s script into English, Neil Gaiman did research on Japanese folklore and incorporated it into his surreal Sandman comic series.  Sandman holds a lot of similarities to Berserk and the Shin Megami Tensei series in that it is a universe featuring astral planes, dream worlds, the collective unconscious, and multiple mythologies from fairies and spirits to pantheons of deities and Eldritch gods.

    Japanese Mythology in Film: A Semiotic Approach to Reading Japanese Film and Anime

  • “The narratives of courageous heroes and heroines and the myths and legends of deities and their abodes are not just recurring motifs of the cinematic fantasy world. They are pop culture’s representations of sacred subtexts in Japan. Japanese Mythology in Film takes a semiotic approach to uncovering such religious and folkloric tropes and subtexts embedded in popular Japanese movies and anime.”


One thought on “Japanese-Western crosscurrents in “Other World” concepts”

  1. I remember the conversation we had at Basil Leaf about your topic. I find cosmic horror pretty interesting to look at. The incomprehensible that lies at the edge of the unconscious and what have you. If you need another source of cosmic horror, I find the eldrazi from Magic the Gathering as a pretty clear usage of cosmic horror. Lots of good artwork and images to pull from them for sure. Looking forward to how this will turn out.

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