skip to content

Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

FAMES Room 8/9
Event date: 
Monday, 20 November, 2023 - 17:00

Scandal in Japan: Transgression, Performance and Ritual

This talk is an exploration of media scandals in contemporary Japanese society. In shedding new light on the study of scandal in Japan, the talk offers a novel view of scandal as a highly mediatized “ritual” which manifests and manages revealed transgressions throughout Japanese history.

The first part of the talk focuses on Japanese scandal as “media product”, and it delves into the media's role in constructing, shaping, and distributing scandals in Japan. Here, I explicate the role of Japanese media organizations in a symbolic process of transforming leaked gossip into a full-fledged scandal.

The second part of the talk approaches Japanese scandal as “social ritual”. It explores the performative nature of scandal, highlighting how the scandal actors become characters in a larger social drama. Further, it demonstrates how the social drama of confession, exclusion and reintegration is turned into a spectacular media event with a high degree of ritualization.  

Igor Prusa is a Czech scholar in Japanese studies and media studies, currently affiliated with Ambis University, Prague. He worked at the Czech Academy of Sciences. Prusa received his first PhD in media studies at Prague’s Charles University in 2010. In 2017 he defended his second doctoral thesis at the University of Tokyo. His research interests include contemporary Japanese society, media scandals, and anti-heroism in popular fiction. His research has appeared in a wide range of publications, including Media, Culture & Society and Japan Forum. Apart from his academic activities, Igor Prusa is a music composer in a Japan-themed band, Nantokanaru.