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Antropology student in need for paper input


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Hi all,
This is my very raw idea for a paper on the subject of religion, media and populair culture. I would love your input! especially on how i can shape my research and sub questions:
 
I am a long term viewer of Japanese animated series. These series are called anime. I was always curious how a (seemingly) modest and restrained culture could produce such a expressive form of art and media. Everything is portrayed in a big way. From the art to the elusive plot twists, every aspect has to have a wow factor. One of the biggest producers of animated films is Studio Ghibli. Studio Ghibli Is a Japanese animation studio, founded by Hayao Miyazaki.
Nature is portrayed in the films as a character. It is not just a background for the story. This characterisation of nature is seen in Shintoism, which is a religion that originated in Japan. In Shintoism, so-called Kami or nature spirits are worshipped. Some kami are local, that is, the spirits belong to a particular place, while others are identified with larger objects and phenomena in nature. The story’s told in Miyazaki’s films are typically intertwined with Shintoism ( Crombie 2021). In the films made by Miyazaki, his upbringing in war and post war Japan ruminate. The politics at the time had a influence in how Miyazaki portrays power figures. His own youth and upbringing in post war Japan and the change to capitalism are also seen throughout his movies (Napier 2018).
This anthropological article will examine how religion and specifically Shintoism is a part of Miyazaki’s films, and therefore examines religion in popular culture. It also discusses how the dialogue between Miyazaki, religion and popular culture, resulted in the studio Ghibli films. This article will provide an answer for the following research question: How is Studio Ghibli a product of the dialogue between Miyazaki, religion and popular culture?
This research is done on the basis of literature research. The following sub questions will be discussed in order to answer the research question.
- How did studio Ghibli/ Miyazaki originate?
- What role does popular culture play in Studio Ghibli films?
- How is religion a part of the Studio Ghibli films?
 
Side note:
I want to move more towards how we can understand it, rather than assuming in the question that it actually is a dialogue between religion and popular culture. I think it is super interesting as well how we can understand this in relation to neoliberalism, capitalism and commodification.
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