Department/School of the Primary Author

English, Literature, and Modern Languages


Japan, Japanese literature, East Asian literature, contemporary film, foreign film, Katsuhito Ishii, Monster Theory, George Canguilhem, Japanese aesthetics, Japanese art, popular culture, monsters, monster fandoms, manga, anime, monstrous fantastic, magic realism




This article applies George Canguilhem’s notion of monster theory as a method for cultural analysis to the analysis of literature. It argues that monster theory provides one accurate view of Japanese contemporary culture as it is depicted in literature, and that observing the relationship of artists and writers to the monsters they depict can lead to a valid hypothesis about the artist’s view of culture. Using this hypothesis as a theoretical framework, the article then analyzes The Taste of Tea, a contemporary film by Japanese director Katsuhito Ishii, in terms of monster theory. It concludes that monster theory vindicates the role of the artist as a cultural contributor because the artist is in a perfect position to interpret or mediate cultural anxiety and the perception of contemporary society by controlling the depiction of the monstrous.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


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© 2016 Elise M. Parsons. All rights reserved



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