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Japan Station 24: Japanese Culture Through Video Games (Dr. Rachael Hutchinson)

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On This Episode of Japan Station

On this episode of the Japan Station podcast we take a look at the fascinating intersection between Japanese culture, society, and video games.

About Dr. Rachael Hutchinson

Dr. Rachael Hutchinson is an associate professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Delaware. She has taught classes on Japanese language, film, anime, manga, and video games. Dr. Hutchinson is the author of Japanese Culture Through Videogames. Published in 2019 by Routledge, Japanese Culture Through Videogames is a textbook that takes a comprehensive look at the many ways Japanese culture and history influence some of the most popular video games to ever come out of Japan. Some of the video games she takes a look at in the book include: the Street Fighter series, Soul Calibur, the Tekken series, the Metal Gear series, the Yakuza series, the Final Fantasy series, Okami, and more.

Topics Discussed

  • Why Japanese fighting game arcade cabinets arrange players head-to-head instead of side-to-side like in the West
  • Japanese fighting games
  • The Street Fighter games
  • The significance of character design
  • The role of stereotypes in fighting games
  • Nuclear disarmament in Metal Gear Solid 5
  • Japanese RPGs
  • The connection between the Boy Scouts and the archetypal shōnen character that is so common in anime, manga, and JRPGs
  • Japanese views on brain death and genetic manipulation
  • Korean representation in Japanese video games
  • How fighting games have dealt with Korean characters
  • How the Yakuza games treat Korean characters
  • What Japanese video games have to teach us about Japan
  • Whether you can complete The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild without killing anything or eating meat
  • And much more!

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Links, Videos, Etc.

You can purchase Japanese Culture Through Videogames via the link below. Both physical and Kindle versions are available.

You can find out more about the Meiji at 150 podcast via the link below.

Meiji at 150 Podcast

You can listen to Dr. Rachael Hutchinson on the Meiji at 150 podcast below.

You can listen to Apol’s kawaii future bass-inspired remix of the Ryu Theme from Street Fighter II below.

If you’d like find out more about Apol or listen to more of his amazing music, check out the links below.

Apol on YouTube

Apol on Soundcloud

Apol on Facebook

Apol on Twitter

Apol on Fiverr

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing song: Oedo Controller (大江戸コントローラー) by Yunomi featuring Toriena (Used with permission from Yunomi)
To listen to more of Yunomi’s music, check out his Soundcloud page or YouTube channel.

Japan Station cover art: Provided by Erik R.

Featured image: Courtesy ofDr. Rachael Hutchinson

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