Date(s) - 15/04/2015
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Please join us for the inaugural presentation by our newest member of staff, Dr. Jason Jones, who will speak about his recent research.
The Sommelier and National Narratives of Wine Culture in Japan by Jason Jones
Abstract: Drawing upon a wide body of Japanese language texts, this working paper contextualizes Joh Araki’s graphic novel, Sommelier, as an epoch-making work that ushered in the wine manga genre amidst Japan’s fifth wine boom. Sommelier, along with its ‘sequels’, La Sommelière, Shin Sommelier, Bartender, and Bartender à Paris, represent challenges faced by the Japanese sommelier seeking to achieve legitimacy and parity within a wine world previously seen as an artifact of European cultural exclusivity. As a method of highlighting the work’s significance, I also examine the cultural and socio-economic landscape serving as the background to Japan’s modern-day wine booms. The paper posits that the sommelier in Joh Araki’s works functions as a cultural steward whose development parallels the popularization of wine in Japan, and as an illustrated representation of the trajectory by which wine has come to be accepted as part of the everyday nomenclature. It also examines how the narrative of the genius sommelier fits within preexisting national narratives. Finally, through expanding my thesis to include adaptations of the Sommelier series, I will discuss the next step in my research of the adaptation of wine and wine culture toward and within Japan.
A light lunch will be served –
Please RSVP to Japanese Studies Centre <email@example.com>
appreciated but not required!