Magic and Loss is a series of articles which study Japan's experience of modernity through the analysis of modern Japanese literature, Japanese cinema, and Japanese animation films. In order to shed some light on Japan's complex attitude toward modernity, Painted Dreams I covers nearly all features from Studio Ghibli chronologically, as Painted Dreams II studies notable Japanese animation films by other authors. I also wish to approach the same subject through the analysis of modern Japanese literature (Daedalus' Flight and Icarus' Plight) and the post WWII Japanese cinema (By Fire, and Eclipse).
Daedalus' Flight: Research in progress. The first article is published: it offers a broad overview of the development of modernity in Japan, Japan's ambivalent attitude toward modernisation, and the dilemma with which Japanese intelligentsia have been struggling. This section is entirely focused on the works of Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, and his mentor, Sōseki Natsume, and thus, it does not aim to offer a complete coverage of modern Japanese literature before the WWII. Rather, Daedalus' Flight and its sequel, Icarus' Plight, aim to investigate the central role of Akutagawa in expressing Japan's struggle with modernisation.
Icarus' Plight: Research in progress. This section focuses on post-war Japanese Literature through the works of contemporary writers such as Haruki Murakami and Hiroshi Mori.
By Fire and Eclipse: Research in progress. The list of films to be covered went through a major revision yet finally settled. By Fire focuses on one of the most celebrated Japanese directors, Akira Kurosawa. Its sequel, Eclipse, examines the works of contemporary Japanese film makers and their expressions of modernity in Japan.
Painted Dreams I & II: In progress. The first article is published: it gives a broad overview of Japan and modernity, and enduring tension which both inspires and informs the creators of Studio Ghibli.