Asian Studies Brown Bag Talk Professor Nobuko Yamasaki- Ri Kōran: Posing and Passing as a “Cultured Native”

Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 4:30pm
Asian Studies Brown Bag
Dr. Nobuko Yamasaki 
Assistant Professor of Japanese
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures,
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Asian Studies 
Ri Kōran: Posing and Passing as a “Cultured Native”
Please join the Asian Studies program for a virtual brown bag research presentation and conversation. Dr. Nobuko Yamasaki (MLL, Asian Studies, WGSS) will present her current  research on the Japanese actress and singer Yamaguchi Yoshiko / Ri Kōran / Li Xianglan (1920–2014). Ri Kōran spent much of her early film career passing as a Chinese woman. 

This presentation examines the methods through which Ri Kōran, like her film character Meilan in Suzhou Nights (1941), is used to serve propagandist ends, by manifesting imperial Japan's racial ideology. In this light, the film is revealed as reflecting the Japanese government’s increasing ideological closeness with that of the Nazi regime.