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Igor Prusa・Scandal in Japan: Transgression, Performance and Ritual


July 2 @ 3:00 PM 4:30 PM JST


This talk is an exploration of media scandals in contemporary Japanese society. In shedding new light on the study of scandal in Japan, the talk offers a novel view of scandal as a highly mediatized social ritual which manifests and manages revealed transgressions. The first part of the talk focuses on Japanese scandal as “media product”, and it delves into the media’s role in constructing, shaping, and distributing scandals in Japan. Here, I explicate the role of Japanese media organizations in a symbolic process of transforming leaked gossip into a full-fledged scandal. The second part of the talk approaches Japanese scandal as “social ritual”: it explores the performative nature of scandal, highlighting how the scandal actors become characters in a larger social drama. Further, it demonstrates how the social drama of confession, exclusion and reintegration is turned into a spectacular media event with a high degree of ritualization. 


Igor PRUSA is a Czech scholar in Japanese studies and media studies, currently affiliated with Ambis University Prague and Metropolitan University Prague. He worked at the Czech Academy of Sciences. Prusa received his first PhD in media studies at Prague’s Charles University in 2010. In 2017 he defended his second doctoral thesis at the University of Tokyo. He is the author of Scandal in Japan: Transgression, Performance, and Ritual (Routledge, 2024). His research interests include contemporary Japanese society, media scandals, and anti-heroism in popular fiction. He published more than 30 articles in a wide range of publications, including Media, Culture & Society, Contemporary Japan and Heroism Science.

University of Tokyo, iii Main Building, 6F

The University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies, 7-3-1 Hongo
Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 Japan
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