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Virtual OrientalismAsian Religions and American Popular Culture$
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Jane Iwamura

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199738601

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199738601.001.0001

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(p.3) 1 Introduction
Virtual Orientalism

Jane Naomi Iwamura

Oxford University Press

As an entrée to the book, this chapter lays out the theoretical framework of the analysis, including the concepts of Virtual Orientalism and the icon of the Oriental Monk. Early visual constructions of Asian religions on which the icon is based are also discussed: newspaper coverage of Asian representatives at the 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions, the character of the Yellow Man in D.W. Griffith’s film, Broken Blossoms (1919), and the popular movie sleuth, Charlie Chan. These examples foreshadow more positive representations of Asian religions that would emerge mid-century.

Keywords:   virtual orientalism, oriental monk, World’s Parliament of Religions, Broken Blossoms, Charlie Chan, Jodo Shin Buddhism, Asian religions, representation, hyperreal

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