Radical Recontextualization and Cyclical Movements
Chapter 6 examines nostalgia and dissent as contradictory companions to queerqueen excess. It provides a critical analysis of Miwa Akihiro’s performances at the annual New Year’s Eve songfest (NHK) in the context of post-3/11 Japan. A queer icon and renowned chanson artist performing since the 1950s, Miwa is said to experience his sixth media “boom” following his songfest performance in 2012. This “boom” is contingent on a strategical recontextualization of Miwa’s philosophy of aesthetics, which is informed by his wartime experiences and the atomic bombing of his hometown of Nagasaki. Nostalgic invocation of motherly love and a visual distancing from his television persona enables a performance of dissent. The performative voice of the iconic “original” queerqueen is distanced from heteronormative imaginations of queer excess and from the ongoing post-3/11 nuclear crisis. Recontextualized, the queerqueen voice is mobilized in a call for a return to the “normality” of pre-crisis familiarity.
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