East Asian Martial Arts as Global Culture
Transmission, Representation, and Transformation in Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom. This research project explores how a wide range of East Asian martial arts have been transformed.
This research project explores how a wide range of East Asian martial arts have been transformed and reconstituted as new “cultural practices” in Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Through the analysis of historical documents and visual media, in addition to on-site interviews and participant-observer analysis, the research team aims to illuminate the connections linking the transmission, reception, proliferation and transformation of martial arts traditions as they cross different cultural boundaries.
The reception and spread of East Asian martial arts in Japan, the U.S., and the U.K. have been facilitated not only through:
- hands-on instruction at martial arts schools, but also
- the vicarious worlds of film, television, and computer games—in other words, through fictional narratives featured in a range of visual media.
Our international, interdisciplinary research team consists of scholars from various specialties within both the humanities and social sciences, and through a focus on media representation and reception as well as martial arts pedagogy and practice, we aim to illuminate the complex interrelationships connecting what are often treated as discrete cultural practices and discourses. In the process, we hope to underscore the increasingly global nature of East Asian martial arts in the world today.
The project team
Deputy Head of School and Professor of Cultural Studies
This research was made possible through the support of the following organisations: