SHUJI TERAYAMA: Rebellion of the Grotesque

By Edo Muric

Shuji Terayama, the beloved Japanese film maker, dramatist and Renaissance man, was not only one of the most prolific and unique artists of his generation, he was probably one of the most controversial as well. His unique personality made him into a living contradiction, for he was simultaneously a media celebrity and also one of the leaders of the Japanese avant-garde movement in the 1960s and 1970s. As his experimental films and performances reached outside of his home country, his political and ideological outlooks became subject of increasing scrutiny and critique. Was his uncompromising philosophy of art a coherent and politically sound construct, or was he just a shock value artist who was indulging in his personal narcissistic needs? More than three decades after his untimely death, this debate is as persistent as ever. This book is trying to contribute to it in a scolarly way, by tracing Terayama’s influences and artistic DNA and taking the reader to the roots of manga, ero guro nansensu and a wider theory of performative arts that preoccupied this exceptional artist.
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ES Verlag, Wien
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