Representing Japanese hospitality : Takigawa Christelʼs speech for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics / Elisa Ivana Pelicanò

Pelicanò, Elisa Ivana

Up until recently, Japan has been widely regarded as a mono-cultural / mono-racial country, populated by a single ethnic group (tan'itsu minzoku). Minority groups were made invisible in public discourse until as recently as the 1990s, where discourses about multiculturalism (tabunka kyōsei) started to surface (Willis and Murphy-Shigematsu, 2008). Yet, in 2013, the biracial announcer Takigawa Christel was chosen as an ambassador for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The speech she delivered in front of the International Olympic Committee was widely reported on Japanese media, becoming one of the most popular news items of the year and spawning the buzzword omotenashi. Throughout this paper the author analyzes the politics behind Takigawa's apparition in front of the IOC.


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