Book translation: Space Battleship Yamato and 70s Japan

Throughout its long history, Yamato has been the subject of repeated analysis with one textbook after another examining the phenomenon. (See them all here.) They are all tempting targets for translation, but this one stands out for the depth of its exploration.

Space Battleship Yamato and 70’s Japan

by Hiroyuki Arai
367 pages, Social Commentary Co., November 2010

Cover blurb: In 1977, Space Battleship Yamato quickly became a social phenomenon.

A detailed analysis and discussion of the work that formed the culture/capital of anime subculture, along with the social and cultural trends of this era. Space Battleship Yamato = 70’s Cultural Criticism

In this book Arai takes us through the social trends that influenced and were influenced by Yamato, resonating throughout Japan during the original production years. Click on the chapter links one by one as our English translation progresses through this fascinating book.

Chapter 5: In 2199 AD, a Journey to the Past

Chapter 6: Susumu Kodai’s Chosen Path to Escape from Loneliness

Chapter 7: The Birth of Anime Business

Chapter 8: Examining the Sequels: Treachery and Yamato‘s Unchanging Spirit

Chapter 9: Stories Only the Japanese Crew can Tell


Hiroyuki Arai, born in 1965, writes about art, social thought, and subcultures for critics, magazines, newspapers, and exhibition catalogs. Director of NPO Art Nouen, organizer and curator of the Chiba West Village Project (2009, 2010).

Author of The Air of Censorship (Shakai Hyoronsha, 2018), The Emperor’s Art Theory (Shakai Hyoronsha, 2014), Space Battleship Yamato and 1970s Japan (Shakai Hyoronsha, 2010), From Otaku Culture to Subculture (Senken Shimbun, 2015), and New England Travelogue (Shakai Hyoronsha, 2013). He has also contributed to the monthly and annual reports Auction Information (Monthly Art Magazine, Sun Art) and Art and Publicity (Monthly Social Democrat, Social Democrat). Other major publications] Bijutsu Meisho (Art News), Shukan Friday (Friday), Shinbun Akahata (Japan Communist Party), Shukan Yomiurijin (Reader), and more.

Read more about him here.

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