Denise C. I. Maior-Barron

Abstracts

1 Cultural Heritage, Manga, and Film: Japanese Tourism at Petit Trianon, Versailles

Authors: Denise C. I. Maior-Barron

Abstract:

This conference presentation proposes to discuss the Japanese tourist perception of Marie Antoinette, at the heritage site which represents the home par excellence of the last Queen of France: Petit Trianon, Versailles. The underpinning analysis has a two-fold aim of firstly identifying the elements that contributed at the said perception and secondly of placing this in the wider context of tabi (travel) culture. The contribution of the presentation lies in its relevance to the analysis of postmodern trends of Japanese travel culture in relation to the consumption of European cultural heritage, through an insight into Japanese contemporary perception of heritage sites and their associated historical figures subject to controversy. Based upon the author’s doctoral studies field research at Petit Trianon - survey led in situ between 2010-2012, applied with the questionnaire method on a total of 307 respondents out of which 53 Japanese nationals - the media sources that were revealed to have had a direct influence on these nationals’ perception of Marie Antoinette, were Riyoko Ikeda’s shōjo manga La Rose de Versailles (1972) and Sofia Coppola’s film Marie-Antoinette (2006). The interpretation of the survey results through an assessment of visitor discourse determined the research methodology to be qualitative as opposed to quantitative, thus what confirmed the empirical hypothesis of the survey was a pattern of perception instead of percentages. Consequently, the interpretation focused on the answers to the questions relating to the image of Marie Antoinette in relation to historical knowledge, cultural background and last but not least media influences.

Keywords: Cultural Heritage, Film, manga, tabi

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