NINGEN: The generation of media-lore concerning a giant, sub-antarctic, aquatic humanoid and its relation to Japanese whaling activity

Shima Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Shima, 2020, 14, (1), pp. 134-151
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2020 Shima Publications (Australia). The ningen. a giant. sub-Antarctic aquatic humanoid. is a mythical creature created by fapanese Internet users in the mid-iooos. Since its inception it has crossed over into international Internet contexts and has been embellished and inflected in various ways. As such it forms an element within modern media-lore, joining a host of pre-constituted mythic/folkloric creatures and more modern inventions. One of the most notable aspects of ningen media-lore is that the creature was conceived as an inhabitant of sub-Antarctic waters, which have not traditionally been perceived to be rich in crypto-zoological entities. Within this location it has been closely associated with Japan's Southern Ocean whaling fleet and can. in this regard, be understood as a manifestation of a modern aquapelagic imaginary. The article identifies that the original location of the ningen's story is not merely incidental to its circulation and elaboration but is. rather, a key element of its emergence as a Japanese figure and a continuing aspect of its significance in a broader, international arena.
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