Japanese Media Role in the glorification of Japanese Cannibal Issei Sagawa - Admission/Application Essay Example

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The story of Japanese cannibal, Issei Sagawa is gruesome with all the details that the cannibal gives about his dreaded act of killing and consuming his friend, Renée Hartevelt. Sagawa was not only able to get away with his crime, but also got fame as a celebrity in Japan…
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Japanese Media Role in the glorification of Japanese Cannibal Issei Sagawa
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No: Japanese Media Role in the glorification of Japanese Cannibal Issei Sagawa The story of Japanese cannibal, Issei Sagawa is gruesome with all the details that the cannibal gives about his dreaded act of killing and consuming his friend, Renée Hartevelt. Sagawa was not only able to get away with his crime, but also got fame as a celebrity in Japan. The role of media in glorifying Sagawa and his act of murdering and eating a young woman appears to be unacceptable and sheds light on Japanese culture and media as a whole. How can media accept such a person with his crime and permit him to appear on television and magazines to narrate all what he had done with explicit descriptions about his crime. Media makes use of thrilling stories to attract the audience and Sagawa’s story appeared appealing to media and masses. For describing media’s part in faming Sagawa, the communication theory of Cultivated Analysis is used to define media’s participation and public acceptance of Sagawa’s deed.
Sagawa belonged to a wealthy family and his father helped him getting out of France by using his influence and money. After being arrested for his crime, the French court prosecuted him for his crime and after considering him unable to go through the trail allowed psychiatrists to attend him. The psychiatrists after dealing with him claimed about him to be incurable, as he had no guilt over his crime. He was confident and regarded him to be right. An author with the name of Inuhiko Yomota visited Sagawa when he was in a mental institution and after the visit from the Japanese author, Sagawa’s story of the crime got published in Japan with the title “In the Fog” (Ramsland).
After gaining publicity and celebrity status because of publishing of his story, French authorities settle on sending him back to Japan. Japanese authorities did not detain Sagawa based on the absence of court documents of his crime. Afterwards, Sagawa enjoyed a free life (Ramsland). The motivations behind Sagawa’s crime are still unknown and his action of murder got fame everywhere in “the hype, the books, television shows, plays, performances, magazine articles and academic interrogation”. His narrative appears to be self-created and wrong, but the facts describe otherwise. His act appears to be incomprehensible and abhorrent and media’s part in appreciating him by allowing him to appear as a celebrity seems to be horrifying. Media made public to re-imagine the crime with representations of the room and Sagawa’s detailed narration. The whole act is recreated by media (McRae).
Media always uses stories that show violence, crime or sex, to attract public because all such things appear appealing to people. However, this methodology for making people use media services is not right, as people are tempted to do because of starting a communication channel with the media. The theory of Cultivation Analysis is applicable in Sagawa’s scenario because it is the media, which gave information about the Cannibal and the media glorified his crime in place of disapproving it as a whole.
The theory of Cultivation Analysis explains about people’s perception of the world through the help of television and other media. The Cultivation Analysis describes that the media performs the role of giving information to public in place of giving them firsthand experience. People are able to relate to the events that are displayed or represented in media (Gerbner 353). When Sagawa was backed by television and other media in spite of his gruesome crime, people also accepted him and many became his fans. His written works along with pictorial representations of his doing became popular and well liked. The Japanese author who interviewed Sagawa and noted all the details of Sagawa’s committed murder and his doing at that day as well as on other days. “Sagawa enjoys being the focus of tabloid media, granting interviews and making videos to indulge the voyeuristic curiosity of those who want to get closer to someone who has eaten human flesh” (Ramland). He was too happy to narrate everything in front of public and he talked about it on television shows. The novel that was a detailed narration of his committed murder became so famous that two hundred thousand copies of the novel got sold (Ramland). The public accepted him that is shown by selling of his novels and media played a crucial role making him accepted to the society.
His instant becoming a celebrity because of his horrible crime, his appearances on television and his interviews on radio as well on print media glorified his act of cannibalism. He is known as the “the Godfather of Cannibalism” (Hall). Media allowed him to communicate to the public and people acknowledged him as a normal person along with his crime and regarded him right, they gave him a celebrity status. Media showed that cannibalism is not wrong, but an act of adventure or appreciation by its backing of the Cannibal.
Works Cited
Gerbner, George. "Cultivation Theory" in Michael Ryan A First Look at Communication Theory. 7th Ed. New York City: Frank Mortimer, 2009. pp. 353-354.
Hall, Ashlay. Issei Sagawa – Godfather of Cannibalism. N. p., 2012. Web. 4 May. 2014.
McRae, Emma. Making Yourself at Home in Nowhereland. N. p., 2014. Web. 4 May. 2014.
Ramsland, Katherine. "The Cannibal Celebrity: Issei Sagawa". 2009. Web. 4 May. 2014. Read More
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