Adaptations of time travel narratives in Japanese multimedia: Nurturing eudaimonia across time and space

Sung-Ae Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


To displace a character in time is to depict a character who becomes acutely conscious of his or her status as other, as she or he strives to comprehend and interact with a culture whose mentality is both familiar and different in obvious and subtle ways. Two main types of time travel pose a philosophical distinction between visiting the past with knowledge of the future and trying to inhabit the future with past cultural knowledge, but in either case the unpredictable impact a time traveller may have on another society is always a prominent theme. At the core of Japanese time travel narratives is a contrast between self-interested and eudaimonic life styles as these are reflected by the time traveller's activities. Eudaimonia is a 'flourishing life', a life focused on what is valuable for human beings and the grounding of that value in altruistic concern for others. In a study of multimodal narratives belonging to two sets - adaptations of Tsutsui Yasutaka's young adult novella The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and YamazakiMari's manga series Thermae Romae - this article examines how time travel narratives in anime and live action film affirm that eudaimonic living is always a core value to be nurtured.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-151
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Research in Children's Literature
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014


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