The Logic of Political Media Scandals in Japan and the Case Study of Ozawa Ichirō


  • Igor Prusa University of Tokyo


Japanese media, corruption, political scandals, Ozawa Ichirō


First of all we wish to reveal certain universally-structuralist qualities, same as culturally-relative features of scandals and their mediation in a non-Western society. Secondly, we will illuminate how the mass media take active part in processing political issues in Japan, where as anywhere else in the media-saturated modern industrial world politicians significantly depend on the media (and vice versa); where political live shows and news programs – including scandals – became an important force, at times driving public sentiment while eventually generating support for opposition; and where wealth and its surplus is inevitably tied to a higher potential to grasp and secure power. We will then proceed to the main part of the paper, where we focus more closely on Japanese political scandals whereby preparing theoretical ground for a discourse analysis in the scandal case study of Ozawa Ichirō – one of the most powerful political heavyweights, and simultaneously one of the epitomes of political corruption in Japan. In our endeavor we were motivated by the fact that there exists plethora of literature on scandals in the west, but a detailed media discourse analysis of Japanese scandals is still lacking in academia worldwide.

Author Biography

Igor Prusa, University of Tokyo

Igor Prusa received his PhD in media studies from the Charles University of Prague (the Institute of Communication Studies and Journalism), and is currently a PhD candidate in the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies at the University of Tokyo, Japan. His research interests include Japanese media culture, scandals, and heroic archetypes. In his master’s thesis he focused on the textual and visual analysis of Japanese advertisements. In his doctoral thesis he will explore transgressions and scandals in Japanese media culture, including the role of various mediation processes within Japanese society. He regurarly publishes in Czech academic journals and his academic publications in English include “Scandals and their Mediations: Theorizing the Case of Japan (2010) and “"Megaspectacle and Celebrity Transgression in Japan: the 2009 Media Scandal of Sakai Noriko" (2012). Apart from his academic activities he is an active music composer/performer.


How to Cite

Prusa, I. (2012). The Logic of Political Media Scandals in Japan and the Case Study of Ozawa Ichirō. Global Media Journal - German Edition, 2(2). Retrieved from