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From Classical Literature to Video Games: Analyzing Characters from The Tale of the Heike

Zaloga, Zane (2023) From Classical Literature to Video Games: Analyzing Characters from The Tale of the Heike. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The Tale of the Heike is one of Japan’s most famous works of classical literature. The characters from this epic have continued to endure and be used in new forms and contexts as entertainment media has evolved, creating a new afterlife for themselves. Much of their afterlife came in new legends and theater plays continually made, expanding the depth of characters such as Yoshitsune, his retainer Benkei, and the woman warrior Tomoe. These heroes have permeated much of Japan’s pop culture and have appeared on TV, in film, manga, and perhaps most prevalently in recent years, in video games. In this contemporary moment, video games have become an omnipresent medium, only continuing to increase in popularity. With each iteration, these characters from The Tale of the Heike resonate with the Japanese people as a way to remember the past or embody the worries of a generation. The medium of video games reveals how the modern age interprets these characters and how the form of video game adaptation and interactivity of the medium creates and draws from the palimpsests of these characters. These palimpsests pave the way for the characters to remain culturally relevant in the present and future while not forgetting the past.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Zaloga, Zanezjz9@pitt.eduzjz90009-0001-7156-5127
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairExley,
Committee MemberOyler,
Committee MemberChilson,
Date: 6 September 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 3 April 2023
Approval Date: 6 September 2023
Submission Date: 4 August 2023
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 91
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > East Asian Studies
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Video games, Adaptation
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2023 01:54
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2023 01:54


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