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This chapter details the interpretation in Japan of one of the ur-texts of media theory in North America and (Western) Europe, Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media. McLuhan’s work also possesses canonical status in Japan, where the term media-ron (“media theory”) emerges around the introduction of the Canadian media theorist’s work. This introduction was channeled by a kind of doppelgänger theorist who both mirrors and redirects McLuhan’s very flexible body of work: Takemura Ken’ichi, a man deeply embedded in the advertising world. The chapter outlines the contours of the lively public debates around McLuhan’s work in the late 1960s. These debates—which...

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