Japanese Treats direct from the Gong

This assessment has taken a few turns, from ordering a Kawaii Box to changing my mind and instead going for Tokyo Treats. I then realised the package would arrive too late from Japan so I would have to think of something else. So the assessment changed again into collecting a basket full of sweet food from the local Asian Grocer. I have finally been able to kick on with my autoethnographic research, so I hope you enjoy my videos. The first video outlines the scope of my project and the second is me opening and trying all sorts of treats including, chips, chocolate, candy and drinks collected from Wan Long Supermarket Wollongong. I tried to stick to only purchasing primarily Japanese treats.

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“Autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyse personal experience in order to understand cultural experience. This approach challenges canonical ways of doing research and representing others and treats research as a political, socially-just and socially-conscious act” (Ellis et al. 2011).


Though there are many ways to comprehend autoethnographic research, I have come to understand the research method as a form of self reflection. Through this research method, I get to consider my own cultural bias that may be forming my opinion. Having never been to Japan, or tried any of the items in this research project, it was very much taste testing and forming an opinion as an outsider.

The autoethnographic research method will form my investigation around my perspectives on Japanese sweets, imported to Australia and purchased locally here in Wollongong. Never having tried any of these products, it is very much a fresh perspective. However how will my Australian cultural context effect my opinion on things like taste, packaging or branding? These questions are exactly what I will analyse in my next post later this week.

Source:
Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. (2011) ‘Autoethnography: An Overview’, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12:1.

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3 comments

  1. Hi There!

    I really like your idea for your independent research project. I also like how you showed in your first video how you came about your topic: Kawaii Box to TokyoTreat Box to creating your own pack of Asian goodies. This in itself is an autoethnographic experience as you outline that the time it would take to order such boxes was too long – perhaps this is an example of a geographical barrier that we as Australian experience when purchasing products from Asian countries.

    Regardless, you being able to go to a physical store in Wollongong to purchase food products suggests that in Australia we now have access to traditional Asian style foods. I think you highlight the concept of autoethnography really well and it is evident that your Australia culture influenced your interpretation of the Asian foods. For example you say that two of the products are a lot like Tiny Teddys, as well as other references to well-known Australian products such as Milko’s, Sherbet, Lemonade, Hubba Bubba and Tim Tams.

    I found your recount of the lemonade compared drink choice the most interesting because you outline many different packaging features that we do not have in Australia. I too was fascinated by the marble that dropped down into the bottle – perhaps I will have to go buy it to try myself!

    I really look forward to reading your next blog, specifically seeing how your further research can assist in drawing the main concept of autoethnography; that is how your cultural understanding has influenced your interpretation of an alternative cultural.

    Like

  2. Hi Abbey!
    The idea behind your autoethnographic research project is interesting and despite the minor issues you outlined as hinderances you encountered, I like that you have carried on down a similar track despite this.

    In your video and the actual blog post itself you highlighted the challenges you faced as an ‘outsider’ from this culture and I think this is exemplary in showing self-reflexivity as an autoethnographer. It is just as important to acknowledge your own place in the world as it shapes the way you see others too. I think you do this perfectly when you make comparisons to Australian food that you felt were similar to the Asian treats you tried. I think this just further highlights how your ‘Australianness’ has impacted on your understanding of other cultures.

    The treats themselves seem great, and not being much of an adventurous eater I applaud you for trying them! The research you will put into the next post will be interesting without a doubt, and seeing what has influenced the Asian foods you have tried and tasted – and maybe even why you chose them too – will be just as intriguing. I can’t wait to read more!

    Like

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