Author: Erin-Rose O'Meley

Student at University of Wollongong, studying Media and Communication as well as International Studies. I post mostly about the issues that are found within these disciplines.

Kon’nichiwa Australia! Looking at the prevalence of Japanese culture in Sydney.

Another blog in the machine.

Australia is a multicultural nation. We pride ourselves on diversity and being open to new cultures and the Japanese culture is no exception. In recent years manga, anime, cosplay and all things Japanese have all exploded into Australia culture and the cultural and media exports make Japanese culture a soft power deserving of our attention. Through my digital Asia studies I have discovered how much Japanese culture is available for consumption in Australia and it’s popularity among Australian audiences.

There are some who believe that the rising popularity of the socially constructed ‘cool Japan’ and products that have an essential ‘Japaneseness’ about them serve to reduce bad feelings toward Japan that came after WWII (Allen 2006). What creates this idea of ‘cool Japan’ are the innovative technology and interesting cultural products that Japan are able to export to Australia, and Australian consumers can’t get enough of them. From sushi and…

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Let’s go, Daiso!

Another blog in the machine.

For my individual project I decided to look at the Japanese store Daiso. What I plan on doing is visiting the store and purchasing a few items to try out at home in order to have what I would consider a Japanese experience. I plan on buying some beauty items and some things I deem kawaii as well as some tasty treats to enjoy while I’m figuring out how to use the other items. I’m no stranger to collecting items from Asian shops like this, I used to frequent Korean chain Morning Glory on Sydney trips with friends when I was a teen. I always stocked up on cute stationary and interesting, different foods like Pocky, plus there was always some novelty item that we would try and figure out what the heck it was and what it was made of, or for. So I guess in some…

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Understanding PONPONPON: Unpacking my experience with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

Another blog in the machine.

For my first dabble into autoethnographic research I looked the the music video from Kyary Pamyu Pamyu called PONPONPON. In my first post I was generalising about my initial viewing on the clip, but now after digging a bit deeper into the culture I can see that perhaps I have left out some integral parts of the culture that have culminated to result in the PONPONPON video.

Of course, this clip is entirely different to what I am used to experiencing from the Western music industry which focuses on hard sexualisation of women. Instead what I noticed in the video that even though the singers were feminine they weren’t sexualised and even presented a somewhat grotesque femininity (Oi 2014).

One line from my research that really resonated with me is what Kyary’s producer Yasutaka Nakata said about J-Pop culture, which was that music like Japanese Pop acts as…

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Autoeth-what-graphy?

Another blog in the machine.

Recently I’ve been looking at autoethnography and what it means as an alternate style of academic research. What I have found through Ellis, Adams and Bochner is is that autoethnography is a process where a researcher uses personal experience (this part is the ‘auto’) to rationalise and have an epiphany about a cultural experience (this makes up the ‘ethno’ part). All in all, what this means is that as a researcher you can have an in depth relationship with a culture and use your personal experience to validate and evaluate what you have learnt, rather than using the traditional way of being a silent observer of a culture and writing objectively about the experience.

11563772095_318b567c2b_zPhoto by Marasu Minoya

This seems like a much better way of conducting research, as there is so much more to be learnt from being part of an experience and gaining knowledge first hand than there…

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