Reflection Report

Introduction for Autoethnography 

This project is based on the autoethnography that I have learned through this semester. Ellis, Adams, and Bochner (2011) defined autoethnography as an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyse personal experience in order to understand cultural experience. Also, they mentioned the autoethnographer can reach wider mass audiences by producing accessible texts, which can make personal and social change possible for more people. 

So what I aim for leaning/gaining the autoethnography is:

  • Putting myself in the right position and analyse the object
  • Informing what I have got to the others 

Introduction for DA 

This project is aiming for understanding what cosmetic surgery culture in South Korea is as well as how the culture is accepted by the audience. To gain the facts of its culture, the autoethnographic approach is conducted.

The DA has these main contents:

  • About what cosmetic surgery is 
    • Its definition, main types of cosmetic surgeries, the reasons why people who get cosmetic surgeries, which are referred by academic sources 
    • Connecting cosmetic surgery with South Korean by using both my personal experiences and public information that are on the Internet
  • One example for this project
    • My ID is Gangnam Beauty is used due to its contents
    • Personal reflections for the drama using collecting my own notes
  • Cosmetic Surgery in Japan
    • What Japanese think about cosmetic surgery. This information is based on academic sources and what I have heard from people actually.
    • One Japanese movie that is related to cosmetic surgery that can give an angle on how the Japanese think about cosmetic surgery.
  • My epiphanies
    • They are based on my experiences to reflect my experiences by watching the drama.
    • Some academic sources are used to support/highlight my epiphanies.

Methodology: Data collection 

To collect my feelings and thoughts about what I watch the drama, a data collection method is necessary. This approach is inspired by the Live-Tweeting activity that was conducted in the first four weeks at the tutorial time. 

The data collection is:

  • The summary of what I experience through the drama 
  • They are based on my personal thoughts

Once I collect my feelings and thoughts, I use those my reflection for analysing why I felt and thoughts and what facts/causes make me think so. 

What I have to pay attention to at this stage :

  • Not determining whether the culture is right or not
  • Not making my thoughts change and lying

Methodology: Prezi

Prezi is for presenting for my project. 

What the Prezi has:

  • Text – any information that is related to the project and they have notes to tell where the information comes from
  • Images – all of the attached images are for making the audience understand what the slides want to tell
  • Movie – the attached YouTube video is able to introduce the content   

Conclusion

There are three main conclusion points after conducting this project.

  1. For autoethnographic research
    • This is very useful and worth doing 
    • Being able to analyse with an objective eye
    • Possible to expand my own perspective
  2. For cosmetic surgery culture
    • Having both positive and negative opinions but no need to decide on one 
    • Different opinions to get cosmetic surgery with two countries South Korea and Japan
    • SNS can be the one cause 
  3. For my epiphanies
    • Being able to acknowledge the facts of what I feel/think
    • Academic sources demonstrate my personal reflection with evidences

What I would like to conclude as the summary of the whole project is the importance of acceptance of each other. I never deny cosmetic surgery, however, some potential reasons for cosmetic surgery are made by the people who judge others by their appearance. As I reported in my DA, sticking appearance can decrease self-esteem and SNS can give wrong information to the audience. If we have the perspective that everyone has a different identity and no one can involve them, the number of people who suffer will be decreased.

Reference:

Reference for Image:

  • AESTHETICALLURE 2020,Needle vs. Cannula, image, AESTHETICALLURE, viewed 6 November 2020, <cannula-1160×700.jpg>
  • amazon prime video 2018, My ID is Gangnam Beauty, image, amazon prime video, viewed 8 November 2020, <71kqUU5QbqL._RI_.jpg>
  • Brandonk 2017, For Those Looking to Get Plastic Surgery… Know What You Are Getting Into and Don’t Trust the ‘Cosmetic Surgery’ Label, image, steemit, viewed 6 November 2020, <Screen-Shot-2017-04-26-at-12.43.51-PM.png>
  • Jeckson 2019, Plastic Surgery In South Korea: World’s Leading Cosmetic Surgery Destination., image, The Wow Style, viewed 6 November 2020, <Plastic-Surgery-1.jpg>
  • Le delano 2016,I turn back to the mirror, staring at my own eyes as they reflect back to me, image, Le delano, viewed 8 November 2020, <girlmirrorlg.jpg>
  • PROMISES BEHAVIOURAL HEALTH 2020, Depression in High School, image, PROMISES BEHAVIOURAL HEALTH, viewed 8 November 2020, <depression-in-high-school.jpeg>
  • Shinjuku Plastic surjery Hospitals 2020,Facial aesthetics, image, Shinjuku Plastic surjery Hospitals, viewed 6 November 2020, <pro-g0.jpg>
  • Retailworks Inc 2020, Social Media Sized, image, Retailworks Inc, viewed 8 November 2020, <Social-Media-Sized.jpg>
  • We Xpacts Guide 2020, Beauty Enhancement: Brief Background to Plastic Surgery Industry of Japan, image, We Xpacts Guide, viewed 6 November 2020, <en_161_4.jpg>

Research Report

Introduction for Autoethnography

This project is based on the autoethnographic approach that I have learned throughout this semester. Ellis, Adams, and Bochner (2011) defined autoethnography as an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyse personal experience in order to understand cultural experience. 

So what I aim for in this subject is:

  • Gaining the skill of autoethnography
  • Using the skills
  • Analysing my topic by using the skills 

Introduction for DA

This project is aiming for understanding what crime dramas and its purpose as well as both positive and negative opinions. To complete those purposes, the autoethnographic approach is used. The DA is constructed by the blog series which has four posts, and has these contents:

  • About what crime dramas are
    • the definition
    • reasons why people want to watch them 
    • types of crime dramas
    • what I discuss through the blog series
  • Field site of crime dramas – this will be described in the methodology part
    • SNS
    • Word of mouth
  • Positive and negative opinions – this section will be described in the methodology part
  • My final argument

Methodology: Field Site

Building the field site of crime dramas leads to a better understanding of how people access that, which also will be meaningful keys for analysing that. While there are many components on the field site, SNS and Word of the mouth are picked up in this project due to their features.

  • SNS – the most effective key that people can access, share, and post their own opinions
    • YouTube – a kind of new platform that crime dramas fans upload their recommendation to the audience and share their opinions
    • Twitter – where people post their own thoughts and people get the latest information by official accounts. There are some interesting points that official accounts can get many reactions from the audience but there are few comments that talk about other dramas.         
  • Word of mouth – can involve SNS to spread the sources
    • Most important information to see what people think about crime dramas
    • Can be reliable if that information is delivered by the viewers not companies

Methodology: Observational Research

The observational research is for knowing what people think about crime dramas but the research is not set up as an “interview”. This research is a summary of what I heard from the people and what I see on the Internet. There are both positive and negative opinions as to the results of this research.

  • Positive opinions
    • Being able to learn about what happened in the past in your country by watching crime dramas that are based on actual cases
    • Reported globally is one of the benefits, which introduced in the blog
    • Learning about the legal system by watching dramas that are related to law, politics, and other crime things
  • Negative opinions
    • Do not show the truth and showing wrong information such as overexpressed and hiding serious issues that are happened in reality
    • Possible to stimulate the people to break the law due to the scene of crimes

Conclusion

I never decide whether crime dramas are acceptable or not but I have some opinions for both positive and negative opinions.

  • For positive opinions

I can agree with those positive opinions because I am the one who experienced that learning about the historical cases and the legal system.

  • For negative opinions

They are the first time to make me think about the negative sides of crime dramas but I understand what they mean to the audience.

What I would like to say about crime dramas is important to understand what they are. If we could avoid misunderstanding crime dramas, the negative opinions would be decreased. 

Reference:

  • Council on Foreign Relations 2012,Lessons Learned: Tokyo Sarin Gas Attack, online video, 21 March, viewed 2 November 2020, <https://youtu.be/73gLkuXywAw>
  • Tuzo Anime 2019, Top 25 Japanese Detective Dramas 2019, online video, 10 March, Tuzo Anime, viewed 27 October 2020, <https://youtu.be/NLse6Lqjv_k>

#4 Summarise through This Project

In this blog post which is the final post of the series, I am going to summarise what crime dramas are.

Before going to the details, let me recap what autoethnography is. Ellis, Adams, and Bochner (2011) defined autoethnography as an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze personal experience in order to understand cultural experience.

Autoethnography : Understanding the bias of the brain (https://ed.unc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Hughes-Brain-cleaned-up-600×569.jpg)

So I am going to write my experiences about what I found/thought through this project to follow their definitions. As I mentioned in the #1 blog post, writing my experiences and opinions does not mean that I conclude whether people’s opinions are right as well as crime dramas. What I am going to write is based on academic sources that I used and facts that I found by observational research as well as information that is on the Internet. 

For positive opinions

Basically, I agree with the positive opinions that I wrote in the previous blog post because learning and knowing what happened in Japan in the past gives me time to think about how those incidents happened and why people did wrong things. Actually, I sometimes feel really scared and feel sad but I do not say having those feelings is worthless. This thought is similar to what Sachs said. In addition, the opinion that it is possible to learn the legal system by crime/legal dramas can make sense to me because it was easy to understand the legal system due to the fact that I have watched and read crime/legal dramas. Thanks to those experiences, I can say I have learned general culture as the person who I am living in this world.

5 Podcasts True-Crime Junkies Will Love (https://cdn.aarp.net/content/dam/aarp/entertainment/music/2020/04/1140-crime-evidence.jpg)

For negative opinions

I understand the negative opinions which were mentioned in the previous blog post. When I found the fact that crime dramas do not show the issues that there is racism and normalise police misconduct, I imagined how the people who are troubled feel anger. While I understand TV dramas do not show those illegal facts, it is necessary to see. For the opinion that crime dramas can stimulate people to break laws, it is difficult to say I can agree with that because we should know what is right and what is wrong. However, I know humans are easy to be influenced so I can assume that there are risks that there are people who are influenced easily. Also, I wonder if there were no crime/legal dramas in this world, the number of crimes might be smaller. 

My final Argument

What I would leave my comment through this project is understanding what TV dramas are. Even though there are crime dramas that are based on actual cases, those dramas are remade to tell the incident to the audience. So we have to acknowledge not all the entire contents may be true and some information might be created to make the audience understand the details.In addition, it is important to feel sadness and anger by watching those dramas, and imagine what happens if people break laws, not gaining the ways how to break laws. If we avoid misunderstanding these points, the risks of people who are influenced by crime dramas can be decreased.

#3 Positive Opinions & Negative Opinions

In this third blog post, I am going to focus on what people think about crime dramas using an autoethnographic approach. 

As I stated in the old blog post, the purpose of crime drama is for providing entertainment, rather than to educate, research suggests that people learn about crime from watching television, which was described by Rhineberger-dunn, Briggs & Rader in 2016. To support these arguments, I would like to quote this “our feelings of pity and fear make us recognize what we care for and cherish, and It is not so strange that we learn the worth of something by losing it”. This is from Aristotle: Poetics and it can give a sense of the purpose of crime dramas.

However, what I found through observational research differs from them.

Positive Opinions

What I have gotten positive opinions for crime dramas is basically the same as the reasons why people watch crime dramas that I mentioned in the #1 blog series. Especially for the people who are my parents’ generations think watching crime dramas is important. For example, my mother and my uncle often watch particularly non-fictional crime dramas and they said getting information about what happened in your country in the past is important because those historical cases create our current country. They told me their opinion when I was 12 years old and I paid attention to watch non-fictional crime dramas/ documentaries to learn about that. Also, I found the biggest miserable case that happened in Japan has been reported globally, and I could see what others think/feel about that, which is another positive side.

Lessons Learned: Tokyo Sarin Gas Attack (https://youtu.be/73gLkuXywAw)

In addition to those points, being able to learn about the legal system is another big opinion that I saw. Not all crime dramas can make sense in real life, but they are enough to study especially police investigations, journal contexts, and any other systems. Those opinions are from Twitter and there are some websites that recommend some crime/legal dramas to study the legal system. This is one of those websites and it introduces some legal dramas for those people who want to be a lawyer. (Unfortunately, this site is written in Japanese)

Negative Opinions

On the other hand, negative opinions that people have for crime dramas are related to ethical and educational reasons. One opinion that is from my relatives who is a policeman in Japan is that crime dramas can make the audience misunderstand because there are some scenes that are overexpressed compared to real. This opinion is similar to what I mentioned in the old blog post that reports one result of a survey that was conducted by Weaver, Salamonson, Koch & Porter. However, I found this article that reported TV dramas do not reveal serious issues such as racism and normalise police misconduct. This is the total opposite side with the opinion from my relative even though it is the same as the aspects of crime dramas show the wrong facts.Also, there is another opinion that is from my friend who studies psychology at university. She said there are many potential risks that stimulate people to break the law such as pretending the person has a mental illness to get away with the crime. This opinion reminded me of arguments that are about whether crime dramas/anime have negative effects on people.  Although this website is written in Japanese, this article talks about what Japanese people think about anime that have violent scenes. It is possible to see both positive and negative opinions about the topic.

In the next blog post, I am going to summarise through this project.

#2 Field Site of Crime Dramas

In this blog post, I am going to focus on the field site of crime dramas. 

As I mentioned how to build the field site in my old blog post, I would like to follow Airoldi who summarised research searches as finding documents that you want to get information by searching with related terms/phrases rather than going through specific documents directly. What I created for the initial field site is this one. 

Filed site of crime dramas

 I would like to highlight “SNS” and “Word of mouth” as key field sites for crime dramas because I have found more related information each since I created that. And those key field sites can lead you to the depth of my project as a result. 

SNS

As you can imagine easily, there is numerous information on the Internet, and people post, share and handle them. I would like to emphasise two SNS that are YouTube and Twitter in this blog series. I found there are many people who share their own favorite crime dramas or discuss those dramas on the Internet, and they are not related to making or releasing crime dramas. This is an example that crime drama fans uploaded videos on YouTube to introduce that.

Top 25 Japanese Detective Dramas 2019 (https://youtu.be/NLse6Lqjv_k)

This YouTube has the information of the title and reputation by the audiences. What I am surprised about is that it is able to watch those recommended crime dramas for foreigners, not only Japanese. Also, other international fans of Japanese crime dramas recommend their own favorite dramas, which can be a new source that other people can get the information.

Twitter is also another way to get information about people’s favorite as well as their discussion. While there are many official accounts that are for crime dramas and those accounts get many replies, people who comment on them just talk about the program and they do not mention other crime dramas due to the feature.

So I am going to focus on non-official accounts and the audiences’ tweets. There are many tweets and you can see what they talk about by using specific words such as “crime dramas” or ” detective dramas”.

Word of mouth

Word of mouth is the most important thing in this project to understand what people think about crime dramas. Cambridge Dictionary (2020) defines the meaning of word of mouth as “given or done by people talking about something or telling people about something”. So Twitter is part of word of mouth by the audience and it can be reliable because those tweets are written by the viewers, not companies.

Takayuki & Arisa (2018) summarised that if the information that is related to the reputation by companies, it can be false because they try to manipulate to show how they are admired. So it is necessary to consider whether the word of mouth can be reliable. Also, word of mouth is not only on the Internet. When you are talking with your friends, what your friends say can be the one because their opinions can be shared by someone else.

In the next blog post, I am going to discuss the result of my observational research.

#1 My DA is Crime Dramas

I have decided to release the blog series about my media niche which is crime dramas as my DA and the blog series will be four posts that struct:

  1. Recap about crime dramas and what I would like to discuss through the blog series
  2. Detailed field site that I have collected 
  3. Found information by observational research which includes both positive and negative opinions
  4. My final argument 

What I would like to note is all of my research is based on autoethnographic approach and I never conclude about crime dramas with my own personal perception.

What is a television crime drama?

GCSE MEDIA STUDIES (2015) defined it as a sub-genre of the television drama genre and usually focuses on the committing and solving of a crime. They are the fictional recreation of real-life stories. However, there are also non-fictional stories that are based on actual cases and remade them to tell the audience. 

Making Your Crime Dramas Realistic(https://www.raindance.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/accident-barrier-caution-923681-1080×608.jpg)

Why do people want to watch crime dramas?

As I mentioned this point in the my first blog, there are four main reasons that are introduced by CineVue:

  • Audiences can learn about famous historical cases
  • They include a creative long-form type of storytelling
  • Crime dramas are very informative
  • There’s always an interesting mystery or plot twist 

In addition to these reasons, I would like to mention that there are some people who think watching crime dramas can learn about how to build relationships as well as moral between the others.  

Types of crime dramas

As I mentioned above, there are two main differences between crime dramas that are fictional stories and non-fictional stories. However, it is possible to categorise fictional crime dramas in detail. Patterson’s weblog post (2013) introduces 9 different categories and I pick up 5:

  • Cosy mystery genre – the scene of violence is not described in detail and set up in a small town.
  • Hard-boiled private investigator genre – used violence clearly and the detective follows clues in the dark underbelly of the city.
  • The legal thriller – use of the rules and procedures of a legal world. It focuses on what happens after a crime is committed and an arrest is made.
  • The general suspense thriller – features a protagonist who is generally thrown into the action in the aftermath of a crime.
  • The military thriller – has a protagonist who is often a member of the military,  the CIA, or the FBI. And the criminals are crooked politicians or terrorists. 
Mississippi’s Crime Rate is Down (https://empowerms.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/images.jpeg)

What I would like to discuss through my blog series

The first time when I decided to research crime dramas was based on my personal interest in why people want to watch them even though there are many acts of violence, sadness, and other negative feelings. However, the more I researched them, the more my curiosity became clear and I decided to research the psychological feelings or motivation of the people who want to watch them. Furthermore, I decided to research the ethical issues by watching them as well as how they can impact the audience in terms of education. What I mean by “ethical issues” covers two main points:

  • The effects for both the victim family and criminals if the crime drama is based on actual case
  • The possibility of the risk that the story impacts and make people stimulated by the stories commit a crime

In the next blog post, I am going to focus on the field site of crime dramas.  

Research Project Pitch

My research is going to focus on crime dramas/anime to discover why people like to watch them even though there are many negative emotions, and also focus on the connections between miserable things that happen in fiction and in the real world.

As I posted on previous blog posts, I identified the field site and schedule, and I am going to take observations and online surveys on Twitter to hear the opinions of what people think/feel when they watch crime dramas/anime. The online survey will contain both quantitative questions and qualitative questions, which enable me to understand the depth as well as collect various data. 

By conducting observations and online surveys, it is needed to consider the ethical problems. Protecting the personal information of the people who join my surveys is the most important and there are other points that I have to be careful of. Winter & Lavis (2019) warned online ethnography has risks ignoring the nuances that exist in online spaces and potentially does a disservice to participants and the communities to which they belong. So I will focus on the meaning of the comment that people say on the Internet not only accepting the meaning on the surface.

For my digital artifact, I will release the summarised result of my research by putting information that I find and correct through this project. I hope my digital artifact can make sense to the audience and give new knowledge about crime dramas/anime. Also, it can be the answer to my questions as a result.

Research Project Pitch for BCM241

Reference:

Ellis, C, Adams, T.E, and Bochner, A.P 2011, ‘Autoethnography: An Overview’, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, no. 1, viewed 6 August 2020, <https://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095>

Winter, R & Lavis, A 2019, ‘Looking, But Not Listening? Theorizing the Practice and Ethics of Online Ethnography’, SAGE journals, vo.15, viewed 28 August 2020, <https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1556264619857529>

Foundation for the video pitch presentation

This week’s blog is going to be a foundation of the video pitch presentation that contains 3 previous blog posts and this week’s topic. There are two main topics in this post that are sharing background academic research related to my research, and considering ethical issues that might come up with my autoethnographic study.In previous blog posts, I identified my media niche that is crime dramas/anime. This comes from my experiences that I have grown up with and I wondered why people like to watch them even though there are many left negative emotions. I also mapped the field of media that is associated with my media niche as well as problematised issues, methods of observation, and the schedule of my research.Before going to the details, I would like to add one more thing to the last blog post. I realised the identified key issue has already been discussed by many philosophers, so I decided to also focus on the connections between miserable things that happen in fiction and in the real world. 

For the background of crime dramas/anime, I would like to focus on the two sights which are academic and non-academic, which can help to analyse my research data and field notes. As I mentioned in the first blog, CineVue summarised four points of why audiences watch crime dramas and find its interests. The website said that they want to learn about famous historical cases, and they have mystery interests. I expect this information will be effective when I explore the people who have thoughts about crime dramas/anime to see which points that they have curiosities. To support that information, I quote this “our feelings of pity and fear make us recognize what we care for and cherish, and It is not so strange that we learn the worth of something by losing it” (Sachs n.d.). This state is from the poetics of Aristotle and this analyse gave me a new point of view to search the psychological desire.

On the other hand, I found different information by scholars that stated what people watch something about crime on the media. Kort-Butler & Sittner (2016) said the perceptions and feelings cultivated by television have great potential to shape social policy in general and social control in particular. Also, they summarised as “perceptions about and fear of crime represent key mechanisms by which television can shape opinions about criminal justice policy” (Kort-Butler & Sittner 2016). In actual fact, Vicary & Zaikman (2017) introduced one notion that calls “CSI effect” which means watching crime-based television shows influences factors related to the criminal justice system. By understanding this notion, it will be able to invest carefully especially when comparing between fiction and the real world. Furthermore, they summarised “the more one sees certain ideas, images, or values, the more they become incorporated into one’s reality” (Vicary & Zaikman 2017). 

Social media & apps (2020), image, parentzone (http://Social_Media_image_New_IG_Logo.png)

Putting those backgrounds in my mind, I also have to consider ethical issues that might arise. I have two main ethical issues that are for research on the Internet and the other is for crime dramas/anime. For the ethical issues of researching on the Internet, Winter & Lavis (2019) explained that listening becomes even more ethically important, as it enables a researcher to engage with interactions on social media within their emotional, multimedia, and community contexts. Also, they warned online ethnography has risks ignoring the nuances that exist in online spaces and potentially does a disservice to participants and the communities to which they belong. Moreover, Harley & Langdon (2018) explained most of the ethical issues related to research are identified by visual researchers relate to the product, in particular issues of consent, confidentiality, and anonymity. So it is necessary to restrain those ethical issues to conducting research and always ask me whether it is going to be allowed or not. For the ethical issues of watching crime programs on the TV, Weaver, Salamonson, Koch & Porter (2012) reported interesting results of their experiment that asked students what they think about watching crime TVs. They revealed that there are many students who answered there are potential ethical issues on the crime dramas/anime such as contradictions of the real and fiction, and one student answered: “TV shows always give the misperception that forensics/science is easy and that we do more than we legally can”. This report will be meaningful for my research because while there are many people who watch crime dramas/anime, many people realise there are potential ethical issues. So I reckon this interesting contradiction will be key to my project.

References:

Harley, A & Langdon, J 2018, ‘Ethics and Power in Visual Research Methods’, The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research Ethics,  viewed 28 August 2020, <https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=inhJDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA188&dq=Ethics+and+Power+in+Visual+Research+Methods&ots=CxFXp1dZJx&sig=Bw1zNpn2zpg4h91nZo9halC0gyw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false>

Kort-Butler, L &Sittner, K 2016, ‘Watching the Detectives: Crime Programming, Fear of Crime, and Attitudes about the Criminal Justice System’, The Sociological Quarterly, vo.52, viewed 28 August 2020, <https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1533-8525.2010.01191.x>

Sachs, J n.d., ‘Aristotle: Poetics’, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, viewed 28 August 2020, <https://iep.utm.edu/aris-poe/>

Vicary, A & Zaikman, Y 2017, ‘The CSI Effect: An Investigation into the Relationship between Watching Crime Shows and Forensic Knowledge’, North American Journal of Psychology, viewed 30 August 2020, <https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/385a/585732a908d6082ef2518952fd9f043d7ab7.pdf>

Weaver, R, Salamonson, Y, Koch, J & Porter, G 2012, ‘The CSI effect at university: forensic science students’ television viewing and perceptions of ethical issues’, Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, vo.44, viewed 28 August 2020, <https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00450618.2012.691547>

Winter, R & Lavis, A 2019, ‘Looking, But Not Listening? Theorizing the Practice and Ethics of Online Ethnography’, SAGE journals, vo.15, viewed 28 August 2020, <https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1556264619857529>

Hi Score Girl – Japanese culture

HI SCORE GIRL (2018), image, GAMEAXIS, (https://www.gameaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/maxresdefault2.jpg)

This week’s blog is about Hi Score Girl which is a Japanese anime series, and I will focus on the Japanese game industry and aspects of Japanese education with Autoethnographic ways. Hi Score Girl highlights Japanese games that include video games and amusement arcades, and I found its theme which is the importance of communication and effects of the family environment.

When I attended Live-tweeting, I realised that it was difficult to find cultural differences unlike 3 previous films because I have a Japanese background. What other people feel strange, funny, interesting for something might be familiar to me already so Live-tweeting activity gave me a new sense of what Japanese culture is. I believe writing about Japanese culture is related to performance ethnography which is defined as “performance ethnography is a way of acting on the world in order to change it” (Norman 2003).

When I watched the first 3 episodes, I found there are many typical scenes that can represent Japanese culture such as the fighting games at the amusement arcade. As this article introduces the Japanese arcades, it is common that people are enthusiastic to play games and they have a long history to build today’s game industry. CNN posted one article that quoted how the Japanese game industry influenced other countries. It said, “Without the contributions of Japan, we wouldn’t have a video game industry”. I could acknowledge this fact by others’ tweeting. There were many tweets that talked about how they experienced fighting games, and some of them have been to Japan. What the Japanese pop culture represents is an essential theme to write this blog post but I would like to focus on another theme that delivers their messages to the audience.

There are two main characters in the first 3 episodes at the Hi Score Girl, which are Haruo who loves playing games and gets low grades at his elementary school, and Ono who is an honor student and loves playing games. The anime unfolds how those different types of people communicate with only one common point. When I talk about the point, I should put my personal experience in order to make my argue meaningfully, and this approach is part of ethnography that is defined as “The ethnographer works back and forth between the contexts and situations of lived experience and the representations of those experiences” (Norman 2003).

The two main characters got closer as they got to know each other and it was revealed that Ono lived a cramped life due to strict education by her parents. Her family was illustrated as a rich family and her parents forced her to do after school activities. When I saw this scene, I remembered some Japanese typical style that I personally do not want to accept. It is common that Japanese parents educate their children strictly and people really care about how smart their children are. I can give one episode that I have experienced before. When I was a junior high school student, mothers always talked about their children’s friends’ school grades and they liked to assess someone’s grades. This happened by one stereotype that students who get high grades are best so parents want their children to be smart.

Satomi (2020), Twitter (https://twitter.com/0810satomi/status/1298416712279154688?s=20)

In addition to this stereotype, Shintaro, Yukio, & Ryo (2018) mentioned that while there are exceptional, Japanese education does not target low-income families. When Ono was forced to do many additional lessons can support this sentence as well as my experience. I remembered how children who are put into much pressure to be smart feel uncomfortable because it is difficult to show their feelings and what they want to do so I really feel sorry for her.

On the other hand, although Haruo did not notice Ono’s situation, he saved her life by talking to her equally without any prejudices, which made her released by her boring days. I think there was an intent to tell what is important and what can make friendships at those scenes. While this analysis that education is not the most priotised thing differs from academic sources that I mentioned above, that is why I write this blog. As Cohen (2012) experienced and described, not all experiences can follow the facts that are academically proven so talking about your own experiences can contribute to the situations.

References:

Cohen, E. (2012). Flooded: An Auto-Ethnography of the 2011 Bangkok Flood. ASEAS – Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 5(2), 316-334. viewed 28 August 2020

Norman K. Denzin (2003) Performing [Auto] Ethnography Politically, The Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies, 25:3, 257-278, DOI: 10.1080/10714410390225894, viewed 28 August 2020

Shintaro, Y, Yukio, A, & Ryo, K 2018, ‘How does early childcare enrollment affect children, parents, and their interactions?’, Labour Economics, vo.55, viewed 28 August 2020, <https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0927537118300885>