As we are drawing closer to the end of semester, I have decided to do a post completely dedicated to the ways in which I produce and consume Japanese fashion not only while I have been enrolled in DIGC330 Digital Asia, but also in my day to day life. I also wanted to delve even further into the ways how I consume Japanese fashion without even realising it, and over the time that I have been studying DIGC this term, I have been completely surprised at how much I actually consume Japanese culture and fashion.
To really engage the subject on a more intense level, and as I have done in my previous posts, I will be using Sheridan’s autoethnographic questions throughout this post as followed.
What were some of the key activities, conversations, or internal thoughts that I experienced while completing this research?
The most relevant way that I have produced and consumed Japanese fashion over the past 12 weeks was through my digital artefact which was an Instagram feed of images that I either just loved, or that I thought were really interesting on relevant to the blog post that I have written over the past weeks. I created the instagram account called “@hannahsdigcartifact” if anybody wanted to have a quick look, by searching a variety of different tags on Instagram such as “#tokyofashion, #japanesefashion and #fashioninjapan” to really see what the Japanese fashion was like on a very broad sense. When I first looked into these tags, as discussed on my first blogs, I was so amazed to find SO many photos and images being added on such a regular basis. I even find Instagram blogs that were completely dedicated to finding amazing Japanese fashion on the streets of Tokyo and beyond which I thought was really cool.
Another internal thought that I experienced when first looking at these Instagram Feeds was the unusual dress sense that seems to be Japanese fashion. This fashion often involved bright hair pins & clips, fur, pastel hair, bright blue or green contacts and the accessory of stuffed animals. Even though I thought the style really suited these stylish men and women, I actually really thought to myself how odd it looked, and how I could never, ever get away with wearing some of the stuff that I was presented on the streets in Australia.
What in my past can I connect to this incident that possibly impacts my feelings now?
On an autoethnographic stance, I actually remember a time in primary school on a mufti day when one of my good friends came dressed to school in jeans and a shirt, yep seems all ‘normal’ so far, however her hair was completely covered in bright clips, scrunchies, a huge red ribbon (like Sailor Moon) and was holding a pink teddy bear. At the time, the kids in the playground just had no idea what the hell she was trying to be, however we all knew how much of a fan she was of Sailor Moon, and looking back she was merely just copying what her favourite icon was, although she, as an Australian 12 year old just could not get away with it!
When thinking about this, I just think it is because of the different fashion styles and culture between Japan and Australia and the way that this new fashion style has not really taken off on a large basis in Australia yet and people are not as aware, or even game to introduce this kind of fashion culture into Australia yet, however I am sure one day we will all be dressed this way!!
What did I learn from this experience?
When thinking about the ways in which I consume Japanese fashion without even realising it, I was actually quite surprised at how often we do actually consume the Japanese culture in our day to day lives.
Although there are so many different ways that I am influenced, one of the most simplest ways that I could express this was again through digital media, and the way that often I am influenced by Japanese fashion is through Facebook, and this has ALWAYS been, and not just since I have been studying DIGC330, I have just become more aware of it now.
In regards to this I decided to do a quick 2 minute experiment on my Facebook news feed about how many times anything related to Japanese fashion or culture appeared even if it was a fashion item that I thought had been very much influenced by Japanese culture, NOT including the sponsored ads on the side of the page. After my experiment I was so surprised to find 4 different relatable images to Japanese culture, and 3 relating to fashion. Wow! Do the experiment yourself you will be surprised at how much it is out there!
After these findings and also in my research in the blog where I researched Gwen Stefani and how she has really embraced Japanese culture especially in her music, I was actually surprised at how we SO often talk about how Western culture influences other cultures, however it seems like we completely dismiss when another culture influences our own culture. It actually really, really disturbed me and ever since learning about this, I have really tried to become more aware about the ways other cultures have influenced me and actually am trying to acknowledge it even more.