Given the recent rise and popularity of Anime and the discussion of the themes present on online forums such as Tumblr, Reddit and even Twitter, I thought what better way to explore autoethnography in digital Asia cultures then viewing and watching Anime that I have no yet been exposed it. I will aim to give an unique and raw autoethnographic exposé of my findings of the text and the cultural meanings and differences present.

Autoethnography “…is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyse [ones] personal experience in order to understand cultural experience” (Ellis et al. 2011). Using this definition as the basis for my autoethnographic experience and research, based on my original blog post from my initial findings with autoethnography, I’ll explore the Japanese culture that is embedded in Anime and discuss the relative similarities and differences to the cultural that I am used to. I will present my findings in the form of a podcast; depending on how much I have to say, this will either be done through multiple podcast episodes, or one long one.

As a child, I was exposed to many Anime TV series such as that of Naruto, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Sailor Moon (film) and Dragon Ball Z, although I wish to expose myself to less-westernised programs and experience unique and raw anime series straight from Japan. Studying Japanese and it’s culture during high school, I have a pretty good understanding of the values and beliefs that could be present in the text, although I am sure there will be elements that I have not been exposed to before that will be culturally different to what I am used to. Travelling to Japan a few years ago, I have experienced the Japanese culture first hand also, although the physical culture experienced compared to the culture displayed on-screen will no-doubt come with similarities and differences.

The 2 possible texts that I would like to look at include Toradora or Kuromukuro as I think they will give me the most authentic form of autoethnographic research that I can possibly have.

If anyone is doing anything similar, leave a comment and let me know how you found it.



  1. Using autoethnography we’re able to realise and understand unfamiliar aspects of another culture, connecting this to larger cultural, social and political patterns. Your proposal sounds like it will produce some great insights!
    You could use your autoethnographic method to explore how your experience with ‘Westernised’ programs as a child has influenced your interpretations with the anime you’re viewing as a part of this project. Through the autoethnographic method you could note the aspects of the culture that you find unfamiliar, and use this to begin further research to uncover cultural differences between Japan and Australia that otherwise may not have been evident. As someone who has first-hand experience visiting Japan, you could look at the differences between life in Japan (from your experience visiting) and life in Japan as depicted in the anime – and what this construction is representative of.
    I look forward to your next post!


  2. Legend of Korra! This was such a good show and i’m still watching it. I love the idea, but you could take it further. Have you thought about discussing feminism within Asian anime? When you compare the females in East Asian shows like The Legend Of Korra, you have Korra and Toph, incredibly strong and smart characters who aren’t scantily clad from Tibet and Sri Lanken culture. Comparing these characters to J-Anime shows like Sailor Moon, Angel Beats etc, you can see the difference in the way women are portrayed. Has this got something to do with their culture? This could be really interesting using the auto-ethnography method, I look forward to see what you write!


    1. I want to focus on my own autoethnographic research in terms of being exposed to Anime and an Asian culture. I feel by adding the relative comparisons between feminism in different cultures will hinder my autoethnographic experience given that my view of Feminism can be completely different to that of someone in an Asian culture given our different cultural aspects. Feminism between Asian and Western cultures is a topic that can be explored at another date, although for this project, I want it to be a raw and unique autoethnographic research unhindered other cultural concerns.


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