Auto Ethnographic Analysis

My Auto Ethnographic Analysis of Blog Post 3 – JAPANESE IDOLS 

It is quite safe to say my reaction to Japanese Idol culture, which is exhibited in my Blog Post 3, was one of a shocked and somewhat appalled student.

Why did the culture that surrounds Japanese Idols have this effect on me? Why did I take the mistreatment of these people thousands of miles away somewhat personally?

The notion I will focus on draw from Blog Post 3 as an auto-ethnographer, according to the Ellis et al (2011) reading is how my ‘epiphanies’ have shaped my perception and reaction to this culture. This refers to “remembered moments perceived to have significantly impacted the trajectory of a person’s life (BOCHNER & ELLIS, 1992; COUSER, 1997; DENZIN, 1989), times of existential crises that forced a person to attend to and analyse lived experience (ZANER, 2004), and events after which life does not seem quite the same” (Ellis, 2011.)  Earlier in the blog I referenced American teen Idols to draw comparison between these Idols and Japanese Idols. These celebrities were idolised by me in my younger years when I was impressionable and searching for belonging. They are familiar to me and I feel comfort if I am to think of them.

To draw a comparison between something comforting, familiar and warmly nostalgic to me and a culture and movement that I have only learnt about in the last week presents insight into my confused and shocked reaction. The examples I drew to attempt to  outline distinct differences between the two cultures actual reveal quite the opposite. For example, my explanation of Japanese Idol fanbases being “brain washed” and “naive” in a very judgemental tone. Analysing this from an auto-ethnographic stance, my tone was caused by my own naivety. I gave Justin Bieber as an example of Western teen Idols, with the knowledge of this Idols history with fans and cult followings, which is extensive. However I still used this very strong language when sharing my opinion on Japanese Idol fan followings. This could be construed by my failure to accept a culture that is unknown to me although major similarities can be drawn between it and a culture I know very well.

I draw no memories from Japanese Idol culture as I have never had any encounters with it, making it new and strange to me. Perhaps it was my lack of epiphanies that lead to my understanding of this culture to be absurd and foreign.

Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. (2011) ‘Autoethnography: An Overview‘, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12:1. Available at:

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