A Deeper Look into Idol Dancing Themes

Chibi Beatz was an incredible outsider experience of a westernised view into Japanese culture. Chibi Beatz, created by the same people who run Yokai Beatz which is held around Halloween, is a small underground “rave”/mini-convention where trinkets are sold and performances are held. It is named after Japanese folklore and people often people cosplay as Japanese Yokai which are a class of supernatural monsters, spirits and demons. Very much like people would around Halloween.

Ellis mentions that “When researchers write autoethnographies, they seek to produce aesthetic and evocative thick descriptions of personal and interpersonal experience.” (Ellis, 2011), and when looking at it like this and imagining the dark hall of Chibi Beatz with the stage lights shining down on my friends as they danced to Hatsune Miku songs with their friends and fans yelling to every beat of the song tapping their light sticks along as well as calling out their stage names. Ellis basically discusses that it’s all about telling a story, which in turn is about engaging the audience. “Writing personal stories thus makes “witnessing” possible” (Ellis, 2011) Which is why I’m trying to write down every detail about my experiences

The first time and one of the only times I have been experienced the fan culture of idol dancing was at Neko Nation. Which is similar to Chibi Beatz and Yokai Beatz in the sense that it is a westernised view into Japanese culture. Neko Nation featured catgirls, live performances from online music creators such as Teddyloid, performances from idol dances and J-Pop and J-Rock singers. Neko was similar to Chibi Beatz except it was set in a university bar, which as just as dark. The stage was illuminated by stage lights and bright LEDs and I spent the entire night cheering my friends on who were  on stage with the colour that matched their skirts

Every idol show that I can think of is somewhere dark like a bar or hall and the stage is illuminated with bright lights lighting up the dancers. Probably the more famous one I can recall would be Uncle Tetsu’s Angel Garden, which is a Japanese style café dedicated cheesecake and every Saturday at 9pm, Idol performers AGS102.

Ellis mentions that “ethical issues affiliated with friendship become an important part of the research process and product” which is something I will need to consider since all of the idols I am apart of the fan group for and am watching are all my friends.

Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. (2011) ‘Autoethnography: An Overview‘, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12:1. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095


  1. Hi there, you immediately start strong and continue that way. Your utilisation of the Ellis reading is well handled and using it as a framework for your interaction and recording of Chibi Beatz ensured that an autoethnographic approach is used and referenced. You inform the audience well and in describing your first experience with idol dancing you also explained what idol dancing is and the premise of it in our context. I think this point in your blog would be a perfect time to relay to your audience the phenomena of idol dancing and the reason it has risen in popularity, where it began and the perhaps the utility of it in a western context for someone such as yourself!


    Above is a link that gives a bit of an insight into the idol dancing phenomena and the way it has moved into western culture. I found it interesting researching idol dancing as I actually had no idea what is was until I saw this blog post! Thank you for your insight into your own experience, I think if you were also able to bring in a more personal detailing of your own position, how you came into contact with idol dancing and a more in depth analysis of your background/ethnicity etc. it would create a more informative and reflective attempt at autoethnography.


  2. I think Ellis’ point about story telling is really clearly established here. You can now draw from how you told the stories of your experiences. It is also interesting that you have actually experienced a form of Japanese culture in the flesh. This isn’t always the case and I commend you for stepping into something so different to anything our culture offers us. I think your auto-ethnographic analysis of these experiences will show that your reaction and understanding of Idol Dancing, although it is Japanese may be influenced by your friends’ passion and interest for it!


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