#bcm330

Reflecting on: Japanese Car Culture

In my previous blog (found here), I discussed the Japanese car scene and its influences throughout the world. I attempted to link my narrative and research perspective by giving my own background of the topic as well engage on cultural experience with readers who may have a similar epiphany (Ellis et al., 2011). This blog will analyses and explain my epiphany and how it drew on further research.

Ellis et al. (2011) suggested that Autoethnography is the practice of giving your own personal cultural experience and to reflect on yourself as a researcher to engage with other individuals, as well as using other methods of research such as drawing on epiphanies (personal experience) to illustrate facets of cultural experience and make characteristics of a culture familiar for insiders and outsiders.

As Bochner (1984, p.565) suggested, epiphanies in ethnography are important as they draw on recollections on feelings that are present long after the event occurred. In my previous blog, using Adams (2005) and Wood (2009), I attempted to expand and open a wider lens for readers to understand who I am and how my epiphanies influenced my interpretation of Japanese car culture. I discussed how being exposed to a western car culture at a young age has led me to Japanese car scene/culture, and by using emotion, such as the feeling of being at a car meet, influenced my research and drew from epiphanies, rather than assuming they don’t exist (Ellis et al., 2011). Thus, attempting to engage with others who may feel the same, and provide insights to insiders and outsiders, into a culture that may not be familiar with as Maso (2001) suggested.

While doing ethnography we become participant observers of the culture by taking field notes of cultural happenings (Geertz, 1973) which led me to taking further field notes and researching Japanese car culture. But, as suggested by Boylorn (2008); Ellis et al (2011); Denzin (2006); Jorgenson (2006); and Ronai (1995, 1996), I didn’t want to just purely talk at a narrative standpoint, but rather I used collected research, relevant cultural artifacts and topics about car culture, such as different types of cars and it’s relation to other media, and then compared it to my own personal experience to illustrate characteristics of Japanese car culture as well as contribute to understanding of a culture. Thus, using a personal narrative of my background and relation to car culture, to invite and connect readers into my “world”, to reflect on past experience (Ellis, 2004, p.46).

That’s a whole lot of text.

The main area of the blog was drawing on my emotions and epiphanies, and how it influenced me as a young person, and now as I am older. I wanted to create a blog post that was engaging, aesthetic and evocative to give insight to the reader to my personal experience through images, text and videos.

This is aesthetic and engaging… right?

This post is a bit research heavy, but I hope I provided some insight to how an epiphany came to me when thinking of a topic to write about, and how I went about further contributing research into the car culture (Not just Japanese care culture).

I would like to leave you with another video clip from fellow Australian Noriyaro that shows a bit more insight into Japanese car culture and how other car cultures influenced the Japanese scene.

https://www.twitch.tv/noriyarojapan/clip/RelentlessProtectiveDragonfruitResidentSleeper

Also, since its “Raid Area 51 Day” today, i’ll leave this here for you guys.

I forgot to mention this in my last post, but Eurobeat is a big part of Car Culture

Reference

Adams, Tony E. (2005). Speaking for others: Finding the “whos” of discourse. Soundings, 88(3-4), 331-345.

Bochner, Arthur P. (1984). The functions of human communication in interpersonal bonding. In Carroll C. Arnold & John W. Bowers (Eds.), Handbook of rhetorical and communication theory (pp.544-621). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Boylorn, Robin M. (2008). As seen on TV: An autoethnographic reflection on race and reality television. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 25(4), 413-433.

Denzin, Norman K. (2006). Mother and Mickey. The South Atlantic Quarterly, 105(2), 391-395.

Ellis, Carolyn (2004). The ethnographic I: A methodological novel about autoethnography. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.

Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. (2011) ‘Autoethnography: An Overview‘, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, vol. 12, no. 1.

Geertz, Clifford (1973). The interpretation of cultures. New York: Basic Books.

Jorgenson, Jane (2002). Engineering selves: Negotiating gender and identity in technical work. Management Communication Quarterly, 15(3), 350-380.

Maso, Ilja (2001). Phenomenology and ethnography. In Paul Atkinson, Amanda Coffey, Sara Delamont, John Lofland & Lyn Lofland (Eds.), Handbook of ethnography (pp.136-144). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Wood, Julie T. (2009). Gendered lives: Communication, gender, and culture. Boston: Wadsworth.

Ronai, Carol R. (1995). Multiple reflections of child sex abuse. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 23(4), 395-426.

Ronai, Carol R. (1996). My mother is mentally retarded. In Carolyn Ellis & Arthur P. Bochner (Eds.), Composing ethnography: Alternative forms of qualitative writing (pp.109-131). Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira.




One Buck Short – Malaysian pop-punk

One Buck Short are a Malaysian alternative, pop punk band that are from Kuala Lumpur. The band was formed in high school in 2001, in which two of the members began playing local shows, events and competitions together, before breaking out into the local and regional scene. Although the band is Malaysian, it features a very heavy influence from the Western punk genre – most of their albums are named in English. Although in saying this, after listening to a few of their songs through YouTube, the songs themselves feature Malaysian names and lyrics.

The band has since broken into the Western punk scene, as they have supported various American pop-punk bands such as Sum 41, Good Charlotte and Fall Out Boy, on national tours around Asian countries such as Malaysia and Singapore.

One Buck Short has a clearly defined role across social media platforms, with public Facebook and Twitter accounts being updated regularly about the progress of the band as well as general updates about shows and new music.

After further looking through One Buck Short’s twitter feed, I discovered that the majority of their tweets are written in English, similar to their music. They are also rather informal, and do not seem to be scheduled. This indicates that the band members themselves would run the page, rather than an appointed publicist or someone similar. The band’s Twitter was also very interesting to explore as they spent a lot of time interacting with fans that had attempted to connect through the page. There was a great deal of tweets written in Malaysian directed to local fans, who had written to One Buck Short also in Malaysian. This is important to note, as the tweets that were directed to the general public were in contrast, written in English.

I decided to follow and ‘Like’ One Buck Short on both Twitter and Facebook on my personal accounts, in order to keep in touch with what the band is up to, as well as their interaction with fans and the public. This is a great way for me to gain a real insight into my topic of choice, the alternative and punk music in various Asian countries from a digital perspective. As I delve further into the topic, it will be interesting to look at other bands in the same genre from the same area and see how they compare in terms of their use of digital and social technologies for promotion.

Wait… He’s not Asian!

3642178-3187180187-Mulan

As a kid, I was never really into Disney movies and princesses like lots of other girls my age. I had never seen Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty or Snow White, but it never bothered me much. The only Disney film I could ever get into was ‘Mulan’ (1998) who was hardly a princess – more an awesome, fighting war chick.

Every time I was bored, or my mum wanted a little peace and quiet, she would put Mulan on for me. It was one of my biggest comforts.

As I got older, the excitement about Mulan dissipated a little bit. I didn’t see it for years, then one day about two years ago I bought the DVD and was able to relive little Keely’s pure joy of seeing an awesome Chinese warrior princess saving China with her dragon sidekick.

In thinking about digital media culture, with a specific focus on Asian sources, it got me thinking about films such as Mulan. Although the story is based on and inspired by an ancient Chinese legend, and features a few Chinese actors and actresses for the voices, the film is ultimately a product from Hollywood and is not a traditional Asian media text.

This is one of the most common areas of cultural assumption that comes to mind when I think of such texts. The fact that as a child, and up until a few years ago, I automatically assumed that an animated film about a Chinese legend, and concerning Chinese characters must have originated in, you guessed it, China now seems a little rash and downright silly to me.

This highlights the way in which we associate certain cultures so easily with popular media texts that may feature aspects of said culture. After looking into Mulan more thoroughly, I found that many of the voice actors who star in the film are not actually Chinese, or even of Chinese descent. For instance, Donny Osmond voiced Shang, the major male character, alongside Mulan herself. Yeah, that’s right! The ‘I’m a little bit rock ‘n’ roll!’ guy!

donny-banner-main

This realization is important to note when researching Asian media and culture as it proves that yes, assumptions are often made about pop culture in certain genres, that are coming from Hollywood, but may not seem it.

After exploring Asian movie culture contrasted with Hollywood, I decided that I wanted to go in a different direction with my research into Asian media types – and I came up with Asian music. I was a little bit hesitant to do this to begin with, as genres such as J-pop and K-pop have never interested me in the same way others have. This is probably because I am so emotionally invested in the genres of music that I love to listen to – I’m a little bit of a music snob. This made me decide that I wanted to look into heavy, hardcore, industrial and progressive music genres, with a focus on artists that have originated in Asian nations!

I feel as if this would be such an interesting area of study and something completely new that I do not know much about. Now I am really excited to get underway with my digital artifact and finding all different types of music that exist out there.