I am now attending a Japanese studies conference in Adelaide, South Australia.  This is a brief report to share with you some interesting ideas and observations about Japanese popular culture I got in the past few days.

(1) The Japan Foundation is in trouble.  It has been the largest supporter of Japanese studies in the world for decades.  Now the Japanese government has decided to cut its budget by 10% per year from now on and will discuss its existence in a few years time.  The Japanese government is extremely short-sighted to do this to the Japan Foundation.  It plays the leading role to promote cultural exchange and research and is important for cultural diplomacy. Without or weakening it will further damage Japanese international image and relations.


(2) In the past few years, the Japanese government has recognized the importance of popular culture as a way to imporve Japanese image and exports overseas. Now it has decided to use ODA to boost its cultural products overseas.  ODA (Overseas Development Assistance) is basically a low-interest loan offered by the Japanese government to developing nations.  The donor (Japan) decides the ways the money use.  In the past, money usually went to infrastructure (of course also the pocket of corrupted politicians).  Now, the Japanese government uses ODA to allow Latin and South America to buy copyrights of Japanese anime. It is just a beginning.  I guess it will cover Japanese TV dramas, movies and other aspects of pop culture soon). In the past, NHK gave away Oshin to developing nations (like Indonesia, China and Egypt).  Now, ODA makes this official cultural export normal.  It is bound to be controversial and criticized as a mean of cultural imperialism.

(3) My paper on the Japanese influence on Hong Kong ghost movies received tremendous response. It seems that Japanese pop culture is the most fast-growing subfield in Japanese studies and I hope more and more promising young people in Hong Kong will join me to develop this important field.

(4) An otaku young man (an Australian graduate student) made a presentation on the music of Ghost in the Shell.  I was a bit disappointed because he lived in this own world and talked Greeks. Like typcial otaku, he could not make himself understood.  What a shame!  Otaku do not even know how to communicate with ordinary people and make people think that Japanese ACG lovers are all like this.  May be to them, they rather die than lower their level.

Posted by 知日部屋屋主 | 評論(19) | 引用(0) | 閱讀(27989)
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Defender +
2006/09/02 18:43
Maybe most of the westerners do accept and concern them.
Only Japanese are teasing and criticize them. It is because Japanese are in-born Xenophobiae.
Defender +
2006/09/02 18:39
>I was a bit disappointed because he lived in this own world and talked Greeks. Like typcial otaku, he could not make himself understood.  It is a shame.  Otaku do not even know how to communicate with ordinary people and make people think that Japanese ACG lovers are all like this.

I totally agree with this, Dr. Ng.

If Otakus do not stand up for themselves, get out to the society and clarify their minds to the public. The misunderstanding of otaku tribe in the public will be getting worse and worse.
Therefore, I have joined some speech improvment course before before I go study abroad.

One shouldn't live in his own world till they die. The reality will make them to face it someday.

Anyway, I am studying Australia now. I realize that there have some Otaku comrades in Australia. Thanks for your article.
知日部屋屋主 +
2005/07/07 14:28
Au Yeung +
2005/07/07 13:39
Nevertheness, Koizumi had been gaining continual support from citizens, until the recent discussions on Postel Reform. The percentage of people supporting Koizumi was the highest when Sino-Japanese relationship was the worst. Many Japanese even consider that the diplomatic strategy under Koizumi is "normal," denouncing the rromer situation as an abnormal, humiliating one.
At the moment, many Japanese are shocked by Koizumi's die-hard attitude in the Postel Reform, leading to some popular socio-political figures criticizing "The Koizumi regime would soon end."
rururu +
2005/07/07 11:52
知日部屋屋主 +
2005/07/07 07:18
rururu +
2005/07/05 15:16
promotion of Japan's image
rururu +
2005/07/05 15:15
another question, rather that what the impact is, is WHY the gov't want to cut the budget? If the loan has been playing an important role in promotation of Japan image, then WHY don't they want to do it anymore at this moment?angry
Ben Ng +
2005/07/05 13:51
(1) Yes, I think the Koizumi adminstration is unwise to cut support for the Japan Foundation. He has caused a lot of damages to international relations, in particular with China and South Korea and should support cultural activities for the sake of Japana and regional stability.
(2) definitely NO. Otaku cannot do research because they are not open-minded enough to understand different voices.  Most are very narrowly-focused and exclusive.
bread_fukong +
2005/07/05 13:04


Japan Foundation 的 funding...豈不是在抽自己的後腳..??

2. 其實如果從研究的角度來看,otaku會唔會比普通對日本文化有研究的人做得好..?

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