Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Reaction to Japan and Changing Impressions via Visual Anthropology

Through this class visual anthropology of Japan, my way of looking at my county has completely changed. before taking this class, I was thinking Japan is really international country in terms of buildings,  modern technology,  fashion, culture.  As I am taking this class, I became to see my country more critically. I became to pay attention on how people from abroad see my country, and compare what is the differences between their culture and Japanese culture.
Japanese culture is really related to nature, and

modern and traditional parts are really close each other. As I wrote about Japanese modern and traditional houses, Japanese culture has developed and introduced by western culture, but traditional Japanese culture is still close to modern culture.
  In terms of Japanese people, they are really group oriented and likely to keep harmony in the group. they are really protective to themselves. they use phone all the time to communicate.
  On the train, people use phone or read book to check information or avoid getting involved in any troubles.
  they are really sensitive to their fashion in school. they care of how they are seen by other people. they tend to care the reputation from others. Therefore, they are really sensitive to their fashion.
these are what I have observed from this blog project and through visual anthropology.
Through this four month of this course, I became more to be  interested in
how Japan is different and what foreigner and native Japanese people perceive
about Japan, and It was really good opportunity to learn visual anthropology.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Japanese fashion in college

After I have interacted with so many people from different country, I have noticed that Japanese wear fancy clothes in college.  I actually thought that is normal to wear really good clothes in college because we are seen by everyone even in school. It does not matter if you are seen by people whom you do not know, but it matters how you would be seen by people because Japanese people tend to care reputations from others.
 As you see in this picture, both Japanese male and female wear really good clothes in campus. when I asked them why they are dressing up like that, most of them answered this is because people might have bad impression if I wear pajama and so on.
when I stared asking many people, I found that people who commute to school always care their dresses. they have to come to school through public transportation. Since a lot of people use public transportation, they have more opportunity to be seen. therefore, they think they have to care looking.

Japanese great fashion style are not only clothes, but also accessories. As you see the picture on the left side, all three people are wearing accessories on their arms. this might be the point that Japanese people care about. they pay attention on very small things that they wear.

I think these Japanese fashion style is connected to their collectivism.  Japanese people concern that relationship is very important so they pay attention on impression of others.  that might be the reason Japanese people wear fancy clothes.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

what do japanese people do?

When I think about what Japanese people do, I think about people using phones on train. As you see this picture, people are facing with phone and chilling with it. I do not know why they are doing it, but I guess this is because people are nothing to do on train, and they keep silent to not bother anybody. People are not supposed to make noise on train so that they have to kill the time with doing something either using phone or reading books. it is really normal to me but I learned it is different in abroad, and I even realized that it is really different  in America through experiencing train there.
Train in America is really loud. people are talking and even singing, but other passengers have never got angry. When I was there at the moment, I really got angry at the people, but my American friends told me that is normal in America. this is what I was surprised the most.

people are using phones even though they are standing on the train. I think it can be said that increasing the number of people using train is related to the development of technology. Japan is one of the most technology developed country so people are easily able to access to internet or play games, therefore, the time of using phone has become longer. Communication through phone became really popular.
 Another possibility that using phone on train is that people can avoid strangers. not facing people each other on train can be important for the sake of avoiding any troubles. Sometimes people have got in trouble by facing people. 
I found out the conclusion that people are not doing nothing on train, but are actually communicating with someone through cellphone, in other words, people are TALKING on the train through non-verbal communication.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Kohei tanaka

let me introduce my Japanese friend. He is Kohei from Okinawa. he lives right in front of my house so we hang out almost everyday. we've been friend for 4 month but we already like best friends. He used to play soccer in famous high school called YASU high school in Shiga. When I saw he is playing, I was just amazed by his skills and tricks.
 although I play baseball, I like soccer too and he likes baseball too so we get along with each other.  He always wears this orange jacket so it is really easy to recognize him.
 In terms of anthropology, you will see that he is holding his phone and smiling. I think this is a represent of one japanese culture; using phone all the time. when he gets bored, he always faces with phone and texts somebody or plays apps. When I took this picture,  I was talking with my other friend and he was there, but he was like this picture and enjoying something.
 His motto is to keep the harmony in groups so he is a group oriented person. this is also one of japanese culture. Japanese people always keep harmony and respect each other. he is really this kind of person and I like him in terms of keeping harmony.
 He is crazy about hip hop, and he knows almost all US hip hop singers. that is really impressive actually.  through this blog, I realized that how Japanese and foreigners are different when they hang out here in japan. foreigners prefer to go out and drinking, doing karaoke and such things, but japanese people rather stay in house or chill with some alcohol and sometimes go out than go out all the time. of course I like both, but I am just glad to know this differences through looking at some other students blogs and comparing them to my blog.
  Anyway,  I am really glad to meet Kohei and I learn a lot from him.
 This is my japanese friend Kohei.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

taguchi1 cho-me

my neighborhood Taguchi 1cho-me. this place is located by east gate of kansaidaigai. there are lots of facilities which people gather.
 this place is a hospital called"tanoguchi-shinryo-jo".  this place is located next to my apartment. it is always  crowded by old people mainly. Every time I pass the hospital I see people talking in front of the hospital. I think this place can be one place people enjoy talking.
there is another hospital nearby Tanoguchi-shinryo-jo. the hospital called Sugano-iin. these 2 hospitals located within 5minuts from my house. I do not know why these hospital located really close but at least people who live in this town easily can go see doctors.

Tanoguchi 1cho-me has more place where people gather.  there is a big park called "Tanoguchi-koen" this park is really big, and lots of activity occurring  in the place such as baseball activity, gate-ball, soccer and so on. the park is also good to take a walk and chill so people go there and communicate with people. I often go there and take a nap, and sometime I talk to people there.

When I think of neighborhood, I think about this place called"nishi taguchi komingashi." this place is for the local organization, therefore, people gather and organize event such as festival or some assembly.  you see a little bullet board on the right side of the picture.  organization inform people local event and stuff so I sometime see people stop by there and take a look at the bullet board.

Through the research for this blog, I realized that there are many place people are able to gather and share information, and also I became loving this neighborhood because of this many places people can gather.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What is Japanese culture??

First of all, let me introduce my self. I am Shun (Shunsuke). I am Japanese, and I have been here for 20years so I am a native Japanese speaker and a native anthropologist. This blog is for a class called"Visual anthropology of Japan" therefore, I am going to mainly write about my own culture-Japan-.
What is Japanese culture?? If you are foreigner, you would imagine Samurai, Sushi, Shinto and such thing, but these things are really old and these cultures are disappearing. Of course there is a lots of traditional cultures like this photo. this is a shrine called "Yamada Jinja" and this shrine is nearby my house in Hirakata. What I want to say about this picture is that Japanese traditional shrine does not exist only with traditional way, but it is more combined with traditional and modern way such as this warehouse for fire equipment.  In this shrine, shrine is not only for the place people go for pray their hope but also for the place people gather and maintain their neighborhood community.  As I said earlier, this place is just 3minutes from my house by walk, on the way to get here, you will find lots of modern Japanese houses.

This is a temple also placed nearby my house. as you see left side of the photo, you will find a non-traditional house. this house is in the shrine.  this shrine is also combined with traditional and modern Japanese culture. This might be weird for Foreigners but this is modern Japan.

   Like these pictures, Japanese culture is not only traditional or old style, but also is a combination of traditional and modern culture. nowadays, manga or anime culture is becoming more popular, this might be a good example of modern Japanese culture. As the technology develops really fast, traditional Japanese culture is disappearing, but we (Japanese people) try to keep traditional Japan.