Networking “Cool Japan”: Re-Considering the Notion of “Network” through the Global Spread of Japanese Popular Culture

Friday, July 18, 2014: 6:00 PM
Room: 303
Oral Presentation
Ryotaro MIHARA , Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
It has been more than a decade since the global appeal and presence of Japanese popular culture (hereinafter called “J-pop”) became significant and was labeled as “Cool Japan.” Even Japanese government has recently committed itself to the overseas promotion of J-pop, and the resulting policy set has been called “Cool Japan” policy. However, few previous studies related to this topic focus closely on the efforts of players in J-pop sector to promote J-pop overseas, especially their cooperation with government and players in overseas market, although such a J-pop’s overseas project is planned and implemented on the basis of their close communications and relationships. In this presentation, therefore, I propose to understand J-pop’s global spread in terms of the network of agencies with central focus on the players of a certain overseas business project of J-pop and government. What kind of “power” “energy” and “motivation” is shared and circulated among their entanglements? How can we develop an understanding of the “network” concept through the global spread of J-pop? Being a researcher, fieldworker, and ex-government official of “Cool Japan” policies and business projects, I will discuss about possible answers to this set of questions.