We had a productive last week in Tokyo.
On Monday I interviewed the CEO of a company catering to the doujinshi world. In the evening we location scouted in Hibiya park before meeting a new research participant, who I interviewed while S was shooting us. I realised that I can’t do interviews in Japanese while walking. I need to sit down to be able to concentrate only on the interview and the language.
On Tuesday we spent another full day with my main research participant, shooting processes and doing some more interviewing.
On Wednesday I interviewed a new research participant in Shinjuku Gyoen (sitting down this time), followed by another meeting with my main in Akihabara.
On Thursday we wanted to ride the roller coaster at Tokyo Dome again, but the whole park was closed due to the corona virus. We managed to get in to the space museum Tenq after having had our temperatures measured at the entrance. It was surprisingly good and fun! In the evening we went on a spontaneous shopping spree at the stationery department of Yodobashi Akiba. What a joy!
On Friday my friend Y handed over the book he had managed to order for me from a marketplace app (it was super complicated). This is a key book for my research that made me really exhilarated to receive! I got so excited that I forgot to pay him for it. In the evening I had izakaya dinner at a train themed restaurant in Akihabara with Patrick W. Galbraith, who is possibly the most relevant scholar for my research, so it was great to make contact and chat about our respective subjects. Meanwhile S spent hours in the train simulator at Taito Game Station.
Saturday was spent shopping until late. The highlight was K-Books in Ikebukuro, where I found a whole shelf with Wataru and Daichi (Granzort) merch – S had never seen me that animated! But I also had to buy two action figures from Yowamushi Pedal. Even S found a small backpack that he liked, which turned out to be merch from Conan. So he’ll turn a bit 2.5D. In general, he’s become very interested in anime, so we’ll have a lot to watch together from now on.
And today we flew home! We went to the airport with the Keisei Skyliner, returned our pocket wifi’s, and the tax free receipts in our passports. In addition, I did my last traditional shopping: On every visit to Japan I buy a copy of Jump at the airport before boarding. I now have nine of them, reminding me of my nine Japan trips.
And what a lovely trip this was! Both researchwise, filmwise, and on the personal level. I so much look forward to engaging with all the footage, and to unpack all the books and stuff.
- Kinsella, Sharon. 2019. “Cuteness, ‘josō’, and the need to appeal: ‘otoko no ko’ in male subculture in 2010s Japan”. Japan Forum, November, 1–27.
- A research paper on anime and otaku culture by my main research participant.
- Äiti (“A Mother”, Finland 2019, 91 min) – beautiful cinematography!
- Terminator: Dark Fate (USA 2019, 128 min) – also beautiful cinematography!