The goal of Japan Subcultures Network is to research systematically the
trend and information on latest studies of Japanese comics and anime based
on the international joint research project with the research organizations
in Western countries and America, and to try to develop them academically.
It is our aim to promote the development and fixing as arts and sciences
of the study in the world through these academic activities. At the same
time, we are trying to promote Japanese study in Japan and the world. This
project applied to Japan Society for the Promotion of Science(JSPS) in
2010, was adopted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science
and Technology, and was started from October of the same year.
The fundamental aim of this project is "development as arts and sciences" of Japanese comics and anime study. As everyone knows, there are many styles, genres, and levels of the discourse about comics and anime. There is all kinds of discourse from a practical viewpoint of the scene of manufacture to a political proposal and noble philosophical argument. It is a starting point of this project that aiming at connection with "ordinary" academic approach is "rare" in fact. Relation with Japanology may also be opened further. In this case, we would like to use an academic approach as a "platform" in which we can exchange various discourses rather than to shut myself up in an "ivory tower."
There are two pillars for promoting "development as arts and sciences."
They are (1)Interdisciplinary and (2)Positive.
(1)Interdisciplinary: When we aim at "development as arts and sciences", the traditional segmented academic area is inapplicable to the word "arts and sciences." Since there is no suitable word, "interdisciplinary" approach is used here. It does not become useful "development" without interdisciplinary collaboration of academic areas, such as science of arts, a symbol theory, sociology, philosophy, history, anthropology, media studies, and literature.
(2)Positive: There are fundamental problems what is "positive," and whether any "positive" method are suitable for this study. The level of "positive" method of this project is the simplest. The methods of our research are empirical investigation, quantitative research, interview, and collection and analysis of primary data. Similar positive survey was conducted by the project of Europe manga network in Europe countries. It is our ambition that such survey should be conducted just at various places in Asian countries including Japan. At least such survey has not been conducted by social-scientific method on a large scale.
In order to achieve the above-mentioned goal, we undertake the following three tasks.
1. Sharing data with overseas research organization.
2. Holding an international congress in Japan.
3. Original survey in Asian countries.
1. It is a sharing the data of questionnaire which the above "Europe Manga Network" carried out. Sharing the large part of data was already completed.
2. Holding international academic meeting of comics and anime with global quality and scale. A convention which mustered ones held before should be held in Japan. It is required also as trigger of development as arts and sciences. This is an agenda in next year (2012)
3. I would like to promote original survey in Asia. The pilot survey is already started.
1. Establishment of "Japan Subcultures Network"
"Japan Subcultures Network" is established for promotion of this project by setting up an office in Kobe University. Regular meeting is held routinely at Kobe University and Kyoto Seika University. And website of the project is also built. We take part in the counting work of data of the survey which "Europe Manga Network" (Headquarters is at Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris "Sciences-Po") which is the main partner of the project carried out in Europe. "Japan Subcultures Network" and "Europe Manga Network" devise cooperatively the suitable design for couing work, and built the database for statistical consideration sharing primary data. Cheif persons of the project go to Paris, and perform liaison and adjustment with a "Europe Manga Network" directly.
2. Design of Analysis Framework of Totaled Result
We try to devise the analysis framework of totaled result. An original framework for each country, common framework, and the original framework for every researcher are built. Every researcher prepare to release these results as a paper in the following year.
3. Arrangement of "Japan Subcultures Network World congress"
Arrangement of the "Japan Subcultures Network World congress" held in Kobe University in 2012 is started. Local Organization Committee is built up, and the practical office for world congresses is set up at the Kobe University. Researcher is stationed at the office for the arrangement. The researcher performs the arrangement of meeting place, advertisement about the congress, and selection of presenters, etc. And we also investigate the actual circumstances of comics anime study in the world as part of arrangement of world congress.
4. Integrated Promotion of Project
In order to make cooperation of the whole project close and to manage it smoothly, we cooperate and adjust with each organization. Especially we try to consider rationalization of plan checking the advancing situation of the project, and to contributes to promotion of the project by conducting a survey, inviting external knowledgeable persons if needed, and so on. We would like to release and report positively results obtained in the project, and to contribute to further development of subculture studies.
2010/10/01：Japan Subcultures Network starting