Four days after presenting in Kobe, I travelled to Tokyo with my grad school friend and sister to deliver another paper at Waseda University. Entitled, “Communicating with Cool Japan: New International Perspectives on Japanese Popular Culture,” the preconference organized by the International Communication Association (ICA) brought together a diverse set of scholars in the field of Japanese Popular Culture.
While I was on my own at ACCS, I presented in Tokyo with my close friends from grad school where we met fellow UP graduates. Surprisingly, our adviser also attended the conference, which only added to the pressure! Haha. I presented my term paper for our Culture and Society in Japan seminar course, entitled, “Somewhere in Between: Analyzing the Hybridization of Japanese Popular Music,” and my case study is L’Arc~en~Ciel. ❤
I had a migraine that day, so, admittedly, I only attended a few presentations, and most of them were about Japanese music.
The best thing about that day, though was that I met Professor Koichi Iwabuchi again! He was the Keynote Speaker, and I was surprised that he talked to me first and omg he remembered me from Kobe! I introduced him to my friends in grad school, and of course, they also took a photo opportunity with him as they also both cited his works in their respective theses.
“Popular culture,” at present, is still not being taken seriously by several people. While I have been defending popular culture all my whole -that it is actually a vibrant field of study especially as it cuts across disciplines- there are still those who do not appreciate it and tend to look down on it as a research/academic interest. By attending this particular conference, it was such a relief to see just how invested the scholars I met in analyzing the complexities of Japanese popular culture – there were L’Arc~en~Ciel fans, too!
May this be also a reminder to myself and to others that these academic milestones for me have been made possible by my main fandoms – L’Arc~en~Ciel and BoA. ❤
Strolling around the campus after the conference because why not? 🙂