Research Paper Six case studies of contents tourism

Seaton, Philip

pp.19 - 20 , 2015-03-16 , Research Faculty of Media and Communication, Hokkaido University = 北海道大学メディアコミュニケーション研究院
This short series of research notes brings together some of the case studies that have been researched by members of the project ‘International Comparative Research on the Spreading and Reception of Culture through Contents Tourism’. This research has been funded since April 2014 by a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science grant (Kiban A, grant number 26243007). However, the project had its roots in a small group research project started in the Research Faculty of Media and Communication in 2010. The initial focus was sustainable tourism in Hokkaido, but as the international potential of the concept of ‘contents tourism’ emerged, the project switched focus. In the summer of 2011, three members of the group, Philip Seaton, Takayoshi Yamamura and Takeshi Okamoto, presented initial research results at the European Association for Japanese Studies Conference in Tallinn, Estonia. This panel presentation formed the basis of a special edition of the journal Japan Forum (Vol. 27 No. 1) published in 2015. As the project gained momentum, other researchers joined, too. Three of those researchers have contributed research notes to this essay collection. Akiko Sugawa-Shimada (Yokohama National University) took part in the British Association for Japanese Studies (Japan Branch) symposium ‘Rethinking Cool Japan’ in May 2012 along with Takeshi Okamoto and Philip Seaton. Thereafter, she also published her research on rekijo (history fan girls) as part of the Japan Forum special edition. Clothilde Sabre joined the project after the EAJS conference in Tallinn, and then took up a JSPS postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Advanced Tourism Studies in 2013-4. Kyungjae Jang completed his PhD at the Graduate School of International Media, Communication, and Tourism Studies before joining the project as a full-time researcher in October 2014. The first half of this essay collection was in Japanese. Katsuyuki Nishikawa, who has provided the introductory essay in Japanese, has been a project member from the beginning. His introduction discusses how contents tourism references the world of ‘the idea’ and draws a parallel with European tourism in the eighteenth century. However, the centrepiece of this essay collection is a Japanese translation of the research group’s first major publication, the paper ‘The mediatisation of culture: Japanese contents tourism and popular culture’ published in Mediating the Tourist Experience: from brochures to virtual encounters edited by Jo-Anne Lester and Caroline Scarles. This chapter was co-authored by Sue Beeton, Takayoshi Yamamura and Philip Seaton. Sue Beeton, whose 2005 book Film-Induced Tourism is considered the pioneering work in the field, joined the project in October 2012 when she came to Hokkaido to be keynote speaker at the symposium ‘Film/contents tourism and local communities’. Publishing our research in both English and Japanese (and in time, other languages too) is a vital step toward achieving our aim of crossfertilising the literatures in various languages to create a truly international research project into the global phenomenon of travel induced by engagement with media. This publication of the Japanese translation of ‘The mediatisation of culture’, therefore, is an important step in the development of the project.

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