Presenting at EAJS 2021

End of August we had the pleasure of presenting our latest work at the 16th International Conference of the European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS 2021), hosted by Ghent University, but held online due to the ongoing pandemic situation. Being one of the most prominent conferences for Japanese Studies in Europe it featured a wide range of topics from linguistics, literature and art to history, anthropology and politics to media, education and more over four days of concurrent panels.

Our panel, titled “Characters, Fans and Practitioners” and chaired by Björn-Ole Kamm and Rachael Hutchinson, featured the following three presentations:

First, Martin and Zoltan presented our research on “Who populates Japanese Visual Media? A census of fictional characters based on fan-created data,” in which we examine the temporal trends in the age and gender distribution of the character population of the Anime Characters Database. See the presentation slides below for further details.

Second, Antonio Loriguillo-López presented on the “Media literacy in otaku’s tourism: the case of butaitanbou practitioners.” The results of scene hunting (finding and taking pictures of the original locations featured in anime) are often meticulously presented in comparative montages alongside frames from the concerned movies and series. The presentation highlighted how this practice builds on a wide range of technical and other skills, making these creators exemplary prosumers.

Third, Tomás Grau de Pablos offered an actor-network theory inspired approach to understanding the complexity of the reception and study of Japanese video games beyond their country of origin in his presentation: “Unveiling the Giant: a state of the art of the study of Japanese videogames and its current possibilities.”

The presentations were followed by a very lively Q&A session, where we received a large number of questions and suggestions, which are always a big help in directing the focus of our further development of this particular research project. Thus, we would once again like to thank everyone from the audience for their kind interest in our project, and would also like to thank the chairs and the other two presenters for this great panel. We look forward to the opportunity to present the continuation of this work at further workshops and conferences in the future.

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