Role of Mass Media in Japanese Popular Culture Reception in Southeast Asia Essay
PAPER SELECTION FOR JAPAN – ASEAN STUDENT CONFERENCE 2009 Role of Mass Media on Japanese Popular Culture Reception in Southeast Asia Countries Case study: Indonesia Written by Mirah Mahaswari Department of Communication Studies Faculty of Social and Political Sciences Gadjah Mada University Indonesia Tuesday, September 8, 2009 Role of Mass Media on Japanese Popular Culture Reception in Southeast Asia Countries Case study: Indonesia Abstract The study of popular culture can be seen from three main approaches.
The first debate will be on how popular culture able to penetrate the global limit and produced massively to the society.
Second, the influence of popular culture on the contemporary society. Third, the role of mass media in popular culture. Concerning in communication studies, the third approach will be the main idea of the essay. The next explanation is about the role of mass media freedom on popular culture reception in society. Indonesia will be the locus to elaborated on how the level of media freedom in Indonesia affected the dissemination of Japanese popular culture to the society.
At a glance popular culture Popular culture is a topic that was much discussed in the last decade. The study of popular culture became more diverse, ranging from discussing the issue in music, fashion, lifestyle, until the political sphere. Historically, according to MacDonald,1 popular culture developed since the 1800s. Since that time, Western culture split into two areas: the traditional culture which he calls “high culture” and “popular culture”. Popular culture is a culture that simply and directly being an object of mass consumption, while high culture is the result of individual expression of an artist. In line with these thoughts, Storey3 states that popular culture is seen as a residual category in comparison with high culture. In this case, high culture is the result of individual creations deserve moral and aesthetic response. Meanwhile, mass culture is seen as a symbolic practices manipulative, public fantasy that is automatically taken out. Referring to Strinati (1995)4, in general, popular culture is defined as the culture of mass-produced with the help of industrial technology, professionally marketed to the public aimed at consumers and bring profit.
Gradually, popular culture is present in daily interactions, to be a need and 1 Dwilight MacDonald, “The Theory of Mass Culture”, dalam Bernard Rosenberg dan David Manning White (eds), Mass Culture, The Popular Arts in America. Illinois: The Free Press. P. 65-70 2 Idy Subandi Ibrahim (ed). 1997. Ecstasy Gaya Hidup. Badung: Mizan. P. 52 3 John Storey. 1993. An Introductory Guide to Cultural Theory and Popular Culture. New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf. P. 15-17 4 Dominic Strinati. 1995. An Introduction to Theories of Popular Culture. London: Routledge. P. -5 desire. Popular culture became a social phenomenon and the entire practice of human life from music, entertainment, shows, food, to sports. 5 Unknowingly, popular culture easily found in everyday life. I simply concept that the attention to popular culture focused on three main points. First, popular cultural attraction was so massive that can not only reach a limited circle of a mass group within a society, but far into almost all boundaries, both physically and mentally throughout the world community. It has been a culture within the global space.
The general question is what the appeal of this popular culture products that can suck people’s interest at a rate far greater than other products that have been before. 6 Second, related to the first, massive power of popular culture to reach such a large mass, in turn, attract the attention of some people to know the positive or negative effects resulting from the cultural practices of the older. 7 Questions generally refers to see how far the influence caused by the popular culture to the masses who consume them. From here, then developed criticism in two directions at once, ie. ass culture and mass society. Third, is the subject of thought is rarely examined in the writings on popular culture so far. As a scholar of Communication Sciences, I’ll take this concept in the essay to criticize the popular culture in Southeast Asia, in particular Indonesia. Taking into account that the spread of popular culture can be a massive and questioning of a force that could be determinative power over many aspects of human culture, is the same question what medium do popular culture can disseminate. In short, the question refers to the mass media’s role in popular culture.
Media as a channel of popular culture If we accept the popular culture as a reality that includes texts, practices, and experiences of certain cultural development can be traced both historically and sociologically, then such acceptance among others assume that mass culture is not something that by itself is. 8 It means, it has social relationships with other current realities in the social and cultural development of modern society. For this need, this assumption can be developed into a 5 6 Ritzer George. 2006. The Globalization of Nothing. Yogyakarta: Atma Jaya. Tong Chee Kiong and Lian Kwen Fee. 2003.
Cultural Knowledge, Nation-States, and the limits of globalization in Southeast Asia. USA: Berghahn Books. P. 42 7 Hebbert J Gans. 1975. Populerular Cultur and High Culture: An Analysis and Evaluation of Taste. USA: Basic Book Inc. P. 27 8 Hikmat Budiman. 2002. Lubang Hitam Kebudayaan. Yogyakarta: Kanisius. P. 51 hypothesis that the discourse of popular culture very closely with the discourse of the mass media. When we are faced with two contradictory realities. On the one hand, popular culture products or cultural practices that are relatively homogeneous, on the other hand the global society is very heterogeneous.
The question then is how popular culture can be accepted and created experiences that are almost universal in the community. 9 The same statement also appeared to see the role of mass media as a medium of popular culture spread throughout the world. In his famous thesis, McLuhan mentions the term “Global Village”, 10 that is the conditions where media technology has been successfully transformed human societies in the world into a global community of the unit without the walls of the geographical and political boundaries. The interesting thing is that the dea complaints about how sophisticated mass media provides an opportunity for a world community acceptance of popular culture. Globalization of popular culture would be very easily linked to the emergence of a new development direction in a shorten world as a result of the development of communication and information technology. With the more open of mass media, the more human interaction, traffic messages, events, and ideas in every corner of the world map can be distributed quickly than before. Through the media, not just the message and the information flows quickly, but also entertainment and lifestyle communities.
Theorists such as Jean Baudrillard11 in excess even think that the world we experience today has been completely transformed by a variety images of mass media message appears in our everyday life. According to the communication disciplines,12 mass media is a means to convey the message. There are four main categories of the dominant mass media in modern society of mass communication, namely: the print media (newspapers, magazines, books); recording (cassette, audio, CD, VCD, DVD); moving pictures (films), and broadcasting media( radio and television broadcasting). Recent developments marked by the presence of a new medium, the Internet.
This last media involves extraordinary interactivity between text, moving images, and audio. 9 Jane Stokes. 2006. How To Do Media and Cultural Studies. Yogyakarta: Bentang. P. 112 Marshall McLuhan. 1964. Understanding Media, the Extension of Man. New york: Basic Books. P. 248 11 Jean Baudrillard. 1995. “The Virtual Illusion: Or the Automatic Writing of The World” dalam Theory Culture, Explorations in Critical Social Sciences. P. 102 12 Budiman. Op. Cit. P. 57 10 Through mass media, popular culture that developed in the foreign countries, also showed a strong appeal. 3 The films are distributed in CDs and displayed simultaneously in cinemas throughout the country. Foreign television programs can also be enjoyed by cable TV networks in homes. Entertainment from the world familiar music we listen through the recording and radio broadcasting. Foreign magazines also add a reference everyday readings. Popular culture has become a successful competitor to replace versions of various local culture. The role of media in influencing, persuading, and stimulating new demand for people has taught consumers to move beyond their physical needs and desires to create unwanted psychological previously.
It is not surprising that these conditions confirmed the media’s position as an important instrument in the dissemination of popular culture products all over the world. Case Study: Indonesia As we know that mass media is an effective medium to disseminate popular culture in the community. Popular culture in this case, is a message with various forms. The logic is simple, when the media can move freely, the message is easily accessible by the public. It occurs on the Japanese popular culture spread throughout Indonesia.
Firstly, I would define what I actually meant by Japanese popular culture which entering Indonesia nowadays and the further elaboration on this case study. ? Japanese popular culture Japan is one of the developed countries, not least the entertainment industry. Based on a survey of how Japanese people use their spare time, 80 percent responded on average spend 1. 5 to 2 hours per day watching television, listening to the radio, and read magazines or newspapers. So, although known for hard-working citizens, Japanese society is still trying to find entertainment wherever they were.
On the way to work, they often use their time by reading manga, or listening to J-rock through the mp3 player. The situation is making Japanese entertainment industry producers to make products that really attractive and quality to its communities. That situation lead Japanese entertainment industry create such innovations through their products. For example, in the Japanese entertainment industry, Japanese-style rock music might adopt the American rock music. However, Japanese music are still unique, 13 James Lull. 1997. Media, Komunikasi, Kebudayaan: Suatu Pendekatan Global.
Jakarta: Yayasan Obor Indonesia. P. 68-69 because the lyrics are blend of Japanese and some English. The visual appearance of the singers are also very catchy, which is generally called harajuku style. In addition to the music industry, movie industry, such as anime and manga as well as wits never to always create a fantasy and imagination in the theme of the characters. Japanese entertainment industry is a portrait of popular culture where the works of art made mass products, which are massive distributed to other countries, and the world public consumption that generate profit. ?
Japanese popular culture products 1. Anime Anime is animation originating in Japan. The world outside Japan regards anime as “Japanese animation”. 14 Anime originated about 1917. Anime, like manga (Japanese comics), has a large audience in Japan and high recognition throughout the world. Distributors can release anime via television broadcasts, directly to video, or theatrically, as well as online. Both hand-drawn and computer-animated anime exist. It is used in television series, films, video, video games, commercials, and internetbased releases, and represents most, if not all, genres of fiction.
Anime, popular in Asian countries such as Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Indonesia has also become widespread in countries in the Western World such as United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Norway, Russia, and Sweden. 2. Manga Manga consist of comics and print cartoons in the Japanese language and conforming to the style developed in Japan in the late 20th century. 15In their modern form, manga date from shortly after World War II, but they have a long, complex prehistory in earlier Japanese art. In Japan, people of all ages read manga.
The genre includes a broad range of subjects: action-adventure, romance, sports and games, historical drama, comedy, science fiction and fantasy, mystery, horror, sexuality, and business and commerce, among others. Since the 1950s, manga have steadily become a major part of the Japanese publishing industry, representing a 406 billion yen market in Japan in 2007. Manga have also become increasingly popular worldwide. In 2008, the U. S. and Canadian manga market was $175 million. Manga are typically printed in black-and-white, although some full-color manga exist (e. g. Colorful). In 14 15
Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary Wikipedia. 2009. Manga. Archieved on http://id. wikipedia. org/wiki/Manga. Accessed on 31 Agustus 2009. Japan, manga are usually serialized in telephone book-size manga magazines, often containing many stories, each presented in a single episode to be continued in the next issue. If the series is successful, collected chapters may be republished in paperback books called tankobon. A manga artist (mangaka in Japanese) typically works with a few assistants in a small studio and is associated with a creative editor from a commercial publishing company.
If a manga series is popular enough, it may be animated after or even during its run, although sometimes manga are drawn centering on previously existing live-action or animated films (e. g. Star Wars). 3. J-rock and J-pop Japanese Pop and Japanese Rock which are popular with the term J-pop and Jrock is the name for the music or songs that are sung or played by grupband from Japan. The only difference between the music J-pop and J-rock in general is the language of the lyrics and unique musical genre.
Brief similar to American music, but they managed to use unique mixture with their own musical identity that of course very Japanese. 4. Harajuku Style Harajuku is the common name for the area around Harajuku Station on the Yamanote Line in the Shibuya ward of Tokyo, Japan. Every Sunday, young people dressed in a variety of styles including gothic lolita, visual kei, and decora, as well as cosplayers spend the day in Harajuku socializing. The fashion styles of these youths rarely conform to one particular style and are usually a mesh of many.
Most young people gather on Jingu Bridge, which is a pedestrian bridge that connects Harajuku to the neighboring Meiji Shrine area. Harajuku is also a fashion capital of the world renowned for unique street fashion. Harajuku street style is promoted in Japanese and international publications such as Kera, Tune, Gothic & Lolita Bible and Fruits. Many prominent designers and fashion ideas have sprung from Harajuku and incorporated themselves into other fashions throughout the world. Harajuku is also a large shopping district that includes luxury western designers like Louis Vuitton, Harajuku native esigners, and affordable shops catering to youths. The role of media on Japanese popular cuture reception in Indonesia Locus of Indonesia will be the object of a case study of this paper because of author’s personal closeness and abundance information of Japanese popular culture resources on the Indonesian media. Gunaratne also stated that Indonesia has a quite free media freedom compared to another countries in South East Asia16 (see table 1). This is certainly a uniqueness of this essay which is providing a new color in media and popular culture studies in Indonesia as well.
Now, let us elaborated more about the conditions of Indonesian media and the effects of its to the happening of Japanese popular culture in the society, through examining three main part of media industry, print media, broadcasting media, and the new media – internet. Print Media Indonesian print media is now fully segmented. Almost all media have their own target audience, from cooking stuffs to politics, from which aimed for kids to elderly. In term of Japanese popular cultur reception, manga which is really popular in Indonesia also printed in a plenty numbers and massively distibuted into book stores and even book rentals.
The Japanese comics also being an attractive consumption in Indonesian kids and teenagers. PT Elex media komputindo which is holding the license of Doraemon distribution in Indonesia, stated that almost 40. 000 eks were sold in each series. The other manga which is popular was also Detective Conan, Dragonball, Naruto, One Pice, etc. Popular culture was developed in part because Indonesia having a massive current print media. The arrival of harajuku style really caused by the Japanese magazines existed in Indonesia. There are more than 900 Indonesian press publications agencies nowadays. 7 Both foreign, national, and local, all fully accommodated the print media in the selling or renting stalls, include Japanese one. So that Indonesian print media has a big contribution in speading the Japanese popular culture. Broadcast Media Television and radio broadcasting is the most effective distribution channels of Japanese popular culture for the Indonesian community. 18 National borders no longer hard hitted by the rise of communication technology users today. Through television, the 16 17 Shelton A Gunaratne. 2000. Handbook of the media in Asia. New Delhi: Sage Publication.
P. 223 Tim Dewan Pers. 2006. Data Penerbitan Pers di Indonesia. Jakarta: Dewan Pers. Wawan Kuswandi. Komunikasi Massa: Sebuah Analisis Media Televisi. Jakarta: PT Rineka Cipta. P. 9 18 Indonesian people easily recognize the Japanese culture and lifestyle. The presence of television in Indonesia has lasted 47 years (see table 2). And during that time, almost every Sunday we saw Japanese cartoons in those TV stations. The existence of Japanese cartoon also loveable for kids, where they’re always spending time in the afternoon to see Avatar and One Piece cartoon.
Indonesia has emerged a number of TV stations both nationally and subscriber TV19 (see table 3). The existence of subscriber television is certainly fosters more Japanese popular culture influence in life, through the presence of the Japan TV Channel or Japanese cartoon programs throughout the world. 20 Slightly different from the television, the radio offers music recording industry rampant in Indonesia. Any foreign band joined the audience with the musicians scrambling from Indonesia. Portion of Japanese Rock is calculated in the spread of popular culture in Indonesian society.
Even, there are famous band named J-Rock which is really inspired by Japanese styles. The radio content also added Japanese musci program on their playlist. Like what each private radio stasions here in Indonesia had, i. e. Ichigo in Swaragama FM. The latest data recorded that there are 847 private radio in 2007, and the estimated amount is still growing today. So once more, the happening Japanese popular culture, in particularly J-Rock and J-Pop, is existed in Indonesia as a caused of Indonesian free broadcasting media. Internet The explosion of internet access in Indonesia began in late 1995.
As a means of information superhighway, the Internet can narrow the space-distance-and time, creating an open society, and provide the community with a global mindset. 21 Recent data taken at the end of 2008, over more than 10% of the total population are active Internet users, or some 25,000,000 people per user and it’s the no. 1 in Southesat Asia (see table 4,5,6,7,8,). 22 This further convinces us that the future Internet will become a new medium that will be enjoyed throughout Indonesian society as a television now. 23 19 Wikipedia. 2009. Televisi Berlangganan. Archieved on http://id. wikipedia. rg/wiki/Televisi_berlangganan. Accessed on 31 Agustus 2009. 20 Alex Santosa. 2007. Eksis di Belantara Radio. Archieved on http://radioclinic. com/2008/02/06/eksis-dibelantara-radio/. Accessed on 31 Agustus 2009. 21 Mark Slouka. 1995. Ruang yang Hilang. Bandung: Mizan. P. 17 22 Internet World Stats. 2009. Asia Marketing Research, Internet Usage, Populerulation Statistics and Information. Archieved on http://www. internetworldstats. com/asia2. htm. Accessed on 1 September 2009. 23 No name. 2009. Jumlah Pengguna Internet di Indonesia. Archieved on http://peluang-usaha-dariinternet. blogspot. om/2009/06/jumlah-pengguna-internet-di-indonesia. html. Diakses pada tanggal 1 September 2009. Indonesia is also classified as a top rank of country who consume foreign Communication Technology (ICT). 24 No wonder, if Ardo25 wrote that Indonesia is a highest rank country in Southeast Asia with a fastest Facebook user growth rate. Similarly, the general accessible sites to users include Yahoo, Google, Youtube, Twitter, and Friendster. From these kind of sites, Indonesian citizens shared and received their ideas about Japanese popular culture. In fact, there are lots of Japanese-community existed in Indonesia.
In Yogyakarta, we can see some communities named Shimatta! , Hikaru Community, Vern, Sinyu, etc. which of them communicate massively through these kind of sites or blogs in the internet. They also really updated with the latest Japanese styles, comics, or music, because these huge information on the internet. It was stated at the Sociologist scholar researched titled “Adopsi Identitas dan Gaya Hidup Jepang-jepangan pada Remaja di Yogyakarta”. 26 EPILOG This essay truly believe that the mass media is an effective medium for disseminate the popular culture in society.
While media freedom is unlimited, then the information will spread much to the society. The abundance of information, will open the freedom of public expression. The community became welcome on a new comer culture. This is reflected in Indonesia case study above. As we know that Japanese popular culture is really happening in Indonesia, those culture were channeled to the fullest through the media. Concluding the paper, Indonesia whose communities have high access to the media, would have a well reception of Japanese popular culture in the society, as it shown on the elaboration above. 24
AZ Syaifudin. 2008. Tantangan dan Peluang Ekonomi Internet di Indonesia. http://www. km. itb. ac. id/web/index. php? option=com_content&view=article&id=106:tantangan-dan-peluangekonomi-internet-di-indonesia&catid=75:diskusi-diluar-isu-energi-pangan-dan-pendidikan&Itemid=110 25 Ardo. 2009. Indonesia, Negara paling Facebook di Asia Tenggara. Archieved on http://www. blogdoes. com/indonesia-negara-paling-facebook-di-asia-tenggara. Accessed on 1 Sepetember 2009 26 Denison Wicaksono. 2007. Adopsi Identitas dan Gaya Hidup Jepang-Jepangan pada Remaja di Yogyakarta. Yogyakarta: Skripsi UGM. Hal 58-64
ATTACHMENT Table 1. Press Freedom in Southeast Asia (Shelton A Gunaratne. 2000. Handbook of the media in Asia. New Delhi: Sage Publication. P. 223) Table 2. Development of National TV Station in Indonesia (http://id. wikipedia. org/wiki/Daftar_stasiun_televisi_di_Indonesia) Table 3. TV Stations di Indonesia (http://id. wikipedia. org/wiki/Daftar_stasiun_televisi_di_Indonesia) Terestrial (free-to-air) Saluran antv · Global TV · Indosiar · MetroTV · RCTI · SCTV · TPI · Trans TV · Trans7 · tvOne · TVRI Operator Mahaka Media · MNC · Media Group · Surya Citra Media · STAR TV · Trans Corpora
Kabel/satelit (berlangganan) Saluran Astro Aruna · Astro Awani · Astro Ceria · Astro Kirana · Astro Xpresi · MNC Entertainment · MNC Music · MNC News · MNC The Indonesian Channel · QTV · Swara · TelkomVision 1 · TelkomVision 2 · Vision1 Sports · Vision2 Drama Operator Aora TV · Astro Nusantara (tutup) · First Media · IM2 PayTV · Indovision · M2V Mobile TV · OkeVision · TelkomVision · Top TV · YesTV Table 4. Asia Top Ten Internet Countries (http://www. internetworldstats. com/stats3. htm) Table 5. World Internet Users by World Regions (http://www. nternetworldstats. com/stats. htm) Table 6. Internet Users in Indonesia by Age (www. kadin-indonesia. or. id) Table 7. Internet Users in Indonesia based on Profession (www. kadin-indonesia. or. id) Table 8. Internet Users in Indonesia based on Education (www. kadin-indonesia. or. id) BIBLIOGRAPHY Baudrillard, Jean. 1995. “The Virtual Illusion: Or the Automatic Writing of The World” dalam Theory Culture&Society, Explorations in Critical Social Sciences. Budiman, Hikmat. 2002. Lubang Hitam Kebudayaan. Yogyakarta: Kanisius. Gans, Hebbert J. 1975.
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