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Locale Idols and the Creation of New Local Culture: Ehime Prefectures Hime Kyun Fruit Can

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Authors
Lee, Seok
Issue Date
2020-10-31
Publisher
Institute for Japanese Studies, Seoul National University
Citation
Seoul Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol.6 No.1, pp. 119-140
Keywords
Idolplacelocaltourismpopular culture
Description
This article is a revised and translated version of the authors Korean article Hyŏnji aidol i changchuranŭn saeroun chiyŏk munhwa: Ehime-hyŏn ŭi Himekyun Hurŭchŭ Kan ŭl chungshim ŭro, published in Ilbonhak yŏngu [Journal of Japanese studies] 56 (2019), with the permission of Tanguk Taehakkyo Ilbon Yŏnguso [Institute of Japanese Studies, Dankook University].
Abstract
Currently, the number of locale idols (gotōchi aidoru) active across Japan regionally is dramatically increasing. To examine this newly created cultural phenomena, it is necessary to distinguish between locale and local or regional idols. If local and regional idols have been unable to escape from the tropes of center/capital and nationalism, locale idols reflect a concept of place that has newly emerged in Japanese society, in which local colors disappear and the different regions have become increasingly culturally uniform. Ehime Prefecture locale idol group Hime Kyun Fruit Can (Hime Kyun Furūtsu Kan) provides a typical example of this. Formed under the influence of AKB48, Hime Kyun Fruit Can has offered an alternative to regional rock music that features a strong local sound and has established a musical space in Japans provincial territories not so different from that of Tokyo. One cannot discern any local tradition or character in the music of Hime Kyun Fruit Can, which instead is sensitive to new Tokyo trends and attempts to convey them to local areas. The group thus demonstrates how locale idols create locales (gotōchi), places evoking a local experience not through unique local traditions or products but through the staging of local events that showcase the self-conscious reproduction of trends in the capital.
ISSN
2384-2849
Language
English
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/171275
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Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원)Institute for Japanese Studies(일본연구소)Seoul Journal of Japanese Studies (SJJS)Seoul Journal of Japanese Studies vol.6 no.1(2020)
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