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Friday, November 19, 2010

List 8.1. American Radio Works: Japan’s Pop Culture

List 8. American Radio Works: Japan
List 8.1. Japan’s Pop Culture                                 4-5 level 30-40 min.

GOAL. To listen to the content in the following debate on the globalisation of Japan pop culture power.
BACKGROUND. To many adults, global youth culture meant rock&roll and other Western fashions. But for more and more young people across the world, the capital of pop culture is Tokyo.
WARMING UP
Do you agree with the words of these two correspondents John and Chris?



LANGUAGE PRACTICE. [Click on http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/japan/ ]
It’s a 12-minute passage where the 4 correspondents approach the implications for the world. The first time get the relevant facts, the second time complete the script. Click at the bottom of the above page.
TASK 1.Listen to the first 9 min. of the passage (USE the pause button). Write the answers.

Q1. The conductor, Ray, states that to more and more young people, the new capital of pop culture is Tokyo. The correspondents add some new aspect to the known ones (electronics and video games):
…………………………………………………………………………….……………………………………….
Q2. What aspects are mentioned of old Japanese heritage?
…………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………
Q3. What are the new features of Japanese pop culture products sold worldwide?
…………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………
Q4. when middle-age Chris Farrell & John Biewen arrived at their first location. What did they find out?
…………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………
Q5. They went to explore global youth culture through the lens of Japanese products. They meet Jesse, a youngster from North Carolina. What did they learn about the things she liked? Name two:
…………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………
[PAUSE 30”]. Q6. Next stopover is the Greater Richmond Convention Center, in Virginia, where the Mid-Atlantic Anime Convention is held. Describe some characterisation form the kids there:
…………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………
Q7. What are the figures according to Fortner, the CEO of the Convention in Virginia and in US?
Virginia > ……………………………………………………………….……………………………………….…
U.S. > …………………………………………………………………….…………………………………….…
Q8. Anne Allison says that the fair in Anaheim, California (40,000 fans) is really big.
Who is Anne Allison and what has she written recently?
…………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………
[PAUSE 30”]. Q9. What is it about Japanese pop culture that strikes a chord with youngsters everywhere? Contrast Jesse’s and Allison’s answers.
Jesse> ………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………
Allison> ……………………………………………………………….…………………………………………
Q10. What are the characteristics of Fruit Basket, one of Jesse’s favourite mangas?
…………………………………………………………………………….………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………

TASK 2. Go to <1:24> counter. Listen to R. Suarez & use the pause button before writing the words.
“From Sydney to Seoul to San Francisco, children and young adults are 1………………………… Japanese pop exports: anime, or animated movies and TV shows; manga comic books and video games. Sales of these pop culture products now 2………………………… those of Japanese cars and 4………………………… the nation's few fast-growing export industry.
Japan somehow 4………………………….…… speaking to the dreams of today's young people. Japanese leaders are hoping that in the new "creative economy" their country can 5………………………….……… the export of fantasy.”


TASK 3. Go to <2:45> counter. Fill in the blanks in John and Chris dialogue about their interests in Japanese youth culture:

Farrell: But I think I'm more intrigued by a story about the global economy. Where wealth is coming from in a world where entertainment becomes more important. But, truth be told, my real interest in this story was sparked by watching my son.
Biewen:.. enchanted by old Japan. Rock gardens and sushi. Not whatever was cool for young people.
Farrell: Japan is the world's second largest economy. I've followed it with interest for years. But I think I'm more 1…………………. by a story about the global economy. Where 2……………………………..………….. in a world where entertainment becomes more important. But, truth be told, my real interest in this story was 3………………………….. by watching my son. I was driving the car and he's reading a book from back to front.
Biewen: Uh, no. I went to Japan, I was enchanted by old Japan. 4………………………… & ………. . Not whatever was 5 …………… for young people.

TASK4. Go to <9:25> counter. Fill in the blanks with the troubles Mighty Morphin Power Rangers got into before it became a hit the U.S. on Fox Kids in 1993.

Allison: They thought American kids were too sophisticated to appreciate anything as 1……………… …… ……. . Totally wrong. But they also thought American kids would not be 2…………………. by the Asianness.
[Power Rangers music] Farrell: So in the scenes where you could see the 3…………………. of the characters, they'd be re-shot with American, mostly-caucasian actors.
Biewen: They 4…………………………. the show. But now if you turn on the kids' channels on cable, there are a whole bunch of shows that are 5…………………. Japanese.
Allison: All of these things have 6……………… …..…………. of coming from a place that's not the U.S.. You see temples, you see 7…………………., you see Japanese script. People are eating with chopsticks, they're eating rice, they're drinking tea.

List 8.1. American Radio Works: Japan’s Pop Culture KEY (see annex for transcript)
TASK 1. Q1. The correspondents add some new aspects to the known ones, electronics and video games: A: DVD, animation movies, comic books
Q2. Which are the aspects mentioned of old Japanese heritage?
A: Ancient Buddhist country. Home to the kimono, the tea ceremony, and kabuki
Q3. What are the new features of sales of Japanese pop culture products
A: growing faster than car exports / ‘creative economy’ / Japan can live on the export of fantasy
Q4. Chris Farrell and John Biewen went exploring some places. What did they find out?
A: A store full of stuff for fans of anime and manga, and screens with anime on.
Q5. They meet Jesse, a youngster from North Carolina. What does we learn about her likings? Name two:
A: Enjoys spending some weekends afternoons at a general bookstore, Waldenbooks,
reading manga as she can not buy the books (8$ apiece).
She is versed in characters form manga and anima titles
Q6. Next the Mid-Atlantic Anime Convention is held. Describe some characterisation form the kids there:
A: Girls dressed in Final Fantasy costumes, and the best is a Son Goku boy with ninja outfit and a 30 cm hair foam sculpture.
Q7. Which are the figures according to Fortner, the CEO of the Convention in Virginia and in US?
A: 2001 was the first year with 617 fans. in 2006 there are 3000. There were 135 conventions last year in the U.S.
Q8. Anne Allison: A: Professor of cultural anthropology at Duke University. Her new book out, Millennial Monsters, is about the global spread of Japanese stuff for kids.
Q9. What is it about Japanese pop culture that strikes a chord with youngsters everywhere? Contrast Jese and Anne answers.
A: Jesse: a lot the originality about it. You can't get the same emotions and plots in Western comics
Anne Allison: In U.S. logic, we want things logical and clean. Is it animal or is it not? Is it alive or dead? Is it good or is it bad? In Japan, things go from one to the other. It's both or neither or something beyond that.
Q10. What are the characteristics of Fruit Basket, a Jesse’s favourite manga?
A: One. Its members turn into a certain animal from the Chinese zodiac when they're weak or when they have somebody from the opposite sex hug them.
two. The plots on some of these things are really hard to follow as time is totally mixed up.
TASK 2. Youth are gobbling up exports / Sales of culture products match car sales / Sales make up fast-growing export industry.
Japan somehow has a knack for speaking to the dreams /country can build its future on the export of fantasy

TASK 3. Farrell: But I think I'm more intrigued by a story about the global economy. Where wealth is coming from in a world where entertainment becomes more important. But, truth be told, my real interest in this story was sparked by watching my son.
Biewen: … enchanted by old Japan. Rock gardens and sushi. Not whatever was cool for young people.

TASK 4. Allison: They thought American kids were too sophisticated to appreciate anything as dumb as that. Totally wrong. But they also thought American kids would not be enticed by the Asianness.
[Power Rangers music]
Farrell: So in the scenes where you could see the faces of the characters, they'd be re-shot with American, mostly-caucasian actors.
Biewen: They de-Japanized the show. But now if you turn on the kids' channels on cable, there are a whole bunch of shows that are boldly Japanese.
Allison: All of these things have overt signs of coming from a place that's not the U.S.. You see temples, you see shrines, you see Japanese script. People are eating with chopsticks, they're eating rice, they're drinking tea.

FOLLOW UP. See next worksheet Listen 8.2 (a shorter one) to listen to the end of the interview.

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