Accepted Paper:

Japaneseness: how do Japanese living abroad recreate it after 3.11?  


Kaori Hata (Osaka University)

Paper short abstract:

The goal of this paper is to illustrate some of the ways people living abroad recreate and maintain their national identities under the new environment with the use of various communication resources. This will be achieved by drawing on case study of Japanese women living in London.

Paper long abstract:

The purpose of this presentation is to illustrate some of the ways people who live geographically apart from their home country represent and recreate their bonding with their home country, and maintain their national identities in the new community. Specifically, this study focuses on Japanese women who married British and are permanent residents in London.

The analysis of video-recorded interview narratives, taken after the Great East Japan Earthquake, shows the construction of the interviewees' strong affirmation that the participants (interviewer and interviewee/s) of the interview shared a common experience of the earthquake as a Japanese despite not suffering directly from it in a physical sense. The use of various communication resources and strategies, such as particles, adverbs, laughter, gestures, and hypothetical scenarios of small stories, within the narratives functioned to create a sense of identification with the earthquake. As one example, within the narrative they tried to shift the focus from the geographical separation between Japan and the UK by emphasizing the geographical boundaries between the areas seriously damaged by the earthquake and others. By doing this, the interviewees successfully minimised the various differences between interviewer (who lived 200km apart from the serious damaged areas) and interviewee/s in order to create a bonding with each other as Japanese by creating inter-subjectivity through the earthquake talk in their positioning level of 'here and now.' In the presentation, such examples showing 'bonding' from actual data will be illustrated.

Panel P106
Kizuna: discourse analyses of 'bonding'