Exploring the Irony in Japanese Popular Culture. A Cross-Cultural and Linguistic Analysis.
The present study addresses the status and use of irony in Japanese popular culture by closely examining its’ cultural variations on a corpus consisting of ironic utterances and situations from three popular culture media: Japanese drama, anime, and manga. While it is likely that Western popular culture abounds in ironic aesthetics and standpoints, the concept of “irony” faces cultural reconstruction within Japanese culture and society, a fact easily reflected in national media and cinematographic productions. In such cases, the cultural and linguistic distance between Japanese and English, and the striking difference, which exists between these two geographical and cultural contexts, increase the challenge interposed by the understanding and interpreting of irony. Moreover, on a conversational level, ironizing one’s communication partner is considered socially unacceptable and penalised accordingly. It stands against the much-expected politeness and traditional Japanese concepts such as “honne” and “tatemae,” which, if preserved, can create harmony in communication. In conclusion, the ambiguous definition of irony, together with the negative perception and reluctance of Japanese people towards its usage, has contributed to frequently branding irony strictly as a Western phenomenon. However, as the present research attempts to demonstrate, the usage of irony in Japanese popular culture embraces multifarious approaches, and it extends to reach the borders of semantics.
Adams, A., Murata, K., & Orito, Y. (2009). The Japanese sense of information privacy. AI & SOCIETY, 24(4), 327-341. doi: 10.1007/s00146-009-0228-z
Arakawa, H. (2021). Fullmetal alchemist: brotherhood. [Original Title 鋼の錬金術師]. Square Enix's Monthly Shōnen Gangan.
Clark, R., & Rohlen, T. (1976). For harmony and strength: Japanese white-collar organization in anthropological perspective. Man, 11(4). https://doi.org/10.2307/2800477
Irie, Y. (2009). Fullmetal alchemist: brotherhood. Original Title 「鋼の錬金術師」 [Film]. Tokyou; Bones Inc., 株式会社 ボンズ.
Fanblogs. ファンブログ｜高機能なブログを無料作成. (2021). Retrieved June 10, 2021, from http://fanblogs.jp/matomest/archive/9/0.
Furikawa, Y. (2010). When a compliment sounds sarcastic or offence. [Original title 「ほめ」 が皮肉や嫌みになる場合. 日本語・日本文化]. Osaka University Knowledge Archive, 36, 45-57. Retrieved 2021 April ,17.
Kawakami, S. (1998). Toward a unified theory of linguistic irony. [Original title アイロニーの言語学. 紀要論文]. Departmental Bulletin Paper of Graduate School of Letters, 32, 1-17. Osaka University, Retrieved May 11, 2021, from https://ir.library.osaka-u.ac.jp/repo/ouka/all/47941/mrl_032_001A.pdf
Muecke, D. (2020). The compass of irony. Milton: Taylor & Francis Group.
Okamoto, S. (2002). Politeness and the perception of irony:honorifics in japanese. Metaphor And Symbol, 17(2), 119-139. doi: 10.1207/s15327868ms1702_3
Sakurai, Y. (1994). Politics of 'irony' in communication: a hypothetical answer by 'sense-anxiety'. [Original title コミュニケーションにおける｢皮肉｣のポリティック ス： 「意味不安」による仮説的回答案]. Departmental Bulletin Paper, Kagoshima University, 2. Retrieved 2021, April 10 from http://hdl.handle.net/10232/14978
Shogakukan. (1995). Daijisen 大辞泉 Daijisen [Japanese Dictionary; Japanese Edition].
Sanseido Web Dictionary. (2020). [ 三省堂辞典]. Retrieved April 10, 2021, from https://www.sanseido.biz/. https://www.sanseido-publ.co.jp/sp/wbdct_close.html
Suzuki, M., & Sawada, K. (2001). Hero. [ Original Title 「ヒーロー]」. [Film]. Fuji TV.
Terawasa M. (1985). Shame and shyness. [Original title 羞恥>の構造(上): 「恥の文化」三考]. Hitotsubashi journal of social sciences, 10(3), 109-126. Retrieved 2021,March, 17 from https://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/hermes/ir/re/6150/kenkyu0100301090.pdf
Utsumi, A. (2021). Recent development in irony studies. 31, 49-50. [Original title アイロニー研究の新 展開. 日本認知科学会]. Retrieved 2021, May 5 from https://www.jcss.gr.jp/meetings/JCSS2014/proceedings/pdf/JCSS2014_WS7.pdf.
Copyright (c) 2021 Academic seminar "Media and Education", Department of Sociology, South-West University
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.