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12 April 2011

Research Colloquium:
Studying Japanese Style Girl Fashion in Taipei

Mr. Yiu Wai Hung

Date: 12 April 2011 (Tuesday)
Time: 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Venue: 904 TT Tsui Building

This talk proposes to explore the formulation of Japanese style girl fashion in Taipei. Rather than focusing on the continuing and preservation of the “orthodox” from Japan, the main research question argues for taking the angle “from inside”, investigating how the Taipei context initiates and breeds its own “Japanese style” fashion.

To understand the background of this claim, the literature review concentrates on three areas: globalization, fashion and Taiwan. (1) In studies of globalization of popular culture, the talk will point out how the previous uses of terminologies too concentrated on arguing “what is it”, while the nature of a phenomenon should rely on “what does it mean”. (2) In fashion studies, the western tradition of “top / bottom” dichotomies should not be applicable to East Asia, contextualization is the basis of Japanese youth fashion industry. (3) For Taiwanese studies, here the review doubts on the essence of “cultural proximity” between Taiwan and Japan, illustrating that their relationship is arbitrarily shaped by the influences of the others. These three arguments will then launch aspects of interpretation of cultural globalization, grounding of fashion, and global network analysis, plus synthesize them in the main research question.

The talk will illustrate a plan of a whole-year ethnography, mainly performing three sets of tasks: geographical analysis for “places” (sites of fashion culture), in-depth interviews and focus groups for “people” (fashion consumers), and participant observation for “activities” (specific activities related to the fashion). The proposal foresees that the research can reexamine the principle, characteristics and meaning of the popularity of Japanese popular culture in East Asia.

All students taking the Research Colloquium course must attend. Other staff and students are also welcome.

Japanese Studies HKU