I have been involved in a group research project with colleagues here at Hokkaido University since 2010. My main research collaborator is Professor Takayoshi Yamamura, who is one of the pioneering researchers into ‘contents tourism’. This is tourist behaviour driven by the contents (narratives, characters, locations, music etc.) of various cultural forms including films, manga, anime and games (in the English-language literature the nearest equivalents are ‘film tourism’ or ‘media-induced tourism’). Starting in April 2014 the project is funded by a major Japanese government research grant (Kiban A, 20-50 million yen category) which will fund the project until March 2020. See the grant project page for more details.
Photo: An ema (votive plaque) complete with manga-style drawing left by a fan of the Shinsengumi samurai corps at Mibudera Temple in Kyoto.
Major Recent Publications
Philip Seaton, Takayoshi Yamamura, Akiko Sugawa-Shimada and Kyungjae Jang, Contents Tourism in Japan: Pilgrimages to “Sacred Sites” of Popular Culture (Cambria Press, 2017).
‘Taiga Dramas and Tourism: Historical Contents as Sustainable Tourist Resources’ in Japan Forum 27.1 (published online, 15 December 2014).
Sue Beeton, Takayoshi Yamamura and Philip Seaton, ‘The Mediatisation of Culture: Japanese contents tourism and popular culture’ in Jo-Anne Lester and Caroline Scarles (eds) Mediating the Tourist Experience: From Brochures to Virtual Encounters. Farnham (Surrey, UK), Ashgate, 2013, pp. 139-54.
Work in Progress
Having secured a 5-year Japanese government grant, 2014-9, Prof. Yamamura and I along with our research collaborators are working on a string of articles and books on the themes of film tourism, manga/anime conventions, and the effects of Japanese popular culture on tourist behaviour globally.Tweet