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Research Faculty of Media and Communication, Hokkaido University

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Field Seminar in Pop Cultural Event Management 2017

This course has finished. This is the homepage for the Field Seminar in Pop Cultural Event Planning and Management taught in the Spring Term 2017. The class is co-taught by Takayoshi Yamamura (Centre for Advanced Tourism Studies) and Philip Seaton (Modern Japanese Studies Program).

Photo: Lake Toyako, Hokkaido




1) To understand the latest trends in ‘contents tourism’ and the relationship between pop culture and community-based tourism development.
2) To understand the process of event planning and management.
3) To gain a better understanding of Japanese pop culture and fandom, especially based on Anime and Manga.
4) To improve Japanese communication skills through grassroots exchanges with local residents and event participants.

Class 1 (16 May): Course Introduction

Schedule: There are classes on 16 May & 20 June, fieldwork on 23-25 June, and presentations on 6 July.

Assessment: In order to get credits you must 1) attend all the classes, 2) make a presentation as part of a group of 4 people (on 6 July), 3) submit an individual report of 1000-1500 words (deadline the class in July).

Presentations: See the section Class 3: Student Presentations below.

Reports: The report is an individual piece of work based on original fieldwork conducted at the Toyako Manga Anime Festa. The report must follow academic conventions (see the OCW Writing Academic Essays and Academic Writing). Guidance on collecting data and conducting fieldwork will be given in Toyako. The deadline for handing in the report is the class on 6 July (either by email or at the presentations class). Note: while the presentations are done in a group, the report should be your own individual work.

Practical matters: Students are responsible for paying the cost of two nights of accommodation in Toyako. Accident insurance is compulsory.

Mini-Lecture: An Introduction to the Toyako Manga Anime Festa (see also the official TMAF website and the essay by Takayoshi Yamamura in The Theory and Practice of Contents Tourism - see homework reading list).

Mini-Lecture: How to cosplay and TMAF etiquette. Here is the video Why I Cosplay. See the guidelines on cosplay etiquette and taking photographs at the TMAF official website.

The International Journal of Contents Tourism: About IJCT and submitting postcards.

Homework: There is reading to do before the next lecture …

Homework for 20 June: Read the following materials

Katsuyuki Nishikawa, Philip Seaton, Takayoshi Yamamura (2015) The Theory and Practice of Contents Tourism (pdf download).


Japan Forum Special Edition (27.1)

Philip Seaton and Takayoshi Yamamura, “Japanese Popular Culture and Contents Tourism” (open access).

Takeshi Okamoto, “Otaku Tourism and the Anime Pilgrimage Phenomenon in Japan” (open access).

Akiko Sugawa-Shimada, “Rekijo, Pilgrimage and ‘Pop-Spiritualism’: Pop-Culture-Induced Tourism of/for Young Women” (use HU library).

Takayoshi Yamamura, “Contents Tourism and Local Community Response: Lucky Star and Collaborative Anime-induced Tourism in Washimiya” (open access).

Philip Seaton, “Taiga Dramas and Tourism: Historical Contents as Sustainable Tourist Resources” (open access).


International Journal of Contents Tourism (read any article). The articles published in Volume 1 2016 are collected together here: IJCT-Vol.1 2016


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.


Philip Seaton, Takayoshi Yamamura, Akiko Sugawa-Shimada, and Kyungjae Jang, Contents Tourism in Japan: Pilgrimages to “Sacred Sites” of Popular Culture.

Class 2 (20 June): Japanese Popular Culture and Contents Tourism

Lecture and class discussion based on the homework readings.

Preparations for the fieldwork

Fieldwork in Toyako (23-25 June)

Undertake your surveys during the event.

Class 3 (6 July): Student Presentations

Groups: Work in a group of 4 students (there are 4 groups in total).

Length: The presentation is 10 minutes, after which there will be 5 minutes of Q&A (total 15 minutes per group).

Title: ”Planning for TMAF 2018: Recommendations for the Organising Committee”.
Based on your fieldwork, present a series of recommendations to the organising committee of the Toyako Manga Anime Festa about how the event might be managed next year. Include both analysis of what worked well at TMAF 2017 and what could be improved at TMAF 2018.

Preparations: Prepare a powerpoint presentation. Each member of the group should speak at some point (average of 2.5 minutes per person). A handout is optional.