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Title: 日本と欧米の二次創作物における物語形式の相違点: 「ハリー・ポッター」を原作として書かれたファン小説と同 人誌を検討
Other Titles: Narrative differences between Japanese and English-language fanwork: an examination of fan fiction and amateur comics based on 'Harry Potter'
Authors: Noppe, Nele #
Issue Date: 31-Mar-2009
Host Document: Proceedings of the 1st KU/EU Workshops
Conference: KU Workshop edition:1 location:Kansai University, Japan date:4-6 July 2008
Abstract: Japanese fans and their English-speaking counterparts may be more different than they appear to be at first glance. Take the example of fanwork, creative works in which fans take the characters of a favorite source work and make them enact countless other scenarios.
J.K. Rowling's wildly popular Harry Potter (1997-2007) novels, for instance, have inspired large amounts of dōjinshi (fan manga) in Japan and countless pieces of short stories called “fan fiction” on the English-language Internet. However, even to a casual reader, there are many eye-catching differences between dōjinshi and “fanfics” based on Harry Potter. Storylines in both media seem to go in very different directions. Characters appear to behave in completely different ways. In Japanese dōjinshi in particular, the behavior of characters often strikes the reader as completely at odds with the way the they are portrayed in the original source work.
How would we go about finding out why Japanese fans appear to interpret a source work in a different fashion from English-language fans? There is a great lack of academic research into fan communities in Japan. However, it should be perfectly possible to investigate how English-language fans interpret Harry Potter: there is, after all, a body of research available on this particular fandom. We can then look at what dōjinshi creators are doing differently -and ask ourselves why.
This paper is an attempt at developing a methodology for conducting such cross-cultural comparative research of fanwork. I believe that a comparison of the narrative and visual properties of dōjinshi and fanfics would benefit from a semiotic approach to data collection and analysis, for several reasons. Other methodologies often used in fanfic analysis -chiefly methods of literary criticism that have limitations with regards to cross-cultural research. Also, a semiotic approach would allow us to collect a large and comparatively objective set of data about the actual content of dōjinshi, data that can be freely interpreted in a large number of ways and can be easily published online so that other readers and researchers can offer their own interpretations of them. Finally, I propose that interpreting dōjinshi and fanfics as real-world examples of semiotician Umberto Eco's fairly abstract theory of the “open work” would aid us considerably in correctly interpreting the data gleaned from the texts.
I present arguments in favor of this methodology and refer to the results of an online initial test of the hypothesis (that there are numerous differences between Japanese and English-language fanwork) and the proposed methodology.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IC
Appears in Collections:Japanese Studies, Leuven
# (joint) last author

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