It seems like only yesterday that I left the Land of the Rising Sun, and now I’m about to depart once more, this time for two months. During my stay in the Tokyo and Kansai areas I will be conducting ethnographic research on goth subculture in Japan from a cultural anthropological perspective. I am particularly interested in the meanings of goth for individual participants in goth’s Japanese localization in terms of formation of cultural identity. I hope to post brief updates regularly here at JohnSkeleton.com, and I look forward to hearing any comments or criticisms from anyone who happens to drop by! If happen to be in Japan and see me, please say hello and let me know your thoughts on all things goth and/or gothic!
Further details about the project will be posted on the Goth in Japan Project section of the web site.
As most of you already know, the horrific earthquake that devastated northeastern Japan on Friday has left in its wake an estimated death toll in excess of 10,000 in Miyagi Prefecture alone. The aftershocks continue in what is now said to have been a temblor measuring 9 on the Japanese seismic scale, making it the largest in recorded history. The nuclear reactor in Fukushima is unstable, and nearly 150,000 people have been evacuated from the surrounding areas to escape possible nuclear fallout.
Japan’s situation truly is like something out of a movie. Store shelves are bare, trains have been halted, and electricity and water are a luxury some are unable to enjoy even in the Tokyo metropolitan area, to say nothing of the areas closer to the epicenter. I am, at least, happy to say that all of my dear friends in Japan have escaped the damage unscathed, and while Castle Skeleton was shaken up a bit, my area has remained largely unaffected. Even so, it was an overwhelming experience to watch the images on the television broadcasted live on Friday afternoon, literally watching people die before my eyes on the screen.
My heart goes out to all of those who have lost loved ones in this tragic disaster, and my friends and I will do what we can to aid in the ongoing relief efforts.