As members of the global society of the 21st Century, as well as artists, we have come to vaguely contemplate about Japanese culture and its peripheries. Upon discussing the issues with our artist colleagues, the conclusion we have reached is to widely circulate not only the stereotypically known cultures of Japan, but of a diverse Japanese culture; its heritage and the current state, as well as perspectives from inside and outside, which we ourselves are also able to learn from. In our world today, conceptions on Japan and Japanese culture have been prevalent to an extent, however, there are instances where we are embroiled in the conversational context that encompass skewed images of Japanese cultures. From a broader perspective, the term “Japanese culture”, easily coined by many, may rather hinder the understanding of that “culture.” But first and foremost, it is crucial for us to recognize the problems arising in communications regarding Japanese cultures and to update our information on these relevant topics. Is it really possible to establish a medium that can serve as a guidepost? What sort of information should we distribute? Con-Cul was founded as an experimental ground for anyone who affiliates with, appreciates, and possesses a curious mind in Japanese cultures.
ABOUT Con-Tra Culture
It is not an overstatement to make to say that the creative field of the “arts” has established itself in rural areas of Japan, including Niigata’s ETAT (Daichi-no-Geijutsusai). However, contemporary music, which is equally contemporary of its nature, is either in Tokyo or “others”, and cannot be said that it has taken root in rural areas. The reason for this lies in the recognition of music fans who view the genre as “not understandable”, as well as the poor exposure of the genre to the public.
We are aiming to reform these perceptions, to establish new resources of culture, as well as to bring some changes in the preconceptions of lifelong learning for the residents. When many finds value in contemporary music, culture will create economic effects, and nurturing sustainability in cultural development become possible.
Another goal is to disseminate Japanese culture to the world. Through the web magazine, we are receiving contributions from young people involved in the arts and culture. Recently, Japanese culture is widely recognized overseas, but this is since it is understood in the context of the local culture. I think it lacks the perspective of how Japanese people perceive Japanese culture. Of course, when all cultures propagate, they tend to become indigenous. And it’s not that bad. However, we would like to break down the current situation where only the biased side is focused. Another goal is to introduce Japanese culture to the world. We receive contributions from young authors in the fields of arts and culture and publish the articles through our web-based magazine. Although Japanese culture is widely recognized in the world, it is only understood in the context of the local culture, and oftentimes lacks the perspective of how Japanese people understand Japanese culture. Of course, when all cultures propagate, they are likely to become adapted to the land’s cultures and customs, which is not a negative thing. However, we aim to break down the current situation where only the stereotypical sides are focused upon.