My response is less on Nori’s actual visit, and more on the story he tells about his experience upon his return to Japan. I think what’s really interesting is the extent to which Japanese culture berated his actions, but more so how this reaction was fueled and allowed for via the contextual rules and cultural norms of internet culture. It seems to me that the Japanese rules of online communication are in almost direct opposition to the modes of conduct in actual, person-to-person interaction. Online discussions seem to serve not as a medium that mirrors daily life, but rather as one through which the societal norms and expectations are radically different. I’m unsure how to view this phenomenon, though, and whether it should be considered as a sort of emotional release, as though the official systems of honor and altruism of Japanese public life necessitate some form of mass cultural aggression, and that internet forums serve as a way to express this, or whether the new medium of the internet instead foreshadows some sort of shift in Japanese standards of socio-cultural normativity. Even if the latter were the case, though, this wouldn’t explain the specific reaction Nori was subjected to, for if the internet proves to be some liberalizing wunder-medium then we would see a dramatic lessening of the values that traditional Japanese culture encourages an enforces, not just their expression in other ways. Obviously, I have a hard time placing Nori’s experience upon his release and return to Japan, however I think that it is a really poignant story, and has the potential to speak volumes about the crossing of internet phenomena and real-world (read: political) events.
Response to Nori