Research Project by Tominaga Seminar 2016-2: Antipathy towards Politics: The Movement of # Get Out from Our Music” 3/3

In this article, we began to introduce the research by undergraduate students, “Antipathy towards Politics: The movement of # Get Out from Our Music” serially. Part.1 is in here and Part.2 is in here.

3.Political Speaking of Artists
  To investigate Antipathy towards saying political opinion by celebrities, we conducted the interviews about antipathy towards politics. We chose the 18 informants (men: 7 women: 11) who are in young generations (from 18 to 25 years old) who are originally Japanese. All of participants have ever joined music festival or concert so far.
  Interview questions concerned the subjects of the relationship between music and politics. We give the question like “How do you think about political speaking of artists?”. All of informants firstly says that they do not mind the political opinions celebrity own; Yes, informants do not have the antipathy about it. However, The answer gradually changed like “its ok if they are not biased.” or “it’s ok if it is not pushy.” when we continued the question. It means that there is a kind of requirement to approve the opinion and expression about politics by celebrities.
  The following are the typical answers. Firstly, we introduce the dialogue of Informant A.

A: Everyone have freedom of expression. Regarding on celebrities, it should be permitted. Artists are the people who express own thinking in front of mass audiences. However, political expression is often hated in Japan. There is a tendency that the expression about politics by the celebrities is taboo because they have high influence for citizens, I think. [Person A, November 11, 2016]

  His dialogue emphasizes the influence of celebrities. Artists lives at the distance from citizens like the politician and political experts. Politician and other experts have influence like celebrities, but they say their opinion. Celebrities are different from other experts because they have a different kind of influence from intellectuals.
Why celebrities are not accepted to give their influence politically? All of their political talking are refused from citizens? To answer the question more deeply, we introduce the dialogue of person B and C.

B: The expression about politics by artists gives people an opportunity to go to voting. In fact, I heard that Keichan (a member of idol group NEWS) and Shoukun (a member of idol group ARASHI) said “You should vote in elections.” on TV program. The expression gave me an opportunity to research politics and to vote. However, expression of their political position and ideologies make people feeling pushy of the ideology. [Person B, November 10, 2016]

C: I don’t hate that artists say the opinion politically. I can receive the message because I am on neither left nor right side political position. I receive the message like “people should vote in election.”, but I do not like the expression includes the speakers’ political ideology. [Person C, November 13, 2016]

  The two dialogues shows that Person B and C says that they don’t mind about the political opinion by celebrities. However, they refuse the difference between their political opinion and artists’ one. For example, “Going to vote” is same action with “Keichan” and “Shokun” for Person B. In the case Keichan and Shokun mention about the nuclear problems and children care, person B feels it is pussy. The impression is clearer in the person C’s dialogues. Person C says that he is “neither left nor right”, but cannot accept artists’ ideology like others. Person C have a certain ideology of “neither left nor right” thus he cannot receive the difference of artists.
  From the result of interview research, all of informants understand the freedom of expression of celebrities, but they do not like that artists give their influence politically. Fans regard such behavior as pussy. However, Hiroki Okamoto argued that people can hear the different opinion from the people in close relationship. Why Japanese do not like the different political opinion by the celebrities who are close yet far from themselves?

  Why do we dislike the political statement by artist? We don’t mind the political statement which is said at very far place from us, for example, the statement by politician and celebrated researcher. Moreover, we accept political statement which is said within the framework of close relationship, for instance, talk with family and friends. However, we have antipathy toward the political statement at in-between space, the political statement by artists on SNS.

  We tend to think we have no relation with politician’s statement at all. On the other hand, in the conversation with close people, we can revise the gap of understanding for politics on the moment and immediately. However, the relationship between listener and artist is one-way communication. Listeners just enjoy the artist’s statement and their works so artist can’t revise the gap of understanding for politics between artist’s meaning and listener’s interpretation. As a result, the artist’s statements that is different from listeners remain at listener as “imposition” or“impact”. Therefore, the political statements by artists tend to be disliked for that reason.
  Artists and music fan who join the movement of “#Get_out_from_our_music!” were not so many on Twitter. However, it may be supposed by the people who have antipathy for the political speech with reservation like people in this interview.
  This movement gives suggestion about the relationship with around and politics. We may be not only a receiver but also a sender by our action like share the political statement by celebrity or artist. Not so close people with you can watch your SNS so the nature of the political statement and sharing can be different from our daily conversation.

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