Observations on Intra-Nebular Kyara Among Youth
This article summarizes the author’s book (Senuma 2007) on kyara in communication among young people in modern Japan, and subsequent research developments.
Here, kyara refers to an intelligible, stereotypical abstraction, derived from a person’s prominent traits. Among the young generation, individuals are sometimes assigned a specific kyara by others in their peer group, regardless of that individual's intentions. Accepting and performing that kyara can elevate the mood of the situation, and become the occasion for communication and humour. This is a benefit of kyaras, but they have disadvantages as well. For example, it may be burdensome to perform that kyara, they might not like the kyara assigned by their friends, or they may be troubled by the disconnect between kyara and self. If kyara-based teasing turns into bullying, this can be a source of suffering for youths as well.
The above trends have escalated since the publication of Senuma (2007). Situations in which young people should perform kyaras around their friends have increased. Moreover, the younger generation must increasingly use different kyara for different situations due to the popularization of smartphones and the ubiquity of various social networking sites.
This “situational use of different selves” is contrary to the identity theory, which posits that people build a consistent self during adolescence. Human relationships and types of friendship are inherently varied, but to the young, fear of losing friends takes precedence, so they perform kyaras to fit in with their friends. If they become too accustomed to performing these kyaras, their innate right to change within their relationships to others could be stripped away by the group dynamic.
Chishima, Y., & Murakami, T. (2015). Gendai seinen niokeru “kyara” o kaishita yuujinkankei no jittai to yuujinkankei manzokudo no kanren: “kyara” nitaisuru kangaekata o chuushinni. Seinen Shinrigaku Kenkyu, 26 (2), -.
Doi, T. (2004). “Kosei” o aorareru kodomotachi: Shinmitsukenno hen’yo o kangaeru. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.
Doi, T. (2009). Kyara-ka suru/sareru kodomotachi: Haijogata shakai niokeru aratana ningenzou. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.
Doi, T. (2014). Tsunagario aorareru kodomotachi: Nettoizonto ijimemondaio kangaeru. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.
Harada, Y. (2010). Chikagorono wakamonowa naze damenanoka. Tokyo: Kobunsha.
Miyadai, S. (1994). Seifuku shojotachino sentaku. Tokyo: Kodansha.
National Federation of University Co-operative Associations in Japan. (2008). Campus Life Data 2007.
Mori, S. (2008). Nihonwa naze isakaino ooi kunini nattanoka. Tokyo: Chuoukouronsha.
Senuma, F. (2007). Kyararon. Tokyo: Studio Cello.
Copyright (c) 2015 Fumiaki Senuma
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors are confirming that they are the authors of the submitting article, which will be published online in journal Acta Linguistica Asiatica by Ljubljana University Press, Faculty of Arts (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia). Author’s name will be evident in the article in journal. All decisions regarding layout and distribution of the work are in hands of the publisher.
- Authors guarantee that the work is their own original creation and does not infringe any statutory or common-law copyright or any proprietary right of any third party. In case of claims by third parties, authors commit their self to defend the interests of the publisher, and shall cover any potential costs.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.