Anger and Internet in Japan

Anger and Internet in Japan

Hiroko Endo (Rissho University, Japan) and Kei Fuji (University of Tsukuba, Japan)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch691
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Abstract

People's anger has also given rise to controversy on the internet in Japan and is often linked with the issue of “flaming”. Thus, this chapter focuses on the expression and sharing of anger on the internet in Japan by providing examples. It also covers the results of large-scale studies that have been conducted in recent years and analyzes the traits of those who participate in flaming. We will cover the problems of expression of anger on the internet in terms of “Social sharing of emotion (Rimé, 2007)”. Through these arguments we will list the results of studies done in Japan that ask what should be done to control anger. In addition, we will also discuss what we should be focusing on when expressing emotions of anger and our experiences on the internet.
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Background

Many readers out there likely took pleasure in watching the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. All of us were excited by the sight of top athletes gathering at the Olympic flame and showing their inflamed passion for sports. But that excitement can also easily lead to flaming on the Internet. Such a situation had already occurred during the 2000 Sydney Olympics. There was an incident where the athlete Shinichi Shinohara from Japan was judged to have been defeated in the final match for Men's Judo in the over 100Kg class. Shinohara had countered his opponent with an Uchi-mata-sukashi at one minute and 35 seconds from the start of the match and taken a victory pose, but judges did not award the Ippon victory that he had deserved and instead judged in favor for his opponent. Immediately afterward people took to the Internet in Japan and there was an outpour of rage against the chief judge for what was referred to as the “greatest misjudgment of the century”. But the flaming did not stop there and spread to other places that were not involved in any way. Since the chief judge for the match was from New Zealand, people ended up targeting the Embassy of Japan in a fit of rage and caused the site to become inaccessible (Tashiro & Orita, 2012).

One person's opinion can be shared between others who share the same opinion or thoughts and lead to an increase of supporters, which can garner much attention. This phenomenon has been likened to a waterfall by Sunstein (2011) and referred to as a “cyber cascade”. In Japan this is more likened to that of a small spark suddenly erupting and causing an inextinguishable fire and is generally referred to as “flaming”. Aside from the difference between water and fire, either one is an extremely appropriate metaphor for anger that should have been constricted to the emotions of individual suddenly transforming into the anger of a group or whole society.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Expressive Writing: Writing about past emotional experiences, including one’s thoughts, feeling, and perceived facts.

Sense of Unintegration of Thoughts: The states when people could not integrate their thoughts by unacceptable events or unattained goals (see also Endo & Yukawa, 2012 ).

Cyber Cascade: A form of group-polarization on Internet.

Social Sharing of Emotion: Communications about the emotional experiences in socially-shared language by the person who experienced them to other people.

Flaming: Large-scaled and offensive posting behaviors on the Internet.

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