How “The Nose” by Akutagawa Relates to Meiji Japan: Infographic
For our Meiji Restoration project, my group and I decided to focus on the themes present in one Japanese short story and then relate these themes back to what we have learned about the Meiji Restoration. We chose to focus on only one story so that we could fully analyze the story and explore the story’s narrative of Meiji Japan. After hours of searching for a story that appealed to all members of the group, we finally found one story that we felt directly related to the Meiji Era: “The Nose” by Akutagawa. We all read “The Nose,” and then decided upon our goals for the project; we wanted to discuss the themes of religion, change, and appearance in “The Nose,” and then relate these themes to Meiji Japan. We also wanted to present our information as concisely as we could so that our project was appealing to people who were not particularly interested in Japanese history. After trying various platforms, we finally decided that making an infographic would allow us to keep our audience engaged while analyzing “The Nose.”
I wrote the sections about religion in “The Nose” and Japan and I organized our works cited pages. I also edited everyone’s writing. Wiley wrote the plot summary and section on historical context, Raven wrote the sections on change, and Nina wrote the sections on appearance and worked to trouble-shoot technological errors.
Our infographic does an excellent job of incorporating images into our analysis and breaking up text so that our information does not appear overwhelming. I think that our choice of technology allows us to analyze “The Nose” such that our audience can receive information about the text without having to read through a traditional essay. The organization of our infographic also allows viewers to directly see the connections between themes in “The Nose” and themes in Meiji Japan and our conclusion offers viewers a short summary of all of the information we present. One weakness of our infographic is that it does not provide enough space for us to include all of the evidence we would like to relate to our themes; yet, we recognize that including all of our evidence would make readers less inclined to read our information and so we tried to incorporate evidence with as much concision as we could.
Creating this infographic taught me a lot about the Meiji Era. I learned about Japan’s belief that international recognition and external appearance were inextricably linked and about Buddhism’s deterioration in Japan. I also learned a lot about myself through making this project. Initially, my group and I made a timeline, despite a little voice in my head telling me that a timeline did not make sense for our information. This project made me realize that I need to work on expressing my concerns to my group. It also taught me that technology challenges me and that I need to spend more time learning to use various tools.