Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki: A Quest to Find an Unasked Question


Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage


Haruki Murakami

Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group

Publication Date: 12/08/2014

One of the biggest question in one’s life would be: “who will cry at my funeral ?”. The question implies many aspects of human life, especially, a human as a social creature. It implies that at he/she pretty sure that someone will cry in the funeral, and pretty sure that he/she will have a funeral. Who knows ? What if at the time of his/her death, he/she is alone, totally alone. That’s the first, but let’s say most human as a social creature passed the first one, he/she will have at least a funeral.

Then, the second one comes. Among those who manage his/her funeral, will someone cry ? In this case, the question implies on how weak human’s trust is. In a relationship, any relationship, friendship, romantic one, even business relationship, are build based on trust. When you trust someone, you can trust them up to the point until they can see you no more –death. In death, the relationship culminated into a mix of emotion of not being able to see the one who died anymore. Most of them, showing it by crying. Crying is a sign that the bond that bind the relationship is great enough, so that losing the dead person is something hard. When you really trust someone –regarding your relationship with him/her, you don’t have to worry that they will cry at your funeral or not.

This very question linger in the mind of Tsukuru Tazaki, 36 years old, single, a train station designer. A long time ago –by human age-, Tsukuru have a group of friend who always stick together. Kei Akamatsu the Red pine, Yoshio Oumi the Blue sea, Yuzuki Shirane the White root, and Eri Kurono the Black meadow, and Tsukuru Tazaki the maker. If you have a group that always stick together –due to togetherness of doing something- it is normal in that group to give nickname to each member of the group. In this group, their name –except Tsukuru’s- contains a color in their Japanese character. Akamatsu Mr. Red, Oumi Mr. Blue, Shirane Mrs. White, Kurono Mrs. Black, and finally the Colorless Tsukuru. The Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki. While his friends have their own unique characteristics (and colors) Tsukuru always feel that he’s a no-goodie, he is the so-so person, the one that might be good as a striker in a soccer team, because of his lack of presence. He always feel that he is bland. Colorless, as his name suggest in the middle of a colorful group.

It is getting more painful when the group decided to kick him out for no apparent reason. Alone and suicidal, Tsukuru met Fumiyaki Haida, a junior on his university, befriended him, and found many strange things happened when he’s together with him. If you are an avid Murakami reader, then Haida would be Tsukuru’s Colonel Sanders in Kafka on the Shore. He’s the gate to everything weird that’s happening in the story. He told Tsukuru a weird story about a pianist who talks about “death token” that is to be passed when one’s going to die. This story led up to Tsukuru’s strange erotic dream which involves Kuro and Shiro –his old friends-,and finished with a weird homosexual orgasm scene with Haida. Not long after that, Haida gone away and left Tsukuru a set of Années de pèlerinage –years of pilgrimage, A set of recording by French pianist Franz Liszt, that they used to listen together to.

Years passed, until Tsukuru meets his current lover, Sara Kimoto, who told him that he should finish what he have started: the group of colorful friends that left him. Turned out that the group cut off Tsukuru through a phonecall, and Tsukuru never asked why. Finally, Tsukuru began his pilgrimage, starting in Nagoya –his hometown-, asking them one by one, uncovering the truth behind his expulsion from the group, which ended up in an alone trip to Finland.

If you ever have a group of friend, or a clique, this book is definitely for you. It will tell you on how trust is more important than anything in a clique, and how the members should speak their mind if anything goes wrong among them, there should be no secret. If you ever feel really alienized in this colorful world, this book is also definitely for you. Even when you are colorless, you are still somebody, still a part of a society, even a colorless window still have their role at a colorful house, right ? And last but not least, if you have an unfinished burden –especially those which aren’t really your fault-, finish it, before it is too late…

This one is another good piece by Haruki Murakami. Although you wouldn’t find an exquisite adventure like those in Kafka on the Shore or 1Q84, Tsukuru’s Pilgrimage still filled with strange incidents, stories, and dreams. Altogether linked in the major theme of colors.


“What If ?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions”: Bringing Popular Science Into the Next Level

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“What If ?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions”


Randall Munroe

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Publication Date: 02/09/2014

If you heard the word math, or natural science, or biology, or physics, things that popped up in your head might be some of those boring things about theories and numbers. Many people are allergic to these words, maybe some of them are even traumatic, remembering the times in school when everyone of us, Indonesian, have to learn it involuntarily. Remembering my school times when the next day is the report card day is possibly one of the worst memory I can clearly recall. Especially, to those subjects. But now, the time has changed. Thanks to TV series like House, the Big Bang Theory, and even the CSI Series (and of course the educational channels like National Geographic or Discovery Channel, and History Channel for the social science), or movies like Interstellar or Gravity, science is now placed in a better place in our mind. It is being more interesting if it is interpreted in this way, rather than on the black board with white scratch of chalks. These TV Series have managed to bring science into another level: popular.

The word popular here doesn’t equal with famous, but rather, if I quote the, “adapted to the ordinary intelligence or taste.” Yes, popular science are bringing these complicated science stuff into an  easier-to-understand level. Popular science doesn’t necessarily made to be understood by those who are wanting to be a scientist. You can’t be a doctor by watching the whole season of House, but at least, it gives you a very-basic-but-not-yet-appliable-knowledge on medicine (maybe some of them are appliable though). But still, it gives you something interesting about the world of medicine, which is more complicated and less interesting in the real world. That is the power of popular, it mades boring thing awesome.

Randall Munroe, a former NASA Robotics and webcomic artist saw this opportunity, and started a webcomic entitle xkcd. The webcomic itself is presenting humors to the reader. One of the section is the “What-if” section, in which Munroe will answer an absurd question scientifically. Yes, scientifically. Questions like “What if there was a lake on the Moon? What would it be like to swim in it? Presuming that it is sheltered in a regular atmosphere, in some giant dome or something.Munroe will answer it with the gravity theory, etc. This section of the site is getting more and more popular, and voila, here comes the book !

On 2014, Munroe finally published the book entitled “What If ?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions.” It contains series of questions that is being asked into Munroe’s website, in which Munroe will answer it hypothetically. Munroe ‘divided’ this book into 3 sections: the main section, the short answer section, and the funniest one, ‘weird (and worrying) questions from the what if ? inbox’.

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The main section contains of absurd questions which Munroe will answer with a hypothetical scientific answer, for example: “Is it possible to build a jetpack using downward-firing machine guns ?” which were asked by Rob B.. Munroe answered it in a quite long answer, 3 pages long, along with the mathematical hypothesis like, how many energy can an AK-47 generates for the thrust, and how many bullets ones need to fly with the recoil of the AK-47. The answer is hypothetically possible, he said, but of course, it’s only hypothetical, he didn’t really do the experiment, just the possible outcome of those.

While the short answer section, Munroe answered a question with a very short answer (obviously), those are only like half page long. For example, a question from Rupert Bainbridge (and hundreds of others) “what would happen if you set off a nuclear bomb in the eye of a hurricane ? Would the storm cell be immediately vaporized ?”. The answer starts with how he stated that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also received the same question, a lot. And the answer is pretty simple: “needless to say, this is not a good idea.”

And the funniest section, the weird and worrying questions is my most favorite. It answers (and not answers) weird and worrying questions such as: “if people had wheels and could fly, how could we differentiate them from airplanes ?” by Anonymous which has no answer, or “is it possible to cry so much you dehydrate yourself ?” by Karl Wildermuth, in which Munroe answer with a simple graphic asking if Karl is all right (it is indeed, worrying, right ?).

In the end, Munroe managed to take popular science to the next level. How is that ? While the ‘normal’ popular science only talks about the everyday science, those are already performed on lab or field, Munroe’s books talks about what might lies beyond. Of course the labs can predict what was in the Dinosaurs world, but it’d be boring, again, it is not popular, not every people can enjoy the scientific journal on Dinosaurs, but Munroe, with his witty style and simplistic but to the point comics, can make the science popular.

In the end, this book deserves a big praise. It can makes science funny, not boring, easy to understand, and last but not least, not disregarding the theory itself. All of the (hypothetical) answers are scientifically plausible (and funny).

1Q84: When Small Things Matter




Haruki Murakami

Publisher: Vintage Books

Publication Date: 22/01/2013

Have you ever thought that a small incident might change your live drastically ? Might be not. So does it for Masami Aomame. Never once she thought that stepping down an emergency ladder in a highway will bring her into a new world. A World where history cracks, where there are two moons hanging in the sky, the world where the ‘Little People’ control it so much with their magic. Masami Aomame is not an ordinary women. She’s a gym instructor, a martial arts tutor, and a skilled assassin. She doesn’t simply kill people for money, only those who are abusing their wives. A trauma from the past made her assassin.

She worked with a dowager who provide her with information and instruction on who and where to kill their victims, while Aomame decides on how to kill them. Aomame kill them using a modified needles that can ‘send someone to the other side’ with no trace at all. It will looks like a heart attack.

Aomame’s extraordinary life shited into a more extremely extraordinary way when a taxi driver ‘drives’ her into the new world, a world which she called the 1Q84, replasing the 9 in 1984, the year when this story happened. Q in Japanese can be read as Kyu, which stands for the number 9. Aomame finally drives into the 1Q84 world to find an mystical adventure related to magic, assassination, underage sex, brainwashing, which all lead to a cult called the Sakigake. In this world, she also finds what she have been looking these past years.

Have you ever think that doing an interesting taboo can change your life drastically ? Maybe yes. It is what Tengo Kawana have been thinking about when he accepted his editor’s challenge. Komatsu, his editor ‘challenged’ him to rewrite a unique novel written by a 17 years old girl named Fuka Eri. The novel entitled “Air Chrysalis” is one of kind. The storyline is intriguing, but the writing style is a little bit weird. That is why Tengo decided to rewrite it, to make it more ‘edible’.

Tengo is an amateur writer (because he never published anything), and also a mathematic teacher at a prep school. He lives a boring life. He teaches, and writes novel, he is a good teacher, and also a good novelist, but he always overshadowed by his bad luck that made him hardly win anything for his novel. When Tengo decided to rewrite Fuka Eri’s weird novel, he caught himself in a train of trouble. Not that kind of trouble that made him go to jail, he is now entering a world where magic is real, little people are controlling the world, tailed by a private investigator, the Sakigake Cult, the Air Chrysalis, and an answer to his past.

Are you confused with my way of reviewing this ? I’m only copying Murakami’s style in this novel. He wrote the chapter in this pattern. First chapter is Aomame’s story, then the second one is Tengo, the third one is Aomame, and so on. Aomame-Tengo-Aomame-Tengo. Up until the third book when we are introduced into another character, Ushikawa, whose point of view gives us a complete package to the story.

Murakami wrote this novel nicely. The relationship of the characters are intactly build. With is overly –some said overly, but I say this overly-ness is good- detailed, we can feel what the character is feeling. He can write about how Aomame open a referigerator in one full page. He can also made us feel the atmosphere of the story. One of them is by mentioning a music which reflects the current situation of the sotry. He also loves to include another story in his story. One of them is about the Cat Town –which is written by himself- and the Gilyak People by Anton Chekhov.

Many people –especially those who are newcomer to Murakamis- will get confused reading this novel. There are many surrealistic experience in it, which made you think long enough about what is happening. Like when the Little People are exiting from a mouth of a dead dog, or how an NHK fee collector who is knocking the door harshly (reflecting Tengo’s father -in some way- who is in a coma).

I can relate Murakami style here to a theory in math called the Chaos Theory. It is a little change in a dynamic system that can lead into a very big change. The popular name of the theory is the butterfly effect, in which a flap of a butterfly wings can make a typhoon in another place. Sounds confusing ? Indeed. But that is so really not the reason to not read this novel. Make it the reason to read this. Maybe you’ll find another view ?

Life is something complex. The interhuman relationship made a complex network that affects one another. In the other side, human life is also dynamic, it is always moving, which of course, affects that complex network. A little event, a short meeting, something you think unimportant can change your life in split second. And of course, there is a little fight in every one of you, is it right ? or is it wrong ? Which one is right, and which one is wrong. All of those questions are neatly packed by Haruki Murakami in this novel.

Persib vs Hanshin Tigers: Tentang Sports Fandom di Indonesia dan Jepang


Budaya Populer/Popular Culture

Tim Delaney, seorang sosiolog dari State University of New York at Oswego, mendefinisikan budaya populer sebagai suatu konsep yang memiliki berbagai macam makna, tergantung dari siapa yang mendefinisikannya, dan bagaimana penggunaaan konsepnya. Namun, secara umum, ia menyebut budaya populer sebagai: “the products and forms of expression and identity that are frequently encountered or widely accepted, commonly liked or approved, and characteristic of a particular society at a given time.”

Budaya populer mampu membuat massa yang heterogen mengidentifikasikan diri mereka secara kolektif. Budaya populer menyediakan peran-pran inklusioner dalam masyarakat yang membuatnya dapat mengikat massa ke dalam sebuah tingkah laku yang dapat diterima. Selain itu, budaya populer juga menempa rasa identitas yang mengikat individual ke dalam masyarakat yang lebih luas, mengkonsumsi produk budaya populer mampu meningkatkan prestise individu dalam kelompok mereka. Lebih jauh lagi, budaya populer, tidak seperti budaya rakyat atau budaya tinggi, memungkinkan para individual untuk mengubah sentimen yang berlaku dan norma tingkah laku. Oleh karena itu, budaya populer menarik bagi banyak orang karena ia menyediakan kesempatan untuk kebahagiaan individual dan pengikatan komunal.

Apakah Olah Raga Bagian Dari Budaya Populer ?

Bill Shankly, mantan pelatih legendaris Liverpool FC di Inggris, pernah mengatakan “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that .“ Sedangkan di tempat lain, George F. Will, seorang kolumnis di Amerika Serikat mengatakan hal yang agak sedikit mirip dengan Bill Shankly, mengenai olah raga baseball “Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona .” Kedua kutipan ini kiranya dapat menggambarkan posisi olah raga sebagai sesuatu yang lebih dari sekedar permainan.

Bagaimana olah raga menjadi sesuatu yang lebih dari sekedar permainan serta bagian dari budaya populer dapat dilihat dari kacamata fandom, sebuah konsep yang oleh Michael Serazio dari majalah the Atlantic gambarkan bagaikan sebuah agama. Dalam artikel yang berjudul “Just how much is sports fandom like religion ?” tersebut, Serazio menggambarkan dengan meminjam konsep Totem dari Emile Durkheim, bahwa klub olah raga yang didukung oleh para fansnya, bagaikan Totem yang mewakili Tuhan mereka:“For Durkheim, this all hinged on what he called ‘the totem.’ As he wrote, “On the one hand, [the totem] is the external and tangible form of what we have called the… god. But on the other, it is the symbol of that particular society we call the clan. It is its flag; it is the sign by which each clan distinguishes itself from others, the visible mark of its personality. “

Dengan kata lain, klub olah raga dalam fandomnya menjadi semacam simbol dari identitas eksklusif mereka sebagai fans dari klub tersebut. Ketika seseorang menjadi fans tim olah raga, dan ia mengenakan atribut tim tersebut, maka ia sedang memanjangkan totemnya dengan mengenakan sesuatu yang menjadi representasi dari kelompoknya

Mengutip Durkheim lebih jauh lagi, ketika seseorang/kelompok memuja totemnya, pada saat itu ia juga sedang memuja diri mereka sendiri. Selain itu, ada juga sebuah konsep dari Durkheim yang disebut dengan collective effervesence, di mana ada elektrisitas sosial yang muncul ketika sebuah kelompok berkumpul dalam sebuah ritual epik. Dalam relasinya dengan tim olah raga, fenomena ini dapat dilihat di ritual kemenangan (terutama ketika juara) sebuah tim olah raga.

Dalam parade kemenangan sebuah tim olah raga, sekelompok fans tim yang memenangkan kejuaraan, bisa dikatakan dapat berlaku sesukanya tanpa harus takut berurusan dengan hukum. Ini terjadi di parade kemenangan dua tim olah raga dari dua bagian dunia yang berbeda: Persib Bandung di Bandung, Indonesia, dan Hanshin Tigers di Osaka, Jepang. Dalam parade kemenangan Persib Bandung di kejuaraan Indonesia Super League musim 2013, fans Persib berlaku anarkis –bukan anarkis dalam kiasan media yang cenderung berarti melakukan kekerasan, tetapi anarkis dalam makna sesungguhnya, tanpa hukum, chaos, tanpa aturan-. Mereka bersepeda motor tanpa helm, menggerung-gerungkan knalpot kendaraannya, menerobos lampu merah, semua berlaku tanpa aturan. Ini sesuai dengan apa yang dikatakan oleh Serazio di mana fans menurutnya: “might look like chaotic disorder but it is actually a rare moment of social order: a glimpse of spontaneous solidarity, an interlude of uninhibited integration” , walaupun baginya ini bukanlah alasan untuk melakukan tindakan-tindakan yang sudah disebutkan tadi.

Begitu juga dengan fans Hanshin Tigers di Osaka Jepang. Ketika memenangkan Japan Series pada tahun 1985, fans-fans ini melakukan tindakan anarkis –kembali, definisi anarkis yang bukan anarkis yang seringkali digunakan sebagai kiasan untuk kekerasan oleh media-, dengan menceburkan diri mereka ke sungai Dotonbori yang kotor. Selain itu, mereka juga melakukan hal yang konyol dengan menceburkan patung Colonel Sanders –maskot Kentucky Fried Chicken- ke sungai tersebut, dengan alasan ia mirip dengan salah satu pemain Hanshin Tigers pada waktu itu, Randy Bass .

Walaupun secara garis besar kedua fandom ini terdengar mirip –sama gilanya-, namun hal ini tidak bisa begitu saja disamakan. Ini karena kondisi sosial dan sejarah olah raga di kedua negara sangatlah berbeda. Maka dari itu, saya akan mencoba menganalisa kedua kultur fandom ini dengan konsep kebudayaan sebagai sesuatu yang dinamis, karena kebudayaan tentang sports fandom ini berubah dari masa ke masa di masing-masing negara. Ini juga berkenaan dengan konsep budaya populer di mana ia memungkinkan masyarakat untuk mengubah “kebudayaan” untuk mengakomodir kepentingannya. Untuk itu, saya akan membahas terlebih dahulu dua buah jurnal yang meneliti tentang sports fandom di kedua negara, yang pertama adalah Brajamusti: Soccer Fandom and Urban Identity in Yogyakarta oleh Andy Fuller untuk memahami kultur fandom di Indonesia, dan Sense and Sensibility at the Ballpark oleh William W. Kelly untuk memahami kultur sports fandom di Jepang.

Sports Fandom (Sepak bola) di Indonesia

Menurut Fuller (2014: 1), kelompok supporter memainkan peran vital di dalam kehidupan sepak bola Indonesia. Walaupun aksi di atas lapangan kelihatannya setengah hati dan problematis, para fans tetap menunjukkan semangat dan loyalitas yang tidak pernah mati. Fans –supporter, hooligan, atau ultras- juga memainkan peran dalam mempertunjukkan perbedaan dan identitas kota yang mereka representasikan.

Dalam artikel ini Fuller (2014: 17) menyimpulkan bahwa para supporter PSIM (Persatuan Sepak Bola Indonesia Mataram) yang tergabung dalam Brajamusti mengedepankan perbedaan identitas mereka sebagai orang Jawa dan sebagai orang Yogyakarta. Kelompok supporter ini terdiri dari jaringan kompleks para aktivis dan anak muda yang muncul dari berbagai macam latar belakang baik ekonomi maupun sosial. Brajamusti ingin merepresenasikan PSIM dan kota Yogyakarta.

Apabila mengacu kepada konsep-konsep tentang fandom di atas, maka Brajamusti menggambarkan bagaimana ada identitas baru yang dimunculkan dengan menjadi seorang fans klub sepak bola. Fuller menggambarkan bahwa Brajamusti ingin merepresentasikan PSIM, dan kota Yogyakarta, berarti, Brajamusti bukanlah Yogyakarta, baru ingin menjadi ‘bagian’ dari Yogyakarta, padahal, isinya sendiri adalah orang Yogyakarta. Mengapa orang Yogyakarta tidak bisa menjadi bagian dari Yogyakarta ? Inilah titik di mana identitas baru tersebut muncul. Kembali ke definisi awal budaya populer pun demikian, ini adalah proses di mana menjadi fans sepak bola adalah bagian dari budaya populer. Karena ia bisa ditolerir, mengkonsumsinya meningkatkan prestise di masyarakat, menempa rasa identitas ke dalam masyarakat yang lebih luas, serta (dalam proses) mengubah sentimen (yang melihat Brajamusti sebagai tukang rusuh) yang berlaku.

Konsepsi-konsepsi tadi juga berlaku dengan para Bobotoh di kota Bandung. Mereka tidak jauh berbeda dengan Brajamusti. Perbedaan yang mengena hanyalah idenitas dari mana mereka berasal. Apabila Brajamusti mengidentikkan diri mereka dengan Yogyakarta, maka Persib mengindetikan diri mereka dengan Bandung. Bobotoh sendiri sebenarnya memang dicap sebagai tukang rusuh di Bandung. Tindakan kekerasan mereka yang berkenaan dengan mobil-mobil Plat B (Jakarta, yang merupakan kota asal rival mereka, Persija), adalah suatu hal yang lumrah diberitakan tiap kali Persib bermain. Namun, hal ini mulai berusaha dirubah baik oleh bobtoh sendiri, maupun oleh pemerintah kota Bandung, melalui Wali Kota Ridwan Kamil –yang juga seorang bobotoh – yang ingin mencoba merubah persepsi umum tentang bobotoh. Salah satunya adalah dengan menawarkan ganti rugi kerusakan kendaraan Plat B yang dirusak bobotoh –oknum- ketika pawai kemenangan Persib bulan November 2014 .

Ini menggambarkan bagaimana dalam lingkup budaya populer, ada aktor-aktor yang mampu merubah ‘kebudayaan’. Kebudayaan di sini mengacu kepada definisi dari Clifford Geertz (Geertz, dalam Alam 2014: 35-41) :“an historically transmitted pattern of meanings embodied in symbols…by means of which men communicate, perpetuate, and develop their knowledge about and attitude toward life”. Kebudayaan yang dimaksud adalah cara pandang terhadap bobotoh, dan cara mendukung persib sendiri. Kebudayaan yang ada terhadap bobotoh adalah bagaimana bobotoh diposisikan sebagai tukang perusuh di masyarakat. Di mana simbol-simbol yang merekat kepadanya dikaitkan dengan tindak pengrusakan. Namun, bagi Bachtiar Alam (2014: 35-41), kebudayaan adalah sesuatu yang bersifat dinamis, ia bisa berubah, apa lagi berkaitan dengan ‘subjek pendukung kebudayaan’ yang dapat mengambil bagian dalam proses konstruksi kebudayaan, yang pada gilirannya berkaitan erat dengan kekuasaan serta kepentingan.

Dalam hal ini, Ridwan Kamil sebagai wali kota Bandung yang juga seorang bobotoh dan tentunya memiliki kuasa, mampu membantu mengubah kebudayaan yang memandang bobotoh sebagai tukang perusuh, serta mampu (setidaknya mencoba) membuat paradigma baru dalam mendukung Persib: dengan tidak merusak. Tindakan Ridwan Kamil yang mencoba mengganti kerusakan mobil Plat B dapat dilihat sebagai sebuah tindakan yang mendukung klub secara moriil: membangun citra klub menjadi lebih baik.

Dari paparan tentang sports fandom di Indonesia, dapat saya simpulkan bahwa sports fandom di Indonesia berkaitan dengan identitas kedaerahan, di mana PSIM dan Brajamusti adalah Yogyakarta dan Persib Bandung dan bobotoh adalah Bandung. Namun, keduanya tidak begitu saja berkaitan secara pasti karena adanya identitas lain yang mendistorsi proses identifikasi dari keduanya, dan ini adalah identitas fandom itu sendiri. Fandom sendiri tidak bisa begitu saja disamaratakan dengan identitas suatu kota. Ia adalah bagian dari suatu kota, namun tidak serta merta mereprsentasikan kota itu sendiri. Selain itu, sports fandom di Indonesia juga berkaitan dengan kekuasaan. Seperti contohnya apa yang dilakukan oleh Ridwan Kamil dalam membangun Bandung serta citra bobotoh sendiri. Sepak bola di Indonesia adalah sesuatu yang more than a game.

Sports Fandom (Baseball) di Jepang

Mengacu kepada artikel William W. Kelly (2004: 84), fandom di Jepang juga mengedepankan identitas kedaerahan. Para pendukung Hanshin Tigers bisa menjadi fans Hanshin karena mereka adalah orang Osaka dan tim mereka diinvestasikan dengan kebanggaan dari Osaka, namun, ketika mereka menjadi fans Hanshin, mereka akan lebih membanggakan ke-Osaka-an mereka. Ini dikarenakan dukungan terhadap tip dan identitas lokal saling mendukung secara mutual. Meski demikian, mereka jarang (bahkan di artikel ini sama sekali tidak disebutkan) melakukan tindak pengrusakan di luar stadion.

Satu-satunya tindakan yang diceritakan di dalam artikel ini yang berkenaan dengan pengrusakan adalah peristiwa pelemparan botol dan megafon ke dalam lapangan, dan juga penonton yang merangsek masuk ke dalam lapangan.
Kelly (2004: 101) melihat fandom baseball di Jepang sebagai suatu fandom yang sudah tertata rapih, dan bersifat sangat komersil. Ini berbeda sekali dengan fandom Hanshin pada tahun 1985, yang ketika juara, mereka dikabarkan melakukan tindakan ekstrem hingga berani membajak kereta (selain menceburkan diri ke Sungai Dotonburi). Dari perbandingan di masa lalu dan masa sekarang (artikel Kelly ditulis pada tahun 2004), dapat dilihat perbedaan yang cukup signifikan. Terlepas dari Hanshin yang belum pernah menjuarai Japan Series lagi, memang ada aturan dari pemerintah dan kepolisian Osaka yang tidak memperbolehkan orang-orang untuk menceburkan diri ke Sungai Dotonbori .

Selain itu, Kelly (2004: 92) juga menulis bahwa adanya kerjasama antara para fans dengan petugas dari klub sendiri membantu terciptanya suasana kondusif ketika pertandingan berjalan. Ini dicontohkan dengan pengibaran bendera yang kadang mengganggu penonton yang duduk di belakang, pada tahun 1992an. Ini adalah tanda dari bagaimana pemegang kepentingan mencoba mengubah kebudayaan yang sebelumnya sudah ada.


Kesimpulan yang dapat diambil adalah, kedua fandom memiliki karakteristik yang mirip, keduanya masih memegang erat identitas kedaerahan masing-masing klub yang mereka gemari. Keduanya juga memberikan identitas baru, sesuai dengan konsep fandom dan budaya populer sendiri. Keduanya pun sama-sama mengalami perubahan dari masa ke masa. Di mana Persib dan bobotoh sedang membenahi diri agar tidak dicap negatif, sedangkan Hanshin Tigers telah berhasil mengubah diri mereka menjadi fans yang tertib aturan. Ini juga merupakan sebuah gambaran bagaimana budaya populer mampu mengakomodir kepuasan individu, baik secara individu, maupun secara kelompok. Dan terakhir, adanya keterhubungan antara individu penonton dengan kelompok pemegang kepentingan. Dalam Persib Bandung, bisa dilihat bagaimana pemerintah kota Bandung melalui Ridwan Kamil berusaha mengubah Persib dan bobotoh agar menjadi lebih baik, sedangkan dalam Hanshin Tigers, klub melakukan pendekatan terhadap para fans agar terciptanya situasi kondusif di lapangan

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