Imagination in Non-site-specific Contents Tourism

Meetings between Fans and Heroes at Ultraman events

TAN Xiang Ning



Contents tourism research, as well as other research on fan tourism, has focused primarily on specific ‘sacred sites’ of fan tourism and the behaviours of fan tourists there. This article investigates the less-explored area of non-site- specific contents tourism using a theoretical approach centred on the concept of lieux d’imagination (Reijnders 2011), but extending the concept to include physical entities in addition to physical sites. This article focuses on the collaborative performances of meetings between fans and Ultraman heroes at temporary Ultraman events, paying particular attention to fan behaviours at such events. It finds that these performances of meetings make for deeply emotional, personalized, and satisfying contents tourism experiences for fans. By examining the meaningful imaginative experiences fans have even at sites with no relation to the narrative world, this article clarifies the role of imagination in non-site- specific contents tourism. The conclusions drawn also lead to an expanded perception of what sites can count as sacred sites of contents tourism, raising possibilities for further research in the field of contents tourism studies.



Author Biography

TAN Xiang Ning completed her undergraduate studies in the School of Japan Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, in 2024.