What to Give Your Idol: Gift Etiquette for Fans

  • Most people who are interested in Japanese culture and music have idol groups or singers they like. Some fans of idols are extremely dedicated to their favorite groups. Thus, trying to convey your appreciation towards them is one of the essentials of being a hard-core fan, isn’t it? However, in addition to showing your love and affection for them, there are actually some rules to follow to avoid getting into trouble or embarrassing yourself.

    Be Careful

    Japan is a country that has rather strict copyright and portraiture laws; therefore gifting something that has your idol’s image on it is definitely a no-no! Everything that is downloaded from the internet and printed out, or redesigned into handmade products is also considered a copyright infringement. Also, here’s another tip about Japanese artist copyrights: re-posting of any form of videos, images, and music needs acknowledgement of the production company or whoever the copyright holder is. That’s the reason why you wouldn’t see any images of the artists themselves on a Japanese fan’s blog. If you did post one on your blog, your blog will most probably be closed down or banned. Therefore, your gift with an artist’s portrait on it would also be gotten rid of before it even reached their hands.

    Gifting your idols

    Avoid giving goods such as clothing, accessories and electronic gadgets. The main reason is because the company would do their best to exclude suspicions of advertising any brands by their artists. The artists’ power to influence fans to purchase items that they wear is beyond imagination. Normally, most companies would ban such items from being accepted as gifts. Also, strict protection is enforced to avoid any risks that may put their artists in danger.

    But how do you send your gift? Well, unless you are super lucky to have incidentally bumped into your favorite idol (privately, and without guards or managers around him/her), the only way that you can hand your gifts to them is through posting them to the company itself. Screening through every gift by staff beforehand is a must, so watch your language too!

    Be a good fan and always remember to follow the rules!

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    The Dark Side of The Japanese Idol Industry