Week 55: Another ethics application

Three weeks have passed since I came to Tokyo to start my fieldwork. I have spent the weeks (and will spend the next few weeks) contacting and recruiting research participants, having face-to-face meetings with them, explaining the study and arranging dates for my observations and recording, and working on literature reviews as well.

This week, I found out that I need to get ethics approval from an institutional ethics board to conduct my observations and focus groups in the institution. I filled in a form and submitted it to the committee.

I would like to mention a medical scholar who is taking part in my research and has helped me greatly to collect data. He is a very busy person as a scholar and physician but he is always willing to have a meeting and share research papers and ideas with me. I really cannot thank him enough for his support; without this help, I would be struggling with the fieldwork. This is a very important aspect. In field research, you need to find a person who has a strong network of local people, and you first need to focus on one connection and build a relationship and expand the research sites.

I’ve learnt that I need to take time to establish rapport with the participants and make sure of the ethical aspects before initiating data collection. I assume that the stage that I can actually start collecting data will be at the beginning of February, meaning that I will spend a month doing the preparation in the field. But it is much easier for me to do these processes here in Japan because I can have a face-to-face meetings with people immediately, which has allowed me to be active and motivated.

I talk to Luca every day. I have a disciplined life here, but he seems to be struggling a bit with living alone. But this period is very important for us to concentrate on our own things. Regarding living in Japan, I really enjoy cooking and eating many different foods and also shopping for many stationery!



My achievements in Week 55

  • found two participants and confirmed that they are willing to participate in my research
  • submitted my ethics application to an institutional committee in Japan

Goals for Week 56

  • have some meetings with my research participants
  • continue editing chapters