While the COVID-19 pandemic soared across the world and changed the political dynamics on a global scale, Japan was viewed by some news sources as a “miracle” exception that beat the anticipated projections by experts of how the virus would affect the nation. Though there are a number of potential guesses about Japan’s initial pandemic outcome, which include low numbers of testing, an existing culture of mask-wearing, sanitation, and certain degree of social distancing, the political environment and communication from the government have also been accredited to the so-called “success” of Japan’s pandemic experience. By using the concept of ideograph, this study rhetorically analyzes the key slogan that emerged from Japanese political discourse surrounding the COVID-19 situation: 3つの密 - Mittsu no Mitsu (The Three Cs). Specifically, the authors conclude the ways in which < Three Cs > function as a negative ideograph in this specific rhetorical context. By doing so, the authors argue that this slogan that stems from political discourse became culture-bound and serves as a present-day ideological construction in the form of an ideograph for collective governance to (un)justify certain behaviors.
Allgayer, Sasha and Kanemoto, Emi, "The Three C’s of Japan’s Pandemic response as ideograph" (2021). Communication faculty/staff works. 2.