The Trolling Hour – Japan and Otaku

Our comment queue from WAH’s inexorable post continues!

This time, from Sorrow-kun,

“our view of Japanese culture comes mostly through anime, which arguably makes us more directly plugged into the otaku culture than our indirect view of Japanese culture.”

So . . . your argument is that you are more an otaku than a Japanese person? I’m not sure how to parse this.  Isn’t the otaku a distinction that is subsumed within the whole of Japanese identity?  And in any case, by arguing that you don’t understand general Japanese culture as well as you understand the specific otaku culture, are you not just proving WAH’s point for him – namely, that sometimes consumers do not understand Japanese culture as well as they perhaps should?

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Published in: on October 13, 2009 at 3:55 PM  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Conceptually Sorrow’s electrical metaphor distinguishes the occidental fan from ‘the otaku culture’: my kettle is not my kitchen socket, it’s plugged into it. On the other hand, my kettle is (how to put this?) a ‘higher-order’ object. This is one reason I don’t like the use of metaphors in argument, though I do it myself.

    • To me it seemed a bit like saying, “I understand squares, but I don’t understand rectangles.” It seems that if you understand the specific subcategory of rectangles called squares, then you ought to know a thing or two about rectangles as well. It’s not like they are two totally unrelated bodies of knowledge.


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