Monday, April 16, 2007


We are done with our class today.

Ron and Irene, Thank you so much for teaching this class.
And Thank you for my classmates.

After finish with my Final Project...and Exhibition...

Finally we done with our exhibition in Design Festa Gallery in Harajuku.
It was a lot of work to do until this exhibition. I spent a lot of time to do this project. I went to Akihabara many times to observe Otaku. My project was risky because we are not allowed to take pictures in Akihanbara. Many people uelled at me whie I was taking pictures for my project. So of course it was impossible to take video in Akihabara. Some people ask me to pay 1000yen, because I took pictures inside of some places. So I decided to be I am foreigners who came to Akihabara for sightseeing. So I say sorry in English. Since then nobody ask me to pay 1000yen. They ask me to stop take picture. That worked really well...!!!
Also it was hard to communicate with Otaku. Some Otaku they were ok, but some Otaku they were not ok to talk with me. They have some problem to talk with real woman, which is like me, because they fall in love with maid girls or character in Anime or Manga. Well... I get to know a lot of things through this Otaku project.
Now, I am sick of music, which I use for y project. I don't want to listen it anymore... and I am sure I willl NEVER EVER get Otaku BF in my life. They are very much different from us. They live in their world.
I think Otaku community will grow up more and more in the future.
I heard Akihabara bacame famous sightseen place in Japan now. Otaku is became popular in all over the world. WOW!!!

I looked everyone's project in Gallery. All of them were very nice. When I was cleaning up on Sunday(April8th), one of the member of gallery, he talked to me about my project. He told me it was funny. He told me compare to others, my project is more individual; music I used, pictures I used... it all focus on neo Japanese cultures. he told me that music is keep running in his head after he watched my project. I'm so glad about what he told me.

Otaku Description from Wikipedia


Otaku is derived from an honorific Japanese term for another's house or family (お宅, 御宅 otaku) that is also used as an honorific second-person pronoun (roughly equivalent to vos/usted in Spanish). The modern slang form, which is distinguished from the older usage by being written only in hiragana (おたく) or katakana (オタク), or rarely in rōmaji, appeared in the 1980s. It appears to have been coined by the humorist and essayist Akio Nakamori in his 1983 series An Investigation of Otaku (おたくの研究 Otaku no Kenkyū?), printed in the lolicon magazine Manga Burikko,[1] who observed that this form of address was unusually common among geeks and nerds. It was apparently a reference to someone who communicates with their equals using (unnecessarily) the distant and formal pronoun, and spends most of their time at home.[1]
The term entered general use in Japan around 1989, and may have been popularized by Nakamori's publication in that year of The Age of M (Mの時代 M no Jidai?). It applied the term to the (then) recently caught serial killer Tsutomu Miyazaki, who turned out to be a recluse obsessed with pornographic anime and manga and who lived out his rape fantasies on young girls, thus attaching a huge taboo to a formerly innocuous term.
The term was popularized in the English speaking world in William Gibson's 1996 novel Idoru, which has several references to otaku. In particular, the term was defined as 'pathological-techno-fetishist-with-social-deficit'. In 2001-04-01 edition of The Observer, William Gibson explained his view of the term:
The otaku, the passionate obsessive, the information age's embodiment of the connoisseur, more concerned with the accumulation of data than of objects, seems a natural crossover figure in today's interface of British and Japanese cultures. I see it in the eyes of the Portobello dealers, and in the eyes of the Japanese collectors: a perfectly calm train-spotter frenzy, murderous and sublime. Understanding otaku -hood, I think, is one of the keys to understanding the culture of the web. There is something profoundly post-national about it, extra-geographic. We are all curators, in the post-modern world, whether we want to be or not.[1]
Another potential etymology for the term comes from the May 2006 issue of EX Taishuu Magazine, which claims that use of the term started among the fanbase of the 1982–1983 TV series Super Dimension Fortress Macross, as the main character of the show had a habit of addressing others as "otaku", which fans started to emulate.
Another source for the term comes from the works of science fiction author Moto Arai. In his book Wrong About Japan, Peter Carey interviews the novelist, artist and Gundam chronicler Yuka Minakawa. She reveals that Arai used the word to refer to her readers, who adopted the term for themselves.
[edit]In Japan

In modern Japanese slang, an otaku refers to an overtly obsessive fan of any one particular theme, topic, or hobby. Common uses are anime otaku (one who sometimes enjoys many days of excessive anime watching with no rest) and manga otaku (a fan of Japanese graphic novels), pasokon otaku (personal computer geeks), gēmu otaku (playing video games), and otaku that are extreme fans of idols, heavily promoted singing girls. There are also tetsudō otaku or denshamania (metrophiles) or gunji otaku (military geeks).
While these are the most common uses of otaku, the word can be applied to anything (music otaku, martial arts otaku, cooking otaku, etc).
The loan-words maniakku or mania (from Spanish "maníaco") are sometimes used in relation to specialist hobbies and interests. They can indicate someone with otaku leanings, (for example- Gundam Mania would describe a person who is very interested in the anime series Gundam). They can also describe the focus of such interests (a maniakku ge-mu would be a particularly underground or eccentric game appealing primarily to otaku). The nuance of maniakku in Japanese is softer and less likely to cause offence than otaku.
Some of Japan's otaku use the term to describe themselves and their friends semi-humorously, accepting their position as obsessive fans, and some even use the term proudly, attempting to reclaim it from its negative connotations. In general colloquial usage however, most Japanese would consider it undesirable to be described in a serious fashion as "otaku".
Although stereotypically male, there are also many female otaku. A small alleyway of Tokyo's Higashi Ikebukuro district is known as "Otome Road" ("Maiden's road"). Otome Road's otome are a cross-section of Japanese womanhood, with ages ranging from teenage junior high school girls to housewives in their late 40s. A feature of the area is that there are so many bookstores devoted to comics and books filled with stories about homosexual men, in a genre called Boys' Love or BL. Dōjinshi, manga produced by amateur fans, dominate the shelves along Otome Road, with a significant chunk of the comics' stories about more famous anime that imitate, parody or develop on characters who are usually household names in Japan.

The Akihabara neighborhood of Tokyo is a popular gathering place for otaku.
An interesting modern look into the otaku culture has surfaced with an allegedly true story surfacing on the internet bulletin board "Densha Otoko" or "Train Man", a love story about a geek and a beautiful woman who meet on a train. The story has enjoyed a compilation in novel form, several comic book adaptations, a music video by a popular Japanese band named Orange Range for their song Onegai Senorita was loosely based on this, a movie released on June 2005 and a television series that aired on Fuji TV from June to September 2005. The drama has become another hot topic in Japan, and the novel, film and television series give a closer look into the otaku culture. In Japan its popularity and positive portrayal of the main character has helped to reduce negative stereotypes about otaku, and increase the acceptability of some otaku hobbies. Perhaps encouraged by this reduction in stigma, a few famous Japanese celebrities, actors and models have come out about their otaku hobbies.[citation needed]
A subset of otaku are the Akiba-kei, men who spend a lot of time in Akihabara in Tokyo and who are mainly obsessive about anime, idols and games.
Sometimes the term is used to describe something pertaining to the subculture that surrounds anime, idols and games in Japan. This subculture places an emphasis on certain services (see fanservice) and has its own system for judgment of anime, dating simulations and/or role-playing games and some manga (often dōjinshi) based upon the level of fanservice in the work. Another popular criterion—how ideal the female protagonist of the show is—is often characterized by a level of stylized cuteness and child-like behavior (see moe). In addition, this subculture places great emphasis on knowledge of individual key animators and directors and of minute details within works. The international subculture is influenced by the Japanese one, but differs in many areas often based upon region. (See also: Superflat, Hiroki Azuma.)
In Japan anime is not as widely accepted and mainstreamed as manga. Because of this the otaku subculture has much influence over the mainstream anime industry in Japan. The area where otaku have the most influence in manga tends to be with dōjinshi. Manga published in the United States are more influenced by their respective otaku subculture than they are in Japan. This is because most people who read manga have some ties to the subculture in the US, whereas in Japan manga reading is more widespread.
See also: anorak.
[edit]In English/Internationally

The term is a loanword from the Japanese language, but in the English/international sense it is used to refer specifically to a fan of anime and/or manga, though it can sometimes refer to any "nerd," in general. The term serves as a label not unlike the term Trekkie or fanboy. However, use of the label can be a source of contention among older or more moderate anime fans, particularly those who are aware of the negative connotations the term has within some subcultures. As in Japan, unpleasant stereotypes about otaku prevail in worldwide fan communities, and some anime fans express concern about the reputations these more extreme fans can earn their hobby (not unlike sentiments in the comic book and science fiction fandoms).
To indicate that one is talking about the Japanese definition rather than the English loanword, the spelling wotaku (ヲタク) is sometimes used. On Japanese forums such as 2channel, however, otaku (オタク) and wotaku (ヲタク) are used interchangeably, depending on the mood and personal style of the poster.
[edit]Fictional works about otaku

As otaku make up a good portion of the creative forces behind anime and manga, it is only natural that several works of manga and anime on otaku culture have appeared, often as a light-hearted pastiche. Some of the more famous works include:
Otaku no Video: A pair of films that follow a young college student as he is introduced into the world of the otaku by a high school friend and soon spends the next several years trying to become the greatest otaku, the Otaking. The work also serves as a semi-autobiographical account of the formation of Gainax, and is inter-cut with several live-action mock interviews with several different types of otaku.
Comic Party: Originally a series of dating sims which was then adapted into various anime and manga series, Comic Party follows a rejected art student as he is enthusiastically thrust into the dōjinshi scene by a crazed otaku friend. He then creates several of his own dōjinshi works while interacting with other artists and dealing with his girlfriend who is at first less than enthusiastic about his new passion.
Genshiken: A manga later adapted into an anime series which follows a "catch-all" otaku college club and the various activities they become involved in. Much of the story is told from the perspective of two characters: a freshman who grows into his otaku identity; and the girlfriend of another member who disapproves the passions of her attractive, but clueless, otaku boyfriend.
Densha Otoko: Densha Otoko (電車男, literally "Train Man") is the allegedly true story of a Japanese geek in his early 20s who saves a beautiful woman ("office lady"), code-named Hermès by the geek in his online chats, from a drunken groper on a train, and then chronicles his subsequent dates with the woman and requests for help on the Japanese mega-BBS 2channel (in the TV series referred to and remodeled into the semi-fictitious "Aladdin Channel").
Welcome to the NHK!: A novel that was adapted into a manga and later an anime series, Welcome to the NHK! is a black comedy that follows a delusional hikikomori, a girl that wishes to help him, and an otaku neighbor who is also an old high school friend (of convenience). The series lampoons many otaku themes such as lolicon, moe, and dojin soft.
Metal Gear: A reoccurring character in the Metal Gear video game series is a man named Dr. Hal "Otacon" Emmerich. He is a lover of Japanese anime and entered into the field of engineering and technology because of it (namely because of the mecha genre.) His nickname "Otacon" is inspired by "Otakon" (short for "otaku convention"), which is a convention focusing on anime, manga, East Asian culture, and its fandom. The second largest convention of this type in the US and the largest on the east coast, it began in State College, PA in 1994 and has been held in Baltimore, Maryland since 1999. Konami (the company which created the Metal Gear series) was given permission by Otakorp, Inc. to use the name "Otacon" for any title of the series.
Groove On Fight: The fourth entry in the Atlus fighting game series Power Instinct. In the roster, there are two characters who make references to otaku culture: Popura Hananokoji, a magical girl who transforms her outfit in different costumes, resembling Cosplay in various attacks. The other one is Hizumi Yukinoue, an otaku obsessed with ninjas and is also a fan of manga and anime.
1 LOVE: In the video for the Ayumi Hamasaki Song '1 LOVE', a clown man is auctioning off people, and among them, is a prostitute, singer, beast, aerial hooper, and even an otaku, among others.

Artist Statement

Otaku is representative of an important sub-culture in Japan. I chose this topic because I was curious about otaku.
Simply stated, otaku is obsessive fandom of any particular theme, topic, or hobby. Common obsessions for otaku are
anime and manga, pasokon(PC), games, densha(train), and pop idols. In this exhibition I will focus on anime, manga and
pop idol otaku in Akihabara.
My research time was spent in Akihabara. It was hard to do this research. For example, in Akihabara we are not
allowed to take photos in shops. Many people yelled at me and said “No photo”. Also otaku and maid girls, didn’t let
me to film them. Communicating with otaku was also difficult. They live in a separate community, unlike us. Also I realized that personally, my appearance and manners were different from otaku, so they were not open to me.
None-the-less, I interviewed them and asked them about their passions and their lives.
At first I thought otaku did not work. But they told me some otaku work as average
businessman by day, and become otaku on weekends. Then, some people are otaku all the time. I asked them how they make money to buy manga and some doll characters which play an important role in their obsessions. None I interviewed gave me any details, but a significant number told me that they
earn money on the internet.
I asked them why they hung out in Akihabara. They told me their favorite shops and café are all located in there. They
like to go to anime shop and maid cafés. They told me sometimes they have otaku meeting which they call Off-Kai.
There are some events for otaku. They love to go to events of idols. Usually they are really quiet, but they told me
when they go to event, they dance and shout a lot. Also I asked them if they have girlfriend or not. All otaku’s
answer was “No”. They fall in love with character of anime, maid girls who work at maid café, and idols. They cannot see
reality, and in a sense live in another world.
That would be awesome if I could put interview of otaku. I tried hard, but it was impossible. The image of
otaku was firmly wired in my mind, and it didn’t change even though I conducted research and observed them. On the
internet it says that the Japanese economy has increased due to the otaku. I understand this now. They spend a lot of money on their hobbies. I think otaku culture will grow up more in the future…

Thursday, March 22, 2007

International Project

Our group's theme is MUSIC.
So, I chose those pictures.

First picture is poster of Tower Record in Japan. There is no pictures in this poster, but I think this poster is really cool. They use some Kanji and Alphabet in those posters. I think Kanji is the coolest letters in all world. Also I like phrase "No music No life". I really think so!
Second picture is Tower Record in Shibuya. That is where I buy CD all the time. They have many ganre of CDs and If I go there I always find everything I want to listen.
Third picture is a scene in club. It looks cool. I think there are relationships between club and music. We cannot be there without music. Music is the most important thing in club.
Last one is a image from i-pod. There are many i-pod commercials in Japan. I really like those commercials. I think those commercials catch audience mind.

I put Bob Marley's No women no cry with pictures. He is one of my favorite singer since high school. His sounds are peaceful. No women no cry is one o my favorite song of Bob Marley.

Music is next to me all the time. At home, on the way to come to school and go back to home, I always listen music...

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

About my final project

I was thinking to do my project on OTAKU!

Now OTAKU is one of a big Japanese culture. Otaku's holy place AKIHABARA is near my house. I have to take Sobu-Line from my Nearest JR station and Akihabara is 3 stops away from there.
Otaku means kind of people who addicted to something. In Akihabara there are a lot of Animation Otaku.
As I told you guys in class today, Otaku... they all look same! wear glasses, wear shirt and tuck in their shirt into pants, have big bagpack on the back, and always have paper bags. If you go to Akihabara it is easy to find Otaku.
Otaku, most of them like to stay at home, doing internet, watching animatuions, reading comicbooks etc... they don't like to communicate. But in Otaku community, they communicate a lot on internet.
Otaku, likes to go to Akihabara, because there are many shops of animations. They love girls in animations. They addicted to girls in animation. Thay cannot see real world. One of their favorite place is MAID CAFE. Girls wear maid costume and call customers "GOSHUJIN-SAMA" (means master) . It is like normal cafe, but maid do everything for customers. If they order coffee, they out milk and suger for them. If they order Pasta, they mix pasta and oasta source infront of them. I think most of Otaku don't have any relationship with real girls, so spending time with maid girls is precious time for them.
Between Otaku, they use Otaku Language. "MOE" is one of the mot famous Otaku word. It means cute. There are many Otaku words.

I think it will be very interesting to see Otaku culture. I will do some research on internet about Akihabara and Otaku.
Of course I am going to Akihabara to shooting. I am not sure Otaku will let me to do interviews... but I will try.

Study Question #2

Definition of Labyrinth

an intricate combination of paths or passages in which it is difficult to find one's way or to reach the exit.
a maze of paths bordered by high hedges, as in a park or garden, for the amusement of those who search for a way out.
a complicated or tortuous arrangement, as of streets or buildings.
any confusingly intricate state of things or events; a bewildering complex.
(initial capital letter) Classical Mythology. a vast maze built in Crete by Daedalus, at the command of King Minos, to house the Minotaur.
the internal ear, consisting of a bony portion (bony labyrinth) and a membranous portion (membranous labyrinth).
the aggregate of air chambers in the ethmoid bone, between the eye and the upper part of the nose.
a mazelike pattern inlaid in the pavement of a church.
a loudspeaker enclosure with air chambers at the rear for absorbing sound waves radiating in one direction so as to prevent their interference with waves radiated in another direction.
[Origin: 1540–50; < L labyrinthus < Gk labýrinthos; r. earlier laborynt < ML laborintus, L, as above]

This is what I found on dictionary.
For this one word... we have a lot of definitions.

For me Tokyo is Labyrinth. Tokyo is not a large city compare to other cities, but it seems like it is the biggest city in Japan. If I see Tokyo on map, ovbiously it is not a big city.
I feel Tokyo is Labyrinth, because of tons of people all over the place, complicate transportations, tons of buildings, and traffics.... Tokyo is like a maze.
I am not originally from Tokyo and when I start live in Tokyo, I got lost all the time.

Past 10 years, cellphone technology had been changed a lot. Japanese cellphone company release many new cellphones and they develop functions better and better. In now days, I think 90% of people have cellphone. (Even my Grandmother and grandfather, they have it!) People cannot live without cellphone. Of course I cannot live without cellphone. It is impossible to live without cellphone. I need this small machine to contact with my family and friends. Some cellphone has GPS. Even we get lost in Labylinth Tokyo, it will be ok if we have GPS cellphone. Also we can search directions on cellphone. Also if we get lost on the way to see friends, we just have to call and ask friends where I should go and they will lgive us right directions. Cellphone is a very useful tool in our life now.
Of course we have bad points of cellphone. In now days, we don't write letters. That's a one thing which deleted by cellphone. Also people don't see scenes around them when they are waiting someone. Most of people look into cellphone when they wait someone. The most bad thing about this technology is more crime happened in past. Popular crime of cellphone is buy cellphone using some others name. Also Some bad companies demand fictional payment, say like "you used this website...please pay this amount of money until next Friday. If you don't pay you will caught by police" , and tried to get money from someone who are innocent at all. Well, everything has good and bad points...

I think more new technology will be appear in the future. I cannot imagine how Labylinth Tokyo will look like after 50 years....