Debating Otaku

Debating Otaku in Contemporary Japan disrupts the naturalization and trivialization of ‘otaku’ by examining the historical contingency of the term as a way to identify and contain problematic youth, consumers and fan cultures in Japan. Its chapters, many translated from Japanese and available in English for the first time…explore key moments in the evolving discourse of ‘otaku’ in Japan.”

Editors: Patrick W. Galbraith, Thiam Huat Kam, & Bjorn-Ole Kamm

Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic (London)


Otsuka, Eiji. Foreword: ‘Otaku’ culture as ‘conversion literature’ (pp. xii-ixxx)

Galbraith, Patrick W. Kam, Thiam Huat, & Kamm, Bjorn-Ole. Introduction: ‘Otaku’ research: Past, present and future (pp. 1-18)

Section One – The 1980s

  • Galbraith, Patrick W. ‘”Otaku” research’ and anxiety about failed men (pp. 21-34).
  • Yamanaka, Tomimi. Birth of ‘otaku’: Centering on discourse dynamics in Manga Burikko (pp. 35-50).
  • Kamm, Bjorn-Ole. Opening the black box of the 1989 Otaku discourse (pp. 51-71).

Section Two – The 1990

  • Shen, Lien Fan. Traversing otaku fantasy: Representation of the otaku subject, gaze and fantasy in Otaku no Video (pp. 73-88).
  • Okada, Toshio. Introduction to otakuology (pp. 89-101).

Section Three – The 2000s

  • Aida, Miho. The construction of discourses on otaku: The history of subcultures from 1983 to 2005 (pp. 105-128).
  • Freedman, Alisa. Train Man and the gender politics of Japanese ‘otaku‘ culture: The rise of new media, nerd heroes, and consumer communities (pp. 129-147).
  • Kikuchi, Satoru. The transformation and diffusion of ‘otaku’ stereotypes and the establishment of ‘Akihabara’ as a place-brand (pp. 147-162).
  • Okada, Toshio. The transition of otaku and otaku (pp. 163-178).
  • Kam, Thiam Huat. ‘Otaku’ as label: Concerns over productive capacities in contemporary capitalist Japan (pp. 179-195).

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