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On Otaku, Japanese-ness, and Harmony

To be completely frank, I believe that in modern times, the samurai sitting in the center of this train seat, taking up unnecessary space with all of his feigned "Japanese-ness" is the typical otaku foreigner: enamored by the ancient aesthetic of feudal Japan, but with little practical sense of what Japan is in reality, and wholly unaware of the situations he creates around him. And yet despite this Japanophilia-generated aloofness, all present within this scene are fully aware of the awkwardness and discomfort they are causing each other. If not for their tell-tale expressions, this might be some ironic and perverse portrait of 「調和」, or the Japanese word for "being in harmony."

About the Author

PhD Candidate in Japan, researching Narrative in Games. Responds favorably to Thrash Metal, Karaoke, and Dungeons & Dragons.

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