Otaku = Geek, the art of classification

Hi there! Today I want to write about otaku=geek. I think I must mention the concept of it on this Aya’s Cool Japan Blog.  Because I believe it’s inevitable to understand the Japanese mentality of otaku spirit. Otaku means geek as I wrote, but the very word, OTAKU is coming to be recognized all over the world.

皆さん、こんにちは!クールジャパンを語るにおいて、オタクという概念は一つの重要なキーワードになるのではないかと思われます。オタクという言葉は英語だとgeek ギークですが、otaku としても世界的に広く認知されている単語です。

One survey says that 50% of Japanese citizens are otaku in some way, and I’m not exceptional. I’m a language otaku who loves learning languages more than anything. I was pondering over the concept of otaku and an idea came up with me. The basic nature of otaku=geek is rooted on the art of classification. Gathering up as many samples as possible by using every possible opportunity at every possible occasion. And make them into categories and get organized. Display and showcase them with your most favorite manners. And you feel so contented all by yourself when looking at the great view. I do exactly the same thing in my mind when learning languages.


This is a great book about Japan written by a huge Japanophile, Hector Garcia. You might know this  as it is like a bible for Japan lovers.

こちらは日本オタクの人が書いた好著 ”A GEEK IN JAPAN” その名も「日本のオタク」

The author pours so much passion and such deep love into this book and he examined and “dissected” Japan into tiny pieces. He took up encyclopedic points of view and observed Japan and the Japanese as if he were a scholar. It’s a big bestseller and my American boss says she also has a copy. This book is astonishing, as the author wrote and took most of the pictures all by himself. I must work harder to be like him!


And I guess all the Japanophiles who love anime and manga are geek in a sense. Or at least they have that tendency.


Japan is a country of enigma and it’s so ambiguous, but at the same time it is so very rich and mesmerizing. I can tell the more you know about Japan, the more you get attracted to the country. And countless number of geeks of Japan exist all over the world.


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