Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsSo far you have observed Love, Battle and Technology in Japanese subculture works in relation to their cultural and social backgrounds. We have seen vulnerable characters who overcome difficult situations without growing up, or the virtual characters who eternally stay as they are. Now, we slightly move the perspective to ourselves, and consider how we react to those cultures. This is an interesting work which comically describes peculiar behavior of fans of “Takarazuka,” all female musical theater company. This week we will examine various aspects of Japanese fan culture with Professor Toshiyuki Ohwada.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 secondsThe questions we will be exploring are: What is the relation between music ‘idols’ and fans in Japan? Why is immaturity an integral concept of the fan-idol paradigm? What is ‘cosplay’ and how is it different from the Western tradition of masquerade? And, how are ‘derivative works’ of Japanese fan culture unique in terms of creativity? What is original and what isn’t?

Welcome to Week 4

Various fan communities of Japanese subcultures have very interesting aspects. Watch Prof. Ogushi introduce the topics we will discuss in this week.

Comic introduced in the video

Zuccazuca (in Japanese) shows the daily life of fanatic Takarazuka Fans. Takarazuka fans, who are mostly female, dedicate their time to Takarazuka perfomances. For example, Zuka fans (Takarazuka fans are called Zuka) get together on their day off, spending their time on making cheering goods (such as pompons) for Takarazuka performances. They also compete with each other in terms of their knowledge on the star performers and the depth of their love for Takarazuka.

You will learn more about Takarazuka and Zuka in Step 4.2 video and Step 4.9.

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This video is from the free online course:

An Introduction to Japanese Subcultures

Keio University