Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Glossary of Japanese Subculture Terms

Glossary for Japanese Subculture terms
© Keio University




  • Masahiko Abe: (1966-). Scholar of English literature. Associate Professor of University of Tokyo. [1.7]
  • Fujio Akatsuka:(1935-2008) A comics artist known for Osomatsu-kun, Himitsu no Akko-chan, and Tensai Bakabon.[3.9]
  • AKB48:Japanese all-girl pop idol group that debuted in 2005.[4.3]
  • anime: an animated work originated in Japan. [1.1] [1.4]
  • Art Nouveau: A style of decorative art, architecture, and design prominent in western Europe and the USA from about 1890 until the First World War and characterized by intricate linear designs and flowing curves based on natural forms.[1.2]
  • Yu Asagiri: Shojo manga artist and novelist. Pieces include Let Me Call You My Hero (Yobasete My Hiroo). Currently active as a Boys Love novelist.[1.11]
  • Akihabara:The area around Akihabara station in Tokyo, the center of Japanese otaku-culture.[4.3]
  • Yasushi Akimoto:(1958-) Japanese record producer and creator of Onyanko Club and AKB48.[4.3]
  • Anime-goe (Anime-like voice):Voice similar to that of a female (young girl) anime character.[3.14, 3.15]
  • Ashita no Joe:(1968-1973, Tomorrow’s Joe) A manga piece about a boxer, written by Ikki Kajiwara (Asao Takamori), drawn by Tetsuya Chiba. Serialized in the weekly Shonen Magajin from 1968. [2.13]
  • Hideo Azuma:(1950-) A comics artist known for Fujouri Nikki.[3.12]
  • Hiroki Azuma:(1971-)A Japanese philosopher and critic known for his dissertation on French philosopher, Jacques Derrida and for his books on otaku-culture.[3.16] [4.12] [4.13]


  • Bildungsroman: This term comes from German. Novels in which young protagonists develop and grow up into adults through various difficulties.[1.8]
  • BL: Acronym of “Boy’s Love” meaning male-male romance narratives. [1.18][1.19]
  • bangyaru: Women who are earnest fans of a visual-kei bands. cf. visual-kei[4.6]
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs:(1875-1950) American novelist known for Tarzan and John Carter series.[4.7]
  • Baby Steps:(2007-) Tennis manga by Hikaru Katsuki, serialized in Weekly Shonen Magazine.[2.13]
  • Bushido:Translated as “samurai aesthetics,” or samurai-way of life. It emphasizes justice, loyalty, filial devotion, and bravery. [2.4]
  • Bleach:(2001-2016, Weekly Shonen Jump) Adventure manga by Tite Kubo. [2.8][3.15]
  • Baoh Raiho-sha:(Baoh the Visitor, 1984-85, Weekly Shonen Jump) A science fiction battle comic by Hirohiko Araki.[2.8]


  • Captain Tsubasa:(Flash Kicker, 1981-88 in Weekly Shonen Jump). An epochal soccer manga by Yoichi Takahashi.[2.12]
  • Chibi-neko:The semi-human white cat, the protagonist of The Star of Cottonland [Wata no Kuni Hoshi], a comic series by Yumiko Oshima.[1.16]
  • Chushingura:The Tale of the Royal Retainers. A title of kabuki, based on the incident of “the revenge of the forty-seven Ronin,” or the “Ako incident,” where samurais avenged the unfair death of their master. An exemplary tale of samurai honor code: bushido.[2.4]
  • CLAMP:Group of Japanese female comics artists: Nanase OHKAWA, Satsuki IGARASHI, Tsubaki NEKOI, and Mokona, known for Magin Knight Rayearth, Cardcaptor Sakura, and xxxHolic.[3.16]
  • Club Activities:Japanese middle and high school places a strong emphasis on extra-curricular club activities. These clubs are organized on a scale not seen anywhere else. According to Nakazawa, it was imposed after WW2 to nurture a liberalism, fair sportsmanship and to control ethics in working as a group. [2.12]
  • cosplay: A type of performance art with costumes and accessories to represent a specific character.Translation of Japanese kosupure, which is a contraction of kosuchūmu purei, a Japanese borrowing of the English costume play.[1.1][4.6]
  • cuteness (kawaii): Cuteness in Japanese subculture has its own context. cf. kawaii.[1.7]


  • Daiya no A:(Ace of Diamond, 2006 to present in Weekly Shonen Jump) Baseball comic by Yuji Terashima, which depicts severe competition within a high school baseball team.[2.11]
  • Dear Boys:(1989-2016) Sports, romance manga series by Hiroki Yagami, featuring the Mizuho High School basketball team as they attempt to win the tournament. Serialized in the Monthly Shonen Magazine.[2.13]
  • DECO*27 (deco nina):(1986-) Japanese male musician.[3.15]
  • derivative works:Secondary creation making use of the settings and the world system of the original work. The comic market is one of the most well-known events in Japan. cf. Niji Sosaku[4.11]
  • Dir en Grey : one of the visual-kei bands [4.9]
  • Takeo Doi: (1920-2009) A Japanese academic, psychoanalyst, and author. Former Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo. Notable works include The Anatomy of Dependence (1971). [1.15]
  • doriko:Japanese musician mainly creating VOCALOID songs.[3.16]
  • Dragon Ball:Adventure, martial arts manga by Akira Toriyama, serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump (1984-1995). The story follows the protagonist Son Goku from childhood to adulthood, in his search for the seven magical orbs known as “Dragon Balls.”[2.13]


  • Edo period:(1603-1863) The period in Japanese history during which the Tokugawa Shogunate reigned. The government in this era is called the Tokugawa “bakufu.”[2.4]
  • Eiichi Fukui:(1921-1954) Japanese animator and manga artist. Famous for the judo manga “Igaguri-kun” serialized on the monthly Boken-Ou. Died at age 34. [2.13]


  • FAIRY TALE:(2006 to present, Weekly Shonen Magazine) Adventure comic taking place in a more western style fantasy world. Written by Hiro Mashima.[2.8]
  • FRANK, Felicia Miller:[3.14]
  • Fujoshi: literal meaning is ‘rotten girls’, [1.18][1.21] meaning those female fans of YAOI.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:(2001-2010, Monthly Shonen Gangan) Hagane no Renkinjutsu-shi. An adventure, battle comic by Hiromu Arakawa taking place in a 19th century western world like setting with alchemy.[2.8]


  • GAINAX:Japanese anime studio known for Evangelion etc.[2.8]
  • Gal-ge: “Girl games,” or dating simulation software.[1.4]
  • Garo: A legedary monthly manga magazine made by Seirin-do, published between 1964 and 2002, that was remarkable for its individuality.[1.16]
  • gay sensibility:[1.18]
  • GazettE : one of the visual-kei bands [4.9]
  • Giants:A real professional baseball team that Hyuma Hoshi, the protagonist of Kyojin no Hoshi joins.[2.11]
  • Girl Friend (Kari) (Girl Friend Beta):Japanese smartphone game released by CyberAgent in 2012.[3.16]
  • go:Traditional Japanese board game played with black and white pieces of stone. Strict rules bind the players.[2.12]
  • Godzilla: The name of the fictional monster featured in a series of movies by the same name, first made by Toho, directed by Ishiro Honda in 1954.[1.4]
  • Gothic Lolita:called “Goth-Loli” in Japanese. Girls’ fashion mainly in black, white, or pink, with frills.[4.8]
  • Grand narrative:A postmodern concept of the world in which “History” is no longer valid, suggested by French philosopher, Jean-Francois Lyotard. [3.20]


  • Moto Hagio: A shojo-manga artist born in 1949, famous for works such as Poe no Ichizoku, Thomas no Shinzo (The Heart of Thomas). A member of the Year 24 Group.[1.11]
  • Haikyu!!:(Volleyball!!, 2012 to present in Weekly Shonen Jump) High school volleyball comic by Haruichi Furudate. [2.12]
  • halyosy:Male signer known for his Utattemita series on Niconico Douga.[3.15]
  • Hajime-no Ippo:(1989-) Translated as Ippo’s First Steps, or Fighting Spirit, is a manga series in the Weekly Shonen Magazine by George Morikawa, featuring professional boxing.[2.14]
  • Headphone:A topos associated with girl characters. In general, quiet girls have them.[3.16]
  • Heike Monogatari:The Tale of Heike. A “war-tale” which retells the rise and fall of the Taira clan (known as “Heike”) that reigned from the end of 10th century to the beginning of the 11th, written in the Kamakura era (1185-1333).[2.4]
  • Hello Kitty: a Japanese well-known character. A symbol of kawaii culture.[1.7, 1.15]
  • Heteronormativity:[1.18]
  • hiikisuji:Patrons who support their favorite sumo-wrestlers and kabuki-actors[4.2]
  • Hikaru no Go:(Hikaru’s Go, 1999-2003 in Weekly Shonen Jump) A go comic by Yumi Hotta and Takeshi Oba.[2.12]
  • Himitsu Sentai Gorenger:A TV drama series that premiered 1975.[3.6]
  • Toru Honda:(1969-) Japanese critic and light-novel writer.[4.16]
  • Michel Houellebecq:(1958-) French writer.[4.16]


  • Yukari Ichijo: (1949-) A shojo manga artist. Her pieces include Designer (Dezainaa), Yuukan Kurabu, and Suna no Shiro (Sand Castle).[1.11]
  • idol:Japanese artists (particularly young boy and girl singers). Some of today’s idols are represented by large groups like AKB48.[4.2]
  • Imaginary girlfriend/wife:Translated as “Nounai Kanojo/Yome” in Japanese referring to one’s imaginary (virtual) girlfriend or wife based on anime, manga, and video games.[4.16]
  • Interscholastic Athletic Competition:Also known as “Inter-High School Championships,” it is a tournament of high school sports held annually around August. It includes sports such as basketball, volley ball, tennis, soccer, and many others. High school sports clubs from all over Japan participate in regional tournaments to win a berth to this national competion. [2.13]
  • Ken Ishikawa:(1948-2006) A comics artist known for Getter Robo.[3.8]
  • Shotaro Ishinomori:(1938-98) A comics artist known for Cyborg 009.[3.6]
  • Mariko Iwadate: (1957-) One of the manga artists who initiated the otome-tic style in shojo manga, and her pieces includes Fairy Tale for Two, You are the Moon of Sanchome (Kimi wa Sanchome no Tsuki) and Chai Yume. Her pieces in the 70s are otome-tic, but gradually begins to adopt a more serious tone later in her career. [1.11]


  • Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure:(1987-2004 Weekly Shonen Jump, 2005 – present Ultra Jump) Jojo no Kimyo na Boken series. An adventure, battle comic by Hirohiko Araki. [2.8]


  • Kabuki:Classical all-male theater. [4.2]
  • Kamen Rider:A TV drama series created by Shotaro ISHINOMORI that began 1971[3.3]
  • Naoyuki Kato:(1952-) An illustrator working for Studio Nue.[3.8]
  • kawaii: “Cute” in Japanese.[1.7, 1.15]
  • Kisei-ju:(Parasyte. 1990-95. Monthly Afternoon) Boys’ manga leaning towards science fiction by Hitoshi Iwaaki, in which a boy fights against the invasion of alien parasites with the help of the parasite Miggy that inhabits his right hand.[2.8]
  • Yukito Kishiro:(1967-) Comics artist known for Gunmu (Battle Angel Alita).[3.16]
  • kodan:traditional style of Japanese oral story-telling with exaggerated accents on stage[2.4]
  • Kojin Karatani:(1941-). Japanese philosopher and literary critic.[1.7]
  • Koshien:The name for the National High School Baseball Tournament. It has been a part of the narrative that forms the exemplary “youth” in Japan.[2.11]
  • kowaii: A term to express fear or dread in kawaii objects.[1.16]
  • Tite Kubo:(1977-) Comics artist known for BLEACH. The author’s name should be pronounced as ‘Tight (or Tie-to) Coo-Bo’, rather than ‘Tight Cue-Bo’ or ‘Tee-te Coo-Bo’. [2.8][3.15]
  • kusa-zoshi:”popular fictions” with pictures for the common people that was established around the middle of Edo period[2.4]
  • Kyojin no Hoshi:(1966-1971, Star of the Giants) Manga piece featuring a baseball player, written by Ikki Kajiwara, drawn by Noboru Kawasaki, serialized in Weekly Shonen Magajin.[2.13]


  • LAURETIS de Teresa :[1.18]
  • Light novel:Genre of novel basically for a young audience such as Haruhi Suzumiya series.[4.15]
  • Limited animation:A methond of animation by which only a part of characters’ bodies move, so as to make less the cost and time of production.[3.3]
  • Lunning, Frenchy :[1.9][1.10]


  • Shozo Makino:(1878-1929) Japanese film director, and producer, renowned as the “father of Japanese film.” Said to be the first successful commercial film director in Japan.[2.4]
  • Malice Mizer : one of the visual-kei bands [4.9]
  • Satoshi Masuda:(1971-)Japanese scholar of popular music.[4.13]
  • “Melt”:Well-known VOCALOID song.[3.15]
  • Hayao Miyazaki:(1941-) A animation film director and founder of STUDIO GHIBLI.[3.9]
  • Jiro Matsumoto:(1970-) A comics artist known for Freesia. [3.9]
  • Jun Makimura: A manga artist whose pieces include The White Flower of Eryx (Eryukusu no Shiroi Hana), dealing with incestuous relationships.[1.11]
  • Kadutaka Miyatake:(1949-) A pioneer of mechanical designs in anime.[3.8]
  • Leiji Matumoto:(1938-) A comics artist known for Galaxy Express 999 and Space Battleship Yamato.–[3.3]
  • Mahou Shojo (Magical Girl):Girl characters who use magic. [3.9]
  • manga: a comic originating in Japan.[1.1, 1.2, 1.4]
  • Mazinger Z:(1972-73 in Weekly Shonen Jump) A comic by Go NAGAI and an anime series based on it.[3.3] [2.8]
  • Meiji period: The period (1868-1912) where Japanese society radically changed through modernization.[1.7]
  • Middle school syndrome:Named “chuni-byo” in Japanese. Behavior supposed to be characteristic of middle year students who behave like adults or protagonists in fiction.[4.16]
  • Minovsky particle:A fictitious material in Mobile Suits Gundam used as an energy for Gundam,[3.8]
  • MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM:An anime directed by Yoshiyuki TOMINO in 1979[3.2]
  • Moe (萌え):[3.4, 3.9, 3.13, 3.14, 3.16][4.12, 4.13, 4.17]
  • A-ko Mutsu: (1954-) One of the manga artists who initiated the otome-tic style in shojo manga. Known as one of its originators. Her pieces include The Days of the Rose and Rose (Bara to Bara no Hibi).[1.11]


  • Go Nagai:(1945-) A comics artist known for Mazinger Z, Devilman, and Cutie Honey.[3.6]
  • Soseki Natsume: (1867-1916). Japanese novelist known for I Am a Cat etc.[1.7]
  • Naruto:(1999-2014) Ninja comic by Masashi Kishimoto serialized in the Weekly Shonen Jump.[2.8]
  • Nekojiru: The alias of the female manga artist who worked with her husband Yamano Hajime to produce works such as their debut piece, Nekojiru Udon [Cat Soup], published in the monthly manga anthology Garo in 1990. Their pieces exhibit a certain uncanniness in cuteness, or Kowaii-ness.[1.16]
  • Nekomimi (catgirl, cat ears):Characters who have cat ears. [1.16][3.16]
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:(Shin-seiki Evangelion, aired in 1995-96 by TV Tokyo; comics by SADAMOTO Yoshiyuki, 1994-2013 in Monthly Shonen Ace and Young Ace) An anime and films directed by Hideaki ANNO from 1995. [3.3] [2.8]
  • Nihon Shonen:(1906-1938, Japanese Boys) One of the first children’s magazines commercially marketed to children. [2.5]
  • ninja:A covert agent or mercenary in feudal Japan, skilled in the Japanese art of ninjutsu. [2.4]
  • Ninjutsu:Ninja skills that have been serving a function in juvenile fiction of Japan.[2.8]
  • Inazo Nitobe:(1862-1933) Japanese educator and philosopher. The author of Bushido: The Soul of Japan (1900).[2.4]
  • Nyako and Nyatta: The kowaii cat protagonists of the manga pieces by Nekojiru and Nekojiru-y (Yamano Hajime). They are abused by their alcoholic father.[1.16]


  • Kunio Okawara:(1947-) The first Japanese mechanical designer known as a designer of Mobile Suits.[3.9]
  • Yumiko Oshima: (1947-) A female Japanese manga artist, a member of the “Year 24 group.” Notable titles include The Star of Cottonland [Wata no Kuni Hoshi] (1978-87), and Gu-Gu Datte Neko de Aru series.[1.15]
  • Otaku: (In Japan ) A young person who is obsessed with computers or particular aspects of popular culture to the detriment of their social skills.[1.4]
  • Otome-tic style: An assertively girlish style. Also a genre in shojo manga that started in the 70s.[1.11]


  • Vladimir Propp :(1895-1970) Russian folklorist and scholar.[2.9]


  • The Rose of Versailles (Berusaiyu no Bara): A famous shojo manga by Riyoko IKEDA, published between 1972-73 in the shojo magazine Margaret Comics. Takes place in France before and during the French Revolution, centering around Marie-Antoinette and Oscar, a beautiful woman dressed in men’s clothes.[1.11]
  • rakugo:Japanese verbal entertainment. A lone story-teller sits on the stage with only a fan and a small cloth as props, and depicts a long, complicated comical story.[2.4]
  • Rekka no Honoo:(1995-2002, Flame of Rekka) Nobuyuki Anzai’s boys’ comic serialized in the weekly Shonen Sunday.[2.8]
  • Rising Impact:(1998-2002 in Weekly Shonen Jump) Golf comic by Nakaba Suzuki.[2.12]


  • sabukaru: Abbreviation of “subculture” that began to be used to describe Japanese subculture since the 1990s.[1.2]
  • Tamaki Saito: (1961-). Japanese psychiatrist. Professor of University of Tsukuba.[1.7]
  • Yoshino Sakumi : (1959-2016) A shojo manga artist, whose pieces includes The Crowd in the Moonlight (Gekka no Ichigun).[1.11]
  • Go Sasakibara:(1961-). Comics editor and critic.[3.16]
  • Sailor Suit and Machine Gun:A novel written by Jiro AKAGAWA, and drama series based on it. A work of a typical Sentou Bishoujo.[3.9]
  • Saint Seiya :(1986-90 Weekly Shonen Jump) Battle comic by Masami Kurumada.[2.8]
  • Sanyutei Encho 1:(1839-1900) Rakugo performer of the late Edo and early Meji eras. Famous works include Japanese horror classics, “Kaidan botan doro.” [2.4]
  • Sarutobi Sasuke:A kodan hit story published by Tatsukawa Bunko. Features the boy ninja Sarutobi Sasuke and his supernatural ninjutsu as he serves his lord, Yukimura Sanada.[2.4]
  • Sasuke:(1961-1966) A manga work serialized in Shonen, by Sanpei Shirato. Depicts the boy ninja Sasuke as he retaliates against various enemies of the Tokugawa Shogunate with his ninjutsu.[2.8]
  • Sentou Bishoujo:A type of girl characters who fights against her enemies.[4.16]
  • Shazna : one of the visual-kei bands [4.9]
  • Keiichiro Shibuya:(1973-) A Japanese composer [3.12] [3.13]
  • Shigeru Sugiura:(1908-2000) Japanese manga artist. [2.13]
  • Sho-kokumin:(1889-95) Translated as “The Children of the Nation.” A children’s magazine edited by a former teacher, Kendo Ishii. [2.13]
  • Shogakko-rei (Elementary School Act):An act regarding modern elementary school education in Japan, proclaimed in 1886. [2.13]
  • Shonen Kurabu:(1914-1961, Boys’ Club) One of the boys’ comic magazines. Included “Norakuro,” by Suiho Tagawa. Published by Kodansha.[2.13]
  • Shonen Magajin:(1959 – present, Boys’ Magazine) First comic magazine targeting boys and young adults, published by Kodansha. Published weekly.[2.13]
  • Shonen Sande:(1959 – present, Boys’ Sunday) Weekly manga magazine targeting young adults and boys, published by Shogakukan. Launched a month after Shonen Magajin.[2.13]
  • Shonen Sekai:(1895-1933) Translated as “The Youth’s World.” Main writer included the influential children’s author, Sazanami Iwaya.[2.13]
  • Shonen-en:(1888-1895) Translated as “The Youth’s Garden,” a children’s magazine established by Teizaburo Yamagata, an editor of national textbooks in the Ministry of Education.[2.13]
  • Slam Dunk:(1990-1996, Weekly Shonen Jump) A popular high school basketball comic by Takehiko Inoue. [2.12]
  • Studio Nue:A Japanese animation studio.[3.8]
  • SUNRISE:A Japanese animation studio producing Gundam series.[3.3]


  • 2.5 dimension:Refers to anime goods, actors and actresses, figures etc. which are between 3rd dimension (the reality) and 2nd dimension (fiction).[4.16]
  • Yumiko Tabuchi: (1954-) One of the manga artists who initiated the otome-tic style in shojo manga. Contributed pieces to the shojo manga magazine, Ribon.[1.11]
  • Hideko Tachikake: (1956-) One of the manga artists who initiated the otome-tic style in shojo manga. Though her style is otome-tic, some of her pieces are contemplative and serious also.[1.11]
  • Taihei-ki:Chronical of Great Peace. One of the classic pieces of Japanese literature; a historical epic. Retells the Nanbokucho period (“Southern and Northern Courts period,” 1334-1392) in history, the beginning of the Muromachi bakufu years. [2.4]
  • Taisho era:The era after Meiji and before Showa, 1912-1926. [2.13]
  • Chizuru Takahashi: A shojo manga artist. Pieces include Quivery Coffee Jelly. Her piece, Kokuriko zaka kara was made into a Ghibli movie in 2011.[1.11]
  • Takarazuka Revue:All-female musical theater located at Tarakazuka, Hyogo, Japan,[4.2]
  • Keiko Takemiya:(1950-) Comics artist known for Terra-e (Toward the Terra).[1.18] [1.19] [1.20] [3.16]
  • Fumiko Tanikawa: (1967-) A shojo manga artist. Pieces include One Monme of Flowers (Hana Ichimonme), Full Moon Feelings (Kimochi Mangetsu).[1.11]
  • Tatsukawa Bunko Series:(1911-1924) A series of Kodan horror stories published by Bunmeido Tatsukawa. Became something of a boom among children and book sellers. Notable hits include Sarutobi Sasuke.[2.4]
  • Tatsunoko Production:A Japanese animation studio.[3.9]
  • TAMALA2010: A Punk Cat in Space:An anime movie created by t.o.L in 2002, featuring a punk cat named Tamala.[1.16]
  • Tetsujin 28-go:(Iron Man No. 28, or Gigantor, 1956-66 in Shonen) A comic by Mitsuteru YOKOYAMA and its animation based on it[3.3] [2.8]
  • Tetsuwan Atom (Astro Boy):( 1952-68 in Shonen) A comic created by Osamu Tezuka.[3.3] [2.8]
  • Osamu Tezuka:(1928-89) A comics artist known for Astro Boy, Phoenix, and Black Jack. Known as the “God of Manga.”[3.3] [2.8]
  • Tintin:(1929-1976) The boy reporter protagonist in the comic series by the Belgian cartoonist, Georges Remi or Hergé, The Adventures of Tintin.[2.8]
  • Toei Doga:A Japanese animation studio, today known as Toei Animation.[3.9]
  • Yoshiyuki Tomino:(1941) An anime director known for Mobile Suit Gundam.[3.3]
  • Isao Tomita:(1932-2016) A Japanese composer.[3.13]
  • To Heart:Gal-ge released in 1997 by Leaf.[3.16]
  • t.o.L (Tree of Life):An art unit by kuno. M and saito kay. The creator of TAMALA2010: A Punk Cat in Space.[1.16]
  • Tomehane!:(Full Stop and Upward Turn, 2007-08 in Weekly Young Sunday and 2008-15 in Big Comic Spirits) A manga work featuring the Japanese calligraphy club in high school by Katsutoshi Kawai.[2.12]
  • Toriton of the Sea:Osamu Tezuka’s comic (1969-71)[4.7]
  • Akira Toriyama:(1955-) Manga artist, game artist, character designer. Famous for his works of manga such as Dr. Slump and Dragon Ball. Character designer for the game series “Dragon Quest.”[2.14]
  • Touch :(1981-86, Weekly Shonen Sunday) Baseball (Koshien) comic by Mitsuru Adachi. [2.11]


  • Uchuujin:translated as “Cosmic Dust.” The oldest Sci-fi magazine in Japan (1957-2013)[4.8]
  • Ultraman: The name of a gigantic hero that appears in the TV series of the same name, first aired in 1966. [1.4]
  • Utattemita (Have-tried-to-sing?):A categorization used in Niconico Douga; a video in which a person tries to sing along with Karaoke.[3.13, 3.15]


  • VOCALOID:a singing voice synthesizer by which anyone can create a song. Well-known VOCALOIDS are: Miku HATSUNE, Luka MEGURINE, and Rin & Len KAGAMINE.[3.1]
  • Vincent, Keith: A scholar of Japanese literature. Associate Professor of Boston University.[1.7]
  • visual-kei musician:musicians who wear flamboyant costumes and make-up.[4.2]


  • WARNER Michael:[1.18]


  • X (later renamed as X Japan) : one of the most popular visual-kei bands [4.9]


  • YAOI: Acronym of Japanese phrase “Yamanashi, Ochinashi, Iminashi” (“no climax, no punch line, no meaning”), male-male romance narratives. [1.19]
  • Jocho Yamamoto:Samurai in the Edo period, from the Saga Domain. The author of Hagakure (1716).[2.4]
  • Yoshikazu Yasuhiko:(1947-) A Japanese animator engaged in Space Battleship Yamato, Brave Raideen, and Mobile Suit Gundam.[3.8]
  • Year 24 group:A collective name for the Shojo manga writers born in the 24th year of the Showa period (1949), who established the basic grammer of this genre. [1.15]
  • Mitsuteru Yokoyama:(1934-2004) A comics artist known for Tetsujin 28-go, Sally the Witch, and Sangokushi. [3.6]
  • Inuhiko Yomota:(1953-) A Japanese author, cultural essayist, translator and film historian.[3.8]
  • Yowamushi Pedal:(Cowardly Cyclists, 2008 to present in Weekly Shonen Champion) High school cycling comic by Wataru Watanabe.[2.12]
  • Yu Gi Oh!:(Game King!, 1996-2004 in Weekly Shonen Jump) A card game comic by Kazuki Takahashi. [2.12]
  • yomi-hon:short stories that were popular from the end of Edo into the Meji era.[2.4]
© Keio University
This article is from the free online

An Introduction to Japanese Subcultures

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now