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Otaku: Japan's Database Animals - The Highly Influential Best Seller in Japan Translated into English

OTAKU: Japan's Database Animals
Hiroki Azuma
Translated by Jonathan E. Abel and Shion Kono
University of Minnesota Press | 176 pages | 2009
ISBN 978-0-8166-5352-2 | paperback | $17.95
ISBN 978-0-8166-5351-5 | hardcover | $54.00

Hiroki Azuma's Otaku offers a critical, philosophical, and historical inquiry into the characteristics and consequences of this consumer subculture. For Azuma, one of Japan's leading public intellectuals, otaku culture mirrors the transformations of postwar Japanese society and the nature of human behavior in the postmodern era. A vital non-Western intervention in postmodern culture and theory, Otaku is also a perceptive account of Japanese popular culture.

"Abandon every preconception, all ye who enter! In this mind-boggling book on Japan's postmodernity, Hiroki Azuma conjures the ghost of the famous post-Hegelian Kojève, whose theory gets revived and even 'animated' here to reinterpret the anime-saturated realism that dominates our global Japanized reality studio. No one has more tactfully intertwined post-Derridean philosophy with Otaku-centric subculture studies than Azuma."-Takayuki Tatsumi

"This is one of a truly seminal set of works attempting to theorize the form of social being that we now call the otaku. One can see in this book a set of conditions ("postmodern" really isn't adequate)-including structures of desire, production, consumption, and a return to animal philosophy-that are specific to Japan, but increasingly relevant to us all."-Thomas Looser

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