Thursday, December 20, 2007

Daily Yomiuri Columning, Otaku and Anime Doc: Drawing A Revolution


Back in early August, I received an invitation from two editors at The Daily Yomiuri newspaper to contribute a bi-monthly column, the contents of which would be rooted in an international perspective on the Japanese pop culture phenomenon. Though I hadn't written a regular column since I was a college student, I opted to give it a shot.

I've now produced seven such installments for the Yomiuri, plus one related feature interview with Shinji Aramaki (included below), the director of Appleseed and Appleseed: Ex Machina.
The columns have been stimulating if not always welcome diversions from longer projects, forcing me to pursue musings, memories and occasionally old-school legwork to render 600-800 engaging words every two weeks.

Responses have been rich--from folks collaring and querying me about this or that item, to bloggers drawing a thread or two and stitching together full-fledged debates.

I've returned to New York to close out the year. On a stroll around town earlier today, I visited four nearby Japanamerican landmarks: the new Muji outlet on lower Broadway; the vast, brightly lit Uniqlo emporium; Nigo's BAPE NYC boutique on Greene Street; and the still-new Tokyo Bar on Church.

With the presence of Tokyo in New York fresh on the brain, I've opted to post scans of the Yomiuri columns for blog posterity (an oxymoron, I know).

The first one, posted here, falls under the 'musings' category: a reflection on a book tour experience during my visit to London. It's a fairly simple account of how trans-cultural exchanges are often based upon culturally misreadings--and blissfully so. More specifically, it's about what the terms "otaku" and "yaoi" might many thousands of miles away from their streets of origin.

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