The Otaku Encyclopedia: An Insider's Guide to the Subculture of Cool Japan

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Kodansha International, Jun 25, 2009 - Social Science - 248 pages
8 Reviews
Otaku: Nerd; geek or fanboy. Originates from a polite second-person pronoun meaning "your home" in Japanese. Since the 1980s it's been used to refer to people who are really into Japanese pop-culture, such as anime, manga, and videogames. A whole generation, previously marginalized with labels such as geek and nerd, are now calling themselves otaku with pride.

The Otaku Encyclopedia offers fascinating insight into the subculture of Cool Japan. With over 600 entries, including common expressions, people, places, and moments of otaku history, this is the essential A to Z of facts every Japanese pop-culture fan needs to know. Author Patrick W. Galbraith has spent several years researching deep into the otaku heartland and his intimate knowledge of the subject gives the reader an insider's guide to words such as moé, doujinshi, cosplay and maid cafés. In-depth interviews with such key players as Takashi Murakami, otaku expert Okada Toshio, and J-pop idol Shoko Nakagawa are interspersed with the entries, offering an even more penetrating look into the often misunderstood world of otaku. Dozens of lively, colorful images--from portraits of the interview subjects to manga illustrations, film stills and photos of places mentioned in the text--pop up throughout the book, making The Otaku Encyclopedia as entertaining to read as it is informative.

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Review: The Otaku Encyclopedia: An Insider's Guide to the Subculture of Cool Japan

User Review  - Brandon Hickey - Goodreads

Good for reference, but the drawings are borderline pornographic. Read full review

Review: The Otaku Encyclopedia: An Insider's Guide to the Subculture of Cool Japan

User Review  - Lily - Goodreads

Although at first glance, it looks like another one of those horrible books that try to cash in on the anime/manga fandom, it's actually pretty nice. The terms were relevant and interesting. Read full review

About the author (2009)


PATRICK W. GALBRAITH is a journalist based in Tokyo. He specializes in Japanese popular culture, and writes a regular column for Metropolis magazine. He gives weekly tours of Akihabara, the otaku capital of Japan, and is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Tokyo.

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