Subculture as social knowledge: a hopeful reading of otaku culture
Alice Clearwater

Downloadable! This essay analyzes Japan's otaku subculture using Hirokazu Miyazaki's (2006) definition of hope as a "reorientation of knowledge." Erosion of postwar social systems has tended to instill a sense of hopelessness among many Japanese youth. Hopelessness manifests as two analogous kinds of refusal: individual social withdrawal and recourse to solipsistic neonationalist ideology.