From his latest blog post Enthusiasm Is Good (Personal and Trivial)
But I’ve also been trying to see something of contemporary culture, and was taken around by someone who guessed, correctly, that I’d be interested to see something of the various subcultures. So we spent several hours roaming around Harajuku, looking at the manifestations of kawaii (cute, more or less) — mostly teenaged girls dressing up like cartoon characters — and spent more hours in Akihabara on otaku (geekiness, more or less) — paunchy guys in baggy sweatshirts obsessing over games and superheroes.
What sort of surprised me was how much both subcultures cheered me up.
I mean, I’d probably be unhappy if a young relative went in for kawaii, or at least if it lasted more than a short time, and otaku cuts close enough to my own underlying nerdiness to make me feel a bit uncomfortable (and yes, there’s some disturbing stuff within the subculture); but it’s nonetheless sort of wonderful to see enthusiasm. God knows Japan has big problems, but it’s obviously full of cultural creativity, high and low. And that’s a good thing to see.
It is nice too see that we still have some intelligent outsiders in the world that see the otaku culture for more than just kids wasting time or that we are crazy outcasts.
I highly recommend you guys go read the whole blogpost.
Enthusiasm Is Good (Personal and Trivial)