Otaku

Meaning

What does Otaku mean?

“Otaku” refers to a person who is obsessed with Japanese and/or East Asian pop-culture, like with mangas and animes.

The word is borrowed from Japanese, in which the word “otaku” literally means “geek” or “nerd”.

The slang term has been brought into English-talking countries, yet despite everything it keeps up its Japanese associations.

Nowadays, in Japan, the term is widely considered rude and offensive because it used to define someone who is obsessed with something to a degree that is unhealthy and destructive.

Origin

What's the origin of Otaku?

In the 1970s and 1980s Japan, the culture and the rise of devoted following of mangas and animes started to grow rapidly throughout the years.

These industries persuaded to create massive conventions, clubs and gatherings for fans. Anime and manga lovers attended them and started addressing each other as “otakus” to convey their similar obsessions and passion.

However, the term took on negativity, when a Japanese writer, Nakamori Akio, wrote an article in a 1983 magazine, in which he defined “otaku” as “dork” in a more insulting and derogatory way.

Spread & Usage

How did Otaku spread?

In the 1970s and 1980s Japan, the culture and the rise of devoted following of mangas and animes started to grow rapidly throughout the years.

These industries persuaded to create massive conventions, clubs and gatherings for fans. Anime and manga lovers attended them and started addressing each other as “otakus” to convey their similar obsessions and passion.

However, the term took on negativity, when a Japanese writer, Nakamori Akio, wrote an article in a 1983 magazine, in which he defined “otaku” as “dork” in a more insulting and derogatory way.

External resources

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