Where Have All the Salarymen Gone?

Susan Napier

in Recreating Japanese Men

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267374
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950320 | DOI:
Where Have All the Salarymen Gone?

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This chapter focuses on Densha Otoko, which represents the “technologized masculinity” of the otaku. Exploring both the “hardware” and “software” facets of otaku culture, Densha Otoko presents the reader/viewer with a vision of otakudom that is largely lighthearted and entertaining, however, at the same time, it captures some of the more disturbing and distancing aspects of the technologized lifestyle. With its conventional romantic resolution, achieved through the powers of the human heart and technology, Densha Otoko allays the audience’s fear of the technologized masculinity emblemized and represented by otaku, illustrating that technology can help sustain and support romantic love. At the same time, through its use of appealing otaku characters, and its upbeat version of computer technology and the Internet, the Densha Otoko helps lay to rest the fear that these characters are truly Other and lost in an encompassing cyberworld that separates and isolates them from “normal” Japanese.

Keywords: Densha Otoko; technologized masculinity; otaku; otakudom; technology; cyberworld

Chapter.  9936 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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