Weeaboos: harmful or harmless?

In this episode of the Monsoon Podcast, Hiroki Hunter unpacks the concept of the ‘weeaboo’ and raises questions from a post-orientalist perspective.

With the world ever more connected and globalised, foreign cultures are readily and easily available to us all. This has led to large audiences of fans forming internationally around specific cultures. One nation which has found its culture in immense world-wide popularity has been Japan.

Foreign fans of Japanese culture are labelled, and sometimes self-identify, as ‘weeaboo’. The term has no concrete meanings, but it’s generally used pejoratively against those who form a large part of their identity around Japanese popular culture.

On this Monsoon Podcast, Hiroki Hunter explores the sentiments around being a ‘weeaboo’. Can we collectivise such a diverse international group simply because they enjoy a unifying element?

Peter Gravestock studies a Bachelor of Arts and Asian Studies at the Australian national University, and is passionate about Japanese popular culture.

Antigonie Bradshaw studies a Bachelor of Chemistry at ANU and is a fan of Japanese pop culture.

Claire Okumura studies a Bachelor of Asian Studies, focusing on Japanese history. She lived in Japan until age 6, and has continued interest in studying Japanese culture.

Dr Mark Gibeau is an expert on modern Japanese fiction. As a translator and annalist, he is experienced in the issues surrounding orientalism.

Feature image source: Flickr

Music: Part Bhatt and Arnav Srivatastav 909 Music Royalty-Free

Additional sound effects and ambient noise from BBC Sound Effects archive

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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