Don't call yourself an otaku, please

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I'm currently studying japanese in school, and my teacher told me something quite interesting in one of our lessons.

The teacher does this thing where he asks the students if he'd rather that he calls them by some sort of nickname, so a guy in my class yells out that he wants to be called "otaku". The teacher starts laughing at him, and then asks if he knows that he'd be making quite the fool out of himself if he referred to himself as an otaku. Otaku isn't being someone who likes japan, or being just a geek. It's pretty much being a basement dweller, someone who has a passion for something and for that thing alone. Being an otaku is according to the japanese not something to be proud of.

So, rather than just taking one word away from you, I'll give you a replacement. Refer to yourself as a "manga tsu" instead, that pretty much means that you're someone who really likes manga, but not on the extreme level of an otaku. Now of course, if you actually don't have any life other than sitting in your basement, with no friends, watching anime and reading manga all day, go ahead, call yourself an otaku. Otherwise, you'd do best not to...

Just something that's been bothering me, and hopefully this will get at least one person to stop calling himself an otaku.

Yeah, I found this out the other day. In Japan, it is considered as an insult, however, in Western slang it refers to, well, us basically. Keep calling yourself it, it's fine because our version is not literal, just a slang version of it

CynderBloc:
Yeah, I found this out the other day. In Japan, it is considered as an insult, however, in Western slang it refers to, well, us basically. Keep calling yourself it, it's fine because our version is not literal, just a slang version of it

Well, it's just that it's kinda bothering me now that I know this. Same goes with "baka". Sure, it MEANS idiot, but baka is about as powerful as calling someone a dickhead in Japan. Shit's so complicated.

Don't just quit calling yourself otakus, quit BEING otakus.

I was actually wondering what that meant, for I have heard it before. Thank you for the enlightenment.

Honestly, I would think nothing of it here in the West. In Japan, then I'd take offense.

I still think weeaboos are worse...

I knew about this before, I'll take my name over Otaku any day. True most people don't know what it is, but since I do.... think I might take offese to it, regardless of what country I'm in...

The only japanese i know is from the songs i listen to...so would I refer to myself as " Halo tsu" ?

Daystar Clarion:
I still think weeaboos are worse...

I agree to that. Otaku's are okay but tolerable, while Weeaboos (which at times i'm guilty of being) spout nothing but internet references and text speak.

World War Z told me what otaku meant, and I still have never referred to myself or others as an otaku, just a nerd or (insert media here)-lover.

Snake Plissken:
Don't just quit calling yourself otakus, quit BEING otakus.

Nothing wrong with being an Otaku. Being a ravenous Japanophile that declares any animation not developed on the island nation inferior to it's apparent "superiority" That's what should be stopped i.e rabid fanboys/girls who have no consideration for other peoples feelings.

OT however this might be an interesting titbit of information, it reminds me of the how "JRPGS aren't role playing games" but are instead "Japanese adventure games"
While it may be a more accurate description, I think people will prefer the more well-known terminology to describe somebody who is fond of Japanese animation and manga

Couldn't you just use an English term, being from English speaking countries and all?

Crazy, I know.

But you're less likely to make mistakes in a language you know. Besides, I'm sure any Japanese person would probably be pretty bemused by anyone that's quite so in love with their culture. It's like how we laugh at all those Japanese t-shirts on Engrish.com.

I've wondered about that. I've always thought that "otaku" is to geeks what "geek" is to the masses. I guess I'm right!

I kind of already knew that, which is why I've never referred to myself as an otaku.

Psychosocial:
I'm currently studying japanese in school, and my teacher told me something quite interesting in one of our lessons.

The teacher does this thing where he asks the students if he'd rather that he calls them by some sort of nickname, so a guy in my class yells out that he wants to be called "otaku". The teacher starts laughing at him, and then asks if he knows that he'd be making quite the fool out of himself if he referred to himself as an otaku. Otaku isn't being someone who likes japan, or being just a geek. It's pretty much being a basement dweller, someone who has a passion for something and for that thing alone. Being an otaku is according to the japanese not something to be proud of.

So, rather than just taking one word away from you, I'll give you a replacement. Refer to yourself as a "manga tsu" instead, that pretty much means that you're someone who really likes manga, but not on the extreme level of an otaku. Now of course, if you actually don't have any life other than sitting in your basement, with no friends, watching anime and reading manga all day, go ahead, call yourself an otaku. Otherwise, you'd do best not to...

Just something that's been bothering me, and hopefully this will get at least one person to stop calling himself an otaku.

I agree with this thread's purpose.

If you like Japanese stuff, gaming, nerd culture and have a large collection of Anime, you're not an Otaku. You're not even fucking close. If you never wash yourself or clean the house, never go anywhere, collect only one type of Anime obsessively and seriously consider marrying one of those Anime body-pillows like that Korean guy did, you're probably still not quite an Otaku yet but you're getting warm. Otakus are the people who nobody really knows much about until the neighbours complain about the smell coming from their apartment, and then the social services break down the door to find some malnourished guy who is literally living in his own filth, with no visble floor anywhere because there's gunk so thick on the floor it's nearly like wading through a swamp, and whole sections of rooms unuseable because the guy is too scared to go outside the house to empty the trash, because it might take away up to a minute of Anime time from his life or whatever. "Otaku" is an insult, and uneducated people who use the term in a positive context are basically calling themselves "obsessive-compulsive dirty fecal-encrusted oxygen-wasting biological hazard who should be killed". It's like Autism, except worse, because it's not a medical condition, it's actually your own fault.

Daystar Clarion:
I still think weeaboos are worse...

"Weeaboo" on the other hand is just a word for some moronic twit who thinks that anything that comes out of Japan must therefore be good, no matter what it is. There's a very big difference. Occasionally, weeaboos wash.

Psychosocial:

CynderBloc:
Yeah, I found this out the other day. In Japan, it is considered as an insult, however, in Western slang it refers to, well, us basically. Keep calling yourself it, it's fine because our version is not literal, just a slang version of it

Well, it's just that it's kinda bothering me now that I know this. Same goes with "baka". Sure, it MEANS idiot, but baka is about as powerful as calling someone a dickhead in Japan. Shit's so complicated.

Well, I'm sure it's not THAT complicated if you grew up in Japan. Most Japanophiles are viewing Japan through a hole in a wall about the size of a quarter. If you grew up there, all of that comes second nature. It's not some shock figuring out what otaku means--you've known it since pre-teendom.

And the same thing works in reverse. I'm sure our slang is quite daunting to Japanese folks wanting to know about America...or anyone learning American English, really. Look at "bro" for example. Sometimes it's a term of endearment, used casually. "Hey bro, what's up?" Other times it's a title, or it can even mean an identity altogether, "Bros before hos." It can define a relationship between guys, the classic "Bromance". Or, it could just be a quick way for someone to refer to their male sibling.

Psychosocial:
I'm currently studying japanese in school, and my teacher told me something quite interesting in one of our lessons.

The teacher does this thing where he asks the students if he'd rather that he calls them by some sort of nickname, so a guy in my class yells out that he wants to be called "otaku". The teacher starts laughing at him, and then asks if he knows that he'd be making quite the fool out of himself if he referred to himself as an otaku. Otaku isn't being someone who likes japan, or being just a geek. It's pretty much being a basement dweller, someone who has a passion for something and for that thing alone. Being an otaku is according to the japanese not something to be proud of.

So, rather than just taking one word away from you, I'll give you a replacement. Refer to yourself as a "manga tsu" instead, that pretty much means that you're someone who really likes manga, but not on the extreme level of an otaku. Now of course, if you actually don't have any life other than sitting in your basement, with no friends, watching anime and reading manga all day, go ahead, call yourself an otaku. Otherwise, you'd do best not to...

Just something that's been bothering me, and hopefully this will get at least one person to stop calling himself an otaku.

I fully agree with this. I am in my third year of Japanese at my school and the amount of people who do things that are very disrespectful and literally have stated that they learned it from anime and manga. You never refer to a teacher as "chan" never say "Damatte" or "Dame dayoo" to them either. Are you just beginning your Japanese lessons or have you studied it for a while? I remember my Sensei actually stated about this issue about calling someone an "Otaku" at a Japan Club meeting we'd had a couple of weeks ago. So many people did not know what it really meant at all.

Mr.Petey:

Snake Plissken:
Don't just quit calling yourself otakus, quit BEING otakus.

Nothing wrong with being an Otaku. Being a ravenous Japanophile that declares any animation not developed on the island nation inferior to it's apparent "superiority" That's what should be stopped i.e rabid fanboys/girls who have no consideration for other peoples feelings.

^What most people would probably define as an otaku.

BonsaiK:

Psychosocial:
I'm currently studying japanese in school, and my teacher told me something quite interesting in one of our lessons.

The teacher does this thing where he asks the students if he'd rather that he calls them by some sort of nickname, so a guy in my class yells out that he wants to be called "otaku". The teacher starts laughing at him, and then asks if he knows that he'd be making quite the fool out of himself if he referred to himself as an otaku. Otaku isn't being someone who likes japan, or being just a geek. It's pretty much being a basement dweller, someone who has a passion for something and for that thing alone. Being an otaku is according to the japanese not something to be proud of.

So, rather than just taking one word away from you, I'll give you a replacement. Refer to yourself as a "manga tsu" instead, that pretty much means that you're someone who really likes manga, but not on the extreme level of an otaku. Now of course, if you actually don't have any life other than sitting in your basement, with no friends, watching anime and reading manga all day, go ahead, call yourself an otaku. Otherwise, you'd do best not to...

Just something that's been bothering me, and hopefully this will get at least one person to stop calling himself an otaku.

I agree with this thread's purpose.

If you like Japanese stuff, gaming, nerd culture and have a large collection of Anime, you're not an Otaku. You're not even fucking close. If you never wash yourself or clean the house, never go anywhere, collect only one type of Anime obsessively and seriously consider marrying one of those Anime body-pillows like that Korean guy did, you're probably still not quite an Otaku yet but you're getting warm. Otakus are the people who nobody really knows much about until the neighbours complain about the smell coming from their apartment, and then the social services break down the door to find some malnourished guy who is literally living in his own filth, with no visble floor anywhere because there's gunk so thick on the floor it's nearly like wading through a swamp, and whole sections of rooms unuseable because the guy is too scared to go outside the house to empty the trash, because it might take away up to a minute of Anime time from his life or whatever. "Otaku" is an insult, and uneducated people who use the term in a positive context are basically calling themselves "obsessive-compulsive dirty fecal-encrusted oxygen-wasting biological hazard who should be killed". It's like Autism, except worse, because it's not a medical condition, it's actually your own fault.

Daystar Clarion:
I still think weeaboos are worse...

"Weeaboo" on the other hand is just a word for some moronic twit who thinks that anything that comes out of Japan must therefore be good, no matter what it is. There's a very big difference. Occasionally, weeaboos wash.

weeaboos wobble but they dont fall down

Calling yourself any of this shit is just fucking ridiculous. You're human beings for fuck's sake.

Yeah, known this for years. But no, most "anime enthusiasts" really do qualify for the title otaku. Or in english, loser.

I've never even heard of that word until this thread. Glad I know before I use it.

BonsaiK:

Psychosocial:
I'm currently studying japanese in school, and my teacher told me something quite interesting in one of our lessons.

The teacher does this thing where he asks the students if he'd rather that he calls them by some sort of nickname, so a guy in my class yells out that he wants to be called "otaku". The teacher starts laughing at him, and then asks if he knows that he'd be making quite the fool out of himself if he referred to himself as an otaku. Otaku isn't being someone who likes japan, or being just a geek. It's pretty much being a basement dweller, someone who has a passion for something and for that thing alone. Being an otaku is according to the japanese not something to be proud of.

So, rather than just taking one word away from you, I'll give you a replacement. Refer to yourself as a "manga tsu" instead, that pretty much means that you're someone who really likes manga, but not on the extreme level of an otaku. Now of course, if you actually don't have any life other than sitting in your basement, with no friends, watching anime and reading manga all day, go ahead, call yourself an otaku. Otherwise, you'd do best not to...

Just something that's been bothering me, and hopefully this will get at least one person to stop calling himself an otaku.

I agree with this thread's purpose.

If you like Japanese stuff, gaming, nerd culture and have a large collection of Anime, you're not an Otaku. You're not even fucking close. If you never wash yourself or clean the house, never go anywhere, collect only one type of Anime obsessively and seriously consider marrying one of those Anime body-pillows like that Korean guy did, you're probably still not quite an Otaku yet but you're getting warm. Otakus are the people who nobody really knows much about until the neighbours complain about the smell coming from their apartment, and then the social services break down the door to find some malnourished guy who is literally living in his own filth, with no visble floor anywhere because there's gunk so thick on the floor it's nearly like wading through a swamp, and whole sections of rooms unuseable because the guy is too scared to go outside the house to empty the trash, because it might take away up to a minute of Anime time from his life or whatever. "Otaku" is an insult, and uneducated people who use the term in a positive context are basically calling themselves "obsessive-compulsive dirty fecal-encrusted oxygen-wasting biological hazard who should be killed". It's like Autism, except worse, because it's not a medical condition, it's actually your own fault.

There's actually another word in Japanese for that last level... hikikomori. And it's a growing problem in Japan today. If you've ever seen the anime Welcome to the NHK, it highlights the phenomenon pretty well. In Japan they have a saying: "the nail that sticks out gets hammered down". You don't want to be seen as "different", lest people become jealous and ruin the social harmony of the group, which is a big thing in the culture here. Add to that the enormous pressure to succeed and keep up with everybody else, and increasingly people are finding that they just can't take it and grow to deathly fear social interaction. So they attempt to remove themselves from that society and culture altogether, by doing what is described above. They lock themselves in their room and never come out. They are unemployed, they only go into the outside world to pick up necessities, and only when they absolutely have to, and they cling to things like games, anime and other things of that nature for their entertainment and personal fulfillment. They are still trying to figure out what can be done to help hikikomori here. It's such a sad thing. It really is.

And while I had a pretty strong enjoyment of Japanese culture and geekdom and things like that before coming here, I have been slowly "snapping out of it", you might say, over the two and a quarter years I've been here. If anybody thinks geeks have any more respect over here, or that Japan is some kind of "geek paradise", or is really anything like what they see of it in the West, they are horribly wrong. In fact, geeks probably harbor less respect here than in the West because of the group mentality of the culture and the borderline severe obsession with sports clubs in secondary schools. "Jocks", "preps", or whatever you want to call them, are elevated to an even higher status than in the West in those all-important years, and kids who aren't in a club don't have a strong basis for the formation of the kinds of social groups from which lifetime friendships spring in Japanese culture. Not many people here move away from their home prefecture in their lifetime, for a variety of reasons. So if you don't make your friends and social bonds in those secondary school years, from what I gather, good luck to you, buddy. But then again, I have been out here in the Japanese countryside working at those secondary schools for the entirety of my time here, and these observations come from what I have seen and heard from students and teachers here, so this opinion may be a bit biased.

Daystar Clarion:
I still think weeaboos are worse...

"Weeaboo" on the other hand is just a word for some moronic twit who thinks that anything that comes out of Japan must therefore be good, no matter what it is. There's a very big difference. Occasionally, weeaboos wash.

Sounds about right to me.

The contested nature of language is very interesting. I don't have the requisite enthusiasm for Japanese culture (I am interested in specific themes and the texts that explores them, but my tastes are pretty narrow) but if I did I would consider using the term otaku.

Any (polite) suggestions on the name for a non-American person fascinated by American culture?

imacharginmehlaz0r:
weeaboos wobble but they dont fall down

I think you just won this thread.

Lilani:

imacharginmehlaz0r:
weeaboos wobble but they dont fall down

I think you just won this thread.

thank you thank you. i'd like to thank the anonamyous baby cannon i was brought into the world out of...and thats about it.

I never thought that it sounded like something to be proud of in the first place. Oh well, my opinion.

Yeah, how dare anyone refer to themselves as otaku... ::looks at his user name on this site::

OH yeah nevermind. ::whistles::

I knew about this for some time now, and I also came to accept that the Japanese and western use may be practically different words by now (though I'd still consider myself simply a geek).

toriver:

And while I had a pretty strong enjoyment of Japanese culture and geekdom and things like that before coming here, I have been slowly "snapping out of it", you might say, over the two and a quarter years I've been here. If anybody thinks geeks have any more respect over here, or that Japan is some kind of "geek paradise", or is really anything like what they see of it in the West, they are horribly wrong. In fact, geeks probably harbor less respect here than in the West because of the group mentality of the culture and the borderline severe obsession with sports clubs in secondary schools.

On that note of geekdom, I'm of the impression that anime in Japan is like Star Trek here; many people like it (supposedly, manga really is quite popular over there, accounting for a very large percentage of their book sales), but the enthusiasts who dress up and whatnot are considered freaks.

OP, thank you for this thread.

Otaku, weeaboo, NEET, eh, they all need to lighten up a bit and get out more. Weeaboos at least have some semblance of normal life.

I like Japan, I'd like to visit someday. I practiced Aikido, which came from Japan and listening to my Sensei talk about his experience in Japan made me want to visit. The history is also really interesting. The food is good too. Some people would say that because I have an interest in all that, that I'm a weeaboo. I don't see it myself, but it seems to be a fairly broad term.

A random person:

On that note of geekdom, I'm of the impression that anime in Japan is like Star Trek here; many people like it (supposedly, manga really is quite popular over there, accounting for a very large percentage of their book sales), but the enthusiasts who dress up and whatnot are considered freaks.

Manga is indeed pretty popular, but there is a much greater variety of manga to choose from here. What gets published in the West is only the tip of the iceberg, and a good 90% of those are just the manga for kids and teens here. If you walk into a manga shop, you would be amazed at the eye-breaking amount of books on offer, and the variety of audiences they appeal to. Manga is not the issue.
Anime, on the other hand, is mostly seen as being for kids and teens. By the time they are adults, just about every Japanese person I know "grew up" out of their interest in anime. Even the teachers I know couldn't count the popular anime of today that they know on one hand. It's just not seen as an "adult" thing in the popular culture here, and has been relegated, much like cartoons in the West, to being something for children. If you're over 18 here and you still like anime, that's seen as weird. And despite what you see from Western sources like blogs and such about Japan, weird is unacceptable, at least in public. If you do like unusual things, you just don't talk about them in public. At all. Gotta keep up that social harmony, you know.

toriver:

A random person:

On that note of geekdom, I'm of the impression that anime in Japan is like Star Trek here; many people like it (supposedly, manga really is quite popular over there, accounting for a very large percentage of their book sales), but the enthusiasts who dress up and whatnot are considered freaks.

Manga is indeed pretty popular, but there is a much greater variety of manga to choose from here. What gets published in the West is only the tip of the iceberg, and a good 90% of those are just the manga for kids and teens here. If you walk into a manga shop, you would be amazed at the eye-breaking amount of books on offer, and the variety of audiences they appeal to. Manga is not the issue.
Anime, on the other hand, is mostly seen as being for kids and teens. By the time they are adults, just about every Japanese person I know "grew up" out of their interest in anime. Even the teachers I know couldn't count the popular anime of today that they know on one hand. It's just not seen as an "adult" thing in the popular culture here, and has been relegated, much like cartoons in the West, to being something for children. If you're over 18 here and you still like anime, that's seen as weird. And despite what you see from Western sources like blogs and such about Japan, weird is unacceptable, at least in public. If you do like unusual things, you just don't talk about them in public. At all. Gotta keep up that social harmony, you know.

So, anime such as Monster would be the exception there too? Well that was a manga first though come to think of it.

I refuse. You think I didn't know that?

Just because I won't call myself an otaku when I'm back in Japan doesn't mean I have any cause to abandon the name here.

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