The Votive Art of the “Your Name” Anime Pilgrimage 『君の名は』のアニメ絵馬(痛絵馬)

The highly successful anime “Your Name” (Highest worldwide grossing anime film)  has given birth to a new anime pilgrimage. Fans astutely discerned the real-world places that were drawn into this anime production. They then quickly embarked on a journey to some of the sites. Thus inaugurating what fans term as a seichi “holy/sacred site”.  One such place that gained the attention of fans is Suga Shrine (須賀神社) in Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward.

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Article about Anime Pilgrimages アニメ・ゲーム聖地巡礼についての論文

An article (in Japanese) titled “Examining the Modern Pilgrimage: Anime and Games Give Birth to Sacred Places” has been earlier published in the Folklore Society of Japan’s journal “Nihon Minzokugaku (Japanese Folklore)” Vol. 51.

「現代巡礼考―アニメ・ゲームから生まれた聖地―」 という論文を日本民俗学会の『日本民俗学』  第 283号に載せることが出来ました。ここで、改めて紹介します。

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Truck Art デコトラ

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The truck is king of the road in Japan. And there is a special breed of truck that is both distinctively fearsome, yet elegant: kind of like Las Vegas on wheels. These trucks are called decotora, which is a melded abbreviation of the words “decorated” and “truck”.  Decotora can be seen all throughout Japan though it is said that the original decotora was driven by a trucker from Aomori prefecture. Continue reading

Campus Folklore キャンパスのフォクロア

Hokumeiryo 北溟寮 is a male dormitory located in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture. Such dormitories and their traditions are fast disappearing in Japan. I had the pleasure to live next door to Hokumeiryo dormitory for several years. And during that time I observed some of the annual rituals that took place. In the evening hours afthokumeiryo sake biner the day’s classes had finished things often became…well some might say “boisterous” or “raucous,” but I would term it as “festive.” I particularly appreciate their having allowed my son and I to join the ranks of their parade as it snaked through the narrow, winding streets of our neighborhood one night.

I also enjoyed the larger than life bottle of sake that the students handcrafted. It denotes a central element in the dormitory life. And the array of television antennas on the roof, which students most likely set themselves, caught my eye as well. Resourcefulness.

北溟寮

Itasha (Anime Cars) 痛車

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Anime Cars, known as itasha 痛車 (compound of the word itai 痛い meaning “pain” coupled with the sha 車 meaning, in this case, “auto”). Itasha are automobiles decorated with manga and anime logos, characters, and so forth. The meaning of the name itasha then is in effect expressing the idea that the cars being so unabashedly adorned actually hurt the sensibilities (of even the otaku, fan). Continue reading