I presented at the 75th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Association of Religious Studies on September 11, 2016. The translated title of my presentation is as follows: “Are Japanese Youth Self-centered? A Look at the Supplications of Anime Pilgrims (Fans)”
私は2016年9月11日に日本宗教学会の第75回学術大会 (於 早稲田大学)にて 「若者たちは利己主義者なのか―アニメ聖地巡礼者の祈願を事例に―」というタイトルで発表しました。
Animated Messages of Hope: Votive Prayers from the Nintama Rantarô Anime Pilgrimage
Throughout the year the fans of the anime series Nintama Rantarô trek to the city of Amagasaki in Hyogo prefecture to participate in an “anime pilgrimage.” A primary attraction of the Nintama pilgrimage is the Nanamatsu Hachiman Shrine where fans publically display “ema” (votive prayer tablets) illustrated with their favorite Nintama characters. Japanese use ema to communicate their prayers to deities. Nintama fans, adapted the ema as a powerful medium for communication between fans: unconventional prayers and vibrant play emanate from the fan artwork expressing adoration for the Nintama characters (and their creator) and narrating how the anime characters serve as a source of strength for facing life’s many uncertainties. This ethnographic study punctuated by the 2011 earthquake/tsunami disaster reveals the contemporary social and economic concerns held by the youthful, predominately female Nintama fans and, importantly, their hope for a good life.