Otaku?

Japanese, general discussion on the language
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leonl
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Otaku?

Post by leonl » Wed 09.24.2008 4:46 pm

What does this word mean to you?

Both my Japanese Teacher and my Lit teacher(who by the way is really into manga and anime) Say it's not a term of respect or endearment or eliteness as most people seem to think it is

My Japanese teacher says it literally means someone who is geek or a nerd. Simple as that

My Lit teacher says he called one of his Japanese students an otaku one time thinking he was giving him a compliment. Suffice to say his reaction was less than thrilled more like angry

So I ask this not to flame anybody or to put anybody down I just want TJP's opinion on this word
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Hyperworm
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Re: Otaku?

Post by Hyperworm » Wed 09.24.2008 5:09 pm

Doesn't it simply depend on the person? Some people acknowledge that they're otaku and take some element of pride in it regardless of how the wider community might see them. Within circles of people like that, otaku will be a positive term (a term for people who share the same interests as the group).
On the other hand other people might not like to be associated with that image and will take offense. ._.
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Re: Otaku?

Post by Sairana » Wed 09.24.2008 6:47 pm

From another thread:
AJBryant wrote: It's origin dates back to the 1960s TV series "The Man from UNCLE." When it came to Japan, Ilya Kuriyakin was deemed a "cooler, and more distant" character than the others, and so all his lines were translated as calling people "otaku."

"Otaku" at the time was typically used as a second-person address by hyperpolite shopkeepers in addressing their customers, and maintained a strict distance between the speaker and listener. It was VERY... what's the word?... non-connected, distant, impersonal.... term. And that was how Ilya addressed Napoleon Solo. "Otaku wa, ne."

This caught on with fans as "cool."

Soon, SF and related-genre fans (a small, small number of the population) were calling each other "otaku" as second person address. A genre essayist began writing articles about the idea, and within the SF world popularized the concept of the "otaku zoku" -- the "otaku" tribe. I can't recall his name now, but I did an interview with him when I was at the Mainichi, so I got the story from the horse's mouth. Very weird guy.

From here, it stayed in relative obscurity of a fandom-internal thing until a mentally disturbed and obsessed anime fan murdered a little girl, and his self identification as a member of the "otaku zoku" brought the concept to the public awareness. All the weekly magazines and tabloids ran with the "otaku" concept, really altering its wider perception and usage.

And here we are today.

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Re: Otaku?

Post by Harisenbon » Wed 09.24.2008 11:40 pm

Think about it this way:

Some people like being called a geek.
Some people call themselves geeks.
Some people would hate being called a geek.

It's the same thing. Otaku is the word for geek. How people respond to it completely depends on the person in question.
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Re: Otaku?

Post by two_heads_talking » Thu 09.25.2008 10:43 am

Harisenbon wrote:Think about it this way:

Some people like being called a geek.
Some people call themselves geeks.
Some people would hate being called a geek.

It's the same thing. Otaku is the word for geek. How people respond to it completely depends on the person in question.

Isn't the term Otakusama one that can be used in the business world to mean you?

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Re: Otaku?

Post by AJBryant » Thu 09.25.2008 5:53 pm

I don't recall ever hearing that construction.

Otaku *is* the term. Otakusama is like a hyperformal construct, I think. Sort of like "anatasama".


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Re: Otaku?

Post by two_heads_talking » Fri 09.26.2008 8:12 am

AJBryant wrote:I don't recall ever hearing that construction.

Otaku *is* the term. Otakusama is like a hyperformal construct, I think. Sort of like "anatasama".


Tony
I just remember being told by my mission president to use Otakusan/Otakusama when greeting businessmen for the first time.. Perhaps it's been so long that I am misremembering it..

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Re: Otaku?

Post by AJBryant » Fri 09.26.2008 4:32 pm

Well, it's always possible they wanted you to hyperpolitify your address. ;)


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Re: Otaku?

Post by two_heads_talking » Mon 09.29.2008 9:20 am

AJBryant wrote:Well, it's always possible they wanted you to hyperpolitify your address. ;)


Tony
That is exactly the reason. I just didn't realize at the time that is was so hyper polite.. lol

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Re: Otaku?

Post by MMM » Tue 09.30.2008 12:01 pm

two_heads_talking wrote: Isn't the term Otakusama one that can be used in the business world to mean you?
Not only the business world (and I don't think you hear it with sama so much, but that's possible) but お宅 is a very polite way of referring to you or your home or family.

This term was then adopted to refer to uber-nerds because of how polite they spoke to each other.

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Oh, look! That kid threw sand at your child, Lucy!
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Re: Otaku?

Post by AJBryant » Tue 09.30.2008 11:26 pm

MMM wrote:
two_heads_talking wrote: This term was then adopted to refer to uber-nerds because of how polite they spoke to each other.
Have ya read the thread? ;)


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Re: Otaku?

Post by MMM » Tue 09.30.2008 11:31 pm

AJBryant wrote:
MMM wrote:
two_heads_talking wrote: This term was then adopted to refer to uber-nerds because of how polite they spoke to each other.
Have ya read the thread? ;)


Tony
I have. I thought I was adding to the discussion.
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Re: Otaku?

Post by Kuroi_Karasu » Mon 10.06.2008 6:28 pm

Why are we going so indepth? All languages do this. English: f*** (i heard) was originally the term for farmers to sow seeds into the ground and now look at what we have, one of the most used and most impolite word ever to be in a dictionary. Spanish: stupido means stupid (obviously) but whenever you call someone else stupido it means the same as the first example (unfortunately I learned that from experience)
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Re: Otaku?

Post by JaySee » Mon 10.06.2008 7:40 pm

They're going in depth because etymology can actually be quite interesting.

The F word in English has actually been used for hundreds of years meaning what it means today. The origin is difficult to determine, but you're wrong about the farmers/sow seeds thing. In many of the suggested etymologies the meaning hasn't even changed that much, it's just become more vulgar. (If this falls under the "no bad words" rule then please feel free to delete these lines.)

Also you probably mean estúpido... not stupido (Spanish words can't start with the combination "st")

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Re: Otaku?

Post by MMM » Tue 10.07.2008 5:34 am

Sounds like the black crow was acting just as his name implies.
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