Exploring the world of the otaku

I found this rather intriguing article that chronicles the rise of the ‘otaku‘, or geek, in Japan. Prime Ministerial candidate Taro Aso is apparently an otaku himself, and thanks to the Western fascination for Japanese manga and other otaku-related stuff, the term is slowly changing the connotation that it has had so far in Japan – that of a group of people who are a slur on society. I’ve always been interested by the idea of tribes, and otaku are a great example of a tribe that draws from other worlds while simultaneously trying to live in the present. I wonder what it must be like to be one of them, given that they are mostly young (20-30 years old, I gathered from the article). Are they a tribe that is slowly being extinguished, or will they increase in the years to come? Unlike university students who can band together in the same geographical space to protest or support a cause, how do these people congregate? Does social networking have a role in strengthening their band, or is that too much a phenomenon of this world? 

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