Walking Tour of Akihabara

Apr. 1, 2023

ITASIA alumni Patrick W. Galbraith, who is an Associate Professor in the School of International Communication at Senshū University in Tokyo, led a group of 11 students on a walking tour of Akihabara on Friday, March 30th. The tour traversed through Akihabara, an area in eastern Tokyo that has become a stronghold for stores dealing in manga, anime, games and related media and material forms. Starting with the postwar history of Akihabara as Japan’s premiere “Electric Town,” the tour covered the history and the rise from the 1990s of “the Otaku Mecca.” After the walking tour, participants visited a maid cafe, a place where costumed staff interact with customers, and discussed the more recent changes in the neighborhood.

Professor Galbraith has conducted extensive fieldwork in Akihabara. His recent publications include Otaku and the Struggle for Imagination in Japan (Duke University Press, 2019), Erotic Comics in Japan: An Introduction to Eromanga (Amsterdam University Press, 2020) and The Ethics of Affect: Lines and Life in a Tokyo Neighborhood (Stockholm University Press, 2021).