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'Creating My Own Cultural Bubble': Cultural Consumption of Japanese Spirituality in Anime
Unformatted Document Text:  G YXG identity construction. In the process, the spiritual seekers exercise the constructive reading 8 to interpret symbols and meanings in the cultural products and to incorporate the meanings they make into religious identification process. They would actively employ and absorb cultural meanings for the construction of religious meanings. “Wiccan Anime Shrine” So far we have examined how spiritual seekers incorporate anime and its spirituality in two cases. This section will briefly discuss the relationship between the younger generation with seeker spirituality and the consumption of anime in a more generalizable way. Here, although unsystematically, several anime fan web sites exemplify how religious aspects of anime appeal to the young generation; how they interpret anime’s spirituality; and how this cultural consumption is related to their practice of spiritual seeking. During the search for fan web sites that are related to religion or spirituality, I found that many fans show their recognition, implicitly or explicitly, of the religious aspects in anime. A male fan’s site rather academically describe the adoptive attitude of both anime and Japanese culture: Japanese culture has a rich religious and mythological history, drawing from Eastern religious systems such as Hinduism and Buddhism and a folklore partly shared with China and other historical neighbors. More recently, ideas generally thought of as ‘Western’ – Christianity, mermaids, and curious space aliens – have joined the party. Collectively, these elements of religion and mythology are crucial to anime and manga, whether they are an important aspect of the story, or simply are part of the implicit cultural background material (Spirituality in anime). GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG _ G The constructive reading is a type of my preliminary typology of reading strategies to explain the relationship between religious identity and cultural consumption. Other types are: “Biblical” reading (interpret media through established religious faith and values); Negotiated reading (negotiate a place between religious faith, values and cultural meanings); and No-relational reading (interpret cultural meanings separately from religious faith and values).

Authors: Park, Jin Kyu.
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background image
G
YXG
identity construction. In the process, the spiritual seekers exercise the constructive reading
8
to interpret symbols and meanings in the cultural products and to incorporate the meanings
they make into religious identification process. They would actively employ and absorb
cultural meanings for the construction of religious meanings.
“Wiccan Anime Shrine”
So far we have examined how spiritual seekers incorporate anime and its
spirituality in two cases. This section will briefly discuss the relationship between the
younger generation with seeker spirituality and the consumption of anime in a more
generalizable way. Here, although unsystematically, several anime fan web sites exemplify
how religious aspects of anime appeal to the young generation; how they interpret anime’s
spirituality; and how this cultural consumption is related to their practice of spiritual
seeking.
During the search for fan web sites that are related to religion or spirituality, I found
that many fans show their recognition, implicitly or explicitly, of the religious aspects in
anime. A male fan’s site rather academically describe the adoptive attitude of both anime
and Japanese culture:
Japanese culture has a rich religious and mythological history, drawing from
Eastern religious systems such as Hinduism and Buddhism and a folklore partly
shared with China and other historical neighbors. More recently, ideas generally
thought of as ‘Western’ – Christianity, mermaids, and curious space aliens – have
joined the party. Collectively, these elements of religion and mythology are crucial
to anime and manga, whether they are an important aspect of the story, or simply
are part of the implicit cultural background material (Spirituality in anime).
GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG
_
G The constructive reading is a type of my preliminary typology of reading strategies to explain the
relationship between religious identity and cultural consumption. Other types are: “Biblical” reading (interpret
media through established religious faith and values); Negotiated reading (negotiate a place between religious
faith, values and cultural meanings); and No-relational reading (interpret cultural meanings separately from
religious faith and values).


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