I was invited by Josh Dunham to have a conversation with him on his podcast Senpai Coast to Coast about pop culture tourism in Japan based on anime and manga. This practice is referred to broadly as seichijunrei (聖地巡礼 holy land pilgrimage), or butaitanbou (舞台探訪 scene hunting) when describing the heart of the subculture. While I’ve attempted a few times to step back and synthesize all of my observations about these phenomena from the past several years into a coherent picture, this podcast is the first time I think I’ve really done it justice. We talk about the trend toward photorealism and real place locations in anime settings, resultant media-induced tourism, and how this becomes a platform for deep, place-based engagement. Freed from the constraints of written text and with someone pushing me to dig down for greater meaning, I was able to let my mind go and walk Josh through the world I had discovered. Though there were many things we didn’t get to in our 75 minute talk, I think I was able to convey a clear introduction to what goes on in this subculture for someone just learning about it, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

Josh’s introduction to the podcast and links for downloading various formats are available at his blog: http://wavemotioncannon.com/2016/03/30/butaitanbou/

Mentioned in the podcast

Weekly Review of Transit, Place and Culture in Anime

Beyond the Boundary Anime Pilgrimage to Nara and Kashihara

Tamako Market
Demachi Masugata Shotengai
Tamako Love Story Premiere, Afterparty at Demachi Masugata Shotengai
Spirit Festival 2014 in Demachi
Demachi Masugata Shotengai, Session 2
Demachi Masugata Shotengai, Session 3

Animation, Urbanism and Tamako Market: A Discussion with Moriwaki Kiyotaka

First Offline Meetings with the Seichijunrei-Butaitanbou Community

Contents Tourism Discussion with Okamoto Takeshi

Pilgrimage to Kamakura and Fujisawa for Musaigen no Phantom World

Pilgrimage to Uji for Hibike! Euphonium

Pilgrimage to Toyosato Elementary School for K-On! (to be published)

Pilgrimage to Takehara for Tamayura (to be published)

Pilgrimage to Skip-dori Shotengai for Shirobako (to be published)


2015 Butaitanbou Summit in Kagoshima

Butaitanbou Community Offline Meetings 2015 Fall

Hanayamata and the Enoshima Electric Railway

Fushimi Inari Taisha (Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha)

Eizan Electric Railway K-On! Walk

Pilgrimage to Kagoshima for Chūnibyō demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren

Pilgrimage to Otsu for Chūnibyō demo Koi ga Shitai! (to be published)