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 sacred site 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 use of real life locations in anime, resultant media-induced travel, 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 is available at his blog, Wave Motion Cannon.
Direct download: Senpai Coast to Coast Episode 19 – Butaitanbou
*Currently, media hosting for Wave Motion Cannon is unavailable, so I’m temporarily hosting the file here.