Welcome to this week’s review of notable instances of public transit use and urban design, as well as discussion of place identity and culture, through anime currently broadcast or screening in Japan and simulcast internationally via the web. This review also documents seichijunrei (聖地巡礼 sacred site pilgrimage) and butaitanbou (舞台探訪 scene hunting)—on this website referred to collectively as anime pilgrimage—which are forms of place-based engagement induced by the use of real locations in show settings.
Media and General Interest
Ōishi Gen butaitanbou history
Toyama Prefectural University contents tourism researcher and Butaitanbou-sha Community (BTC) founding member Ōishi Gen (大石玄 @genoishi) published an update to his 2011 paper on butaitanbou history, Introduction to the history of ANIME tourism: Newly revised edition (アニメ《舞台探訪》成立史・新訂版：いわゆる《聖地巡礼》の起源と紀元).
If Gen can forgive my clumsy translation, now that the terms butaitanbou and seichijunrei are becoming more known among English readers, I think a literal reading of the title as History of the Growth of Anime Butaitanbou: The Origin and Era of What is Called Seichijunrei gives a more specific description of the paper contents. Gen focuses on the period of the emergence and most intense growth of butaitanbou (1974-2003), which at the time he began keeping records in 2005, didn’t yet have a name. This is why the Butaitanbou Archive (舞台探訪アーカイブ) was originally called “legwork” and still retains that working title as part of its URL.
In the preface to the new edition, Gen explains he was motivated to add to and refine the original research from 2011 because of, among other reasons, a distorted general perception of seichijunrei as having begun in Kuki, Saitama Prefecture in 2007 with Lucky Star, rather than a characterization of that development as a notable inflection point along a broader history of contents tourism.
— おおいしげん (@genoishi) June 6, 2020