Where are we going now? Subculture in East Asian cities and the heart of youth

Senno Takumasa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the twenty-first century, a very different situation in literature and art has emerged. It is a phenomenon common to cities in East Asia centring on youth culture. For example, in the field of subcultures such as manga, anime, games, and light novels, the way readers read texts is changing. Until now, when reading literary works, the focus was on appreciating stories and style. However, some young people now appreciate the characters in the work independently of the story. Supporting this is the modularization that accompanies the development of new media. Until now, the character was an organic unit. However, subculture fans break into modules and appreciate the character. The characters are stored in the reader as a database and can be freely combined to create new characters. These changes brought about changes in the relationship between the work and the reader. So far readers have been expecting to touch human truth through literary works. However, current subculture fans attach importance to communication among fans at the same time. Secondary creation and peer-group activities are good examples. Behind it, there are gaps between society, a sense of blockage and anxiety about the future among young people. It may no longer guarantee that literature and art touch the truth for them. It can be said that it is a major cultural change since modern culture was born 200 years ago. But on the other hand, it also suggests a hope for today’s society, where conflicts are deepening. Today’s youth culture has shown that everyone can now mobilize people because the boundaries between politicians and mass media who have mobilized people and the common people that have been mobilized have been lowered. In other words, it shows the possibility that the common people can unite across borders and move society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-234
Number of pages27
JournalCultural Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 3


  • anxiety about the future cultural change
  • communication
  • mobilize
  • modularization
  • Youth culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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