Otashift is a collaboration of Japanese and foreigners living in Japan who are invested in Japanese culture, in particular, the otaku subculture.
Japan is often portrayed as an otherworldly place where everything is weird, or as a magical anime wonderland where cute anime is the extent of what Japan has to offer.
The purpose of Otashift is to provide honest, reliable information about Japan and all it has to offer to those interested in visiting. In addition, we aim to create a Japan guide based on our own lived experiences as real locals who are based in Tokyo. We strive to portray the Japanese otaku subculture in its local, realistic state. Finally, its purpose is to hopefully make more people interested in Japan and its culture in all of its facets.
WHY WE’VE STARTED OTASHIFT
Otashift was started for various reason. The first reason is extremely simple. We have friends visiting from overseas and often ask us what to eat, see, etc. Naturally we as we want them to have the best time possible in Japan we think up ways to provide the best information for them, who often have limited time in Japan. We found Japan guides to be extremely confusing and tedious. Our friends visiting Japan want something very simple: To have the best possible time in Japan. The information we provide seeks to provide an answer to that. As such, we provide information based on our own information. Naturally, everyone’s taste is different, but we hope we can at the very least provide you with the best options.
The second reason why we started Otashift is because we felt uncomfortable with how much of the information out there are distorted from reality. For example, we have read articles claiming that Japanese otaku are social outcasts and shut ins who do often not interact with the outside world. Or the way the entire otaku community is portrayed as a monolithic entity, fat, wearing sunglasses and with more posters than can count. Do all otaku really fit that profile? No way! A small minority of Japanese otaku do stay at home a lot because their hobbies either video games, or reading manga requires they stay inside, it doesn’t mean they do not want to communicate with others. Even the shy ones find ways of communicating in their own way. For example, many are making itasha (cars decorated with elaborate anime stickers) because it brings others to communicate with them. The definition of otaku in Japan is actually quite different. While abroad it’s used to describe those who are into Japanese anime, manga, music and or video games, in Japan, otaku is simply someone who is a geek about something. This could be literature, engineering, or of course anime and manga.
Finally, we hope that Otashift creates an environment where everyone is respected and open to sharing their interest in Japan. Otashift is open to everyone’s idea, so if you are curious about Japanese news, culture, travel, food etc, or have any questions, please leave a message below. We try to answer to every question as quickly as possible. Furthermore, if you are interested in joining us, we are always looking to grow, you are very welcome. Let’s Otashift together!