"This book is rich in ethnographic detail and presents a window on Japanese society that has not been explored in depth until now. It addresses the question of what constitutes a fan in cultural context along with the issue of identity formation, and does so by looking at particularly interesting groups of people."
From the Back Cover
Fanning the Flames examines the worlds of fans in the exuberant and commercialized popular culture of contemporary Japan. The works collected here profile denizens of all-night rap clubs; sumo stable patrons; passionate fan clubs of a professional baseball team; enthusiasts of traditional rakugo storytelling; a club of middle-aged female fans of a popular music star; youthful followers of Japan's longest-running rock band; vinyl record collectors; and a thriving community of girls and women who produce and devour amateur comics. Grounded in close, often extended fieldwork with the fans themselves, each case study is an effort to understand both the personal pleasures and political economies of fandoms. The contributors explore the many ways that fans in and of Japanese mass culture actively search for intimacy and identity amid the powerful corporate structures that produce the leisure and entertainment of today's Japan.
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