Gotta Love That Cultural Gap

Filed in American Wota 1.0

So my in-laws arrived from Japan yesterday. While I was at work, my wife helped them settle in at their hotel and do some shopping (three hours in Wal-Mart, apparently) before spending time at our apartment. I met them at a nearby yakiniku place for dinner after work, and that was quite tasty. However, I was momentarily concerned about opinions regarding the decor of our place.

Just to give you an idea: I’ve got a SweetS poster on the wall above where we sleep (the 1st mini-album cover), the Berryz Koubo calendar, and the cover sheet of the Berryz calendar on a door. I also have slightly smaller Kago and W laminated images on the wall (one a gift from a friend). So that’s fourteen different teenage girls, ranging in age from 12 to 17 at the time they were photographed. Open up a closet and you’ll find a random Ayaya picture taped up on the inside of the door. And this isn’t even counting the bookshelf with all my photobooks and CDs and DVDs, HI MA’AM prominently featured at the moment…


Over dinner, the only comment my in-laws had about this was my mother-in-law laughing and saying I’m a “wotaku”.

I told her that I have a website named American Wota, and we just left it at that. They’re too excited talking about the baby and Hawaii and whatever else to worry any about my taste for pedolicious idols.

My side of the family would probably be freaked out at least a little. Back in Florida, I was questioned more than once about that same SweetS poster. And when friends visit our place here in Hawaii, there’s often staring at the newest Berryz calendar sheet or the SweetS poster.

I’ve mentioned time and again how people from Japan have no qualms about my wota-ness and even encourage it as much as possible. My mother-in-law actually got me my first Minimoni album. The point is, it isn’t that big a deal, it’s perfectly understandable – quaint, even, judging by some reactions I receive – to have an interest in pretty young things who can sorta sing and dance. It’s like collecting stamps – kinda geeky, perhaps, but harmless fun.

My wife’s been the most tolerant of all, of course. I’ve told her so many times that I’m going to replace her with Sudo Maasa as soon as Maasa turns eighteen (and realizes I exist) that she now sometimes teases me by pointing at the calendar and going, “Look! Maasa is smiling at you!”

So whenever I encounter alarmed reactions about how young these idols are and how can people like that kind of thing and isn’t it kind of sick, I can’t help but blink and ask, “What’s the big deal?” Because really, it’s all a matter of perspective.


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6 Responses to “Gotta Love That Cultural Gap”
  1. Craig says:

    You are awesome.

  2. Afro Ken says:

    What an interesting post. Thought provoking. Thanks for writing it!

  3. Tiny says:

    You ARE awesome!

    Keep up the great work Ray!

  4. meronhead says:

    Well said, well said. Keep it up!!

  5. niji says:

    Jpop fanboy-ism isn’t geeky. It’s certainly much better than being infatuated with some blonde ***** who can’t produce a decent sound from any visible orifice.




  6. acetonic says:

    It’s not like you are sneaking to the school playground to look at u15 girls. (I hope) These girls are in the business to entertain, be gawked at and sell all that stuff you have on your walls.