- 現代民俗学研究 = Journal of Living Folklore (ISSN:18839134)
- no.6, pp.77-91, 2014-03
This paper is intended as a sympathetic critique of the cultural activities of Rekijyo-Japanese history buffs. A rekijyo is regarded as female enthusiast who has an obsessive interest in historical figures. Some rekijyos are males, in which case they are often called rekidan. Rekijyos throw themselves into touring historical sites like palaces, temples, graves, and castles, as if they are on a pilgrimage. Sometimes they wear costumes there to portray a certain historical character or role.A rekijyo is also a self-educated amateur historian who attaches great importance to fieldwork. Their pilgrim-like activity is somewhat related to a romantic reaction to their academic or educational history. It is a way for them to resist the formal, dry and unemotional discourse on history that they experienced when they were younger. The prefer to empathize with their favorite historical characters than to analyze them. However, just like other Japanese youth, rekijyo culture is excessively postmodernized. Rekijyo also engage in an endless deformation and imitation of persons from history. Even though their view of history is based on empathy, theif behavior is rooted in modern consumerism. Rekijyo culture is merely otaku consumption, but it is also a form passive resistance against those who set themselves up as authorities on history.