Document Type

Thesis, Senior




Spring 2019


daily food, animalization, Japan, Keiko, Nakagin Capsule Tower, otakus, segregation






Objects...previously only available through interpersonal relationships, such as daily food and sexual partners, can now be obtained extremely easily with the help of fast food and sex industries without any troublesome interpersonal relationships. At this point, it can be said that our society has been constantly moving towards animalization... - Azuma Hiroki, the post-modernization of animalization: Japanese society in the eyes of the otaku

In an era of losing the grand narrative and the development of technology in Japan, many people no longer search for life's meaning, easily amazed by superficial products created by the capital market. Desire describes a human who is driving to live, while besoin ("need") denotes creatures who spend their lives in the constant stream of time.

Keiko, representing Japanese society, is the protagonist in the novel Convenience Store Woman. She regards herself as a creature and views her surroundings with the eyes of an animal - humans are just one of many creatures. She lives on food requiring minimal cooking and calls it fodder. She imitates the behavior, tastes, sense of beauty, and habits of other creatures, but lacks her own instincts. Given a confining economic structure, otaku lose material desires, giving up hope. They don't want to integrate into society: "I will turn the TV on and let it face my bed. If no one calls, I don't have to say a word all day. Does it mean I disappear? If not, am I being even more myself?"

As a parallel in Japanese architectural history, the Metabolism movement was an attempt by "a group of architects...who changed their fatherland with new tools recognizably derived from its tradition..."Nakagin Capsule Tower (Kisho Kurokawa) is one of the few buildings built during this experiment, although its ambitions of dynamism, growth, and symbiosis were never achieved. Paradoxically, the 1970s capsule units, intended to shelter individuals from disturbing information, allowing them to recover their subjectivity and independence, have become a perfect living apparatus for the new generation of otakus.

This symbiotic system, separated from the city, is self-sufficient, highly functional, and hopes to last forever.

Additional Information

Thesis Advisors:

Marcos Parga


Local Input

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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