Hiroki Azuma

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Hiroki Azuma
東 浩紀
Born (1971-05-09) May 9, 1971 (age 51)
OccupationCultural critic
EraContemporary philosophy, 20th-century philosophy, 21st-century philosophy
RegionJapanese philosophy
SchoolContinental philosophy, deconstruction, materialism, dualism
Main interests
Metaphysics, ontology, ethics, philosophy of language, communication studies, history of science, philosophy of science, studies of culture and representation, popular culture, otaku studies, literary theory, literary criticism, social philosophy, social thought, information society
Notable ideas
Misdelivery, Singular/Plural transcendentness, Postal space, Animalization, Database consumption, moe-elements, Gamelike realism, Disciplinary power/Environment-controlling power, Human/Animal publicness, General will 2.0, Weak ties, Villagers/Travelers/Tourists, Postal Multitude
  • Tsunehiro Uno, Tamaki Saitō, Masaya Chiba, Satoshi Hamano, Gō Itō

Hiroki Azuma (東 浩紀, Azuma Hiroki) (born May 9, 1971) is a Japanese cultural critic, novelist, and philosopher. He is the co-founder and former director of Genron, an independent institute in Tokyo, Japan.


Azuma was born in Mitaka, Tokyo. Azuma received his Ph.D. in Culture and Representation from the University of Tokyo[1] in 1999 and became a professor at the International University of Japan in 2003. He was an Executive Research Fellow and Professor at the Center for Global Communications (GLOCOM) and a Research Fellow at Stanford University's Japan Center.[1] Since 2006, he has been working at the Center for Study of World Civilizations at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Azuma is married to the writer and poet Hoshio Sanae, and they have one child together. His father-in-law is the translator, novelist, and occasional critic Kotaka Nobumitsu.


Hiroki Azuma is one of the most influential young literary critics in Japan, focusing on literature and on the idea of individual liberty.[1]

He began writing inspired by the work of Kojin Karatani and Akira Asada. He is an associate of Takashi Murakami and the Superflat movement. His publishing debut was "Solzhenitsyn Essay" in 1993. Azuma handed the work directly to Karatani during his lecture series at Hosei University which Azuma was auditing.

Azuma launched his career as a literary critic in 1993 with a postmodern style influenced by leading Japanese critics Kojin Karatani and Akira Asada. In the late 1990s, Azuma began examining various pop phenomena, especially the emerging otaku/Internet/video game culture, and became widely known as an advocate of the thoughts of a new generation of Japanese. He is interested in the transformation of the Japanese literary imagination under its current “otaku-ization.”

Azuma has published seven books,[2] including Sonzaironteki, Yubinteki (Ontological, Postal) in 1998, which focuses on Jacques Derrida's oscillation between literature and philosophy. This work won the Suntory Literary Prize in 2000[2] and made Azuma the youngest writer to ever win that prize. Akira Asada stated that it is one of the best books written in the 90s; however, Hiroo Yamagata pointed out that the book is based on the misunderstanding of Gödel's incompleteness theorem. He also wrote Dobutsuka-suru Postmodern (Animalizing Postmodernity) (translated as Otaku: Japan's Database Animals in 2001), which analyzes Japanese pop culture through a postmodern lens.[3] He has also set up a non-profit organization to encourage cutting-edge critics who might be shut out of the existing publishing world.


  • Azuma, Hiroki. 存在論的、郵便的-ジャック・デリダについて
  • Azuma, Hiroki. 郵便的不安達
  • Azuma, Hiroki. 不過視なものの世界
  • Azuma, Hiroki. 動物化するポストモダン―オタクから見た日本社会
  • Azuma, Hiroki. ゲーム的リアリズムの誕生―動物化するポストモダン2
  • Azuma, Hiroki. 文学環境論集―東浩紀コレクションL
  • Azuma, Hiroki. 情報環境論集―東浩紀コレクションS
  • Azuma, Hiroki. 批評の精神分析―東浩紀コレクションD
  • Azuma, Hiroki. 郵便的不安たちβ
  • Azuma, Hiroki. サイバースペースはなぜそう呼ばれるか
  • Azuma, Hiroki. 一般意志2.0―ルソー、フロイト、グーグル
  • Azuma, Hiroki. セカイからもっと近くに―現実から切り離された文学の諸問題
  • Azuma, Hiroki. 弱いつながり―検索ワードを探す旅
  • Azuma, Hiroki. ゲンロン0―観光客の哲学
  • Azuma, Hiroki. ゆるく考える
  • Azuma, Hiroki. テーマパーク化する地球
  • Azuma, Hiroki. Otaku: Japan's Database Animals. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009.
  • Azuma, Hiroki. (2007) "The Animalization of Otaku Culture" Mechademia 2 175–188.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Hiroki Azuma". www.japansociety.org. Retrieved 2020-10-29.
  2. ^ a b "Hiroki Azuma: The philosopher of 'otaku' speaks". Japan Today. Retrieved 2020-10-29.
  3. ^ Ruh, Brian (11 Jan 2011). "Ace of Database". Anime News Network.

External links[edit]