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Modern Day Subcultures: Hip-Hop, Cosplay and Otaku

Keywords: subculture article, hiphop subculture, cosplay subculture

Subculture identifies a tiny group of people who with different action and beliefs in a larger mainstream culture. Subculture does not only contain the values and principles that similar as the main culture, but also their own unique values and concepts, and these ideals are dispersed into all kinds of main cultures.

Subculture is a branch of the whole culture. Due to class, ethnic, religious, occupation dissimilarities, living environment, it can develop groups or regional culture using its own characteristics under a unified national culture.

Sub-culture originated in the 1950s and was inspired by the "Baby boom" of the post-war. Since that time, the "Teenage" of the European was becoming the key part of society and prompted the "Youth culture" years. Nowadays, the majority of the mainstream civilizations are progressed from the subculture slowly.


Hip-hop is a social motion including rap, respite party, graffiti writing, DJing, etc. As the musical understanding, it originated in the DARK-COLORED communities of New York City in the overdue 1970s. Hip-hop is a completely improvised freestyle of music, this kind of music doesn't contain any binding elements.

Hip-Hop originally refers to the early stages of hip-hop boogie, and it slowly but surely developed into a larger strategy. The Hip-Hop culture feature, usually including those large clothes, heavy rare metal jewelry, and consult with what "YoYo what's up?". As early 80's, Hip-Hop pattern had already distributed from the United States to the complete Girl. In 1986, Beastie Young boys, LL Cool J, General public Enemy and Run DMC of Def Jam Records Company hold the "Def Jam Tour", it induced a worldwide Hip-Hop trend.

And by 90's, the time resulted in Dr. Dre's Gangsta Rap, Puff Daddy's Hip-Hop style, the queen of rap Missy Elliott therefore countless Hip-Hoper made an appearance. They gradually make these musical forms which from folk music into the mainstream market, and their works easily created on the 10 million sales. Hip-Hop music has become big income of entertainment industry in the United States. The looks of Eminem in the late 90's, as a white man, he needed one year to become the hottest Hip-Hop stars, completely broke the race question of Hip-Hop culture. As using Elvis Presley to demonstrate that rock and roll isn't just belong to the black. Eminem's appearance symbolize that Hip-Hop culture has accepted the white man and toward to the world.

Actually, hip-hop was a sub-cultural varieties that with counter-cultural tendencies, the type of it works in the contrary direction of pop culture in our traditional sense. However, in the current situation, it not only becomes the mainstream culture, an important component, but also the swift climb of the hip-hop's development.


Cosplay, is the brief form of costume play, it is set up by the Japanese animator Takahashi Nobuyuki through the Los Angeles world's annual research fiction exhibition in 1984. Cosplay identifies a kind of self-interpretation of role, the tendencies of Undertaking Arts.

In present, cosplay is usually seen as sub-culture activities. The role often comes from animation, comics, games, novels, movies, TV series, tokusatsu, idol categories, occupation, historical stories, social stories and so forth. Usually, they wear similar clothes, carry necessary props and put on make-up to mimic the role.

During the 17th century, the Jesuit priest Athanasius Kircher developed "Magic lantern" efficiently and then animation became popular in European countries. Until the overdue 1930s, Mickey Mouse button of Walt Disney made an appearance in U. S. , the animation style acquired a clear and affirmative meaning. And also, the first cosplayer of animated persona in history was born in this period. Soon, Mickey Mouse has been popular in the United States, also round the world. Walt Disney grasped this opportunity and created the first Disney theme park of the world in 1955. In order to publicize the merchandise and better attract travelers, Walt Disney hired employees to wear special Mickey Mouse button costumes for pleasing tourists and taking pictures. The original undiscovered persons who dressed up in Mickey Mouse will be the first cosplayers of Cosplay culture in the modern world.

In 1947, the so-called God of Manga, Osamu Tezuka revised a red cover Manga "New Treasure Island" in corresponding to Sakai's original works. He thus made a showy display of his skills and set off a wave of modern-day comic cartoons in Japan. He created overall success for Japan's ACG (animation, comic and game) market and laid a foundation of the real position of ACG in Japan. At the same time, Disney's Cosplay activity for promotion was unveiled into Japan, and ACG community imitated that and it becomes a standard activity in Japan's ACG community.

By the 1990s, Japanese ACG industry effectively held many animation and game exhibitions. In those exhibitions, they employed some individuals to dress as the functions of ACG works in order to appeal to the guests. Therefore, Cosplay culture in the ACG community has been promoted and carried frontward in Japan.

Through a variety of Cosplay events, mass media presentations, a huge amount of Internet propaganda of Cosplay information, the members in Cosplay increased rapidly. Slowly, Cosplay started out to get real, independent development. It could be said that the global concept of Cosplay has inherited a considerable part of Japanese Cosplay.


Otaku originally described the individuals who have proficient skills and is wild about animation, comics and video games (ACG), however now generally refers to the people who keen on subculture and also have in-depth knowledge of subculture.

"Otaku" is the intent of " another's house or family ". Also, it's an honorific second-person pronoun in Japanese. In 1982, the computer animation "Macross" premiered, in that animation, the characters are using "otaku, " to call one another, it is inferred that group of people is influenced by this animation and started to call each other by using this term. Down the road, the word "otaku" begins to represent this kind of individuals.

In the 80's, the Japanese animation golden years, otaku can be said that it is the promoter of this marvelous times.

One of the very most famous people of Japanese computer animation is japan "OTAKU Ruler" (OTAKING) Okada Toshio and his animation company GAINAX. GAINAX released two episodes of the semi-autobiographical OVA "otaku's video recording", and it gets the direct description about the reality of Japanese otaku culture in those days.

In 2004, The web true report "train man" designs the image of Japanese otaku: "do not value the looks, women don't like, do not dare to talk to women, good at computer, well known about subculture, will accumulate a wide range of models". As the storyline converted to a film version, Tv set series and comic that result all around the globe, "Train Man" image recognition and represent typical Otaku image.


The three subcultures that mentioned previously are the well known subcultures on the planet. Evidently, today's mainstream originated from subcultures through quite a while of human's understanding, understanding, and popularity. Historically, the famous jazz and R&B was once a subculture, but with the professionals and the ongoing involvement of culture scholar, which later became the formal area of the pop culture. Yesterday's subculture may be today's mainstream culture; today's subculture may be tomorrow's mainstream culture. This also implies that the formal ethnicities always absorb the sub-culture and developed, subculture plays an enormous role in the formation of the formal culture.

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