Supplement: Secondary Derivative Works

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Here I include two supplementary explanations to link this text with my previous work.

The first supplementary explanation is theoretical. The ideas expressed here are connected to the otaku culture outlined in Otaku: Japan’s Database Animals (2000; Eng. 2010). The concept of tourism shares a deep connection with the practice of secondary derivation (niji sosaku), a creative practice often seen in the otaku community in which an amateur fan adapts an original text into a separate new one. The creator of a secondary derivative work engages with an original work in a manner similar to the way in which a tourist engages with the occupants of the place they are visiting. We might say that the tourist makes secondary derivative works out of reality itself.

The second supplementary explanation is about my activities. I have hosted a study tour to Chernobyl for the past three years. I published a book called the Fukuichi Kanko Project in 2013. Underlying both projects is, in the spirit of dark tourism, the idea of turning the site of a radioactive disaster into a tourist destination. This proposal of mine to transform Fukushima into a tourist destination was met with severe criticism in Japan. However, I believe it impossible to have a reconstruction plan that does not prepare for the gaze of the tourist, a gaze overflowing in the contemporary world. It is because of the same reason that, in Japan today, it is impossible to create content in anticipation of the gaze of secondary derivation.