OTAKU Going Global?! ~Asia~


Akihabara is the birthplace of OTAKU culture.

The OTAKU culture, also known as the Akihabara culture, is spreading to many parts of the world.

By the way,

do you know that the Japanese word OTAKU has made its way into the world?

This time, let’s take a look at some of the Asian countries, where the word of the world’s weirdest townis getting around!



Otaku is just called OTAKU?!

Korea uses Hangul, the same phonetic alphabet as Japanese Kana.

In Korea, OTAKU is pronounced the same as OTAKU in Japanese.

“오타쿠” オタク(OTAKU)

However, the word doesn’t seem to be used by many people other than animation otakus.

The localization of OTAKU

Recently, they tend to use a Koreanized version of the word OTAKU.

오덕후 オドック(ODOKKU)
덕후 ドック(DOKKU)



This is how it’s been changing lol.

오타쿠 オタク(OTAKU)
오덕후 オドック(ODOKKU)
덕후 ドック(

This one is widely used by many people, including anim otakus.

It’s the same way we use OTAKU in Japan.

And many more derivatives…


it seems that various terms such as OTAKATSU (otaku activities) and OTAKU NI NATTA (literal translation: otaku traffic accident)* have also been derived.

통사고 オタクになった;ドットンサゴ (OTAKU NI NATTA: DOTTONSAGO)

*OTAKU NI NATTA (literal translation: otaku traffic accident):
 A recent otaku term used to describe someone unexpectedly running into his/her fave and getting slapped in the chest, just like he/she unexpectedly involved in a car accident. It’s the metaphor usage of the term.


Recently, China has been focusing on E-Sports and animation in general.

And there are a lot of otakus there as well♪

They use OTAKU written in Chinese characters?!

In China, they use Chinese characters, which are ideographs.

So the pronunciation is much different, but the word they use to call otaku is made from OTAKU written in Chinese characters, which are “御宅”.

御宅族 yu(4) zhai(2) zu(2)


Different ways to refer to male otaku and female otaku

These days, Chinese people tend to use the following word more than “御宅族“.

They use the word to indicate male otaku and female otaku.

宅男腐女 zhai(2) nan(2) fu(3) nv(3)



What? Female otaku is from 腐女子(fujoshi)?!

Different words used for non-animation otakus

However, while the above words are commonly used among animation otakus and subculture lovers,

the following words are used in the sense of MANIAC used in Japan.

发烧友 mainly used for people who are addicted to STUFF
铁粉  mainly used for people who are addicted to HUMAN BEING



Otaku is also called OTAKU in Thailand!

I love Thailand! (It’s the country I’d most like to visit when these days are over…)

It seems that even in Thailand, OTAKU is used as it is.

โอตาคุ [ʔootakù]

Idol otaku is called OOTA!? TEEN?!

Thailand has a large number of Idol otakus due to the popularity of BNK48 and Thai idol members who are active around the world.

Source: BNK48 Official Website

In particular, AKB-affiliated idol otakus use this word.

โอตะ [ʔoota]

You can tell from the pronunciation of the word OOTA that it’s derived from OTAKU.

In addition, the following word is commonly used by otakus outside the AKB family.


one of the AKB groups, based in Bangkok, Thailand


OTAKU is a Japanese word that is used by otakus all over the world as a matter of course.

There are many countries where OTAKU is used not only by otakus but also by ordinary people(?)!

Is it because Asia is so close in terms of distance and culture…?



Next time, we will look into a continent a little farther away.

Look forward to seeing which continent it will be♪

OTAKU Trivia

How do you say “推し (OSHI)” in different countries?!

Korea: 최애(最愛che-e)
China: 本命 (ben ming)
Thailand: โอชิ オーシ (ooshi)
English-speaking countries: Bias, originally means a preference or an inclination, especially one that inhibits impartial judgment