Innovators Network

Hiroki Azuma (東浩紀)– Author

Hiroki Azuma is one of the most influential young philosophers and critics in Japan, focusing on literature and on the idea of individual liberty in an age of ubiquitous information. He holds a Ph.D in Culture and Representation from Tokyo University. He was an Executive Research Fellow and Professor at the Center for Global Communications (GLOCOM), and a Research Fellow at Stanford Japan Center.

Mr. 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 90’s, Azuma began applying his theoretical scopes to various pop phenomena, especially the emerging otaku/net/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, 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 and made Mr. Azuma the youngest writer to ever win that prize. He also wrote Dobutsuka-suru Postmodern [Animalizing Postmodernity] in 2001, which analyzes Japanese pop culture through a postmodern lens. He has also set up an NPO to encourage cutting-edge critics who might be shut out of the existing publishing world.

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