What is "Wotagei?" A Performance of Wonder by Japan's Subculture Fans (Hobby, Anime, Idols)

Those who have an intense passion for their hobbies and interests are often called "otaku" in Japan. Now then, are you familiar with the performance that otaku have brought about, known as "wotagei" (or "otagei")? Recently there have even been exciting world championships around these performances. 

Let's take a look at some videos, and we'll explain in detail exactly what wotagei is!

What is this "Wotagei" that Japan's Otaku have Created? 

Wotagei is an abbreviation of "Wotaku no gei" which means "The art of Otaku," and it is where they use glow sticks known as cyalume (or "psyllium") and perform an intense dance. With a lot of energy and force they swing their cyalume sticks, dancing at high speeds to the rhythm of the song.

At Anime Japan 2019, Lumica booth (Taken on March 2019)

During live concerts performed by Japanese idols or voice actresses/actors, you will often see fans in the crowd that dance to the music using their cyalume glow sticks to cheer them on. This is where "Wotagei" originated from. But recently it's become not only a performance done by otaku, but is something becoming recognized as the "Cyalume Dance."

Wotagei Challengers from Around the World Compete! Who will be Victorious in the "Cyalume Dance World Battle!?"  

The top manufacturer of cyalume "Lumica" held the "Cyalume Dance World Battle" in Tokyo in January of 2019. From 2018 they held preliminaries around the world in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Taipei, Jakarta, Manila, Singapore, and Tokyo to gather the winners all together. It's amazing to see all these wotagei players from so many countries!

The rules of the finals are for the contestants to perform a cyalume dance to a song that is played at random. Let's take a look at how those finals went with this video.

Every single player had amazingly sharp moves! You can't even blink for a second without missing out on the action! Watching them use their entire bodies and entire souls devoted to the dance, they've managed to deeply move us with their inspiring performance. 

The victory was won by a competitor from Japan, Mikane. There are plans for another Cyalume Dance World Battle to take place in December of this year, so it is still very possible to see a new champion arise, maybe even from your country! Or perhaps... could YOU be the next champion? Take on the challenge, get yourself a pair of cyalume and try practicing! 


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