Oxford University Textbook: “Miku = Cultural Appropriation”


The esteemed University of Oxford has quite bizarrely introduced Hatsune Miku (and virtual idols as a whole) as one of their textbook studies, a class bound to prove uninformative to any individual even remotely familiar with the virtual diva whilst providing a new generation of virtual idol studies graduates with fruitful careers.

Unfortunately only a portion of the book (entitled “The Oxford Handbook of Music and Virtuality”) focuses on Miku and “fictional” idols; the chapter titles regarding Miku can be seen below:

6. Vocaloids and Japanese Virtual Vocal Performance: The Cultural Heritage and Technological Futures of Vocal Puppetry
Louise H. Jackson and Mike Dines
7. Hatsune Miku and Japanese Virtual Idols
Rafal Zaborowski
8. Hatsune Miku, 2.0Pac, and Beyond: Rewinding and Fast-Forwarding the Virtual Pop Star
Thomas Conner
9. “Feel Good” with Gorillaz and “Reject False Icons”: The Fantasy Worlds of the Virtual Group and Their Creators
Shara Ramberran

According to some readers however, the tome has covered Miku negatively, stating that western fans have affection for her merely due to “cultural appropriation” and not actually for the technology or music, an excuse that seemingly goes out of its way to denounce the entire otaku culture surrounding her (a rather frequent event that has even been committed by political figures).

The textbook itself will set buyers back $150 for a physical copy but only a mere $120 for a digital copy, and internet dwellers uninterested in being subject to university publishing mafia violation can at least take a glimpse at the free version courtesy of Google Books.

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