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Club profile: Japanese Pop Culture Club

Columnist

Published: Monday, January 21, 2013

Updated: Monday, January 21, 2013 13:01

JC2

Courtesy of: John Blume

The Japanese Pop Culture Club's mascot by IUSB student club member John Blume

JC

Courtesy of: The Preface

Japenese Pop Culture Club members meet in the SAC club room to watch anime and talk about their shared interests.

Walking past the club room in the SAC is usually an uneventful experience. The exception to this is certain Thursday nights—if the Japanese Pop Culture Club has the room rented, you’ll likely hear them from down the hall. This was my experience as I headed to a meeting to interview some of these interesting folks.

Upon entering the room, I was greeted warmly with “Hey!” and “Hi!” and lots of people waving at me. Confused at first and alarmed by the darkness of the room, I strained my eyes. Looking around, I realized everyone was just chilling on couches, lightly talking about topics in Japanese pop culture and watching anime. Seriously, just hanging out and enjoying their time. It was awesome.

I know nothing about anime and very little about Japanese pop culture in general, but I could already tell that these were people I could get along with. Everyone seemed to be hanging out, socializing, screen-peeking at the Nintendo DS in the hands next to them and most importantly, laughing. The members of this club have a camaraderie that I haven’t seen matched on this campus.

“Even though we all have different specific interests, we all just kinda mesh together,” said club member and IUSB student CJ Irelan.

What Irelan said was right. I noticed smaller sects of people among the group, conversing amongst themselves about anything and everything.

“I’m just a big nerd like the rest of the people here,” Irelan said with a laugh. “We’re just a group of obnoxious people sitting together and watching shows.”

Nerds or not, these people are cool and really hospitable. The club’s president, IUSB English education major Kristen Pritchett, has been president since the club’s origins in 2011. Obviously connected to it, Pritchett told the tale of the club with pride and a certain gleam in her eye.

“This club stemmed off the Japanese Culture Club on campus,” said Pritchett. “I was in the club, and me and some other students started to understand the need for a club that wasn’t only about cherry blossom trees and origami.”

It all grew from there.

“Since then, we’ve been having meetings at different locations on campus every Thursday except for summer and winter break,” she said.

Pritchett started the club with a few other core members that still remain active. Currently, the club holds many members, with 15 to 20 coming on a weekly basis.

The club includes all types of Japanese and even sometimes Korean pop culture into discussions at meetings. Though the club mainly focuses on watching different anime series together, there are some members that are interested in Japanese pop music, drawing and fashion. Pritchett reminded me that everybody even remotely interested in the topic can find their niche at this club.

“You know, everyone is different,” she said. “It’s easy to feel isolated out there, and this is a place that is very accepting. Whatever you’re into, you can probably find someone else here who likes it too, so come hang out! People from all walks of life enjoy this cultural phenomenon.”

If you’d like to hang out with the Japanese Pop Culture Club, visit their website to find out meeting times and more: iusbjpcc.proboards.com

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