Grant Otsuki, Victoria University
Get to know Grant Otsuki, a lecturer in cultural anthropology and Japan specialist at Victoria University of Wellington.
What are you working on right now?
One of my current research projects is a historical study of how computing and information science developed in Japan after World War II, looking at how these sciences and technologies have shaped present-day Japanese society.
Tell us the most interesting thing that’s not on your CV:
I once worked at the second-busiest Starbucks in the world in Tokyo’s Shibuya district. During morning rushes, we had three or four espresso machines going at once — my shop was one of the first in Japan to use automatic espresso machines. The shop was in a train station, so we saw a lot of commuters, but because it was Shibuya I occasionally served coffee to celebrities, including Philippe Troussier, when he was coach of Japan’s national soccer team.
What’s your favourite film about Asia?
Since the Avengers are all over the place right now, I’ve been thinking about a 2007 movie called Big Man Japan, directed by and starring Japan’s most famous comedian Hitoshi Matsumoto. It’s a mockumentary following the dismal life of a man who must transform into a giant to defeat monsters that attack his city, but who the public treats like a nuisance. It’s a bizarre take on modern Japanese society, Japan-US relations, and Tokusatsu genre films like Godzilla.
VIEW OUR VOICES DATABASE HERE