Cohen looks at the obsession in Japan with retreating into a private world fueled by technology.
He credits the nation’s wealth, postmodernism, conformism, and despair as the reasons for this. The Japanese term is “otaku”, referring to people with obsessive interests, particularly anime, manga, and video games. Cohen admits that fantasy, escapism, and the cyberworld are part of many other cultures, but in no other nation have they fused with such intensity.
Cohen is a New York Times columnist.