War nostalgia in Japanese fan culture

Aleksandra Jaworowicz-Zimny, “Kandō Conservatism – “Moving” war narratives in Japanese online fan videos” for The Asia-Pacific Journal:

By sharing romanticized visions of the past via fan productions, some Japanese young people create an emotionally involved community touched by the semi-fictionalized past they share. Historical accuracy is far from the main issue here, emotional responses are given priority. However, reaching for conservative war discourse should not be treated as clear proof of nationalistic ideology and conservative political engagement among all video creators, as their intentions can be less obvious than the videos themselves seem to suggest. Most remain remote from political involvement, despite shared nostalgia for the past. Young people express through kandō narratives a yearning for pride in history, but also for peace. They also express a dedication to friends and family that motivates the soldiers in the works more than devotion to the state – central in conservative political discourse. This element is inconsistent with nationalistic or right-wing rhetoric. War-themed video fan productions reveal the relationship between an emotional kandō experience, nostalgia and conservatism. An idealized past that touches the viewer is also a past that viewers can take pride in, precisely what Abe Shinzo and other conservative politicians have sought to normalize.