This may not be the "Return To Our Roots, Part 2" that you might be expecting, but I do plan on having a "Return To Our Roots, Part 2" if I ever make my return to Round 1 in the near future.
As I enter my final year here at Sacramento State, I'm taking a history course about Modern Japanese History from the 1800s to the present. The professor asked this question on the first day of class: How did we get from samurai and "Old Japan" to "New/Modern Japan" with cars and anime?
As a blogger of anime conventions, I wonder that too myself, how did we get from "Old Japan" to "New Japan?" How does the events of the 1800s up to right now affect how I see anime and manga? As an economist, I've always wondered if the Lost Decade had any impact on the anime, manga, and video game industries.
This is partially the reason why I'm taking this course: to get a better understanding of Japanese history and in turn getting a better understanding of what I'm reporting and why things are a certain way. There is also a course that I'd like to take if time permits and the class is available: The History of Manga. Yes, there is a "History of Manga" course that's taught here at Sacramento State. It would help me better understand the origins of everything from cosplay to what a tea ceremony means to why Japanese VAs act differently than their American counterparts.
It's a very interesting course indeed and to apply the knowledge to my convention experiences, it makes that appreciation for the Japanese and their culture much more robust.