One of the more unheralded stories from the meteoric rise of Takashi Murakami as both a purveryor of cool culture and the world of influencers and brand collaborations is that he comes from geek culture. He himself, perhaps in the midst of his cultural icon status, has said, “We define subculture as a cool culture from abroad, but otaku is an uncool indigenous culture. My mentality came from those animation geeks.” In the world of Hypebeasts and collector culture, this idea is important to keep in mind: this is all rather geeky, and Murakami’s love of animation and manga is quite the same as the obsessiveness of sneaker and apparel culture that he now finds himself in the center of. 

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