Ken(shin)do(es it): Exploring Anime Fandom as a Driving Motivation in Practicing Martial Arts

Mass media has long been known for its capacity to influence and inspire its audience. Aside from being able to motivate viewers to consume a product and to participate in a real-world event, it can also spur them to engage in activities that are related to a television show’s theme. In connection with this last point, this study explores the link between the Japanese manga, anime, and movie series and cultural product Rurouni Kenshin and the Filipinos’ motivation in joining a kendo club. A survey of 50 Filipino kendoka or kendo practitioners, which covers questions regarding their exposure to the anime, movie, and/or manga versions of Rurouni Kenshin and their reasons in practicing the martial art, reveals the franchise’s significant influence on them, together with other factors such as generic interest in Japanese culture, self-improvement, and other media product influences.