Steampunk literature is set in the Victorian era showcasing industrialisation, science fiction or fantasy technology.

Alternate history stories have always been popular in this genre. The purpose is to take established events and bend and twist them to suit a particular plot. Think of mixing the old with the new and modifying gadgets in sophisticated ways.

And we also learned that the female characters are staunch!

TODAY WE LEARN Steampunk in Japan. Their unique perspectives and creative intelligence encompass a broad range of degrees of Steampunk.


Many moons ago, you could say that the average Japanese reader found a lack of characters in novels they could relate too.

Japan’s access to different fields of foreign literature was mild because they were seen as a remote island.

But in 2013, the concept of Steampunk was only beginning to gain recognition in Japan, however, there had been quite a number of films that included the brass-Victorian aesthetic, one such film was called Steamboy.

This film is an Anime. What pray tell does that mean, you may ask? An anime is a style of animated Japanese film or television program involving steam-powered castles, archaic-tech guns, ingenious automatons, and mechanical dragonflies – there’s nothing like anime when you’re craving a Steampunk fix.

Listen up if you want extra credit!

An Anime is an abbreviated pronunciation of Animation in Japan. Shimokawa Oten 下川凹天, Jun’ichi Kouchi 幸内純一, and Seitaro Kitayama’s  北山清太郎 used their combined artistic talents to create the first anime cartoon in 1917.

Anime is usually, but not always, the animated version of popular Manga. Wait up! Manga!… please explain.

Manga means ‘Whimsical Pictures‘ in Japanese. Manga is a Japanese comic.

Trivia – In Japan, more paper is used to print Manga than toilet paper.

A Mr. TEZUKA Osamu 手塚 治虫was the most famous manga artist in Japan. He began his Manga revolution in 1947 when he published New Treasure Island and you may remember the popular T.V. series Astro Boy.

Unfortunately, such a great talent’s life was taken too soon and Tezuka died of stomach cancer in 1989.

A new King rose Hayao Miyazaki 宮崎 駿. Renown film director, producer, screenwriter, animator, author, and manga artist. He attained international acclaim as a maker of Anime feature films.

Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky and The Secret World of Arriety are but a few credits to his name.

When you have time adjust your goggles, grab yourself an Arbuckle (coffee), and pull up a stump, these films will surely keep you entertained. 

Steampunk fantasy is the most popular of the Japanese genre to gain attention.

I hope this conservative look into the paradox we call Steampunk has helped you gain a better understanding of the concept.


Melissa Coleman

Freelance Journalist/Author/PR Manager



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