13. Do you consider yourself to be part of the Anime/Manga fandom? If so, would you consider yourself a casual fan or an 'Otaku' - a serious fan?
Despite the fact that I greatly prefer anime/manga over the American equivilants (mostly for art and variety reasons), I don't consider myself a member of the actual fandoms or an Otaku. Maybe a fandom of Yu Yu Hakusho, but not generic anime fandom.
14. Do you interact or participate in any Anime/Manga fandom groups ether online or in your everyday life? If so describe your level of participation and activities.
Nope, none of the above.
15. Do you attend any conventions relating to Anime, Manga, and/or Japanese Pop Culture? If so how many per year?
Nope, though I do want to try to get to ACEN someday.
16. What do you consider to be your top three favorite Anime and/or Manga series/titles - If any?
Yu Yu Hakusho
Anything from Miyazaki
Love Hina/Negima (can't decide!! I like the author/artist in general!)
17. On a scale of 0-10 (10 being the greatest amount of influence), how much influence do you believe that Anime, Manga, and/or Japanese Pop Culture have had on your personal Religious/Spiritual beliefs and/or practices? If Anime, Manga, and Japanese Pop Culture have influenced you - How exactly has it influenced you?
Probably 8. It's not in a very obvious way actually...and it's mostly Yu Yu Hakusho that influences. There's a certain cosmology (3 worlds, demons, spirits, energy, etc) in that series that really appeals to me, and I find myself almost copying that cosmology without realizing. Also, the characters and archetypes of the characters are one's that appeal to me spiritually, and (Kurama especially) so I'll sometimes "copy" them for my own psycho-spiritual-drama.
18. What was your first exposure to Japanese Religious Traditions?
Can't remember, it was a while ago. Probably from looking up Kitsune in high school, where I would run into Shinto/Buddhist spirits and ideas.
19. If you currently practice a religion with Japanese origins (including sects of Buddhism and other religions originating in Japan) and were not born into the tradition, do you feel that exposure to Anime, Manga, and/or Japanese Pop Culture contributed to your decision to follow this path?
I don't actually consider myself a member of any, but I would say that yes, the inspiration I got from Shinto would not have happened if I didn't follow anime to begin with. Those got me interested in the real-world cultures and ideas behind the stories.
20. Do you have any personal religious/spiritual practices (outside of those that are formally part of your primary religious tradition) that have originated in Japan or are derived from Japanese practices such as Reiki Healing, Zazen, using Omamori, Performing Misogi under a waterfall, honoring/venerating/worshiping a Japanese Kami and/or Bodhisattva, et cetera? If so, list and describe these practices.
I used to honor Inari, but that relationship didn't continue. So no, not anymore.
21. Do your personal religious/spiritual practices include any practices derived from Anime, Manga, and/or Japanese Pop Culture or involving an characters or mythos derived from Anime, Manga, and/or Japanese Pop Culture? If so describe these practices.
Lol, yep. Actually, you know how some of the spirit people characters will create glowy energy balls out of their chi or whatnot? I use those ideas to help in visualization exercises, and get my mind "in the zone" and make it feel like I too am "powering up".
And as mentioned before, Yu Yu Hakusho's cosmology and character archetypes influence me as well.
Dude, this gives me an idea....I'm going to make a new religion called yyh-ity. It'll be fun to make spoof religions.