Japanese content creator takes followers on his journey learning Arabic|Arab News Japan

Diana Farah

DUBAI: Japanese content creator known as Shotaro on social media began his journey learning Arabic in November of last year and has since then garnered over 200,000 followers, who encourage him to learn more.

Shotaro frequently posts short vlogs on his TikTok and Instagram accounts, in which he shows his followers how he plans to immerse himself in the Arab culture, whether it’s through cooking traditional dishes, speaking about the Israel-Palestine conflict or simply him learning how to speak the language.

Speaking to Arab News Japan, the social media influencer said he did not expect the support he has received so far.

“The first video that I uploaded went viral and I thought ‘okay, maybe this is interesting,’” he explained. “The more I learned about Arab countries the more I thought this is definitely an interesting culture, I love it.”

He told Arab News Japan, his interest in the Arabic language peaked when he was watching YouTube videos one day, and randomly came across an Arabic one.

“I found the language to be quite attractive and sounded really cool,” he said. “So, I decided to learn it.”

Shotaro said most of his followers were “90 percent or 99 percent from the Middle East,” with the majority being from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Algeria and Morocco.

He has never visited the Arab world, but when asked which country he’d like to visit the most, Shotaro said that he’d love to visit Saudi Arabia.

“In my opinion, I think it is the center of the Arab world. I would love to go there and interact with the local people and learn more about the culture,” he added.

With recent events, Shotaro has taken a new approach on his Instagram account to speak more seriously on the current ongoing Israeli bombardment of Gaza and the Palestinian issue.

He posted videos in both English and Japanese, both with Arabic subtitles, to try and educate his followers and Japanese peers on the history of the conflict.

“The issue is not a religious or political one, it is a humanitarian one,” he said in one of his videos.

He also called on his following to share his videos in order to reach a larger audience and raise awareness of the war on Gaza.

Meanwhile, on TikTok, Shotaro posts more personal vlogs, in which he shows off his cooking skills, his daily errands in Japan and his studying routine.

The content creator told Arab News Japan that he visits Arabic restaurants in Japan in order to capture the Middle Eastern flavors and try to replicate them at home.

“When I am cooking and learning new recipes, I am not sure if the taste is accurate, but I still love to cook and enjoy it,” he explained.

Shotaro said that he feels like he feels like he “really belongs” in the Arab world and is now very fond of the culture.

“The Arab people are very warm-hearted, welcoming and nice people,” he added.

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