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Japan's Empire of Cool 406

The Wicked Priest writes "The Washington Post is reporting that culture is among Japan's leading exports." Talks about Anime, Manga, Music, Video Games and so forth. Interesting reading.
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Japan's Empire of Cool

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 28, 2003 @02:05PM (#7822275)
    ...every year? I think it's the result of reporters on vacation at the end of the year, doing a cut-and-paste on the date, and hoping the editor doesn't catch the dupe.
    • Like this? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by herrvinny ( 698679 ) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @02:37PM (#7822442)
      The significance of anime []

      Anime And The Tech Lifestyle []

      Movie Review: Princess Mononoke []

      An Extensive History of Anime []

      This story is not exactly a dupe, but much of it is discussed in these earlier topics.

      OT, but has anyone had any success in loading /.'s search function? It always times out on me for the past two weeks or so, and I have to keep resorting to using Google search (which is not really a hardship, since Google beats out /.'s search function easily, but still, I'd like to at least access it.)
    • by xigxag ( 167441 ) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @03:23PM (#7822742)
      For those people who can't be bothered to read the article, one of the main points was that:

      A record 3 million people around the world are now studying the Japanese language, compared with only 127,000 in 1997, according to the Japan Foundation and Tokyo's Marubeni Research Institute.

      So, in other words, there is a measurable increase in the cultural cachet of Japan, it's not just a static, ongoing event. And it's not just about manga and anime, but food (sushi restaurants are now ubiquitous in any large city), and jrock/jpop [], the prime examples of which are Glay [], KinKi Kids [], Puffy [] (known in the US as Puffy AmiYumi so as to avoid confusion with a certain hiphop impresario), Hamasaki Ayumi [], the New York born Utada Hikaru [] and Morning Musume [], a group of currently 15 girls that form the most well known part of a pop empire.

      Furthermore, even anime seems to be taking up an ever larger bite of the US Cartoon Network's schedule and the traditional Saturday Morning/after-school children's fare. It's even made a few recent ventures into wide release cinema in the US.

      However, one could argue, I think persuasively, that's Japan's cultural upswing is part of a larger trend in the Asia-fication of Western culture. What started with egg foo yung and chop suey has now branched out to shabu-shabu and kimchi. What began with Speed Racer and Godzilla has developed into Princess Mononoke, cosplay [] and Shaolin Soccer [].
      • Morning Musume is pop? I thought it was a children's show. I mean, "Summer Reggae Rainbow" and "Telephone Ring Ring" CAN'T be popular with people over 10 years old, can they? It's so damn bad, at first I thought they were jokes like that Yatta! thingie...
        • Morning Musume is the main group in a pop music production venture called the "Hello! Project." The songs you mentioned were by smaller groups in the project. Summer Reggae Rainbow is by "7-nin Matsuri" and the other song, called Mini Moni Telephone! Ring Ring Ring is by a kids' group called "Mini Moni."

          Nevertheless, Morning Musume and its various groupings do tend to appeal mostly to young people. And middle-aged salarymen. (For the reason why, see here []). Which I suppose, tangientally touches upon on
      • Hey, here's an interesting website [] website that has an interesting take on japanese culture & women. it's the most misogynistic thing i've read in quite some time.
  • by xeno_gearz ( 533872 ) * on Sunday December 28, 2003 @02:06PM (#7822279) Journal
    Actually, this is far from anything new. For the United States, as well as Japan, culture is a huge export. The United States, for example, exports much of Hollywood to other countries. This in turn ends up to equating an export of culture as the concepts of particular movies are absorbed by the individuals who view them. Hollywood is the best example but television and music also fit into the equation as well.

    There's one thing that Japan has over the United States when it comes to the export of culture, though; that's Hentai. :)

    • Well, Japan was intresting in the 90th but that's all over. In the art scene nobody is intrested in Japan anymore.

      Perhaps we will import intresting stuff from Iraq soon...

      Or find a special place... for instance in Germany holiday in Bitterfeld is on the rise. Bitterfeld, the ugliest city of Eastern Germany. That's cool.

      Hollywood means boring culture industry targeted to an international audience. I prefer Nigerian films.
      • Well, Japan was intresting in the 90th but that's all over. In the art scene nobody is intrested in Japan anymore.

        Perhaps we will import intresting stuff from Iraq soon...

        Or find a special place... for instance in Germany holiday in Bitterfeld is on the rise. Bitterfeld, the ugliest city of Eastern Germany. That's cool.

        Hollywood means boring culture industry targeted to an international audience. I prefer Nigerian films.

        Quite frankly, I am not familiar with Bitterfield and I think that any imports

    • by BroncoInCalifornia ( 605476 ) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @02:38PM (#7822452)
      Food used to be most of the economic output. Then we got good at mass producing food.

      We had the industrial revolution. Most of the economy went to the manufacture and distribution of manufactured goods. Food became a small percentage of the total economic output.

      Now we are very very good at manufacturing stuff. Everything is so cheap now. TVs are cheap. Computers are cheap. Not long ago it was a big deal to buy these mass produced toys. Now they are impulse buy. For a while Japan led the world in this manufacturing revolution.

      Are we getting to a point where manufactured goods are not so imporant anymore. Perhaps manufactured goods are becoming a smaller part of the world economy. "Cultural" products are becoming more important and now onece again we are competing with the Japanise.

  • No way! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Skynet ( 37427 ) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @02:13PM (#7822312) Homepage
    Japan totally gets all it's cool from the United States, and our beloved Governor of California!

    Here's proof! []
  • by tsanth ( 619234 ) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @02:14PM (#7822320)
    I, for one, welcome our new Japanese overl-

    oh, screw it.
  • Culture! (Score:4, Funny)

    by TWX ( 665546 ) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @02:14PM (#7822323)
    We durn got all our culture right down here in Texas! We got more culture than a Petri dish!
  • by P!Alexander ( 448903 ) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @02:14PM (#7822326)
    I think it's important to note that cultural symbols are not akin to culture itself. Japan can export all the anime it likes but that isn't representative of it's entire culture nor will it affect other cultures enough to make them resemble Japanese culture in something other than a superficial way. For example, Japanese corporate structure and the loyalty given to your company (a structural phenomenon) is unlikely to get passed along through its cultural symbols. Just like American structural phenomenon are unlikely to get passed along through our blockbuster movie exports.

    In the end, reality is highly individualized and rarely is a culture made up solely of a selective portion of its symbols.
  • by HunterZero ( 102709 ) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @02:17PM (#7822336) Homepage
    That since Japan opened itself up to the west it's been a maniac for other cultures. With the exception of the years before and during ww2, Japan has long been a rabid consumer for American culture, along with european culture.

    Just take a walk throughout Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ueno or Akihabara. You'll find a massive number of japanese teenagers (and adults) wearing shirts with "engrish" on them. Music is often sprinkled with a hearty dose of engrish as well. Try watching their TV programs sometime, you'll find plenty of american culture. Of course, they like to take it and modify it to their own means and that's exactly what Japan has been doing forever.

    This brings up an interesting question: Why are the Japanese so keen to take, modify and integrate other cultures to suit their needs, yet they're still incredibly racist of other cultures? If you doubt their racism, ask why they still have stores and places of business that advertise "Japanese Only"? Of course, for Americans it is a bit hard to understand the concept of being a distinct civilization since we've long been a melting pot, a nation made up of other nations.

    But I'm getting off the point. This article is nothing new. The reason why collectables are so expensive overseas is that it's so damned expensive in Japan! Whenever you feel like complaining about the price of dvds, remember that they charge around 40-60$ per dvd, and usually it has half as much as a dvd here in America.
    • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @02:43PM (#7822482)
      Do not forget that Japan "opened itself up" to the west under the gaze of American cannons intent on obtaining Japanese culture.

      Thus resulting in the overthrow of the stable "military" Shogunate that had maintained Japan as a land of peace, domestically and internationally, for 250 years or so, to be replaced by militarists who armed Japan and went on an empire by conquest rampage.

      A rampage rather overtly based on the western model of such, no less.

      You are correct about Japanese racism though. This is a nation that can claim to have no racial issues due to their single race when millions of Japanese born people of Korean descent can't obtain citizen ship and the aboriginal populace is treated as if it doesn't exist, except maybe as a tourist exhibit.

      However, through most of their history they have overtly acknowledged that real culture came from the mainland, much as once the English may have held themselves superiour and yet looked to France, Italy and even the German provinces for real culture.

      It's a peculiar schizophrenia, but not entirely beyond the realm of understanding.

      On the other hand while we have hungered for Japanese goods for the past 200 years or so we too use them as Americans, without becoming Japanese in the process, even while we study Karate and go to Zendos to test our Koan understanding.

      We have our own peculiar ways of being schizophrenic, it's just harder for us to see because for us it's normal.

      So for the Japanese, or any other culture for that matter.

      • Your understanding of Japanese history is rather weak. Japan has always had waves of influence from outside the country, resulting in rapid integration of social influences. Like for example, the influence of Buddhism from Korea in the 6th century, the influence of Kanji from China about that same time, the influence of foreign traders from Russia and the Netherlands in the 15th century, etc. Japan's history's most significant characteristic is its ability to rapidly adapt foreign technologies and culture t
    • by Tenebrious1 ( 530949 ) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @03:08PM (#7822631) Homepage
      This brings up an interesting question: Why are the Japanese so keen to take, modify and integrate other cultures to suit their needs, yet they're still incredibly racist of other cultures?

      It's pretty simple, same reason you find racism in certain parts of the States and in ethnic neighborhoods in cities. In monocultures, there's nobody around to point out that you're being a racist when everyone thinks the same.

      I'm Japanese, growing up in the burbs of NYC, I was stereotyped and the subject of racist remarks my entire childhood. It wasn't until I moved away to more metro areas that I found more acceptance. So racism still runs strong in the States, make no mistake about it.

      "National Pride" is ok, we see a lot of pride parades here in NYC. But just start to say something bad about another race, everyone jumps all over you for being a racist. You can't say anything about another culture without being condemned as a racist. We're forced to be politcally correct or face a civil lawsuit. That's a long ways away from being an integrated "melting pot" society as we'd like to believe.

      Japan isn't much different in terms of racism; the only difference is that there aren't people forcing them to watch everything they say, so they don't think about it. Yeah, many will openly discriminate and don't think twice about it, I hear about it from my caucasian friends who live in Japan. It's really that they haven't been forced to accept other cultures, socially or legally.

      What Japan really needs is Al Sharpton to stir things up, make them more aware of how racist the society is. Not sure if even he can do it, but it'd be a good start.

    • This brings up an interesting question: Why are the Japanese so keen to take, modify and integrate other cultures to suit their needs, yet they're still incredibly racist of other cultures?

      Two reasons:
      1) you don't have to give up a sense of superiority you have, just to accept a product/service from someone else
      2) By integrating it themselves, they keep control over what's integrated
      It's exactly why Japanese culture, which integrates western values through Japanese artists through Japanese control isn't

    • > Why are the Japanese so keen to take, modify and integrate other cultures to suit their needs, yet they're still incredibly racist of other cultures?

      Simple, because "the Japanese" are not a single person, but many different people. There are many people which are quite keen on foreign things and several which are not. The more eager people are to adopt parts of foreign culture the more it frightens the more conservative people. They fear the loss of their cultural identity.

      As you said, Japan is a nat
    • yes, i remember that japan and germany were mentioned as some of the few nations where you can claim a citizenship on the basis of ancestry even if your ancestors had left the country ages ago and you've never been there...
    • Actually, from what I understand, many of the "Japanese Only" signs are because shops don't want people who can't speak Japanese fluently. I have an American friend who visited Japan a while back, and he told me that he accidentally walked into a shop with a "Japanese Only" sign once; the shopkeeper yelled at him in bad English for a moment, but after my friend started speaking in Japanese to him, the shopkeeper apologized and welcomed him in.

      Granted, I'm sure that some of them are just racism, but not al
    • "If you doubt their racism, ask why they still have stores and places of business that advertise "Japanese Only"? "

      Hmm...the only places I know with signs like that are brothels (due to the much higher incidence of AIDS in foreigners than in Japanese) and in baths up in Hokkaido that have had numerous run-ins with drunken Russian sailors who refuse to clean themselves up before getting in the communal tub. I'm not sure either has to do with racism directly, any more than blood transfusions from Brits be
  • Japanese Music ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tealover ( 187148 ) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @02:21PM (#7822361)
    I haven't been paying attention to the Billboard top 100 recently, but are there some Japanese rock bands that i don't know about ?

    • Depending upon your tastes, yes. If you are looking for rock, go check out the B'z []. They were (maybe still are?) doing an American tour, and put on a great show. Very good music, lots of fun to listen to, and they are incredibly famous (Like the Eagles, as far as record sales go)
    • the 5 6 7 8s [] featured in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill. Ok, they're not in the top 100 in the US I suspect, but they're featured on the ost of the movie, which could be in somesort of 100.
    • The article was flawed in some of its claims but there are many billions of dollars in licensing and exporting Japan's cultural icons. Most of the exports is to a bunch of sizable niche markets here and there, it doesn't have the same influence as the article claims.

      A lot of US entertainment has some level of Japanese influence, but that doesn't mean money goes to Japan because of that.

      I don't listen to Japanese music so I can't even try to recommend anything.

      If anything, Japan has lost a lot of cultura
    • Dragon Ash is an excellent band that was recommended to me by a japanese quake player on irc. Their best work includes "Lily Of Da Valley" and "Viva La Revolution (especially the latter).
    • When I think of music I associate with contemporary Japanese culture that would make it out of Japan, I think of composers like Yoko Kanno, or cute girl performers like Chitose Hajime, Mai Kuraki, Mika Nakashima, Hikaru Utada, Ayumi Hamasaki.... In my own mind I do not see much overlap in my ideas of "cool", "rock band", and contemporary Japanese culture.


  • by Null Argument ( 727797 ) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @02:24PM (#7822367) Homepage
    They make some of the coolest stuff in the world. At the same time, they also make some of the weirdest.

    Tentacle sex, anyone? ;)
  • We all know that the Japanese places heavy emphasis on education and scholarly conduct. Therefore, it surprises no one that even their entertainment (anime, pr0n) is infused with advanced studies of marine biology (tentacles)
  • Ruroni Kenshin... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by herrvinny ( 698679 ) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @02:29PM (#7822396)
    Obviously. Japanese manga, anime, etc are really good. I make it a point to watch Ruroni Kenshin every Saturday on Cartoon Network (OT, but does anyone have the English version of the song "Freckles" that they play in the opening title? I can't find it anywhere...)

    The thing I like about Japanese anime is that it makes you think. It's not blind violence or meaningless love. Everything has a well crafted story behind it. Just yesterday I was in Barnes and Noble, and was going to read "love hina" but got sidetracked by the new Star Wars book, The Unifying Force.

    The greatest thing though, it's a two way street. We get stuff like Ruroni Kenshin, Pokemon, etc, and the Japanese get McDonalds, Coke, etc.
    • Re:Ruroni Kenshin... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Megane ( 129182 )
      Everything has a well crafted story behind it.

      Not everything, but usually anything based on a successful manga that hasn't been drawn out too long is pretty good. (too long meaning Dragonball Z, or later episodes of Inu Yasha, which I stopped watching around episode 75 or so, and now it's up to 135) Sturgeon's Law still applies, but there is some filtering before it gets to a DVD on the shelf in Best Buy. Even when downloading fansubs, there is filtering when series don't get fansubbed.

      The important di

    • Re:Ruroni Kenshin... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Yosho ( 135835 )
      If you like Kenshin on CN, you owe it to yourself to buy the DVDs -- CN made some awful cuts to it, and most of the stuff that really makes you think has been mutilated. Just take a look at what happened to Soujirou's flashback []. You might also have better luck searching for the song by its Japanese title, "Sobakasu."

      It's also worth noting that no, not all Japanese anime makes you think. There is plenty of it that is mindless violence and sex. La Blue Girl and M. D. Geist are a couple of classic ones.
  • by grungebox ( 578982 ) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @02:34PM (#7822424) Homepage
    recently at this party I was at. Apparently, he says Japanese don't look down on Americans like Europeans do (admittedly with reasonable justification). He said Hollywood movies are huge over there as an earlier post mentioned, and the stars are on posters all over the place. For some reason, Brad Pitt is hot right now.

    Although the one interesting bit of Japanese culture that's taking over like crazy is manga. If you look at Border's or Barnes, you'll see five or six shelves of Manga, and American comics have been pushed into one small shelf at the end. It's apparently the "in" thing for youngsters, much like Fear Street books were the "in" thing back when I was in school.

    Food for thought...

  • by SamSim ( 630795 ) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @02:37PM (#7822445) Homepage Journal

    I think basically what the West is beginning to realise is that Japan is an entire culture which, while being easily as technologically advanced as America (and in many ways more so), is totally different from America. It's new, it's unusual, it's different, and a lot of it is stuff that Westerners have never even contemplated before, let alone seen.

    Kids are insane over Dragonball Z because super-kung-fu-firing-fireballs-from-fingertips-fly ing-about-kicking-people-through-mountains genre just doesn't exist in America. Sure, it's an appalling series on many levels, but it brings something new to the table and for them, that (combined with its testosterone content) makes it worth watching.

    • Another thing to keep in mind is that anime is also very convenient for many American viewers. For example, if I want a fix of anime without learning any Japanese, I can just flip on to Cartoon Network and most of the time they'll be playing some show that, up until recently, had no equivalent in the US.

      I mean, Afghanistanimation is completely different from any TV programs here in the states, but that won't necessarily make it popular because it's not readily available.

      And before you point this out, many
  • Well im big on animation and off the top of my head I can only name a few US made animated shows with anything resembling plot and that dont make copious use of the history eraser button, not to mention the "think of the children beat you over the head with a moral lesson" crap so prevalent in US toons. So I predict I and many many others are going to be watching anime for a long time to come.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 28, 2003 @02:38PM (#7822451)
    No offence to any Japanese people, but Japan is actually a major importer of culture. Their strength lays in taking in good things from other people, and improve on them, making them better. Other than anime, the modern Japanese absorbed a lot from western countries.

    In the ancient time, most of its cultural customs came from China around the Tang dynasty. Examples include Kimono, Buddhism (which in turn came from India), original style of Samurai sword (the difference been in the straight edge of the blade instead of curved), the ancient form of Japanese language itself, and so on. The things about Japan is while they took on these things as their own and retained them as time went forth, China continoued to change through out various dynasties.
    • what do you mean, "other than anime"? take a look at some old manga, the influence of disney-style artwork is glaringly obvious. i think it falls in the same category as what else you've described in your comment.
    • The Japanese language did not come from China. Japanese and Chinese are unrelated languages. Japanese borrowed many Chinese words and the Chinese writing system, starting prior to the Tang dynasty, but the core of the language was not borrowed from China. It is also worth mentioning that there was not all that much direct contact with China. To a large extent the borrowing of "continental" culture was via Korea.

    • ...the ancient form of Japanese language itself...

      This is incorrect. While the Japanese certainly imported the Chinese writing system, there are no known or suspected linguistic links between Japanese and Chinese (indeed, given that Japanese is a multisyllabic, agglutinative language, and the Chinese languages are monosyllabic and highly tonal, it is hard to see how they could be more different). Most linguists classify Japanese as a language isolate (one with no known relatives), although some suspect it
  • by chendo ( 678767 ) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @02:39PM (#7822462)
    And the costumes and atmosphere of the recently concluded "Matrix" series were rooted primarily in Japanese manga.

    Highly likely the manga they're talking about Ghost in the Shell (recent coverage [])
  • by tealover ( 187148 ) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @02:43PM (#7822481)
    How many hot girls do you know that love manga, anime and videogames ?

    And please, no anecdotes about "my wife does!"...I'm talking in the general case. Walk into a bar on the Upper West Side talking about Castle in the Sky to the 6'0 Brazilian supermodel and she'll stare at you blankly while planning her escape.

    Japan has a niche with a certain segment (nerdy people) but their culture doesn't have broad appeal to the masses. Sure, videogames pull in a lot of money but they're typically bought by young men.

    The readers of this site will love the article because it will affirm something they want to believe in, but it doesn't really make it true.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Because it's Slashdot, but that isn't really what it's about it. It's more about Japan taking American (and other cultures), adapting it for Asians, and then shipping it back out to the rest of Asia. For example, they cut their jeans differently for their different body shapes, thus making their jeans popular in places like South Korea. Japan is essentially a cultural filter from Non-Asia to Asia.
    • Japan has a niche with a certain segment (nerdy people) but their culture doesn't have broad appeal to the masses.

      Two words: Hello Kitty []
    • "Japan has a niche with a certain segment (nerdy people) but their culture doesn't have broad appeal to the masses. "

      What you say holds much truth. My friend from Osaka confirmed this when I asked about the very same thing. He said that while anime and those sorts of things are more popular and mainstream than in America, it is CERTAINLY not as big as everybody over here in the US thinks. If you were to go to some bar there and attempt to start chatting with some girl about anime, she would most likely

    • It's unfortunate that this guy is racking up some Troll and Flamebait mods since he's making a good point, albeit a bit inelegantly. There's a now-infamous poll that was given to Americans in 1995 which asked "Name a Famous Japanese Person". The results? #1: (Chinese martial artist) Bruce Lee. #2: (American-born) Yoko Ono. #3: Godzilla. I'm not kidding! I wish a good link to give you but if you're interested a bit of goolging will help you find people referring to this study.

      Okay, so that was bac

  • "Screw manufacturing, lets instead focus on blobs with cute smiles and half-naked cartoon characters."

    "Boss, you are a genius!"
  • Over the past few years all things Asian have been building up popularity here in L.A. As witnessed by the growth of such new magazines as "Giant Robot" []. Perhaps we're moving towards Blade Runner world.

    I for one am all for it. The Asian design since from Hong Kong and Japan is quite good, and it's time for them to stop regurgitating western culture and come into there own. There also seems to be a ground swell of radical art coming out of Japan. I read this as retaliation against a conformist culture

  • Japan Rocks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by molafson ( 716807 ) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @03:17PM (#7822696)
    I like Japan. It rocks. The food's good, people are respectful of each other, and you can buy beer in vending machines. However, I feel compelled to tell you all that I hate anime. Lots of Japanese people hate it as well. (Similarly, many Americans hate Hollywood films, network television, etc.)

    I feel that American anime fanboys like anime mostly because it is different. To be a fan of anime makes them feel special (because ordinary American people are not very familiar with anime apart from Pokemon et al.)

    Lastly, what I hate even more than anime are anime-themed RPGs. Thank you for letting me vent. No offense intended.
  • I should learn more Japanese than "Dozo, ichi biru! Hai! Domo arigato" and the names of assorted foodstuffs. Even Largo [] knows more than that, wakarimasu ka?
  • Mou Ichido ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Yunalesca ( 703301 ) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @03:30PM (#7822795)
    This isn't completely new. Remember the Impressionists? They were quite into their "japonaise" (I forgot the exact term...). There are quite a few paintings of European women dressed in kimono, and collecting trinkets from Japan was all the rage, not just among the artsy crowd. I think the reasons are still similar.

    Now, however, I think a lot of their exports (anime/manga/video esp) have loads of Western influence anyway. Aside from Inu-Yasha and Rurouni Kenshin (the latter of which is set in the Meiji - a major Westernizing period - anyway), I can't think of very many mainstream titles that involve something purely Japanese. But it's blended with their own culture, which is still different enough to be new and interesting for others.
  • Is evidenced by today's Something Awful Link of the Day []. (Not Safe For Work)
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @03:35PM (#7822821) Homepage Journal
    The rise of J-Pop documented in the article is really the success of American pop. Just as black rock & roll took over American pop culture when played by whites, American pop culture (boy bands, fast food, comic books, slutty schoolgirls, top 40 music with unintelligible lyrics) is bigger in Asia with an Asian face.

    This is a really encouraging phenomenon. Global culture flows bring us all together, giving us something in common. When we want to dance with each other, watch each other's movies, eat each other's food, we want to live together and talk about it. Only Hollywood sees the culture market as nationalistically competitive, because in Hollywood, culture is property is power, not to be shared, except at a self-perpetuating price. When people spread culture among ourselves, rather than from the centralized minaret of Hollywood, their power disappears. C'mon everybody, get down tonight!
  • Notice the streets of bagdad and afganistan are being westernised? Wanna know why they don't like that and why alqueda calls america the great satan? If you've read some of the stuff bin laden has written about the USA you'll agree with (some of) his ideology, not his methodology. He says the USA is spreading lies and deciet, which it does do and has been doing although it's people don't agree with this one bit. I noticed a picture up on BBC of afganistan children being given presents from santa this ye
    • I can agree that all those things you mentioned are not enlightened. I can agree that US has repeatedly mistreated other countries for our benefit. One thing that bothers me, when people go all of on this topic is that U.S. is not unique in any of this. Every f'n country does the same thing, given a chance.

      The countries that are the most critical of U.S. have histories of treating others that are worse than ours. We are no more hypocrites than the rest of them. Yet we are evil? The only reason we ar

    • It's human nature to think of relatively vague, amorphous entities such as "20th century America" or "the West" or "the Middle East" etc. as having anthropomorphic human qualities like the ability to own things, have debts or consciously plan things across actual human beings that clearly do not talk to each other and work that sort of thing out. The church, the government and "corporations" do not and did not get together and figure out the way they wanted Christmas to be -- these amorphous groups do not h
    • You pass off "proof" as an excercise left to the reader, which means your thesis (America exports poisonous culture) lacks many internal warrants. Why should I accept your thesis when you can't substantiate what you are claiming?

      I noticed a picture up on BBC of afganistan children being given presents from santa this year, and if you understand the psychology of christmas you'll be frightened from that. Christmas such of a fucked up holiday it isn't even funny, as is easter.

      No, I really don't see wh

      • No, I really don't see whats so "fucked up" about Christmas or the "terrible" psychology of giving GIFTS to these improverished children. Could you please elaborate?

        Tons of churches in America sermonize on the over-commercialization of the Christmas holidays and how this covers up any "true" meaning. I'm sure you can google for a few sources, both religious and non.

        I suggest you take a class on persuasive argumentation beause your diatribe was netiher insightful or interesting. Until then, your thesis

    • Want to know why American culture is so popular? Survival of the fittest. Many other cultures are stagnant and unchanging, but American culture embraces change. Thus, by default, it is much more interesting than most other cultures.

      Japanese culture is another big mover. Do I feel threatened or jealous about its recent popularity? Naw. Embrace and extend, that's our motto. We take the best parts of other cultures, integrate and expand on it, and then export it right back at them. Mind you, everyone
      • Tell ya what, when in the next 20 years there's an epidemic that can't be cured by antibiotics from the feedlots and millions die off because their antibiotics can't handle it, when in 40 or so years around millions of americans have some other nuerodegeneritve disease because of the MSG and aspartame they take in on a daily basis, and when millions are out on the streets and doing slave labour because all the corperations replaced their work forces with machines to save money, you can come upto me and call
      • Agreed. Mod this man up!

        Nobody goes and forces people in other countries to go to McDonald's, to drink Coca-Cola, to watch the Matrix, or to wear blue jeans. These things spread because they're good. You can say that a McDonalds on every street in the world is disgusting (an assertion that is probably true), but they're not there because of some conspiracy--they're there because people patronize them.

        Just as Japanese culture isn't "attacking" American culture, American culture isn't "attacking" European,
  • especially with kids. When I was a kid, it was godzilla and kaiju movies, now it's anime and dragonball z and so forth.

    Other than with children, I don't see Japanese stuff being that popular ... well, there are bukakke fans, but I'm not going to touch that (yechh).
  • They still impose heavy tarrifs on American goods.

    You should see how much a Mustang GT goes for!

    Even though you may speak the language you will never be excepted. You are forever a Gaijin.

    We have been exposed to Japanese culture/anime since the 60's, Speed Racer is a classic example.

    I aggree with some of the posts above. America is a leader in cultural entertainment.
    The Japanesse and the Koreans improve on exsisting ideas, American cars for example.

    We(USA) can't make cars worth a shit anymore.

    How is i
    • Even though you may speak the language you will never be excepted. You are forever a Gaijin.

      Japanese culture is still explicitly stratified, you remain a crazy gaijin to prevent offense or shame. More than likely there is a fundamental level at which you do not get the Japanese culture because you insist on viewing Japan through the lens of your birth culture.

  • Unfortunately, what the exporting of culture leads to is a product leaving your country and entering another, WITHOUT the attached history/knowledge associated with it. Thus, it is not really the culture that is being exported per se, rather, it is the products that are produced as a result of that culture.

    In anime, there are many themes which are repeated throughout various series. They are MUCH different than most Western themes. This is because of their culture in Japan, and the way their soci

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