This article is appealing to me because it covers multiple different topics related to Japanesse culture and it doesn’t squarely focus on animation (anime) and comics (manga). The article mentions various phenomena of the 1990s that hail from Japan, such as the beloved digital pets, Tamagotchi, the symbol of 90s boyhood, Power Rangers (Super Sentai), and the iconic toy line, Transformers. Even I didn’t know that Transformers has Japanese roots. It mentions that the animated movies created by Hideo Miyazaki have attracted the attention of the Walt Disney Company. It mentions Nintendo, a video game company responsible for the cultural phenomena of Pokémon and Mario, and how its first executive to take the business overseas was inspired to do so by the success of the Walt Disney Company. It also talks about how, unlike in the United States, there is a large market for anime and manga with darker, more adult themes. All of this information is used to promote the (at the time) new Disney movie, Big Hero 6.
This article isn’t really about topics up my alley, but it indirectly makes a good point. It shows how the world has influenced Japan. When Japanese teenagers aren’t in school, they wear clothing similar to what Americans wear. Japan’s obsession with education could stem from the fact that Japan wants to prove itself useful to the world’s more powerful countries, like the United States and China. Maybe the United States will eventually share Japan’s tastes in transportation that don’t clog up roads and hurt the environment.
This article takes a more business-like and political side to Japan’s recent history. The article cites the words of various authors on the subject of the globalization of Japan. Harumi Befu gives evidence that Japan has experienced four phases of human dispersal, and he claims that the fourth and current phase has had the most profound effect on Japan. Mitchell Sedgwick argues that the globalization of Japan is having an effect on the Japanese family structure for better or for worse. Beverley Bishop argues that more opportunities for women have opened up since Japan was globalized. Tom Gill argues that Japanese laborers are falling more under the control of their employers.
This article is all about what Japan is arguably most famous for, their animation and comics known as anime and manga. This article’s main idea discusses how anime and manga have influenced Japan and the rest of the world. It mentions that unlike American cartoons, anime and manga that appeal to adults are commonplace. It talks about how high schools in anime are similar to those in Japan. It talks about Hatsune Miku, a singing, female hologram with an anime-like appearance that has a massive fan base and can sell out stadiums. It mentions anime conventions, where fans of anime wear costumes and interact with voice actors and other anime fans. Finally, it mentions American made shows like RWBY and Avatar: The Last Airbender that copy Japan’s animation style and use it to great effect.
This article covers more topics about Japanese culture that I’ve seen any article do so far. This probably has something to do with the fact that it was written by the Japan Travel Center. It touches upon Japan’s ethnic lodging centers that come with tatami mats (floor cushions that replace chairs), futons (large cushions that replace beds), and giant baths reserved for different people at different times. It mentions Japan’s famous cuisine, including sushi and tea. It mentions Japan’s kabuki theatre and their well-known sumo wrestling. Of course, when mentioning Japanese culture, one cannot go without mentioning anime and manga. Maid cafes, which are inspired by anime, also get a mention. At maid cafes, girls wearing traditional maid clothing serve guests while referring to them as master. Japan also has cat cafes, where you can interact with cats. I’ve never heard of cat cafes, so it looks like I still have things to learn about Japanese culture.
This article has the most application out of any article I’ve seen. It talks about various Japanese customs that one should follow if they want to not seem rude. It lists out the rules of gift giving. Gifts should be given with both hands, you should reject a gift before accepting it, and never give gifts in sets of four. It talks about the rules for drinking with friends. You should pour someone’s drink while they pour yours, and you shouldn’t drink before everyone has their drink. Finally, it reveals that you should under no circumstances leave a tip anywhere.
Manga is another topic that is up my alley. This article talks about the history of manga, which is (ironically) something I don’t know very well. Manga has its roots with the right-to-left progression of art drawn by Toba Sōjō, a monk who lived in the 11th and 12th centuries. The term “manga” (playful sketches) was coined by Katsushika Hokusai. The article also mentions the origin of horror manga and sexual manga, as well as the influence of western political cartoons on Japanese art’s habit of poking fun at the government.
The video game industry wouldn’t be the same without Japan, which is one of the main reasons why I like Japan so much. Video games first hit the Japanese market with Space Invaders, a game made by a company called Taito. Pac-Man, a game made by a company called Namco, insured that video games had a future in Japan. The success of Pac-Man encouraged Nintendo to put their foot in the video game business. Nintendo’s Family Computer (Famicom), which allowed video games to be played in the comfort of one’s home, proved to be a massive success, and it began the Japanese video game craze in the United States when it was released overseas as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). With the release of the GameBoy, which allowed video games to be played on the go, Nintendo and their mascot, Mario, grew into a video game superpower. Sega decided to create their own mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog and he came with his own, more advanced, home console. The rivalry between Nintendo and Sega lasted until the late 1990s, when Sony entered the playing field. Sony made video games on disks instead of the cartridges of the past, as disks were cheaper, easier to store, and could store larger games. Nintendo, not to be outdone, created the first good video that took place in a 3D environment. Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft now compete for video game dominance, and Sega no longer makes video game consoles.
Anime, manga, and video games aren’t the only lasting impression Japan has had on the world. In fact, it could be argued that Japanese food has become more well known that Japanese entertainment. You can find sushi and ramen in basically every large city. One common theme that most Japanese foods share is presence of rice and fish meat. Because of Japan’s situation as a mountainous archipelago, it is surrounded by fish and rice is one of the few crops that can grow there. Japanese food has become so popular that it was named an Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2013 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
While this article is short, it shows what has been on the mind of Japanese people as of late. The most searched person was Mao Kobayashi, a newscaster who started a blog talking about how she dealt with her stage 4 cancer. She died on June 22nd of last year. The divisive President of the United States was also trending in the people category. North Korea was on the minds of many Japanese people, especially after North Korea launched a missile over them. The live action remake of Beauty and the Beast was a huge hit in Japan, and many people looked up information related to the movie. The popularity of Beauty and the Beast is a testament to how we influence Japan in the same way they influence us.
This article is a bit more specific than usual. It talks about the Osamu Tezuka, the “father of manga”, and three manga that he wrote. Surprisingly, Tezuka was a licensed physician, but he chose to follow the more risky path and draw stories. He used his medical knowledge and drawing skill to illustrate the problems with the Japanese medical system at the time. The most famous of the three manga, Black Jack, is one of his most successful manga and has influenced basically every young doctor in Japan.
This article, written by The NPD (National Purchase Diary) Group, is on the more official side of articles. It shows that comics and graphic novels are selling faster than other books in the United States. Manga in particular is experiencing a large increase in sales in the States. Over one third of comic and graphic novel buyers are female, and those who buy manga were found to be 20% less likely to be white. While manga may not be the most popular form of literature in the United States, it is growing faster that its competitors.
Is is incredible on many levels. First, One Piece is only 20 years old, but Batman is 79 years old. Second, One Piece has been authored by a single man (43 year old Eiichiro Oda) for its entire run, while Batman has had multiple authors at once throughout his 79 year “career”. Third, the character of Batman has appeared in multiple stories with multiple themes, while One Piece has told the same story about pirates since 1997. Not even Batman can stand up against Japan’s pop culture empire.
Japanese cuisine is one of the finer parts of its culture. This article lists 25 foods that are well-known in Japan, as well as their history. It mentions multiple ways that sushi can be eaten, as well as the salty goodness that is ramen. It reveals that the classic tempura actually hails from Portugal, and it mentions the delicious takoyaki (octopus balls). Japan is famous for inventing most of this food, but how much famous food exists in the United States that wasn’t stolen from other countries?
If you’re looking for a few facts about Japanese culture to share with friends, this is the resource for you. It talks about the Japanese language, which comes in different forms and is descended from the Chinese language. It mentions Japan’s religious makeup. Japan is a mostly Shintō and Buddhist nation. The largest holiday in Japan is New Years, and the most watch sport is baseball. However, sumo wrestling is the national sport of Japan. The article also divulges information about the Japanese family structure, and how more grandparents live with their grandchildren than in the United States.
Sumo is the national sport of Japan, and is recognized the world over for its unique players, who look unhealthy overweight and wear nothing but loincloths. That being said, the average person likely does not know about the history of sumo. Sumo evolved from a brutal fist fight to a ritualistic sport where one wrestler must push his opponent out of a 15 foot circle between the years of 710 and 1185 AD. When the military took over Japan, public sumo was banned, and sumo could only be performed for high ranking samurai. Records of professional sumo wrestling start in 1600, when public matches we brought back. In 1632, Akashi Shiganosuke became the first sumo wrestler to win enough matches to gain the rank of Yokozuna, the highest rank in sumo, which has only been achieved by 72 people.
Like the United States, Japan also celebrates plenty of holidays. However, the only holiday Japan has in common with the United States is New Years. Japan’s biggest holiday is New Years Day, as well as the few days after it where most businesses are closed. These few days, as well as the first week of May, where multiple holidays occur successively, are the two biggest holiday periods, New Years and Golden Week. Golden Week’s holidays consist of the celebration of deceased Emperor Shōwa’s birthday, the celebration of the anniversary of the day that Japan’s current constitution took affect, a holiday dedicated to plant life, and a day dedicated to children.
Japan once dominated the electronics market. Companies like Sony and Panasonic dominated their competition. However, companies like Samsung and Apple took opportunities to produce more advanced technology. The Japanese companies struggled to keep up. Now, Sony has shifted their attention on video games, while Panasonic is pursuing other business ventures. However, despite the fact that Sony and Panasonic aren’t what they used to be, they were vital to allowing other companies to progress further in the development of technology.
This article was written nearly 35 years ago, and it’s shows an early Japanese culture boom in a time where what is popular now was just becoming popular in Japan. Between 1979 and 1982, a kabuki theater went from half full to sold out. The number of sushi restaurants tripled in New York City during the same timeframe. This boom was seen as unprecedented, even by students with foreign experience in Japan. Japan was becoming a fad for not the first, nor the last time.
Things and places of Japanese origin are becoming more and more common. Sushi is becoming more available in restaurants and supermarkets. Shirts with Pokémon shirts are as popular as Batman and Avengers shirts. Anime and manga tend to be less superpower based and more magic based, giving them their own charm. Learning Japanese in college has become more and more common. The University of California, San Diego offers 20 different Japanese language classes, and successful students can acquire assistant teaching positions.
Shintō is different from most religions because it lacks a a central text and is not preached. It is more so a way of life than a religion, and it has existed in some form or another for as long as Japan itself. In Shintō, offerings are made to kami (gods) that take the form of natural phenomena, objects, and deceased individuals that are prayed to or given offerings to ward evil away from humans, who are born pure of heart. The most important kami is the kami of the sun, Amaterasu, and the first Emperor of Japan was her descendant. Important kami have shrines that are kept up by priests, who can be of either gender and are assisted by miko, girls in white who cannot be married and are usually related to the priest.
Buddhism is a faith based on the teachings of Siddhārtha Gautama, also known as the Buddha. He lived in Nepal (between India and China), but his teachings and path to enlightenment spread to Japan from Korea in the 6th century. It quickly saw favor in Japan’s upper class. While it enjoyed time as the dominant religion in Japan, it is not as popular as Shintō in Japan today, nor is it as prevalent in everyday life. Despite this, even followers of Shintō hold Buddhist funerals, as death is an unpopular concept in Shintō.
Tokyo, the capital of Japan and it’s largest city, has a surprising amount in common with New York City, the largest city in the United States. They both have a large shopping district (Times Square/Ginza District). They both have large green spaces (Central Park/Ueno Park). They both boast the second tallest freestanding structure of their hemisphere (One World Trade Center/Tokyo Skytree). They both have an art museum (Metropolitan Museum of Art/National Art Center). Tokyo’s National Museum of Tokyo and National Museum of Nature and Science also draw comparison to the Smithsonian Museums in the United States capital, Washington DC.
Manga is one of the fastest growing industries among books in the United States. Sales figures rose by 29% in between 2015 and 2016. According to Milton Griepp, the CEO of the comics industry news source ICv2, Pokémon is responsible for this increase in sales. However, the NPD Group reported increases in the sales of all sorts of manga. This information originated from sales figures given at New York Comic Con, and the demographics of buyers were also compared.
This article talks about the story of Spirited Away, the arguable most successful Japanese film of all time. Spirited Away released in Japanese theaters in 2001 and made more money domestically than any Japanese film had ever made. It enjoyed success throughout Asia, and it attracted the attention of The Walt Disney Company. With The Walt Disney Company overseeing the English voiceover release of the film, it enjoyed success in the United States as well. It influenced famous American directors like Quentin Tarantino and the Wachowskis (formerly the Wachowski Brothers).
This article talks about the story of Your Name, another arguable contender for most successful Japanese film of all time. It released in Japanese theaters in 2016 on a low budget. While not earning as much as Spirited Away domestically, its success in the rest of Asia has pushed it to become the highest grossing film to be made in Japan. It was most successful among teenagers and young adults, who spread the word on its greatness. Despite the complex story which some viewers couldn’t wrap their head around, the movie not only received English screenings (and Japanese screenings with English subtitles) in the United States, it also received English screenings in Japan.
After Japan’s defeat at the end of World War II, the United States helped Japan rebuild itself. Men like Osamu Tezuka were raised to believe that Japan’s future was as an ally to the United States and we’re raised around American media. Osamu Tezuka created many American-esqe comics in Japanese which we would later be referred to as manga. Many of Tezuka’s works were adapted into cartoons, which in Japan, came to be known as anime. In Japan anime and manga refer to all animation and comics, but in the United States, anime and manga only refer to animation and comics that come from Japan, of which there was a huge boom in the early 1990’s. Conventions dedicated to anime are the best way to determine the amount of anime and manga fans by country. In 2002, Anime Boston’s turnout was 4 times their expected turnout, and their current turnout is nearly 10 times larger than it was then. The largest anime convention, Anime Expo, saw 100,000 attendees last year.
This article attempts to prove the matcha is objectively better that any other tea. It explains that the difference between matcha and regular green tea. In matcha, the tea leaves are blended into the water and consumed, while in regular green tea, the leaves are left in water for their flavor to be absorbed. It talks about how matcha is prepared differently from other tea in a way to halt the oxidation process. It also mentions that matcha helps to prevent heart disease and cancer, regulate cholesterol and blood pressure, and provides an “alert calm”. It predicts that matcha will become a cultural phenomenon because it was historically associated with calmness and nature, something that the internet has turned into a luxury.
There wouldn’t be a video game industry without Japan. Tomohiro Nishikado’s Space Invaders was the first significant Japanese video game, and it was so popular that it led to the (false) rumor that Japan had run low on ¥100 (roughly $1) coins. Toru Iwatani‘s Pac-Man proved that the success of Space Invaders wasn’t a fluke. Japan is responsible for the creation of multiple video game genres, including the survival horror genre, the role playing game (RPG) genre, and the fighting game genre. Nintendo, one of the most famous video game companies, is responsible for such franchises as Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon. The former two franchises were both created by one man, Shigeru Miyamoto.
Japanese pop culture has had a massive influence on the United States. American cartoon channels air anime, and manga can be found in basically every Barnes and Noble. Sushi can be found in almost every big city. San Francisco (likely now) has a mall dedicated to anime, manga, and Japanese fashion. But why has Japanese culture become so popular in the United States? Maybe it’s the cute aesthetic that some things in Japan have that make you want to protect them. A big reason why Japanese culture has achieved the success it has may lie in the fact that only some of it was mass-marketed to us.