What do you think about when you hear about pop culture? Popular culture is an expression that characterizes a set of specific cultural elements in the society of a nation or region. These can be related to dance, music, movies, festivity, food and among others.
And these cultural expressions go beyond the country's borders and can be known worldwide thanks to the media that is capable of giving us information from anywhere in the world.
This article will show you more about how pop culture emerged in Japan and how it ended up becoming so popular.
The first steps of Japanese pop culture
After World War II peace was restored, Japan and its culture were seen differently.
Before Japan was more associated with samurai, katanas, kimonos, bonsai, cherry trees and these characteristics are no longer the only links with Japan.
During the post-war reconstruction of Japan, comic books that are known worldwide as manga began to emerge and popularize among themselves.
In these manga the highlights were the character's physical characteristics such as large eyes and spiky hair. The story also had a more distinctive take on American hero comics.
Films and drawings also emerged from manga that showed more of the culture of this people.
But they started to gain their space because of TV in the second half of the twentieth century, as until then this was something that was only experienced among the Japanese themselves.
The export of Japanese productions to be broadcast on television began in the sixties. But the interesting thing is that this did not happen with the aim of becoming popular or successful, on the contrary there were many Japanese who did not support this type of entertainment.
With the arrival of these productions, other nationalities associated the physical characteristics of the characters in the comics to the Japanese, although they do not look like people in real life, but it was possible to identify that that production was made by them.
Manga began to grow even in the seventies with Japanese society and gained ground in Germany, Italy, Spain and the USA.
In the nineties with the internet becoming more accessible along with television they were the kick-off for the birth of Otaku community.
So it started to be common for other nations to have habits that were previously common for Japanese, such as eating Japanese food, using chopsticks, seeing words written in Japanese on signs and prints, among other forms of cultural manifestations.
The Power of Japanese Pop Culture
Over the past twenty years, interest in Japanese culture has grown significantly. Before, subjects like this were only dealt with by the academic community for study, but it ended up becoming a pop phenomenon.
Japanese pop culture has an influence on fashion, aesthetics, music, movies, comics and many others. who never wanted to use those school uniforms or heroes' armor? Or have that funky colored hair?
Before pop culture was more Americanized, the Japanese went from being consumers to pop culture exporters.
People around the world started to want to have a little Japanese culture with them and consequently began to acquire mangas, anime, games, movies, dramas and many other Japanese animations.
It was even possible to find clothes to try to look like the characters.
The Importance of Worldwide Fans
As already mentioned, all this success was unintentional, it was a surprise for the Japanese themselves to see their products and creations going out to various places. And there are many fans who insist on consuming the maximums in relation to Japan.
But today the situation is more favorable for that. Today we have all the technology at our disposal without the worry of having to go to Japan to get to know the culture there. Although a trip to Japan would be cooler than seeing it on the screen huh!!
The US and Europe led the interest in these Japanese creations so thanks to these strong influences we could see on open TV classic anime like Knights of the Zodiac, Dragon Ball, Inuyacha and others. Remember seeing any of these in your childhood?
And all this was already possible in the nineties! And since 2010 it has improved even more. Several official manga came to Brazil as well and several open TV channels had dedicated hours to show only anime.
Long live the TV market!! Without him, this process of getting to know Japanese culture would not be available to everyone who is interested.
There are Japanese bands with concerts in several countries and this whole process was gradually more determining to have people who consume this market outside Japan.
pop culture today
If in the seventies Japanese pop culture started to crawl, nowadays it is bigger than we can imagine.
With the facilities we currently have, we can delve even further into this culture to get to know each aspect better.
We can currently order Japanese products from anywhere just using our mobile phone. And for those who are not a big fan of ordering things over the internet, there are also physical stores selling Japanese products.
If you want to speak their language, it is possible to take online courses to learn as well as face-to-face.
By subscribing to streaming platforms you will hardly find any drama, anime or documentary about Japan.
In at least ten countries anime is very popular. And as incredible as it may seem, Japan is not among those with the largest audience for this content.
You can eat Japanese food by going to the mall wherever you are and paying the price that is most affordable for you. Here in Brazil alone, the average number of Japanese restaurants exceeds fifteen hundred.
There are even content creators just about Japan like Suki Desu himself, YouTube channels and traditional books.
And of course the good and classic manga that have physical and electronic versions that you can order online too.
What most catches your attention from Japanese pop culture?