The Influence of Japanese Popular Culture

The Influence of Japanese Popular Culture

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Did you know that most of the cartoon shows that are on television come from Japan? Japanese popular culture has made a huge hit all over the world. There are many forms of popular art in Japan. Some know forms are anime, music, and manga. These are the most notable ones and are also what makes up most of their fan base for pop culture. Some other forms include cosplaying, contemporary art, and fashion. Cosplaying is short for “costume play” and it means to dress up as a character from sources like anime, manga, film, and games. There are a few places in Japan where people usually cosplay, including Akihabara, Harajuku and Shibuya. In present day, it is almost impossible to not see some form of Japanese pop culture in our country. There are even festivals and conventions held just for it which happens in many places over the world every year. Most people who attend these events will often cosplay as a character from something most people would know. Japanese pop culture is also one of the biggest exports of Japan. Japanese popular culture is the most attractive part of Japan, which has created a big impact around the world.
Anime plays a big role in Japanese pop culture and has also influenced others. An anime, short for animation, often consists of a series of episodes that portrays some kind of story. Anime is the general term that is used for referring to all animation series in general from Japan. It has become widespread, accounting for at least sixty percent of the world’s cartoons. Some highly known ones include: Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Dragon Ball Z, Power Rangers, Astro Boy, and Spirited Away. In every anime, there is always a theme that goes along with it that relates to Japanese culture or society in some way. A popular theme that occurs in some anime is Shinto. It is the oldest religion and also the most major part of Japanese culture. Shinto is the belief of Kami or gods. It is literally translated to “the way of the gods”. You can often tell the difference between cartoons and anime by looking at two things: the animations or art and the theme or story. In Anime, the animations will always look similar to reality and there will also be a story of some sort relating to life. On the other hand, cartoons often have character animations that are often “flat” and do not give a realistic look to it and are often made just for comedy.

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Anime first started being exported out of Japan in 1963, but it did not just distribute right after it was exported. It was thanks to people like Fred Ladd and Peter Fernandez who helped write the English scripts and voice anime from overseas. Other people started to do the same over time. Many anime had to be modified so other audiences could understand and also had to follow broadcasting rules and censor what could not be shown. This led to dubs where casts from one region would voice-over the original one. After the long processes, anime started to become a huge hit and so other studios in Japan also started to export their anime to get a bigger audience. As of today, more than 13,000 have been created and that number increases every year. There are many sites that stream these anime with subtitles at the same time they are aired in Japan. Many anime fans all over the world enjoy watching anime. At first glance, anime seems to be targeted toward teenagers, but in Japan, they are actually targeted toward adults also. In fact, studios have raised the target audience to keep their old audience interested in their anime. This is why anime is still popular among young adults all over the place. It was not really until the late 1990’s where the more popular anime came to existence, further increasing the publicity of anime.

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