JAPANESE POPULAR CULTURE

Japanese popular culture

Introduction-

Popular culture, or popular culture , is usually considered the sum of concepts, ideas, attitudes, icons, and trends that are embedded within the lives of mainstream society. Japanese popular culture has its own distinct characteristics that make it hugely appealing. For one, it celebrates modern trends and perceptions of the overall populace while staying connected with traditional art forms. Not only that, but popular culture in Japan is so colorful, eclectic, and unique that it’s attracted a worldwide following and has seeped into other countries’ cultural consciousness.

Japanese culture functions as an umbrella term for the ensemble of television (Anime), comics (Manga), and music (J-pop, J-hop, J-rock and more). Each realm began carving niches within established categories until they had woven themselves into many inter-connected rabbit holes; endless ones baited with dissolving lines between good and evil and metamorphic character identities.

Think about it – Sony Music Entertainment is one among the most important record companies within the world; Yamaha is that the largest manufacturer of musical instruments within the world; Japan has the sixth-largest population within the world; the music industry generates billions and billions of dollars worldwide per annum .

Some facets of Japanese pop culture:

JPop (J-Pop) – short for “Japanese Pop,” this refers to a Japanese musical genre that reached new heights within the late 1990s. JPop superstars include Ayumi Hamasaki, Ken Hirai, and Utada Ikaru, also as bands Orange Range and Morning Musume.

Kawaii – meaning “cute” and “beautiful”, this is often a main visual element in Japanese popular culture . Kawaii describes people and animals, and it’s applied to figures or mascots of companies to strengthen PR . as an example , the Tokyo Metropolitan local department features a mascot called “Pipo-kun” that appears like an adorable orange creature with a blue antenna on its head.

Pachinko – this Japanese gaming machine is so successful that annual earnings are twice the maximum amount as Japan’s auto industry.

Purikura – Japanese photo booths that transcend the standard by offering various cute designs to embellish the photo.

Cosplay – short for “costume play,” this is often a performance kind where people (called “cosplayers”) dress up in costumes that represent anime or manga characters, pop stars, computer game characters, and therefore the like. Cosplay has gained such a lot popularity that events are held in many countries including the US .

Manga – drawings or comics that remain as popular today as they were centuries ago. Themes greatly vary, from romance to action to horror.Manga are often best described because the Japanese comic with the specialty of living longer than most household pets — the storyline of those comics lasts decades! The cinematic illustrations of those comics narrate the lives of the protagonists from childhood up to real time. One Piece may be a popular on-going adventure manga and anime series that has existed for 22 years. Naruto has been around for twenty years while the comical Haguregumo has been in circulation for over 46 years.

Anime – Japanese animated cartoons that are generally more detailed in their artwork than Western cartoons. Often influenced by manga, they’re much in demand: various related merchandise like action figures, clothing lines, and video games exist. Anime has the ethos of a smiling elderly man offering you a bit of candy. Wariness precedes a familiarity with energetic atmospheres and eclectic characters, and is subverted with trust within the unusually bright colored stranger. As you start humming the odd Japanese theme song and singing a couple of mispronounced words, you’ll begin to note the medium permeating your personal space. The televised world of anime, with its exaggerated facial expressions and zany characters, poses uncomfortable questions and stimulates conversation about the grey areas of morality. Watching anime is becoming familiar with the plethora of fantasy worlds remarking the dubious side of society — sights that had previously skipped your attention. Anime just like the dark fantasy offering Tokyo Ghoul portrays the likelihood of empathy for criminals while the supernatural thriller Deathnote challenges the prevalent ideas of justice and identity.

Japanese TV game shows – these highly entertaining shows vary from hilariously silly to shockingly bizarre. Popular games are the Marshmallow Eating Contest, where the contestants’ faces are held back by bungee cords, and therefore the Bug Game, where most are dressed as bugs and contestants need to successfully push a door down a track alternatively suffer someone’s stinky breath.

Karaoke – who hasn’t heard of karaoke? Whether you’ll carry a tune or not, singing with karaoke machines can still provide much fun and entertainment. Karaoke bars and rooms are booming everywhere.

The characters of Japanese popular culture are a stark and refreshing foil in comparison to characters in western comics who are depicted as black and white heroes and villains supernaturally raised to deity-like standards. They almost universally share a duality of human ridiculousness and spiritual strength, gaining their uniqueness from within themselves, borne from cultivation through toil and blood, rather than luck and chance.

In Japan, anime is sort of a cult. Celebrated (almost) as invigoratingly as Bollywood is in India. Each genre features a universe of a lover following and every anime or manga within the genre has its own world of support and dedication. The massive anime and manga fandom is split into different genres that specifically target separate demographics.

Kodomo may be a sort of anime aimed toward all children, no matter gender. Shōnen may be a sort of manga meant for boys aged 12-18. Shōjo (translates to “girl”) is especially wont to describe a young female demographic for anime and manga between the ages of 7-19. Shōnenmanga are Japanese comics for young men. it’s primarily aimed toward men older than those of high-school age. Josei (translates to “women”) may be a genre of anime and manga intended for ladies older than those of high-school age.

Josei (translates to “women”) may be a genre of anime and manga intended for ladies older than those of high-school age.

The significance of East Asian influence over the Indian consciousness has only grown stronger over the last 20 years , as evident by the recall value of the Pokémon theme song for generation Z and therefore the millennials. 

Bathroom mirrors are witnesses to countless children imitating Goku from the action epic Dragon Ball series. 

Popular anime like Naruto, Pokéemon and Dragon Ball Z, that aired on Indian channels like Cartoon Network and Animax, struck a chord with the younger Indian audience within the country, creating an unprecedented and unsatiated new taste which formed the idea of the demand for Japanese culture in India. As this audience grew older, their craving led them to a brand of anime which specifically targeted Japanese audiences who were almost like them in age. In other words, they were trying to find the shōnen genre of manga and anime which caters to young men. Anime like Death Note, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Tokyo Ghoul began gaining traction. These anime have a darker color palette in terms of cinematic elements also because of the content. They engage with viewers’ opinions on criminality, justice, morality, and loss. These plotlines and characters are more emotionally demanding than their kodomo (a sort of anime for children) counterparts. However, they still incorporate the comparatively strange myth and behavior that has become synonymous with anime and manga.

Writers of anime and manga, who write for older age groups, don’t let the stereotypes related to animation undermine their quality of writing. For instance , Fullmetal Alchemist may be a dark science fantasy manga series written and illustrated by manga artist Hiromu Arakawa, whose writing and illustrations reflect society also because of the individuality of the reader.

A peek underneath the surface of popular subculture in India will reveal the fabulous underground shrine to Japanese culture that has risen thanks to this phenomenon. It’s a blossoming area that boasts a kinship cemented by elaborate cosplay and our very own interactive gathering of Japanese culture in Animecon India.

The penetration of Japanese culture into India then becomes evident as she introduces us to members of a Mumbai-based anime fan-club (MAC). Artistic and cultural influences follow musicians to the stage. Rock and roll has its leather jackets, country has its cowboy boots and metal has its make-up. J-pop, on the opposite hand, is driven by its Kawaii image or the culture of cuteness. This is often the genre of music that was influenced by western popular rock of the 80s and 90s, drawing influences from bands just like the Beach Boys and therefore the Beatles.

The Beatles’ performance at Tokyo’s indoor arena Budokan is claimed to have taught Japanese youth to let their hair right down to “rock n roll,” wear flashy clothes, be wild, and express themselves. It led imitative college bands called ‘Group Sounds’ to originate everywhere Japan which was closely followed by more sophisticated versions of the ‘rock sound’ and message adapted by bands just like the Japanese electronic outfit Yellow Magic Orchestra and folk rockers The Happy End. J-rock and J-pop didn’t withdraw from their rise in Japanese culture and have since gained popularity everywhere in Asia, seeping into Indian playlists. ClariS may be a popular and iconic J-pop/rock duo that hit the no.1 spot on the Apple music J-pop charts in India while the singer and guitarist Suda Masaki and therefore the pop/rock hip-hop boy band Tokio have also been gaining rapid attention.

Each of those mediums and therefore the stories they contain are portals into completely bizarre worlds which bear a surprising resemblance thereto of our own. They pull characters from the vast board of fiction and show how similar they’re to us, destroying the pretexts and prejudices behind our preconceived notions of the universe. 

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